Minggu, 14 September 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Zebrafish Model of a Learning and Memory Disorder Shows Better Way to Target Treatment

Posted: 13 Sep 2014 11:13 AM PDT

Using a zebrafish model of a human genetic disease called neurofibromatosis, researchers have found that the learning and memory components of the disorder are distinct features that will likely need different treatment approaches.
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Sabtu, 13 September 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


How evolutionary principles could help save our world

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 12:21 PM PDT

The age of the Anthropocene -- the scientific name given to our current geologic age -- is dominated by human impacts on our environment. A warming climate. Increased resistance of pathogens and pests. A swelling population. Coping with these modern global challenges requires application of what one might call a more-ancient principle: evolution.

Ahoy, offshore wind: Advanced buoys bring vital data to untapped energy resource

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 10:48 AM PDT

Two large buoys that are decked out with advanced scientific instruments will help more accurately predict offshore wind's power-producing potential.

Environmental costs, health risks, and benefits of fracking examined

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 08:25 AM PDT

Rising supplies of natural gas could benefit the environment by replacing coal as a fuel for electricity, but hydraulic fracturing poses dangers for people living near the wells, a new analysis finds.

Experts call for massive global response to tackle Ebola

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 08:25 AM PDT

The current Ebola outbreak now requires a 'rapid response at a massive global scale,' according to experts. The outbreak which began in December 2013 now spans five countries in West Africa and has so far killed nearly 2000 people, with the WHO predicting that 20,000 may become infected.

Corn spots: Study finds important genes in defense response

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 08:25 AM PDT

When corn plants come under attack from a pathogen, they sometimes respond by killing their own cells near the site of the attack, committing "cell suicide" to thwart further damage from the attacker. This cell sacrifice can cause very small, often microscopic, spots or lesions on the plant. Researchers have now scoured the corn genome to find candidate genes that control this important defense response.

Conjecture on the lateral growth of Type I collagen fibrils

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 08:24 AM PDT

Research building on recent model using the algorithm of phyllotaxis to build a dense organization of triple helices in fibrils with circular symmetry.

Iberian Peninsula endured tropical storms in the 18th century and severe droughts in Islamic times

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 05:53 AM PDT

The first meteorological measurements were taken in the Iberian Peninsula in 1724, which coincides with the year in which Portugal suffered one of the worst storms ever. Later, in 1816, Spain felt the effects of the eruption of the Mount Tambora volcano and almost one thousand years before, in 898, a drought in Al-Andalus was so severe that communities even resorted to cannibalism. These are facts recovered from old documents.

From worm muscle to spinal discs: An evolutionary surprise

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Thoughts of the family tree may not be uppermost in the mind of a person suffering from a slipped disc, but those spinal discs provide a window into our evolutionary past. They are remnants of the first vertebrate skeleton, whose origins now appear to be older than had been assumed. Scientists have found that, unexpectedly, this skeleton most likely evolved from a muscle.

Piglet health: A better understanding of the immune response to intestinal parasites

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Parasitologists are closer to understanding the disease process behind porcine neonatal coccidiosis. The disease affects piglets during the first days of their life and can cause heavy diarrhea in the animals. The parasite Cystoisospora suis damages the intestinal mucosa to such a degree that it threatens the growth and survival of the pigs. The researchers have now analyzed the immune response to the infection.

Volunteer 'eyes on the skies' track peregrine falcon recovery in California

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 03:07 PM PDT

Datasets from long-running volunteer survey programs, calibrated with data from sporadic intensive monitoring efforts, have allowed ecologists to track the recovery of peregrine falcons in California and evaluate the effectiveness of a predictive model popular in the management of threatened species.

Microbes evolve faster than ocean can disperse them

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 03:07 PM PDT

Scientists have created an advanced model aimed at exploring the role of neutral evolution in the biogeographic distribution of ocean microbes. Over the past sev­eral decades, ecol­o­gists have come to under­stand that both natural selec­tion and neu­tral evolution -- that vari­a­tion within and between species is caused by genetic drift and random mutations -- play a role in the bio­geo­graphic pat­terns of ocean microbes. New results flew in the face of the long held notion that microbes are infi­nitely mobile.

Fat gene and mitochondria: Surprising cellular connection sheds new light on energy control

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 01:32 PM PDT

An unusual biochemical connection has been discovered by researchers, which has implications for diseases linked to mitochondria, which are the primary sources of energy production within our cells.

Commensal bacteria help orchestrate immune response in lung

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 01:32 PM PDT

Signals from the bacteria that harmlessly -- and often beneficially -- inhabit the human gastrointestinal tract boost the immune system's ability to kill a major respiratory pathogen, Klebsiella pneumoniae, according to a study conducted on mice.

