Greetings, HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE! Here we are again, Week 2, now for the Friday facts series.
"The box jellyfish is the most venomous animal in the world," says the lead author, Dr Angel Yanagihara of the University of Hawaii's Department of Tropical Medicine. Aside from causing hapless swimmers excruciating pain or death, the Box Jelly's venom immediately shocks and kills prey (including fish and shrimp). The venom contains toxins that attack the heart, nervous system and skin cells. The venom is so painful, that human victims have died before even reaching shore as it causes cardiac arrest within minutes through puncturing holes in red blood cells and causing potassium to leak out of them. The fastest deaths have been within 2 to 5 minutes. The exceptional survivors experience pain for weeks, and often have significant scarring where the tentacles were in touch. 

Sea turtles are unaffected by the sting of the infamous venomous box jellyfish and regularly eat them.

56.7°C (134°F) is the hottest surface temperature ever recorded on Earth in 1913 at Death Valley, California, United States. No wonder the place is named Death Valley, temperatures about 50°C can be fatal for humans. Previously, the hottest temperature was recorded at 58°C at El Azizia, Libya, but was recently reviewed (2010-2012) by a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Commission of Climatology (CCl) special international panel of meteorological experts. They had several concerns including; problematical instrumentation, inexperienced observer and the observation site, and disregarded the temperature reading.

You can’t see the Great Wall of China from space, but you can see China’s air pollution. China's air pollution is affecting the temperature rise in Earth's atmosphere. China is the second largest contributor to global warming in the world. It is a major environmental issue and a primary health threat. However GOOD NEWS! China has announced new measures to tackle the country's dishonorable air pollution. Targets include a 30% reduction in emissions from heavily polluting industries (such as coal power stations) are to be introduced in order to change the air pollution by 2017.

Sheep are regularly used for studies related to human medicine because their weight is very similar to ours, they can produce organs similar in size to humans and their genome is well known. So it came as no surprise that scientists from the University of Nevada have created sheep that are 15% human with the main purpose "to produce a source of organs, especially livers to transplant someday into humans." Professor Esmail Zanjani and his team used stem cells (cells that can develop into many other kinds of cells) from the bone marrow of adult humans. They placed the cells into the peritoneum (the serous membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity or the coelom) of a sheep's fetus. These cells get disturbed throughout the metabolic system into the circulatory system of all the organs in the body resulting in lambs with millions of human cells in all of their organs that are genetically identical to the person who donated the bone marrow cells. In a hypothetical situation a patient that needs a liver would provide their doctor with their cells which would be injected into a sheep's fetus to grow. This process could be beneficial for more than 10,000 people in the UK that currently need a transplant (of which 1000 die each year progressively). However as there are many implications and criticisms that are involved, it is still decades away from being tested on humans.

Ocean water holds nearly 20 million tons of gold. We're not talking about treasures hidden in the ocean. Gold is in every litre of seawater and is so dilute one litre contains 13billionths of a gram of gold.

Hope you have enjoyed this weeks Friday facts segment!! Thank you for stopping by. Would you like us to mention a fact in next week Friday facts? Make sure to leave a comment and come back for more articles!! 

Bio Bunch.
Over and out.  

For this weeks article we thought that we would draw your attention to ELECTRIC CARS! You may have heard both car companies and various forms of environmental governments swinging around terms such as ‘we promise that we are investing in green technology’, and these promises will be filled with key words such as ‘higher efficiency, lower emissions, reduce our carbon footprint, environmentally friendly, eco friendly, renewable energy.’ It feels as though the amount of stress put on us to turn to more eco friendly products increase each day. To clear this up we are not belittling switching of that light you don’t need on, or turning of the heating and putting on an extra layer because those efforts help A LOT!, and we do everything we can TO SAVE NATURE AND THE POLAR BEARS, but electric cars being the answer to reducing our emissions… needless to say we are a bit sceptical, so we decided to do some investigating on just how environmentally friendly these cars actually are. Enjoy!

When electric cars are not environmentally friendly:   
Whether a car is environmentally friendly or not comes down to 2 major concerns:
1. How the electric vehicle and particularly the batteries are manufactured.
2. How the electricity, which powers them, is generated.

