“Amazing nanoparticle sponge that sucks up oil”


Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) engineering professor David Schiraldi and his research group have created a nanoparticle clay sponge that sucks up oil like files are attracted to a magnet.  Aeroclay composites are ultra-lightweight sponge made of clay and a bit of high-grade plastic that draws oil out of contaminated water while leaving the water behind.  There is no chemical reaction between the material and oil. If the oil is uncontaminated, it can be used again.
The Aerogel comes in granular form, in sheets or in blocks of almost any shape and is effective in fresh and saltwater or on a surface. Oil spill experts on both coasts say that the ability to squeeze out and conserve the oil is an advantage over other products currently available.
This is a nanotechnology product.   These researchers have created a line of patented foam-like and environmentally friendly sponge/foam  like polymers. Check out the videos and the full story.
Will this become the magic bullet for spill cleanup in the future?
Resources
Excerpts
and videos courtesy of  ceramics.org/ceramictechtoday/aeroclay

Excerpts and videos courtesy of  physorg.com

Excerpts courtesy of ceramics.org/ceramictechtoday

“Clubbing of seals a subsidized hobby”


Every spring, harp seal pups off the east coast of Canada are barbarically clubbed and shot to death by sealers for their fur. This year due to global warming and the melting of the ice flows, sadly, baby seals will perish before the sealers arrive.   Clubbing seals for fun and profit

We must speak out and urge Canada to cancel the hunt and spare the surviving pups.
Wolves, seals, polar bears, whale on and on to some countries trading in animals parts and making money on the backs of threatened or endangered animals is a way of life.

In the US we cannot throw stones, we just finished slaughtering over 500 wolves and brought the numbers down to unsustainable levels.

Now Canada will allow seal hunters to slaughter 388,200 harp, grey and hooded seals this year, an increase of 50,000 from 2009.

Clubbed and skinned alive

The current kill levels are higher than they have been in half a century.
Canada’s annual commercial clubbing of seals is the largest commercial hunt of marine mammals on the planet. But will the few pennies made by each fisherman/hunter backfire on their commercial fishing income?
How?  Culling harp seals could further inhibit recovery of commercially valuable fish stocks in the Northwest Atlantic.

Time to up the pressure some more the growing worldwide criticism does not seem to penetrate the thick $$ hide of those backing the slaughter. Besides the blatant hunt’s cruelty of the hunt, the Canadian government and fishing industry have spread lots of misinformation.
The real facts about the Canadian hunt:
In 2006, 98 percent of the harp seals killed were pups under just three months of age.
Sealers are fishermen from Canada’s East Coast. There are under 6,000 fishermen who actively participate in the seal hunt each year.
Cruelty of the hunt?
Veterinarians who studied the hunt concluded that the seal hunt failed to comply with Canada’s basic animal welfare standards. In 42 percent of the cases studied, the seals had likely been skinned alive while conscious.
There are no penalties if hunters exceed their quotas. In 2004, sealers killed close to 16,000 seals more than the permitted quota. Again, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans extended the sealing season until well into June.
Each killing method is cruel. Shooting at seals from moving boats, the pups may only be wounded. if so then they are often left to suffer in agony—many slip beneath the surface of the water where they die slowly and are never recovered.

Why do they  kill so many?
Seals are killed for their fur which is make into fashion garments, seal oil  is used for both industry and for human consumption, and seal penises have been sold in Asian markets as an aphrodisiac. The commercially useless seal carcasses are left to rot where they lay on the ice.
This hunt is subsidized by the Canadian government at tax payers expense. The seal hunt is also indirectly subsidized by the Norwegian government. It purchases about 80% of the seal skins from the hunt and the skins are shipped unprocessed to Norway, There to be tanned and re-exported.
In the 1990s, the Canadian government rejuvenated the commercial seal hunt through massive subsidies. Nearly one million seal pups killed in the past three years alone, will this be yet another mammal driven to extinction through the blind greed of man?
Please take action now.

Boycott Canadian fish until seal slaughter is stopped for good.


