Σάββατο, 14 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Subseafloor bacteria survive by over-activating DNA-repair and antibiotic target genes

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 10:07 AM PDT

The subseafloor is home to over one-third of the bacteria on the planet, but up until recently it was unclear if this huge microbial biosphere was alive and dividing. Now the same group that demonstrated this activity has shown that bacteria from the hostile sea-floor environment have adapted by over-activating stress response and DNA-repair mechanisms, to cope with the harsh conditions.

Third warmest May in satellite record might portend record-setting El Niño

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 07:15 AM PDT

May 2014 was the third warmest May in the 35-year satellite-measured global temperature record, and the warmest May that wasn't during an El Niño Pacific Ocean warming event, according to new data. The global average temperature for May was 0.33 C (about 0.59 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms for the month. The warmest May was in 1998, during the "El Niño of the century."

Iberian Peninsula’s geothermal power can generate current electrical capacity five times over

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 05:44 AM PDT

About 500 power stations around the world use geothermal power to generate electricity, although there are yet to be any in Spain. The temperature increases by 30 ºC for every kilometer further underground. This thermal gradient, generated by the flow of heat from the inside of the Earth and the breakdown of radioactive elements in the crust, produces geothermal power.

New membrane-synthesis pathways in bacteria discovered

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 05:44 AM PDT

New mechanisms used by bacteria to manufacture lipids, i.e. fat molecules, for the cell membrane have been discovered by researchers. Those mechanisms are a combination of familiar bacterial synthesis pathways and of such that occur in higher organisms. Thus, the team has debunked the long-standing theory that lipid production in bacteria differs substantially from that in higher organisms.

Muon detector could help UK reduce carbon emissions

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 05:44 AM PDT

A specialist detector which is set to play a fundamental part in helping the UK reduce its carbon emissions is being developed. Muon detectors which exploit cosmic-ray muons, a natural radiation to see through kilometers of rock -- in a similar way to X-rays being used to see inside a patient's body -- are being developed to improve monitoring of the process of subsurface carbon storage.

Identifying cyst-laden meat: Sarcocystis thermostable PCR detection kit developed

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:24 PM PDT

Consumption of undercooked cyst-laden meat from cattle, sheep and goats may cause infection in humans. Researchers have successfully invented a PCR kit which provides a suitable and feasible means of screening, detection and identification with high sensitivity and specificity of the parasite.

Processed red meat linked to higher risk of heart failure, death in men

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 02:46 PM PDT

Men who regularly eat moderate amounts of processed red meat such as cold cuts (ham/salami) and sausage may have an increased risk of heart failure incidence and a greater risk of death from heart failure. Researchers recommend avoiding processed red meat and limiting the amount of unprocessed red meat to one to two servings a week or less.

New test detects toxic prions in blood

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 02:46 PM PDT

The first cases of mad cow disease in humans occurred in the late 1990s and are thought to be the consequence of eating contaminated beef products. Several cases of secondary infections caused by transfusions with blood from donors who developed vCJD have been reported, raising concerns about the safety of blood products. A new article describes an assay that can detect prions in blood samples from humans with vCJD and in animals at early stages of the incubation phase.

Forging new ground in oil forensics: Deepwater Horizon Oil on shore even years later, after most has degraded

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 12:30 PM PDT

Years after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil spill, oil continues to wash ashore as oil-soaked 'sand patties,' persists in salt marshes abutting the Gulf of Mexico, and questions remain about how much oil has been deposited on the seafloor. Scientists have developed a unique way to fingerprint oil, and have successfully identified Macondo Well oil, even after most of it has degraded.

With the right rehabilitation, paralyzed rats learn to grip again

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

After a large stroke, motor skills barely improve, even with rehabilitation. An experiment conducted on rats demonstrates that a course of therapy combining the stimulation of nerve fiber growth with drugs and motor training can be successful. The key, however, is the correct sequence: Paralyzed animals only make an almost complete recovery if the training is delayed until after the growth promoting drugs have been administered.

Scientists discover link between climate change and ocean currents over 6 million years

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered a relationship between climate change and ocean currents over the past six million years after analyzing an area of the Atlantic near the Strait of Gibraltar, according to new research.

Habitat fragmentation increases vulnerability to disease in wild plants

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

Proximity to other meadows increases disease resistance in wild meadow plants, according to a new study. The study analyzed the epidemiological dynamics of a fungal pathogen in the archipelago of Finland. The study surveyed more than 4,000 Plantago lanceolata meadows and their infection status by a powdery mildew fungus in the Åland archipelago of Finland.

New evidence for 'oceans' of water deep in Earth: Water bound in mantle rock alters view of Earth's composition

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

Researchers report evidence for potentially oceans worth of water deep beneath the United States. Though not in the familiar liquid form -- the ingredients for water are bound up in rock deep in the Earth's mantle -- the discovery may represent the planet's largest water reservoir. The researchers have found deep pockets of magma located about 400 miles beneath North America, a likely signature of the presence of water at these depths.

Father's age influences rate of evolution: 90% of new mutations from father, chimpanzee study shows

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

The offspring of chimpanzees inherit 90 percent of new mutations from their father, and just 10 percent from their mother, a finding which demonstrates how mutation differs between humans and our closest living relatives, and emphasizes the importance of father's age on evolution.

Potential new treatment may protect celiac patients from gluten-induced injury

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 08:46 AM PDT

The gluten-specific enzyme ALV003 reduces a patient's exposure to gluten and its potential harm, according to a new phase 2 study. This study is the first to find that a non-dietary intervention can potentially benefit celiac disease patients.

Transmission of information via proteins could revolutionize drug discovery

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:50 AM PDT

The existence of information highways that connect and correlate distant sites within a single protein have been discovered by researchers. Their article furthers a key theoretical field for drug discovery, as it would allow the discovery of many more drug binding sites in proteins of biomedical interest.

China today: Culprit, victim or last best hope for a global ecological civilization?

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:22 AM PDT

China, from 2015 the world's biggest economy, is its worst polluter already. At the same time, it is the largest victim of environmental change, and the leading country in cleaning-up the environmental mess - the government has taken bold steps towards improvement. Could the largest polluter become the world's last best hope for establishing a global ecological civilization?

New data clarify relationship between diet and disease activity

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

Two new studies have helped clarify the relationship between the dietary intake of monounsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis respectively.

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