Rabu, 05 Agustus 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Amazon fire risk differs across east-west divide in 2015

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 05:30 PM PDT

Scientists project fire risk for South America's Amazon Basin in 2015 to fall along an east-west divide. According to their model, based on multiple satellite datasets, the forests of the western Amazon will experience average or below-average fire risk, while those in the eastern Amazon will see above-average risk.

Biology, not just physics, controls release of scent compounds from plants

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 01:09 PM PDT

Active biological mechanisms transport scent and taste compounds known as volatiles from plant cells to the atmosphere, researchers report, a finding that could overturn the textbook model of volatile emission as a process that occurs solely by diffusion.

Feed supplement greatly reduces dairy cow methane emissions

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 01:09 PM PDT

A supplement added to the feed of high-producing dairy cows reduced methane emissions by 30 percent and could have ramifications for global climate change, according to an international team of researchers.

Atomic view of microtubules

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 01:08 PM PDT

An atomic view of microtubules has been produced that enabled researchers to identify the crucial role played by a family of end-binding proteins in regulating microtubule dynamic instability, the physical property that enables microtubules to play a crucial role in cell division.

Spiders quickly learn eavesdropping to gain ground on the mating competition

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 11:32 AM PDT

When it comes to courting, one common spider species is quick to learn, and that learning process involves eavesdropping on the visual cues of rivals to win their mate. Scientists report that when wolf spiders were shown videos of other leg-tapping, courting males paired with silk cues from females, they quickly learned to recognize the behavior as part of the courtship process -- in as little as four days.

Seagrass thrives surprisingly well in toxic sediments, but still dies all over the world

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 11:32 AM PDT

Toxic is bad. Or is it? New studies of seagrasses reveal that they are surprisingly good at detoxifying themselves when growing in toxic seabed. But if seagrasses are stressed by their environment, they lose the ability and die. All over the world seagrasses are increasingly stressed and one factor contributing to this can be lack of detoxification.

From pluripotency to totipotency

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 11:29 AM PDT

While it is already possible to obtain in vitro pluripotent cells (i.e., cells capable of generating all tissues of an embryo) from any cell type, researchers have pushed the limits of science even further. They managed to obtain totipotent cells with the same characteristics as those of the earliest embryonic stages and with even more interesting properties.

Mystery behind earthworm digestion solved

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 11:29 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered how earthworms can digest plant material, such as fallen leaves, that would defeat most other herbivores. Earthworms are responsible for returning the carbon locked inside dead plant material back into the ground. They drag fallen leaves and other plant material down from the surface and eat them, enriching the soil, and they do this in spite of toxic chemicals produced by plants to deter herbivores.

Parents' preconception exposure to environmental stressors can disrupt early development

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 11:29 AM PDT

Even before a child is conceived, the parents' exposure to environmental stressors can alter the way genes are expressed and ultimately harm the child's health when those genes are passed down to the next generation, according to a new article.

Daily changes in mouse gut bacteria moves with internal clock, gender

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 07:36 AM PDT

Researchers analyzed circadian rhythms in abundance and type of microbiota in the gut and feces of mice using genetic sequencing. They found that the absolute abundance of a large group of rod-shaped bacteria common in the gut and skin of animals, and relative species make-up of the microbiome, changed over a 24-hour cycle, and this rhythmicity was more pronounced in female mice.

Crop pests outwit climate change predictions en route to new destinations

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 07:34 AM PDT

The dangers of relying on climate-based projections of future crop pest distributions have been highlighted by a new paper that suggests that rapid evolution can confound model results.

Novel fatigue syndrome in feedlot cattle discovered

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 07:03 AM PDT

A novel fatigue syndrome affecting feedlot cattle has been discovered by researchers. The syndrome is similar to one affecting the swine industry. The study concludes it would be imperative for the beef industry and affiliated veterinarians to learn quickly as much as possible about fatigue cattle syndrome so measures can be implemented to prevent the condition, or at least minimize its impact on cattle welfare.

Perspectives on using pulse electric field to enhance biogas yield in anaerobic digestion

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 07:01 AM PDT

The usage of pulsed electric field for conditioning substrates can significantly enhance biogas yield in commercial biogas plants, scientists say. Although the primary effect of the electric field is cracking cell structures for better availability of nutrition, other effects like shockwave, electrophoresis or influence on the metabolic condition of cells can play a role.

