Archive for June, 2004

Arsenic in Asian Drinking Water Linked to Microbes

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 30, 2004   View Article

Microscopic organisms that get their energy by inhaling metals in the ground play a key role in the arsenic poisoning of drinking water for millions of people in Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, according to a new study.

Researchers hope that the finding will shed light on how the drinking water came to be so heavily laced with arsenic—and that, in turn, it is hoped, could yield a way to reduce the level of the toxin.

Deep Sea Hot Spots Harbor Abundant Life

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 24, 2004   View Article

The deep ocean floor is a dark, cold, remote, and seemingly lifeless place that until recently lay largely below the radar of science and exploration. But with advances in technology, scientists are accessing the deep and finding life everywhere they look.

“Typically the deep sea is very sparsely populated and at first glance it may appear as a vast, desolated plain of mud,” said Jeffrey Drazen, a marine biologist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California.

Key to Lightning Deaths: Location, Location, Location

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 22, 2004   View Article

Lightning is a killer. It claims more victims each year than do snowstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. It keeps a low profile as the second largest weather-related killer, usually striking one person at a time. Only floods, which can wipe out towns, kill more people.

According to the U.S. National Weather Service, 73 people die from lightning strikes each year and hundreds more suffer life-debilitating injuries. Memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, numbness, dizziness, and weakness are some of the maladies cited.

Technology Opens Deep Seas to Exploration

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 22, 2004   View Article

Humans yearning to chart undiscovered realms of planet Earth need only look below the surface of the ocean.

“About 90 percent of the oceans remain unexplored, and most of this is the deep sea,” said Jeffrey Drazen, a marine biologist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California.

Alien Flies to Extinguish Alien Fire Ant Invasion?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 18, 2004   View Article

Importing aliens to attack invading aliens may sound like a plot for a science fiction movie, but scientists believe the scheme is the best way to combat Brazilian fire ants that have taken over the southern U.S.

The red imported fire ant (RIFA), scientifically known as Solenopsis invicta, first arrived on U.S. shores over 60 years ago as stowaways aboard cargo ships from South America. Since then they have spread throughout the South, out-competing the native fire ants in their paths.

Scientists Track Nutrients Around Oceans

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 17, 2004   View Article

The glass-hoarding behavior of single-celled plants called diatoms that dominate the surface layer of the ocean around Antarctica has allowed scientists to map the delivery of ocean nutrients around the world.

“Diatoms basically come to dominate wherever there is enough silicic acid and other nutrients around,” said Jorge Sarmiento, a professor of ocean and atmospheric sciences at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Ocean “Conveyor Belt” Sustains Sea Life, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 15, 2004   View Article

An estimated three-quarters of all marine life is maintained by a single ocean-circulation pattern in the Southern Hemisphere that pulls nutrient-rich waters from the deep ocean, brings them to the surface, and distributes them around the world.

“This is really something,” said Jorge Sarmiento, a professor of atmospheric and ocean sciences at Princeton University in New Jersey. Sarmiento made the discovery using sophisticated computer models.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach