Τρίτη, 10 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

New England lakes recovering rapidly from acid rain

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:28 AM PDT

Policy makers have been working to reduce acid rain, a serious environmental problem that can devastate lakes, streams, and forests and the plants and animals that live in these ecosystems, for the past 40 years. Now new research indicates that lakes in New England and the Adirondack Mountains are recovering rapidly from the effects of acid rain.

Video game technology aids horse rider assessment

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:28 AM PDT

Horse riders' balance, symmetry and poor posture could be improved thanks to an innovative body suit that works with motion sensors, commonly used by movie makers and the video games industry. New research uses inertial motion sensors worn in the XsensTM MVN body suit, and is now showing promising results as a method of assessing rider asymmetry and lower back pain and injury risk.

Milky Way may bear 100 million life-giving planets

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:07 AM PDT

There are some 100 million other places in the Milky Way galaxy that could support complex life, according to new research by astronomers. They have developed a new computation method to examine data from planets orbiting other stars in the universe.

No limits to human effects on clouds

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:39 AM PDT

Atmospheric particles affect cloud formation in real time, researchers suggest. Clouds need tiny particles called aerosols that rise in the atmosphere, in order to form. These aerosols -- natural ones like sea salt or dust, or such human-made ones as soot -- form nuclei around which the cloud droplets condense. In relatively clean environments, clouds can only grow as large as the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere allows: These will be the limiting factor in cloud formation.

Beer brewing waste could help bone regeneration

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Biomaterials for bone regeneration have been developed by researchers from beer brewing waste. The waste obtained from the beer brewing process contains the main chemical components found in bones (phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and silica), that after undergoing modification processes, this waste can be used as support or scaffold to promote bone regeneration for medical applications such as coating prosthesis or bone grafts, researchers report.

Algae prognosis: Considerable risk of blue-green algal blooms in some of Finland's sea areas

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

According to the algae prognosis from the Finnish experts, the risk of blue-green algal blooms varies across the nation. The probability of extensive blue-green algal blooms in Finland's sea areas is slightly higher than it was last year. The increased risk in the Baltic Proper is due to phosphorous-rich deep water mixing with surface layers as a result of storms in late autumn and winter 2013-2014.

Facing a violent past: Evolution of human ancestors' faces a result of need to weather punches during arguments, study suggests

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

An alternative to the previous long-held hypothesis that the evolution of the robust faces of our early ancestors resulted largely from the need to chew hard-to-crush foods such as nuts has been presented by researchers. The prehistoric version of a bar fight -- over women, resources and other slug-worthy disagreements -- are what shaped our facial evolution, new research suggests.

More than just a hill of beans: Phaseolus genome lends insights into nitrogen fixation

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

Research into the common bean has been pursued because of its importance in enhancing nitrogen use efficiency for bioenergy crops sustainability, and for increasing plant resilience and productivity in the face of the changing climate and environment. To this end, a team of researchers sequenced and analyzed the genome of the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris.

I shouldn't have eaten there: Rats show behavior of 'regret' in choosing the wrong 'restaurant'

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

New research reveals that rats show signs of 'regret' -- a cognitive behavior once thought to be uniquely and fundamentally human. To measure the cognitive behavior of regret, scientists developed a task that asked rats how long they were willing to wait for certain foods. In this task, the rats are presented with a series of food options but have limited time at each 'restaurant.'

Warming climates intensify greenhouse gas given out by oceans

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

Rising global temperatures could increase the amount of carbon dioxide naturally released by the world's oceans, fueling further climate change, a study suggests. Scientists studied a 26,000-year-old sediment core to find out how the ocean's ability to take up atmospheric CO2 has changed over time, and found that when silicon was least abundant in ocean waters corresponded with relatively warm climates, low levels of atmospheric iron, and reduced CO2 uptake by the oceans' plankton.

Retracing early cultivation steps: Lessons from comparing citrus genomes

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

Citrus is the world's most widely cultivated fruit crop but it is now under attack from citrus greening, an insidious emerging infectious disease destroying entire orchards. Researchers worldwide are mobilizing to apply genomic tools and approaches to understand how citrus varieties arose and how they respond to disease and other stresses. An international consortium of researchers analyzed and compared the genome sequences of ten diverse citrus varieties.

