The growth of bitcoin is fueling speculation and debate about the environmental impact of the collective energy needed to power the virtual currency in the era of climate change. Some questions and answers about the issue: ——— WHAT IS BITCOIN? Bitcoin is the most popular virtual currency in the world, and it has grown in value this year. It was created in 2009 as a new way of paying for things that would not be subject to central banks that are capable of devaluing currency. The sustainability concerns about bitcoin, voiced by economists and environmentalists, stem from the process of "mining" that is central to its existence. The "miners" use computers to make complex calculations that verify transactions in bitcoins. This uses a tremendous amount of energy via computers and server farms
A new environment watchdog to protect UK wildlife, land, water and air once Britain leaves the European Union is being planned by the government.Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the body would hold the powerful to account and deliver a green Brexit.The plans come amid concerns that environmental regulations enshrined in EU law could be lost after Brexit.Mr Gove told the Andrew Marr Show standards would not be sacrificed as part of a potential US free trade deal.Wildlife prioritisedMr Gove wants the watchdog to be independent of government - able to speak its mind freely, he said, with clear legal authority.Writing in The Telegraph, he said the watchdog would have "real bite" but did not outline exact planned powers.He said it was important that environmental enforcement and policym...
Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A study out Wednesday by a team of U.S. and German researchers has found that genetic variants affect how much gene expression changes in response to disease.The study, published in Nature Communications, involved researchers analyzing blood from 134 volunteers, and treated monocytes, or white blood cells, in the laboratory with three components to simulate infection with bacteria or virus."Our defense mechanisms against microbial pathogens rely on white blood cells that are specialized to detect infection. Upon encounter of microbes, these cells trigger cellular defense programs via activating and repressing the expression of hundreds of genes," said Dr. Veit Hornung of the Ludwig-Maxmilians-Universität in Munich, formerly from the University of Bonn.Researchers analyzed
Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The Ministry of Defense said Saturday the advanced U.S. missile defense system deployed in a southern town won't cause any adverse effects to the local environment.Earlier in the day, the defense and environment ministries conducted their joint environmental survey of electromagnetic radiation and noise from the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in Seongju, southeast of Seoul.Two rocket launchers and a powerful X-band radar are operational at the new U.S. Forces Korea base, formerly a private golf course.The defense ministry said the radiation level at a spot 100 meters from the radar was measured at 0.01659 watt per square meter on average during a six-minute test. From 500 meters away, it was 0.004136 W/㎡. At 700 meters from the radar, the radiation level was 0.