Environment: What Geeks are Talking about from The New York Times

A hot air balloon flies near Australia's Parliament House in Canberra, March 14, 2016 on the 30th anniversary of Canberra's Balloon Spectacular festival. REUTERS/Lukas Coch/AAP

Here is the latest Science News from The New York Times.

Q&A: Fighting Macular Degeneration
Advances are being developed to improve results against the so-called wet and dry forms of the condition.

Warmer Winter Brings Forest-Threatening Beetles North
Southern pine beetles, which had never been found beyond the South, have been spotted in New England. They are capable of killing thousands of trees.

Eaglet Emerges at National Arboretum, Live on a Webcam
The first of two eaglets broke through the shell on Friday morning as a video feed recorded the hatching.

Once a Darling, Spanish Solar Company Abengoa Faces Reckoning
Abengoa’s global ambitions are now the source of its troubles as it tries to avoid what would be the largest bankruptcy in Spanish corporate history.

Matter: Humans Interbred With Hominins on Multiple Occasions, Study Finds
The interbreeding may have given modern humans better immunity to pathogens, according to the authors of the analysis of global genomes.

Pluto and Its Moons
Pluto’s four smaller moons — Nix, Hydra, Styx and Kerberos — are brighter and smaller than astronomers had expected, as revealed by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.

Trilobites: Seduced by Junk Food, Storks Are Opting Not to Migrate
Some of their favorite menu items, researchers found, were rotten fish, leftover chicken and hamburgers.

Sinosphere: Q. and A.: Patrick Bergin on China’s Role in Protecting Africa’s Wildlife
Mr. Bergin, the chief executive of the African Wildlife Foundation, a conservation group, says China and its people have a part to play.

Bill to Stop States Requiring Labeling of GMO Foods Fails
A Senate bill that would prevent states from requiring food labels to note the presence of genetically modified ingredients failed on Wednesday.

Elwyn L. Simons, Primate Specialist Who Discovered Early Human Forebears, Dies at 85
A scientist concerned with both ancient primates and living ones, he was described as having a golden touch for finding fossils.

Wind Farm May Be Built Off Long Island
The Interior Department and its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are moving toward auctioning a lease for a site about 11 nautical miles offshore.

Patients in Pain, and a Doctor Who Must Limit Drugs
A growing number of states are enacting measures to limit prescription opioids, addictive medicines that have led to an epidemic of overdoses and deaths.

Trilobites: Solving the Tully Monster’s Cold Case
A team of researches say they have solved the identity of a creature whose fossilized remains were uncovered more than half a century ago.

Trilobites: Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected
A new study found that forests adapted to hotter temperatures by contributing less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than scientists previously thought.

Your Break From Politics: Watch an Eagle Being Hatched
A live webcam fixed on a bald eagle nest — and parents-to-be “Mr. President” and “The First Lady” — may catch a hatching eaglet any time now.

Pressure on Valeant Puts William Ackman’s Image as Moneymaker at Risk
Mr. Ackman of Pershing Square has stayed in the stock and sustained enormous losses on paper.

Senate to Vote on GMO Food Labeling Bill
The senators will consider whether the government should require labeling on foods containing genetically engineered ingredients, an issue that has split the food industry.

Study of Zika Outbreak Estimates 1 in 100 Risk of Microcephaly
Roughly one in 100 women infected in the first trimester of pregnancy had such fetuses, a study of an outbreak in French Polynesia found.

Art Museums Seek a Green Palette
As new institutions sprout up around the country, administrators and architects are incorporating environmentally-friendly design features.

C.D.C. Painkiller Guidelines Aim to Reduce Addiction Risk
The nonbinding guidelines by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention come after arguments with pain doctors and drug industry groups.

Handful of Biologists Went Rogue and Published Directly to Internet
Molecular biologists and neuroscientists are tweeting with the hashtag #ASAPbio in protest of a system that keeps research from being shared with the public, typically for more than six months.

In Late Antiquity Textiles, a Long-Lasting Fashion Show
On display in New York, fabrics that somehow survived time’s decay reflect the wealth and social standing of the elite in the late Roman Empire.

The Anti-Packaging Movement
Recycling is nice, but some shop owners are trying to eliminate waste altogether.

Centers to Treat Eating Disorders Are Growing, and Raising Concerns
A proliferation of residential centers has some experts questioning their marketing and wondering if quality is at times being sacrificed for profit.

What to Look For in an Eating Disorder Treatment Center
Move beyond the inviting photographs on websites and choose based on priorities and statistics.

