5 reasons you should care about migratory birds
by Michael d'Estries for FromTheGrapevine.com
From habitat loss to opportunistic cats, migratory birds face a variety of growing threats during their annual journeys across the globe.
Twice a year, around the globe, hundreds of millions of birds travel thousands of miles between breeding and wintering grounds. It's a dazzling and impressive phenomenon with few equals in the animal kingdom. Unfortunately, like many other aspects of nature, these great migrations are under pressures from a variety of threats. Below are five critical forces conservationists around the world are working to mitigate to preserve these great migrations for generations to come.
Ecologists advise Israelis to resist tree-planting after fires
By Renee Ghert-Zand for The Times of Israel
Burnt forests and woodlands should be left alone to rejuvenate naturally, experts say
People should resist the urge to plant new trees in Israel following the more than 1,700 brush fires that ravaged tens of thousands of dunams throughout the country over the past week, say ecological experts. New trees — along with the actions involved in planting them — could damage natural ecosystems and inhibit natural rejuvenation of the landscape, they say.
According to Dr. Ofri Gabay, an ecologist for the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel, the land is accustomed to enduring and surviving different types of disturbances, including the spate of fires that took place past week.
Israelis produce clean energy alternative from… spinach
By ISRAEL21c Staff
The photo-electro-chemical cell uses sunlight to make electricity and hydrogen from an extract of spinach leaves.
We always knew spinach was a great source of energy for our bodies. Now it seems the nutritious leafy green can also provide energy for other purposes.
Using a simple membrane extract from spinach leaves, researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa invented a bio-photo-electro-chemical (BPEC) cell that produces electricity and hydrogen from water using sunlight.
The unique combination of a manmade BPEC cell and plant membranes, which naturally absorb sunlight and convert it highly efficiently into a flow of electrons for storable chemical energy, paves the way for new clean technologies from renewable sources.
Blast of thin air can reset circadian clocks
By ISRAEL21c Staff
Israeli research study done on mice suggests moderating oxygen levels on planes might ease jetlag.
A new way to reset our internal body clocks is on the horizon, as Israeli scientists have found that changes in surrounding oxygen levels affect the circadian rhythm of mice.
Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot say that if their results are confirmed in humans, airlines might consider moderating cabin air pressure to relieve jetlag, according to a study published in Cell Metabolism.
This company figured out how to make water out of thin air
by Ilana Strauss for FromtheGrapevine
Learn about the new technology that could save the world from a drinking water crisis
Earth, water, wind and fire are supposed to be separate elements ... until they're not.
A company figured out how to do the impossible: turn air into water. Water-Gen, a company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, manufactures machines that draw in air and create condensation, yielding drinking water.
“Put simply, [our technology] leverages the same process as a dehumidifier, but instead captures and cleans the moisture,” Water-Gen's CEO, Arye Kohavi, told the Huffington Post. “This ‘plug-and-drink’ technology is fully independent of existing water infrastructure. All we require is an electrical outlet and the humidity found in the air.”