Sabtu, 28 Maret 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Do biofuel policies seek to cut emissions by cutting food?

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 05:17 PM PDT

A new study found that government biofuel policies rely on reductions in food consumption to generate greenhouse gas savings.

Recipe for antibacterial plastic: Plastic plus egg whites

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 05:17 PM PDT

Bioplastics made from protein sources such as albumin and whey have shown significant antibacterial properties, findings that could eventually lead to their use in plastics used in medical applications such as wound healing dressings, sutures, catheter tubes and drug delivery, according to a recent study. The bioplastic materials could also be used for food packaging.

Computational model simulates bacterial behavior

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 11:30 AM PDT

Applied mathematicians and environmental biotechnologists have developed a new computational model that effectively simulates the mechanical behavior of biofilms. Their model may lead to new strategies for studying a range of issues from blood clots to waste treatment systems.

Sexual selection isn't the last word on bird plumage

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 11:30 AM PDT

Evolutionary changes have led to both sexes becoming closer together in color over time to blend into their surroundings and hide from predators, a new study has found.

Study takes aim at mitigating the human impact on the Central Valley, California

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 10:22 AM PDT

Study of California's Central Valley shows that as temperature-mitigating technologies are deployed, other environmental factors like pollution become a concern.

Climate change does not cause extreme winters, experts say

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 10:22 AM PDT

Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of climate change. Scientists have now shown that global warming actually tends to reduce temperature variability.

Love the cook, love the food: Attraction to comfort food linked to positive social connections

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 10:21 AM PDT

A big bowl of mashed potatoes. What about spaghetti and meatballs? Sushi? Regardless of what you identify as comfort food, it's likely the attraction to that dish is based on having a good relationship with the person you remember first preparing it.

New lobster-like predator found in 508 million-year-old fossil-rich site

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 09:05 AM PDT

What do butterflies, spiders and lobsters have in common? They are all surviving relatives of a newly identified species called Yawunik kootenayi, a marine creature with two pairs of eyes and prominent grasping appendages that lived as much as 508 million years ago -- more than 250 million years before the first dinosaur.

Long-standing mystery in membrane traffic solved

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 08:18 AM PDT

In 2013, James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman, and Thomas C. Südhof won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of molecular machineries for vesicle trafficking, a major transport system in cells for maintaining cellular processes. SNARE proteins are known as the minimal machinery for membrane fusion. Scientists now report that NSF/?-SNAP disassemble a single SNARE complex using various single-molecule biophysical methods that allow them to monitor and manipulate individual protein complexes.

Metals used in high-tech products face future supply risks

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 08:18 AM PDT

Researchers have assessed the 'criticality' of all 62 metals on the Periodic Table of Elements, providing key insights into which materials might become more difficult to find in the coming decades, which ones will exact the highest environmental costs -- and which ones simply cannot be replaced as components of vital technologies.

A peek at the secret life of pandas

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 08:18 AM PDT

The world is fascinated by the reclusive giant pandas, yet precious little is known about how they spend their time in the Chinese bamboo forests. Until now. A team of researchers who have been electronically stalking five pandas in the wild, courtesy of rare GPS collars, have finished crunching months of data and has published some panda surprises.

Spring plankton bloom hitches ride to sea's depths on ocean eddies

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 07:11 AM PDT

Just as crocus and daffodil blossoms signal the start of a warmer season on land, a similar 'greening' event --a massive bloom of microscopic plants, or phytoplankton -- unfolds each spring in the North Atlantic Ocean from Bermuda to the Arctic.

Color of lettuce determines the speed of its antioxidant effect

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 07:11 AM PDT

Lettuce, one of the indispensable vegetables in the Mediterranean diet, is a food that greatly benefits health, mainly because it is rich in antioxidants. But not all lettuce varieties have the same antioxidant effect. The color of the leaves of these vegetables determines the speed at which their compounds act. So lettuces with green leaves have antioxidants that react more slowly while red-leaf ones have a faster effect.

The stapes in the middle ear of a Neanderthal child shows anatomical differences from humans

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:18 AM PDT

Scientists have produced a 3-D reconstruction of the remains of a two-year-old Neanderthal recovered from an excavation carried out back in the 1970s at La Ferrassie (Dordogne, France). The work reveals the existence of anatomical differences between the Neanderthals and our species, even in the smallest ossicles of the human body.

Two degree Celsius climate change target 'utterly inadequate', expert argues

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:10 AM PDT

The official global target of a two degree Celsius temperature rise is 'utterly inadequate' for protecting those at most risk from climate change, says an expert. The commentary presents a rare inside-view of a discussion at the Lima Conference of the Parties on the likely consequences of accepting an average global warming target of 2 degrees Celsius versus 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Greener industry if environmental authorities change strategy

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:09 AM PDT

Fewer industrial firms would violate environmental legislation and a higher number would adopt cleaner technologies if environmental authorities would focus their monitoring efforts on companies with the most environmentally damaging technology. At a societal level, such a strategy would mean less pollution at the same or a lower cost of monitoring, according to new research.

