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Wormfood - April 1, 2013

News > Global News Digest

This edition of Wormfood has a number of emerging news stories, including the growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the discovery of the world's new lightest material (Pictured below), and a ton of science, technology, and environment news, found below!

Global News

  • Women stood shoulder to shoulder with men in Tahrir Square in 2011. Now they are back on the streets, opposing a new constitution that sweeps away their rights and opens the way for girls of 13 to be married. And in Cairo's slums, life grows harder as the gulf between the sexes widens

  • Japanese scientists have found vast reserves of rare earth metals on the Pacific seabed that can be mined cheaply, a discovery that may break the Chinese monopoly on a crucial raw material needed in hi-tech industries and advanced weapons systems.
  • What 25 years of solitary confiment does to a person.

Business & Economy

  • Clever Packaging: Essential Medicine Rides Coke’s Distribution Into Remote Villages
  • BRICS Nations plan new bank to bypass World Bank, IMF
  • U.S. climate activists have launched a movement to persuade universities, cities, and other groups to sell off their investments in fossil fuel companies. But while the financial impact of such divestment may be limited, the campaign could harm the companies in a critical sphere — public opinion.

Energy & Environment

  • New research shows that scientists have significantly overestimated the damage that logging in tropical forests has done to biodiversity, a finding that could change the way conservationists think about how best to preserve species in areas disturbed by humans.
  • A long-term genomic analysis of the common peach has revealed important insights into how scientists can improve the biofuel potential of other plant species, including the fast-growing poplar tree, a new study says.
  • Peru declares environmental state of emergency in its rainforest. Government reports high levels of barium, lead, chrome and petroleum-related compounds in region that is home to oil field

Science, Technology, & Design

  • The world has a new lightest material! While It's still in its earliest stages of development, but in the future, the new material could be designed to soak up oil spills or clean other pollutants
  • Scientists at the University of Georgia have discovered a way to transform carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products, possibly allowing scientists to make biofuels from CO2 in the atmosphere.
  • Using a new kind of cloak that uses a very thin multilayer dielectric coating made of natural material, not metamaterial, researchers at Michigan Technological University demonstrated better cloaking efficiency than a similarly sized metamaterial cloak designed by using the transformation optics relations.

Urban Environment

  • Even a small number of people taken off the roads has a surprisingly large effect in reducing travel delays. A new study finds that public transit, especially subway systems, easily pass a cost-benefit test even in cities with low-ridership.
  • A series of amazing abandoned places

Unexpected and Intriguing

This bi-weekly digest is made by assembling items from all of Except’s people. Have questions, comments, or news items to suggest? E-mail matthew.fraser@except.nl. Read past Wormfood global news reports here.