Here's today's roundup of science, nature and environment news from the Bay Area and beyond.
Study finds white abalone on the brink of extinctionA study has found white abalone are on the edge of extinction. The endangered shellfish used to number in the millions off the Southern California coast, but researchers say the population has declined so drastically that now the only way to preserve it is for humans to breed abalone in capitivity and release it into the wild.
Bay Area man attacked by mountain lion while sleeping in forest - San Jose Mercury NewsA Bay Area man sleeping under the stars near Nevada City suffered numerous bites and cuts when he was attacked by a mountain lion.
What is polonium-210 and how can it kill?In small amounts, it has legitimate industrial uses, mainly in devices to eliminate static electricity. A 2007 study by radiation experts from Britain's Health Protection Agency concluded that once polonium-210 is deposited in the bloodstream, its potent effects are nearly impossible to stop.
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis a Man-Made Disaster, Report SaysTOKYO - The nuclear accident at Fukushima was a man-made disaster rooted in government-industry collusion and the worst conformist conventions of Japanese culture, a high-level parliamentary inquiry concluded on Thursday, in a report that also warned that the plant may not have stood up to earthquake damage - a worrying concern as the quake-prone country starts to bring its reactor fleet back online.
Diseases from animals hit over two billion people a yearLONDON (Reuters) - A global study mapping human diseases that come from animals like tuberculosis, AIDS, bird flu or Rift Valley fever has found that just 13 such diseases are responsible for 2.4 billion cases of human illness and 2.2 million deaths a year.