Vermont Village Is Latest to Face Tainted-Water Scare
North Bennington joined a list of Northeastern communities enduring problems with their water supply after private wells near a closed plant tested positive for the chemical known as PFOA.

First Mention: The Unfolding of Polio
In The Times, it began with an 1857 article on graduation at New-York Medical College. The prize for best thesis went to one on infantile paralysis.

Tyrannosaur Fossil Indicates Dinosaur Got Smart First, Then Grew Big
An older relative of Tyrannosaurus rex had a brain and ears like the well-known dinosaur, but not the stature or heft.

Women Who Brought Zika Fears Home With Them
U.S. women who traveled to Central and South American countries and are pregnant deal with the worry of a virus that is linked to birth defects.

Marijuana-Based Drug Found to Reduce Epileptic Seizures
Epidiolex, in its first major clinical trial, reduced convulsive seizures in young patients with Dravet syndrome, according to GW Pharmaceuticals.

Trilobites: This Week Surfers Will Ride a Wave in the Amazon
The Pororoca, a tidal bore, tumbles in from the ocean and travels up the river on a path of destruction. But surfers love it.

Rising Sea Levels May Disrupt Lives of Millions, Study Says
Researchers say the change could affect three times as many people as is often estimated because of population growth.

Trilobites: This Week’s Other Solar Eclipse
More than 22,000 miles above Earth, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has been getting a full blackout each day.

NASA Says Scott Kelly, Record-Setting Astronaut, Will Retire
Mr. Kelly, who holds the American record for most time spent in space, will retire on April 1, a month after returning to Earth from a nearly yearlong mission.

Mars Mission Blasts Off From Kazakhstan
The ExoMars spacecraft consists of an orbiter that will measure methane and other gases in the Martian atmosphere and a lander that will study dust storms.

Q&A: Dark Wall Stains May Signal Indoor Pollution
A common source of soot is partly burned carbon fuel; perfumed room candles are a surprisingly big cause.

Of Spider Bondage, and Cannibalism
Male nursery web spiders tie up females with spider silk before mating to avoid being killed and eaten.

ScienceTake: Spiders That Aren’t Dying to Reproduce
Male nursery web spiders have evolved a defense against sexual cannibalism — tying the females up during copulation.

Modeled After Ants, Teams of Tiny Robots Can Move 2-Ton Car
Researchers are exploring the limits of friction in the design of tiny robots that can pull thousands of times their weight, wander like gecko lizards on vertical surfaces or mimic bats.

Trilobites: Unearthing an Old Reptilian Relative of Dinosaurs
Called Teyujagua paradoxa, or “fierce lizard,” the species was recently discovered in Rio Grande do Sul, in southern Brazil.

Trilobites: My Dinosaur’s Jet Lag Helps Explain Why a Time Change Is Hard
Glow-in-the dark dinoflagellates illuminate why Daylight Saving Time causes you to spill coffee and fumble through conversations.

Valeant, Woes Rising, Backs Away From Boldness to Calm Investors
The drug maker, which made big profits by raising the price of old drugs, is now talking about investing in research and paying down debt as its stock price slumps.

Mars Mission Set to Launch to Study Gases and Storms
The ExoMars 2016 mission to Mars, a collaboration between the European and Russian space agencies, is scheduled to blast off from Kazakhstan on Monday.

Opinion: The Global Solution to Extinction
It is not too late to halt the alarming loss of species and biodiversity threatening the planet.

News Analysis: Should All Research Papers Be Free?
One woman’s guerrilla campaign seeks to tear down the paywalls of scholarly journals and make research papers free.

The New Old Age: A Push for Less Expensive Hearing Aids
Many older people need the devices, but they can cost $2,500 or more, and Medicare doesn’t pay for them, which makes them less likely to be used.

David M. Gates Dies at 94; Sounded Early Alarm on Environmental Perils
Dr. Gates was in the vanguard of scientists who warned early on that fossil fuels, fertilizers and pesticides posed a dire threat to the environment.

Test of Zika-Fighting Genetically Altered Mosquitoes Gets Tentative F.D.A. Approval
A trial in the Florida Keys has been tentatively approved, but public comment must be assessed first by the agency.

Genetic Tests May Not Reveal a Clear Treatment Path for Breast Cancer
The results from genetic tests can leave patients with frightening information but no clear guidance to fight the disease.

Op-Ed Contributor: What Weather Is the Fault of Climate Change?
A new study finds that climate change can be singled out as a factor in some episodes of extreme weather.

