Behind the scenes at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

August 28, 2019 by  
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Gwyneth stands upright, supported by one member of her medical team as another scrapes away what looks like blue cotton candy from the cracks in her shell with a pointed metal tool. The yellow slider is stoic, silently opening her mouth, whether wishing to bite or scream. Gwyneth is a turtle, one who has endured a lot of medical attention at the Georgia Sea Turtle Rescue Center since being hit by a car on Jekyll Island. The impact fractured both her carapace and her plastron — her top and bottom shells. The guide on the behind the scenes tour, AmeriCorps worker Stacia Dwelle, explains that the blue stuff is bioglass and costs $175 for a small jar. It works “like scaffolding for the tissue in the fracture site,” she says. Other treatments are lower tech and lower cost, such as the jug of honey and chunks of honeycomb the staff use for its antimicrobial value. Related: Small cruise line treats the whole world as one ocean While the hospital is called the Sea Turtle Rescue Center, they don’t discriminate here. The fully functioning center cares for any type of injured turtle and also works on other reptiles and birds . Public Awareness and Education The center’s founder, Dr. Terry Norton, grew up in Utah far from sea turtles, but his affection for reptiles grew during his residency in Gainesville, Florida. In the early 2000s, Norton worked on Saint Catherine’s Island, 40 miles north of Jekyll. Part of his wildlife health program was developing a global assessment of sea turtle health. He saw the need for a sea turtle hospital on the Georgia coast and opened the Jekyll Island facility in 2007. Since then, he and his staff have treated more than 3,000 patients and welcome 100,000 visitors annually. Why involve the public in turtle medical care? The center “wanted to raise awareness and educate the public as well,” says Dwelle. Five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles swim through waters along Georgia’s 100 mile coastline, all either threatened or endangered . Jekyll Island is prime nesting territory, especially for the Loggerhead sea turtle. Leatherbacks and Green sea turtles occasionally nest here. Kemp’s Ridley and Hawksbill turtles also pass through Georgia waters. This year, center staff identified 198 loggerhead nests on the island, with about 120 eggs in each nest. During July and August, the hatchlings fight their way out of their shells, then pour out of nests on the beach and trek to the sea just before sunrise. Most visitors to the turtle center opt for the $9 ticket, which gets them into an exhibit area with interactive displays. They can peer through a large microscope and learn about trash in the ocean. They can also visit the rehab area, a sultry building full of turtles in tubs or look through a window into the medical treatment room. Behind the Scenes in the Hospital Devoted turtle lovers— and those with a little more cash to spend on their travels— can join one of the other tours the center offers. Depending on the month, visitors may be able to accompany staff to nesting sites at night or in the early morning, and there’s a sea turtle camp for kids. Instead of watching the treatment from behind glass, groups of six can stand right in the treatment room and watch Dr. Norton assess turtles. Visitors can also learn about the nebulization chamber where snakes with fungal infections inhale a mist of medicine . Most of the center’s patients stay two to six months before being released. The staff here sometimes give future turtles a helping hand by transferring wild-laid eggs into an incubator. This is especially true when turtles lay their eggs too close to the road on the causeway that connects Jekyll Island to the mainland. The causeway is “a high, dry place those ladies like to look to build their nests,” says Dwelle. “But unfortunately, who else is out there on the causeway? We are. In our cars.” Human transportation is hard on turtles. While on land, they risk being hit by car but in the sea, boat strikes are a top hazard. The center also participates in other reptile-related projects, such as radio-tracking the island’s Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes. Turtle Gourmets “So our sea turtles might be eating better than us,” says Dwelle serving the turtles mackerel, shrimp and blue crab, which is considerably restaurant -quality seafood. New patients get their food filleted for them but once they’re stronger they get whole seafood and live fiddler crabs just before being released. Staff arrange greens in a PVC pipe with holes cut out, which they sink to the bottom of turtle tubs. This way the patients remember to look for seagrass on the ocean floor when they eventually return to the sea. Each turtle gets a personalized diet, sometimes fortified with special vitamins and calcium. Helping Turtles Many of the hospitalized turtles could easily have escaped injury if humans had been more careful. Keeping your distance from nests ensure that hatchlings stand a better chance at survival. And most importantly, don’t litter. “When you’re on the beach, be careful with fishing lines,” says Mary Van Gundy, a volunteer vet technician at the center. “Make sure you gather them up and throw them away.” She’s amazed by the trash she finds, especially cigarette butts. Slowing down, whether in a boat or a car, will prevent many accidents. Maybe that’s what the stoic Gwyneth is trying to tell me as she silently opens her mouth. Images via Inhabitat

