Homs Badia .. Measures to Protect Medicinal, Aromatic Plants

HOMS, (ST)-  Homs Badia extends over three million hectares and makes up a large stockpile of thousands of species of medicinal and aromatic plants and forms a shelter for endangered wild animals. The location also contains natural and artificial ecological reserves that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.

The Director of the Public Authority for the Management, Development and Protection of the Badia in Homs (PAMDPB) Eng. Luay Suleiman said that "The Homs branch is the only one that managed to keep a group of the endangered wildlife and the protection of reserves."

Low-energy urbanisation 'can help climate goals'

A study of 274 cities has helped shed light on energy consumption in urban areas and what can be done to make future urbanisation more efficient.

Globally, cities are best placed to mitigate emissions as urban areas are much more energy intensive than rural areas, say researchers.

Most people now live in urban areas, a trend that is accelerating as the global population continues to grow.

The bowhead whale lives over 200 years. Can its genes tell us why?

A whale that can live over 200 years with little evidence of age-related disease may provide untapped insights into how to live a long and healthy life; researchers present the complete bowhead whale genome and identify key differences compared to other mammals.

Alterations in bowhead genes related to cell division, DNA repair, cancer, and aging may have helped increase its longevity and cancer resistance.

"Our understanding of species' differences in longevity is very poor, and thus our findings provide novel candidate genes for future studies," says senior author Magalhães, of the University of Liverpool, in the UK. "My view is that species evolved different 'tricks' to have a longer lifespan, and by discovering the 'tricks' used by the bowhead we may be able to apply those findings to humans in order to fight age-related diseases." Also, large whales with over 1000 times more cells than humans do not seem to have an increased risk of cancer, suggesting the existence of natural mechanisms that can suppress cancer more effectively than those of other animals.

Autism link to air pollution raised

A link between autism and air pollution exposure during pregnancy has been suggested by scientists.

The Harvard School of Public Health team said high levels of pollution had been linked to a doubling of autism in their study of 1,767 children.

Tigers and polar bears are highly vulnerable to environmental change

Large predators are much more vulnerable than smaller species to environmental changes, such as over-hunting and habitat change, because they have to work so hard to find their next meal, according to a new study.

Scientists matched studies of predator populations to the abundance of their prey and found that the largest species, such as tigers or polar bears, had much greater declines in population due to diminishing food supplies than smaller species, such as weasels or badgers.