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50+ Concordia students join class action suit — KOIN.com

PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) — A class action lawsuit has been filed against Concordia University, by students who say they were misled about the university’s financial status and want refunds on their tuition. On Monday, Feb. 10, the private, nonprofit Christian university in Portland abruptly announced plans to close by the end of the academic year. […]

How an Automatic Text Summarizer Can Benefit Your Business — Lawli

Have you ever kept count of how much time and amount you or your firm spent on attorneys and support staff to draft legal documents or to summarize lengthy documents in legal and other topics? Both of these tasks are expensive and out of the usual price points for individuals and small to medium sized […]

Industrial Automation via OfficeBots Blog

Legal firms are one of the most reluctant entities to implement document assembly automation or other technological office solutions. Despite the fact that 60% of general counsel feels that technology will help improve the accuracy of legal work before 2022 – law firms are still hesitant to embrace the Digital Transformation. It’s no wonder, given […] […]

Construction Defect Proceedings in Real Estate Law

Protect Your Right to Life and the Environment with a “Land Trust”

Any trust, either a complex trust or a simple trust, gets a tax deduction for money it pays out to the beneficiaries. Thus, it is relatively easy to “zero out” a trust’s income and avoid paying taxes on trust money. A complex trust may have to file a 1041 tax form, but if there isn’t […]

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Sunrise, palm trees, buildings, boats. — Cool San Diego Sights!

This chilly January morning I enjoyed a brisk walk. I brought out my camera when it was light enough for good photographs. Come follow me from the County Administration Building north along San Diego Bay for a short distance. After returning back south, we’ll turn away from the water and head east on Ash Street, […]

via Sunrise, palm trees, buildings, boats. — Cool San Diego Sights!

DNA Sequencing Saves Endangered Species

NEWS_2.26.16_Myanmar_Fig1.jpg DNA profiling, a technique where investigators compare the base pair order of DNA found at the crime scene to a suspect’s DNA. Now, another type of genetic analysis – DNA barcoding – is being used to combat illegal wildlife trading.

Illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be right behind drugs and weapons in terms of size and profits, with experts estimating a yearly wildlife black market of $70 billion. Wildlife is sold as exotic pets, trophies and souvenirs, luxury items, religious items, and alternative medicines. High profits and low risks attract transnational criminal syndicates to this business. Because illegal wildlife trading funds and strengthens these criminal networks (networks that are also involved in human, drug, and weapon trafficking) it is considered a threat to global and national security. Wildlife trafficking can also have a long term negative effect on local communities. Finally, there is the very real environmental impact.

Animals and plants that are illegally traded are put under enormous stress. Sadly, endangered species are often targeted because their rarity increases their market value. The decrease/disappearance of these species can affect the health of the entire ecosystem. Accessing these animals provide an additional layer of ecological damage. In 2010, 179 nations came together to form the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to combat illegal wildlife trade.

A major challenge in enforcing CITES and other wildlife trade laws is that poachers will often disguise their product. For example bones, horns, and medical plants are often ground into powders before transport. This is where DNA barcoding proves a valuable tool. DNA barcoding uses a combination of genetic, taxonomic, and computational analysis to rapidly identify the species of a confiscated sample. Briefly, DNA is extracted from the confiscated sample and then sequenced at one or more pre-established genetic locations. These sequences are then searched against a database of sequences from voucher specimens. A match between the sample and several voucher specimens allows the sample to be classified down to genus or species.

NEWS_2.26.16_ParrotEggs_Fig2.jpgAn example is the 2003 case against Joao Migel Folgosa. Mr. Folgosa was apprehended at the Recife Internal Airport of Brazil when police discovered him hiding 58 eggs under his shirt. Based on egg morphology – and Mr. Folgosa history as an exotic pet trafficker – officials suspected that the eggs were parrot. However, they were unable to specify the species. Because Brazil has 21 endangered parrot species but 83 species overall only limited charges could be brought against him. The case was further weakened by Mr. Folgosa claim that the eggs were from quails.

