Jumat, 12 Februari 2016

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Decade of rising seas slowed by land soaking up extra water

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 04:23 PM PST

New measurements from a NASA satellite have allowed researchers to identify and quantify, for the first time, how climate-driven increases of liquid water storage on land have affected the rate of sea level rise. A new study shows that while ice sheets and glaciers continue to melt, changes in weather and climate over the past decade have caused Earth's continents to soak up and store an extra 3.2 trillion tons of water in soils, lakes and underground aquifers, temporarily slowing the rate of sea level rise by about 20 percent.

Carbon dioxide stored underground can find multiple ways to escape

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 03:59 PM PST

When carbon dioxide is stored underground in a process known as geological sequestration, it can find multiple escape pathways due to chemical reactions between carbon dioxide, water, rocks and cement from abandoned wells, according to researchers.

Fish larvae are better off in groups, study finds

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 03:59 PM PST

A recent study provides new evidence that larvae swim faster, straighter and more consistently in a common direction when together in a group. The research is the first to observe group orientation behaviors of larval fish.

By switching 'bait,' biologists trick plants' bacterial defense into attacking virus

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 03:40 PM PST

Scientists have modified a plant gene that normally fights bacterial infection to confer resistance to a virus. The method is the first time a plant's innate defense system has been altered to deliver resistance to a new disease.

First nationwide survey of climate change education

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 03:39 PM PST

How is climate change being taught in American schools? Is it being taught at all? And how are teachers addressing climate change denial in their classrooms, schools, and school districts? Until today's release of NCSE's comprehensive nationwide survey, no one knew.

Herpes outbreak, other marine viruses linked to coral bleaching event

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:27 AM PST

Significant outbreaks of viruses may be associated with coral bleaching events, especially as a result of multiple environmental stresses, a study has concluded. One such event was documented even as it happened in a three-day period. It showed how an explosion of three viral groups, including a herpes-like virus, occurred just as corals were bleaching in one part of the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast of Australia.

Testing detects algal toxins in Alaska marine mammals

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:22 AM PST

Toxins from harmful algae are present in Alaskan marine food webs in high enough concentrations to be detected in marine mammals such as whales, walruses, sea lions, seals, porpoises and sea otters, according to new research.

Breaking cell barriers with retractable protein nanoneedles

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:20 AM PST

Researchers have adapted a retractable protein polymer -- found naturally in certain bacteria -- to mechanically rupture cell membranes, which could lead to new drug delivery methods and other applications in biotechnology and medicine.

Social animals seek out the company of others because their brains are wired to find it rewarding

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:04 AM PST

Social animals are strongly motivated to seek out the company of others, especially after periods of isolation, because their brains are wired to find it rewarding. A study now reveals a neural circuit that mediates social seeking behavior driven instead by a loneliness-like state. By shedding light on the neuroscience of isolation, the findings could help our understanding of social anxiety and autism spectrum disorders.

This is what a wasp sees to learn the way home

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:04 AM PST

When ground-nesting wasps leave their nests each day, they turn back toward home before flying along a series of ever-increasing arcs. While the insects gain height and distance, their attention remains focused on the nest. By reconstructing what wasps see during these learning flights, researchers say that they have new insight into how the insects find their way home.

Could the food we eat affect our genes? Study in yeast suggests this may be the case

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 08:15 AM PST

Almost all of our genes may be influenced by the food we eat, suggests new research. The study, carried out in yeast -- which can be used to model some of the body's fundamental processes -- shows that while the activity of our genes influences our metabolism, the opposite is also true and the nutrients available to cells influence our genes.

South Africa's Sterkfontein Caves produce two new hominin fossils

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 07:47 AM PST

Two new hominin specimens, a finger bone and a molar, that were found in South Africa's Sterkfontein Caves seem to be from early hominins that can be associated with early stone tool-bearing sediments that entered the cave more than two million years ago.

How your cells build tiny 'train tracks' could shed light on human disease

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 05:52 AM PST

Researchers have discovered how cells in the human body build their own 'railway networks', throwing light on how diseases such as bowel cancer work. The microtubule tracks are vital for functions such as cell division and are a key target for key cancer drugs. Now researchers are studying how these microtubule tracks are assembled.

Why do some fish eat their own eggs?

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 08:19 AM PST

Many animals go to great lengths to ensure the survival of their offspring - yet some species actually eat some or all of their babies. There is not always an obvious explanation – like a food shortage – for such filial cannibalism. Researchers have now investigated personality differences between individuals which may play a role in species which practice filial cannibalism. They observed the Common Goby – a marine fish of up to 6cm in length – to see how male individuals behave towards their eggs.
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