No end in sight to spill as BP costs mount

BP Plc said on Monday it had incurred $350 million in costs so far from the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as fears mounted of a prolonged and growing environmental and economic disaster. BP was considering its next move to contain the spill after its most promising short-term remedy struck a snag over the weekend. Its shares fell about 1 percent in early trade in London against a 2.5 percent rise in the European oil sector index. BP's value has been savaged by investors since the crisis erupted last month. The uncontrolled spill, which could become the worst in U.S. history, is expected to drift farther west, away from Florida's popular beaches but into the important shipping channels and rich seafood areas off the central Louisiana coast, west of the Mississippi Delta.

BP seeks solution after dome problem occurs

BP Plc engineers will search for a solution on Sunday after suffering a setback in an attempt to contain oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico with a huge metal dome, dashing hopes for a quick, temporary solution to a growing environmental disaster. The company was forced to move the four-story containment dome off to the side on the sea floor after a buildup of crystallized gas forced it to suspend the effort. Covering the leak with the structure was seen as the best short-term way to stem the flow from a ruptured oil well. BP expects to take up to two days plotting its next move, Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said.

Containment dome suspended just above U.S. Gulf leak

BP Plc engineers using undersea robots had a massive metal chamber hovering just above a gushing, ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday in a mission seen as the best chance yet to contain what could be the most damaging U.S. oil spill. The 98-ton structure has been lowered to the seabed almost 1 mile below the surface. The mission requires pinpoint accuracy in the dark and under high water pressure. The container was suspended just over the leak while crews using remotely operated vehicles prepared the seabed, said the Unified Command Center, which is coordinating spill-fighting efforts. "It will hover there until they are ready. They hope to lower to sea floor today, but they need to finish prepping the surface," the center said in an update late on Friday.

The Neanderthal in You

Whatever happened to Neanderthal man and woman? Where did they go? After extracting ancient DNA from the 40,000 year old bones of Neanderthals, scientists have obtained a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome, yielding important new insights into the evolution of modern humans. Among the findings, published in the May 7 issue of Science, is evidence that shortly after early modern humans migrated out of Africa, some of them interbred with Neanderthals, leaving bits of Neanderthal DNA sequences scattered through the genomes of present day non-Africans.

Surprising New Diet Tip: Lose Weight Quickly

The key to long-term weight loss and maintenance might be to lose weight quickly rather than gradually, at least in the initial stages of dieting, a new study suggests. More research is needed to determine the best approach, however.

Gulf residents ready “hairmats” to soak up oil

(Reuters) - While a vast containment operation dumps gallons of chemical dispersant and lays miles of plastic boom to attack a massive spreading oil slick, some U.S. Gulf Coast residents are turning to more unlikely remedies -- hair and pantyhose. Shoreline communities threatened by the oil spewing from a ruptured Gulf of Mexico undersea well have started a grassroots campaign to fabricate homemade booms from these mundane materials to help sponge up the tarry mess before it sloshes ashore.

North America to Reduce and Replace hydrofluorocarbons, Potent Greenhouse Gases

The US EPA announced that Canada and Mexico have joined the United States in proposing to expand the scope of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to fight climate change. The proposal would phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are a significant and rapidly growing contributor to climate change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) led the analysis in the proposal, which demonstrates environmental benefits equal to removing greenhouse gas emissions from 59 million passenger cars each year through 2020, and 420 million cars each year through 2050. Reducing HFCs would help slow climate change and curb potential public health impacts.

Environmental Cancer Risk

There is a body of evidence linking general environmental exposures to cancer. A report was released today by the President's Cancer Panel which finds that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer is underestimated. The Panel's report, "Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now," concludes that while environmental exposure is not a new front on the war on cancer, the harm from this group of carcinogens has not been addressed adequately by the National Cancer Program.

Whatever Happened to the Hole in the Ozone Layer?

Three British scientists shocked the world when they revealed on May 16th, 1985 — 25 years ago — that aerosol chemicals, among other factors, had torn a hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole. The ozone layer, which protects life on Earth from damaging solar radiation, became an overnight sensation. And the hole in the ozone layer became the poster-child for mankind’s impact on the planet.

US Cut Its CO2 Emissions by 7 Percent Last Year

The world can be a thoroughly depressing place. It seems like bad news is all we ever get, like oil spills destroying wildlife, killer hurricanes, economic collapse, and terrorists with bombs in their underwear. However, bad news is not always so bad. It motivates us to act, to learn from our mistakes, and eventually become better for it. Good news does not teach us anything, except how much better good news feels than bad news. However, it offers a glimmer of hope, a reminder that hard work can actually show results. Yesterday, we received that good news from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent federal statistics and analysis agency. They reported that the US achieved a record setting seven percent decline in CO2 emissions in 2009.