NEWS_2.26.16_ThumbTwelve years later Dr. Miyaki and colleagues picked up this cold case. They retrieved tissue samples from the 58 eggs/embryos and isolated DNA from each. Then, using a combination of primers, they amplified and sequenced the DNA at two locations in the mitochondrial genome. Finally, they compared their results to publically available records in BOLD (Barcode of Life Data System) and Genbank. Through this process they were able to positively identify 57 of the eggs. All 57 were parrot eggs. More specifically fifty belonged to Alipiopsitta Xanthops (a IUCN vulnerable species), three belonged to Ara ararauna, and four were either Amazona aestiaval or Amazona ochrocephala.

This research illustrates how DNA barcoding could be used to prosecute criminal traffickers. However, the connected case also emphasizes an obstacle that still need to be overcome, making the DNA technology affordable and available to law enforcement in many countries. Many hope that new developments in nanopore sequencing will enable this. Equally important to the use of DNA barcoding in criminal investigations is developing a robust database. This database must (a) have all possible taxa are represented, (b) be readily accessible and searchable, and (c) be able to withstand the scrutiny of a legal investigation. Two organizations working towards these two goals are the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge and the Barcode of Wildlife Project.

To explore DNA barcoding with your students check out kit #338 – Exploring Plant Diversity with DNA Barcoding.


via DNA Sequencing to Save Endangered Species

How to Write a Memo

Protecting the Environment and Preserving Trees by Scaling back on Liberal Arts University Programs

For the first time in 185 years, there will be no fall semester at Green Mountain College in western Vermont. The school fell victim to trends in higher education that could soon impact hundreds of other schools. One expert predicts that 25% of colleges will fail in the next 20 years. In an effort to protect the environment colleges will be cutting back on Liberal Arts University Programs and all other curriculums that are not work based skiils, AKA: programs that dont lead to work, will be reducing their volume.

Brook Silva-Braga reports. Watch “CBS This Morning” HERE: http://bit.ly/1T88yAR Download the CBS News app on  “CBS This Morning” co-hosts Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil deliver two hours of original reporting, The broadcast has earned a prestigious Peabody Award, a Polk Award, four News & Documentary Emmys, three Daytime Emmys and the 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast. The broadcast was also honored with an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award as part of CBS News division-wide coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  —————————————————————————————————————————>>   Related:

Timeline of events surrounding 3M’s admission of illegal chemical release into Tennessee River — WHNT.com

DECATUR, Ala. – A series of interesting events happened before and after 3M disclosed it failed to obey federal law by releasing certain manufacturing chemicals or the waste of those chemicals into the Tennessee River. 3M sent that disclosure letter in April. WHNT News 19 was told just weeks before the EPA may have been at 3M’s plant in Decatur in mid-March. WHNT News 19 went through official channels at the EPA to find out if it happened. As of […]

via Timeline of events surrounding 3M’s admission of illegal chemical release into Tennessee River — WHNT.com

Lots Of Snow Still Present Across Colorado’s High Country — CBS Denver

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – As we head into mid-July in Colorado, snow on the ground is still alive and kicking for some of the state’s higher terrain. A few high mountain spots in northern Colorado haven’t seen snow on the ground last this long into the summer in eight years — since 2011! With…

via Lots Of Snow Still Present Across Colorado’s High Country — CBS Denver

Himalayan glaciers are losing 1.5 feet of Ice per Year: Study via Social News XYZ

