Kamis, 08 Desember 2016

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Common insecticides are riskier than thought to predatory insects

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 12:12 PM PST

Neonicotinoids -- the most widely used class of insecticides -- significantly reduce populations of predatory insects when used as seed coatings, according to researchers. The team's research challenges the previously held belief that neonicotinoid seed coatings have little to no effect on predatory insect populations. In fact, the work suggests that neonicotinoids reduce populations of insect predators as much as broadcast applications of commonly used pyrethroid insecticides.

Chemical mosquito controls ineffective in Zika fight

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 11:27 AM PST

Some existing methods for controlling Zika-carrying mosquitoes are not effective and may even be counter-productive, according to research.

Despite evolutionary inexperience, northern sockeye manage heat stress

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 11:07 AM PST

Sockeye salmon that evolved in the generally colder waters of the far north still know how to cool off if necessary, an important factor in the species' potential for dealing with global climate change.

Conservation effort spreads seeds of destruction across the Midwest

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 10:36 AM PST

Weed scientists in at least two Midwestern states have been reporting for years that a conservation program meant to provide habitat for pollinating insects is sowing bad seeds -- including seeds of the potentially devastating agricultural weed Palmer amaranth -- along with the good. Now, researchers have traced the weed seeds to at least one source: pollinator habitat seed sold by a company in the Midwest.

Novel label-free microscopy enables dynamic, high-resolution imaging of cell interactions

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 10:36 AM PST

Researchers have invented a novel live-cell imaging method that could someday help biologists better understand how stem cells transform into specialized cells and how diseases like cancer spread. The Photonic Crystal Enhanced Microscope (PCEM) is capable of monitoring and quantitatively measuring cell adhesion, a critical process involved cell migration, cell differentiation, cell division, and cell death.

Most of Greenland ice melted to bedrock in recent geologic past, says study

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 10:34 AM PST

Scientists have found evidence in a chunk of bedrock drilled from nearly two miles below the summit of the Greenland ice sheet that the sheet nearly disappeared for an extended time in the last million years or so. The finding casts doubt on assumptions that Greenland has been relatively stable during the recent geological past, and implies that global warming could tip it into decline more precipitously than previously thought.

Greenland on thin ice?

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 10:34 AM PST

First-of-their-kind studies provide new insight into the deep history of the Greenland Ice Sheet, looking back millions of years farther than previous techniques allowed. However, the two studies present some strongly contrasting evidence about how Greenland's ice sheet may have responded to past climate change.

Cancer spread is increased by a high fat diet, ground-breaking evidence shows

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 10:21 AM PST

New research shows that the metastatic process (cancer spread) is enhanced by fat intake. Mice given a high fat diet, including palmitic acid (a major component of palm oil which is found in lots of household products) developed the most aggressive cancer spread. The study identifies for the first time a protein called CD36 which has an essential role in cancer spreading.

New catalyst for capture and conversion of atmospheric carbon dioxide

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 09:41 AM PST

New research has focused on developing a new catalyst that would lead to large-scale implementation of capture and conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Taking a Second Look at Coral Bleaching Culprit

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 09:41 AM PST

When it comes to coral health, superoxide -- a natural toxin all oxygen-breathing organisms produce -- gets a bad rap.

Most UK coastal flooding caused by moderate, not extreme storms

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 09:02 AM PST

Scientists have found that the majority of instances of coastal flooding around the United Kingdom in the last 100 years have been due to moderate storm events combined with high spring tides, rather than extreme storms.

40,000 waves improve sand transport models

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 07:14 AM PST

Over the past few years, Joep van der Zanden has created perfectly identical waves – 40,000 times – in a large 'wave flume' (channel). Using advanced measurements, he investigated the effect of these waves on the sand at the bottom of the flume. The results of his work included a detailed description of the effect of breaking waves on the movement of water and on the shifting sands of the seabed. The knowledge obtained in this way is essential if we are to improve existing models and, ultimately, make beach nourishment operations more efficient.

Bacterial L-forms: An independent form of life that can multiply indefinitely

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 07:13 AM PST

Bacteria able to shed their cell wall assume new, mostly spherical shapes. Researchers have shown that these cells, known as L-forms, are not only viable but that their reproductive mechanisms may even correspond to those of early life forms.