New molecule enables quick drug monitoring

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

A molecule that can easily and quickly show how much drug is in a patient's system has been invented by scientists. The molecule, now the basis of a start-up company, is expected to enable point-of-care therapeutic drug monitoring. "This system is a cheap, effective solution for customizing drug dosage in patients across a whole array of diseases," says one of the authors.

Quick getaway: How flies escape a looming predator

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:25 PM PDT

Every millisecond counts when a fruit fly is being hunted by a damselfly. Scientists find that fruit flies can deploy two escape behaviors, depending on circumstances. New research reveals how a quick-escape circuit in the fly's brain overrides the fly's slower, more controlled behavior when a threat becomes urgent.

Details of calcium 'safety-valve' in cells explained

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 03:54 PM PDT

The atomic level structure of a protein that regulates the level of calcium in cells has been detailed by scientists, providing clues about a key signaling agent that can trigger programmed cell death and potentially leading to new anticancer drug targets.

Hepatitis B screening now recommended for high risk individuals

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 04:07 PM PDT

A simple blood test can detect if a person is one of the two billion people worldwide infected with hepatitis B. And now experts recommend that all teens and adults who are high risk for hepatitis B get screened for the infection. "Many people with hepatitis B do not show any symptoms so they are not diagnosed which means they keep transmitting the disease to others," says a board certified hepatologist.

Silent mutations speak up: Multiple silent mutations greatly impact protein translation

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 04:07 PM PDT

Returning to research of years ago, biologists developed an assay to test effects of all possible silent mutations on protein translation. One-third of silent mutations caused a slow down--in some cases decreasing the speed of translation five-fold.

Unique way that catfish locate prey: 'Whiskers' detect slight changes in pH

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 03:36 PM PDT

Catfish are equipped with sensors that can locate prey by detecting slight changes in the water's pH level, researchers have discovered. The study was an offshoot of work initiated in 1984 when researchers began a collaborative investigation examining the physiology of the taste system of the Japanese sea catfish. While performing electrical recordings from the fish barbells, or "whiskers," he noticed that every so often some new sensory nerve fibers would respond at a much larger amplitude than the others.

Braking mechanisms in cellular signaling: New insight

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 12:57 PM PDT

Researchers studying a flowering plant has zeroed in on the way cells manage external signals about prevailing conditions, a capability that is essential for cells to survive in a fluctuating environment. The study focuses on the tiny mustard plant Arabidopsis, which is frequently used by scientists as an experimental model.

Controlling genetic material altered in cancer

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:17 AM PDT

When we speak of genetic material, we are usually referring to the DNA that we inherit from our parents. This DNA is the factory where is built a similar molecule called RNA which produces our proteins, such as hemoglobin or insulin, allowing the lives of our cells. But there is a special group called non-coding RNA that has a more enigmatic function.

Our own immune genes can cause cancer after viral infection

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Mutations that cause cancer following HPV, human papillomavirus, infection are caused by a family of genes that normally protect against viral infections, finds new research. This raises the possibility of developing drugs that block the activity of these genes to prevent HPV-associated cancers from developing and reduce the ability of existing cancers to evolve resistance to treatments.

Immune system molecules may promote weight loss

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:15 AM PDT

The calorie-burning triggered by cold temperatures can be achieved biochemically -- without the chill -- raising hopes for a weight-loss strategy focused on the immune system rather than the brain, according to a new study. The study results are likely to further fuel the quest to identify new ways to pharmaceutically tame obesity by targeting how much energy we burn, not just how many calories we ingest.

Cellular traffic control system mapped for first time

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:02 AM PDT

Cells must transport nutrients and messenger cargos through its membrane and transport them within the cell at the correct time and place. This procedure is complex and is regulated with the help of specific genes. If disturbances in the transport mechanism arise, severe diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and diverse neurological pathologies, are the consequence.

Connection between oxygen, diabetes

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:00 AM PDT

The sequence of early cellular responses to a high-fat diet, one that can result in obesity-induced insulin resistance and diabetes, has been described by researchers for the first time, researchers. The findings also suggest potential molecular targets for preventing or reversing the process.

Veterinary researchers find paperless classrooms, use of tablet computers benefit students, faculty

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:00 AM PDT

Veterinary professors looked at the impact of tablet computers in the classroom. The college studied has been using paperless classrooms since 2007. While the tablet PCs provide several benefits, there can be a downside to their usage. The study identified digital distraction as the major negative experience with tablet PCs during class time.

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