ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

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ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Exploring a world without food animals
Drones more damaging than bird strikes to planes, study finds
Plug-in hybrid vehicles are better than their reputation
Birth of a storm in the Arabian Sea validates climate model
Satellite tracking provides clues about South Atlantic sea turtles' 'lost years'
Decades-past logging still threatens spotted owls in national forests
Unique field survey yields first big-picture view of deep-sea food webs
Optimal amount of rainfall for plants
Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's
More-severe climate model predictions could be the most accurate
Synchrotron sheds light on the amphibious lifestyle of a new raptorial dinosaur
Living on thin air -- microbe mystery solved
The world's smallest Mona Lisa
Deadly cryptococcal fungi found in public spaces in South Africa
Wheat gets boost from purified nanotubes
A South American amphibian could potentially hold the key to curing cirrhosis
It's good to be rare, for some species
Invasive 'supervillain' crab can eat through its gills
High prevalence of bacteria that carry gene mcr-1 in ecosystem, study shows
Unearthing the underground effects of earthquakes and volcanoes
Bioelectronic 'nose' can detect food spoilage by sensing the smell of death
Go with the flow (or against it)
Turning beer into fuel
New species discovered in Malaysian rainforest during unprecedented, top-to-bottom survey
How the oldest compound eyes were constructed
Litte Foot takes a bow
How ribosomes shape the proteome
Exposure to wildfire smoke in utero lowers birthweight
City air pollution cancels positive health effects of exercise in over 60's
Discovery about rare nitrogen molecules offers clues to makeup of life-supporting planets
Freezing trees, finding answers
Recently discovered fossil shows transition of a reptile from life on land to life in the sea
First DNA sequence from a single mitochondria
Gut microbiome influenced heavily by social circles in lemurs
Stress test: New study finds seals are stressed-out by sharks
Microwaved exploding eggs make for an unusual acoustic experiment
Marine invertebrates have noisy human neighbors
Diesel vehicles in oil sands operations contribute to regional pollution
Traffic pollution putting unborn babies' health at risk, warn experts


Exploring a world without food animals



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 07:22 PM PST


What would happen if U.S. farmers stopped producing animals for food and Americans went vegan? Some have called for a move in that direction to address increasing concerns about U.S. health, eating habits, and climate change. Researchers recently explored those questions and found surprising results.


Drones more damaging than bird strikes to planes, study finds



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 11:24 AM PST


A new study focused on unmanned aerial systems is helping quantify the dangers associated with drones sharing airspace with planes.


Plug-in hybrid vehicles are better than their reputation



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 11:19 AM PST


Hybrid vehicles are often considered the fig leaf of electric mobility. However, plug-in hybrids with a real electric range of about 60 km drive the same number of kilometers electrically as battery electric vehicles. Hence, their carbon dioxide reduction potential also is the same. This is the result of a comparison of battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Germany and the US.


Birth of a storm in the Arabian Sea validates climate model



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 11:16 AM PST


Extreme cyclones that formed in the Arabian Sea for the first time in 2014 are the result of global warming and will likely increase in frequency, warn scientists. Their model showed that the burning of fossil fuels since 1860 would lead to an increase in the destructive storms in the Arabian Sea by 2015, marking one of the first times that modeled projections have synchronized with real observations of storm activity.


Satellite tracking provides clues about South Atlantic sea turtles' 'lost years'



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 11:16 AM PST


Biologists have been tracking the movements of sea turtle yearlings in the South Atlantic Ocean, and have come up with some surprising results.


Decades-past logging still threatens spotted owls in national forests



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 11:16 AM PST


Logging of the largest trees in the Sierra Nevada's national forests ended in the early 1990s after agreements were struck to protect species' habitat. But new research by ecologists shows that spotted owls, one of the iconic species logging restrictions were meant to protect, have continued to experience population declines in the forests.


Unique field survey yields first big-picture view of deep-sea food webs



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 11:16 AM PST


A new article documents the first comprehensive study of deep-sea food webs, using hundreds of video observations of animals caught in the act of feeding off the Central California coast. The study shows that deep-sea jellies are key predators, and provides new information on how deep-sea animals interact with life near the ocean surface.


Optimal amount of rainfall for plants



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 11:16 AM PST


Researchers have determined what could be considered a 'Goldilocks' climate for rainfall use by plants: not too wet and not too dry. But those landscapes are likely to shrink and become less productive in the future through climate change.


Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 10:25 AM PST


Using a bioinformatics and experimental approach, scientists have found that rendering mitochondria resistant to damage can halt diseases caused by amyloid toxicity, such as Alzheimer's disease.


