Current Mercury News and Events

Current Mercury News and Events, Mercury News Articles.
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Researchers design next-generation photodetector
The new long-wavelength infrared photodetector from Professor Manijeh Razeghi could be used in night vision, optical communication, and thermal and medical imaging. (2021-02-02)

Reactive halogen from domestic coal burning aggravates winter air pollution
During the winter in the North China Plain, scientists found high concentrations of reactive halogen gases (BrCl, HOBr, Cl2) in the atmosphere which was associated with widespread coal burning in rural areas. Halogen atoms released from BrCl and Cl2 under sunlight significantly increased the oxidative capacity, and has the potential to boost the productions of secondary aerosols - the major components of winter haze in northern China - and the toxic form of mercury. (2021-01-25)

Scholars link diet, dentition, and linguistics
University of Miami anthropologist Caleb Everett and former student Sihan Chen used a novel data analysis of thousands of languages, in addition to studying a unique subset of celebrities, to reveal how a soft food diet--contrasted with the diet of hunter-gatherers--is restructuring dentition and changing how people speak. Their findings were published this week in Scientific Reports. (2021-01-14)

Scientists have synthesized an unusual superconducting barium superhydride
A new exotic compound, BaH12, has been discovered by experiment and theory. Unusually, it is a molecular metal and demonstrates the superconducting transition around 20?K at 140?GPa (2021-01-12)

New report details links between widespread ocean pollution and human health risks
The new study ''Human Health and Ocean Pollution'' presents a broad and comprehensive examination of the multiple dangers to human and ecosystem health posed by pollution of the seas. Toxins in the ocean make landfall through the food chain and coastal tides, posing health risks to more than 3 billion humans, according to scientists led by the Centre Scientifique de Monaco and Boston College, with support from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. (2020-12-03)

Roly polies transfer environmental toxins to threatened fish populations in California
New research finds steelhead trout in a stream on the California coast accumulate mercury in their bodies when the fish eat roly polies and similar terrestrial bugs that fall into local waterways. The new study corroborates earlier findings that mercury can make its way to the top of the food chain in coastal California. (2020-12-02)

Mine ponds amplify mercury risks in Peru's Amazon
The proliferation of pits and ponds created in recent years by miners digging for gold in Peru's Amazon has altered the landscape and amplified the risk of mercury poisoning, a new study shows. In some watersheds, there's been a 670% increase in land area covered by abandoned mining pits that have filled in with water. Low-oxygen conditions in these ponds accelerate the conversion of submerged mercury, a leftover from the mining, into highly toxic methylmercury. (2020-11-27)

Study finds health trade-offs for wildlife as urbanization expands
City living appears to improve reproductive success for migratory tree swallows compared to breeding in more environmentally protected areas, a new five-year study suggests. But urban life comes with a big trade-off - health hazards linked to poorer water quality. (2020-11-18)

Fish carcasses deliver toxic mercury pollution to the deepest ocean trenches
The sinking carcasses of fish from near-surface waters deliver toxic mercury pollution to the most remote and inaccessible parts of the world's oceans, including the deepest spot of them all: the 36,000-foot-deep Mariana Trench in the northwest Pacific. (2020-11-16)

Large volcanic eruption caused the largest mass extinction
Researchers in Japan, the US and China say they have found more concrete evidence of the volcanic cause of the largest mass extinction of life. Their research looked at two discrete eruption events: one that was previously unknown to researchers, and the other that resulted in large swaths of terrestrial and marine life going extinct. (2020-11-10)

NRL researchers evaluate ultraviolet sources, combat COVID-19
NRL researchers evaluated commercial ultraviolet (UV) sources for viral disinfection to combat COVID-19 on land and at sea, and established a dedicated UV characterization lab in five days. (2020-10-22)

Researchers find consistent mercury levels in arctic seals
Ringed seals and other Arctic marine mammals are important in the diet of Arctic Indigenous peoples. A study spanning 45 years of testing indicates that mercury concentrations in ringed seals from the Canadian Arctic have remained stable, showing very limited declines over time. (2020-10-07)

Geoscience: Cosmic diamonds formed during gigantic planetary collisions
Geoscientists from Goethe University have found the largest extraterrestrial diamonds ever discovered - a few tenths of a millimetre in size nevertheless - inside meteorites. Together with an international team of researchers, they have now been able to prove that these diamonds formed in the early period of our solar system when minor planets collided together or with large asteroids. These new data disprove the theory that they originated deep inside planets - similar to diamonds formed on Earth - at least the size of Mercury (PNAS). (2020-09-29)

