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Tag: protect

Why the flu shot this year may not protect you

Why the flu shot this year may not protect you

Health
The upcoming flu season may be a particularly severe one in the U.S., some medical experts warned today, citing preliminary data from Australia, where the flu season is waning. The flu vaccine used this year in Australia — which has the same composition as the vaccine used in the U.S. — was only 10 percent effective, according to a preliminary estimate, at preventing the strain of the virus that predominantly circulated during the country's flu season,an international team of medical experts wrote in a perspective published today in The New England Journal of Medicine. "However imperfect, though, current influenza vaccines remain a valuable public health tool, and it is always better to get vaccinated than not to get vaccinated," the team emphasized. The researchers suggested that the
Scientists propose space shield to protect Earth from solar storms

Scientists propose space shield to protect Earth from solar storms

Science
Oct. 6 (UPI) -- If governments and their space agencies are serious about protecting Earth from solar storms, one team of researchers argues a giant space shield is the most logical solution.Much attention is paid to the threat of comets and asteroids. In the past, violent collisions have triggered mass extinctions. Solar storms -- intense waves of high energy particles flung into space during coronal mass ejection -- aren't so much a threat to life. But they could seriously damage satellites, electric grids, communications systems and a variety of modern technologies.When a massive geomagnetic solar storm struck Earth in 1859, the only observable effect was a spate of vibrant auroras. If a similarly powerful storm hit Earth today, the global economy could suffer losses totaling in the tri...
Ivory trade to be banned in UK 'to protect elephants'

Ivory trade to be banned in UK 'to protect elephants'

Science
The sale and export of almost all ivory items would be banned in the UK under plans set out by the government.Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced a consultation to end the trade in ivory of all ages - previous attempts at a ban would have excluded antique ivory produced before 1947.The government says there will be some exemptions, for musical instruments and items of cultural importance. Conservation groups have given a guarded welcome to the plan.Growing marketWhile the UK has had a ban on the trade in raw ivory tusks, it has become the world's leading exporter of legal ivory carvings and antiques in recent years. According to an Environmental Investigation Agency report, there were more than 36,000 items exported from the UK between 2010 and 2015, more than three times that...
Dogs help conservationists protect hermit beetles

Dogs help conservationists protect hermit beetles

Science
Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Hermit beetles are at risk of disappearing. But in order to protect them, conservationists must find and monitor their health -- not an easy task.New research, however, suggests trained dogs can make the task easier, allowing researchers to locate and track the species' health.Like cicadas, hermit beetles only spend a brief amount of time as an adult. Unlike cicadas, adult hermit beetles are elusive. Worse yet, hermit beetle larvae are equally hard to find. They hide in the wood mold of hollow trees.In a proof of concept study, researchers were able to successfully train a golden retriever to sniff out the presence of hermit beetles.Scientists began by associating the smell of hermit beetle larvae with a food reward. Researchers then trained the retriever, a six-month old ...
NASA seeks employee to protect Earth from aliens

NASA seeks employee to protect Earth from aliens

Technology
Anyone whose skill set includes the ability to protect Earth from aliens still has more than a week to apply for what may just be their dream job.NASA is looking for a planetary protection officer.What that means in technical terms is someone who can help with the "avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration".The job advert notes that "space flight missions may intentionally or unintentionally carry Earth organisms and organic constituents to the planets or other solar system bodies".Equally, spacecraft could return "to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration".The job ad says that "frequent travel may be required", although it does not specify whether that is simply on Earth, or around the so...