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Behind the scenes at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Scientists are launching human trials for a cancer ‘vaccine’ that cured 97% of tumors in mice

March 29, 2018 by  
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Scientists at Stanford University are currently preparing the first human test of a cancer “vaccine,” a treatment that eliminated up to 97 percent of tumors during trials with mice. Appropriately 35 people with lymphoma will begin the trials before the end of 2018. Not technically a vaccine, the new cancer treatment is a kind of immunotherapy that involves an injection of two agents directly into a tumor. These agents stimulate the production of T cells, which then fight the cancer. As promising as the treatment may be, it is still a long way from being ready for and available to the public. In mice trials, the cancer vaccine eliminated tumors in 87 out of 90 mice, all of which suffered from various kinds of cancer, including lymphoma, breast cancer, and colon cancer. The vaccine proved effective even in instances when cancer had spread to other parts of the body. As exciting as this development may be, it is too early to properly evaluate. “We’ve been able to cure a lot of cancers in mice for a long time,” Dr. Alice Police, the regional director of breast surgery at Northwell Health Cancer Institute, told Live Science . Related: Scientists discover a huge new human organ hiding in plain sight Police also pointed out that since the human test only includes lymphoma patients, it will take more time and research before it can be determined whether or not the cancer vaccine is effective against other kinds of cancer in humans. Nonetheless, the cancer vaccine is a promising alternative to existing immunotherapies. “When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumors all over the body,” said Stanford oncology professor Ronald Levy, MD  in a statement. “This approach bypasses the need to identify tumor-specific immune targets and doesn’t require wholesale activation of the immune system or customization of a patient’s immune cells.” Via Live Science Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Scientists are launching human trials for a cancer ‘vaccine’ that cured 97% of tumors in mice

World’s largest solar energy project will be 100 times bigger than any other on the planet

March 29, 2018 by  
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200 gigawatts of solar power . $200 billion. 100,000 jobs. Those are the numbers attached to the SoftBank Solar Project, which is set to become the biggest solar farm in the world thanks to a deal signed by Saudi Arabia and Japanese conglomerate company SoftBank ‘s Vision Fund . The move could help Saudi Arabia, the largest oil exporter in the world, progress from fossil fuels to renewable energy . The Saudis and SoftBank, signing a memorandum of understanding, are moving forward on a massive solar development that could see hundreds of gigawatts installed by 2030. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman unveiled the plan earlier this week; the crown prince said, “It’s a huge step in human history. It’s bold, risky, and we hope we succeed doing that.” Related: Saudi Arabia announces plan for $500B megacity powered by renewables The project is planned for the Saudi desert, Bloomberg said. According to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, it could be around 100 times bigger than the next largest proposed development, and could “more than double what the global photovoltaic industry supplied last year.” The $200 billion investment will go towards solar panels , battery storage , and a Saudi Arabia solar panel manufacturing facility, according to Reuters. The project’s initial phase will be 7.2 gigawatts and cost $5 billion. The SoftBank Solar Project could mark a huge step away from oil and towards clean energy for Saudi Arabia; Bloomberg said the country only has small-scale solar projects operating at the moment and Reuters said they obtain a bulk of their electricity via oil-fired plants even though they’re one of the sunniest countries in the world. Economist Intelligence Unit lead energy analyst Peter Kiernan told Reuters, “Saudi Arabia is clearly preparing for a post-fossil fuel dependent economy in terms of domestic energy consumption, and this huge bet on renewables would free up a lot of domestic output of oil for exports, while probably saving domestic gas resources as well.” Via Bloomberg and Reuters Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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World’s largest solar energy project will be 100 times bigger than any other on the planet

