The health benefits of spending time in the great outdoors

According to a study published last month in the Archives of Ophthalmology, nearsightedness, called myopia, has increased in the U.S. by 66% since the early 1970s. And the intensity of the disorder has also increased—that is, the prevalence of people with moderate cases of myopia has nearly doubled since the 70s. Susan Vitale, an epidemiologist at the National Eye Institute and the study’s co-author, partly attributes this prevalence...

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Scientists challenge century-old understanding of rain-soil interaction

In a recent Nature Geoscience study, scientists discovered that soil clings to water from the first rainfall of the summer and holds it so tightly it almost never mixes with other water. This discovery challenges the century-old assumption that rainwater, after it enters the soil through precipitation, displaces leftover water and pushes it deeper into the ground and eventually into neighboring streams.   Scientists discovered two...

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Mites and poor diet contribute to honeybee decline in Europe

Two timely reports have surfaced this week regarding the decline of honeybee populations in Europe, and France has taken action in an attempt to curb the falling numbers.  A recent study linked honeybee health and plant biodiversity In a study published in the Journal of Apicultural Research, scientists have found that managed honeybee populations across Europe have dropped an average of 20 percent over the last 20 years, with England...

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800 treated turtles to be released in Florida today and tomorrow

January’s recent cold snap not only affected local produce and nonnative Iguanas in Florida, but the endangered sea turtles as well. Sea turtles recover in a warming pool Photo Credit: NOAA Acclimated to milder water off of Florida’s coasts, cold-blooded sea turtles become unable to swim or eat as water temperatures drop, leaving the reptiles stunned and hypothermic. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC),...

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Lost City ecosystem predisposes marine microbes

Scientists studying the Lost City hydrothermal vent field have found what appears to be microbes just waiting to thrive; that is, when their perfect ecosystem arrives. At the Lost City, microbes known to be rare in hotter, more active vents flourish in the cooler, moderated ecosystem of the older vent. And when those microbes’ ideal environment changes, another set of rare, pre-adapted microbes are ready to spring up, says William...

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