Scientists hypothesize why earthquakes happen where they shouldn’t

December 22, 2017 by  
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Scientists at the University of Kentucky and the University of Memphis may have learned why earthquakes often occur in places they aren’t usually expected. The slow, steady grind of tectonic plates and the tension released by tectonic activity are typically cited as the primary cause of earthquakes. However, hundreds of “intraplate” earthquakes occur each year in places that are far from regions where plates meet. Such hot spots for intraplate earthquakes include Charlevoix, Quebec , New Madrid, Missouri, and the eastern third of Tennessee. The researchers believe that these intraplate earthquakes may be caused in part by concentrated crustal deformation at the lowest levels of the continental crust. In a study published in the science journal Tectonics , researchers presented their case that these areas of unusual seismic activity may be affected by damage to the underlying crust. “We present a new hypothesis that major seismic zones are restricted to places where the large-scale basement structures have been damaged by concentrated crustal deformation (CCD),” write co-researchers Christine Powell and William Thomas. CCD refers to any damage in geological history to the solid rock , deepest layers of a continental crust. Damage incurred millions of years ago may reemerge in the form of increased seismic activity. Related: Scientists warn of more severe earthquakes in 2018 as Earth’s rotation slows Though CCD likely contributes to all, each region has its own unique geological story to its unusual seismic activity. For example, the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the Midwestern United States is the result of folding of the local crust during the collapse of Rodinia, a supercontinent that fell apart hundreds of millions of years ago. In Eastern Tennessee , the increased seismic activity is caused by a sudden twist within one of the area’s deep faults. “Although the mechanisms producing the CCD vary, the regionally restricted CCD serves to focus seismicity in these three zones,” write Powell and Thomas. The researchers conclude that while CCD likely impacts these intraplate-earthquake-prone areas, it is not the only contributing factor. There is more to the story. Via ScienceAlert Images via Depositphotos   (1)

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Scientists hypothesize why earthquakes happen where they shouldn’t

FDA approves genetically modified mosquitos to fight Zika

August 8, 2016 by  
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With confirmation that Zika-carrying mosquitos have finally spread to the US, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a controversial new experiment to confront the attendant risk. Genetically engineered mosquitoes will be released in Key West , Florida in an attempt to control the spread of the virus. The engineered male mosquitoes contain a gene that causes any offspring to die before the bugs can transmit the disease to humans. The altered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were created by Oxitec Ltd ., which has already carried out trials in Brazil, the Cayman Islands , and Panama. By any measure, the tests were a runaway success: local mosquito populations were reportedly reduced by 90 percent. While the FDA gave preliminary approval to the test earlier this year, the decision has now been made formal with the agency’s release of an environmental assessment showing the mosquitos would “not have significant impacts on the environment.” However, Oxitec still needs the approval of Key West residents in order to go ahead – polling will take place later this fall. Related: Experimental Zika vaccine to be tested on humans for the first time While this is an effective method of controlling mosquitoes and the numerous diseases they carry without resorting to harsh chemical pesticides, the plan comes with controversy . Some opponents to the plan cite concerns about safety, the impact on tourism, and the potential impact the declining mosquito population could have on the nearby ecosystem. At least one entomologist has argued that the ecological concerns are overblown , since only one particular species of mosquito is targeted by the efforts. However, these concerns are exactly why it’s so important to start with small-scale tests rather than simply releasing the modified mosquitos throughout the country. This approval comes after Center for Disease Control officials confirmed that the Zika virus has finally reached the continental US . Though there have been cases reported throughout the US this year, this is the first time public health officials have seen cases that were acquired by patients in the US. Previous cases were generally acquired when the victims had traveled to countries with a known Zika outbreak, although there have been some cases that were believed to be sexually transmitted . Via The Verge Photos via Yael and DodgertonSkillhause

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FDA approves genetically modified mosquitos to fight Zika

Solar Impulse Begins Round-the-World Journey

March 11, 2015 by  
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Earlier this week, the Solar Impulse aircraft took off from Abu Dhabi on the first leg of it’s atempt to fly around the globe entirely on solar power.  We’ve been especially interested in this project from its beginnings as it has moved along setting new records, and we will now be watching as they make this trip around the world. Pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg will not fly non-stop (which Picard did in 1999 in the Breitling Orbiter 3 , completing the first non-stop trip around the world by balloon), but will fly a number of legs over several months. The adventure is expected to last until July or August of this year, with the flight making a number of stops along the way.  The Solar Impulse site lists the proposed route with “stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the Continental U.S.A. stopping in three locations – Phoenix, and New York City at JFK. A location in the Midwest will be decided dependent on weather conditions. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi.” The idea of solar powered flight seemed like a distant possibility when the Solar Impulse team announced their concept in 2007 .  But work has proceeded methodically, with improvements and new records set along the way in the development of an entirely solar powered aircraft that can even fly through the dark of night solely from its stored power.  Circumnavigating the globe entirely on solar power will mark another milestone in flight, and in green technology, as well.

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Solar Impulse Begins Round-the-World Journey

Top Fashion Designers Think Fair Trade for EJF Cotton Campaign

February 6, 2010 by  
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The Environmental Justice Foundation ( EJF ) has just launched a set of sustainable t-shirts designed by the likes of haute couturiers John Rocha , Zandra Rhodes, Luella Bartley , and Christian Lacroix — to name a few — for summer 2010. The t-shirts are made with fairly traded Continental cotton from Turkey are are designed around the theme, “childhood, lost innocence and hope” in light of EJF’s newly release report, “Slave Nation” on their campaign to end child labor in Uzbekistan.

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Top Fashion Designers Think Fair Trade for EJF Cotton Campaign

Eco Tech: Modified VariEze hits 45mpg flying at 207mph, aims for 100mpg

November 4, 2009 by  
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Eco Factor: Modified airplane consumes 45mpg flying at 207mph. Klaus Savier has won the Fuelventure 400 competition in a modified VariEze that gets 45mpg while flying at a decent speed of 207mph. The airplane normally flies at 190 KTAS to reach a Prius-like mileage of 50mpg, but if slowed down to extended range, the airplane can hit 100mpg.

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Eco Tech: Modified VariEze hits 45mpg flying at 207mph, aims for 100mpg

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