Scientists use stem cells to create synthetic mouse embryos
Scientists have created “synthetic” mouse embryos from stem cells without a dad's sperm or a mom's egg or womb. The feat could also lay the foundation for creating synthetic human embryos for research in the future. To create the synthetic embryos, or “embryoids,” described in the Nature paper, scientists combined embryonic stem cells and two other types of stem cells – all from mice. While the embryoids they created weren’t all perfect, Zernicka-Goetz said, the best ones were “indistinguishable” from natural mouse embryos. For decades, a “14-day rule” on growing embryos in the lab growing human embryos in the lab has guided researchers.wftv.com
Wildlife officials to boaters: Remember not to hit any manatees this holiday weekend
Memorial Day weekend is considered by some to be the unofficial start of summer and, by no coincidence, a great time to get back in the water. Unfortunately, according to conservationists and wildlife officials, manatees have similar plans.
New Mexico governor seeks more US aid for wildfire response
New Mexico’s governor is asking for additional federal assistance to respond to wildfires burning across the state’s north, including one that is the second-largest in the state’s history and that officials estimate has destroyed hundreds of homes.
Menaced by flames, nuclear lab peers into future of wildfire
Public schools were closed and evacuation bags packed this week as a stubborn wildfire crept toward the city of Los Alamos and its companion U.S. national security lab – where assessing apocalyptic threats is a specialty and wildland fire is a beguiling equation.
Raimondo: Inquiry on solar imports follows the law
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo pushed back forcefully Wednesday against critics — including some within the Biden administration — who say a government investigation of solar imports from Southeast Asia is hindering President Joe Biden’s ambitious climate goals.
Democrats seek criminal charges against Trump Interior head
Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee have asked the Justice Department to investigate whether a Trump administration interior secretary engaged in possible criminal conduct while helping an Arizona developer get a crucial permit for a housing project.
Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Nov. 10 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
In the Chicago area, full-service restaurants and hotels were singled out as contributing “far more to infections” among the superspreader locations, according to the study, which has been peer reviewed and was placed on Nature’s website Tuesday prior to final editing. The travel period examined dates to March and May, before the surges seen during the summer and now in the fall.chicagotribune.com
Graduated-rate tax amendment rally gets sidetracked by Toni Preckwinkle pitch for Kim Foxx’s reelection
“I think the nature of the campaign that’s been waged against her is really a campaign against all of the criminal justice reforms we’ve been struggling so hard to enact — for people who want to go back to the bad old days when the jail was often full of poor Black and brown people who were often there on charges of nonviolent offenses and they just couldn’t pay their bail,” Preckwinkle said.chicagotribune.com
Virus protection adds new wrinkle to Southwest heat relief
There are still few places where our homeless can go," Salvation Army Major David Yardley said at the group's downtown center. Blistering temperatures can endanger health, and can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. The daily high temperatures in Phoenix were forecast to hit 110 degrees (43C) or very close to it during the extreme heat warning in effect through Sunday, National Weather Service forecasters said. The cooling stations in metro Phoenix open when the weather service declares extreme heat warnings They were also open for a string of days during an extreme heat warning in late April. In metro Las Vegas, where an excessive heat warning is in effect until Friday evening, four heat relief stations were open.
Virus, heat wave and locusts form perfect storm in India
An Indian man selling earthen pots beneath a bridge drinks water in Ahmedabad, India, Thursday, May 28, 2020. Cyclone Amphan, a massive super storm that crossed the unusually warm Bay of Bengal last week, sucked up huge amounts of moisture, leaving dry, hot winds to form a heat wave over parts of central and northern India. Gurjar, a top official of Indias Locust Warning Organization, said his 50-person team was scrambling to stop the swarms before breeding can take place during Indias monsoons, which begin in July. Indian environmental journalist Joydeep Gupta said that the perfect storm of pandemic, heat and locusts show India must go green. Its building coping abilities of the very poor to be able to deal with stress after stress after stress, she said.
Court denies request to revive US pipeline permit program
A U.S. appeals court on Thursday turned down a request by the Trump administration and energy industry groups to revive a permit program for new oil and gas pipelines that had been canceled by a lower court. The case originated with a challenge to the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. but has affected oil and gas pipeline proposals across the nation. Backed by numerous states and industry groups, attorneys for the government argued the cancellation would delay construction of pipelines needed to deliver fuel to power plants and other destinations. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency request to block Morris' ruling. They said in a one-page decision that the government, states and industry groups had not demonstrated sufficient harm to their interests to justify reviving the program while the case is still pending.
Glazed or jelly? Doughnuts lure city-roaming bear into trap
A juvenile black bear roams through Fort Myers, Fla., Tuesday morning, May 26, 2020. A black bear roaming around a Florida city proved no match for the doughnuts that lured the animal into a humane trap. Wildlife officials say bears tend to move more in the spring in search of mates and, as always, food. Brown said the bear was relocated to a state-managed wildlife area. Authorities estimate there are about 4,000 black bears in Florida.
