Fishing off the Coast of Louisana

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is restricting fishing for a minimum of ten days in federal waters most affected by the BP oil spill, largely between Louisiana state waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River to waters off Florida’s Pensacola Bay. The closure is effective immediately. The off shore fisheries provide food and a number of jobs. The questions of testing and monitoring seafood quality will be watched carefully by NOAA, local state agencies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

How the Human Brain Recognizes Language

It is a major part of what separates us from the animals, the ability to verbalize our thoughts and understand the verbalizations of others. However, this evolutionary miracle is not exclusive to human beings – other species like dolphins and birds communicate regularly. Humans, however, have taken communication to such an advanced degree that we can verbalize even the most minute detail, and our brains are wired to understand them. Not only are we capable of multiple languages, we also have the capacity for non-verbal sign language. In fact, a recent study out of the University of Rochester focusing on sign language has reached a new conclusion on how the brain is wired for language.

Scientists Resurrect Mammoth Hemoglobin

By inserting a 43,000-year-old woolly mammoth gene into Escherichia coli bacteria, scientists have figured out how these ancient beasts adapted to the subzero temperatures of prehistoric Siberia and North America. The gene, which codes for the oxygen-transporting protein hemoglobin, allowed the animals to keep their tissues supplied with oxygen even at very low temperatures. "It's no different from going back 40,000 years and taking a blood sample from a living mammoth," says Kevin Campbell, a biologist at the University of Manitoba in Canada.

U.S. presses BP to stop gushing Gulf Coast oil leak

A huge oil slick caused by an underwater leak continued to creep toward the U.S. Gulf Coast on Monday as the Obama administration pressed energy giant BP Plc to stem the oil gushing from its ruptured offshore well. The direction of the slick has been pushed around by strong winds in the Gulf of Mexico while the likely economic and environmental costs of the accident mounted. President Barack Obama visited affected communities on Sunday, pledging a "relentless relief effort" but keeping the focus on the British oil giant BP. "Let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill," Obama said. "We are dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster."

President Obama – We’ll Do ‘Whatever It Takes’ To Stop This Oil Crisis

President Obama traveled to Louisiana Sunday to assure coastal residents that the government is doing all it can to control the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — he had little good news to offer, though. Obama flew over the marshes of Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish, where rich oyster and shrimp beds are jeopardized by the spill. Oil continues to flow out of control from a wellhead nearly a mile below the surface of the Gulf, and Obama warned it could keep flowing for a long time. "I think the American people are aware, certainly the folks down in the Gulf are aware that we're dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster," Obama said. The president said crews are using the most advanced technology to try to stop the leak, but efforts to cap the well have so far been unsuccessful.

Obama to visit Gulf Coast to see oil slick first hand

President Barack Obama will visit the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday as his administration aims to deflect criticism that it could have responded more quickly to a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that threatens to become an economic and ecological catastrophe. The incident could ultimately rival the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, the worst U.S. oil spill ever. Efforts to contain the spill and protect the sensitive coastline continued on Saturday, but were limited due to rough seas kicked up by heavy winds, authorities said.

U.S. pressures BP as Gulf oil slick spreads

The U.S. government pressured energy giant BP to avert an environmental disaster as a huge, unchecked oil spill reached coastal Louisiana, imperiling fish and shrimp breeding grounds and vulnerable wetlands teeming with wildlife. With oil gushing unchecked from a ruptured deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana, President Barack Obama's administration piled pressure on London-based BP Plc, the owner of the blown-out well, to do more to shut off the flow and contain the spreading slick.

EPA Toxicity Information On Line

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making it easier to find chemical information online. EPA is releasing a database, called ToxRefDB, which allows scientists and the interested public to search and download thousands of toxicity testing results on hundreds of chemicals. ToxRefDB captures 30 years and $2 billion of federal required testing results. In this day and age this is a handy regulatory and technical tool and simplifies at leash some of the required toxicity investigation research.

Why It’s So Tough To Stop The Gulf Oil Leak

More than a week after an explosion destroyed an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, thousands of gallons of oil continue to flow into the Gulf. The blast killed eleven workers, and created one of the largest oil spills in U.S. waters. As investigators search for the cause of the explosion, crews work around the clock to stop the flow of oil and contain the slick. Some of the oil may be set on fire to prevent a larger catastrophe and damage to the U.S. coastline. David Biello, associate editor of energy and environment at Scientific American, explains the origins of the of the oil leak, why it's so difficult to stop, and the tools used to clean it up.

Warmer Arctic needs new rules to limit environmental damage

A new, warmer Arctic cannot continue to operate under rules that assume it is ice-covered and essentially closed to fishing, resource exploration and development and shipping, WWF said as it launched a group of reports on protecting a newly accessible, highly vulnerable environment with profound significance for global climate, the global economy and global security. The International Governance and Regulation of the Marine Arctic reports were launched as Russian president Medvedev visits Norwegian capital Oslo for talks which include arctic issues and just before the Arctic Council meets in Greenland.