Resources

Excerpts courtesy  of HSUS http://bit.ly/cNrEbX
Image 1. http://bit.ly/dcjkCa
Image 2. http://bit.ly/akWOM2

“Poaching +aphrodisiacs + greed + ignorance = the ‘blood diamonds’ of species survival”


You may be seeing the last of these species

It seems even those we pay to protect our animals make more money poaching than caring for the future of animals in their country. Zimbabwe security forces poached 200 rhinos during these past two years. Ivory is worth more now than gold on the black market. They are not alone.

As terrible as this is, we are supporting this behavior every time we purchase something made from ivory, tiger aphrodisiacs or wear a fur pelt from some skinned animal, go hunting for sport or chop up our forests or lands to plant non sustainable crops, build nuclear plants or drill into the sea bed for oil.

Only we can create a new healthier world.

Why do we bother to try to save endangered animals on one hand

– we wipe them out with the other?

Is there president for continuing to work with animal populations that have very few members thus limiting their genetic pool? Especially when “the blood diamond effect” is so pervasive? Why is the gene pool diversity needed?

As current genetic knowledge has it, the more diverse the number of genes contributing to the reproductive pool the stronger the chance that healthy, genetically strong traits to be passed down to offspring insuring the survival of the species.

Many of our most well known animals like the South China tiger, the orangutan, the Sumatran elephant and rhino, the panda, the tortoise, many of the whales, the sea turtles, the cheetah, monarch butterfly, pacific salmon, the North American bears, the wolf, jaguar, sharks, tuna, hundreds of frog, toad and other amphibians… are a few of thousands of animals and plants destroyed along the way to the bank or for aphrodisiacs or to make homes by slashing and burning or long lining their lives to the brink of extinction.

As the blood diamond, the African diamond mined at the expense on the backs of the blacks in the mines of South Africa, so to is the ivory horns, tiger penis, animal pelts, turtle shells and eggs, shark fins, roe of fish, palm oil, illegal animal trade , over fishing, etc are the bloody diamonds rampant in modern society.

Should we try to save an endangered species?

Junaidi Payne chairman of the Borneo Rhinoceros Alliance (BORA) and longtime conservationist with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), Malaysia answers this question this way, “There are estimated to be 11,000 orangutans [in Sabah alone] and probably 1,500 [Bornean pygmy] elephants, but there are no more than forty rhinos… New populations have stagnated and are going down slowly. It’s about need.

Bornean rhino probably has only 6-7 fertile females. MAYBE THEY CAN BE SAVED.

It is the maybe that keep us going against all odds as explorers of old trying to cross Antarctica and the success stories along the way like the miracles from medical field. Against all odds and commonly held genetic theory some will survive and flourish outside of captivity in their natural habitat. We can do it.

Intensive conservation measures pulled the white rhino back now about 17,480 white rhinos live in east and southern Africa and are the most populous rhino species in the world. Rewilding of the tigers in China is under way trying to help the South China tiger’s numbers. We cannot give up on our world.

Life in all forms is too precious.

Thanks to everyone who loves enough to give their time, energy and money to save our world. Everyone can help become a Crusader for Nature.” – Mother Nature

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://news.mongabay.com/2009/1201-hance_tam.html

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/bEKRms

Image courtesy of  http://www.ens-newswire.com/20090716_rhinopoaching.jpg

Image courtesy of  http://english.people.com.cn/200605/24/images/tiger1.jpg


“Coral reefs are the world’s underwater rainforests”


Coral are the rainforest of the ocean. Its reefs quickly create new species. The biodiversity of life on the reef is comparable to the multiplicity of life forms in the rainforests. There are 30 of 34 known animal phyla living on the reef. About 2800 species of fish are known to live in the reef region. Of the 500 or so species of reef building corals found throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans, about 350 are known to be on the Barrier Reef. It could be decades before scientists have a complete list of all the plants and animals found on any one reef. Many species are still to be identified and named. Preserving and nurturing the coral will protect the entire food chain and our web of life as we know it.

In the richest of all regions of coral reef development (central Indo-Pacific), a single acre of coral reef habitat may harbor many types of marine algae, hundreds of brightly hued fish species, and thousands of different kinds of invertebrate animals. Coral reefs are the largest living structure on the planet.

