Researchers Raise Public Health Concerns About Off-Road Vehicles and Inhalation of Asbestos

Preventing injuries may not be the only reason children shouldn’t use off-road vehicles (ORVs).In a new study, public health scientists raise concerns that people who use ORVs in many regions of the country may face exposure to hazardous mineral fibers. These include naturally occurring asbestos and erionite – an asbestos-like material that occurs in sedimentary rocks of the western United States.Most of the deposits are located along the Appalachian Mountains and ranges in the West and Southwest, especially California.

NASA Shows How Harvey Saturated Areas in Texas

NASA analyzed the soil moisture in southeastern Texas before and after Harvey made landfall and found the ground was already somewhat saturated. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP Satellite provided a night-time look at Harvey after it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, and NOAA’s GOES East satellite provided a look at the storm after it made its final landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border on Aug. 30.

New osteoporosis treatment uses traditional Chinese herb to prevent bone loss

An herb widely used in traditional Chinese medicine might hold the key to a new osteoporosis therapy that could prevent bone loss without causing side effects.Using a compound derived from red sage, UBC researchers have found a way to selectively block an enzyme called Cathepsin K (CatK), which plays a major role in the breakdown of collagen in bones during osteoporosis. The findings were published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Tree's chemistry puts mountain pine beetle in sticky situation

A University of Alberta forestry professor has cracked a key mystery surrounding the mountain pine beetle.After studying lodgepole pine trees in the Grande Prairie area that survived a pine beetle attack, U of A professor Nadir Erbilgin and his team discovered certain chemicals in the trees that produce high levels of resin—sticky sap—that overwhelms the insect.

Researchers discover new immunotherapy combination effective at killing cancer cells

Immunotherapy is an emerging field in the global fight against cancer, even though scientists and clinicians have been working for decades to find ways to help the body’s immune system detect and attack cancerous cells. Doug Mahoney’s lab at the University of Calgary recently discovered an immunotherapy that uses existing cancer drugs in a whole new way.

Photosynthesis Discovery Could Lead to Design of More Efficient Artificial Solar Cells

A natural process that occurs during photosynthesis could lead to the design of more efficient artificial solar cells, according to researchers at Georgia State University.During photosynthesis, plants and other organisms, such as algae and cyanobacteria, convert solar energy into chemical energy that can later be used as fuel for activities. In plants, light energy from the sun causes an electron to rapidly move across the cell membrane. In artificial solar cells, the electron often returns to its starting point and the captured solar energy is lost. In plants, the electron virtually never returns to its starting point, and this is why solar energy capture in plants is so efficient. A process called inverted-region electron transfer could contribute to inhibiting this “back electron transfer.”

Caspian Sea evaporating as temperatures rise

Earth’s largest inland body of water has been slowly evaporating for the past two decades due to rising temperatures associated with climate change, a new study finds.

NASA Calculates Tropical Storm Harvey's Flooding Rainfall

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, an analysis of Hurricane Harvey's tremendous rainfall was created using eight days of satellite data.NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM or IMERG product is used to make estimates of precipitation from a combination of space-borne passive microwave sensors, including the GMI microwave sensor onboard the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite GPM core satellite, and geostationary IR (infrared) data. 

Methane can naturally contaminate groundwater, researchers find

A team of researchers from the University of Windsor and the University of Saskatchewan have discovered that methane can naturally migrate upwards through shale over millions of years and reach groundwater without any industry influence.“Upward migration of methane through low-porosity zones raises awareness that groundwater wells can be naturally contaminated by deeper sources of methane,” says Scott Mundle, an assistant professor of chemistry in the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research. “This is an important consideration when investigating potential causal links between fracking and an impacted water well.”

Record-low salmon monitoring

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is not monitoring enough spawning streams to accurately assess the health of Pacific salmon, according to a new study led by Simon Fraser University researchers Michael Price and John Reynolds.The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, reveals that the DFO does not have enough data to determine the status of 50 per cent of all managed salmon populations along B.C.’s north and central coasts.