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Himalayan glaciers across India, China, Nepal and Bhutan have been losing the equivalent of more than a vertical foot and half of ice each year since 2000, a new comprehensive international study said on Wednesday. The analysis, spanning 40 years of satellite observations, indicates that melting of the Himalayan glaciers caused by rising temperatures has accelerated dramatically since the start of the 21st century — almost double the amount of melting that took place from 1975 to 2000. The study is the latest and perhaps most convincing indication that climate change is eating the Himalayas’ glaciers, potentially threatening water supplies for hundreds of millions of people downstream across much of Asia. “This is the clearest picture yet of how fast Himalayan glaciers are melting over this time interval, and why,” said lead author Joshua Maurer, a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. While not specifically calculated in the study, the glaciers may have lost as much as a quarter of their enormous mass over the last four decades, said Maurer. The study appears this week in the journal Science Advances. Currently harboring some 600 billion tonnes of ice, the Himalayas are sometimes called the earth’s “Third Pole”. Many other recent studies have suggested that the glaciers are wasting, including one this year projecting that up to two-thirds of the current ice cover could be gone by 2100. But up to now, observations have been somewhat fragmented, zeroing in on shorter time periods, or only individual glaciers or certain regions. These studies have produced sometimes contradictory results, both regarding the degree of ice loss and the causes. The new study synthesises data from across the region, stretching from early satellite observations to the present. The synthesis indicates that the melting is consistent in time and space, and that rising temperatures are to blame. Temperatures vary from place to place, but from 2000 to 2016 they have averaged one degree Centigrade (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than those from 1975 to 2000. Maurer and his colleagues analysed repeat satellite images of some 650 glaciers spanning 2,000 kms from west to east. Many of the 20th-century observations came from recently declassified photographic images taken by US spy satellites. The researchers created an automated system to turn these into 3D models that could show the changing elevations of glaciers over time. They then compared these images with post-2000 optical data from more sophisticated satellites, which more directly convey elevation changes. They found that from 1975 to 2000, glaciers across the region lost an average of about 0.25 metres (10 inches) of ice each year in the face of slight warming. Following a more pronounced warming trend starting in the 1990s, starting in 2000 the loss accelerated to about half a meter (20 inches) annually. Recent yearly losses have averaged about 8 billion tonnes of water, or the equivalent 3.2 million Olympic-size swimming pools, said Maurer. Most individual glaciers are not wasting uniformly over their entire surfaces, he noted; melting has been concentrated mainly at lower elevations, where some ice surfaces are losing as much as five metres (16 feet) a year. Some researchers have argued that factors other than temperature are affecting the glaciers. These include changes in precipitation, which seems to be declining in some areas (which would tend to reduce the ice), but increasing in others (which would tend to build it). Another factor: Asian nations are burning ever-greater loads of fossil fuels and biomass, sending soot into the sky. Much of it eventually lands on snowy glacier surfaces, where it absorbs solar energy and hastens melting. Maurer agrees that both soot and precipitation are factors, but due to the region’s huge size and extreme topography, the effects are highly variable from place to place. Overall, he says, temperature is the overarching force. To confirm this, he and his colleagues compiled temperature data during the study period from ground stations and then calculated the amount of melting that observed temperature increases would be expected to produce. They then compared those figures with what actually happened. They matched. “It looks just like what we would expect if warming were the dominant driver of ice loss,” he said.

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Himalayan glaciers across India, China, Nepal and Bhutan have been losing the equivalent of more than a vertical foot and half of ice each year since 2000, a new comprehensive international study said on Wednesday. The analysis, spanning 40 years of satellite observations, indicates that melting of the Himalayan glaciers […]

via Himalayan glaciers getting smaller every year: Study — Social News XYZ

‘It’s Raining Plastic’ in the Colorado Rocky Mountains


Space trash


Disease-Carrying ‘Kissing Bug’ Has Made Its Way North, Including Pennsylvania, Delaware, CDC Warns — CBS Philly

Experts call the blood-sucking insect the “Kissing Bug” because it’s known to crawl around your mouth and eyes, biting as you sleep.

via Disease-Carrying ‘Kissing Bug’ Has Made Its Way North, Including Pennsylvania, Delaware, CDC Warns — CBS Philly

Disaster warnings are as Reliable as the Humans Creating the Apps via Syntax Apps

1. Recycle the CO₂ content in the atmosphere: Just reducing the greenhouse gase emissions is not a permanent fix for the problem. Today Startups are going the extra mile and are trying to recycle the CO₂ in the atmosphere. More importantly a cost effective way needs to be found to store that amount of CO₂ which we pull out from the atmosphere.

2. Energy Storage: Wind and Solar energy are becoming cheaper but the issue is no electricity is generated when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. Hence, the requirement for a storage system for electricity is even greater, either through molten salt, flow batteries to store such huge amounts of electricity.

3. Safe Driverless Cars: Companies have been testing autonomous vehicles for a long time now. But we have also witnesses accidents during the testing stages. Driverless Cars face a big challenge in situations like heavy traffic or during drastic weather conditions. Every transforming idea comes with an even greater amount of execution in mind. Safety is what Tech Companies should keep in mind while building Driverless Cars.

