Σάββατο, 28 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Research may yield new ways to treat antibiotic-resistant TB

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 10:49 AM PDT

Scientists have successfully modified the precursor to one of the drugs used to treat tuberculosis, an important first step toward new drugs that can transcend antibiotic resistance issues. In 1993, resurging levels of tuberculosis due to this antibiotic resistance led the World Health Organization to declare it a global health emergency.

Monkeys also believe in winning streaks, study shows

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 10:31 AM PDT

Humans have a well-documented tendency to see winning and losing streaks in situations that, in fact, are random. But scientists disagree about whether the "hot-hand bias" is a cultural artifact picked up in childhood or a predisposition deeply ingrained in the structure of our cognitive architecture.

To address climate change, nothing substitutes for reducing carbon dioxide emissions

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 10:30 AM PDT

The politically expedient way to mitigate climate change is essentially no way at all, according to a comprehensive new study. Among the climate pollutants humans put into the atmosphere in significant quantities, the effects of carbon dioxide are the longest-lived, with effects on climate that extend thousands of years after emissions cease. But finding the political consensus to act on reducing carbon dioxide emissions has been nearly impossible. So there has been a movement to make up for that inaction by reducing emissions of other, shorter-lived gasses, such as methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and nitrous oxide, and particulates such as soot and black carbon, all of which contribute to warming as well.

Progress of comprehensive everglades restoration plan evaluated

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 08:30 AM PDT

Although planning for Everglades restoration projects has advanced considerably over the past two years, financial, procedural, and policy constraints have impeded project implementation, says a new congressionally mandated report.

Climate change and the ecology of fear

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 08:30 AM PDT

Climate change is predicted to have major impacts on the many species that call our rocky shorelines home. Indeed, species living in these intertidal habitats, which spend half their day exposed to air and the other half submerged by water, may be subjected to a double whammy as both air and water temperatures rise. Given the reliance of human society on nearshore coastal ecosystems, it is critical that we better understand how climate change will affect them.

A new species of moth from the Appalachian Mountains named to honor the Cherokee Nation

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 08:30 AM PDT

A small, drab and highly inconspicuous moth has been flitting nameless about its special niche among the middle elevations of one of the world's oldest mountain ranges, the southern Appalachian Mountains in North America. A team of American scientists has now identified this new to science species as Cherokeea attakullakulla.

Adding sugar to high-fat Western diet could be worse than high-fat diet alone

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 08:27 AM PDT

A high-fructose, high-fat diet can cause harmful effects to the livers of adult rats, according to new research, providing new insight into the effects of adding fructose to a Western diet high in fat. The study showed that short-term consumption of a Western diet, rich in saturated fats and fructose, is more damaging for healthy liver development than following a high fat diet alone.

Do fruit, vegetable supplements improve respiratory function in smokers?

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 08:27 AM PDT

Studies have shown that smokers, in addition to exposing their lungs to harmful toxins, often eat less fruits and vegetables than non-smokers. Given the role of fruit and vegetable based antioxidants in improving respiratory health and the difficulty of achieving lasting dietary change, researchers hypothesized that powdered fruit and vegetable supplements could improve respiratory function in heavy smokers.

Scientists identify new microbes linked to severe diarrhea

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 06:49 AM PDT

Diarrhea is a major cause of childhood mortality in developing countries and ranks as one of the top four causes of death among young children in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In a finding that may one day help control diarrhea, researchers have identified microorganisms that may trigger diarrheal disease and others that may protect against it. These microbes were not widely linked to the condition previously.

Rhesus proteins transport ions, not gas

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 06:45 AM PDT

Membrane proteins: do they carry the gas ammonia or the ammonium ion in their luggage? And is transport active or passive? Biochemists have long speculated on the mechanistic details of the ammonium transport family of proteins (Amt), which include the Rhesus protein factors, known as the mammalian blood group system. In mammals, Rhesus proteins regulate acid and ion balance in kidney and liver cells. New research sheds new light on this issue.