Trilobites: How an Amateur Meteorite Hunter Tracked Down a Fireball
Since last October, citizen scientists have uncovered fragments from three different fireball sightings using online reports.

First Uterus Transplant in U.S. Has Failed
A day after conference lauding what seemed to be a successful surgery, the recipient developed a serious complication and the organ was removed.

New Procedure Allows Kidney Transplants From Any Donor
The procedure, reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, involves a reboot of a patient’s immune system and could also work for lung and liver transplants.

Killer Whale From ‘Blackfish’ Film Is Ailing, SeaWorld Says
The prognosis is poor for the 35-year-old orca, Tilikum, who has been involved in the deaths of three people, drawing criticism of the whale shows.

Trilobites: The Hydra Gets a New Mouth With Every Meal
Every time a hydra wants to eat, it rips a hole through the center of its body’s outer layer. After dinner, it closes back up.

Matter: Unappetizing Experiment Explores Tools’ Role in Humans’ Bigger Brains
Scientists at Harvard concluded that stone tools that broke down food could have helped early human relatives conserve energy, aiding in their evolution.

Trilobites: Views of the Total Solar Eclipse
Thousands across the world watched the eclipse on Wednesday, with many capturing captivating images.

NASA Reschedules Mars InSight Mission for May 2018
Problems with the enclosure for a seismic instrument forced a two-year delay, but the mission is back on the schedule.

Timelapse of Solar Eclipse Over Indonesia
A total eclipse occurred over over parts of the western Pacific and Southeast Asia on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Asia Views a Total Solar Eclipse
Crowds gathered to witness the rare astronomical event.

Sinosphere: Taiwan and Hainan at Risk of Zika Spread, Scientist Warns
The two islands both have populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is believed to be the main carrier of the virus.

Jeff Bezos Lifts Veil on His Rocket Company, Blue Origin
Mr. Bezos introduced reporters to Blue Origin for the first time on Tuesday, offering updates on his space tourism plans and a new engine that is being developed.

Trilobites: How to Watch the Total Solar Eclipse
Skywatchers across Southeast Asia and the western Pacific can witness a solar eclipse. Here’s how to observe it from other places, too.

Whole Foods Plans 100 Rooftop Solar Systems
The food retailer plans as many as 100 systems, which would increase renewable energy and save money.

Trilobites: Methane Has Never Looked So Beautiful
What looks like a page ripped from an alien’s dream journal, is actually a frozen lake containing methane bubbles trapped in icy cells in Alberta, Canada.

Genetic Test Firm to Put Customers’ Data in Public Domain
Ambry Genetics is expected to announce on Tuesday that it will put information from 10,000 customers into a publicly available database.

Hopeful Start for First Uterus Transplant Surgery in U.S.
The details of what led to a nine-hour operation, and what lies ahead for the recipient, were disclosed on Monday.

Oklahoma Puts Limits on Oil and Gas Wells to Fight Quakes
Regulators asked well operators in a large patch of the state to reduce by 40 percent the oil and gas wastes they are injecting deep into the earth.

Screening for Alzheimer’s Gene Tests the Desire to Know
Two brothers in Denver came to different conclusions, one deciding it wasn’t worth it, the other choosing to find out whether he had the gene.

Banksy Identified by Scientists. Maybe.
Researchers in London may have advanced a theory on the graffiti artist’s identity by using a variation of a technique used to track down criminals.

Global Health: Studies Offer Hope for Malnourished Children
Research on mice indicates that the gut bacteria of healthy children can fix that of starving children, and that breast milk can be improved.

Take a Number: Unplanned Pregnancies Hit Lowest Level in 30 Years
Of 6.1 million pregnancies for those 15 to 44 in the United States in 2011, only 2.8 million were unintended, representing the lowest level in three decades.

First U.S. Uterus Transplant a Success
Dr. Andreas G. Tzakis from the Cleveland Clinic confirmed that the first uterine transplant performed in the United States was a success and that the patient was doing very well.

Solar Eclipse: Moon Shades the Pacific
The moon will cast its shadow across parts of the Pacific Ocean during a total eclipse on March 9.​

Gaiole in Chianti Journal: Italy’s Famed Wine Region a War Zone, Invaded by Ungulates
Efforts in Chianti to reduce an exploding population of wild boars and deer, which devour grapes and the vines’ tender sprouts, are creating issues of their own.

