Evidence continues to mount of the devastating environmental effects of mountaintop mining (MTM) — the controversial practice of stripping the tops off of mountains to mine coal. The latest in a recent flurry of studies looking at activities in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia shows the cumulative effects of mountaintop mining on downstream water quality. (See Nature’s previous coverage here and here.) … Read more
At nearly one billion, the number of hungry and undernourished people in the world remains “unacceptably” high according to the United Nations’ agricultural agencies in a report published yesterday. (Reuters, Financial Times)
Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were yesterday cleared of killing Knox’s housemate Meredith Kercher, a British exchange student at the University of Perugia in Italy. The judge delivering the appeal verdict said the DNA evidence linking the pair to Kercher’s murder was “not reliable”. (New scientist , BBC News, Guardian, New York Times )
Testing substances for toxic effects still relies largely on animal experiments, and is an expensive and time consuming approach that can provide results of limited value for human health. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, have now won US$6 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to begin an ambitious project to develop an alternative testing approach.
Critically endangered vultures in India are still at risk of exposure to the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac that decimate their populations, through widespread illegal sales of the drug.
The world’s largest tobacco company is trying to force academics at the University of Sterling, UK, to hand over confidential research data about British teenagers’ smoking habits.