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To tackle environmental issues, it just may take a challenge similar to Pres. John F. Kennedy's "man on the moon in a decade" declaration, maintains Robert Mason, director of the environmental studies program at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa. "Many have made the case that we must reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels. By doing so, the accompanying benefits would include reductions in the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and possibly new checks on urban sprawl." Among the ways to address these concerns, he says, is to raise the Federal gasoline tax, increase government spending for renewable energy research and development, sign and support the Kyoto Protocol, and create meaningful urban and suburban growth management policies.

New socioeconomic and ecological strategies are urgently needed to manage fisheries' sustainability and preserve marine resources, argues Joan Roughgarden, a Stanford (Calif.) University ecologist. "Reserves should set aside at least 30% of the habitat of a given species to have any serious assurance of long-term profitability, as welt as to guard against risk of extinction."

Disease-carrying Asian tiger mosquitoes may show up in locations they never have been seen before as a result of global warming, warns entomologist Barry Alto, University of Florida, Gainesville. "Our research shows that, like many mosquitoes, this species breeds faster as the temperature gets higher." They were first reported in the U.S. in 1985 and have reached at least 25 states, mainly in the East and South.

Blue-green algae, among the most-ancient of today's living organisms, have been in existence for more than 2,800,000,000 years. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have discovered cellulose biosynthesis in nine species of it, which may turn out to be a promising new resource for industrial production of cellulose that could eventually eliminate the need to harvest trees for wood or pulp.

The human brain has roughly 10 trillion nerve cells that communicate with one another through synaptic connections. According to researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., these messages sometimes fail to get through from one synapse to the next. Knowing how these connections become functional, or don't, could help scientists understand what to do when things go wrong, such as with developmental problems in children or degenerative brain diseases, like Alzheimer's.

A self-sustaining environment for future space colonies will be the goal of scientists from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., who are heading a center to develop "advanced life support" technologies under a grant from NASA. Within the environment, residents will grow their own crops and live inside fully enclosed habitats in which all wastes are constantly being recycled and purified.

Ancient ocean shorelines on the northern plains of Mars may be a network of tectonic ridges related to dramatic Martian volcanism, suggests Gregory Neumann, a research scientist in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Cambridge, Mass. This does not rule out the possibility that an ancient ocean once did cover the northern half of Mars, he indicates.

An electric suspension system for cars and trucks, developed by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, has achieved a fivefold reduction of shock and vibration to passengers, runs at double the off-road top speed, and provides better handling in cornering. This can result in improved fuel economy because the system consumes significantly less power than current models when used on rough roads or in off-road situations.
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Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2002
Previous Article:Tracking nuclear material worldwide. (Detection).
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