Research suggests humans emerged 2.8M years ago amid major climate change event

May 18, 2017 by  
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Mystery still shrouds much of the story of our origins, but new Arizona State University (ASU) research sheds new light on why we first emerged where and when we did. Around 2.8 million years ago our genus, Homo , could have emerged in a valley in Ethiopia . It was a time of change on that Earth long ago; it appears forest landscapes altered into grassy ones where our ancient ancestors lived. Back in 2013 an ASU team discovered a jawbone with teeth at Ledi-Geraru, and the incredible find is the oldest evidence of Homo we’ve yet found and dates back around 2.8 million years. The find was 400,000 years older than other fossils we’d discovered to that point. Building on that discovery, ASU scientists hoped to answer two questions: why did humans emerge in Ethiopia’s lower Awash Valley, and why did they emerge at that point in time? Related: New ‘Hobbit’ fossils provide a glimpse into human relative Animal fossils help scientists recreate the conditions of the past – what they ate help indicate the environment in those days. Scientists discovered that the animals found with the 2.8 million-year-old Homo fed on grass, seeming to support the guesses of many in the scientific community humanity emerged as grassy environments were spreading in a period of global cooling. According to IBTimes UK, the landscape in which early humans lived would have been similar to today’s Serengeti region. Scientist Joshua Robinson said evidence had hinted at the connection between the emergence of humans and the spread of those grassy, open environments, “but, until now, we had not direct environmental data for the origins of Homo now that it’s been pushed back in time.” The 2.8 million date is also incredibly important for the fossil record. The famous Lucy fossil ( Australopithecus ), which dates to around 3.2 million years ago, was found just around 18 miles west of ASU’s 2013 discovery. But the geological sequence ended around 2.95 million years ago, until the recent findings. ASU researcher John Rowan said although Lucy’s species endured many environmental changes, it appears they didn’t last through the ancient climate change as open environments spread. The diet of early humans was still very similar to what Lucy would have consumed, however. The ASU research was published online this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution . Four ASU scientists worked on the study with one geoscientist from the University of South Florida . Via Arizona State University and IBTimes UK Images via Kaye Reed/Phys.org and Josh Robinson/Arizona State University

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Research suggests humans emerged 2.8M years ago amid major climate change event

Barcelona set to double tree population in major urban greening push

May 18, 2017 by  
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You may think there isn’t much space for a centuries-old, built-out city like Barcelona to radically greenify itself with double the amount of trees and expanded green space. But that’s exactly what the city aims to do. They recently rolled out a Plan of the Green and Biodiversity Barcelona 2020 , including ambitious goals that could offer ideas to other dense cities needing greenery too. Air pollution , heat, and climate change are among the reasons Barcelona needs to become a greener city. But they have a plan – their 2020 goals could see twice the number of trees flourishing in the city, alongside park space increased by two thirds. Overall each citizen could receive nearly 11 square feet of extra green spaces . The plan aims to provide Barcelona with 108 acres of new green areas by 2019 and more than 400 acres by 2020. Related: Paris allows anyone to plant an urban garden How will the city accomplish this feat? First, they’ll plant five new gardens , which will later be connected to open spaces already in place to form thriving plant-filled corridors. Green roofs will also help keep the city cool. Creepers will snake across bare walls. And in spaces waiting for construction, the city will plant temporary gardens. CityLab reports some of the new gardens are already being built, and their designs reveal how to find space in a city where one might think space would be lacking. For example, the largest garden will be planted around a city square once filled with cars. That traffic will now be diverted to tunnels. Another garden is more controversial – the city will clear out a courtyard block filled with squatted 1920’s workshops to make way for greenery. One garden will green up a scrap of ex-industrial semi-wasteland. Slowly the city is filling up with new flora and fauna – local architecture firm JORNETLLOPPASTOR drew up many of these images around five years ago. Green corridors planted in the past have been successful; a 2000 one restored life to a stream formerly dirty. As climate change raises temperatures, a city that already reaches around 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer stands to benefit greatly from the air-cleaning, cooling plants. Via CityLab Images via Ajuntament de Barcelona

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Barcelona set to double tree population in major urban greening push

Researchers identify antibody that kills 98% of HIV strains

November 21, 2016 by  
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Scientists may be getting closer to finding an effective way to prevent transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). After decades of research, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced a “remarkable” breakthrough in prevention and treatment of the highly contagious disease . They successfully isolated an antibody from an HIV-infected patient that, in lab tests, neutralized 98 percent of HIV strains, including up to 20 that were resistant to other antibodies of the same class. The antibody, named N6, could someday unlock the key to future treatments or prevention methods. The federal health agency’s announcement came last week , and although the discovery is the result of extensive research, it also marks a new beginning. Led by Mark Connors, M.D., the research team is already tracking the evolution of the N6 antibody over time in order to better understand how it developed its strain-neutralizing powers. By understanding its past, scientists hope to pave a quicker path to the design of vaccines that could potentially protect people from acquiring the virus in the first place. Related: 44-year-old British man could be first to receive HIV cure Despite this early stage of discovery, researchers are optimistic that N6 can provide a level of protection that existing treatments cannot. Compared to other treatments, N6’s increased potency may translate into more durable prevention and treatment benefits. It may also be suitable for administering subcutaneously (into the fatty layer beneath the skin) rather than intravenously like VRC01, the current frontrunner in the race for HIV prevention . Because N6 has demonstrated its ability to wipe out 98 percent of HIV strains, it makes for a more aggressive treatment as well. Via NIAID/NIH Images via NIAID and UNICEF/Flickr

