Kamis, 30 Juni 2016

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Fire discovery sheds new light on 'hobbit' demise

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 01:59 PM PDT

Crucial new evidence has revealed modern humans (Homo sapiens) were likely using fire at Liang Bua 41,000 years ago, narrowing the time gap between the last hobbits (Homo floresiensis) and the first modern humans at this site on the Indonesian island of Flores.

El Niño could drive intense season for Amazon fires

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 01:05 PM PDT

The long-lasting effects of El Niño are projected to cause an intense fire season in the Amazon, according to the 2016 seasonal forecast from experts.

As sea level rises, Hudson River wetlands may expand

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 01:03 PM PDT

In the face of climate change impact and inevitable sea level rise, scientists studying New York's Hudson River estuary have forecast new tidal wetlands, comprising perhaps 33 percent more wetland area by the year 2100.

Little to no association between butter consumption, chronic disease or total mortality

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 11:52 AM PDT

An epidemiological study analyzing the association of butter consumption with chronic disease and mortality finds that butter was only weakly associated with total mortality, not associated with heart disease, and slightly inversely associated (protective) with diabetes.

A protein coat helps chromosomes keep their distance

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:59 AM PDT

Researchers have identified a protein that disperses chromosomes during cell division. That proteins can function as surfactants inside the cell was completely unexpected.

Climate study finds human fingerprint in Northern Hemisphere greening

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:58 AM PDT

The first positive correlation between human activity and enhanced vegetation growth has been uncovered by a team of researchers.

Research reveals widespread herbicide use on North American wildlands

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:58 AM PDT

Researchers are giving the public its first look at the widespread use of herbicides on federal and tribal land in North America, and they urge land managers to better document it.

Mountaineering ants use body heat to warm nests

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:58 AM PDT

Underground army ants can keep their nests -- called bivouacs -- warm with their body heat; this social warming may enable fragile offspring to survive in chilly mountain forests, according to researchers.

Country pledges overshoot Paris temperature limit

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:52 AM PDT

Individual country pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would need to be strengthened in order to limit future climate change to well below the 2 degrees Celsius limit included in the Paris climate agreement, according to a new assessment.

Watching a forest breathe

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:52 AM PDT

For the first time, scientists traced carbon dioxide flows through a forest during photosynthesis and respiration, correcting long-standing assumptions about how plants exchange the greenhouse gas with the atmosphere on an ecosystem-wide level. The results could help make climate prediction models more accurate.

Plate tectonics without jerking: Detailed recordings of earthquakes on ultraslow mid-ocean ridges

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:52 AM PDT

The earthquake distribution on ultra-slow mid-ocean ridges differs fundamentally from other spreading zones. Water circulating at a depth of up to 15 kilometers leads to the formation of rock that resembles soft soap. This is how the continental plates on ultra-slow mid-ocean ridges may move without jerking, while the same process in other regions leads to many minor earthquakes, according to geophysicists.

Asteroid day will draw eyes to the stars, but the more urgent threat may be under our feet

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:06 AM PDT

Knowing when an asteroid could impact Earth would be nice, but learning more about the impact a super volcano eruption at Yellowstone would have on civilization — and how to be ready for it — might be more prudent.

Saved by the sun: Solar-powered oxygen delivery system helps save lives in Uganda

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 09:58 AM PDT

A new twist on the use of renewable energy is saving children's lives in Africa. The innovation -- a solar-powered oxygen delivery system -- is providing concentrated oxygen in hospital for children suffering from severe pneumonia.

Northern bird found to be more resilient to winter weather

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 09:58 AM PDT

Northern wrens are larger and more resilient to winter weather than those living in the south, new research reveals. The research means that populations inhabiting regions where winters are more severe show some form of adaptation. The research team say that their findings have particular relevance to our understanding of how birds and other species are able to respond to climate change.

Jasmonate-deficient tobacco plants attract herbivorous mammals

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 07:58 AM PDT

Scientists have demonstrated the importance of jasmonate-dependent nicotine production for the survival of tobacco plants which are attacked by mammalian herbivores.

Sexual arms race drives range expansion in UK diving beetle species

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 07:57 AM PDT

Sexual conflict and relative mating success seems to be driving a dramatic shift in the distribution of diving beetles in the UK, a new shows.

It's not just a grunt: Pigs really do have something to say

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 07:03 AM PDT

The grunts made by pigs vary depending on the pig's personality and can convey important information about the welfare of this highly social species, new research has found.

Tracking solar eruptions in 3D

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 07:03 AM PDT

Scientists have developed an automated method for three-dimensional tracking of massive eruptions from the Sun, called Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). The Automated CME Triangulation (ACT) system uses data from three space-based observatories that orbit the Sun at different locations, allowing scientists to view the Sun and CMEs from different angles. ACT's ability to track whether a CME is heading towards Earth, and when it is likely to reach us, should lead to significant improvements in space weather forecasting.

Grapevines of Southern Spain will suffer more from the impact of climate change

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 07:02 AM PDT

Researchers are studying the effects of climate change on Spanish vineyards and they suggest adopting adaptation choices of crops in order to make premium wines more globally competitive.

Can healthy eating reduce diabetes risk?