More-severe climate model predictions could be the most accurate



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 10:22 AM PST


The climate models that project greater amounts of warming this century are the ones that best align with observations of the current climate, according to a article. Their findings suggest that the models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on average, may be underestimating future warming.


Synchrotron sheds light on the amphibious lifestyle of a new raptorial dinosaur



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 10:22 AM PST


A well-preserved dinosaur skeleton from Mongolia unites an unexpected combination of features that defines a new group of semi-aquatic predators related to Velociraptor. Detailed 3-D synchrotron analysis allowed an international team of researchers to present the bizarre 75-million-year-old predator, named Halszkaraptor escuilliei. The study not only describes a new genus and species of bird-like dinosaur that lived in Mongolia but also sheds light on an unexpected amphibious lifestyle for raptorial dinosaurs.


Living on thin air -- microbe mystery solved



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 10:22 AM PST


Scientists have discovered that microbes in Antarctica have a previously unknown ability to scavenge hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from the air to stay alive in the extreme conditions. The find has implications for the search for life on other planets, suggesting extraterrestrial microbes could also rely on trace atmospheric gases for survival.


The world's smallest Mona Lisa



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 10:20 AM PST


New techniques in DNA self-assembly allow researchers to create the largest to-date customizable patterns with nanometer precision on a budget.


Deadly cryptococcal fungi found in public spaces in South Africa



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 10:20 AM PST


Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii have been found large numbers on trees in South Africa.


Wheat gets boost from purified nanotubes



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 10:20 AM PST


Researchers test the effects of carbon nanotubes on the growth of wheatgrass. While some showed no effect, purified single-walled nanotubes dispersed in water enhanced the plants' growth, while the same nanotubes in an organic solvent retarded their development.


A South American amphibian could potentially hold the key to curing cirrhosis



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 09:26 AM PST


The unique liver function of a South American amphibian, Siphonops annulatus, could pave the way to finding a cure to the devastating liver condition cirrhosis, according to a new study.


It's good to be rare, for some species



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 09:25 AM PST


For many species, rarity is not a guarantee of impending extinction. Instead, the traits that enable some species to be rare may hold the ticket to their survival. A new paper predicts what these traits might be and how having them could place chronically rare species at an advantage during crises.


Invasive 'supervillain' crab can eat through its gills



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 09:25 AM PST


Invasive green shore crabs can 'eat' by absorbing nutrients across its gills -- the first demonstration of this ability in crustaceans -- scientists have found.


High prevalence of bacteria that carry gene mcr-1 in ecosystem, study shows



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 09:25 AM PST


Bacteria that carry the colistin resistance gene mcr-1 commonly exist in human and various types of food and environmental samples collected from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. The prevalence of mcr-1 in our ecosystem challenges the role of colistin as the last resort antibiotic to treat infections caused by carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae, say researchers.


Unearthing the underground effects of earthquakes and volcanoes



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 09:25 AM PST


Researchers analyzed high-resolution seismic velocity data from 36 seismograph stations across the island of Kyushu to identify variations before, during, and after the MW 7.0 2016 Kumamoto earthquake. Velocity decreased in the region of the rupture fault when the earthquake struck, and then gradually recovered, although this recovery showed spatial variability. This variability corresponded to aftershock concentration and volcanic activity. The findings may be useful for disaster prediction and preparedness.


Bioelectronic 'nose' can detect food spoilage by sensing the smell of death



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 09:24 AM PST


Strong odors are an indicator that food has gone bad, but there could soon be a new way to sniff foul smells earlier on. As reported in ACS Nano, researchers have developed a bioelectronic


Go with the flow (or against it)



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 09:24 AM PST


Researchers are using magnetic fields to influence a specific type of bacteria to swim against strong currents, opening up the potential of using the microscopic organisms for drug delivery in environments with complex microflows- - like the human bloodstream.


Turning beer into fuel



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 07:01 AM PST


Chemists have made the first steps towards making sustainable fuel using beer as a key ingredient, outlines a new report.


New species discovered in Malaysian rainforest during unprecedented, top-to-bottom survey



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 07:01 AM PST


This fall, the California Academy of Sciences partnered with The Habitat Penang Hill and colleagues to conduct a rainforest survey on Malaysia's island state of Penang. A 117-member team documented flora and fauna from the tops of trees to the dark reaches of caves and discovered several species previously unknown to science living just miles from a major metropolis. Survey results will contribute to this ancient rainforest's nomination as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.