500 million years ago the first coral reef grew. Now the world’s coral reefs are in crisis

The economic importance of maintaining a healthy coral and pollution free coastal shoreline cannot be under estimated:

1. Coral reefs cover are home to 25% of all marine fish species.
2. 500 million people rely on coral reefs for their food and livelihoods.
3. Coral reefs form natural barriers that protect nearby shorelines from the eroding forces of the sea, thereby protecting coastal dwellings, agricultural land and beaches.
4. Coral reefs, protect parts of Florida from be submerged.
5. Medicines made coral have been used in the treatment of cancer, HIV, cardiovascular diseases and ulcers.
6. Corals’ porous limestone skeletons have been used for human bone grafts.
7. It is estimated that coral reefs provide $375 billion per year around the world in goods and services.

Threats to the world’s coral reefs include:
1. Pollution -waste products from gasoline and oil, trash, plastic, cans, bottles, cosmetics, human carelessness, agriculture waste run off
2. Disease – bacterial, white pox, band and rapid wasting disease, coral bleaching, shedding – a sick environment equals sick coral
3. Over-fishing -destroying the food chain by taking all the largest fish and other sea creatures
4. Dynamite and cyanide fishing  especially in the Far East -Indonesia, Phillipines, Malasia, China, Japan
5. Sedimentation – muddy freshwater enters the sea by realizing that gaps in continuous fringing and offshore reefs faced the river mouths.
6. Bleaching caused by rising ocean temperatures from global warming

Healthy coral

If the present rate of destruction continues:

a. 70% of the world’s coral reefs will be destroyed by the year 2050.
b.  25% of coral reefs have already disappeared and an estimated two-thirds of all coral reefs are at risk today.1
c. 88% of the reefs in Southeast Asia – the most species rich reefs on earth – are at risk.
d. Since 1975, more than 90% of the reefs in the Florida Keys have lost their living coral cover.

Only we can change this destruction

  1. Take care and help clean up the our streams, shores, ocean and all waterways.
  2. Decreasing our carbon footprint
  3. When diving being respectful of the environment and staying off the coral.
  4. Take pictures of coral for souvenirs.
  5. Refusing to buy fish that are harvested by in long lines, dynamiting or cynanide poisoning ( the last two methods are from the Far East).
  6. Recycle, reuse and take trash home for proper discard on land, lake , stream, the seashore or ocean.

Support organizations that are helping protect the coral reef and sealife. Get involved.

Coral reefs are a world treasure. Our economic and health depend on them staying healthy.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.terradaily.com//Coral_reefs_quickly_create.html

Excerpts courtesy of  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Asian_coral_reefs

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.barrierreefaustralia.com/great-barrier-reef-info2.html

Excerpts courtesy of   http://www.nature.org/joinanddonate/rescuereef/explore/facts.html

Image courtesy of  http://images.google.com/foodweb

Image courtesy of  http://www.uncwil.edu/bio/images/JRPBahamasspongesandcoral.jpg

“Why must we save these endangered animals and forests?”


Our future as a species may be tied to saving these animals and forests from extinction.

Besides the beauty and the uniqueness of these ancient animals and forests, scientists are finding that
1. Leatherback turtle blood clots quickly so sharks can not detect their scent after being injured. This  may help scientists unravel clues to stem bleeding in humans. After surgery or injury, bleeding can cause death if not quickly stopped.

2. Cheetah’s are the fastest land animal. Their muscle protein structure may help understand their speed and help in muscle rehabilitation after an accident.

Cheetahs may run free in India

3. The naked mole rat is being studied for his longevity and extended family structure.

4. Leatherback turtles, the biggest species of turtle, can dive deeper than other turtles, leading experts to wonder how they regulate buoyancy. That and the shape of their shells could give clues to submarine or ship design.
5. Honey bee sting is used to decrease pain in joints from arthritis.
6. Frogs and lizards feet and a spider’s webs are being studied for their stickiness and its strength.
7. Tropical forests soak up greenhouse gases and are the treasure house for plants used to heal and a new source of income for poor nations.

Conserving endangered animals, sea life, the oceans, wetlands, forests and the air we breathe may take on such economic value that we will do whatever it takes to save them and us.

Resources


Excerpts
courtesy of   http://www.reuters.com

Images 1 and 3. courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders library

Image 2. courtesy of   http://costaricanconservationnetwork.wordpress.com/leatherback.jpg

“Cruelty begins by abandoning pets”


In Tucson, AZ there seems to be favorite places to release animals to their own wiles. In the abandoning zone in the desert the other side of the airport, recently carcasses of dogs, cats  and even a horse has been discovered. If small animals like rats , gerbils or rabbits are released in the desert larger predators will have them for lunch, so their bodies usually are not found.Seems the horse was taken their and shot in the neck.