4. Earthquake Prediction: Number of Earthquakes, Tsunamis have been on the rise in nations such as Indonesia, Japan, India, Sri Lanka to name a few. Technology to preempt such natural disasters hours before impact could help save many lives and help in evacuation in time.

5. Artificial Intelligence: Recently a company named Boston Dynamics introduced an Embodied A.I. in the form of Atlas, a robot copying the actions of a soldier. It had a body but it can’t play Go, where AlphaGo beat the word’s best Go Player. AlphaGo is intelligent but lacks a body. Atlas has a body but lacks intelligence. Bringing or integration of both is any way will not only be a milestone in A.I. but just imagine an A.I. that could communicate in the Physical World just like Humans and Animals do.

1. Recycle the CO₂ content in the atmosphere: Just reducing the greenhouse gase emissions is not a permanent fix for the problem. Today Startups are going the extra mile and are trying to recycle the CO₂ in the atmosphere. More importantly a cost effective way needs to be found to store that amount of CO₂ […]

via Candidtech: Biggest Challenges Tech should solve — Syntax Apps

The Negative Effects of a gradually changing environment become normalized, so that corrective measures are never adopted

Scientists found that frogs DO jump out of the water as it gets hot. They are smarter than we are.

If you put one in boiling water it will hop out, but if you gradually increase the temperature of the water it will let itself be boiled. It’s meant to warn us about slowly developing dangers in addition to obvious ones.

As metaphors go, a boiling frog works. Step into the realm of reality and the metaphor breaks down. Dr. Victor Hutchison, at the University of Oklahoma, dispelled the myth when he studied frogs’ reaction to temperature changes in water. He followed the procedure outlined for a proper frog-boiling; put a frog in cold water, and gradually warmed the water up. (He stopped well before the boiling point.) The frogs most definitely did jump out when the water got too warm for them. So that aspect of the metaphor breaks down.

What about the other aspect? If we want to get really gruesome, we can discuss what happens when you throw a frog into boiling water. No one has done this as an experiment, but scientists are pretty sure they know what will happen if someone did. Getting dropped into boiling water would be serious trouble for a human, and we have nice thick skin and quite large legs. The surface of the body parts that were exposed to the water would be damaged or destroyed, but we’d have enough muscle mass to get out of the water, provided the edge of the container was close and we didn’t go into shock. A frog is not nearly as big as we are. The boiling water would destroy its muscles to the point where it could not hop out and would die in the water.

So the real story should be the exact reverse of the “fact” that’s so often quoted. Put a frog in some cold water and heat it up slowly, and the frog will hop out. Drop a frog in boiling water and it will be boiled alive. Is it me, or does that sound even scarier?

[Via Conservation MagazineSnopesSnopes]

https://tinyurl.com/y3wgyqc7 AS THE CLIMATE CHANGES, ARE WE ALL BOILING FROGS? New research finds that we normalize rising temperatures remarkably quickly. https://psmag.com/environment/as-the-climate-changes-are-we-all-boiling-frogs,TOM JACOBS, FEB 26, 2019 How about this weird […]

via We “normalize”rising temperatures remarkably quickly — Antinuclear

10 Reasons To Get Out And Be In Nature — A Pursuit of Life –

Nature is alive and full of high vibration healing energy. With technology having taken over the world, we are full of radiation and health depleting substances. We have built walls between us and the outdoor world. The majority of people spend up to 90% of their time indoors. We get so wrapped up with work, […]

via 10 Reasons To Get Out And Be In Nature — A Pursuit of Life – Barefoot&HighHeeled

Tips For Making Your Transition To Healthy Dining Easier via lifesfinewhine

Here are some tips to make your transition to veganism easier whether you’re doing Veganuary or thinking of a permanent lifestyle/diet change. Hope they help! Wait a while before trying substitutes- Your taste buds get really used to the taste of non-vegan food if you have, like most people, been eating them your whole life. However, […]

via Tips For Making Your Transition To Veganism Easier — lifesfinewhine

15 Reasons to Study Environmental Science via Motivation, & the Environment

We live in an age that has a lot environmental challenges threatening the existence of living and non-living things. This Earth in which we breathe, eat and live, is not as healthy as it was in the distant past; so the major reason why you should study environmental science is because it will make you […]

via 15 Reasons Why You Should Study Environmental Science — Motivation, & the Environment

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