Category: Science

Is the EU About to Ban Single-Use Plastics?

The European Union has signaled that it may ban plastic straws and other single-use plastics very soon. The EU announced in January 2018 that they aimed to make all plastics on the market recyclable or reusable by 2030. Now, after a Twitter battle with the United Kingdom on the matter, Frans Timmermans, vice president of the EU’s executive cabinet has hinted that the EU will create legislation on single-use plastics before summer. This comes after China’s ban on the import of many types of plastic waste went into effect last month. According to recent data, in 2016 China processed over...

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New Study: Microplastics Pushing Sharks and Whales Toward Extinction

A new study reveals that oceanic megafauna such as whale sharks, baleen whales, and mobuild rays are endangered by microplastics. They are filter feeders, which means they don’t have teeth, but rather plates through which they strain food and water. Baleen whales and whale sharks are some of the largest animals in the world yet they feed on some of the smallest prey. As they skim the ocean, they also ingest large amounts of microplastics. Baleen whales include the Blue Whale and the Fin Whale; both listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. For the study, scientists compared populations...

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Animal Rights are a Human Right

It has long been accepted in our culture that humans are owed a certain level of inherent rights. We generally accept that humans have a right to life, liberty, and property, and have developed these ideas as the quest for equality grows in our culture. However, we cannot have a full conception of human rights without considering animal rights as a part of this. The concept of animal rights as fundamental to human rights relies on the recognition that humans are in fact an animal species, and therefore the compartmentalization of different kind of behavior to different species in fact...

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4 Facts That Prove Pigs Are Smarter Than You Think

Pigs are finally enjoying some time in the spotlight as the world realizes that these smart, playful animals make truly fantastic pets. While traditionally pigs have been thought of strictly as farm animals, people now see the unique intelligence that pigs possess. Much like dogs, they are highly social, creative, and a joy to cuddle with. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser-known facts about pigs that prove they belong in the family, not on a plate. Move Over Dogs — Pigs are the New Smart Pet When we think of animals that can relate to humans,...

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Favorite Fish

Salmon is hailed as a menu favorite at restaurants and homes across America. However, this silvery swimmer has much more in common with humans than most people think. Let’s give fish brains a little more credit, and start with five of the most surprising facts about salmon. 1. They go to School Salmon, especially those in areas with a dense population, serve as mentors to their young.  When captive salmon are first introduced into tanks, they are hesitant to strike for new food, but older tank-mates will often guide new arrivals and help them learn to hunt and identify...

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EPA Considers Dumping Bee-Killing Pesticide on 165 Million Acres of Crops

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering poisoning 165 million acres of US crops with the toxic neonicotinoid pesticide thiamethoxam despite the fact that scientific research, including the EPA’s own studies, have proven it fatal for bees. Attacking their central nervous system, the pesticide paralyzes bees and kills them. Making this consideration even more ridiculous, EPA assessments in late 2017 also revealed that the pesticide is lethal for other pollinators, including birds and aquatic invertebrates. The use of neocotinoid pesticides has increased so much in the US that they are on almost every seed of corn and soybean planted. Thiamethoxam...

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Watching Birds is Like Medicine for Depression and Stress

For many of us, the daily grind can be stressful, leaving us feeling exhausted and even anxious. While it’s tempting to shut the blinds and hide inside in your favourite PJs, a new study offers a surprising alternative: bird watching. Whether you hike out into the wilderness with boots and binoculars or simply gaze out your office window and admire the view, you’re better off with birds. The study – a collaboration between English and Australian academics – reveals a positive association between bird watching and better mental health. After surveying the mental health of 270 people of a variety...

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Chocolate Could Go Extinct by 2050 Due to Climate Change

Chocolate is in trouble. Cacao, the plant used to produce cocoa and other treats, faces a global shortage by 2020, and the crop may be gone as soon as 2050. The implications of this deficit go beyond candy bars: cacao’s extinction spells economic strife for millions of people who depend on its production for their livelihoods. 70% of cacao is grown in four countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. These countries are expected to experience an increase in temperature of 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050, a change that is projected to dramatically alter the geography of where the plant...

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