More people have become aware of the “zone” and are patrolling the area.
Every city has these areas that need to be checked so the domesticated animals that are left can quickly be found.
Other ways animals are abandoned include simply dropping them off on a city street to race after their owners car and maybe be hit or killed. Others are left behind in houses that the owners have been forced to leave.

Abandoned an animal suffers shock and disorientation just like people would , then becomes dehydrated and  hungry. If let outside the animal is unable to find shelter can die from the elements. Very few of these abandoned animals are found by people who will care for them or take them to a shelter.

With the economic challenges the US faces more animals will be let to die. Do the math if 63 percent of U.S. households have at least one pet-plus, hundreds of thousands of pets are in danger of being abandoned or if fortunate be given to animal shelters across the country.

Abandoning a pet is illegal, help a pet out and turn it over to a shelter if you cannot keep it.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.alternet.org

Image courtesy of  http://blog1.rspcasa.asn.au/abandoned_Buddy.jpg

“After people -Helping animals left in Haiti”


In the past few days, several organizations have joined forces to create the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH), with the goal of raising funds to help animals in the earthquake-stricken country and to provide direct aid to animals once rescue teams can be assembled in Haiti.

We’re grateful that government and relief agencies are mobilizing to assist the hundreds of thousands of people in need of water, medical care, and shelter.

Fermathe, Haiti, is home to a zoo that one past visitor reported housed

Solenodon critically endangered

monkeys, snakes, alligators and exotic birds, such as peacocks. The nearby hospital in Fermathe is still standing, but doctors, nurses and other staff there are said to be exhausted and struggling to care for the many patients.

Haiti is home to several endangered animals, according to the organization Animal Info. These include the critically endangered Puerto Rican Hutia (Isolobodon portoricensis), the endangered Haitian Solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus) and the “vulnerable” manatee “sea cow” (Trichechus manatus) and Hispaniolan Hutia (Plagiodontia aedium).

Hutia

And as with any disaster of this magnitude, animals are also suffering and in dire need of care.

To try to help these animals, here’s what HSI is doing right now:

  • We’re working with Sociedad Dominicana para la Prevención de Crueldad a los Animales, which is based in the Dominican Republic and has offered to get a team of animal responders and veterinarians into Haiti;
  • We’re sending a veterinarian trained in disaster response associated with our partner organization, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, to the Dominican Republic to spearhead our assessment;
  • We have joined the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti, and will be working with the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and other partner groups on a coordinated response to this crisis;
  • We’ve communicated with humanitarian relief agencies and are poised to address the security, transportation, housing, and supply challenges that accompany deployment.

Disaster Relief for animals of Haiti

Broad-billed Tody

ASPCA is the latest to join.

In addition to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,  ARCH now includes The International Fund for Animal Welfare, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, American Humane, Best Friends, The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International.

ASPCA team is staging in the Dominican Republic waiting to get into Haiti to begin work. IFAW and WSPA have also begun to stock a mobile clinic with vaccines, antibiotics, bandages, food, and other supplies in anticipation of bringing direct aid to animals

Support the International Disaster Fund

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://news.discovery.com/animal http://tiny.cc/tUgKc

Image courtesy of http://www.edgeofexistence.org/ and Eladio Fernandez.jpg

Image courtesy of  http://www.wikidominicana.edu.do/images/9/93/Jutia.jpg

Image courtesy of   http://ibc.lynxeds.com/Broad-billedTody.jpg

“US does 70.5% Illegal internet Wildlife ads”


The United States is a major player in advertising illegal wild game for sale on the internet.  The US is responsible for 70.5 percent of the illegal wild game ads on the internet, followed by Britain and China with 7.7 percent and 7.6 percent. The internet has made the trading of wildlife way  too easy. The result is animal populations and their ecosystems are been dessimated.

Endangered animals sold illegally

Estimates of the value of final sales on these websites totaled more than $457,000 dollars, however that figure is much higher because most sites did not advertise their prices, according to the study. The total value of this illegal trade worldwide from all its may venues is about $6 billion-dollars annually.

