Facial deformities in Uganda apes linked to pesticide use

August 29, 2017 by  
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Our pesticides may be harming animals that live nearby, according to new research. A group of 10 scientists led by Paris’ Musée de l’Homme and the Great Ape Conservation Project at Kibale National Park in Uganda found baboons and chimpanzees with facial deformities near an agricultural area where they were told around eight pesticides had been used. 25 percent of chimpanzees the researchers monitored displayed abnormalities like reduced nostrils, reproductive issues, hypopigmentation, cleft lip, or limb deformities. Kibale National Park is close to industrial tea plantations and gardens growing maize, which are often raided by the chimps and baboons, according to the researchers. But it appears pesticides in the crops they’re taking are harming them. Related: Bee-killing pesticides have been found in US drinking water The researchers asked people in tea factories and villages what pesticides were being used, and were told of eight: glyphosate , cypermethrin, profenofos, mancozeb, metalaxyl, dimethoate, chlorpyrifos , and 2,4-D amine. They took samples from soils, fresh maize stems and seeds, and river sediments near where chimpanzees reside between 2014 and 2016 and discovered mean pesticide levels were above recommended limits. They also found the pesticides imidacloprid and DDT, as well as its metabolite pp’ -DDE. And it appears these pesticides may be affecting the animals. Out of 66 chimpanzees monitored, 16 had deformities. The scientists also photographed 35 baboons, and at least six had severe nasal deformities. The researchers said in the abstract of their paper they think “excessive pesticide use…may contribute to facial dysplasia in chimpanzees and baboons.” The suggestion that our agricultural practices are physically altering animals is horrifying; the researchers noted the International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists chimpanzees as endangered . The animals are also of economic importance in Uganda as they draw in ecotourists. The researchers said it may be a conservation priority to minimize threats to their survival, as the use of pesticides may be. The journal Science of The Total Environment published the research online earlier this year. Scientists from institutions in France, Uganda, Canada, and the United States collaborated on the work. Via ScienceDirect Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Facial deformities in Uganda apes linked to pesticide use

Edible schoolyards sprout across war-torn Syria

August 29, 2017 by  
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As the civil war continues into its sixth year, millions of Syrians remain in the divided, war-torn country. To meet basic needs and provide young people with a healthy place to play and learn, schoolyards across the country are being reborn as vegetable gardens . At these edible playgrounds, children learn how to grow tasty, nutritious treats, like peppers, eggplants, and cabbages. Then, when the time is right, they are able to harvest and eat what they have grown. This transformative experience offers students and their families an empowering experience of caring for one’s self and others. Young people, whose bodies and minds are rapidly developing, are particularly vulnerable to food scarcity and malnutrition . “Good nutrition is a child’s first defense against common diseases and important for children to be able to lead an active and healthy life,” said Adam Yao, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) acting representative in Syria. FAO provides funding and logistical support for 17 primary schools to plant 500 square meter fruit and vegetable gardens. These gardens are being installed in both government and opposition-controlled territory, so that young people will be able to access healthy food regardless of the politics and violence that surrounds them. Another 35 schools are scheduled to receive an edible playground in the near future. Related: Food-starved Syrians are switching meat for mushrooms Many Syrians now depend on bread and food aid from relief organizations to meet their nutritional needs. This sparse diet is far from traditional Syrian cuisine, which includes dishes such as hummus, minced lamb with spices and pine nuts, vibrant salads, stuffed cabbage leaves, and vegetable stews. These dishes are more are well served by the edible schoolyards , which provide some of the rich vegetables that have become scarce during the civil war. Further investments in agriculture could help to secure the population for years to come. “ Agriculture has become a hope for (many) because they can grow their own food and survive – even in the besieged areas,” said Yao. The seeds planted in the minds of these young children may someday yield a brighter, healthier Syria at peace. Via Reuters Foundation, FAO Lead image via FAO / Zaki Khozam , eggplants via Deposit Photos , others via Celine Nadeau/Flickr and DFID/Flickr

