April 11, 2012

Bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Florida     Photo: Peter J. Markham/Flickr

NRDC Investigates Gulf Dolphin Deaths

Since 2010, bottlenose dolphins in decline

The National Resources Defense Council is investigating high dolphin mortality rates in the northern Gulf of Mexico that may be related to 2010's BP oil spill. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency show higher-than-usual beachings and die offs among bottlenose dolphins since 2010. Dolphins in areas of the Gulf exposed to heavy doses of oil also show signs of liver and lung ailments. The findings suggest that "the current die-off is unprecedented in its duration and magnitude," according to the report.

Read more at NRDC.org

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Mosquito     Photo: Mick E. Talbot/Flickr

Modified Mosquitoes Fight Dengue Fever

Gene kills offspring before adulthood

Scientists in Brazil reported last week that a strain of genetically modified mosquitoes may be helping to kill the species that carries dengue fever. Scientists unloosed more than ten million modified Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes in the city of Juazeiro last year. The altered bugs carry a gene that kills their offspring before reaching adulthood. "From samples collected in the field, 85 percent of the eggs were transgenic, which means that the males released are overriding the wild population," Aldo Malavasi, the project's coordinator, said. Malavasi noted that dwindling Aedes populations will take time to translate to lower dengue transmission rates. Environmental advocates have expressed concern about the long-term consequences of the project, smaller versions of which are also underway in Malaysia and the Caymen Islands.

Read more at Nature

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Peruvian Miners     Photo: openDemocracy/flickr

Trapped Miners Escape in Peru

Men stranded underground for 6 days

Nine miners escaped to safety on Wednesday after spending six days trapped in an abandoned gold-and-copper mine 200 miles south of Lima, Peru. The miners, whose ages range from 23 to 58, were able to walk out without assistance after a rescue crew dug a reinforced tunnel through more than 26 feet of debris. The men were kept alive by soup and water passed through a tube snaked through the collapsed tunnel. The Cabeza de Negro mine was abandoned in the 1980s but continues to be exploited by un-permitted mining.

Read more at MSNBC

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Amstel Gold Race 2009     Photo: foto!/Flickr

Police Strike Threatens Amstel Gold Race

Planned police strike coincides with race

A strike by the Dutch police union could interfere with Sunday's Amstel Gold cycling race in the Netherlands. The 160-mile race is expected to draw a number of high-level professional riders and could lead officials to implement a court order to put police on the streets if the racers appear to be in danger. Tom Boonen, the current WorldTour leader who recently took classics victories at both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, has announced that he will not compete to allow an infection in his foot to heal.

Read more at Cycling News

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