States, cities challenge Trump mileage standards rollback
DENVER Nearly two dozen states and several cities on Wednesday filed a legal challenge to the Trump administrations rollback of Obama-era mileage standards, saying science backed up the old regulations developed with the help of the nation's car makers. The new mileage standards require automakers to achieve 1.5% annual increases in fuel efficiency. The Obama-era standards called for 5% annual increases and were seen as the government's most forceful initiative against climate-changing fossil fuel emissions. The states and cities claim the rule violates the Clean Air Act, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. Opponents claim dirtier air from the rollback will kill and injure more people than the rollback claims to save in roadway accidents.
Big Oil loses appeal, climate suits go to California courts
Circuit Court of Appeals said state courts are the proper forum for the lawsuits alleging that Big Oil promoted petroleum as environmentally responsible when producers knew it was causing damage. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)LOS ANGELES Big Oil lost a pair of court battles Tuesday that could lead to trials in lawsuits by California cities and counties seeking damages for the impact of climate change. The oil companies strategy is to keep the light from shining on their own behavior. Oil companies got the cases transferred to San Francisco federal court, where two judges reached different conclusions. The companies had argued that federal law controls fossil fuel production, and Congress has encouraged oil and gas development.
Judge strikes down US energy leasing rules in bird habitat
A U.S. judge has dealt another blow to the Trump administration's efforts to increase domestic oil and gas output from public lands, saying officials failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles. The judge canceled energy leases on more than 470 square miles (1,200 square kilometers) of public land in Montana and Wyoming. But the latest ruling, handed down Friday, appears to go further and strike at the administration's broader energy policies. Their numbers have plummeted due to energy development, disease and other factors. Western Energy Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma noted that some of the cancelled leases had been sold before the Trump administration's policies went into full effect.
Pandemic a boon for the bicycle as thousands snap them up
In this Friday, May 15, 2020 photo, Joel Johnson rides his new bicycle on a bike path at Crissy Field near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Johnson hadn't owned a bicycle since he was 15, but soon after the coronavirus pandemic led to a shelter in place order in San Francisco, he bought a bike to avoid crowded public trains and buses. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)SAN FRANCISCO Joel Johnson hadnt owned a bicycle since he was 15, but the pandemic changed all that. San Francisco soon followed, closing sections of twelve streets in a city that already has a robust network of bike lanes. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, an advocacy and education group, has seen demand for its classes on city biking now online jump from 30 participants to more than 100, Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier said.
Alligator rumored to have been Hitlers dies in Moscow
MOSCOW An alligator that many people believe once belonged to Adolf Hitler has died in the Moscow Zoo. The zoo said the alligator, named Saturn, was about 84 years old when he died on Friday. According to the zoo, Saturn was born in the United States and later sent to the Berlin Zoo, from which he escaped when the zoo was bombed in 1943. His whereabouts were unknown until 1946, when British soldiers found him and gave him to the Soviet Union, the zoo said. Almost immediately, the myth was born that he was allegedly in the collection of Hitler and not in the Berlin Zoo, the zoo said in a statement.
National parks hope visitors comply with virus measures
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park often leave common sense and situational awareness at home, as those examples in the past year show. Were out there.Other national parks that have reopened include Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina, where park officials urge visitors to arrive early at popular spots. We're expecting there to be less people on the trails than being open all day, said Grand Canyon spokesperson Lily Daniels. A lot of it is self-governance.That's not a good idea, said former Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Rob Arnberger in an opinion piece Friday in The Arizona Republic. No ones an expert at reopening national parks in a pandemic, Sholly said.
Baby gorilla badly injured in family skirmish at Seattle zoo
In this Friday, May, 22, 2020 photo released by the Woodland Park Zoo shows a 2 1/2-month-old male gorilla, Kitoko, with mom Uzumm. Kitoko was injured Saturday, during a skirmish among his six-member family group in Seattle. (Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo via AP)SEATTLE A baby gorilla was badly injured at a Seattle zoo on Saturday when he was caught in a skirmish between his family group members, zookeepers said. Animal health experts at the Woodland Park Zoo say little Kitoko was bitten on the head, likely by accident when another gorilla tried to bite his mother, Uzumma. Gorillas tend to be gentle giants but conflicts among family members do occur, in zoos and in nature, Woodland Park Zoo mammal curator Martin Ramirez said.
Judge nixes bid to stop coal sales that Trump revived
Acting under an earlier order in the case, the administration in February released an analysis that said the decision to resume coal sales would make little difference over time in greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal, a contention critics said was flawed. Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued the administration only considered emissions from a handful of leases and failed to capture the cumulative, long-term impact of the coal program. Yet critics of the coal program note that some lease sales have continued and say the administrations moves could open tens of thousands of acres of public lands to new mining. The coal program is overseen by the U.S. If those mines are to continue operating, they will need to keep expanding onto federal lands, he said.