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 07:02 AM PDT

A diet rich in vegetables and fruit may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to new research. The study identified a combination of foods that reduce biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress, known risk factors for type 2 diabetes. This dietary pattern, high in vegetables and fruit, and low in chips, sugar, and white bread, is also associated with reduced prevalence of type 2 diabetes.

UK's oldest deep-water Marine Protected Area successfully protects coral reefs

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 07:00 AM PDT

Deep, cold-water corals are very slow to recover from damage, a new, unique study shows. Therefore, say researchers, deep-water Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) protect vulnerable marine ecosystems most effectively when they are put in place before that damage occurs.

At the droplet of a hat: Capturing mixable liquid interaction

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 06:56 AM PDT

The spreading of mixable liquids into 'droplet hats' was observed for the first time, which could lead to insight into improving strategies for cleaning animals affected by oil spills.

Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer's proteins from brain cells

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 06:56 AM PDT

Scientists have found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in marijuana can promote the cellular removal of amyloid beta, a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Changes in Antarctic sea ice production due to surrounding ice conditions

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 06:56 AM PDT

Antarctic sea ice production spanning more than 20 years has been understood through the analysis of satellite observations using specially developed techniques. The results of this analysis revealed that changes to the sea ice production in the Southern Ocean were caused mainly because of surrounding ice shelf and fast ice conditions, rather than by wind, temperature, or other factors.

Penguin population could drop 60 percent by end of the century

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 06:48 AM PDT

Approximately 30 percent of current Adélie penguin colonies may be in decline by 2060, researchers predict, and approximately 60 percent may be in decline by 2099. The declines are associated with warming -- many regions of Antarctica have warmed too much and further warming is no longer positive for the species.

Vision through the clouds

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 06:48 AM PDT

Poor weather can often make the operation of rescue helicopters a highly risky business, and sometimes even impossible. A new helmet-mounted display may in the future be able to help pilots detect hazards at an early stage, even when their visibility is severely impaired: the information required to do this is created in an on-board computer and imported into digital eye glasses.

Crucial peatlands carbon-sink vulnerable to rising sea levels

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 06:48 AM PDT

Rising sea-levels linked to global warming could pose a significant threat to the effectiveness of the world's peatland areas as carbon sinks, a new study has shown.

Campgrounds alter jay behavior

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 06:48 AM PDT

Anyone who's gone camping has seen birds foraging for picnic crumbs, and according to new research, the availability of food in campgrounds significantly alters jays' behavior and may even change how they interact with other bird species.

Our ancestors evolved faster after dinosaur extinction

Posted: 28 Jun 2016 07:17 PM PDT

Our ancestors evolved three times faster in the 10 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs than in the previous 80 million years, according to researchers. The team found the speed of evolution of placental mammals -- a group that today includes nearly 5000 species including humans -- was constant before the extinction event but exploded after, resulting in the varied groups of mammals we see today.

Night-time light pollution causes spring to come early

Posted: 28 Jun 2016 07:17 PM PDT

Human use of artificial light is causing spring to come at least a week early in the UK, researchers have found. The findings provide important information for those in charge of lighting levels, such as local councils, and point to the need for further research into the impact of different light quality and the specific wavelengths of light generated by different lighting types.

New mid-infrared laser system could detect atmospheric chemicals

Posted: 28 Jun 2016 03:26 PM PDT

Researchers have found a way to use mid-infrared lasers to turn molecules in the open air into glowing filaments of electrically charged gas, or plasma. The method could make possible remote environmental monitoring to detect chemicals with high sensitivity.

Female deer disperse farther than males, present disease-control challenge

Posted: 28 Jun 2016 03:26 PM PDT

Fewer female white-tailed deer disperse than males, but when they do, they typically travel more than twice as far, taking much more convoluted paths and covering larger areas, according to researchers.

1815 UK geologic map remains the benchmark

Posted: 28 Jun 2016 03:25 PM PDT

Although most people do not regularly appreciate it, geologic maps have been and remain a critical foundation of industrial society. They are used for myriad purposes, from locating and developing natural resources, to identifying and preparing for natural hazards, to building and maintaining infrastructure.

Vaccine protection against Zika virus achieved

Posted: 28 Jun 2016 08:48 AM PDT

The rapid development of a safe and effective vaccine to prevent the Zika virus (ZIKV) is a global priority, as infection in pregnant women has been shown to lead to fetal microcephaly and other major birth defects. The World Health Organization declared the Zika virus epidemic a global public health emergency on February 1, 2016.

Bacterial colonies in human body linked to presence of cancer in mouth and throat

Posted: 28 Jun 2016 07:57 AM PDT

In a sample study, researchers say they have found an association between the makeup of an individual's microbiome and head and neck cancer, a finding that potentially advances the quest for faster and more accurate cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Proteomics data: Unidentified spectra detector

Posted: 28 Jun 2016 07:41 AM PDT

A new algorithm clusters hundreds of millions of unidentified peptide sequences for analysis; By clustering all public mass spectrometry spectra in the PRIDE Archive proteomics resource, researchers detected incorrectly identified, low-quality and unidentified spectra. A new tool, PRIDE Cluster, simplifies further investigation into unidentified spectra.
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