How the oldest compound eyes were constructed



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 07:01 AM PST


Researchers have discovered that the compound eyes of today's insects and crustaceans are still constructed in much the same way as they were in their extinct ancestors 500 million years ago. The research team looked at fossil trilobites. However, these arthropods lacked the lenses of contemporary compound eyes.


Litte Foot takes a bow



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 07:01 AM PST


Little Foot is the only known virtually complete Australopithecus fossil discovered to date. It is by far the most complete skeleton of a human ancestor older than 1.5 million years ever found. It is also the oldest fossil hominid in southern Africa, dating back 3.67 million years. For the first time ever, the completely cleaned and reconstructed skeleton was viewed by the national and international media.


How ribosomes shape the proteome



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 07:01 AM PST


Cells are crowded with macromolecules, which limits the diffusion of proteins, especially in prokaryotic cells without active transport in the cytoplasm. While investigating the relationship between crowding, ionic strength and protein diffusion, biochemists made a fascinating discovery: positively charged proteins stick to the surface of ribosome complexes. This explains why most water-soluble proteins carry an overall negative charge.


Exposure to wildfire smoke in utero lowers birthweight



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:22 AM PST


Economics researchers capitalize on the dynamics of wildfires to prove infants’ proximity to smoke pollution while in utero affects birthweight.


City air pollution cancels positive health effects of exercise in over 60's



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:19 AM PST


Exposure to air pollution on city streets is enough to counter the beneficial health effects of exercise in older adults, according to new research.


Discovery about rare nitrogen molecules offers clues to makeup of life-supporting planets



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:07 AM PST


A new study on atmospheric nitrogen provides a clue about what geochemical signatures of other planets might look like, especially if they are capable of supporting life as we know it.


Freezing trees, finding answers



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:07 AM PST


Ice storms can wreak havoc on communities. Frozen limbs, dragged down by the weight of the ice, can snap off and fall on cars, homes, and power lines. But scientists aren't sure how ice storms affect long-term forest health. Researchers are changing that.


Recently discovered fossil shows transition of a reptile from life on land to life in the sea



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:07 AM PST


Using modern research tools on a 155-million-year-old reptile fossil, scientists report they have filled in some important clues to the evolution of animals that once roamed land and transitioned to life in the water.


First DNA sequence from a single mitochondria



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:07 AM PST


DNA sequences between mitochondria within a single cell are vastly different, researchers found. This knowledge will help to better illuminate the underlying mechanisms of many disorders that start with accumulated mutations in individual mitochondria and provide clues about how patients might respond to specific therapies.


Gut microbiome influenced heavily by social circles in lemurs



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:07 AM PST


Social group membership is the most important factor in structuring gut microbiome composition, even when considering shared diet, environment and kinship, according to research on lemurs.


Stress test: New study finds seals are stressed-out by sharks



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:06 AM PST


While a little added stress may be helpful to flee a dangerous situation, or to meet an approaching deadline, it's no secret that prolonged exposure to the stress hormone cortisol is linked to health problems. So, what effects does stress have on animals in the wild that need to navigate the same waters as the ocean's top predator -- great white sharks?


Microwaved exploding eggs make for an unusual acoustic experiment



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:06 AM PST


If you have looked closely at a microwave's warnings or have experienced an accidental explosion, you know that certain foods pose a risk due to an increase in their internal pressure, and potatoes and hard-boiled eggs are among the most common culprits. Researchers are presenting new findings on the sound pressures generated by exploding eggs.


Marine invertebrates have noisy human neighbors



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:06 AM PST


Marine invertebrates are impacted by the rising levels of underwater noise produced by humans, but the production of underwater noise is not only difficult to control, but the direct effect on marine invertebrates can be challenging to observe or measure. Researchers are presenting results on the use of a standing wave tube to simulate and measure the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine invertebrates.


Diesel vehicles in oil sands operations contribute to regional pollution



Posted: 06 Dec 2017 06:06 AM PST


Wildfires, cigarette smoking and vehicles all emit a potentially harmful compound called isocyanic acid. The substance has been linked to several health conditions, including heart disease and cataracts. Scientists investigating sources of the compound have now identified off-road diesel vehicles in oil sands production in Alberta, Canada, as a major contributor to regional levels of the pollutant.


Traffic pollution putting unborn babies' health at risk, warn experts



Posted: 05 Dec 2017 05:30 PM PST


Air pollution from road traffic is having a detrimental impact upon babies' health in London, before they are born, finds a study.
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