Πέμπτη, 29 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Billions of kg of CO2 could be saved by scrapping DVDs, research suggests

Posted: 28 May 2014 05:43 PM PDT

A new study has shown that streaming can be much better for the environment, requiring less energy and emitting less carbon dioxide, than some traditional methods of DVD renting, buying and viewing.

Large muskies lured by the moon: Study ties lunar cycles, fish behavior to angler success

Posted: 28 May 2014 03:02 PM PDT

The lunar cycle may synchronize with feeding activity, luring large muskies to take angler bait. Previous studies have suggested a relationship between the moon and fish behavior. To investigate this further, scientists analyzed angler catch records for evidence of an effect due to the lunar cycle and explored sources of its variation on anglers' catch.

Meek male and fighting female scorpions

Posted: 28 May 2014 03:02 PM PDT

Threatened female bark scorpions sting quicker than males, likely to compensate for reduced ability to flee the threat. Differences between male and female scorpion bodies and behavior may result from sexual or environmental pressures. For example, female bark scorpions are pregnant 80% of the year, and as a result, may deal with threats differently than males.

Crow or raven? New birdsnap app can help

Posted: 28 May 2014 01:36 PM PDT

Using computer vision and machine learning techniques, researchers have developed Birdsnap, a free new iPhone app that's an electronic field guide featuring 500 of the most common North American bird species. The app enables users to identify bird species through uploaded photos, and accompanies a comprehensive website.

Wild coho may seek genetic diversity in mate choice

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:06 PM PDT

Wild coho salmon that choose mates with disease-resistant genes different from their own are more likely to produce greater numbers of adult offspring returning to the river some three years later. The researchers also found that hatchery-reared coho -- for some unknown reason -- do not appear to have the same ability to select mates that are genetically diverse, which may, in part, explain their comparative lower reproductive success.

2013 Tornadoes: Numbers Low, Destruction High

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:04 PM PDT

Despite some high profile tornadoes in 2013, scientists are reporting below average numbers of tornadoes. There were 903 tornadoes in the United States, which is below the 10-year annual average of 1,350. Furthermore, it has been 25 years since a year with fewer tornadoes, which was in 1989 with 856. 

Antarctic Ice Sheet unstable at end of last ice age

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:31 AM PDT

A new study has found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 5,000 years earlier than previously thought coming out of the last ice age -- and that shrinkage of the vast ice sheet accelerated during eight distinct episodes, causing rapid sea level rise.

NASA IceBridge concludes Arctic field campaign

Posted: 28 May 2014 09:45 AM PDT

Researchers with NASA's Operation IceBridge have completed another successful Arctic field campaign. On May 23, NASA's P-3 research aircraft left Thule Air Base, Greenland, and returned to Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia marking the end of 11 weeks of polar research.

Cats found to eat more in the winter

Posted: 28 May 2014 08:48 AM PDT

Cats eat more during the winter and owners should give their pet more food during this time, research has found. The study found that cats ate approximately 15% less food during summer, and the vets have concluded that the extra effort to keep warm in winter and the temptation to rest during hot summer days contributed to the swing in activity levels during the year.

Panama saves whales, protects world trade

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:54 AM PDT

A new scheme to separate boat traffic coming into the Panama Canal from humpback whales migrating through tropical waters, based on two research papers, has been approved by the International Maritime Organization. Panama is a leader in global commerce and a steward of exceptional marine biodiversity. Nearly 17,000 commercial vessels cross the Gulf of Panama each year. This number is expected to increase significantly when new locks now under construction permit larger, "post Panamax" vessels to transit the Canal and enter its ports.

What can plants reveal about gene flow? That it's an important evolutionary force

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:54 AM PDT

How much gene flow is there between plant populations? How important is gene flow for maintaining a species' identity and diversity, and what are the implications of these processes for evolution, conservation of endangered species, invasiveness, or unintentional gene flow from domesticated crops to wild relatives?

Universal antidote for snakebite: Experimental trial represents promising step toward

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:52 AM PDT

Another promising step has been made toward developing a universal antidote for snakebite. The results of this pilot study revealed findings that support the team's idea that providing fast, accessible, and easy-to-administer treatment can increase survival rates in victims of venomous snakebite.

Variety in diet can hamper microbial diversity in the gut

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:52 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered that the more diverse the diet of a fish, the less diverse are the microbes living in its gut. If the effect is confirmed in humans, it could mean that the combinations of foods people eat can influence their gut microbe diversity. The research could impact how probiotics and diet are used to treat diseases associated with bacteria in human digestive systems.

Melting Arctic opens new passages for invasive species

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:49 AM PDT

For the first time in roughly 2 million years, melting Arctic sea ice is connecting the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans. The newly opened passages leave both coasts and Arctic waters vulnerable to a large wave of invasive species, biologists assert.

Marine fish use red biofluorescence to communicate, new research shows

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:40 AM PDT

Marine fish use red biofluorescence to communicate, new research shows. One of the most exciting discoveries, the researchers say, is that the fluorescence is a deep red in a part of the spectrum which, it was previously believed, fish could not see or make use of. It could be that red-eye wrasses use their fluorescence as a private frequency to communicate amongst themselves.

Fish more inclined to crash into each other than bees

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:33 AM PDT

Swimming fish do not appear to use their collision warning system in the same way as flying insects, according to new research that has compared how zebra fish and bumblebees avoid collisions. The fish surprised the researchers.