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Edible schoolyards sprout across war-torn Syria

Chimpanzee smokes a pack of cigarettes a day in North Korean zoo

October 20, 2016 by  
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The Pyongyang Central Zoo in North Korea recently reopened its doors to flocks of curious visitors, however one of the zoo’s attractions has set off alarms overseas. Azalea is a 19-year-old cigarette-smoking chimpanzee who apparently lights up a pack a day . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPLipOhxJKc Azalea the chimpanzee reportedly lights her own cigarettes using a lighter, according to The Guardian . However, the zoo claims she does not inhale. Teaching animals to do tricks is not a new gimmick for the zoo, as there is also a monkey there trained to dunk basketballs. Exotic animals and a dog pavilion are pulling in huge crowds, despite the organization’s sordid past. Related: North Korean construction workers fed crystal meth to accelerate skyscraper project Pyongyang Central Zoo has received criticism for having “ woefully inadequate ” facilities for the animals housed there, and some suggest ties to dog fighting for profit . Animal rights activists will be unimpressed with the zoo’s so-called upgrades, as a leap from animal cruelty to exploitative entertainment isn’t that far of a leap at all. Via The Guardian Images via The Guardian (screenshot)

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Chimpanzee smokes a pack of cigarettes a day in North Korean zoo

LEED Gold Hankook Tire R+D Centre harvests rainwater for cooling in Asias Silicon Valley

October 20, 2016 by  
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Developed to attract the industry’s top talent, the 96,328-square-meter research and development center aspires to be an inspirational place to work and one that encourages collaboration and social interaction. The contemporary glazed building is housed beneath a floating silver roof with long overhangs that shield the interior from unwanted solar gain and gives the structure a mysterious quality. The interior is organized along a top-lit central spine flanked by research spaces and bookended by the entrance on one end and a restaurant on the other. The spatial layout is flexible to allow for future changes and steps up from four to six stories. Related: Foster + Partners breaks ground on Ferring Pharamceuticals’ headquarters in Copenhagen “The key design objectives for, the Hankook Technodome were two-fold – to reinvent the Hankook Tire’s image and to create an integrated working environment for the office and laboratory staff,” says Iwan Jones, Partner at Foster + Partners. “The spatial arrangement encourages visual connectivity and physical interaction. Testing facilities are on display and circulation and meeting spaces are shared to enhance interaction.” The LEED Gold facility captures waste heat and reuses it for heating the adjacent dormitory that accommodates visitors and staff. Harvested rainwater is stored at the lake at the southern entrance and used for cooling. + Foster + Partners Images via Foster + Partners , © Nigel Young

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LEED Gold Hankook Tire R+D Centre harvests rainwater for cooling in Asias Silicon Valley

Abandoned research chimp Ponso can’t survive alone on African island

February 24, 2016 by  
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Ponso the chimpanzee is the sole survivor of a hepatitis research program on an island off the coast of Liberia, and he needs your help. When he was retired from the program that started in 1974, the New York Blood Center in Vilab II placed Ponso on the Atlantic island with about 20 other chimpanzees . Over half of them reportedly died from starvation within months. In 2013, Ponso’s mate and two children perished, leaving him alone. Read the rest of Abandoned research chimp Ponso can’t survive alone on African island

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Abandoned research chimp Ponso can’t survive alone on African island

8 Heartbreakingly Adorable Endangered Animals

October 4, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of 8 Heartbreakingly Adorable Endangered Animals Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 8 adorable endangered species , black-footed ferret , borneo pygmy elephant , bushmeat , chimpanzee , Climate Change , giant panda , giant tortoise , hector’s dolphin , loss of continuous forest , maui’s dolphin , overfishing , polar bear , species facing extinction in the wild , stellar sea lion , trawl fishing , vulnerable species        

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8 Heartbreakingly Adorable Endangered Animals

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