(PRWEB) January 02, 2012
The Environmental Sciences Social Network Life-Sciences.net features the latest scientific publications in the basic and applied life and earth sciences including biology, agriculture, forestry, the environmental sciences, and the health sciences. The Environmental Sciences category of the website covers the external physical conditions affecting growth, development, and survival of organisms, and their management. This section currently contains over 33,000 articles. A great part of these contributions derive from almost 100 international scientific journals covering this discipline.
One of the latest inclusions covers degradation of polymer shopping bags in the gastrointestinal fluids of sea turtles. The persistence of marine debris such as discarded polymer bags has become an increasing hazard to marine life. Over 150 marine species have been recorded to ingest polymers that cause life-threatening complications such as gut impaction and perforation. The authors of this article tested the decay characteristics of three common types of shopping bag polymers in sea turtle gastrointestinal fluids: standard and degradable plastic, and biodegradable. Degradation rates of the standard and the degradable plastic bags after 49 days were negligible and much lower than reported by the manufacturers in an industrial composting situation. The gastrointestinal fluids of the herbivorous green turtle showed an increased capacity to break down the biodegradable polymer relative to the carnivorous loggerhead, but at a much lower rate than digestion of natural vegetative matter. While the breakdown rate of biodegradable polymers in the intestinal fluids of sea turtles is greater than standard and degradable plastics, the authors propose that this is not rapid enough to prevent morbidity.
Another article deals with options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during wastewater treatment for agricultural use. Treatment of sewage wastewater involves on-site greenhouse gas emissions due to energy inputs, organic matter degradation and biological nutrient removal. Biological nutrient removal causes both direct emissions and loss of fertilizer value, thus eliminating possible reduction of emissions caused by fertilizer manufacture. The authors of this study estimated on-site greenhouse gas emissions under different treatment scenarios in Israel, and present options for emission reduction by changing treatment methods, avoiding biological nutrient removal and by recovering energy from biogas. Results indicate that changes of treatment methods and extent can reduce direct on-site greenhouse gas emissions by up to 55%. Exploiting the wastewater derived greenhouse gas abatement potential would reduce the State of Israel overall greenhouse gas emissions by one percent. Since sludge composting reduced the fertilizer value, wastewater treatment and products' fertilizer value should accommodate intended agricultural reuse.
The Environmental Sciences Social Network Life-Sciences.net was established to discover and share scholarly and popular content in the basic and applied life and earth sciences including biology, agriculture, forestry, the environmental sciences, and the health sciences.
While the very latest Environmental Sciences content is rarely older than a few minutes, the front page of Live-Sciences.net usually presents stories submitted ca. 20-60 minutes ago. All categories including that of Biology feature RSS Feeds. The site's own search function enables users to search for specific keywords or phrases. For every story displayed, this search functionality automatically suggests up to 10 related articles which are displayed sorted by relevancy.
The site newly provides an Life-Sciences.net portal for mobile viewing at m.life-sciences.net. Life-Sciences.net maintains the increasingly popular Twitter account @Life_Sciences_ which currently features 90,906 tweets and 1,294 followers. The Biology category is represented by Twitter's @EnvironmentMag featuring 12,267 tweets and 316 followers.