Can probiotics save honeybees from disease and collapse?

Honeybee hive

“Probiotics aren’t just for humans,” said Gregor Reid, Ph.D., Professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Endowed Chair in Human Microbiome and Probiotics at Lawson. “Our idea was that if you could use beneficial microbes to stimulate the immune response or attack the pathogens that are infecting the hives, then maybe we can help save the bees.”

Source Western University video: read more

Elizabeth Warren wants to stop water from being traded for profit

Water Protectors foto

Access to clean and affordable water is a basic human right and must be protected

Washington, D.C. — Today, Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led a bicameral group of colleagues in introducing the Future of Water Act to amend the Commodity Exchange Act to prohibit futures trading of water or water rights and protect our country’s water. Water is a basic human right that must be managed and protected as a public trust resource. 

As climate change has increased the severity and frequency of drought in our country, large corporations should not be profiting off of water or water rights. Water should be affordable, easily accessible, and guarded from markets prone to manipulation and speculation that could cause real-world price increases. The announcement of the water futures trading received condemnation from the global water community, including the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water who stated: “Water is already under extreme threat from a growing population, increasing demands and grave pollution from agriculture and mining industry in the context of worsening impact of climate change. . . I am very concerned that water is now being treated as gold, oil and other commodities that are traded on Wall Street futures markets.” read more

Spend 2 minutes to learn why net neutrality is more important than you think

Website throttling
Your favorite website will be in the “Everyone Else” lane if Net Neutrality is lost Source: Iowa State Daily

Washington Post gives a neat synopsis of what The People stand to lose if Trump appointed Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gets his wish and finds a way to reverse the Obama era protections establishing net neutrality, which WaPo defines as, “the regulations that forbid Internet providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic.”

The rules, approved by the FCC during the Obama administration, classified Internet providers as “common carriers” — a move that allowed the agency to regulate those companies more strictly than before. In addition to banning the blocking or slowing of Internet traffic, the regulations also gave the FCC the ability to investigate business practices among Internet providers that it deemed potentially anticompetitive.

Supporters of the regulations argue that they are a vital consumer protection that prevents Internet providers from abusing their strategic position between Internet users and the rest of the Web. Without strong regulations, they say, Internet providers will be free to raise costs for consumers — such as charging customers extra to keep their personal data private, or to be able to view certain websites or use certain apps. Meanwhile, advocates say, ISPs could be allowed to charge website owners extra fees to reach consumers’ screens, and determine what apps and services may flourish online. read more

Online privacy advice via The New York Times, Wired and Forbes

Caution: below 0º temps can cause frostbite, burst pipes, more – protect yourself & others

below 0 on thermometer
Source: Northport Patch

Warning in from Fair Lawn Office of Emergency Management for the entire North Jersey area: Wind chill watch in effect from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning 13-14 February.

The Facts About Wind Chill
A Wind Chill Watch means the there is the potential for a combination of very cold air and strong winds to create dangerously low wind chill values. Look for services similar to these in your town and follow the precautions outlined below.

  • Timing … Coldest wind chills late Saturday night through Sunday morning 13-14 February.
  • Wind chill – as low as around 25 below zero due to temperatures 0 to 5 below zero. Winds northwest 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.
  • The frigid conditions will be extremely dangerous to those venturing outside. Prolonged exposure will cause frostbite. The combination of very low wind chills and frigid air temperatures have the potential to result in frozen pipes, frostbite and hypothermia.
  • read more

    The news is skewed – dig deeper for the truth

    A West Indian friend writes to ask,

    This country is becoming more like a 3rd world country. Why aren’t people demanding jobs instead of talking about racism. Sick and tired of hearing about racism. Everything is racism. Find some other excuse rather than racism. If anything is done wrong it’s blame it on racism. People need to stop blaming and stop looking for hand me out. It seems as though some people like to keep stoking the word racism and using the blame game too much. What about Solyndra all the billions that cost tax payers money. That money could have been used to help students pay for their school loans. The unnecessary spending while unemployment is still above 8%.

    What’s wrong with a photo ID. With all the corruption that took place in other elections – this is to make sure that nobody cheats. There are many cheaters in this society and they will do anything to cheat. Photo ID is a good thing. Just like a driver’s license. Too much cheating went on in the previous election eg the use of fake ID’s and fake names. read more

    We must keep the internet open

    Vincent Cerf, one of the recognized fathers of the internet, writes in this New York Times op-ed piece:

    Several authoritarian regimes reportedly would ban anonymity from the Web, which would make it easier to find and arrest dissidents. Others have suggested moving the privately run system that manages domain names and Internet addresses to the United Nations. …

    When I helped to develop the open standards that computers use to communicate with one another across the Net, I hoped for but could not predict how it would blossom and how much human ingenuity it would unleash. What secret sauce powered its success? The Net prospered precisely because governments — for the most part — allowed the Internet to grow organically, with civil society, academia, private sector and voluntary standards bodies collaborating on development, operation and governance.

    In contrast, the I.T.U. creates significant barriers to civil society participation. read more