Science
Saturday, April 13, 2024

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High winds, heavy rains, extreme tides, and even snow, the "Frankenstorm" crippled the East Coast, delivering an especially powerful punch to New York City. Millions were left without power, streets and tunnels were flooded, the city's 108-year-old subway system was brought to its knees, and over one hundred deaths along the East Coast have been attributed to the storm.

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Staten Island, NY

The super-storm wreaked havoc on the Caribbean, wrecking the historic city of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, and devastating Haiti, with 51 people dead in that nation alone. The storm passed along the Florida Peninsula and stroke the Jersey Shore damaging 11 states.  New York City got hit hard especially Staten Island as seen in picture above.  Let's take a look at some of the damages from Hurricane Sandy, State by State.

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We are the planet's greatest diggers and miners. For tens of thousands of years humans have chipped away beneath the soils of this vast rocky planet, plundering its hard surface for tools, building materials and sparkling jewels.

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The question is what's driven our hunger to churn up more and more of our planet's rocks and sediments and spread it around the surface, and does it matter?  We're not the only species to recognise the value in strong, inert materials – chimps use stone tools and Neanderthals mined flint in Europe – but we're the only creatures to have delved further to reach the metals and other minerals within.

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A killer plant with a cunning trick could one day be routinely used in a series of medical procedures, research shows. Ultra-thin electronics that dissolve inside the body have been devised by scientists in the US and could be used for a range of medical roles.

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The sundew plant is aptly named. Each leaf is covered with tiny hairlike-tentacles, on the tip of which is a drop of what looks like morning dew. In the sun, these droplets glisten and gleam, but they also conceal a carefully laid trap.

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The world's newest-known monkey is a shy creature with bright-blue buttocks that lives quietly in the remote rain forests of central Africa, according to the American researchers who discovered a new monkey species.

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Cercopithecus Lomamiensis, locally called the Lesula, is barefaced and has a long nose and an aquamarine backside. It is well-known to hunters in the Lomami forest basin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but researchers said the area has had little biological exploration and the species was unknown to those outside the region. Lead researcher John Hart of Yale University's Peabody Museum of Natural History and the Lukuru Wildlife Research Foundation was not in the wild when he first spotted the curious monkey in 2007. He was fanning through photographs brought back from the field and noticed something unusual about a young female monkey being kept in a village as a 13-year-old girl's pet. 

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How can we save our dying coral reefs?   On a global scale, though, the prognosis for reefs and those that depend on these vital, protective fish nurseries, is grim. Rising sea temperatures and increased acidification mean that vivid coral reefs as we know them could be entirely wiped out within decades.

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The only serious way to protect this hugely productive marine ecosystem is to slash our carbon dioxide emissions – and many believe we won't achieve this in time.  "By 2050, we may still have corals, and things we'll call 'reefs', but they will be massive limestone structures that were built in the past, with tiny patches of living coral struggling to survive on them," says coral ecologist Peter Sale. By 2100, he thinks there will be no calcium carbonate reefs visible. "We're talking here about killing off a whole integrated community of organisms that as been with us throughout our existence and long before there were people of any type on Earth," says Sale.  The world will go on without reefs, he adds, but it is going to be very much inferior to the planet we have now.