Playing music by professional musicians activates genes responsible for brain function and singing of songbirds

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:09 AM PDT

Although music perception and practice are well preserved in human evolution, the biological determinants of music practice are largely unknown. According to a latest study, music performance by professional musicians enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission, motor behavior, learning and memory. Interestingly, several of those up-regulated genes were also known to be responsible for song production in songbirds, which suggests a potential evolutionary conservation in sound perception and production across species.

Evolutionary novelties in vision

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:09 AM PDT

A new study shows that genes crucial for vision were multiplied in the early stages of vertebrate evolution and acquired distinct functions leading to the sophisticated mechanisms of vertebrate eyes.

Green roofs: Passive cooling for buildings

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:07 AM PDT

Researchers have found that green roofs with high vegetation density are 60% more efficient than non-green roofs.

Predicting pesticide loads more accurately

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:07 AM PDT

The EU wants to further improve the authorization process for pesticides. The different national procedures for this are supposed to be further harmonized. Researchers have now developed a software for estimating the transfer of pesticides into surface water initially in Germany.

MRI based on a sugar molecule can tell cancerous from noncancerous cells

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 06:06 AM PDT

Imaging tests like mammograms or CT scans can detect tumors, but figuring out whether a growth is or isn't cancer usually requires a biopsy to study cells directly. Now results of a study suggest that MRI could one day make biopsies more effective or even replace them altogether by noninvasively detecting telltale sugar molecules shed by the outer membranes of cancerous cells.

Honey bees use multiple genetic pathways to fight infections

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 03:36 PM PDT

Honey bees use different sets of genes, regulated by two distinct mechanisms, to fight off viruses, bacteria and gut parasites, according to researchers. The findings may help scientists develop honey bee treatments that are tailored to specific types of infections.

Antibiotic effectiveness imperiled as use in livestock expected to increase

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 01:27 PM PDT

Antibiotic consumption in livestock worldwide could rise by 67 percent between 2010 and 2030, and possibly endanger the effectiveness of antimicrobials in humans, researchers warn.

To survive, a parasite mixes and matches its disguises, study suggests

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 01:26 PM PDT

Researchers found an unexpected diversity of protein coats within populations of Trypanosoma brucei, challenging the conventional understanding of the dynamics that allow the parasite to persist. Orchestrated costume changes make it possible for certain nasty microbes to outsmart the immune system, which would otherwise recognize them by the telltale proteins they wear, the researchers explain.

Tagged mako shark traveled more than 7,300 in less than a year

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 01:26 PM PDT

Like his human counterparts, it seems a shortfin mako shark tagged in Maryland has decided to visit the tropical waters off Puerto Rico.

Pacific-wide study reveals striped marlins' preferred habitat, may help avoid overfishing

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:23 PM PDT

Using the largest tagging data set to date, biologists have shown that across the Pacific Ocean the vertical habitat of striped marlin is defined by the light-penetrated, uppermost part of the ocean known as the epipelagic layer, within eight degrees Celsius of sea surface temperature.

International collaboration essential in fight against rabies, new study finds

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:22 PM PDT

New insights into the spread of rabies in the Middle East have been provided by a new study, showing that the deadly disease regularly moves between countries in the region. Previous studies have demonstrated that rabies, a fatal disease transmitted by the bite or scratch from an infected animal, still kills approximately 60,000 people every year. Although some regions such as Western Europe are free from rabies, the disease is still endemic in many parts of the world.

Price, variety and junk food: Study finds urban farmers’ markets may fall short compared to neighborhood stores

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:15 PM PDT

Farmers' markets located in urban areas may not contribute positively to nutrition or health according to researchers. Their study is the first to itemize farmers' market products in an entire urban county—in this case the Bronx—and compare them with what's available in nearby stores.

Materials Genomics Initiative: Sequencing the DNA of things

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:06 AM PDT

Researchers are working to more quickly design materials that will find their ways to the marketplace. Just as the Human Genome Initiative in the 1990s sequenced human DNA for the subsequent identification and analysis of genes, so too will the Materials Genome Initiative sequence materials for identifying new properties for a variety of applications, scientists say.

Protein shake-up: Researchers use neutron scattering and supercomputing to study shape of a protein involved in cancer

Posted: 25 Mar 2015 06:03 PM PDT

A certain class of proteins has challenged researchers' conventional notion that proteins have a static and well-defined structure.
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