Jumat, 30 September 2016

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Human and avian running on uneven ground

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 06:53 AM PDT

Humans and birds adapt their movement when running on uneven ground. "And even though their adaptation mechanisms and strategies developed completely independently, they do so in very similar ways", outlines a new report that analyzes human and avian locomotion on uneven ground. 

Genes underlying dogs' social ability revealed

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 06:26 AM PDT

The social ability of dogs is affected by genes that also seems to influence human behavior, according to a new study. The scientists have found a relationship between five different genes and the ability of dogs to interact with humans. Four of them also show similarities to certain conditions in humans.

Consumption of a bioactive compound from Neem plant could significantly suppress development of prostate cancer

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 05:22 AM PDT

Oral administration of nimbolide, over 12 weeks shows reduction of prostate tumor size by up to 70 per cent and decrease in tumor metastasis by up to 50 per cent, report investigators.

Cells migrate collectively by intermittent bursts of activity

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 05:22 AM PDT

Cell migration is a central process in the development and maintenance of multicellular organisms. Researchers have now discovered that this motion occurs by intermittent bursts of activity. It can be described by universal scaling laws similar to the ones observed in other driven systems outside of biology.

Cocaine accumulation in fish eyes

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 05:20 AM PDT

A study using a new imaging method has revealed that, surprisingly, cocaine accumulates in the eyes of zebrafish. The findings indicate that chemicals – especially psychoactive drugs – need to be assessed quite differently with waterborne exposure than, for example, when pharmaceutical substances are tested in mice. In particular, the uptake mechanisms and effects of cocaine in fish cannot simply be transferred to mammals or humans.

Marine snow fuels life on the sea-floor

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 05:20 AM PDT

City-sized maps of terrain and life on the sea-floor have revealed that drifts of 'marine snow' on submarine hillsides act as a source of food to fuel a higher biomass of marine life on the hills than on the flatter plains surrounding hills This finding comes from research that may help improve understanding of how features, like hillside slopes and plateaus, add complexity to seafloor habitats and help drive the distribution of marine life.

Rare flu-thwarting mutation discovered

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 07:13 PM PDT

A rare and improbable mutation in a protein encoded by an influenza virus renders the virus defenseless against the body's immune system. This discovery could provide a new strategy for live influenza vaccines in the future, say scientists

News from the primordial world

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 12:33 PM PDT

A new study offers a twist on a popular theory for how life on Earth began about four billion years ago. The study questions the "RNA world" hypothesis, a theory for how RNA molecules evolved to create proteins and DNA. Instead, the new research offers evidence for a world where RNA and DNA evolved simultaneously.

New insight into eye diseases

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 11:30 AM PDT

Many diseases that lead to blindness, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, are caused by the death of certain cells in the human retina that lack the ability to regenerate. But in species such as zebrafish these cells, known as Muller glial cells (MGs), do serve as retinal stem cells that are capable of generating new cells. In a new study, a research team investigated whether the regenerative power of cells in zebrafish could be recreated in mammals, specifically mice.

Wireless, freely behaving rodent cage helps scientists collect more reliable data

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 11:10 AM PDT

The EnerCage (Energized Cage) system is created for scientific experiments on awake, freely behaving small animals. It wirelessly powers electronic devices and sensors traditionally used during rodent research experiments, but without the use of interconnect wires or bulky batteries. Their goal is to create as natural an environment within the cage as possible for mice and rats in order for scientists to obtain consistent and reliable results.

Solution blooming for fracking spills?

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 11:05 AM PDT

Wastewater from oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – is often laden with salts and can spill, contaminating soils. In a recent study, researchers tested a method that extracted a large percentage of the salt present in soils contaminated by brine spills.

Randomized trial suggests eating bread made with ancient grains could benefit heart health

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 10:59 AM PDT

Eating bread made with ancient grains could help lower cholesterol and blood glucose, a recent randomized trial suggests. Compared with modern grain varieties which are often heavily refined, ancient grains offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profiles. They also contain beneficial vitamins (B and E), minerals (eg, magnesium, iron, potassium), which protect against chronic diseases.

