Exploring for oil and extracting it from the Amazon region of northeastern Ecuador has boosted the countrys income over the last several decades, but it has also resulted in a "public health emergency" due to the negative effects on the local environment and on the health of persons who live in the petroleum-production areas. That is according to an English-language article published in the most recent (March 2004) issue of the "Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública/Pan American Journal of Public Health." The "Revista/Journal" is a monthly, peer-reviewed scientific journal. The "Revista/Journal" article summarizes and reviews the scientific research that has been done on the environmental and health consequences of oil development in Ecuador.
Since the 1970s more than two billion barrels of crude oil have been pumped from oil fields in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Petroleum has been the "engine" for Ecuadors economy, helping push per capita income from US$ 290 in 1972 to US$ 1200 in 2000. Oil now accounts for some 40% of the nations export earnings and of the national governments budget.
While boosting the Ecuadorian economy, oil production has also had serious consequences for the environment. For example, in just the period of 1972 through 1993, more than 30 billion gallons (114 billion liters) of toxic wastes and crude oil were discharged into the land and waterways of the Ecuadorian Amazon. This far exceeds the 10.8 million gallons (40.9 million liters) spilled in the "Exxon Valdez" tanker disaster in 1989 in Alaska, one of the largest sea oil spills that has ever occurred.
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Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
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University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
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Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
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