Detecting oceanic carbon dioxide sink today and in the future

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:33 AM PDT

The ocean has steadily taken up excess anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but a slow down is expected in various parts of the ocean. The current observational network needs to be improved to monitor these changes. Using the latest collection of data and state-of-the-art Earth system models, researchers confirm that ocean partial pressure of carbon dioxide has steadily increased following the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in the past four decades. A large portion of this increase is attributed to the ongoing invasion of anthropogenic carbon dioxide into the ocean, whereas increase in sea surface temperature contributes only marginally.

Trends in British dragonfly species revealed in new atlas

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:33 AM PDT

A new atlas of the dragonflies of Britain and Ireland is published today. The atlas is the result of a five year research project by the British Dragonfly Society (BDS) which builds on data collected over the last two centuries.

Unusual parenting behaviour by Southeast Asian species of treefrog discovered

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:30 AM PDT

A Southeast Asian species of treefrog practices parental care to increase the likelihood of survival of its offspring. Chiromantis hansenae (C. hansenae), is currently the only species in the treefrog family in Southeast Asia that is known to exhibit such behavior. Researchers observed that this frog exhibits a form of parental care, known as egg attendance, in which a parent remains with the egg mass at a fixed location. These frogs care for their offspring by covering the egg mass with its body. Occasionally, the females will make trips down to the pond, presumably to soak up more water, and return to secrete the liquid over the egg mass, keeping it moist.

SpaceX-3 science payloads return to Kennedy

Posted: 28 May 2014 05:59 AM PDT

A trio of science payloads have completed their missions on the International Space Station and returned to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where they'll be turned over to the scientists who designed them.

NASA balloon campaign studies effects of volcanic eruption

Posted: 28 May 2014 05:57 AM PDT

A team of NASA and University of Wyoming scientists has ventured into the Australian bush to send a series of balloons aloft to make measurements of a volcanic plume originating from neighboring Indonesia.

Age-old relationship between birds and flowers: World’s oldest fossil of a nectarivorous bird

Posted: 27 May 2014 06:49 PM PDT

Scientists have described the oldest known fossil of a pollinating bird. The well-preserved stomach contents contained pollen from various flowering plants. This indicates that the relationship between birds and flowers dates back at least 47 million years. The fossil comes from the well-known fossil site "Messel Pit."

Striking lack of diversity in prehistoric birds

Posted: 27 May 2014 06:49 PM PDT

Birds come in astounding variety -- from hummingbirds to emus -- and behave in myriad ways: they soar the skies, swim the waters, and forage the forests. But this wasn't always the case, according to new research.

Moving 'natural capital' from metaphor to reality: New approach to calculating price of stocks

Posted: 27 May 2014 10:33 AM PDT

An approach to calculating a fair and consistent price for natural capital stocks that is grounded in the same theory of economic capital that governs the pricing of other capital assets, from stock prices to factories, has been developed.

Climate change accelerates hybridization between native, invasive species of trout

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:14 AM PDT

The rapid spread of hybridization between a native species and an invasive species of trout in the wild is strongly linked to changes in climate, scientists have discovered. Experts have long predicted that climate change could decrease worldwide biodiversity through cross-breeding between invasive and native species, but this study is the first to directly and scientifically support this assumption.

HIV can cut and paste in human genome

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:12 AM PDT

A technology that uses the HIV virus as a tool in the fight against hereditary diseases -- and in the long term, against HIV infection as well -- has been developed in a first of its kind study. The technology repairs the genome in a new and safer manner. "Now we can simultaneously cut out the part of the genome that is broken in sick cells, and patch the gap that arises in the genetic information which we have removed from the genome. The new aspect here is that we can bring the scissors and the patch together in the HIV particles in a fashion that no one else has done before," says one researcher.

Immune system's rules of engagement discovered

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:06 AM PDT

Surprising similarities in the way immune system defenders bind to disease-causing invaders have been found by researchers. "Until now, it often has been a real mystery which antigens T cells are recognizing; there are whole classes of disease where we don't have this information," said the study's senior author. "Now it's far more feasible to take a T cell that is important in a disease or autoimmune disorder and figure out what antigens it will respond to."

Africa's longest-known terrestrial wildlife migration discovered

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:06 AM PDT

Researchers have documented the longest-known terrestrial migration of wildlife in Africa -- up to several thousand zebra covering a distance of 500 kilometers. Using GPS collars on eight adult Plains zebra, scientists tracked two consecutive years of movement back and forth between the Chobe River in Namibia and Botswana's Nxai Pan National Park.

Mycotoxin protects against nematodes, study finds

Posted: 27 May 2014 05:55 AM PDT

Most terrestrial plants enter into biocoenosis with funghi. Both sides benefit: the fungus, which surrounds the small roots of the host plant with a thick felt, supplies the plant with trace elements and water. The plant, in turn, supplies the fungus with sugars and other metabolites which it is unable to produce itself.

Secret cargo of mosquitoes: Dirofilaria repens detected for time in Austria

Posted: 27 May 2014 05:54 AM PDT

Until a short while ago, infections with the parasite Dirofilaria repens was regarded as a classical traveler's disease. Mosquitoes from abroad passed the parasite on to dogs, in some cases even to humans. The most recent research data have shown, for the first time that the parasite has been imported to Austria and established here. In mosquitoes from the state of Burgenland, the scientists found larvae of the parasite. The infected mosquitoes possibly migrated to Austria through Eastern and Southern Europe.

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