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Canada to donate untested Ebola vaccine to help battle disease in Africa

By Euronews - euronews.com - 13/08 08:41 CET

The move comes after the World Health Organization decided it was ethical in the circumstances to offer untested drugs to people infected by the virus.

The Canadian government has only around 1,500 doses of the vaccine, which it invented a few years ago. It has been effective in animals but has never been tested on humans. 

Promising solution to plastic pollution

Harvard's Wyss Institute -  Turning shrimp shells into plastic: Harvard's Wyss Institute comes up with fully degradable bioplastic.

Image:  Harvard's Wyss Institute - Turning shrimp shells into plastic: Harvard's Wyss Institute comes up with fully degradable bioplastic.

news.harvard.edu - May 5th, 2014

For many people, “plastic” is a one-word analog for environmental disaster. It is made from precious petroleum, after all, and once discarded in landfills and oceans, it takes centuries to degrade.

Then came apparent salvation: “bioplastics,” durable substances made from renewable cellulose, a plant-based polysaccharide.

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(SEE ALSO CBS' COVERAGE ON THIS STORY)

Facebook Conducted Psychological Experiments On Unknowing Users

      

CREDIT: AP Photo/Gus Ruelas

thinkprogress.org - by Annie-Rose Strasser - June 28, 2014

The latest way that Facebook has been peeking into its users’ personal lives may be the most surprising yet: Facebook researches have published a scientific paper that reveals the company has been conducting psychological experiments on its users to manipulate their emotions.

The experiments sought to prove the phenomenon of “emotional contagion” — as in, whether you’ll be more happy if those in your Facebook news feed are.

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RESEARCH STUDY - Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks

New Introductory Guide on Big Data for Development

Three opportunities for global development presented by Big Data

Image: Three opportunities for global development presented by Big Data

unglobalpulse.org - July 16th, 2013 - Anoush Rima Tatevossian

Thanks to attention in the mainstream media, the phrase “big data” is becoming more well known, and is beginning to be discussed more frequently among development practitioners and decision-makers. A steady stream of papers are being published, panel discussions and conferences being hosted. Even the recent High Level Panel report on the Post-2015 development agenda notes the need for better integrating and using “new sources of data” to be a priority.

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Climate Change Will Bring Conditions Outside Historical Variability In Coming Decades


Video: A video report on the predicted climate shifts.

huffingtonpost.com - October 9th, 2013 - Andrew Freedman

The mean annual climate of the average location on Earth will slip past the most extreme conditions experienced during the past 150 years and into new territory by between 2047 and 2069, depending on the amount of climate-warming greenhouse gases that are emitted during the next few decades, a new study found. The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, used a new index to show for the first time when the climate — which has been warming during the past century in response to manmade pollution and natural variability — will be radically different from average conditions during the 1860-2005 period.

The study shows that tropical areas, which contain the richest diversity of species on the planet as well as some of the poorest countries, will be among the first to see the climate exceed historical limits — in as little as a decade from now — which spells trouble for rainforest ecosystems and nations that have a limited capacity to adapt to rapid climate change.

When would global warming destroy life on Earth? Study hazards a guess.

This is a picture of the surface of Venus, which is hot enough to melt lead, thanks to a runaway greenhouse effect at some point in the planet's past. Two recent studies look at how such processes might occur. JPL/AP/File

Image: This is a picture of the surface of Venus, which is hot enough to melt lead, thanks to a runaway greenhouse effect at some point in the planet's past. Two recent studies look at how such processes might occur. JPL/AP/File

csmonitor.com - July 30th, 2013 - Pete Spotts

A runaway greenhouse effect – where a planet's atmosphere traps so much heat that temperatures rise to life-snuffing levels – may be easier to achieve than previously believed. And there may be more than one way to drive the increase.

Those are the implications of two recent studies looking at what planetary scientists describe as one of the fundamental processes that can render a planet uninhabitable.

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Climate research nearly unanimous on human causes, survey finds

'Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary'. Photograph: John McConnico/AP

Image: 'Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary'. Photograph: John McConnico/AP

guardian.co.uk - May 15th, 2013 - Suzanne Goldenberg

A survey of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals has found 97.1% agreed that climate change is caused by human activity.

Authors of the survey, published on Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, said the finding of near unanimity provided a powerful rebuttal to climate contrarians who insist the science of climate change remains unsettled.

The survey considered the work of some 29,000 scientists published in 11,994 academic papers.

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Underlying Resilience Theoretical Foundations

Dear all,

Yesterday was a great pleasure for me, thank you all for the inspirations and very nice atmosphere.

Instead of writing a decent summary, I have summarised some notes in the way of formulating questions that could be of interest for the project. (Or, at least to myself.) I think it could also be very useful to write a paper to help structuring all ideas.

The Dictatorship of Data

Body count: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara briefing the press on Vietnam at the Pentagon in 1965.Image: Body count: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara briefing the press on Vietnam at the Pentagon in 1965.

technologyreview.com - May 31st, 2013 - Kenneth Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

Big data is poised to transform society, from how we diagnose illness to how we educate children, even making it possible for a car to drive itself. Information is emerging as a new economic input, a vital resource. Companies, governments, and even individuals will be measuring and optimizing everything possible.

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The Key to Running the World on Solar and Wind Power

Chart of energy density per energy type

Image: Chart of energy density per energy type

energytrendsinsider.com - April 30th, 2013 - Robert Rapier

Perhaps the biggest shortcoming of solar and wind power is their intermittency. In locations like Hawaii, where I live, wind and solar power are already competitive on price. My fossil-fuel supplied electricity typically costs above 40 cents a kilowatt-hour, and wind and solar power can compete with that. But since they can’t supply power that is available on demand (firm power) they must be backed up by power sources that can provide power when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

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