Below are a few of the ways humans are continuing to devastate these endangered animal populations.

If we stop feeding the international appetite for exotic goods including ivory, pelts, traditional medicines, and wild meats we can help these animal populations recover.

18 to 21.6 million seahorses caught yearly for traditional Asian medicine

  • United States in 2002 imported over 38,000 mammals, 365,000 birds, 2 million reptiles, 49 million amphibians, and 216 million fis
  • 1,000 elephant ivory items were advertised on Ebay from February to May 2004
  • Decline from 1979 to 1989 in numbers of African elephants that were killed largely for the then illegal ivory trade: between 600,000 and 1.3 million
  • 99,939 primates legally were imported into the United States as pets or research animals between 1995 and 2002
  • Percentage of tropical birds and reptiles that die during transport for the exotic pet trade: up to 80
  • At least 10 tons tropical bone imports East Asian countries from other parts of Asia between 1970 and 1993
  • 10 tons of tiger bone represents: between 500 and 1,000 animals 500 and 1,000 animals
  • Estimated number of tigers left in the wild: under 5,000
  • Estimated number of captive tigers living in the United States: 5,000 to 7,000.

Since the US seems to be such a big player in this trade, it is time for the rest of us to refuse to purchase anything or support  this trade in any way. If someone learns of of someone hunting, trading or transporting wildlife please report them to your nearest US Game and Fish Department or contact Nature’s Crusaders and we will help you get the information to the proper authorities.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/64xqeO
Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/5BsKA7

“Progress on improving climate in Copenhagen”


Forests are efficient absorbers of carbon dioxide, the primary heat-trapping gas linked to global warming. When forests and bogs and wetlands are destroyed daily around the world carbon dioxide stored in trees, bogs and wetlands is released into the atmosphere. This release accelerates global warming., When 20% of our rainforests are destroyed annually, it is estimated to account for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

saving the forests

If this agreement is achieved some progress towards providing a system through which countries can be paid for conserving disappearing natural assets based on their contribution to reducing emissions.

Today the final draft of Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD, will be distributed to some 200 ministers to hammer out a framework for a global climate treaty. Negotiators and other participants said that though some details remained to be worked out, all major points of disagreement — how to address the rights of indigenous people living on forest land and what is defined as forest, for example — had been resolved through compromise.

A final agreement on the program may not be announced until the end of the week, when President Obama and other world leaders arrive — in part because there has been so little progress on other issues at the climate summit meeting, sponsored by the United Nations.

For poorer countries, the payments will provide a much-needed new income stream. For richer nations, the lure of the program is not cash but carbon credits that can be used to cancel out, in part, their industrial emissions under a carbon trading system, like the cap-and-trade plan currently under consideration by Congress.

The agreement is also being closely watched in Congress, where climate legislation passed the House in June and is currently stalled in the Senate.

Under the cap-and-trade system preferred by Democratic leaders and the Obama administration, companies that cannot meet their greenhouse gas pollution limit could buy extra permits by investing in carbon-reduction programs abroad. Plans to preserve forests under REDD would presumably qualify. This could help U.S. companies to reduce emissions at lower cost.

For more information on the progress on international climate reform in Copenhagen.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/science/earth/16forest.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Images courtesy of  http://earth.rice.edu/mtpe/bio/biosphere/topics/biomes/forest.jpg

“The blind, pink rodent from Africa may hold key to longevity”


Hairless, pink skinned, big toothed, wonder of the rodent world may hold the secret to longevity and some forms of cancer. Who is this wonder of the animal world? None other then the mole rat of the African desert.

Blind and spending its life underground this animal who’s family social structure more resembles the queen bee and her hive than a mammal family lives the longest of any rodent in the world.

Naked mole rat longevity

Does the key to longevity reside in the animals ability to produce quality proteins that do not degrade as quickly  or does keeping the proteins in top shape longer so the proteasomes (the cell’s protein trash recycling system) do not have as much work to do to recombine amino acids that made up the degraded proteins into new ones.

Scientists do not know yet if other animals that live a long and healthy life like soem birds like the parrot also havs the same recycling system, but will be researching these kindred long lived animals next.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://www.uthscsa.edu/hscnews

Image from Natures Crusaders library

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