Studies link pesticides to plunging bee populations
A honeybee forages on scorpion weed flowers.
March 29th, 2012
04:29 PM ET

Studies link pesticides to plunging bee populations

A widely used family of pesticides may cause bees to lose their homing instincts and hinder the survival of their colonies, European researchers reported Thursday, suggesting that governments should re-examine their use.

A French study used tiny radiotransmitters to track honeybees as they left and returned to their hives and found that many of them failed to return after being exposed to non-lethal amounts of one pesticide.

British researchers, meanwhile, found that bumblebee colonies exposed to common levels of another pesticide from the same family grew more slowly and produced nearly 85% fewer queens than non-exposed colonies, "which clearly could have very strong implications for bumblebee populations in the wild," co-author Dave Goulson said Thursday in Paris. FULL POST

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Filed under: On Earth
Activity seen at North Korea launch site
A DigitalGlobe satellite image of North Korea's launch site at Tongch’ang-ri. The image was taken on March 28, 2012.
March 29th, 2012
09:46 AM ET

Activity seen at North Korea launch site

A new satellite image has captured increased activity on North Korea's launch pad as the country prepares for its controversial missile launch in mid-April.

The DigitalGlobe image taken on March 28 shows trucks on the Tongch'ang-ni launch pad. Atop the umbilical tower, which sits beside where the assembled rocket will stand, a crane arm that will be used to lift the rocket stages has been swung wide.

While South Korean media are reporting the first stage of the rocket – known as the booster – has been moved to the launch facility, DigitalGlobe Senior Analyst Joseph Bermudez said that is not visible in this image.

FULL STORY from CNN's Security Clearance


Filed under: On Earth
New York city schools want to ban 'loaded words' from tests
"Dinosaur" is among the words New York CIty is looking to ban from tests, apparently over concerns it could bother creationists.
March 29th, 2012
09:44 AM ET

New York city schools want to ban 'loaded words' from tests

Divorce. Dinosaurs, Birthdays. Religion. Halloween. Christmas. Television. These are a few of the 50-plus words and references the New York City Department of Education is hoping to ban from the city’s standardized tests.

The banned word list was made public – and attracted considerable criticism – when the city’s education department recently released this year’s "request for proposal" The request for proposal is sent to test publishers around the country trying to get the job of revamping math and English tests for the City of New York.

The Department of Education's says that avoiding sensitive words on tests is nothing new, and that New York City is not the only locale to do so. California avoids the use of the word "weed" on tests and Florida avoids the phrases that use "Hurricane" or "Wildfires," according to a statement by the New York City Department of Education.

FULL STORY from CNN's Belief Blog

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