Τρίτη, 24 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


We can eliminate the major tornado threat in Tornado Alley, experts say

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

Can we eliminate major tornadoes in Tornado Alley? Devastating tornados over there start from violent clashes between northbound warm wind and southbound cold wind. If we build three east-west great walls, 300m high and 50m wide, one in North Dakota, one passing Oklahoma and one in Texas, we will weaken such air mass clashes and diminish major tornado threat. Such walls may be built locally at areas with frequent tornado outbreaks first and gradually extended.

Cell stress inflames the gut, research shows

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

Inflammatory bowel disease is a common condition in western industrialized countries. What triggers it, however, is not yet fully understood. Nutrition researchers have now identified a new step in the pathogenesis. They used a mouse model to show that a protein in the cells of the intestinal mucosa is one of the root causes of the disease.

Hormone-disrupting activity of fracking chemicals worse than initially found

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 07:39 AM PDT

Many chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can disrupt not only the human body's reproductive hormones but also the glucocorticoid and thyroid hormone receptors, which are necessary to maintain good health, a new study finds.

BPA Substitute as bad as BPA? Exposure to BPA substitute causes hyperactivity and brain changes in fish

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 07:39 AM PDT

A chemical found in many "BPA free" consumer products, known as bisphenol S (BPS), is just as potent as bisphenol A (BPA) in altering brain development and causing hyperactive behavior, an animal study finds.

Unlocking milk's formula could save lives, say scientists

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 06:58 AM PDT

A new study on the digestion of milk could lead to the development of new formulas for premature babies, weight loss drinks and potentially new drug delivery systems. The research shows, for the first time, detailed insights into the structure of milk during digestion. While milk's nutritional values are well known, little research has been conducted into the detailed structure of milk and how its fats interact with the digestive system until now.

'Missing link' found in production of protein factories in cells

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 06:46 AM PDT

The 'missing link' in the chemical system that enables animal cells to produce ribosomes -- the thousands of protein 'factories' contained within each cell that manufacture all of the proteins needed to build tissue and sustain life -- has been found by a team of biologists. Their discovery will not only force a revision of basic textbooks on molecular biology, but also provide scientists with a better understanding of how to limit uncontrolled cell growth, such as cancer, that might be regulated by controlling the output of ribosomes.

Association found between maternal exposure to agricultural pesticides and autism

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 06:29 AM PDT

Pregnant women who lived in close proximity to fields and farms where chemical pesticides were applied experienced a two-thirds increased risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental delay, a study by researchers has found. The study examined associations between specific classes of pesticides, including organophosphates, pyrethroids and carbamates, applied during the study participants' pregnancies and later diagnoses of autism and developmental delay in their offspring.

Archaeo-astronomy steps out from shadows of the past

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 06:23 AM PDT

From the 'Crystal Pathway' that links stone circles on Cornwall's Bodmin Moor to star-aligned megaliths in central Portugal, archaeo-astronomers are finding evidence that Neolithic and Bronze Age people were acute observers of the Sun, as well as the Moon and stars, and that they embedded astronomical references within their local landscapes.

Archaeologists search for new portal into bygone era

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 06:23 AM PDT

Iron Age combat sessions and an expert view on life in Leicestershire over 2000 years ago will be on offer at one of the county's most striking historic features, Burrough Hill.

Not even cell death can stop immune system, inflammation

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 06:21 AM PDT

Even after a cell dies, components of the immune system remain active and continue to fuel inflammatory reactions. An international team of researchers has discovered how this incredible form of communication works. The findings offer potentially novel approaches for therapies against many serious diseases that affect a large part of the population, such as gout, atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

Soy supplements appear to be safe, beneficial in diabetic men

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 06:20 AM PDT

Soy protein supplements, which contain natural estrogens, do not reduce testosterone levels in men with Type 2 diabetes who already have borderline-low testosterone, according to a new study. In addition, soy protein supplements significantly improved diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading) but not systolic blood pressure (the top number).