The right formula for scaling production of promising material to decontaminate water
An international team of researchers have found a way to refine and reliably produce an unpredictable and hard-to-control material that could impact environmental conservation, energy and consumer electronics. The material, Molybdenum Disulfide (MoS2), holds tremendous potential for numerous applications in energy storage, water treatment, gas, chemical and light sensing. (2020-09-21)

Mercury concentrations in Yukon river fish could surpass EPA criterion by 2050
The concentration of mercury in the fish in Alaska's Yukon River may exceed the EPA's human health criterion by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming are not constrained, according to scientific research funded in part by NASA (2020-09-16)

Mercury concentrations in Yukon River Fish could surpass EPA criterion by 2050
First of its kind research estimates potential releases of mercury from thawing permafrost in high and low emissions scenarios. The researchers predicts that by 2200, the mercury emitted into the atmosphere annually by thawing permafrost could compare with current global anthropogenic emissions under a high emissions scenario. (2020-09-16)

Toxic metals can affect student health performance, say scientists from RUDN university
A group of medical and environmental researchers from RUDN University evaluated the level of heavy metals in the organism of first-year university students from different countries of the world. The results of the screening helped the scientists to reveal a relationship between a region of residence and the level of toxic metal in organism. According to their opinion, increased heavy metal levels in the organism of students from Africa and Latin America can have a negative impact on their health and performance. (2020-09-14)

New device can measure toxic lead within minutes
Rutgers researchers have created a miniature device for measuring trace levels of toxic lead in sediments at the bottom of harbors, rivers and other waterways within minutes -- far faster than currently available laboratory-based tests, which take days. The affordable lab-on-a-chip device could also allow municipalities, water companies, universities, K-12 schools, daycares and homeowners to easily and swiftly test their water supplies. The research is published in the IEEE Sensors Journal. (2020-08-26)

Scientists create protein models to explore toxic methylmercury formation
A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory created a computational model of the proteins responsible for the transformation of mercury to toxic methylmercury, marking a step forward in understanding how the reaction occurs and how mercury cycles through the environment. (2020-08-25)

A quantum thermometer to measure the coldest temperatures in the universe
The physicists' proposed thermometer is based on quantum entanglement and can accurately measure temperatures a billion times colder than those in outer space. It would be used to answer fundamental research questions and to study how matter behaves in extreme quantum states. (2020-08-20)

Agriculture replaces fossil fuels as largest human source of sulfur in the environment
New research identifies fertilizer and pesticide applications to croplands as the largest source of sulfur in the environment -- up to 10 times higher than the peak sulfur load seen in the second half of the 20th century, during the days of acid rain. (2020-08-10)

Study finds high levels of toxic pollutants in stranded dolphins and whales
Researchers examined toxins in tissue concentrations and pathology data from 83 stranded dolphins and whales from 2012 to 2018. They looked at 11 different animal species to test for 17 different substances. The study is the first to report on concentrations in blubber tissues of stranded cetaceans of atrazine, DEP, NPE and triclosan. It also is the first to report concentrations of toxicants in a white-beaked dolphin and in Gervais' beaked whales. (2020-08-06)

Tracking humanity's latest toxins in stranded whales and dolphins
As humanity develops new types of plastics and chemicals, researchers are constantly trying to keep up with understanding how these contaminants affect the environment and wildlife. A new study gives a first look at the presence and potential effects of these pollutants in stranded dolphins and whales along the coast of the southeastern United States. (2020-08-05)

Eyckian Lamb of God reveals her secrets
Two non-invasive chemical imaging modalities were employed to help understand the changes made over time to the Lamb of God, the focal point of the Ghent Altarpiece (1432) by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck. Two major results were obtained: a prediction of the facial features of the Lamb of God that had been hidden beneath non-original overpaint dating from the 16th century (and later), and evidence for a smaller earlier version of the Lamb's body with a more naturalistic build. (2020-07-29)

Mercury remains a persistent poison in Connecticut's still river
Researchers are beginning to unravel how century-old mercury pollution impacts local food web. (2020-07-23)

Dragonflies reveal mercury pollution levels across US national parks
Research confirms dragonfly larvae as ''biosentinels'' to indicate mercury pollution and presents the first-ever survey of mercury pollution in the U.S. National Park System. (2020-07-22)

