"The policy implications of these findings are clear," said James Wiener, a Wisconsin Distinguished Professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse who served as technical chair for last summer's conference. "The declaration and detailed analyses presented in the five supporting papers clearly show that effective national and international policies are needed to combat this global problem." Published by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Ambio (www.ambio.kva.se) is widely recognized as an important international forum for debate on scientific, social, economic and cultural issues affecting the human environment.
Wiener said the Madison Declaration summarizes a year-long effort by many of the world's leading mercury scientists, assembled into four expert panels, to review and synthesize the major mercury science findings. Every member of all four scientific panels endorsed the declaration, he said. Wiener added that all 1,150 participants at the conference were invited to express their confidence in the experts' findings, and the vast majority of those who did so agreed with the experts' conclusions.
Other major findings in the declaration include:
- Increased mercury emissions from developing countries over the last 30 years have offset decreased emissions from developed nations.
- There is now solid scientific evidence of methylmercury's toxic health effects, particularly to the human fetus.
- New evidence indicates that methylmercury exposure may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly in adult men.
- Increasing mercury concentrations are now being found in a number of fish-eating wildlife species in remote areas of the planet.
- The actual socioeconomic costs of mercury pollution are probably much greater than estimated because existing economic analyses don't consider mercury's impacts on ecosystems and wildlife.
- The concentration of methylmercury in fish in freshwater and coastal ecosystems can be expected to decline with reduced mercury inputs; however, the rate of decline is expected to vary among water bodies, depending on the characteristics of a particular ecosystem.
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So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
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The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
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