Environmental Biology

1) Genetic Modification of Food - Agree or DisagreePost in the discussion area a website or news article relating to genetic modification of organsisms, especially pertaining to food resources. Are you in favor of or against genetic modification of food

Answer httpwww.ornl.govscitechresourcesHuman_Genomeelsigmfood.shtmlGenetic modification of food has become a controversial subject, in my opinion, without reason. By genetically modifying food items, we are taking advantage of the limited resources we have left on Earth. Through genetic modification, insect-resistant crops reduce the need for toxic pesticides, beef is healthier, eliminating loss of livestock, and medicinal applications have been identified, aiding humans even more. Genetic modification of food is a valuable innovation that will continue to help the human race for many years to come.

2) Post your views regarding bottled water. Is it better for you than tap water What do your friends and family believe What types of regulations are put on bottled water vs. tap water Do you personally buy bottled waterMarine Resource Use (21 Messages  20 New )

Answer httpwww.allaboutwater.orgregulations.html Personally, I think bottle water is an enormous waste of money, resources and landfill space. Municipal tap water is tested and has to meet rigorous standards, it is even supplemented with fluoride, something that bottled water does not normally contain. I do not ever buy bottled water, although my family and friends do, insisting it is more convenient.

One of the biggest differences with bottled and tap water is who is regulating its quality and contents. As a food item, bottled water is controlled by the Food and Drug Administration, tap water is regulated by the much stricter, Environmental Protection Agency. I would rather be able to pull up my EPA-mandated municipal water report and check the findings myself then trust a bottler as to the quality of the water.

3) Post any current information regarding the status of a resource we are using from the oceans. It could be a topic such as the population trend of a certain species, a new mineral we are mining, or the changing composition of the water.Answer Dutch dredging equipment manufacturer and dredger builder IHC Merwede says that in response to an increasing number of requests for deepsea dredging and mining application solutions, it has combined all of its activities in the sector to create a new business unit, IHC Deep Sea Dredging  Mining.

The new business unit will focus on the extraction of minerals in deep water (to a depth of 3,000m) and vertical transportation of these materials. (April 28, 2010) Source httpwww.sandandgravel.comnewsarticle.aspv112923

Indias National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will test indigenously built deep-sea mining equipment in April at a never before attempted depth of 1,100. The 15t crawler has already been tested at 500m and will eventually be used at depths up to 6,000m. It may take up to two weeks for the crawler to touch 1,100m into the deep, according to the Times of India. The test will be conducted when the Sagar Nidhi, the only vessel capable of hosting the equipment in the country, will return from an Antarctic expedition. The equipment will be used for mining the Indian Ocean for rare minerals, including magnesium, as part of a Rs 150 crore (33m) project. The equipment will be ready for large-scale mining operations after a couple of years. The NIOT is also developing a remote operable vehicle mounted with sensors and cameras to explore ocean depths at 3,000m. (March 23, 2010) Source httpwww.mining-technology.comnewsnews80078.html

Visit the following two links to learn more about Chicagos air quality.Chicagos Toxic AirHow Clean is Your AirIn the discussion area, post the closest 2 or 3 polluters to where you live and what types of pollutants they are releasing.Answer

The closest two polluters to me (area code 60644) are Chicago Castings Company at 1400 S Laramie Ave in Cicero, IL and Corn Products Argo Plant at 6400 S Archer Ave in Bedford Park, IL. Chicago Castings release manganese, lead, mercury and their components into the air. In total, they have released 9,363 pounds of these toxic elements. Corn Products Agro Plant has released 1,113,870 pounds of toxic pollutants into the air. This is composed of Sulfuric acid, Hydrochloric acid, Hydrogen flouride, n-Hexane, lead and lead compounds, mercury and mercury compounds, ammonia and dioxin and dioxin-like compounds.

5) Post in the discussion area a website or news article describing a recent development in renewable energy research.AnswerLONGMONT  Vice President Joe Biden lauded Colorado s contributions to renewable energy and alternative transportation at a speech Friday east of Longmont. Biden spoke at UQM Technologies, which makes high-power electric motors and received about 45 million in federal stimulus funds. Biden said the money provides seed capital to help UQM buy a new production plant. The Recovery Act is not just about getting us through today, Biden said. He said the stimulus dollars are helping small companies break to the front of the alternative energy world, where he said the United States should be. Biden said the United States has lost its lead in the field. Its time for us to begin to innovate again on a wholesale scale, Biden said. Among those joining Biden were Congresswoman Betsy Markey, Gov. Bill Ritter and Sen. Mark Udall. In the crowd were CSU President Tony Frank and CSU system Chancellor Joe Blake. The event drew hundreds of people. Organizers were unable to provide an immediate count. Biden said federal funds have long been used to spur innovation, from the transcontinental railroad to the Internet. We have put basic research off for too long, Biden said. I think we re back on the road. (April 30, 2010) httpwww.coloradoan.comarticle20100430UPDATES01100430027

6) Post your thoughts on a public versus private role in providing public services. Private services receive little, if any governement money, public services constantly receive money from the government. Private services tend to have more money, as they are operating for profit andor receive large donations from interested benefactors. Because of this private funding, private services have the discretion to help (or not help) whomever they choose. I think this is a dangerous thing to rely on as there is a high potential that people or services are denied. A combination of private services and public services would be best public ensures that no service is missed while private has the opportunity to provide a higher level of carservice.

7) What do you feel should be done to address the issues faced in Tijuana and San Diego Provide any updated information you can find regarding the current status of the Bajagua project.Answer The Bajagua Project was officially shot down on May 15, 2008, ending plans for a 59 million gallon sewage treatment plant in Tijuana. After the plant was built, the United States was to pay Bajagua for its operation. Instead of moving forward on the Bajagua Project, a company called PCL was awarded the 87.6-million upgrade of the South Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant in San Ysidro, California. It is important to consider the long term cost of services. United States Senator Dianne Feinstein projected that, over 20 years, the Bajagua project is estimated to cost taxpayers 539 million, compared with 331 million to upgrade the San Ysidro plant.


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