Category Archive: Uncategorized

Rolls Royce’s “Mini Nuclear Plants” Could Fuel UK’s Zero Emissions Goal

Rolls Royce is aiming to change the future of power generation in the United Kingdom.  The company called on officials in the U.K. to provide funding for 16 small modular reactors (SMRs) which could generate carbon-free nuclear energy for England. If granted, the plan would create 6,000 new jobs over the next five years with the first mini plant operating within a decade.  The SMRs are small nuclear power generators manufactured in Rolls Royce factories which can be transported piece-by-piece to regions of the country to provide clean power -- a major innovation over the monolithic nuclear power plants of the 1970s....

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Where Does Plastic Ocean Trash Come From?

There is a patch of plastic twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean. Compelling images of sea creatures tangled in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are often used in campaigns throughout the United States aimed at reducing the amount of plastic waste the country produces. Municipal governments have banned straws, bags, and water bottles as part of their effort to prevent plastic waste from entering the oceans.  But Americans are not responsible for the plastic waste in the ocean.  According to a peer-reviewed study from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), just 0.9 percent of the mismanaged plastic...

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What Kind of Plastic is Produced in the US?

Plastic is the subject of much discussion in the media. Environmentalists claim plastic is bad and we should pass laws to ban common products such as straws, while others say we should focus on recycling and that plastic provides many benefits for consumers. Missing from the debate is this: What kind of plastic do we actually use? That information is helpful to determine what solutions are viable. Plastic is categorized into one of 7 resin numbers. You may have seen a triangle on a product with a "1" or a "2" in it. That's a resin identifier. Different resins have different properties--some...

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Nuclear Energy Deal Helps Poland Maintain Independence from Russia

The United States and Poland reached an $18 billion nuclear energy deal that will reduce Poland’s dependence on Russia.  U.S. officials agreed that American companies will supply Poland with nuclear technology which will allow them to transition away from the natural gas they have been sourcing from Russia. Polish officials said that the deal will help them halt all purchases of natural gas from Russia by 2022. This decision follows several contentious spats between Polish and Russian officials.  Polish and American officials will spend the next 18 months developing a nuclear energy program that includes six reactors, according to the U.S. Department...

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What’s the Big Fracking Deal?

There aren’t many issues on which Joe Biden and Donald Trump agree, but fracking appears to be one of them—at least to a degree. The issue has been a point of contention during the election. So why is fracking such a big issue? Both Biden and Trump’s campaigns have vowed not to ban fracking generally if they win in November (though Biden has said his administration would restrict fracking on federal lands). Their common view on fracking should not come as a surprise given that the industry has helped create American jobs while also lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The latter point...

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Reopening Schools Safely During COVID-19

Obviously education is looking different due to COVID-19. While some will continue to learn virtually, just as they ended the previous school year, others will be making the adjustment to in-person learning--with procedures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. Health and safety continue to be at the forefront of discussions for those who will be physically going back to school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations have published guides to help ease the minds of parents, students, and teachers. For some, in-person learning might require the use of face masks, increased hand washing or hand...

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New poll: Americans choose politics over science when it comes to vaccine

While some eagerly wait for a COVID-19 vaccine, hoping it will be the solution to get life back to normal, new polling shows many Americans will forgo the vaccine once it’s available. While a vaccine isn’t expected until 2021, many companies are working tirelessly—with some entering the final phases of testing. Unfortunately, political influence continues to drum up fear and conspiracy theories surrounding this vaccine. A NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist survey of Americans reported 35 percent of respondents would not take the vaccine. Among those who are against a coronavirus vaccine, 44 percent who identify as Republican said they would not be vaccinated,...

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One Organization is Denying Countless Patients Equal Access to Health Care

If you’ve ever taken prescription medication or participated in a medical treatment plan, chances are your health care has been impacted by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). But as Susan Peschin from the Alliance for Aging Research noted shortly after the onset of the coronavirus, it might not have been to your benefit. While the virus may have opened our eyes to the horrors of health care rationing, ICER has still not been held accountable for promoting a system that would have similarly harmful effects. ICER is best known for the cost analysis reports it creates for health insurance...

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Research Suggests Food Additive May Cause Diabetes. Should You Be Worried?

Earlier this week, a new study suggested that titanium dioxide (the naturally occurring white pigment commonly used in milk and candy) contributes to type 2 diabetes. The University of Texas at Austin study (which was technically a pilot study) found titanium dioxide particles in pancreas tissues from type 2 diabetics, but found none in samples from healthy individuals. Lead author Adam Heller even went so far as to say, "Our initial findings raise the possibility that Type 2 diabetes could be a chronic crystal-associated inflammatory disease of the pancreas, similar to chronic crystal-caused inflammatory diseases of the lung such as silicosis and asbestosis.” So sunscreen and...

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3 Reasons Why the EPA’s Transparency Rule WON’T Destroy Science As We Know It 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it plans to limit which scientific studies it uses to create regulations so that only reports with publicly available data are considered. The big question is whether the EPA’s new rule will be so strict that it eliminates good research from consideration. Because of this concern, most news coverage and commentary around the change casts it in a negative light. But there are two sides to this story. Here are 3 reasons why the EPA’s new transparency rule won't destroy science as we know it: The EPA already requires its own researchers to make their data...

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