Claims about the water in Flint, MI get SCICHECKED! #science

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Scicheck finds many false claims about the water in Flint Michigan. Check the article – highlights below:

A Michigan health official told Congress that his department’s “initial analysis” showed blood lead levels in Flint children in the summer of 2014 were “within range of years before.” That’s false. That analysis concluded blood lead levels “were higher than usual” from July to September 2014, shortly after the city switched its water supply.

On April 25, 2014, the city of Flint began using the Flint River as its water source, as reported in the Detroit Free Press. But the Flint River has particularly corrosive water, which led to high levels of lead leaching into the water from many of the city’s dated pipes. Soon after the water supply switch, Flint residents began complaining about the color of the water, rashes and other issues.

Then, in July 2015 the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality told Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder that issues with water contamination in Flint were limited to one house and not widespread. At the same time, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services claimed the elevated blood lead levels in children followed a normal seasonal trend.

The link between Flint’s water switch and elevated blood lead levels in children wasn’t confirmed until two independent researchers, Marc Edwards and Mona Hanna-Attisha, each put forth their own analyses in September 2015.

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What is the deal with @NERCscience’s RSS #BoatyMcBoatface?? #NameOurShip

In case you haven’t heard, a research vessel being built in the UK to the tune of $290 billion, may be christened the RRS Boaty McBoatface after an online poll to name the ship went viral.

When scientists in the U.K. asked the public to name their new $290 million polar research ship, they expected the name of an explorer such as Sir Ernest Shackleton or a naturalist like David Attenborough to eventually be emblazoned across the vessel’s bow.

However, they didn’t factor in the Brits’ oddball sense of humor

By 9 a.m. Monday (5 a.m. ET), more than 27,000 people had voted to name the ship “RRS Boaty McBoatface.”

The poll was launched Thursday by the National Environment Research Council, the government-funded body building the ship in Cammell Laird shipyard, near Liverpool.

The ship itself is amazing, and we look forward to the science that will come from its missions. However, we also can’t stop laughing at the potential future name of the ship. While it poses a conundrum for NERC, it has also resulted in TONS of press for the organization and its new ship!!

The name Boaty McBoatface was suggested by James Hand, who has since apologized for causing trouble on the poll, but refuses to deny the awesomeness of the name he submitted!!

Tomorrow is Earth Day! Celebrate by sharing #NoPlaceLikeHome pictures with @NASA

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There are (so far) 1,800 known planets beyond our solar system, but among all of them, there’s no place like Earth. This Earth Day, April 22, NASA is asking you to share pictures and video of your favorite places on Earth using social media – and tag them #NoPlaceLikeHome.

More info here at NASA.gov.

It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week!! #NISAW2015

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Check out NISAW website for national and local events, webinars, and tons of info! News article about NISAW here.

Participate in events across the nation to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional and national scales. Locate an invasive species event in your state or county.

Nine Ways You Can Help

  1. Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension officeand the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
  2. Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at PlayCleanGo.org
  3. Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at Habitattitude.org
  4. Don’t move firewood – instead, buy it where you’ll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at DontMoveFirewood.org
  5. Use forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as “weed free.”
  6. Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invaders.
  7. Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks to authorities. Here is a state-by-state list of contacts
  8. Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.
  9. Ask your political representatives at the state, local and national level to support invasive species control efforts.
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Today’s favorite tweets! Picture of NYC from space and Onion article about sorting trash into oceans!

[tweet https://twitter.com/TheOnion/status/567483612996440065] [tweet https://twitter.com/Space_Station/status/567403744413749248]

Help make your state a clean energy leader! @UCSUSA’s quick form to contact your state governor!!

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Help make your state a clean energy leader! Start 2015 off right by asking your state’s governor to find clean energy solutions!! The Union of Concerned Scientists has an easy and quick form to send a letter here! Takes less than a minute!!

Right now, we have an unprecedented opportunity to reduce dangerous carbon emissions from power plants—the largest source global warming emissions in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has charged states with developing plans to meet the agency’s newly proposed rules to limit carbon emissions from power plants.

How your state chooses to meet this charge could depend on you.

Your governor needs to hear that residents are paying attention and want scientifically-sound plans that will prioritize clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency and ensure your state is prepared for the consequences of climate change.

Urge your governor to ensure your state is a clean energy leader today!

[tweet https://twitter.com/UCSUSA/status/552910482185940993] [tweet https://twitter.com/UCSUSA/status/552489391185477633]

CauseScience weekly roundup of science news and goings on!!

This week was busier than usual and CauseScience didn’t get to post all of the awesome science-y things we wanted to. Here is a roundup of cool science news and happenings to check out!

The NIH has awarded $31 million to enhance diversity amongst biomedical researchers!

President Obama’s moratorium on controversial research about certain viruses is stopping some scientists research in its tracks.

A video in the world’s largest vacuum chamber confirms that a feather and bowling ball will fall at the same rate.

New study finds that the urban legend that NYC has 1 rat per person is wrong. It’s actually more like 1 rat for every 4 people.

Citizen science contributed to a groundbreaking air quality study published this week!

While GMO labeling measures in Colorado and Oregon failed at the polls, apparently Bill Nye is still on the fence about GMO‘s.

Body Horrors blog posted a great piece on the history of miners and their unknown nemesis… the hookworm.

Can you tell when New Yorkers are slacking off based on twitter?? (gif: Carl Engelking)?

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ScienceCareers posted an terrific article about Postdocs ‘speaking up’ for themselves featuring findings from the ‘Future of Research Symposium

Young student scientists are doing their part to help fight Ebola!

Wired.com‘s Absurd Creature of the Week is a beautiful sea slug with a secret weapon!

NPR fills us in on what the election results will mean for Environmental Policy.