How our immune system targets TB

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:30 AM PST

Researchers have seen, for the very first time, how the human immune system recognizes tuberculosis (TB). These findings are the crucial step in developing better diagnostics and perhaps even vaccines for this deadly infection.

Global habitat loss still rampant across much of Earth

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:29 AM PST

Habitat destruction still far outstrips habitat protection across many parts of the planet, reports an international team of researchers. The new study reveals more than half the planet could now be classified as completely converted to human-dominated land use.

Can bird feeders do more harm than good?

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:29 AM PST

Many bird lovers put out feeders full of seed for their feathered friends -- but those feeders may also attract predators that eat eggs and nestlings. The researchers behind a new study tried to untangle these relationships through a four-year study of songbird nests, bird feeders, and predators in urban central Ohio.

The secret slimming effect of sweet potato waste

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:29 AM PST

The sweet potato pie you eat during the holidays might not be good for your waistline, but according to a new study, the starchy water left over from cooking the sweet potato could have slimming effects -- at least in mice.

Migrating birds pile up along Great Lakes' shores

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:29 AM PST

Birds prefer to migrate at night -- so much so that if day breaks while they're over water, they'll turn back toward the nearest shore rather than pressing on, concludes a new study that used weather radar to examine the behavior of birds crossing the Great Lakes.

Wild horse overpopulation is causing environmental damage

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:18 AM PST

Most Americans envision healthy mustangs galloping free on the range when they think about the country's wild horse population. But one expert sees another image.

Iguanas partner with the plants of the Galápagos Islands

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:15 AM PST

The isolation of ocean islands like the Galápagos prevents the arrival of large mammals, which disperse the seeds of many plants by ingesting them. In the absence of mammals, this function is filled by birds, tortoises, lizards and iguanas. To date, no investigation had been carried out into the role iguanas play with at least ten species of plants.

Plants modified to express fruit fly gene used to detoxify contaminated land

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:13 AM PST

Scientists have discovered that a gene found in the common fruit fly can be successfully expressed in a plant and used to detoxify land contaminated with TNT.

Major Urinary Proteins do not allow kin recognition in male mice

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:11 AM PST

The urine of house mice, unlike humans, contains large amounts of proteins, which are mainly major urinary proteins or MUPs. These proteins function to stabilize the release of volatile pheromones from urinary scent marks. MUP genes occur in a large cluster in mice, and there are 21 different MUP genes, whereas humans have only one MUP gene, which is no longer functional.

Bacterial mechanism converts nitrogen to greenhouse gas

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 12:56 PM PST

A biological mechanism has been discovered that helps convert nitrogen-based fertilizer into nitrous oxide, an ozone-depleting greenhouse gas.

An amino acid controls plants' breath

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 11:27 AM PST

Botanists demonstrate that the amino acid L-methionine activates a calcium-channel regulating the opening and closing of tiny plant pores.

Bacteria produce aphrodisiac that sets off protozoan mating swarm

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 09:54 AM PST

Scientists have demonstrated that bacteria can drive mating in eukaryotes raises possibility that environmental bacteria or bacterial symbionts may influence mating in animals.

New discovery at heart of healthy cereals

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 08:17 AM PST

Study reveals new information on how beta glucans in oats reduce blood cholesterol.

Ultrathin protective layer brings quite a bit more stability to perovskite solar cell

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 08:16 AM PST

The addition of a few nanometers of a thin layer of aluminum oxide protects a perovskite solar cell against humidity -- still a major stumbling block to the commercial application of this new type of solar cell. A surprising bonus is a yield boost of 3 percent.

New study of water-saving plants advances efforts to develop drought-resistant crops

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 08:16 AM PST

As part of an effort to develop drought-resistant food and bioenergy crops, scientists have uncovered the genetic and metabolic mechanisms that allow certain plants to conserve water and thrive in semi-arid climates.

Sea spray studied to improve hurricane intensity forecasting

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 08:14 AM PST

A research team is studying sea spray to help improve forecasting of hurricanes and tropical cyclones. In a recent study, the scientists found that in high winds conditions the amount of large sea spray droplets (over 0.5 milimeters in diameter) generated is as much as 1000 times more than previously thought.

Longest-living animal gives up ocean climate secrets

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 08:02 AM PST

A study of the longest-living animal on Earth, the quahog clam, has provided researchers with an unprecedented insight into the history of the oceans.
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