Based on these concerns it was found that in some circumstances electric cars have a greater impact on global warming than conventional cars. A study conducted in Sweden investigated the production and operation of an electric car driven for 150,000 km through a life cycle analysis. They then compared this to the production and operation of conventional cars. When reading through the study, one of the take home findings was that the energy intensive manufacturing of electric cars meant that some of them make almost double the impact on global warming as conventional cars. This was down to the amount of raw materials and energy needed to build the lithium ion batteries.
Hang on a minute there, the challenges on how environmentally friendly these vehicles are when they have hit the road, is still dependent on how the electricity used to charge the battery is generated within the country.


Well our fellow Biobunchers!! Firstly it is important that you are aware of the fact that electricity generated from the burning of coal creates the MOST POLLUTION out of all the other fossil fuels!! And it just so happens that China depends on coal for not a bit but ALL of its energy needs, this drastically reduces the environmental advantage of electric cars driven in China. The life cycle analysis of electric cars  driven in China showed that, they are polluting the atmosphere far more than a conventional car! (just to remind you, this is the exact opposite of what it is meant to do L #sad WHY CHINA WHY??) Anyway… unlike China, Norway seems to be sporting the idea of electric cars, and this is all because most of their power is generated by hydroelectricity. Meaning that their life cycle analysis showed that electric cars driven in their country quickly out performed conventional cars in terms of their environmental impact!

Now, according to Majeau Betlee when the European average generation mix is met, and the your environmental car has been driven for 150,000 km there is a possible 25% improvement on the release of emissions. Sadly the UK does not abide by the European average generation mix . Our energy mix is more coal and natural gas based, so the benefits would be around 10% better over it’s life cycle than a car that has an internal combustion engine. Just to give you an idea on the numbers behind our energy mix: gas (45%), coal (28%) nuclear (17%) and renewable sources (6.6%) compared to the 70% of renewable sources of energy used by other EU countries such as Austria.

All in all, the energy used by the country and their energy mix ultimately decides whether an electric car can be classified as an environmental car. The UK must lower their dependency on non-renewable sources of energy and increase their renewable mix if we are to ever meet our target for the year 2050.
So… electric cars are not environmental? 
Well it is safe to say that under the current energy mix exhibited by the UK and mainly China, that green cars are not massively beneficial to our environment. However, there is still hope, by 2020 it is thought that the UK will be increasing the amount of electricity generated by nuclear power stations to 11%, that and the government are placing considerable interest and investment in clean sources of energy.

Now, when one is talking about the environmental impact of conventional combustion engines they talk about that cars tail pipe emission. Surprisingly, when the tail pipe emissions of an electric car are compared to a conventional car, the value is a very surprising big fat. ZERO. Yep you read that right, this means that an electric car emits 100% less through its tail pipe than an internal combustion engine (we here at BioBunch believe that is a pretty big advantage.) It is important to note that the manufacturing process behind the environmental car may not be the best at present, however if there was more of a demand the process would become progressively more efficient. 
It does not end there, of the energy you put into an electric car around 80-90% is converted to useful power at the wheels, compared to a minor 20-30% conversion rate in an conventional car.
CALLING TO ALL LONDONERS!! Have you ever walked through London and thought ‘Is it just me or do we live in an area of really poor air quality’… well to be honest your not far off it, and it isn’t just you. It was found that London is in breach of EU standards on dangerous particles, which are responsible for 4,300 deaths a year! Yeah... that doesn’t sound all too great, but guess what, if more people drove electric cars than the quality of air has a chance to improve all by itself. Interesting how nature has a knack for healing itself without the intervention of humans.
And here are a few advantages of electric cars also:
·       Better gas mileage.
·       Less dependency on foreign oils.
·       Reduced exhaust emissions.
·       Saves drivers money.
All in all, we hope to leave you Biobunchers with more knowledge on this advancing piece of technology and the part that electric cars play in both decreasing emissions and reducing climate change. Remember we focused on electric cars in general and not on other cars like hybrids, hydrogen fuel cars and so on. We believe that the effectiveness of environmental cars is based on the countries individual energy mix, however we also take note of the fact that improving a countries transport and decreasing their dependency on buying individual cars has a place in reducing carbon emissions also.

As always guys we are really interested in what you have to say! Do you think that environmental cars have a place in reducing global emissions? Maybe you can think of a solution that hasn’t been mentioned in our article this week? Make sure to leave a comment and keep a look out for more articles!!

Over and out. 

For all the information used in this text and more visit theses websites:
The Guardian - Carbon confusion 

Benefits of Green Eco-Friendly Cars

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