Invasive zebra mussels found in pet shops nationwide
DETROIT — Zebra mussels, those invaders that have wreaked havoc on the Great Lakes, have found a new way to further their damaging spread: pet shops. A citizen’s report of an invasive zebra mussel found in an aquarium moss package from a Seattle pet store prompted a U.S. Geological Survey expert on invasive aquatic species to trigger nationwide alerts. That has led to the discovery of the destructive shellfish in pet stores in at least 21 states, from Alaska to Florida and including Michigan. A Seattle pet shop employee on Feb. 25 reported finding an invasive zebra mussel in an ornamental aqua...
Detroit Free Press
Monarch butterfly population down so it’s not too early to plan your urban monarch garden, researchers say
CHICAGO – First, the bleak butterfly news: The population of monarchs passing the winter in Mexico appears to have fallen. Now, the good news for Illinois’ state insect: The Field Museum in Chicago is trying to figure out what makes a successful urban monarch garden, and it’s not too early to start preparing for this summer. The area covered by monarchs in Mexico has decreased by more than a quarter compared with last season, according to Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Natural Areas and World Wildlife Fund. Because the butterflies mass together on fir trees at their southern roostin...
Nina Metz: Meghan and Harry talk to Oprah Winfrey. It was the racism all along: ‘It was all happening just because I was breathing'
In her years as an actress and someone who worked with humanitarian causes, Meghan Markle always struck me as someone who does the research and thinks through the complexities of the various projects before taking them on. I had just assumed she put this same personality trait to use when contemplating her marriage to Prince Harry. I was wrong. On Sunday’s broadcast of “Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special,” she was asked about that, and her reply? “I didn’t do any research about what that would mean, no,” she said. “I never looked up my husband online. I just didn’t feel the n...
A bipartisan push could change state wildlife protection
Scientists say the world is on the precipice of a mass extinction. The United Nations estimates that 1 million species are on the verge of being wiped out, threatened by climate change, habitat loss, pollution, invasive species and poaching. In the United States, the federal government has oversight of the more than 1,600 species listed under the Endangered Species Act — and powerful legal tools to protect them. But more than 12,000 additional species have been identified as declining or rare, and wildlife experts fear that without action many of them will soon be endangered. The responsibilit...
Climate surprise: Warming planet helps Florida mangroves conquer oysters
ORLANDO, Fla. — Within a coastal refuge of tiny islands and sea water saltier than the ocean is a climate battle among natural Florida’s titans. It’s happening in Central Florida’s remote and alluring Mosquito Lagoon, which nearly abuts Kennedy Space Center launch pads at the Atlantic Ocean. Reigning guardians of the lagoon are oysters. They assemble in fortresses of low mounds, or reefs that appear above water at low tide. Their closely clustered shells suggest an invincible bristle of daggers and shields. Invaders of Mosquito Lagoon are mangroves. Leafy and leggy, they are the only tree spec...
Yes, the coronavirus mutates. No, that doesn’t spell doom for vaccines
SAN DIEGO — From South Africa to Brazil to California, the list of locations linked to new strains of the coronavirus is growing — and so are concerns that viral variants could undo the vaccine rollout. The worries come at a time when most Americans still haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine. That could change by the end of May, when President Joe Biden says there will be enough vaccine for all adults in the U.S. But by then, new and faster-spreading coronavirus strains will likely account for nearly all cases. Does that mean this whole effort is for naught? Not according to local researchers w...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Boeing CEO gave up millions in pay last year, though future stock awards loom large
With Boeing in crisis due to the grounding of the 737 MAX and the coronavirus pandemic's hit to air travel, chief executive Dave Calhoun chose last March to forgo his base salary for the rest of the year and his annual incentive bonus for 2020, leaving aside $3.6 million that he could have taken. With that, his direct take-home pay last year was just over $269,000 (his base salary up to March 20), according to a Boeing regulatory filing Friday. Adding the value of standard personal benefits for Boeing executives — including the use of aircraft and limousines for personal travel, life insurance...
The Seattle Times
Mars rover Perseverance gets its first test drive
It crept at a speed that rush-hour veterans could appreciate — all of 21.3 feet in 33 minutes — but Perseverance has executed its first drive on the surface of Mars, NASA announced Friday. “I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see wheel tracks in my life,” Anais Zarifian, an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Southern California, said at a news briefing. The vehicle also managed to drive in reverse for 8 feet. NASA said that the rover’s adventure on Thursday foreshadows regular trips of 650 feet or more, and eventually the plan is for it to gather rock samples that can be anal...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Amazon’s telehealth arm quietly expands to 21 more states
An Amazon telehealth outfit that started as a pilot service for Seattle-area employees and their families has quietly filed paperwork to operate in 21 more states, a signal of Amazon’s expanding ambitions for the $3.8 trillion medical sector. The service, Amazon Care, launched a year ago as an app providing on-demand chat and video consultations with medical professionals for Amazon’s then-54,000 Puget Sound employees. Users can also book in-person visits at their home or office with clinicians. Payment for the service routes through Amazon.com. In recent weeks Amazon Care has incorporated in ...
The Seattle Times
Massive ‘space hurricane’ captured spinning over Earth for the first time
ORLANDO, Fla. – While Florida is no stranger to hurricanes at ground level, the Earth once experienced a 620-mile-wide “space hurricane.” That’s what researchers were calling a phenomenon that formed over the North Pole in 2014 captured for the first time by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. Instead of wind and rain, though, the “space hurricane” was whipping around electrons. Made up of plasma, the vortex spun counter-clockwise and lasted about eight hours, according to the research compiled by scientists from the University of Reading and Shandong University in China. They publis...