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Earth

Why Spiderman can’t exist: Geckos are ‘size limit’ for sticking to walls

Latest research reveals why geckos are the largest animals able to scale smooth vertical walls — even larger climbers would require unmanageably large sticky footpads. Scientists estimate that a human would need adhesive pads covering 40 percent of their body surface in order to walk up a wall like Spiderman, and believe their insights have implications for the feasibility of large-scale, gecko-like adhesives.

Earth

How to make your new house a sustainable one

People might falsely believe that when they are building a house incorporating any sustainable solutions require additional costs and effort. It is actually the opposite. Some of the sustainable solutions require very little in any financing with comparison to the costs that need to be incurred anyways in a newly constructed building. Moreover, while an initial cost might be a bit higher as for purchasing, for example a sustainable heating system, there is a fast return on investment as utility bills are much lowers with sustainable heating than a standard one. It is possible to save around 30% on the use of energy and water in a sustainable house. That is a case with any other sustainable solution, when it pays off to invest in environment friendly solution in every case.Below there is list of sustainable solutions that can be applied in every house.Heat recovery system for the ventilation, heating and cooling.The use of geothermal heat pump for heating the house, allows for great savings on heating costs.It is common to use only floor heating as a heating option in energy efficient houses (no radiators). Use of low energy doors and windows (recommended triple glazed windows).

Earth

Tracking the tyrannosaur’s trail

Just outside the tiny town of Glenrock, Wyo., the footprints of a 66-million-year-old monster are cemented in stone. This fossil trackway was brought to light with the help of a Canadian paleontologist who first viewed the tracks as a 13-year-old while visiting the Glenrock Paleon Museum.

Earth

Simulator-based training in veterinary medicine

Skills training of veterinary students is increasingly based on teaching simulators. This does not only allow a reduction of animal-based interventions but provides students with an opportunity for repeated and stress-free training sessions. Researchers have demonstrated that simulator-based training can be extremely efficient to achieve learning outcomes in veterinary gynaecology.

Earth

How much methane IS leaking at Porter Ranch?

A UC Davis scientist flying in a pollution-detecting airplane provided the first, and so far only, estimates of methane emissions spewing from the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility in Southern California since the leak began on Oct. 23, 2015.Those estimates were provided to the California Air Resources Board in November. Pilot and UC Davis project scientist Stephen Conley continues to measure emissions from the still uncontrolled leak, which has displaced thousands of residents in the affluent Porter Ranch neighborhood in northern Los Angeles. On Jan. 6, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the community.To date, Conley estimates that the leak has emitted nearly 80,000 tons of methane, or about 1,000 tons per day.

Earth

Denmark breaks its own world record in wind energy

Danish wind turbines set a new world record in 2015. Wind power is now counted for 42.1% of the total electricity consumption in Denmark, according to data published on Friday (15 January).The percentage of wind power in Denmark's overall electricity mix is the highest in the world. Last year, the share was 39.1%, which was a record, according to Energinet, which runs the power grids. 

Earth

Deadly amphibian fungus may decline, study finds

A new study offers a glimmer of hope for some amphibian populations decimated by the deadly chytrid fungus: climate change may make environmental conditions for the fungus unsuitable in some regions and potentially stave off the spread of disease in African amphibian populations struggling to adapt to changes brought about by global warming.