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Researchers identify antibody that kills 98% of HIV strains

Make A Difference: Donate Your Computer Through InterConnection

March 24, 2016 by  
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Donating your old computer could change a life — and maybe even save one. That’s the case for one young woman in Ethiopia, who gained access to a computer through Studio Samuel, an organization that aims to empower vulnerable girls with life…

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Make A Difference: Donate Your Computer Through InterConnection

Ethiopia’s worst drought in 30 years leaves over 10 million people hungry

December 16, 2015 by  
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Ethiopia is experiencing its worst drought in 30 years as the direct result of El Niño . In a developing nation with a perpetually unstable food supply, severe drought has created food shortages for as many as 10 million people, up from last month’s estimate of 8 million. This update comes as the country is in the midst of ongoing epidemics, including an outbreak of measles in October. Read the rest of Ethiopia’s worst drought in 30 years leaves over 10 million people hungry

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Ethiopia’s worst drought in 30 years leaves over 10 million people hungry

AORA Solar “tulips” to help Ethiopia become carbon neutral by 2025

September 16, 2015 by  
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Around the globe, more countries are looking to reduce their carbon emissions by bolstering renewable energy infrastructure, but they can’t do it alone. Nations with eco-friendly initiatives rely on energy and technology companies to help them meet their goals. In Ethiopia, a partnership with AORA Solar , developer of solar-biogas hybrid power technology, may help that country reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025. AORA will join forces with three universities in Ethiopia to promote academic cooperation for the development and advancement of renewable energy technologies in the middle-income country. Read the rest of AORA Solar “tulips” to help Ethiopia become carbon neutral by 2025

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AORA Solar “tulips” to help Ethiopia become carbon neutral by 2025

Jawdropping: Oldest human fossil fills in a 2.8-million-year-old gap in evolution

March 5, 2015 by  
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It’s been a big year for old bones . Archaeologists have unearthed a jawbone —with teeth—in Ethiopia that is believed to be the oldest remains ever found from early humans. The jawbone was found basically laying around in a pile of rubble, at a site used to mine fossil fuels. It belonged to the earliest specimen of Homo and dates back 2.8 million years . That, dear readers, is not a typo. Read the rest of Jawdropping: Oldest human fossil fills in a 2.8-million-year-old gap in evolution Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: earliest fossilized human remains , jawbone found in ethiopia , oldest human bones , oldest human jawbone , oldest human remains , oldest jawbone fossil

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Jawdropping: Oldest human fossil fills in a 2.8-million-year-old gap in evolution

Gorgeous Hawaiian school features an outdoor auditorium and reef pool so no child is left indoors

March 5, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Gorgeous Hawaiian school features an outdoor auditorium and reef pool so no child is left indoors Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ferraro choi , Hawaii architecture , leed 2009 for schools , LEED school , leed schools platinum , net zero , net-zero energy buildings , net-zero energy schools , outdoor auditorium , public charter school in hawaii , west hawaii explorations academy

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Gorgeous Hawaiian school features an outdoor auditorium and reef pool so no child is left indoors

Air-Condensing WarkaWater Towers Collect Drinking Water in Ethiopia

April 2, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Air-Condensing WarkaWater Towers Collect Drinking Water in Ethiopia Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable water source” , Africa , Arturo Vittori , bamboo water towers , clean water initiatives , condensation usage , Ethiopia , Ethiopian water shortage , large water basket , practical design , sustainable design , Warka tree , WarkaWater Towers , water design , Water Resources        

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Air-Condensing WarkaWater Towers Collect Drinking Water in Ethiopia

6 Awesome Repurposed Silos From Around the World

April 2, 2014 by  
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Some of the most beautiful designs we’ve seen over the years include stunning renovations of decommissioned industrial buildings . The most successful among these manage to keep the patina and grungy feel of the buildings’ former functions while infusing them with up-to-date design trends. The practice of repurposing silos , whose verticality offers architects a chance to create unique, otherworldly spaces, breathes new life into these aging behemoths and gives designers the opportunity to be playful. Hit the jump to see six of our favorite repurposed silos around the world. Read the rest of 6 Awesome Repurposed Silos From Around the World Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2013 Bi-City Binennale , bunker architecture , Chinese architecture , cold war bunkers , grain silos , green renovation , lighting design collective , O-Office Architecture , renovated industrial buildings , renovated power plants , renovated silos , repurposed industrial buildings , Shenzhen architecture , thomas heatherwick        

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6 Awesome Repurposed Silos From Around the World

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