By Published On: 13 May 2013451 words2.3 min read

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Cambridge-based scientists develop ‘superwheat.‘ “British scientists say they have developed a new type of wheat which could increase productivity by 30%. The Cambridge-based National Institute of Agricultural Botany has combined an ancient ancestor of wheat with a modern variety to produce a new strain. In early trials, the resulting crop seemed bigger and stronger than the current modern wheat varieties.”

‘Dramatic decline’ warning for plants and animals. “An international team of researchers looked at the impacts of rising temperatures on nearly 50,000 common species of plants and animals. They looked at both temperature and rainfall records for the habitats that these species now live in and mapped the areas that would remain suitable for them under a number of different climate change scenarios. The scientists projected that if no significant efforts were made to limit greenhouse gas emissions, 2100 global temperatures would be 4C above pre-industrial levels. In this model, some 34% of animal species and 57% of plants would lose more than half of their current habitat ranges.”

A vegan office: How one workplace has moved to get healthier together. “PCRM has an office policy mandating that only vegan food may be eaten in its office. The organization, which advocates for healthy eating, preventive medicine and ethical clinical research, is so committed to the rule that it notifies prospective employees of the policy when they receive an offer letter for a job. PCRM decided to go vegan for a simple reason. ‘We want to practice what we preach,’ said Susan Levin, the group’s director of nutrition education.”

Animal cruelty laws stir free speech debate. “A feverish debate in Tennessee over a law that would compel people with video of alleged animal cruelty to hand a copy over to police has set off a debate about wider First Amendment issues. Lawmakers in Tennessee have passed a Livestock Cruelty Protection Act and sent it on to the state’s governor, Bill Haslam, to sign or veto. The measure is similar to laws in at least nine states. Haslam asked state attorney general Robert Cooper for an opinion on the act’s constitutionality, and Cooper’s 10-page report raises some broad issues. The law would compel anyone shooting video of alleged animal cruelty to give a copy of it to law enforcement within 48 hours, or face a misdemeanor charge and a possible fine.”

Vt. Fish & Wildlife seeking info on bat colonies. “The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking people to let biologists know if they spot bat colonies in buildings and other locations this summer. It’s part of an effort to monitor the health of the state’s bat population, which has been devastated by white nose syndrome.”

Photo credit: onesecbeforethedub via Flickr

By Published On: 13 May 2013451 words2.3 min read

news513

Cambridge-based scientists develop ‘superwheat.‘ “British scientists say they have developed a new type of wheat which could increase productivity by 30%. The Cambridge-based National Institute of Agricultural Botany has combined an ancient ancestor of wheat with a modern variety to produce a new strain. In early trials, the resulting crop seemed bigger and stronger than the current modern wheat varieties.”

‘Dramatic decline’ warning for plants and animals. “An international team of researchers looked at the impacts of rising temperatures on nearly 50,000 common species of plants and animals. They looked at both temperature and rainfall records for the habitats that these species now live in and mapped the areas that would remain suitable for them under a number of different climate change scenarios. The scientists projected that if no significant efforts were made to limit greenhouse gas emissions, 2100 global temperatures would be 4C above pre-industrial levels. In this model, some 34% of animal species and 57% of plants would lose more than half of their current habitat ranges.”

A vegan office: How one workplace has moved to get healthier together. “PCRM has an office policy mandating that only vegan food may be eaten in its office. The organization, which advocates for healthy eating, preventive medicine and ethical clinical research, is so committed to the rule that it notifies prospective employees of the policy when they receive an offer letter for a job. PCRM decided to go vegan for a simple reason. ‘We want to practice what we preach,’ said Susan Levin, the group’s director of nutrition education.”

Animal cruelty laws stir free speech debate. “A feverish debate in Tennessee over a law that would compel people with video of alleged animal cruelty to hand a copy over to police has set off a debate about wider First Amendment issues. Lawmakers in Tennessee have passed a Livestock Cruelty Protection Act and sent it on to the state’s governor, Bill Haslam, to sign or veto. The measure is similar to laws in at least nine states. Haslam asked state attorney general Robert Cooper for an opinion on the act’s constitutionality, and Cooper’s 10-page report raises some broad issues. The law would compel anyone shooting video of alleged animal cruelty to give a copy of it to law enforcement within 48 hours, or face a misdemeanor charge and a possible fine.”

Vt. Fish & Wildlife seeking info on bat colonies. “The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking people to let biologists know if they spot bat colonies in buildings and other locations this summer. It’s part of an effort to monitor the health of the state’s bat population, which has been devastated by white nose syndrome.”

Photo credit: onesecbeforethedub via Flickr

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