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Science News Archive - June 30, 2009

A front portion of the brain that handles tasks like decision-making also helps decipher different phonetic sounds.

The potential of forest biotechnology to help address significant social and environmental issues is being "strangled at birth" by the rigid opposition of some groups and regulations that effectively preclude even the testing of genetically modified trees, scientists argue in a new report.

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During the past decade, residents of Pasto, Colombia, and neighboring villages near Galeras, Colombia's most dangerous volcano, have been threatened with evacuation, but compliance varies.

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Scientists have warned that the Harlequin ladybird is putting over 1,000 species in the UK in peril.

The vast amount of carbon stored in the arctic and boreal regions of the world is more than double that previously estimated, according to a study published this week.

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A 30-year survey of British woodland birds has found that the nightingale has effectively vanished from woodlands across the UK after its population had fallen by more than 95 percent.

Spanish scientists say mud from waste water treatment plants can be an alternative fuel, enabling cement factories to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. Researchers from Virgili University said the use of such mud can also help factories comply with the Kyoto Protocol, as well as posing no risk to human health and being profitable. The environmental impact assessment analyzed the environmental and human health impacts of using solid waste from large city water treatment plants as an alternative fuel. As this mud is already waste, burning it does not enter into the atmospheric CO2 emissions assigned to each country under the Kyoto Protocol, said Jose Luis Domingo, lead author of the study and director of the university's Toxicology and Environmental Health Laboratory. That would enable plants producing cement, one of the most contaminating industries in terms of CO2, as well as emissions of dioxins, furans and heavy metals, to consume energy in a more environmentally-friendly way, D

Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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