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New map reveals global scope of groundwater arsenic risk

New map reveals global scope of groundwater arsenic risk

Up to 220 million people worldwide, with approximately 94% of them in Asia, could be at risk of drinking well water containing harmful levels of arsenic, a tasteless, odorless and naturally occurring poison. The global scope of this persistent public health issue is revealed in a new study, in which researchers present the most accurate and detailed global prediction map of groundwater arsenic concentrations to date. It reveals previously unidentified areas of potential arsenic contamination, including parts of Central Asia and broad areas of the Arctic and sub-Arctic. Trace amounts of...

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5d ago
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Impacts of different social distancing interventions detectable two weeks later, shows German modeling study

Impacts of different social distancing interventions detectable two weeks later, shows German modeling study

In Germany, growth of COVID-19 cases declined after a series of three social distancing interventions, detectable at a two-week delay following each intervention, but only after the third- a far-reaching contact ban - did cases decline significantly. These results - from a modeling study designed to better estimate the impact of various levels of social distancing on virus spread - indicate that the full extent of social distancing interventions was necessary to stop exponential growth in Germany, the authors say. Further, the two-week delay it reveals in understanding an intervention's...

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May 15
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In South Africa, three hominins, including earliest Homo erectus, lived during same period

In South Africa, three hominins, including earliest Homo erectus, lived during same period

Nearly 2 million years ago, three hominin genera - Australopithecus, Paranthropus and the earliest Homo erectus lineage - lived as contemporaries in the karst landscape of what is now South Africa, according to a new geochronological evaluation of the hominin fossil-rich Drimolen Paleocave complex. Combined with other evidence, authors Andy Herries et al. argue that the site reflects a period of transition in southern Africa driven by climatic variability, one marked by endemic species, like Australopithecus, going extinct, while new migrants - Homo and Paranthropus - moved in. In their...

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Apr 2
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The demise of tropical snakes, an 'invisible' outcome of biodiversity loss

The demise of tropical snakes, an 'invisible' outcome of biodiversity loss

That tropical amphibian populations have been crippled by the chytrid fungus is well-known, but a new study linking this loss to an "invisible" decline of tropical snake communities suggests that the permeating impacts of the biodiversity crisis are not as apparent. Based on these findings, the researchers say ecosystem structures could be deteriorating faster than expected from the cascading effects of disease, invasive species, habitat loss and climate change. Thus, "fast-moving policies are essential...to mitigate the impacts of the world's biodiversity crisis," they say. Species...

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Feb 13
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