TechCrunch: Google Search now displays city-level air quality information in the US

TechCrunch: Google Search now displays city-level air quality information in the US. “Google is rolling out detailed information about air quality in Search, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Wednesday. The company notes that the launch currently only supports city-level queries. Google first rolled out the feature in India last November. The company says it’s now bringing the feature to Search in the United States to help people find timely and actionable information about air quality in their area.”

Georgia Public Radio: Scientists vacuum zoo animals’ DNA out of the air

Georgia Public Radio: Scientists vacuum zoo animals’ DNA out of the air. “A key part of protecting endangered species is figuring out where they’re living. Now researchers say they have found a powerful new tool that could help: vacuuming DNA out of the air. ‘This is a bit of a crazy idea,’ admits Elizabeth Clare, a molecular ecologist at York University in Toronto, Canada. ‘We are literally sucking DNA out of the sky.’ But it works. Clare’s group was one of two to publish papers in the journal Current Biology Thursday showing that dozens of animal species could be detected by simply sampling the air.”

Route Fifty: Employers Have Been Offering the Wrong Office Amenities

Route Fifty: Employers Have Been Offering the Wrong Office Amenities. “I oversee the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard’s public-health school. Our research focuses on how indoor air affects cognition and other aspects of human well-being. (I should note that I also advise businesses, nonprofits, government leaders, and real-estate companies on ventilation and other healthy-building strategies.) In the United States, an engineering guideline known as ‘acceptable indoor air quality’ governs how much air is brought into a building. The problem is right there in the name: I don’t know about you, but I don’t want acceptable air quality; I want good air quality. Instead of being designed to meet a bare-minimum standard, buildings should optimize human health.”

Miltech: New web service launched to estimate radiation doses on airline routes (PRESS RELEASE)

Miltech: New web service launched to estimate radiation doses on airline routes (PRESS RELEASE). “Energetic eruptions of the Sun, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, may cause solar particle storms, which produce a large amount of charged energetic particles to the near-Earth environment. Solar particle storms pose a hazard to modern society, especially to space-borne technology. On Earth, we are protected by the atmosphere from the harmful effects of such storms. However, particles may occasionally have sufficient energy and intensity to produce notable effects in the atmosphere, even at the altitude of trans-polar airline routes. Passengers and crew may receive radiation doses significantly above the background level. Since the exposure of flying personnel to cosmic radiation is regarded as an occupational health problem (International Commission on Radiological Protection, 1991), it should be monitored. ”