High Flux Isotope Reactor Named Nuclear Historic Landmark

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 01:31 PM PDT

The High Flux Isotope Reactor, or HFIR, has been designated a Nuclear Historic Landmark by the American Nuclear Society. The reactor was conceived in the late 1950s as a production reactor to meet anticipated demand for transuranic isotopes ("heavy" elements such as plutonium and curium). HFIR today is a DOE Office of Science User Facility and one of the world's sole sources of the radioisotope californium-252, used in industry and medicine.

15 years of carbon dioxide emissions on Earth mapped

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 12:18 PM PDT

Scientists have developed a new approach to estimate carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels -- one that provides crucial information to policymakers. Called the 'Fossil Fuel Data Assimilation System,' this system was used to quantify 15 years of carbon dioxide emissions, every hour, for the entire planet -- down to the city scale. Until now, scientists have estimated greenhouse gas emissions at coarser scales or used less reliable techniques.

Original northern border of Illinois was south of Chicago and Lake Michigan

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 12:18 PM PDT

Chicago residents today might have had a Wisconsin zip code if the originally proposed northern boundary of Illinois had been approved. It was a straight line from the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan to just south of the Rock and Mississippi River confluence. A soil scientist said that had the proposed northern border not been changed, the state of Illinois would have a much smaller population and footprint with the northern 51 miles of the Illinois Territory ceded to Wisconsin when it became a state in 1848.

Molecular mechanisms of birth defects among older women: Why older women can have babies with Down Syndrome

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 10:54 AM PDT

Researchers studying cell division in fruit flies have discovered a pathway that may improve understanding of molecular mistakes that cause older women to have babies with Down syndrome.

Evolutionary tools improve prospects for sustainable development

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 10:54 AM PDT

Solving societal challenges in food security, emerging diseases and biodiversity loss will require evolutionary thinking in order to be effective in the long run. Inattention to this will only lead to greater challenges such as short-lived medicines and agricultural treatments, problems that may ultimately hinder sustainable development, argues a new study.

Malaria parasites sense and react to mosquito presence to increase transmission

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 10:54 AM PDT

Many pathogens are transmitted by insect bites. The abundance of vectors (as the transmitting insects are called) depends on seasonal and other environmental fluctuations. A new article demonstrates that Plasmodium parasites react to mosquitoes biting their hosts, and that the parasite responses increase transmission to the mosquito vector.

Ebola paper demonstrates disease transmission rate

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Transmission rates for each single case of Ebola consistently showed at least one new case of the disease being transmitted. Country-specific analysis of transmission rates in Liberia and Sierra Leone showed on average between one and two new cases for every existing case, research has shown.

Unusual host preference of a moth species could be useful for biological control

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Biologists have discovered that Gynnodomorpha permixtana, a well-known moth species from Europe and Asia, has changed its host preferences in order to adjust to Iran's northern region environmental conditions. This adaptation may be useful for biological control of problematic weeds in rice fields.

In mice and men, a shared gene of diabetes

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 09:59 AM PDT

By using novel analysis tools, researchers were able to identify a gene involved in the development of type 2 diabetes in mice. Subsequently, further work revealed that this gene is also involved in human diabetes.

The biomethane market needs clear frame conditions for further growth, experts urge

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 09:50 AM PDT

Biomethane as a substitute for the fossil energy carrier natural gas offers a variety of options and applications for a sustainable energy supply. Nevertheless, a consequent market penetration is still pending because of a lack of standardized and transnational frame conditions. Scientists have now summarized how the biomethane market developed in the IEA (International Energy Agency) member states and which factors are necessary for further growing.

New superfoods could help key protein keep bodies healthy

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 06:33 AM PDT

A new generation of new superfoods that tackle heart disease and diabetes could be developed following research into a protein that helps keep cells in our bodies healthy. The beneficial substances comprise broccoli-derived sulforaphane and quercetin, which is found in high-levels in onions.

Urban design with emotions: Designing to cut stress of city commuting

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 06:33 AM PDT

Unsafe bike paths, traffic jam stress, frightening underpasses -- modern city dwellers face a number of stressors. According to experts, sustainable urban design needs to take into account citizens' emotional responses to their environment. Scientists are now developing creative methods to capture information about those feelings from user-generated data.

Microfluidics: Lab on a breathing chip

Posted: 10 Sep 2014 06:37 PM PDT

Human nasal epithelial cells, cultured on a microchip, react to air pollutants just like they would in the upper airway. The upper respiratory tract is the first line of defense against air pollutants, including allergens, bacteria and environmental toxicants. Finger-like protrusions called cilia on the surface of the human mucous membrane, or epithelium, sway back and forth when irritated. This coordinated 'beating' movement of the cilia helps to remove foreign materials and is an important protective mechanism.
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