Kansas State University

Robin Hood in Reverse: Climate Change Takes from Poor, Gives to Rich

February 25, 2016

A warming climate is exacerbating global inequality by pushing critical natural resources, such as fish stocks, away from impoverished equatorial regions and making them more exploitable by the wealthy, according to astudy released on Wednesday. While the gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. and worldwide has expanded at a mind-boggling pace in recent decades, the new study, designed by scientists at Princeton, Rutgers, Yale, and Arizona State, shows that the frightening speed with which the globe is warming will only compound the economic trend. The study looked specifically at fish to better understand the phenomenon. “We tend to think of climate change as just a problem of physics and biology,” Malin Pinsky, professor of ecology and evolution at Rutgers explained to Rutgers Today. “But people react to climate change as well, and at the moment we don’t have a good understanding for the impacts of human behavior on natural resources affected by climate change.” Read

Couch potatoes may have smaller brains later in life

February 11, 2016

Poor physical fitness in middle age may be linked to a smaller brain size 20 years later, according to a study published in the February 10, 2016, online issue ofNeurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “We found a direct correlation in our study between poor fitness and brain volume decades later, which indicates accelerated brain aging,” said study author Nicole Spartano, PhD, with Bin Boston. For the study, 1,583 people enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study, with an average age of 40 and without dementia or heart disease, took a treadmill test. They took another one two decades later, along with MRI brain scans. The researchers also analyzed the results when they excluded participants who developed heart disease or started taking beta blockers to control blood pressure or heart problems; this group had 1,094 people. Read

Monsanto in Another Huge Lawsuit for ‘Lying About Roundup-Cancer Link’

October 23, 2015

Lawsuits filed against agribusiness giant Monsanto are mounting, with the latest one being filed last week in Delaware. That lawsuit is just one of a growing number of suits alleging a link between glyphosate exposure and cancer. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Three law firms are representing the plaintiffs in the case, which claims that Monsanto “led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup was safe,” according to Reuters. [1] Read

Amy Goodrich – Apple growers fearful that non-labeled GMO apples could tarnish the entire apple industry

October 7, 2015

Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the first genetically modified “arctic” apple, developed by the Canadian biotech company Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., which is designed to resist browning. Check out the difference between a non-browning Arctic® Golden and a conventional Golden Delicious here: YouTube.com. While apple growers fear the new apple, the company says these apples will prove to be very popular and increase the sales of all apples worldwide. They think that more people will buy apples when they are pre-sliced, fresh-looking and ready to eat. Read

Jonathan Latham – What Happened to Obama’s Promise to Restore Scientific Integrity?

October 5, 2015

Pretty much every branch of the US government has had trouble implementing President Obama’s flagship scientific integrity policy. In 2011, the US Department of the Interior (DOI) appointed the scientist Dr. Paul Houser to be its first ever Officer of Scientific Integrity. Within a year he was fired. Believing his dismissal was for drawing attention to a scientifically questionable Department policy, Houser formallyaccused the DOI of “scientific and scholarly misconduct and reprisal.” But because the Department of the Interior had fired him, they no longer had a scientific integrity officer for him to complain to. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has had a new scientific integrity policy since 2013. Despite that policy, the non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) recently petitioned USDA saying that “suppression and alteration of scientific work for political reasons remain common at USDA” and that agency scientists “routinely suffer retaliation and harassment” when their work offends agribusiness.About the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the worst that had been said was that, four years after the President’s promise, the agency still had not hired anyone; plus that its outline for a Scientific Integrity Plan lacked integrity. But that was before publication of its first ever Scientific Integrity report. Read
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