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Latest and Breaking Science Policy News

Law of the Sea authorizes animal tagging research without nations' consent
(Duke University) Scientists who study migratory marine animals can rarely predict where the animals' paths will lead. In a new paper, Duke researchers argue that coastal nations don't have precedent under the law of the sea to require scientists to seek advance permission to remotely track tagged animals who may enter their waters. Requiring advance consent undermines the goals of the law, which is meant to encourage scientific research for conservation of marine animals.

New study finds options for climate change policy are well characterized
(American Meteorological Society) Policy options for climate change risk management are straightforward and have well understood strengths and weaknesses, according to a new study by the American Meteorological Society Policy Program.

Climate change impacts countered by stricter fisheries management
(Wildlife Conservation Society) A new study has found that implementing stricter fisheries management overcame the expected detrimental effects of climate change disturbances in coral reef fisheries badly impacted by the 1997/98 El Nio, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Volunteer guidelines for clinicians in the ebola epidemic
(Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health) A consortium of Boston-based hospitals has prepared a set of guidelines, titled 'Sign Me Up: Rules of the Road for Humanitarian Volunteers during the Ebola Outbreak'. The authors paint an honest picture of volunteer circumstances, and ask those considering volunteering to not make the decision lightly. They insist that the 'global healthcare community must and will rise to serve.'

Ambitious EU targets for renewable energies make economic sense
(Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ) Even beyond the year 2020 European energy policy will require ambitious expansion targets for renewables but also scope for their national implementation. That is the result of an international study lead by environmental economists at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research. The German Renewable Energy Law which has been much criticised recently is also not inconsistent with the idea of a European internal market, say the scientists.

Global boom in hydropower expected this decade
(Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen) An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity.

Nation's 'personality' influences its environmental stewardship, shows new study
(University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management) Countries with higher levels of compassion and openness score better when it comes to environmental sustainability, says research from the University of Toronto.

Bodies at sea: Ocean oxygen levels may impact scavenger response
(Simon Fraser University) An ocean's oxygen levels may play a role in the impact of marine predators on bodies when they are immersed in the sea, according to Simon Fraser University researchers, who deployed a trio of pig carcasses into Saanich Inlet off Vancouver Island and studied them using an underwater camera via the internet.

Changes at the grocery store could turn the burden of shopping with children on its head
(Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health) Avoiding power struggles in the grocery store with children begging for sweets, chips and other junk foods -- and parents often giving in -- could be helped by placing the healthier options at the eye level of children and moving the unhealthy ones out of the way.

Paperwork consumes one-sixth of US physicians' time and erodes morale: Study
(Physicians for a National Health Program) The average US doctor spends 16.6 percent of his or her working hours on non-patient-related paperwork, time that might otherwise be spent caring for patients, according to an analysis of a nationally representative survey of physicians. Current trends in US health policy -- a shift to employment in large practices, the implementation of electronic medical records, and the increasing prevalence of financial risk sharing -- are likely to increase doctors' paperwork burdens and may decrease career satisfaction.

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