South Africa’s constitutional court dismissed an application to appeal from the government to keep a ban on the trade of rhino horns; making it legal once again soon to buy and sell rhino horns in South Africa. This marks the end of a long and disputed legal battle between rhino owners, who farm rhinos like livestock and the government’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). Click here to read more.
Senators in the United States have banded together in an effort to address the marine debris crisis affecting America’s ocean shorelines and inland waterways. Click here for more details.
Imagine a future where solar energy is utilized to power everything from everyday electronics to vehicles to entire skyscrapers and cities. Solar researchers are experimenting with a range of new materials that can harvest light energy when turned into a crystalline structure. Click to read more.
Scientists detail new “biomimetic” underwater glue inspired by shellfish like mussels, as most artificial glues prove inefficient underwater. Mussels are able to stick to underwater surfaces using tiny hairs coated in natural glue found to be high in an amino acid called DOPA, which doesn’t interact with the surrounding water. The new glue scientists created was found to be 17 times stronger than even the natural glues used by mussels. Click to read more.
Technology’s role in agriculture is changing quickly. Imagine a farmer calling a hotline about a pest attack on his farm; a local agriculture expert picks up the farmer’s call who immediately has access to specific details - from the farmer’s education level, size of his farm, cropping history, and soil characteristics based on recent soil tests. With all this information available at the fingertip, the expert offers valuable advice to the farmer. By combining information and communication technology with agriculture this is the goal of the Agriculture Department in Punjab, India. Click to read more.
Small Organisms called meiofauna which live in sediments help provide essential services in food production and nutrient cycling which are essential to human life. In addition to serving as food at a basic level, meiofauna also stimulate bacterial activity and contribute to producing low quality organic material by making it available at higher levels in the food chain, to fish and seabirds and potentially humans. Click here to read more.
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) does more to protect wildlife and humans than some might think. One major achievement was banning DDT, a widely used insecticide, in 1972 when it was found to be poisoning wildlife. The EPA continues to monitor the use of pesticides, and insecticides, ensuring they are not causing harm to humans or wildlife. The EPA has also helped protect animals from lead and mercury poisoning by restricting emissions of these chemicals into the environment. A weakened EPA could have damaging effects on wildlife and their habitats. Click to read more.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program and the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI) developed the app to help locate where and what type of trash is being found along coastlines and waterways. Run out of the University of Georgia College of Engineering, this tool is a great way to get involved in local data collection. Click here to read more.
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Majestic and complete, animals move in a world far older than our own. Soaring through the heavens, racing across the land and diving beneath the ocean they fill us with joy and wonder.