Fireworks and fires on bonfire night quadruple air pollution in the UK

New Scientist

This evening is bonfire night in the UK, when many people gather to light bonfires and set off fireworks – and, it turns out, create a spike in air pollution. Thousands of sensors across Newcastle and Gateshead constantly take readings of fine particulate matter, and on 5 November last year they showed that measurements quadrupled between 8pm and midnight, when celebrations take place. Levels rose from around 20 micrograms per metre cubed during the day to 80 μg/m³ just before 11pm. That figure compares with the annual average across the area of 25 μg/m³ and is eight times the World Health Organization's recommended safe limit of 10 μg/m³. The data was collected as part of Newcastle University's Urban Observatory, the UK's largest urban experiment collecting data about city life, taking in around 60 studies of everything from energy use, noise, rainfall, pollution, traffic and social media use.


Fireworks and fires on bonfire night triple air pollution in the UK

New Scientist

This evening is bonfire night in the UK, when many people gather to light bonfires and set off fireworks – and, it turns out, create a spike in air pollution. Thousands of sensors across Newcastle and Gateshead constantly take readings of fine particulate matter, and on 5 November last year they showed that measurements tripled between 8pm and midnight, when celebrations take place. Levels rose from around 20 micrograms per metre cubed during the day to 80 μg/m³ just before 11pm. That figure compares with the annual average across the area of 25 μg/m³ and is eight times the World Health Organization's recommended safe limit of 10 μg/m³. The data was collected as part of Newcastle University's Urban Observatory, the UK's largest urban experiment collecting data about city life, taking in around 60 studies of everything from energy use, noise, rainfall, pollution, traffic and social media use.


Even trees need their zzzzz's, say scientists

Christian Science Monitor | Science

If a tree snores in the forest, does it make a sound? Ok, trees probably don't snore, but it turns out they might actually sleep, according to recent research. Most living organisms respond to the variations in temperature and light that come during the nighttime. A team of researchers from Austria, Finland, and Hungary have discovered that trees might also need their shut-eye. The researchers used laser scans and examined two different silver birch trees, one in Finland and one in Austria, to look for patterns.


Sleep Disruption Increases Alzheimer's Risk

#artificialintelligence

Have you resolved to take better care of yourself in the new year? Here's a relatively painless way to do it: Catch a few more zzz's every night. A third of American adults don't get enough sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This study is the clearest demonstration in humans that sleep disruption leads to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease through an amyloid beta mechanism," said senior author Randall Bateman, MD, the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Distinguished Professor of Neurology. "The study showed that it was due to overproduction of amyloid beta during sleep deprivation."


Solar Eclipse 2017: NASA Wants You To Help Collect Data On Event

International Business Times

If you've ever dreamed of being a scientist or working for NASA, your big break is coming this August. NASA is asking ordinary people viewing the total solar eclipse on August 21 to take part in a nation-wide science experiment by recording scientific data of the event to aid in research. The eclipse offers a unique opportunity for researchers to study how the Earth, and the plants and animals that live on it, reacts to sudden environmental changes caused by the eclipse. The total eclipse will occur in 14 states across the continental United States, causing sudden night-like conditions, and researchers want to gather as much data as possible. The best way for NASA to gather information about the event that will span such a large portion of the country is to crowd source the data collection.