13,000-Year-Old Footprints, Climate Court, Native Bees, Cell Phones And Cancer. March 30, 2018, Part 1

Science Friday

Planting tomatoes in the garden this year? Better hope you have bumblebees too, because tomato flowers need a good shaking to get the pollen out. “What the bumblebee does is grab a tomato flower, curve its abdomen around the bottom of the tomato flower, and then shiver its wing muscles at a specific frequency, shaking pollen out of the holes like a salt shaker,” says Paige Embry, author of Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them.

This week, a panel of peer reviewers met for three days to discuss a draft report on two long-running studies on the potential health effects of cell phone radiation. In their conclusions, and voted to increase the level of confidence in the findings, saying that there was a clear link between the radiofrequency radiation exposure and the male rat heart tissue tumors. The National Toxicology Program now has to decide whether to accept the panel’s recommendation before the final report is released.   

In this week's State of Science, a judge requested a climate science tutorial in a federal lawsuit where two California cities are suing the oil company Chevron. In an unprecedented courtroom tutorial on climate science, Chevron went on record agreeing with the scientific consensus that people are causing global warming. But the company also deflected any responsibility for it under federal law and played up uncertainties in projections for both the volume and future consequences of greenhouse gas emissions. The tack signals a potential legal defense against financial liability for climate change impacts such as rising sea levels.

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