By Ryan Mallough - Friday, January 25, 2013 - 0 Comments
The UAE is trying to change its image from that of a global polluter
The United Arab Emirates is announcing plans to develop a national strategy for green economic growth, an attempt by the major global polluter to burnish its image.
The UAE is the seventh-largest oil producer in the world and one of the world’s largest natural gas producers, but that energy production has come at a high environmental cost: the UAE has one of the largest ecological footprints of any country in the world. Cars, the main method of transportation in Dubai, a city with few sidewalks or cycling routes, are another major contributor.
A University of North Carolina study estimated that air pollution caused the deaths of 609 people—seven per cent of all UAE fatalities—in 2007, mostly due to infectious particulate matter carried through the air. The problem is even present inside, where indoor pollution—mould, second-hand smoke and other emissions that get trapped indoors—has also become a hazard for the sweltering-hot country. Former Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, head of the Global Green Growth Institute, praised the initiative, adding he hopes it will “demonstrate a compelling case for action from other hydrocarbon-based economies in the Middle East.”
By Alex Ballingall - Monday, November 21, 2011 at 11:10 PM - 3 Comments
Scientists have found evidence that residents of Ostrava have built up a genetic resistance to the effects of air pollution
Evolution, as it is popularly conceived, is a snail’s-pace process in which each genetic tweak can take thousands of years. But a recent study from Prague’s Institute of Experimental Medicine has put that concept to the test. Scientists there found evidence that residents of the Czech city of Ostrava have built up a genetic resistance to the damaging effects of air pollution. Ostrava is one of Europe’s smoggiest urban centres, known for posting pollution levels four times higher than EU limits.
The study compared residents of Ostrava and Prague. Geneticist Pavel Rossner told the Telegraph that Ostrava residents had “higher expressions” of XRCC5, a gene that helps repair DNA that is damaged due to exposure to air pollution. “They are more able to repair the breaks in the DNA than people in Prague,” Rossner explained. That means, since the Industrial Revolution brought smokestacks and steel manufacturers to the area 150 years ago, people there have begun to adapt to their polluted environment. Their genes started to behave differently in a matter of decades, suggesting evolutionary developments don’t always move at a glacial pace.
By Kate Lunau - Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 12:30 PM - 1 Comment
About one in 12 Canadians will get their appendix removed during their lifetime. Yet…
About one in 12 Canadians will get their appendix removed during their lifetime. Yet over a century after appendicitis was first discovered, we still don’t know what causes it—and so, not too much has changed about how it’s treated. “We operate on people in 2008, just like we needed to operate on them in 1908,” says the University of Calgary‘s Dr. Gilaad G. Kaplan.
New research suggests air pollution could be the culprit. Kaplan’s team looked at over 5,000 Calgary adults hospitalized for appendicitis between 1999 and 2006. They compared them to Environment Canada data on levels of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter, and found that more air pollution was associated with more appendicitis. This study is the first to show such a link, Kaplan tells Macleans.ca.
Unsurprisingly, the risk seems to be highest in the summer months, when Continue…