Dragonfly larvae collected by citizen-scientists as sentinels for mercury bioaccumulation
Various forms of mercury are released naturally by volcanoes and weathering of rocks and soil. Human activities, such as mining or burning fossil fuels, can also release the element into the environment, where aquatic microbes can convert it into the toxic form, methylmercury. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology have shown that dragonfly larvae, collected from national parks as part of a citizen-scientist engagement program, can serve as sentinels for mercury bioaccumulation. (2020-07-22)

New chemical analyzes: What did Danes and Italians in the Middle Ages have in common?
Chemists have analyzed bones from a Danish and an Italian cemetery, casting light on the lives of nobles and common people in the north and the south of Europe. (2020-07-15)

Gold mining restricts Amazon rainforest recovery
Gold mining significantly limits the regrowth of Amazon forests, greatly reducing their ability to accumulate carbon, according to a new study. The researchers warn that the impacts of mining on tropical forests are long-lasting and that active land management and restoration will be necessary to recover tropical forests on previously mined lands. (2020-06-29)

Ancient Maya reservoirs contained toxic pollution
Reservoirs in the heart of an ancient Maya city were so polluted with mercury and algae that the water likely was undrinkable. ?Researchers from the University of Cincinnati found toxic levels of pollution in two central reservoirs in Tikal, an ancient Maya city that dates back to the third century B.C. in what is now northern Guatemala. UC's findings suggest droughts in the ninth century likely contributed to the depopulation and eventual abandonment of the city. (2020-06-26)

Human-derived mercury shown to pollute the world's deepest ocean trenches
Scientists have found that man-made mercury pollution has reached the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean -- the Marianas Trench. This has significant implications for how mercury affects the marine environment, and how it may be concentrated in the food chain. The findings, which come from two independent research groups, are presented at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference. (2020-06-22)

New insight into the Great Dying
A new study shows for the first time that the collapse of terrestrial ecosystems during Earth's most deadly mass extinction event was directly responsible for disrupting ocean chemistry. The study highlights the importance of understanding the inter-connectedness of ecosystems as our modern environment struggles with the devastating effects of a rapidly warming planet. (2020-06-11)

Scientists carry out first space-based measurement of neutron lifetime
Scientists have found a way of measuring neutron lifetime from space for the first time -- a discovery that could teach us more about the early universe. (2020-06-11)

Gold mining with mercury poses health threats for miles downstream
Small-scale gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon poses a health hazard not only to the miners and communities near where mercury is used to extract gold from ore, but also to downstream communities hundreds of kilometers away where people eat mercury-contaminated river fish as part of their diet. Downstream children under 12 with the highest levels of mercury in their bodies were found to have lost IQ points and become anemic. (2020-05-28)

ALMA spots twinkling heart of milky way
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) found quasi-periodic flickers in millimeter-waves from the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius (Sgr) A*. The team interpreted these blinks to be due to the rotation of radio spots circling the supermassive black hole with an orbit radius smaller than that of Mercury. This is an interesting clue to investigate space-time with extreme gravity. (2020-05-22)

Food webs determine the fate of mercury pollution in the Colorado River, Grand Canyon
In the Grand Canyon reach of the Colorado River, two species play an outsized role in the fate of mercury in the aquatic ecosystem, and their numbers are altered by flood events. (2020-05-15)

Filtering out toxic chromium from water
EPFL chemists have developed sponges to capture various target substances, like gold, mercury and lead, dissolved in solution. The sponges are actually porous crystals called metal organic frameworks, and now one exists for capturing toxic hexavalent chromium from water. (2020-05-06)

New study finds EPA mercury analysis is 'seriously flawed'
A new study from experts across prominent academic institutions finds that an EPA benefit-cost analysis of its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards is 'seriously flawed.' The authors assert that the analysis disregards public health benefits, recent scientific findings, and transformative change in the electric sector over the past decade. The analysis in question was used to justify a proposed rollback that would leave mercury regulations vulnerable to legal challenges. (2020-04-09)

Bone analyzes tell about kitchen utensils in the Middle Ages
Who in the Middle Ages cooked their dinner in copper pots? And where did they do it? Such information can be revealed by chemical analyzes of human bones. (2020-03-19)

Benefits of fish in moderation while pregnant outweigh risks for child
To eat or not to eat fish is a question that has long concerned pregnant women. Now, a new USC study shows that children whose mothers ate moderate amounts of fish during pregnancy were more likely to have a better metabolic profile -- despite the risk of exposure to mercury -- than children whose mothers ate fish rarely. (2020-03-16)

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