Science & Environment

Science news

Steve Junker

Here's the launch of the Fishing News for 2018. It's mid-May, and many fishermen are looking for squid, which typically show up in our waters this time of year and are a harbinger of bigger fish to come.

What Can You Do If Your Well Turns Salty?

May 17, 2018

 

Sometimes a saltwater incursion in the aquifer flushes itself out. But if it doesn’t look like your well is clearing out, Hillary Greenberg-Lemos, from Wellfleet’s Health and Conservation department, recommends the following steps:

After the Storm, a Salty Well

May 17, 2018
Pien Huang

 

In the first week of February, Peter McMahon had the worst morning. He tried to make coffee with his tap water—and realized it was salt water.

Samantha Fields

The repeated damage caused by intensifying storms and coastal erosion is an issue facing many towns across the Cape region. Last week, Sandwich voters said it's worth $2 million to rebuild the town's marquee structure, even without any assurances about how long it'll last, or how well it'll hold up to the next storm.  

Faustin Tuyambaze / unsplash

Massachusetts highest court has ruled that MIT is not responsible for the suicide in 2009 of a twenty-five-year-old graduate student. MIT does have a higher suicide rate than other schools, but depression, anxiety, and suicide are a prevalent problem throughout academia.

The 1957 International Geophysical Year helped build bridges between American and Russian scientists, even as Cold War tensions continued.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Designed by Ervine Metzl. / U.S. Postal Service; National Postal Museum

To say that global nuclear politics is in flux is an understatement. President Trump has announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. Meanwhile, he is planning a summit with North Korea in June. Scientific collaboration and cooperation has played an important part in nuclear diplomacy between the U.S. and Russia for decades, and could be a tool in our shifting relationships with Iran and North Korea. 

Bruno Martins / Unsplash

We’ve all heard that the best time to learn a new language is when you’re a young child; think pre-school or elementary school. But a recent study by researchers from Boston College, MIT and Harvard finds that the window of opportunity is quite a bit larger than previously thought, extending all the way through high school.

It’s May, nice weather is finally here, and some of you are thinking about what your teenager will do when school gets out. We’ve got somebody who can help.

Hawaii has passed a ban on certain sunscreens that are harmful to corals.
Elsa Partan / WGBH

Hawaii is poised become the first state to ban certain sunscreens – not because they are bad for people necessarily, but because they’ve been implicated in the decline of coral reefs. The ban specifically targets sunscreens that contain two chemicals – oxybenzone and octinoxate. The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature.

Davide Cantelli / https://bit.ly/2DYMsAM

New York State has revived a climate science committee that the Trump administration let go last summer. The group’s objective is to help local and regional officials to get the information they need to prepare and respond to impacts like heat waves, droughts, and flooding. And they’re building a network of dozens of organizations to get the job done without the federal government’s involvement.

Small gasoline-powered engines help create air pollution on sunny days.
piviso.com / http://bit.ly/2FSkjID

This past week brought the first real taste of spring or maybe even summer weather. Along with the warmth came something less desirable -- air quality alerts. From Connecticut to southern Maine, ozone levels mid-week rose to what the EPA considers unhealthy for those with asthma or other lung problems.

More than 12 million people have had their DNA analyzed by direct-to-consumer genealogy tests like 23andMe and ancestry.com. That number more than doubled last year, giving the industry a huge boost.

The European Union has voted to ban three pesticides known as neonicotinoids based on evidence that they pose a risk to bees.
John Campbell / http://bit.ly/2HYQgoo

Each month, Living Lab Radio checks in with Nature News to talk about some of the latest research headlines. This time we talk with senior reporter Lizzie Gibney at the London bureau.

This four-bladed arrow can be used to cut fishing gear off entangled whales.
Heather Goldstone / WCAI

The disentanglement team at the Center for Coastal Studies might be forgiven for some off-color jokes. Dozens of whales get tangled in fishing gear each year. The results can be grizzly – wounds that cut to the bone, infections, starvation – if not deadly. And attempting to free entangled whales is both physically and emotionally exhausting, not to mention dangerous. What’s not to joke about?  

Bob Lynch stands on the bow of the Center for Coastal Studies' response boat, Ibis, preparing to shoot a four-bladed crossbow arrow to cut the ropes entangling a female North Atlantic right whale known as Kleenex.
NOAA/NEFSC/Leah Crowe / Image collected under MMPA research permit #17335

North Atlantic right whales are severely endangered, and entanglement in fishing gear is a leading cause of both deaths and low birth rates. A small Provincetown-based team tries to free as many whales as possible each year, but these efforts are dangerous and not a permanent solution.

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