Jumat, 26 Agustus 2016

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

A mammoth undertaking: Can de-extinction be ecologically responsible?

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 11:17 AM PDT

Can the woolly mammoth be brought back from the dead? Scientists say it's only a matter of time. A conservation ecologist and colleagues have examined ecologically responsible de-extinction, and what it means for science.

Newly discovered 'multicomponent' virus can infect animals

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 11:17 AM PDT

Scientists have identified a new 'multicomponent' virus --one containing different segments of genetic material in separate particles -- that can infect animals. This new pathogen was isolated from several species of mosquitoes in Central and South America. GCXV does not appear to infect mammals; however, the team also isolated a related virus, Jingmen tick virus, from a nonhuman primate.

The brain uses backward instant replays to remember important travel routes

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 10:00 AM PDT

Neuroscientists believe they have figured out how some rats solve certain navigational problems. If there's a 'reward' at the end of the trip, like the chocolatey drink used in this study, specialized neurons in the hippocampus of the brain 'replay' the route taken to get it, but backward. And the greater the reward, the more often the rats' brains replay it.

300 Teeth: Duck-billed dinosaurs would have been dentist’s dream

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 09:02 AM PDT

Imagine how much dental care you'd need if you had 300 or more teeth packed together on each side of your mouth.

Hurricanes are worse, but experience, gender and politics determine if you believe it

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 08:33 AM PDT

Despite ample evidence that Atlantic hurricanes are getting stronger, research found that people's view of future storm threat is based on their hurricane experience, gender and political affiliation. This could affect how policymakers and scientists communicate the increasing deadliness of hurricanes as a result of climate change.

Solar activity has a direct impact on Earth's cloud cover

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 08:32 AM PDT

Solar variations affect the abundance of clouds in our atmosphere, a new study suggests. Large eruptions on the surface of the Sun can temporarily shield Earth from so-called cosmic rays which now appear to affect cloud formation.

Looking to saliva to gain insight on evolution

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 08:32 AM PDT

There's no need to reinvent the genetic wheel. That's one lesson of a new study that looks to the saliva of humans, gorillas, orangutans, macaques and African green monkeys for insights into evolution. The work shows that adaptation isn't just about creating new tools for survival -- it's also about tweaking the ones we have.

Sustainable alternative to methyl bromide for tomato production

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 08:32 AM PDT

Field studies in two Florida locations evaluated and compared anaerobic soil disinfestations (ASD) and chemical soil fumigation (CSF) performance on weed and nematodes control, and on fruit yield and quality of fresh-market tomato. Results indicated that ASD (applied using a mixture of composted poultry litter and molasses as carbon source) may be a potentially sustainable alternative to conventional CSF for controlling plant-parasitic nematodes and weeds without causing negative effects on fruit yield and quality.

Purslane production practices enhance nutritional value

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 08:32 AM PDT

A study evaluated the influence of nitrogen fertility levels on biomass and concentrations of nutritionally important carotenoid and chlorophyll pigments in purslane. Two purslane cultivars were grown in nutrient solution culture under four nitrogen concentrations. Results showed no influence of nitrogen treatment concentration on purslane shoot tissue fresh weight accumulation. Nitrogen treatment significantly influenced purslane shoot tissue beta-carotene, lutein, neoxanthin, total carotenoids, chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, total chlorophyll, and the chlorophyll a to b ratio.

Scientists solve puzzle of converting gaseous carbon dioxide to fuel

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 08:32 AM PDT

Every year, humans advance climate change and global warming by injecting about 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Scientists believe they've found a way to convert all these emissions into energy-rich fuel in a carbon-neutral cycle that uses a very abundant natural resource: silicon. Readily available in sand, it's the seventh most-abundant element in the universe and the second most-abundant element in the earth's crust.

Underground radar used to locate post-Katrina damage

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 08:32 AM PDT

An innovative underground radar technology is helping the City of Slidell in south Louisiana to identify and document underground infrastructure damage that had gone undetected in the months and years following Hurricane Katrina.

Well-wrapped feces allow lobsters to eat jellyfish stingers without injury

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 08:32 AM PDT

Lobsters eat jellyfish without harm from the venomous stingers due to a series of physical adaptations. Researchers examined lobster feces to discover that lobsters surround their servings of jellyfish in protective membranes that prevent the stingers from injecting their venom. The results are vial for aquaculture efforts to sustainably farm lobsters for diners around the world.

Sea temperature and the lunar cycle predict the arrival of jellyfish in Israel

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 07:23 AM PDT

Large swarms of jellyfish reach the coast of Israel when the sea temperature ranges between 28.2 and 30 degrees Celsius and during the full moon, according to a new study. The study reveals, for the first time, the link between sea temperature and the lunar cycle and the arrival of swarms of Jellyfish s along the coast of Israel.

Going green is for girls, but branding can make men eco-friendly

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 07:23 AM PDT

Studies show that men are not as environmentally friendly as women. But could men be persuaded to go green? New research indicates the answer is yes — and it's all about branding.

New strategy to fight mosquitoes in a more efficient and sustainable way

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 07:11 AM PDT

Mosquitoes continue to build resistance to existing pesticides. Research has now shown that the chemical substances emitted by one of the mosquito's natural enemies -- the backswimmer -- makes the biological pesticide Bti more deadly. These so-called predator cues also impair the mosquito's immune system. Scientists argue that a cocktail of biological pesticides and synthetic predator cues may become the future strategy for mosquito control.