Extinct undersea volcanoes squashed under Earth's crust cause tsunami earthquakes

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 06:45 AM PDT

New research has revealed the causes and warning signs of rare tsunami earthquakes, which may lead to improved detection measures. The new study reveals that tsunami earthquakes may be caused by extinct undersea volcanoes causing a "sticking point" between two sections of Earth's crust called tectonic plates, where one plate slides under another.

New theory on cause of ice age 2.6 million years ago

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 06:44 AM PDT

New research has provided a major new theory on the cause of the ice age that covered large parts of the Northern Hemisphere 2.6 million years ago.

World Cup ball plays better at higher altitudes: study

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 06:33 PM PDT

The Brazuca ball being used in the 2014 FIFA World Cup will play better at Brazil's higher altitude stadiums, according to studies. The tests found that high altitude will impact on the ball's aerodynamic drag and speed -- players risk overshooting the ball during a long pass, free kick or long shot to the goal post unless they understand the altitude effect and adapt their game accordingly.

Noroviruses cause around a fifth of all cases of acute gastroenteritis worldwide

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 03:45 PM PDT

Noroviruses are a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis (diarrhea and vomiting) across all age groups, responsible for almost one-fifth of all cases worldwide. New estimates highlight the importance of developing norovirus vaccines, say the authors. "Our findings show that norovirus infection contributes substantially to the global burden of acute gastroenteritis, causing both severe and mild cases and across all age groups. Diarrhea remains one of the leading causes of death of children in developing regions of the world."

Get insects to bug off this summer

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 03:42 PM PDT

Summer means an increase in bug and insect activity. How do you know which insects are harmful, what diseases they carry and how to safely avoid them? "Mosquitoes and ticks are the two pests you primarily want to avoid because they potentially carry infectious diseases," says an infectious disease specialist.

A mini-antibody with broad antiviral activity chews up viral DNA and RNA

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 02:28 PM PDT

Antibodies and their derivatives can protect plants and animals -- including humans -- against viruses. Members of this class of drugs are usually highly specific against components of a particular virus, and mutations in the virus that change these components can make them ineffective.

Salmonella's Achilles' heel: Reliance on single food source to stay potent

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 02:27 PM PDT

A potential Achilles' heel for Salmonella has been identified by researchers: the bacteria's reliance on a single food source to remain fit in the inflamed intestine. When these wily bugs can't access this nutrient, they become 1,000 times less effective at sustaining disease than when they're fully nourished.

Synchronised imaging techniques: One more chance for rhinoceroses' foot treatment

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 06:57 AM PDT

A new imaging strategy of synchronizing computed tomography with digital radiography helps to diagnose and initiate appropriate treatment of foot diseases in mega-vertebrates. Despite their long history in captivity, extending at least to Roman times, the fate of some rhinoceros species in zoological collections is still uncertain. Captive rhinos are confronted with chronic foot diseases, a group of severe disorders previously thought to be confined to soft tissues and recently shown to include diverse severe bone pathologies.

Win-win-win solution for biofuel, climate, and biodiversity

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 03:49 PM PDT

In Brazil, the demand for alternative energy sources has led to an increase in biofuel crops. A new paper reviews new research conducted by Brazilian colleagues demonstrating the high carbon gains of converting underutilized pastureland for biofuel crops. With over 2.5 million square kilometers of existing cleared lands in Brazil, much of which is degraded pasture lands, there is already a large potential area for biofuel crop expansion.

Natural resources worth more than US $40 trillion must be accounted for

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 12:15 PM PDT

Governments and companies must do more to account for their impact and dependence on the natural environment -- according to researchers. New research reveals that although some companies like Puma and Gucci are leading the way, more needs to be done to foster a sustainable green economy. Researchers say that while the economic value of lost natural resources can be difficult to quantify, much more must be done to make sure that it is.

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