Process concept for a zero-emission route to clean middle-distillate fuels from coal

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 06:38 AM PDT

A novel process configuration has been developed for producing clean middle-distillate fuels from coal with minimal emissions.

Volcanic bacteria take minimalist approach to survival

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 06:37 AM PDT

New research is helping to solve the puzzle of how bacteria are able to live in nutrient-starved environments. It is well-established that the majority of bacteria in soil ecosystems live in dormant states due to nutrient deprivation, but the metabolic strategies that enable their survival have not yet been shown.

New biosensors for managing microbial 'workers'

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 06:37 AM PDT

New biosensors have been developed that could improve control and complexity of metabolically engineered microbes, bringing us one step closer to a future in which genetically engineered bacteria can produce valuable chemical commodities in an environmentally friendly way.

Researchers use wastewater treatment to capture carbon dioxide, produce energy

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 06:37 AM PDT

Cleaning up municipal and industrial wastewater can be dirty business, but engineers have developed an innovative wastewater treatment process that not only mitigates carbon dioxide emissions, but actively captures greenhouse gases as well.

Teen marijuana use not linked to later depression, lung cancer, other health problems, study finds

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 06:37 AM PDT

Chronic marijuana use by teenage boys does not appear to be linked to later physical or mental health issues such as depression, psychotic symptoms or asthma, according to a new study.

Fish that have their own fish finders

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 04:42 AM PDT

African fish called mormyrids communicate by means of electric signals. Fish in one group can glean detailed information from a signal's waveform, but fish in another group are insensitive to waveform variations. Research has uncovered the neurological basis for this difference in perception.

Seeing the sunnier side of life: Scientists bring a whole new meaning to winter blues

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 04:40 AM PDT

Scientists have shed new light on how humans process color -- revealing that we see things differently in winter compared with summer. The researchers examined how our color perception changes between seasons and in particular how we process the color known as unique yellow.

Protecting the environment by re-thinking death

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 04:40 AM PDT

Scientists first had to re-think death before they could develop a way of testing the potential harm to the environment caused by thousands of chemicals humankind uses each day.

Studying scavenge hunting animals remaining worldwide

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 04:40 AM PDT

Human activities such as livestock farming, fishing or hunting yearly waste tons of food into natural ecosystems. A large part of this anthropogenic food is provided as carrion and subsidizes a wide range of vertebrate species. Scientists have described for the first time the general structure of scavenger communities worldwide, which consist mainly of birds (66%) and mammals (34%).

Heating with the sun: Solar active houses put to the test

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 04:39 AM PDT

Solar-Active-Houses heat themselves using heat collectors and water tanks. However, no one had conducted an objective assessment of how efficiently they do so. Now researchers have put some of these solar houses to the test, and have identified where there was room for improvement and laid the scientific groundwork for this housing concept.

Dogs process faces in specialized brain area, study reveals

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 04:37 AM PDT

Having neural machinery dedicated to face processing suggests that this ability is hard-wired in dogs through cognitive evolution, and may help explain dogs' extreme sensitivity to human social cues.

End-of-century Manhattan climate index to resemble Oklahoma City today

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 04:37 AM PDT

Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions will alter the way that Americans heat and cool their homes. By the end of this century, the number of days each year that heating and air conditioning are used will decrease in the Northern states, as winters get warmer, and increase in Southern states, as summers get hotter, according to a new study.

Flexible vocalizations in wild bonobos show similarities to development of human speech

Posted: 04 Aug 2015 04:36 AM PDT

From an early age, human infants are able to produce vocalizations in a wide range of emotional states and situations -- an ability felt to be one of the factors required for the development of language. Researchers have found that wild bonobos (our closest living relatives) are able to vocalize in a similar manner. Their findings challenge how we think about the evolution of communication and potentially move the dividing line between humans and other apes.

Effect of environmental epigenetics on disease, evolution

Posted: 03 Aug 2015 05:33 AM PDT

Environmental factors are having an underappreciated effect on the course of disease and evolution by prompting genetic mutations through epigenetics, a process by which genes are turned on and off independent of an organism's DNA sequence. Researchers assert that is a dramatic shift in how we might think of disease and evolution's underlying biology.
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