Τετάρτη, 4 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Close-up of coral bleaching event

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 10:58 AM PDT

Ecologists have shed light on exactly what happens to coral during periods of excessively high water temperatures. Their study documents a coral bleaching event in the Caribbean in minute detail and sheds light on how it changed a coral's community of algae -- a change that could have long-term consequences for coral health, as bleaching is predicted to occur more frequently in the future.

Climate change at the movies

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 10:58 AM PDT

New research suggests that purportedly entertaining films that feature global warming and climate change can affect public understanding. But films are often bound up in problematic and limiting identity politics, which commonly reiterate racial, gender and sexual stereotypes positioning as they do white men as being the decision makers and the voice of authority.

Preservation of wine without sulphite addition

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 10:57 AM PDT

A good glass of wine is a byword for quality of life -- and not just for connoisseurs. In order to avoid wine spoilage, wineries mostly add sulphur dioxide during the winemaking process. However, the sulphites that dissolve in wine can cause allergic reactions – including asthma. Within the EU they must therefore be declared as an ingredient on the label and the limits for sulphites in wine have been reduced. Sulphites unfold their preservative action in two ways.

Ancient reefs preserved tropical marine biodiversity

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 10:57 AM PDT

Habitat refugia in which coral reefs have remained stable over time played a key role in preserving tropical marine fish biodiversity, a study highlights. Researchers have shown that the current distribution of tropical marine biodiversity is mainly due to the persistence of such refugia during glacial periods in the Quaternary. This imprint left by history thus has a greater impact on tropical fish biodiversity than contemporary environmental factors such as water temperature and reef area.

Carbon-capture breakthrough: Recyclable material absorbs 82 percent of its weight in carbon dioxide

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:43 AM PDT

Scientists invent a porous material to capture carbon dioxide at natural gas wellheads. The recyclable material absorbs 82 percent of its weight in carbon dioxide and releases it as gas when the wellhead pressure is relieved.

Vanishing da Vinci: Nondestructive way to determine state of degradation of ancient works of art

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:41 AM PDT

Leonardo da Vinci's iconic self-portrait, drawn in the 16th century, is vanishing as the work of art 'yellows' with age. By studying chromophores, the yellowing agents that form within cellulose during the oxidation process, a group of researchers has developed a nondestructive way to determine the state of degradation of ancient documents and works of art.

New look at old forests: Future growth of U.S. forests expected to decline

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:26 AM PDT

As forests age, their ability to grow decreases, because energy production (photosynthesis) and energy consumption (respiration) decrease with age, a new study has determined. Since most US forests are maturing from regeneration that began about 100 years ago when extensive clear-cutting occurred, the study suggests the future growth of US forests will decline.

Spiders know the meaning of web music

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:25 AM PDT

Spider silk transmits vibrations across a wide range of frequencies so that, when plucked like a guitar string, its sound carries information about prey, mates, and even the structural integrity of a web. The discovery was made when researchers fired bullets and lasers at spider silk to study how it vibrates.

Molecular 'scaffold' could hold key to new dementia treatments

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:24 AM PDT

A molecular 'scaffold' that allows key parts of cells to interact appears to come apart in dementia and motor neuron disease, revealing a potential new target for drug discovery, researchers report. Researchers looked at two components of cells: mitochondria, and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). ER and mitochondria form close associations and these interactions enable a number of important cell functions. However the mechanism by which ER and mitochondria become linked has not, until now, been fully understood.

Bacterium causing U.S. catfish deaths has Asian roots

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:24 AM PDT

A bacterium causing an epidemic among catfish farms in the southeastern United States is closely related to organisms found in diseased grass carp in China. The study suggests that the virulent US fish epidemic emerged from an Asian source.

Proteins 'ring like bells': Quantum mechanics and biochemical reactions

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:24 AM PDT

As far back as 1948, Erwin Schrödinger -- the inventor of modern quantum mechanics -- published the book 'What is life?' In it, he suggested that quantum mechanics and coherent ringing might be at the basis of all biochemical reactions. At the time, this idea never found wide acceptance because it was generally assumed that vibrations in protein molecules would be too rapidly damped. Now, scientists have shown that he may have been on the right track after all.

Notifying speeding mariners lowers ship speeds in areas with North Atlantic right whales

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:24 AM PDT

There are only around 500 North Atlantic right whales alive today. In an effort to further protect these critically endangered animals, a recent NOAA regulation required large vessels to reduce speed in areas seasonally occupied by the whales. The policy of notifying -- but not necessarily citing -- speeding vessels in protected areas was effective in lowering their speeds, helping to protect these magnificent creatures from ship collisions, while keeping punitive fines to mariners to a minimum.

New ichthyosaur graveyard found

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:22 AM PDT

Geoscientists have documented the discovery of forty-six ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs (marine reptiles). These specimens were discovered in the vicinity of the Tyndall Glacier in the Torres del Paine National Park of southern Chile. Among them are numerous articulated and virtually complete skeletons of adults, pregnant females, and juveniles. Preservation is excellent and occasionally includes soft tissue and embryos.

Modern ocean acidification is outpacing ancient upheaval: Rate may be ten times faster

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 02:03 PM PDT

Scientists estimate that surface ocean acidity increased by about 100 percent during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum in a few thousand years or more, and stayed that way for the next 70,000 years. Scientists have long suspected that ocean acidification caused the crisis -- similar to today, as humanmade CO2 combines with seawater to change its chemistry. Now, for the first time, scientists have quantified the extent of surface acidification from those ancient days, and the news is not good: the oceans are on track to acidify at least as much as they did then, only at a much faster rate.

Anti-diabetic drug slows aging and lengthens lifespan, animal study suggests

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Researchers have provided new evidence that metformin, the world's most widely used anti-diabetic drug, slows aging and increases lifespan. Scientists teased out the mechanism behind metformin's age-slowing effects: the drug causes an increase in the number of toxic oxygen molecules released in the cell and this, surprisingly, increases cell robustness and longevity in the long term.

Evening blue light exposure linked to increased hunger

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:59 AM PDT

A new study suggests that blue-enriched light exposure immediately before and during the evening meal may increase hunger and alter metabolism. Results show that blue-enriched light exposure, compared with dim light exposure, was associated with an increase in hunger that began 15 minutes after light onset and was still present almost two hours after the meal. Blue light exposure also decreased sleepiness and resulted in higher measures of insulin resistance.

Prediction for protection of water resources

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:14 AM PDT

A scientifically based decision support system (DSS) for planning, design and management of applications in the water sector has been developed by researchers. The climatic change poses an increasing threat to water resources worldwide. One solution for the minimization of the impact is the compensation of deficits with sustainable management strategies.

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