Analysis yields clues to chemical composition, natural aging of 100-year-old beer

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Stashed away and long-forgotten, a trio of century-old bottled beers recently discovered in the Czech Republic could help scientists better understand early 20th-century brewing practices, as well as the chemical changes that occur in beer over long periods of time. A report on the well-preserved lagers appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Uncovered in 2015 during the reconstruction of an old brewery, the three lager beers apparently were produced during the World War I era and stored in a large cold cellar at the brewery where they remained to gather dust. The beers were bottled in dark glass and well sealed. Taking advantage of this unique discovery, Jana Olšovská and colleagues sought to produce detailed chemical profiles of these 100-year-old beers and determine the long-term effects of lager beer aging.

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Making cows more environmentally friendly

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Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Frankfurt have published a paper revealing an important discovery surrounding plants used to feed livestock; that plants growing in warmer conditions are tougher and have lower nutritional value to grazing livestock, potentially inhibiting milk and meat yields and raising the amount of methane released by the animals. Higher amounts of methane are produced when plants are tougher to digest — an effect of a warmer environment. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, around 25 times better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. More than 95% of the methane produced by cows comes from their breath through eructation (belching) as they “chew the cud.”

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Manufacturing, global trade impair health of people with no stake in either

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The latest products may bring joy to people around the globe, but academic researchers this week are highlighting the heightened health risks experienced by people in regions far downwind of the factories that produce these goods and on the other side of the world from where they’re consumed. In a study to be published Thursday, March 30, in the journal Nature, scientists quantify and map the shift of environmental and health burdens brought on by globalization and international trade.

“The way manufacturing and commerce are structured in the world today means that air pollution mortality is being felt disproportionately by people living in or near producing regions, often far from where goods are consumed,” said paper co-author Steven Davis, associate professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine.

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11 percent of disappearing groundwater used to grow internationally traded food

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Wheat, rice, sugar, cotton and maize are among the essential internationally traded crops in the global economy. To produce these crops many countries rely on irrigated agriculture that accounts for about 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals, according to the United Nations Water program. One freshwater source is underground aquifers, some of which replenish so slowly that they are essentially a non-renewable resource.

A new study by researchers at the University College London and NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York City shows that 11 percent of the global non-renewable groundwater drawn up for irrigation goes to produce crops that are then traded on the international market. Additionally, two-thirds of the exported crops that depend on non-renewable groundwater are produced in Pakistan (29 percent), the United States (27 percent), and India (12 percent).

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Male or female? Scientist challenges evidence of sex differences among dinosaurs

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A paleontologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature is countering decades of studies that assert that some dinosaurs can be identified as male or female based on the shapes and sizes of their bones.

Dr. Jordan Mallon, a dinosaur specialist at the museum, argues instead that the fossil evidence for these distinctions is inconclusive and, as a result, it might be time to “rewrite the textbooks.” His report, published today in the online journal Paleobiology, focusses on the biological principle of sexual dimorphism, where males and females of a species can be distinguished based on physical characteristics other than sexual organs.

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A Deeper Look at Trump’s Climate Action “Sledgehammer”

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A Deeper Look at Trump’s Climate Action “Sledgehammer”Add Comment|PrintCoal-fired power plant near Becker, Minnesota. Photo by Tony Webster/Flickr
President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday that aims to roll back many of the core elements of U.S. climate strategy, including the Clean Power Plan and methane regulations. As WRI President & CEO Andrew Steer put it, it’s like “taking a sledgehammer to U.S. climate action.”

The administration’s move threatens Americans’ health…

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‘Climate change is real’: companies challenge Trump’s reversal of policy

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Mars Inc, Staples, The Gap and others speak out against Trump’s sweeping executive order that begins to dismantle Obama’s Clean Power Plan

In 2015, when Barack Obama signed the nation’s Clean Power Plan, over 300 companies came out in support, calling the guidelines “critical for moving our country toward a clean energy economy”. Now, as Donald Trump moves to strip those laws away, Mars Inc, Staples and The Gap are just a few of those US corporations who are challenging the new president’s reversal on climate policy.

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Israeli police kill Palestinian woman for alleged stab

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FAMAGUSTA GAZETTE CYPRUS

Israel’s police said they shot a young Palestinian woman dead after she tried to stab police officers in East Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday afternoon.

Police Spokeswoman Luba Samri confirmed the woman’s death.

According to Samri, the woman approached a police force near Damascus Gate with a knife in her hand.

“She tried to stab them,” Samri said, adding that the officers “reacted quickly and neutralized her.”

The incident came two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israeli ministers and lawmakers could renew their controversial visits to the flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque compound within three months.

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U.S. stocks trade mixed as UK starts Brexit process

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On the economic front, U.S. pending home sales rebounded sharply in February to their highest level in nearly a year and second-highest level in over a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors Wednesday.

FAMAGUSTA GAZETTE CYPRUS

U.S. stocks traded mixed around midday Wednesday as investors assessed the start of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
Around noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50.49 points, or 0.24 percent, to 20,651.01. The S&P 500 increased 1.83 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,360.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 15.46 points, or 0.26 percent, to 5,890.60.

Britain’s ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, handed the official letter triggering Article 50 to European Council President Donald Tusk. This commences the country’s two-year exit process from the trading bloc, according to the CNBC.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that she wanted Britain to emerge as more outward-looking than ever before while addressing the House of Commons to confirm triggering of the Brexit process.

On the economic front, U.S. pending home sales rebounded sharply in February to their highest level in nearly a year and second-highest level in over a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors Wednesday.

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South African stocks close firmer

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FAMAGUSTA GAZETTE CYPRUS

Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) closed higher on Wednesday, despite an axe hanging over Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas.

By close of the trading session, the cabinet was in a meeting, amid allegations that the two ministers will lose their jobs.

However, Banks and financials indices were under pressure along with a weaker rand, over a possible Cabinet reshuffle.

The all share was up 0.26 percent at 52,444.78 points. Banks were down 2.45 percent, financials lost 0.99 percent, and general retailers lost 0.27 percent. Platinums were 0.38 percent weaker, gold miners were up 0.23 percent and resources were 1.02 percent firmer.

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