Gaiole in Chianti Journal: Italy’s Famed Wine Region a War Zone, Invaded by Boars and Others
Efforts in Chianti to reduce an exploding population of wild boars and deer, which devour grapes and the vines’ tender sprouts, are creating issues of their own.

As Alaska Warms, the Iditarod Adapts
The dogs, the mushers and the sleds were ready for the beginning of the annual race from Anchorage to Nome, but there was one thing missing: the snow.

Trilobites: Total Solar Eclipse Will End the Day Before It Begins
On Wednesday, the moon will blot out the sun. The phenomenon will then be visible from the other side of the international date line on Tuesday.

ScienceTake: An Insect That Masters Water and Air
The lily pad beetle moves about with a very rapid form of self-propelled windsurfing while staying tied to the surface. Stopping is another matter.

Turning Oil Rigs Into Reefs
Environmentalists disagree over whether outdated oil rigs off the coast of Long Beach, Calif., can become an addition to the marine ecosystem.

Marine Life Thrives in Unlikely Place: Offshore Oil Rigs
The realization is adding momentum to efforts to convert some of the platforms into artificial reefs once they are decommissioned.

Surfing Beetles
The lily pad beetle moves across the surface of the water in a kind of self-powered windsurfing.

Bits: Taking Baby Steps Toward Software That Reasons Like Humans
A number of start-ups are developing a new generation of pattern recognition software that is slowly and steadily advancing artificial intelligence.

Trade Group Lobbying for Plant-Based Foods Takes a Seat in Washington
As dozens of companies have sprung up to develop foods from proteins derived from peas and other nonmeat sources, a trade association has been established to represent these businesses.

Smart Robots Make Strides, but There’s No Need to Flee Just Yet
Although fears of a computer-spawned apocalypse, stoked by grim predictions of some scientists, began decades ago, the current state of machines may offer reassurance.

Vocations: Counseling Organ Donors to Make the Perfect Match
Ms. McDonough, a nurse for 38 years, works with live kidney and liver donors, assessing their suitability, educating them and coordinating the process.

Q&A: Causes of Blindness Vary for Older Adults
Studies have found striking differences by age and by racial and socioeconomic groups.

A Biotech Evangelist Seeks a Zika Dividend
A diverse biotechnology company hopes its genetically engineered mosquitoes can help stop the spread of a devastating virus. But that’s just a start.

Toxic Passaic River to Get $1.38 Billion Cleanup Over 10 Years
The project announced by the Environmental Protection Agency will be among the most ambitious yet in the 35-year history of the Superfund program.

At M.I.T., Science Embraces a New Chaos Theory: Art
More than 30 artists have been invited to embed in the labs since the creation of the school’s Center for Art, Science & Technology in 2012.

Scott Kelly Says a Year in Orbit Felt Like ‘Forever’
The astronaut Scott Kelly, back on Earth after 340 days in space, said he was feeling fatigue, soreness and a sensation “almost like a burning feeling” on his skin.

Zika Kills Cells Key to Fetal Brain Development, Study Says
The finding may help explain how the virus might cause microcephaly in infants whose mothers are infected during pregnancy.

Iditarod Sled Dog Race Lacks Snow, So Alaska Ships Some In
Snow filling several train cars had to be shipped from Fairbanks to Anchorage this week to ensure a snowy start for the famous sled dog race.

Poor Sleep Gives You the Munchies, Study Says
New research says the mechanism is similar to the activation of brain receptors seen in marijuana users.

Chief Justice Rejects Effort to Block E.P.A. Limit on Power Plants
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. blocked a bid by 20 states to halt a regulation on emissions of toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants while the E.P.A. reviews its costs.

Edward Lammer, Doctor Who Linked Acne Drug to Birth Defects, Dies at 62
Mr. Lammer was among the first to establish a link between the acne medicine Accutane and human birth defects, and who became an advocate for the families of affected children.

New Critique Sees Flaws in Landmark Analysis of Psychology Studies
The new scrutiny of a report that placed doubt on many psychological studies because they could not be replicated noted problems with the retesting.

Matter: Study Finds Surprising Benefit of Viral DNA: Fighting Other Viruses
A report in the journal Science reveals how evolution harnessed viral DNA to rewire humans’ own genetic circuitry and strengthen the immune system.

Contributing Op-Ed Writer: Bring Back the Autopsy
To identify diagnostic errors, we need more post-mortem exams.

State of the Art: A Plan in Case Robots Take the Jobs: Give Everyone a Paycheck
For some technologists, machine intelligence is not seen as a job-killing catastrophe, but something like a windfall that could lead to universal basic income.

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