Researchers at the Primate Research Center in Davis examined three-year-old rhesus monkeys that had been exposed as newborns to high levels of air pollution caused by wildfires burning around Northern California in 2008. The study shows that the monkeys, who were living outdoors at the time of the fires, were less able to fight off infectious diseases than animals born after the fires.
Lung development in rhesus monkeys and humans is very similar. The study is the first to show that particulate matter has a direct impact on primate immune system function.
The research suggests that exposure to particulates early in life could result in decreased lung capacity and lowered immunity persisting into adulthood.
A movement around the U.S. encourages people to skip the shopping malls Friday and spend time in nature. Some national parks and state parks in California are waiving entry fees.
The 19th annual Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival this weekend is expected to bring thousands of visitors to see the stately birds.
The Pacific Storm system brought some slight improvement to drought conditions in California and Nevada last week.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing more than $30 million to California and Nevada native tribes for water quality and environmental restoration projects.
A program will begin soon in the Eldorado National Forest to remove live or dead vegetation to prevent the spread of wildfires.