Air pollution controls linked to lower death rates in North Carolina

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 06:18 AM PDT

National and state air pollution controls that went into effect in the early 1990s coincide with decreasing death rates from emphysema, asthma and pneumonia among people in North Carolina, according to a study. Using mortality trends from state public health data, along with monthly measurements from air-monitoring stations across North Carolina from 1993-2010, the researchers were able to draw a close association between improved air quality and declining death rates from respiratory illnesses.

Concentrating solar power: Study shows greater potential

Posted: 22 Jun 2014 11:22 AM PDT

Concentrating solar power could supply a large fraction of the power supply in a decarbonized energy system, shows a new study of the technology and its potential practical application.

Regional weather extremes linked to atmospheric variations

Posted: 22 Jun 2014 11:22 AM PDT

Variations in high-altitude wind patterns expose particular parts of Europe, Asia and the US to different extreme weather conditions, a new study has shown. Changes to air flow patterns around the Northern Hemisphere are a major influence on prolonged bouts of unseasonal weather -- whether it be hot, cold, wet or dry.

The ICEMAN study: How keeping cool could spur metabolic benefits

Posted: 22 Jun 2014 11:22 AM PDT

A new study demonstrates that ambient temperatures can influence the growth or loss of brown fat in people. Cool environments stimulate growth, warm environments loss. The study results clearly show the 'plasticity' of brown fat in humans.

Molecule regulates production of antibacterial agent used by immune cells

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 11:39 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered how a protein molecule in immune cells promotes the production of nitric oxide, a potent weapon in the cells' arsenal to defend the body from bacterial attack. The protein may offer a target for reining in the inflammatory response, which must be able to fight infection without damaging tissue.

How botulism-causing toxin enters bloodstream

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:22 AM PDT

The mechanism by which bacterial toxins that cause food-borne botulism are absorbed through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream has been discovered by researchers. Their study points to new approaches to blocking this poisonous substance. Botulism is a rare and often fatal paralytic illness due to a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which can appear in rotted, uncooked foods and in soil.

Ontario's far north at risk unless province adopts new, inclusive planning process: Report

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:55 AM PDT

With the Ontario government poised to spend $1 billion to promote development in the Ring of Fire, a new paper identifies risks inherent in the current planning legislation and provides a solution. Ontario's far north is the world's largest ecologically intact area of boreal forest. It contains North America's largest wetlands, is home to a number of at-risk species, including caribou and lake sturgeon, and is a one of the world's critical storehouses of carbon.

Evolution of equine influenza led to canine offshoot which could mix with human influenza

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:55 AM PDT

Equine influenza viruses from the early 2000s can easily infect the respiratory tracts of dogs, while those from the 1960s are only barely able to, according to research. The research also suggests that canine and human influenza viruses can mix, and generate new influenza viruses.

Genetic risk for type 1 diabetes driven by faulty cell recycling

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:49 AM PDT

A gene mutation sets off an accumulation of unhealthy beta cells that can no longer produce insulin needed to control blood sugar, says a researcher who lives with type 1 diabetes himself. The loss of beta cell function may be driven by a defect in Clec16a, a gene responsible for getting rid of old mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells, and making room for fresh ones. Healthy mitochondria are crucial to allowing beta cells to produce insulin and control blood sugar levels.

Conclusive evidence that sunscreen use in childhood prevents development of malignant melanoma in adults

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 08:14 AM PDT

Unequivocally, in a natural animal model, researchers have demonstrated that the incidence of malignant melanoma in adulthood can be dramatically reduced by the consistent use of sunscreen in infancy and childhood. The research was driven by the fact that, despite the increasing use of sunscreen in recent decades, the incidence of malignant melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, continues to increase dramatically. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 75,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year.

Effectiveness of antibiotics in treating cholera reviewed

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 06:56 AM PDT

An independent review of the effects of treating cholera with antimicrobial drugs has been conducted. Cholera is an acute watery diarrhea caused by infection with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which can cause rapid dehydration and death. Effective treatment requires early diagnosis and rehydration using oral rehydration salts or intravenous fluids. This review looked at the effects of adding antimicrobial drugs to this treatment.

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