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Experts say persistent winter air pollution in Marin poses health risks.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
Health experts advised caution Friday as the sixth consecutive "Spare the Air" alert was issued for Saturday, but they say aren't seeing a dramatic increase in health problems – possibly in part due to the advisories.
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Utah Governor moves to help businesses, schools reduce emissions.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
Cleaner school busses, grants to small businesses and research are the main pieces of an $18 million bag of carrots Utah Gov. Gary Herbert proposes handing out next year to improve air quality.
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Superbug showdown: The time is nigh to get serious about antibiotics.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
Antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organisation refers to it as one of the greatest threats to human health. When the WHO warns of an impending global disaster, we should pay attention. But as some scientists and doctors are asking, is it too late?
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Crib toys, day care items can harbor strep bacteria for months.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
That Christmas crib toy you got junior? It might be just the thing to give him strep throat, according to a new study. The bacteria that cause strep throat may linger far longer on inanimate objects than previous lab tests suggested, according to University of Buffalo researchers.
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Higher risk of Parkinson's linked to pesticide exposure.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
Residents living in regional areas, including Dubbo in New South Wales, have a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a leading researcher says.
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Five purse items that could cause weight gain.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
Could the contents of your handbag cause you to put on extra pounds? The Doctors reveal five surprising things in your purse that could be making you fat including makeup, hand sanitizer, artificial sweeteners, cellphones and low-fat low-calorie snacks.
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Study: Black women must work harder than whites to lose weight.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
Black women need to work harder to lose weight compared to their White counterparts, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said in a study published this month in the International Journal of Obesity.
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Episcopal church turns attention to climate change.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
The Reverend Margaret Bullitt-Jonas felt she had done a good job after presenting, back in 1989, one of her first sermons on the dangers of climate change. "I actually felt a little smug, until a man approached me after the service and asked me, in a nice way, what the heck religion had to do with the environment," she said.
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David Cameron confronted by angry residents of flooded village.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
David Cameron has been confronted by angry residents of a village in Kent that was flooded by waist-high waters over the Christmas holidays.
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Wildlife 'thrived' in 2013 after hot summer.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
The hot summer in the UK provided a much-needed boost for wildlife with butterflies, moths and grasshoppers all thriving, the National Trust says. The warm weather also led to an explosion of berries, nuts and seeds.
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Scotland’s weather: 4,000 homes without power.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
More than 4,000 homes in Scotland are still without power tonight, as heavy wind and rain continued to batter much of the country. Gusts of about 80mph hit exposed parts yesterday, with the west and south-west of Scotland the worst affected.
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Yalding villagers cut off by flood confront David Cameron.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
The Prime Minister, who praised the emergency services on Friday for doing an “amazing job”, appeared rattled when he was taken to task by Erica Olivares live on television during a visit to Yalding in Kent, which has been hit by serious floods. He later tweeted that people in the village had had a “tough Christmas” but had “shown real spirit”.
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TEPCO to pay evacuees additional 7 million yen for 'loss of hometowns.'

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
The government will order Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay an additional 7 million yen in compensation for each person who will likely be unable to return home over their lifetimes due to the Fukushima nuclear accident.
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Without TEPCO, nuclear plant builders left with export risks.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
Nuclear reactor manufacturers in Japan are finding it tough to do business abroad, partly because their main potential partner is so caught up in bringing the crippled Fukushima plant under control.
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Chennai pollution up, checking system dated.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
Pollution levels in Chennai are rising like smoke from an inferno but the state pollution control board continues to cling to an outdated monitoring system, not carrying out checks on weekends, when an increase in traffic and business in commercial hubs leads to drastic drop in air quality.
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Hanover leaders frustrated over lack of plan for munitions factory.

Environmental Health News - December 28, 2013 - 06:00
Town leaders are frustrated that the state still has no plan or timeline to clean up a high priority contamination site in the southwest corner of Hanover.
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How animals help us understand disease

BBC News - Science & Nature - December 27, 2013 - 18:19
The creatures helping us understand human disease
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In pictures: Best space images of 2013

BBC News - Science & Nature - December 27, 2013 - 16:31
Some of the best space images of 2013
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Doñana: Fifty years since WWF's landmark conservation achievement

WWF International - December 27, 2013 - 16:00
Gland, Switzerland – WWF joins the people of Spain in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the designation of Doñana's Biological Reserve. WWF's purchase of the land helped set the organization on the path to protect priority places and species around the world.

Located where the Guadalquivir River reaches the Atlantic Ocean, Spain's Coto Doñana is considered one of the most valuable wetlands in Europe. The region is a sanctuary for millions of migratory birds and endangered species, including the imperial eagle and Iberian lynx.

The original plan to save Doñana came from Spanish biologist José Antonio Valverde in the late-1950s. Luc Hoffmann and other early WWF leaders visited the marshes during their "Doñana Expeditions" and supported Valverde's campaign to protect the area.

"Thanks to the vision of pioneers like Hoffmann and Valverde, today we can still take pleasure in the beauty of Doñana," said Juan Carlos del Olmo, chief executive officer of WWF-Spain.

For centuries, Doñana was famous for its rich wildlife habitat, but more recently the marshes were thought to be an origin of disease. Plans to dry out Doñana along with other Spanish wetlands caught the attention of WWF during the first days of the organization's existence.

On December 30, 1963, after two years of negotiation, WWF agreed to the purchase of 6,794 hectares of Coto Doñana. The sale saved Doñana from destruction and transformed the region into the first biological reserve of Spain.

Two years later, the land was handed over to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), which established Doñana's Biological Station. Doñana and another region purchased by WWF, Guadiamar Biological Reserve, were transformed into the Coto Doñana National Park in 1969.

While Doñana remains protected, the area is still under threat. Mining, farming, tourism and infrastructure development all pose serious dangers to the area.

"Half a century after it was saved from being dried up, many threats are putting at risk the future of our most emblematic wetland," said del Olmo, "the dredging of Guadalquivir River, the plans to store natural gas under its surface, or the illegal wells, remind us that the fight to preserve Doñana is not over yet."

WWF is actively working with local groups to ensure that Doñana remains a vital stopover wetland for migratory birds well into the future.
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