UK’s First Poo-Powered Bus is on the Road

November 21, 2014 by  
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The Bio-Bus , the U.K.’s first poo-powered bus, just hit the road and is going into active service for a four-week trial period starting Monday 24 November, 2014. The 40-seater bus runs on gas generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste that’s unfit for human consumption, and produces fewer emissions than a traditional diesel engine. The bus is being run by the Bath Bus Company, covering the Bath to Bristol Airport service along the A4 motorway. Read the rest of UK’s First Poo-Powered Bus is on the Road Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bath , Bath Bus Company , Bio-Bus , biogas , biomethane , bristol , emissions reductions , food waste , green transport , Poo Power! , poo-powered bus , sewage , UK , UK’s first poo-powered bus

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UK’s First Poo-Powered Bus is on the Road

107 Million Spiders Found in 4-Acre Nest at Baltimore Wastewater Plant

November 4, 2014 by  
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If you’re afraid of spiders, avert your eyes – a nightmare straight out of Arachnophobia was just discovered in Baltimore’s Wastewater Treatment Plant . Researchers found spiderwebs covering 95% of the building’s interior – which spans a whopping four acres – and the plant is estimated to be the home of 107 million spiders! Read the rest of 107 Million Spiders Found in 4-Acre Nest at Baltimore Wastewater Plant Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Arachnophobia , Baltimore Wastewater Treatment PLant , eco design , green design , spider infestation , spider silk , sustainable design

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107 Million Spiders Found in 4-Acre Nest at Baltimore Wastewater Plant

SkyLab Architecture’s Wastewater Facility for Portland, Oregon Aims for LEED Gold

July 26, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of SkyLab Architecture’s Wastewater Facility for Portland, Oregon Aims for LEED Gold Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: LEED Gold skylab , LEED Gold water treatment portland , portland skylab , skylab architecture , water treatment , water treatment plant

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Radioactive Waste Is Piling Up in Japanese Sewage Treatment Plants, Some Sold as Fertilizer

September 5, 2011 by  
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Image via screengrab. The disaster at Fukushima may have faded from the news cycle, but the radioactive waste it left behind isn’t going anywhere. At the Saitama sewage treatment plant, 169 miles from Fukushima, workers are dealing with tons of radioactive sewage, Al Jazeera reported. Without any training with radioactive materials and unable to sell the sewage, they have put it under waterproof tarps, in a line of bundles that… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Radioactive Waste Is Piling Up in Japanese Sewage Treatment Plants, Some Sold as Fertilizer

Could Composting Toilets Save Cities Millions in Waste Water Treatment?

August 22, 2011 by  
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Image credit: Biolet From the humanure approach of pooping in a bucket to the rough-and-ready “tree bog” composting toilet , I’ve posted plenty of low tech DIY options for dealing with human waste. But my fellow TreeHugger writers, to their credit, have often had more ambitious, mainstream plans for saner sanitation. From

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Could Composting Toilets Save Cities Millions in Waste Water Treatment?

Canada’s Ethical Oil Tar Sands Campaign Really Says ‘Stay Addicted To Oil’

July 29, 2011 by  
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image: EthicalOil.org I’ll be blunt: The pathetic attempt by the Canadian government to rebrand the highly polluting, highly environmental destructive, highly energy and carbon intensive tar sands industry as ‘ ethical oil ‘ rears its ugly head again via CBC News . Comparing the environmental nightmare of tar sands production to the human rights horror of the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Canada’s Ethical Oil Tar Sands Campaign Really Says ‘Stay Addicted To Oil’

N-Viro’s Waste Diversion Technologies: Effective and Profitable

February 23, 2011 by  
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N-Viro Soil, Image Credit: N-Viro International N-Viro International Corporation (N-Viro ) is an environmental and materials operating company that develops and licenses its technology to municipalities and private companies to convert biosolids into re-usable, marketable products. Their patented processes use lime and/or mineral-rich, combustion byproducts to treat, pasteurize and convert wastewater sludge from municipal sewage treatment facilities

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