Exercise During Pregnancy

A new study from The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) has found that regular, moderate aerobic exercise for pregnant women can lead to a modest reduction in size of the offspring. The exercise was also found not to restrict the development of maternal insulin resistance.

Pigeon Commander

It is always amazing to watch birds in flight because they often behave as if they respond to unseen commands when they turn in unison. Pigeons have been recently studied by Oxford University and Eötvös University (Hungary) to see who is command in a given flock. Pigeon flocks (they concluded) are guided by a flexible system of leadership in which almost every member gets a vote but the votes of high ranking birds seem to carry more weight.

Did Climate Change Drive Human Evolution?

There's a plan afoot among evolutionary scientists to launch a big new project — to look back in time and find out how climate change over millions of years affected human evolution. A panel of experts from the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., has given its blessing to the plan. They say it could unveil a whole new side of human history.

Nitrous Oxide’s Global Warming Impact No Laughing Matter

Thawing permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere releases "large amounts" of greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, according to a new study from the journal Nature Geoscience. The study found that under certain conditions thawed permafrost can release as much nitrous oxide as tropical forests, one of the main sources of the gas.

Brazil farmers shown how to profit by conserving

Talk of ecological diversity or saving rare species does not fly very far in Mato Grosso. The state is Brazil's top soy producer, churning out an annual harvest of about 18 million tones. Fields of emerald green line the highways, stretching out to horizons so flat they look drawn with a ruler. The crops have helped fuel Brazil's economic boom of recent years but they come at a price -- the clearing of more than 130,000 square km (50,000 square miles) of Amazon rain forest in the state from 1988 through 2008, to the widespread condemnation of environmental groups. Years of acrimony have built up. When a visitor mentions environmentalists, the faces of Mato Grosso farmers often cloud with hostility. So, with "save the world" emotional appeals not working, environmentalists are turning to economic arguments, stressing how preserving the world's largest forest can mean bigger profits for farmers.

India’s Disappearing Tigers

I admit I’d hoped for something a little more exciting after a seven-and-a-half-hour journey from New Delhi to one of India’s best-known wildlife parks. It’s not that we didn’t see any wildlife when we made the trek late last month to the Corbett National Park in the northern state of Uttaranchal. On our outing to the forests and grass lands of the 1300-square-kilometre park we saw 4 deer, 3 wild boar, 2 rabbits, lots of monkeys—and a giant frog. But this is also India’s oldest tiger sanctuary, home to 162 Bengal tigers. And we didn’t see a single one. Gopal Dutt Sayal, general manager of the hotel we stayed at, warns tourists that although the park, named after British hunter-turned-conservationist Jim Corbett, is known for having one of the highest concentrations of tigers in the country, they shouldn’t get their hopes up. ‘There’s roughly only a four percent chance of seeing a tiger,’ says Sayal, a qualified naturalist. However, he adds that the 162 tigers recorded in 2009 was still a healthy increase on the 134 counted the year before. It’s a rare piece of good news for conservation efforts surrounding the biggest of the big cats, and India’s national animal. WWF India says at the turn of the 20th century, India had an estimated 40,000 wild tigers. Yet by 2002, a pugmark (footprint) census indicated the number had fallen to 3,642. A landmark 2008 monitoring exercise, meanwhile, suggested that the decline was even more alarming, claiming there were only 1,411 tigers left.

Public supports energy over environment

For the first time in 10 years Americans are more likely to say the United States should give more priority to developing oil, natural gas and coal than to protecting the environment, according to a poll on Tuesday. The poll was conducted a few weeks before President Barack Obama announced he would open offshore oil drilling in some parts the U.S. East Coast, Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. Half of 1,014 U.S. adults, who were surveyed March 4-7 by Gallup, said the country should give more priority to developing and producing the fossil fuels. Only 43 percent said protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of limiting the amount of energy supplies.

Nearby Asteroids

A newly discovered asteroid, 2010 GA6, will safely fly by Earth April 8th at 4:06 p.m. Pacific (23:06 U.T.C.). At the time of the closest approach 2010 GA6 will be about 223,000 miles away from Earth - about 9/10ths the distance to the moon. The asteroid, approximately 71 feet wide, was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey located in Tucson, Arizona. Asteroids, sometimes called minor planets or planetoids, are small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun; they are smaller than planets but larger than meteoroids. Such an object, if it hit the Earth, would have a major impact.

Scientists Say F.D.A. Ignored Radiation Warnings

Urgent warnings by government experts about the risks of routinely using powerful CT scans to screen patients for colon cancer were brushed aside by the Food and Drug Administration, according to agency documents and interviews with agency scientists.

Study reports hints of phthalate threat to boys’ IQs

You may have a hard time spelling phthalates, but there’s no avoiding them. They’re in the air you breathe, water you drink and foods you eat. And this ubiquity may carry a price, particularly for young boys, emerging data suggest. Including a drop in their IQ.