Study of North Atlantic Ocean reveals decline of leaded petrol emissions

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 07:16 AM PDT

A new study of lead pollution in the North Atlantic provides strong evidence that leaded petrol emissions have declined over the past few decades. For the first time in around 40 years, scientists have detected lead from natural sources in samples from this ocean. In the intervening period, the proportion of lead in the ocean from humanmade sources, most importantly leaded petrol emissions, had been so high that it was not possible to detect any lead from natural sources.

Toward 'greener,' inexpensive solar cells

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 06:22 AM PDT

Solar panels are proliferating across the globe to help reduce the world's dependency on fossil fuels. But conventional panels are not without environmental costs, too. Now scientists report a new advance toward more practical, "greener" solar cells made with inexpensive halide perovskite materials. They have developed low-bandgap perovskite solar cells with a reduced lead content and a power conversion efficiency of 15 percent.

Fungus makes mosquitoes much more likely to become infected with malaria

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 05:33 AM PDT

A fungus that compromises the immune system of mosquitoes, making them more susceptible to infection with the parasite that causes malaria, has been discovered by scientists. Because environmental microorganisms can vary greatly from region to region, the researchers say the findings may help explain variations in the prevalence of malaria in different geographic areas.

Tracking the amount of sea ice from the Greenland ice sheet

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 05:32 AM PDT

By analyzing ice cores drilled from deep inside the Greenland ice sheet, researchers have started to calculate how much Arctic sea ice there was in the past.

Blue stoplight to prevent runaway photosynthesis

Posted: 27 Sep 2016 07:52 PM PDT

An international team using the green alga Chlamydomonas as a model has found a switch that triggers the suppression mechanism to prevent runaway photosynthesis. The switch is a blue light photoreceptor protein called phototropin.

Forbidden fruit a fatal temptation for grizzly bears in southeastern British Columbia

Posted: 27 Sep 2016 07:51 PM PDT

With its rustic small mountain towns, postcard-perfect vistas, and abundance of "pow" days, British Columbia's East Kootenay region has an undeniable lure for outdoor enthusiasts of all varieties—and the appeal extends beyond ski bums and hikers. The resource-rich Elk Valley (including the towns of Jaffray, Fernie, Elkford, and Sparwood) is also a highly desirable home for wildlife like grizzly bears which are drawn to the area's bountiful fruit supply.

Optimization technique identifies cost-effective biodiversity corridors

Posted: 27 Sep 2016 01:40 PM PDT

A new optimization technique could help conservation biologists choose the most cost-effective ways of connecting isolated populations of rare, threatened and endangered species living in protected areas.

Researchers modify yeast to show how plants respond to a key hormone

Posted: 27 Sep 2016 01:40 PM PDT

Researchers have developed a novel toolkit based on modified yeast cells to tease out how plant genes and proteins respond to auxin, the most ubiquitous plant hormone. Their system allowed them to decode auxin's basic effects on a diverse family of plant genes.

Toxins from food mold weaken airways' defenses to cause more damage

Posted: 27 Sep 2016 11:30 AM PDT

Toxins from mold found growing on nuts or corn can weaken the airways' self-clearing mechanisms and immunity, opening the door for respiratory diseases and exacerbating existing ones, suggests a new study.

The urge to upgrade

Posted: 27 Sep 2016 10:48 AM PDT

In order to properly decide if an upgrade is worth the cost, consumers should compare the new product with what they already own. But new research shows there's a wide gap between what buyers should do and what actually happens when it comes to the most cutting-edge gadgets, products and services.

Wildlife vs. vehicle costs top $225 million annually in California

Posted: 27 Sep 2016 09:38 AM PDT

Collisions involving vehicles and wildlife along California's highways cost more than $225 million annually, according to a new study that uses traffic-incident reports to identify hot spots of concern for both public safety and wildlife conservation.

Edible nano coating extends food freshness

Posted: 26 Sep 2016 07:12 PM PDT

In order to extend the life of fruits and vegetables and preserve them for longer in refrigeration, researchers have developed an edible coating with added functional ingredients applied to freshly cut foods.

Simulations help explain how genomes take form of 3-D chromosomes

Posted: 26 Sep 2016 12:11 PM PDT

Scientists trying to solve the ultimate puzzle -- the architecture of the human genome -- have snapped another piece into place. They have developed a model to explain one part of the mechanism, the folding of chromosomes during a cell's interphase. Their work offers the possibility of predicting the three-dimensional organization of entire genomes from limited one-dimensional data.
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