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Plastic chemicals discovered inside bird eggs from remote Arctic

Chemicals from plastics have been found inside the eggs of seabirds living in remote Arctic colonies, in the latest sign of pollution contaminating the furthest reaches of the planet. Scientists were concerned by the traces of phthalates, hormone-disrupting chemicals that have been banned from children’s toys due to their potential “gender-bending” effects. These substances are routinely applied to many plastic products, and probably came from ... Full story

1.4 million Puerto Ricans face deep cuts in food aid without federal action

Feb. 5, 2019, 10:50 PM GMT. By Nicole Acevedo. Nearly a million and half people in Puerto Rico face deep cuts in food assistance, or losing it completely, if the federal government doesn't provide funding for the Nutrition Assistance Program, which is expected to run out of money on the island next month. According to an analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities , a nonpartisan research and policy institute, 1.3 million people ... Full story

Woman dies after Michelin-starred meal

Image caption The woman ate at RiFF restaurant in Valencia with her husband and son. A woman has died and 28 more diners fell ill after eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain. The diner went to RiFF in Valencia with her husband and son, 12, both of whom also had diarrhoea and vomiting. The restaurant is now closed while public health officials investigate the exact cause of the outbreak. RiFF, which has one Michelin star and is ... Full story

Living in vans, tiny homes and containers

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption The creative solutions to a lack of house affordability. For many young people, the pleasures of their own hearth and home are out of reach. About 40% of young adults cannot afford to buy one of the cheapest homes in their area in the UK, with the average deposit now standing at about £26,000 . But they also face "unaffordable" rents across most of Britain, according to recent research. ... Full story

What happens to the natural world if all the insects disappear?

There are an awful lot of insects. It’s hard to say exactly how many because 80% haven’t yet been described by taxonomists, but there are probably about 5.5m species . Put that number together with other kinds of animals with exoskeletons and jointed legs, known collectively as arthropods – this includes mites, spiders and woodlice – and there are probably about 7m species in all. Despite their ubiquity in the animal kingdom, a recent report ... Full story

RIP to the First Mammal Officially Killed by Climate Change

Science Climate Change Share Subscribe. n Monday, a release from Australia’s Department of the Environment and Energy confirmed the sad fate of the Bramble Cay melomys, a tiny brown rat that is officially extinct, very likely due to climate change . Though the release officially lays the creature to rest, those who have watched its fate over five years have found little peace. Scientists, federal officials, and the local governments are now ... Full story

Gene therapy first to 'halt' most common cause of blindness

Image caption Janet Osborne hopes to continue gardening if her sight loss is halted. A woman from Oxford has become the first person in the world to have gene therapy to try to halt the most common form of blindness in the Western world. Surgeons injected a synthetic gene into the back of Janet Osborne's eye in a bid to prevent more cells from dying. It is the first treatment to target the underlying genetic cause of age-related macular ... Full story

Just Eat to ban takeaways given rating of zero for hygiene

Food ordering app Just Eat is to remove all restaurants with a hygiene rating of zero from their platform. Any food outlet attempting to join Just Eat will also have to be rated at least "generally satisfactory" for hygiene. It comes after a BBC investigation last year found half of outlets rated as zero by the Food Standards Agency in Manchester, Bristol, and London appeared on the app. Just Eat said restaurants rated zero would be removed by ... Full story

Warning over cost of caring for young asylum seekers News

Image caption Councils say they are struggling to cope with the cost of young migrants who reach the UK. The cost to councils in England of looking after rising numbers of child asylum seekers has almost doubled in four years, the Local Government Association (LGA) says. It says the annual cost of providing accommodation and care for these young asylum seekers has now risen to £152m. And councils, already under financial pressure, need more ... Full story

You may not like insects, but you need them | Georgia Straight Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly

An alarming scientific review has found human activity is driving insects to extinction. When the bottom of the food chain is endangered, so too is everything up the chain—including people. Insect declines threaten birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians that eat insects, as well as the many plants that require them for pollination. Insects are also crucial to soil health, nutrient recycling, and ecosystem functioning. "If insect-species losses ... Full story