An effective and low-cost solution for storing solar energy

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 05:47 AM PDT

Solar energy can be stored by converting it into hydrogen. But current methods are too expensive and don't last long. Using commercially available solar cells and none of the usual rare metals, researchers have now designed a device that outperforms in stability, efficiency and cost.

Biofuels increase, rather than decrease, heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 05:46 AM PDT

A new study challenges the widely held assumption that biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are inherently carbon neutral.

Ant genomics declare 'checkmate' to red king theory: Long-standing scientific theory challenged

Posted: 25 Aug 2016 05:46 AM PDT

If two species are mutualists -- that is, each benefits from the activity of the other -- the Red King Theory predicts that they should evolve at a slower rate, so as to avoid interrupting their partnership. Makes sense, right? Think again! In a new study, comparative genomic analysis shows that the complete opposite may actually be true.

New map shows alarming growth of the human footprint

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 06:22 PM PDT

Scientists says a new map of the ecological footprint of humankind shows 97 percent of the most species-rich places on Earth have been seriously altered.

Seismic shield: Large-scale metamaterials combat earthquakes in 3-D model

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 06:22 PM PDT

Numerical analysis considers both surface and guided waves, accounts for soil dissipation, and provides design guidelines for implementing earthquake protection using an array of ground-based cavities.

Hay fever from ragweed pollen could double due to climate change

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 06:22 PM PDT

Climate change could cause new hay fever misery for millions of people across Europe -- according to a new report. Hay fever is a common allergic condition that is caused by an allergy to pollen -- including tree pollen (released during spring), grass pollen (released during the end of spring and beginning of summer) or weed pollen (especially released late autumn).

THC in marijuana makes rats lazy, less willing to try cognitively demanding tasks

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 11:40 AM PDT

New research suggests there may be some truth to the belief that marijuana use causes laziness -- at least in rats.

Green light: Biochemists describe light-driven conversion of greenhouse gas to fuel

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 11:40 AM PDT

By way of a light-driven bacterium, biochemists are a step closer to cleanly converting harmful carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion into usable fuels. Using the phototropic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris as a biocatalyst, the scientists generated methane from carbon dioxide in one enzymatic step.

Climate change: Trade liberalization could buffer economic losses in agriculture

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 11:39 AM PDT

Global warming could create substantial economic damage in agriculture, a new study finds. Around the globe, climate change threatens agricultural productivity, forcing up food prices. As the additional expenditure for consumers outweighs producers' gains, increasing net economic losses will occur in the agriculture and food sector towards the end of the century. However, economic losses could be limited to 0.3 percent of global GDP -- depending on agricultural trade policies.

Golden eagles may be more abundant in undeveloped, elevated landscapes

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 11:38 AM PDT

Golden eagles may be more abundant in elevated, undeveloped landscapes with high wind speeds, according to a study. Better understanding of golden eagle abundance and distribution across the developing western United States is needed to help identify and conserve their habitats in the face of threats, say researchers.

Interactive, open source visualizations of nocturnal bird migrations in near real-time

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 11:38 AM PDT

New flow visualizations using data from weather radar networks depict nocturnal bird migrations, according to a new study.

Post-disaster optimization technique capable of analyzing entire cities

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 11:00 AM PDT

Scientists have created a novel method that represents a major improvement in existing post-disaster optimization methodologies. Their technique, Algorithm with Multiple-Input Genetic Operators (AMIGO) is designed to consider very complex objectives while keeping computational costs down. In addition to being the first model to factor in so many elements, AMIGO is unique for its versatility.

New electrical energy storage material shows its power

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 10:55 AM PDT

A new material could one day speed up the charging process of electric cars and help increase their driving range. The modified covalent organic framework (COF) material combines the ability to store large amounts of electrical energy or charge, like a battery, and the ability to charge and discharge rapidly, like a supercapacitor, into one device. The researchers built a prototype device capable of powering an LED for 30 seconds.

Selecting the right house plant could improve indoor air quality

Posted: 24 Aug 2016 05:42 AM PDT

Indoor air pollution is an important environmental threat to human health, leading to symptoms of 'sick building syndrome.' But researchers report that surrounding oneself with certain house plants could combat the potentially harmful effects of volatile organic compounds, a main category of these pollutants.

New study reveals adaptations for snub-nosed monkeys

Posted: 23 Aug 2016 06:29 PM PDT

In a heroic effort, researchers have now sequenced, assembled and analyzed the mutations in the genomes of 38 wild snub-nosed monkeys (from genome mapping of 42 individuals: 27 golden, four gray, two Myanmar and nine black) from four different endangered species of snub-nosed monkeys -- the largest investigation into primate genomics outside of the great apes.

Brief rapamycin therapy in middle-aged mice extends lives

Posted: 23 Aug 2016 12:59 PM PDT

In mice, the drug rapamycin is known to extend lives and delay some age-related problems. Questions remain about about how it promotes healthy aging, when, how much and how long to administer rapamycin, and how to avoid serious side effects. A new study showed brief therapy during middle age with rapamycin dramatically extended mouse lives. Findings revealed the need to further examine how gender and dose influence side effects and the drug's impact on susceptibility to and protection from different types of cancer.
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