Elephant Footsteps Reveal Ancient Herd Behavior
When a herd of elephant ancestors walked through mud in the Arabian Desert about 7 million years ago, they unwittingly left their footprints—and clues about their behavior behind. Those prints now expose how the herd behaved: Just like modern elephants, they followed a female leader.
The remarkable 260-meter-long track-way, made by at least 13 proboscideans of different sizes, is at the site of Mleisa 1 in the Al Gharbia region of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Using a kite-mounted camera to take aerial photographs of the footprints,
Journals Warned Not to Publish Diesel Exhaust Studies
At least four journals have been warned by an attorney this month to hold off distributing health data they may have under review. The admonition which concerns a large U.S. study of the effect of diesel exhaust on miners’ lungs—eame from Henry Chajet, an attorney at the Patton Boggs firm in Washington, D.C., and lobbyist for the Mining Awareness Resource Group, an industry coalition. Editors at two U.K.-based publications—Occupational and Environmental Medicine and The Annals of Occupational Hygiene—say they and others received a letter from Chajet advising against “publication or other distribution” of the Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study (DEMS) until it is vetted by Chajet’s industry clients and a U.S. House committee.
Chajet and others involved in the DEMS fracas, including researchers, declined to comment, as a court decision is pending. DEMS has been entangled in litigation almost from its start in 1992. The mining coalition has argued that DEMS is flawed, and it won a court order enforcing their right to preview data for 90 days before publication. DEMS leaders have argued against the restrictions in the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A ruling is expected soon.
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Gates Foundation Funds African Agricultural Impact Monitoring (Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania)
By boosting farm yields, Asia’s green revolution of the 1960s and 1970s prevented millions of people from starving. But it also created social and environmental problems, such as contamination of ground water, in some places. To help Africans avoid making the same mistakes, the Gates Foundation today announced a S10 million grant over 3 years to monitor the effects of agriculture on people and the environment.
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Swiss Satellite Would Clean Up Space Debris
In this illustration, the CleanSpace One satellite, firmly attached to the debris, powers on its engines in order to reach Earth atmosphere where both satellites would be be burnt during their descent. (HO/EPFL/Swiss Space Center/Associated Press)
Switzerland Janitor Satellites
Space researchers in Switzerland are seek¬ing funding to build a spacecraft, dubbed CieanSpaceOne, that would help reduce space debris in orbit around Earth. The spacecraft would home in on a redundant satellite, grab it, and drag it down to burn up when reentering the atmosphere.
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