Florida's Grayton Beach No. 1 in top-10 US list
This Aug. 1, 2018, aerial photo made available by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection shows Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. The squeak,' squeak, 'squeak of the sand when you walk in it.It's a large reason the beach was picked as the best in the United States by Stephen Dr. Beach Leatherman, a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University, who has been ranking the nation's beaches for 30 years. Grayton Beach State Park won the list's top spot even without a smoking ban based on its sheer beauty. I have caught lots of fish at Grayton Beach State Park, Cherry said.
EU wants to reduce pesticides use, promotes organic farming
BRUSSELS The European Commission unveiled plans Wednesday to protect biodiversity across the 27-nation bloc while building a more sustainable food system, insisting on the need to both reduce the use of pesticides and promote organic farming. The commission also wants to plant at least 3 extra billion trees over the next ten years. The use of antimicrobials, which include antibiotics, should also be reduced by 50% for fish and animal farming. The commission also estimates that investing in organic farming will help create 10-20% more jobs per hectare than traditional farming. Farmers alone must not bear the brunt of the costs of further environmental and climate protection," said COPA president Joachim Rukwied.
Democrats decry 'pandemic of pollution' under Trump's EPA
(Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON Democrats on Wednesday blasted the Trump administration's moves to roll back environmental regulations during the coronavirus crisis, with one senator saying a "pandemic of pollution'' has been released. Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the EPA remains open for business" and "at work meeting our mission of protecting human health and the environment.'' While the rest of the country works around the clock to combat and overcome this deadly respiratory pandemic, the Trump EPA has been spearheading a pandemic of pollution, Carper said. An EPA spokeswoman disputed Democrats claims that the temporary enforcement waiver allows companies to openly exceed pollution limits. He said that Trump's EPA has saved U.S. businesses more than $5 billion in regulatory costs.
Study: World carbon pollution falls 17% during pandemic peak
The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17% at the peak of the pandemic shutdown last month, a new study found. The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17% at the peak of the pandemic shutdown last month, a new study found. For a week in April, the United States cut its carbon dioxide levels by about one-third. The study was carried out by Global Carbon Project, a consortium of international scientists that produces the authoritative annual estimate of carbon dioxide emissions. By contrast, the study found that drastic reductions in air travel only accounted for 10% of the overall pollution drop.
Virus interrupts St. Helens eruption anniversary plans
FILE - In this May 18, 1980, file photo, Mount St. Helens sends a plume of ash, smoke and debris skyward as it erupts. May 18, 2020, is the 40th anniversary of the eruption that killed more than 50 people and blasted more than 1,300 feet off the mountain's peak. (AP Photo/Jack Smith, File)COUGAR, Wash. The coronavirus outbreak disrupted what had been big plans to mark the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state. And Mount St. Helens may not be done yet. The first of a series of small explosions on Oct. 1 shot volcanic ash and gases into the air.
Mexico cites virus in slapping down renewable energy
FILE - In this April 5, 2020 file photo, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks at the National Palace in Mexico City. Industry associations said it will affect 28 solar and wind projects that were ready to go online, and 16 more under construction, with a total of $6.4 billion in investments, much of it from foreign firms. Mexico also has been slow to build supplementary plants for the times when wind or sun power naturally decreases. But the situation really hit crisis levels when the pandemic caused a huge drop in electricity demand as factories closed. There was literally nowhere for the fuel oil to go if the state-run plants didn't burn it, and no money to subsidize the unused power plants.
Surfs up and so are new beach rules to prevent virus spread
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 13, 2020, file, photo beachgoers walk and exercise on the beach in Malibu, Calif. Phil Murphy issued guidance Thursday to officials in shore towns on reopening beaches, directing them to set occupancy limits and spacing requirements. Free public beaches opened a few weeks ago. Public health officials were concerned large gatherings could allow the virus to spread. Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at the University of California, Irvine, said it was sensible to start reopening beaches and see how it goes.
Africa's endangered wildlife at risk as tourism dries up
With tourists gone and their money, too, protecting endangered wildlife like black rhinos has become that much more challenging. We are more alert because maybe more poachers will use this time to come in to poach," Tekeles said. The number of black rhinos in Africa has been slowly increasing though the species remains critically endangered, according to a report in March by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN. Ol Pejeta is home to more than 130 black rhinos, the single largest population in East and Central Africa, said Richard Vigne, the conservancys managing director. And the population of black rhinos had been growing by an annual rate of 2.5% between 2012 and 2018 to more than 5,600.
Baby hippo at San Diego Zoo gets a name
SAN DIEGO, Calif. A baby hippopotamus born at the San Diego Zoo last month has a name. The zoo says the river hippo calf will be called Amahle (pronounced ah-MA-shay), which means beautiful one in Zulu. Amahle is the ninth hippo calf born at the zoo and the 13th to her mother, Funani. Amahle's father, Otis, is an East African hippo who arrived at the zoo in 2009 specifically to breed with Funani, zoo officials said. Zoo visitors can see Amahle and her mother in the hippo habitat on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends, officials said.