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Use natural biodiversity to fight Lyme disease

Protecting the environment is usually easier to the extent we can link it to human health concerns. The tough federal Clean Air Act, for example, has been driving the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, but the real impetus for the law is the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimate that it’s saving more than 160,000 human lives each year.

algae

Scientists develop warning system to reduce harm from toxic algal bloom

Researchers have developed a new warning system that can effectively foresee a toxic algal bloom in a body of water and in turn help resource managers to avert its development well in advance.

algae lake erie

Scientists develop early-warning system for toxic algae blooms

Toxic algae blooms in lakes and reservoirs are highly destructive, resulting in fish kills and toxicity risks to wildlife, livestock – and even humans. But their development is difficult to predict. 

ice storm

Ice storms: Study looks at how they affect forests

Early this year, researchers will head to a giant outdoor laboratory in New Hampshire armed with warm clothing, helmets and high-pressure firefighting pumps

Scientists warn that speck-size insects are on track to damage most U.S. forests

Scientists say bugs such as the hemlock woolly adelgid and emerald ash borer, both native to Asia, are driving some tree species toward extinction and are causing billions of dollars a year in damage.

Invasive insect eating away at America's forests

In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it's easy to miss one of the tree's nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree.

Boom-or-bust breeding cycle that helps the mighty oak survive

While deer are often associated with ticks that carry Lyme disease, the ruminants don’t transmit the infection. Mice do, and when they flourish, the disease will proliferate.

Q&A: Saving the city with Urban Ecology

Preserving the environment is often seen as a battle of development versus nature. But in America today, roughly three-fourths of us live in metropolitan areas. To preserve our health and the planet's health, we need to create something new: A sustainable city.

Star Trek-style device could help spot 'rogue' genetically modified organisms in the environment

Eco-warriors could soon get a sci-fi boost in the form of a handheld device for spotting rogue genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

traffic circle

You can fight climate change in small spaces too

When we think of nature in cities, we often think about major green expanses, places like Central Park in New York City or Griffith Park in Los Angeles. But in these cities and others, little patches of greenery — sometimes forgotten, often overlooked — can be very important for the local environment.

Cary Institute ecologist awarded by DU in New York

Dutchess County Chapter awarded its Conservation Award to Dr. Stuart E.G. Findlay, aquatic ecologist at New York's Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

How to prevent the next emerald ash borer

The emerald ash borer, a beetle native to Asia, is presently established around Concord, N.H., and can be expected to eliminate ash trees from most of New England within a decade. 

trash

How amphetamine use may be affecting our waterways

New research has added to the growing body of evidence that the chemicals we put in our bodies often end up in our waterways — with noticeable consequences. 

Your drain on drugs: Meth seeps into Baltimore's streams

You shouldn't put illegal drugs in your body, and you shouldn't let neighborhood bodies of water ingest them, either. A new study suggests that aquatic life in Baltimore is being exposed to drugs, and it's having an impact.

Tick study gets 'astonishing' local response

When the scientists behind an ambitious tick study began their work in April, they did not know how many Dutchess County families would be willing to grant access to their properties and personal health information.

Junk food fight: Science tests how birds compete for Cheetos

It's the early bird that gets the Cheetos. But it's the bigger bird that steals it away.

Behavioral ecologist Rhea Esposito used the snack food to see how two types of smart birds— smaller magpies and bigger crows — interact and compete for food.

Ecology on the Runway

Ecologists put on an unconventional fashion show at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Each showcased a custom-made garment that artistically depicted his or her own field of research, the organism or environment to which they’d devoted their life and careers — their hearts on their sleeves.

Aedes albopictus

It’s peak mosquito time on the Atlantic coast: Will Zika follow?

Now that Florida has become ground zero for locally-transmitted Zika virus in the United States, researchers are scrambling to quantify the risk to other regions of the country.

oggenfuss

The scary truth about Lyme Disease

On a Thursday morning in May, I follow researcher Kelly Oggenfuss into the forest on the grounds of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. Stopping at an orange flag, she picks up a footlong metal box. With a gloved hand, she extracts a terrified-looking rodent. "These guys," she says, pinching the mouse between the shoulder blades, "are really good at passing along Lyme disease to ticks."

monkey

IBM steps up efforts in fight against Zika

International Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday it would provide its technology and resources to help track the spread of the Zika virus.

The key to stopping Ebola? Using machine learning to track infected bats

Over the course of the past year or so, there have been a number of incredible tech projects aimed at stopping the spread of Ebola. One approach that we’ve never come across before, however, involves plotting the possible spread of Ebola and other “filoviruses” of the same family by predicting which bat species they’re most likely to be carried by

Soil acidity mitigation study takes surprise turn

As an investigation by scientists at Duke University and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies shows, the value of long-term studies can't be understated. In it, investigators looking at the impacts of acid rain on the soil acidity of a New Hampshire forest found that everything behaved as expected for about a decade. But after that, the system went haywire.

First maps of diseases which spread from animals to humans

There are many infections in humans which originate from animals. Diseases which spread in this way are called zoonoses. Zika is one example and was first discovered in a monkey with a mild fever in the Zika forest in Uganda in the 1940s. Another is Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or MERS – which originates in camels.

Deadly diseases can jump from animals to humans. These maps show where that might happen next.

Of all the ailments that plague people, the majority began like these three: with a bacteria, virus, parasite or other pathogen that jumped from an innocuous animal host to the human population. But there's no global database documenting where these kinds of infections — called zoonoses — might be lying in wait.

credit: Andrea_44 via flickr

These maps could help predict the next big animal-to-human disease outbreak

When it comes to emerging diseases, the Zika virus is just the tip of the iceberg. New research has revealed several hot spots around the world where diseases are most likely to move from wildlife—wild mammals, specifically—into the human population. 

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