environment

United will fly a jet from LA to SF using animal waste

United will fly a jet from LA to SF using animal waste

Remember the poo bus? Now meet its high flying cousin from across the pond. It doesn't have the same somewhat scandalous artwork of the UK Bio-Bus, but it will be running, or in this case, flying, on the same principles. Or the same waste materials, for that matter. United Airlines is planning to make a flight starting from Los Angeles International Airport to San Francisco running on fuel produced from farm waste and animal fat. Which is just a more sensational way of saying "biofuel".

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LEGO invests $150M in search for sustainable materials

LEGO invests $150M in search for sustainable materials

LEGO may be fun and educational, but more environment-conscious consumers might take issue with what is being sacrificed to get to that point. LEGO has no delusions that the very materials that make up its iconic blocks and pieces, not to mention their packaging, do their own share of harming the environment. That is why the LEGO Group is stepping up its efforts to change that image by not only investing a huge some of money for R&D but also establishing its new Sustainable Materials Centre.

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Norway has built a ‘highway’ for bees

Norway has built a ‘highway’ for bees

It's well-known that bees and their process of pollination play an important part in global food production, and scientists have been concerned for years about the rapidly decreasing numbers of bee populations. So, one environmental group in Norway has done something a bit unique to help address the problem. They have built what is called the world's first highway for bees in the capital city of Oslo. It's not typical highway like you'd picture in your mind, but rather a series of safe spots on rooftops that allow bees to move through the city.

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“The Hoff” Yeti Crab farms food from its own hairy back

“The Hoff” Yeti Crab farms food from its own hairy back

The blind Yeti Crab "Kiwa tyleri" has been revealed this week in a paper describing it for the first time ever. This lovely white-colored creature lives in the Antarctic while its relatives live in the heat, living in frigid temperatures while its closest relatives live near hot thermal vents in the ocean's floor. One of the several abnormal features of this crab is its ability to farm its own food. Instead of heading out into the wilderness of the ocean to snap up smaller fish, this crab nabs bacteria from its own back.

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How to stop the carnivorous New Guinea flatworm from invading the USA

How to stop the carnivorous New Guinea flatworm from invading the USA

Yesterday we spoke about the New Guinea flatworm, an invasive species spotted for the first time ever inside the United States this year. Today we've got some additional words on how to find the creature in your garden from Pr. Jean-Lou Justine, head author of the report that turned up these worms in the first place. We asked Justine how to spot the Platydemus manokwari (New Guinea flatworm) and what to do if one is spotted. One thing Justine made very clear about finding this worm is the following: DO NOT TOUCH THE WORM with your bare hands. Things could go very badly for you if you do.

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Watch Bill Nye explain climate change in 90 seconds using emoji

Watch Bill Nye explain climate change in 90 seconds using emoji

You know things are getting serious on the issue of climate change when even the Pope speaks out and says the problem needs to be addressed. Sadly, that probably still won't be enough to change some people's minds, so the more efforts that are taken to educate people, the better. In order to make progress on this, more and more scientists have had to simplify their arguments and explanations. This is where Bill Nye comes in, with his recent explanation in the language everyone understands these days: emoji.

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Spike-back worm Hallucigenia’s head found after 38 years

Spike-back worm Hallucigenia’s head found after 38 years

The creature you're about to see lived on Earth about 508 million years ago, and today we get to see its head for the first time. We get to see its head in the right place for the first time, to be more precise. Before now, scientists had this lovely little beast upside-down and backwards. Not entirely unheard of when dealing with creatures that aren't as simple to identify as birds or mammals of many types, this creature was displayed wrong. Now, 38 years after its discovery here in modern times, "Hallucigenia" can stand upright.

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How Silver Ants use hair like NASA’s new heat shield tech

How Silver Ants use hair like NASA’s new heat shield tech

The Saharan Silver Ant is discovered to dissipate heat using shiny silver hairs covering its entire body. Norman Nan Shi, assistant professor of applied physics at Columbia Engineering, has shown that the hairs of the Saharan Silver Ant act like heat shields, not entirely unlike NASA's space suit materials being developed for use by firefighters here on Earth. These ants live in an environment which can get extremely hot, up to 70°C (158°F). To make due when they need to forage for food, they've developed a rather intense bit of natural resistance, making them as shiny as they are cool.

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Researchers pinpoint major hotspots to curb poaching

Researchers pinpoint major hotspots to curb poaching

Elephant poaching continues to be a big problem despite efforts to battle it, but some recent research might help change that. Ivory that has been seized was genetically analyzed to find out where it originated from. That information was amassed, and the result are a pair of newly published papers showing the biggest hotspots where elephants are poached. The data takes it a step further, though, and also shows how to tackle the problem in a (hopefully) more effective manner than in the past.

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While dinosaurs didn’t rule the ancient tropics, alligators did

While dinosaurs didn’t rule the ancient tropics, alligators did

University of Utah paleontologist Randall Irmis and his colleagues have discovered some of the reasons why dinosaurs avoided the ancient tropics. It's partially because they just did not like the weather. You like what you're used to, after all. These researchers suggest that while dinosaurs did not enjoy the dry, hot landscape, other creatures roamed relatively freely. This included the armored aetosaurs and long-snouted phytosaurs you see in the image above. The latter is of the family that eventually gave rise to what we know today as alligators and crocodiles.

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Chimps are now an Endangered Species: scientific research restricted

Chimps are now an Endangered Species: scientific research restricted

Primate researcher Jane Goodall calls today's decision "an awakening." The United States has named chimpanzees as full endangered species, giving them protection from a far wider variety of threats. This includes threats from scientists. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have made clear this week that permits issued for the scientific testing of chimpanzees from this point on will be issued only when the purpose is to "benefit the species in the wild" or to "enhance the propagation or survival of the affected species." Habit restoration, and all that good stuff.

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Dyson’s desk light lasts for 37 years

Dyson’s desk light lasts for 37 years

Forget bulbs that burn out after a month of use. Heck, forget lights that burn out after one year. Jake Dyson of the Dyson electronics group just introduced the Jake Dyson Light, a lamp that uses LED light that lasts for 37 years. "Their lights are built to fail and don't seem to mind," said Dyson of his company's competitors, "We mind. So we've invented the first light that cools LEDs properly. As a result, it lasts for 37 years." Dyson then dropped the mic and walked off the stage.

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