Σάββατο, 3 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Inbred wolves struggle, moose proliferate at Isle Royale National Park

Posted: 02 May 2014 05:47 PM PDT

Inbreeding is killing off the wolves of Isle Royale National Park, and as a result, the moose are proliferating, threatening the vegetation on the remote Lake Superior island.

Leaf chewing links insect diversity in modern and ancient forests

Posted: 02 May 2014 02:21 PM PDT

Observations of insects and their feeding marks on leaves in modern forests confirm indications from fossil leaf deposits that the diversity of chewing damage relates directly to diversity of the insect population that created it, according to scientists.

Researchers find unique fore wing folding among Sub-Saharan African Ensign wasps

Posted: 02 May 2014 12:58 PM PDT

Researchers discovered several possibly threatened new species of ensign wasps from Sub-Saharan Africa -- the first known insects to exhibit transverse folding of the fore wing. The scientists made this discovery, in part, using a technique they developed that provides broadly accessible anatomy descriptions.

Hardy little space travelers could colonize Mars, space station research shows that

Posted: 02 May 2014 09:02 AM PDT

In the movies, humans often fear invaders from Mars. These days, scientists are more concerned about invaders to Mars, in the form of micro-organisms from Earth. Three recent scientific papers examined the risks of interplanetary exchange of organisms using research from the International Space Station.

Small variations in genetic code can team up to have big impact

Posted: 02 May 2014 07:25 AM PDT

Large sets of variations in the genetic code that do not individually appear to have much effect can collectively produce significant changes in an organism's physical characteristics, scientists have definitively demonstrated. Studying the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, researchers found that the effects of these genetic variants can depend on four or more other variants in an individual's genome.

How bacteria exploit proteins to trigger potentially lethal infections

Posted: 02 May 2014 07:24 AM PDT

The way bacteria exploits human proteins during infections has recently become better understood, thanks to new research. Scientists studied how Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause life-threatening human infections, attach to two proteins fibronectin and fibrinogen found in human blood. The human proteins play important roles in clot formation and wound healing and the bacteria appear to exploit them during the process of infection.

MERS coronavirus can be transmitted from camel to humans

Posted: 02 May 2014 05:13 AM PDT

The so-called Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus was first found in June 2012 in a patient from Saudi Arabia, who suffered from severe pneumonia. Since this time, more than 300 persons have developed an infection, of whom about a third died. The fact that the Arabian camel is the origin of the infectious disease has been confirmed recently. The transmission pathways of the viruses, however, have not been clear until now.

New atom-scale knowledge on the function of biological photosensors

Posted: 02 May 2014 05:13 AM PDT

The research groups have clarified how the atom structure of bacterial red light photosensors changes when sensing light. The research reveals structural changes in phytochrome protein when illuminated. The function of few biological photosensors are already utilised in other fields of science, especially in neurosciences.

10-year study shows 'Lethal Factor' could be X-factor for new anthrax vaccine

Posted: 01 May 2014 04:26 PM PDT

A section of the anthrax toxin Lethal Factor that could help produce a more effective vaccine, researchers report. Anthrax is a potentially lethal disease caused by a bacterium. The bacteria produce spores that when inhaled, ingested or absorbed into the skin release toxins. When anthrax affects the lungs or intestines it can cause death within a few days. Infection can occur from contact with infected livestock, meat or hides, but most people know about anthrax from its use as a biological weapon, notably in the 2001 attacks through the US postal system.

Investigators find something fishy with classical evidence for dietary fish recommendations

Posted: 01 May 2014 01:56 PM PDT

Oily fish are currently recommended as part of a heart healthy diet. This guideline is partially based on the landmark 1970s study that connected the low incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD) among the Inuit of Greenland to their diet, rich in whale and seal blubber. Now, researchers have found that the Inuit people actually suffered from CAD at the same rate as their Caucasian counterparts, meaning there is insufficient evidence to back previous claims on which dietary recommendations were built.

Wastewater disposal may trigger quakes at greater distance than previously thought

Posted: 01 May 2014 10:26 AM PDT

Oil and gas development activities, including underground disposal of wastewater and hydraulic fracturing, may induce earthquakes by changing the state of stress on existing faults to the point of failure. Earthquakes from wastewater disposal may be triggered at tens of kilometers from the wellbore, which is a greater range than previously thought, according to research.

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