Shrinking Leaves Point to Climate Change
ScienceDaily (July 4, 2012) — University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that recent climate change is causing leaves of some Australian plants to narrow in size.
The study, which is the first of its kind in the world, highlights that plant species are already responding to changes in climate. The results are published online July 4 in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
Researchers analysed leaves from herbarium specimens of Narrow-leaf Hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa subsp.angustissima) dating from the 1880s to the present. The study focused on specimens from South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. Read more in SCIENCE DAILY.COM
Sakha Park Included on World Heritage List
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, which is holding its yearly session in St. Petersburguntil July 6, has includedRussia’s Lena Pillars national park on its list of areas of special natural importance.
The Sakha republic park was awarded special heritage status despite a ”large” number of objections from UNESCO’s consultative body, which considered the park’s application incomplete, GreenpeaceRussiawrote on its website.
Lena Pillars, which covers roughly 485,000 hectares in the region also known as Yakutia in Russia’s Far East, is famed for its column-like rock formations along the banks of theLenaRiver. The natural towers can reach 100 meters in height and were formed during the Cambrian era more than 500 million years ago, the park’s website said.
Researchers have also discovered the remains of ancient species on the park’s territory, including bones of mammoths, Lenahorses and woolly rhinoceroses. THE MOSCOW TIMES ONLINE
Newer Technologi to Control Blood Sugar Works Better Than Conventional Methods
ScienceDaily (July 9, 2012) — Newer technologies designed to help people with type 1 diabetes monitor their blood sugar levels daily work better than traditional methods and require fewer painful needle sticks, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
The research findings, published online in the July 10 issue of theAnnals of Internal Medicine, suggest that even though these diabetic control technologies are more costly, people with diabetes who use an insulin pump are more satisfied with their treatment and quality of life than those who give themselves insulin shots many times a day.
Researchers say they still want to investigate how patients using these convenient technologies fare in the long term as compared to those who use older methods. Read more in SCIENCE DAILY.COM
Nation sets focus on electric, hybrid cars
Chinais making the industrialization of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid automobiles the focus of its new plan to develop energy-saving and alternative-energy vehicles by 2020.
The measure, aimed in part at upgrading the auto industry, was adopted by the State Council on Wednesday in the long-awaited industry development plan on energy saving and new-energy vehicles.
The plan proposed for the first time that pure electric vehicles will be the strategic orientation for Chinato upgrade its big but not yet strong automobile industry. In addition, the industrialization of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will be the industry priority, along with the wide use of hybrid and energy-saving combustion-engine powered automobiles. CHINA DAILY ONLINE
Rice isn’t bad for diabetics after all, says study
NEW DELHI: Rice isn’t the diet villain as commonly thought. In fact, two types of rice commonly consumed by India’s middle classes have now been found to have the lowest Glycemic Index (GI) — the measure of its ability to raise blood sugar levels after eating — when compared with 233 other types of rice consumed around the world.
Swarna and Mahsuri’s GI levels were below 55. Another favourite among Indians —Basmati — too fared well but figured in the middle GI group (with GI levels above 60). This means that Indians, especially the country’s 60 million strong diabetic population, need not worry about having rice in their diet. TIMES OF INDIA ONLINE
Science centre provides window to another world to youngsters
Sixth grader Hadi Jalwan leapt out of his seat and enthusiastically ushered an acquaintance to follow as he led her toward the Temporary Exhibit Hall where the SciTech annual summer festival was taking place.
One really cannot miss it. Swarms of proud mothers flocked at the entrance and scattered in the exhibit that displayed their children’s finished work from scientific experiments to abstract art. The lights in the room were dimmed and amid the commotion of students a girl stood out. ARAB NEWS ONLINE