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Scientists measure whales' aversion to noise pollution

Scientists measure whales' aversion to noise pollution

Science
Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A new study has offered fresh insights into how whales are impacted by noise pollution.Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia wanted to find out if "ramp-up sequences" allow whales to acclimate to foreign noise. Ramp-up sequences describe the use of softer sounds for 10 to 20 minutes prior to the introduction of louder noise levels.To find out, researchers subjected a pod of migrating humpback whales to a series of acoustic air guns, at different distances and decibel levels. The test results -- detailed this week in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin -- suggest ramp-up sequences have no effect.Whales avoid noise pollution, whether it is preceded by ramp-up sequences or not.Air guns are frequently used by oil and gas drilling operations to map the ocea...
Oregon approves measure requiring insurers to cover abortion

Oregon approves measure requiring insurers to cover abortion

Health
Insurance companies in Oregon would be required to cover abortions and other reproductive services at no cost to the patient regardless of income, citizenship status or gender identity under a measure approved Wednesday by lawmakers. Oregon already has some of the most liberal abortion laws in the U.S., leaving out otherwise common requirements for waiting periods or spending limits on taxpayer funds. The measure, which does offer some religious-based exemptions, comes as the federal government and other states are seeking restrictions on abortion services. President Donald Trump earlier this year signed legislation allowing states to withhold federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. In May, the Texas Legislature approved a sweeping package of ne...