April 26, 2012 |
Organic agriculture generally comes at a cost of smaller harvests compared with conventional agriculture, but that gap can be narrowed with careful selection of crop type, growing conditions and management techniques, according a new study. Organic farming has been touted by supporters as a more environmentally sustainable method of farming that's better for consumers because crops contain fewer man-made chemicals. But without the high-nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides often employed in conventional agriculture, it's also less efficient.
April 6, 2011 |
Engineers began injecting nitrogen into one of the reactors at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Wednesday evening as radiation levels in seawater near the plant dropped and a new report from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission suggested that the plant may face even more troubles in the future. Officials from the United Nations, meanwhile, said that even though the situation in Japan is more serious than the U.S. faced after the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979, the group does not expect severe health consequences.
December 14, 2010 |
Call it Extreme Makeover: Chemistry Edition. That imposing, yellowing chart gracing the walls of every science classroom is about to get an update. The adjustments planned for the Periodic Table of the Elements will more accurately reflect the true nature of 10 kinds of atoms ? carbon, nitrogen and oxygen among them ? that play a key role in such real-world issues as detecting counterfeit food, tracing pollutants in rivers and nailing baseball players sneaking steroids. The Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has decided the time has come to ensure that the figures listed on the official Table of Standard Atomic Weights properly indicate the variability that exists in nature.
May 22, 2010 |
Kudzu, a fast-growing and invasive Asian vine introduced in the American South several decades ago, has now blanketed more than 7 million acres of the region, making it sometimes seem more common than the hallmark azaleas, dogwoods and peach trees. Now there's evidence that the plant also increases air pollution. A paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported a link between kudzu and the production of ozone, the colorless and odorless gas that is the main component of smog.
April 10, 2010 |
The remains of all four miners missing from the devastating explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine were found by rescue crews late Friday night, ending a desperate, four-day search for men who authorities now say were killed by the blast Monday afternoon. "We did not receive the miracle we prayed for," West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III said at a news conference at 12:30 a.m. Eastern time. The discovery of the four bodies brings the total death toll from the explosion Monday at the mine to 29, making it the worst mining disaster in nearly 40 years.
April 9, 2010 |
Two rescue teams went underground into the wrecked Upper Big Branch mine early Friday in a desperate attempt to find four miners still missing after Monday's devastating explosion, which killed 25 workers. Authorities planned to pump nitrogen into a section of the mine to render dangerous gases inert and prevent another explosion as rescue crews inched forward. About the same time, recovery crews would attempt to find and remove the bodies of 18 miners killed in the worst coal mine disaster in a quarter-century.