Σάββατο, 7 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

El Hierro Volcano helps to improve algorithms used by satellites

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 09:04 AM PDT

Information provided by satellites on the amount of chlorophyll-A and the roughness of the sea following the eruption of the underwater volcano off the island of El Hierro (Spain) did not coincide with the actual data collected in situ by vessels carrying out oceanographic studies. The models have been corrected by researchers who have for the first time processed very high resolution images of this kind of natural phenomenon captured from space.

Man's best friend: What does 'Fido's' behavior say about the relationship between you and your dog?

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 09:04 AM PDT

For centuries, dogs have been described as man's best friend. This bond may be linked to your dog's behavior, according to a new study by a professor of animal behavior, ecology and conservation. The study revealed that the more dogs demonstrate attention-seeking behavior with their adult owners, the more attached these owners are likely to be with their dogs. Interestingly, however, this made no difference to the children in the study.

Probiotics prevent deadly complications of liver disease, study finds

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Probiotics are effective in preventing hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis of the liver, according to a new study. The investigators conducted trial with cirrhosis patients who showed risk factors for hepatic encephalopathy, but had yet to experience an obvious episode. When comparing treatment with probiotics versus placebo, the researchers found that the incidence of hepatic encephalopathy was lower in patients treated with probiotics.

Herpesviruses undercover: How the virus goes undetected by body's immune system

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Pathogens entering our body only remain unnoticed for a short period. Within minutes our immune cells detect the invader and trigger an immune response. However, some viruses have developed strategies to avoid detection and elimination by our immune system. Researchers have now been able to show how the herpesviruses achieve this.

Dutch student team build 40 meter ice basilica in Finland in three weeks

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 07:19 AM PDT

Last year students built the world's biggest ice dome, with a diameter of 30 meters, in Finland. At the end of this year another team intend to travel to the frozen north to take on an even bigger challenge. They are going to build a church of ice, based on the Sagrada Familia, from pykrete – ice reinforced with wood fibers. And they aim to complete the almost 40 meter high model of the famous church in Barcelona (built on a scale of 1:4) in just three weeks.

Deadly diseases overlooked for too long, scientists say

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:17 AM PDT

Decades of neglect have allowed infectious diseases to devastate the lives of thousands of people in the developing world, a study reveals. Researchers say three diseases in particular -- anthrax, brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis -- have failed to receive the official recognition and funding needed to combat them effectively.

Saving trees in tropics could cut emissions by one-fifth, study shows

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:16 AM PDT

Reducing deforestation in the tropics would significantly cut the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere -- by as much as one-fifth -- research shows. In the first study of its kind, scientists have calculated the amount of carbon absorbed by the world's tropical forests and the amounts of greenhouse gas emissions created by loss of trees, as a result of human activity.

Thermal monitoring of volcanic activity from space

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:15 AM PDT

Data from the Meteosat satellite 36,000 km from Earth, has been used to measure the temperature of lava at the Nyiragongo lava lake in the Democratic Republic of Congo. An international team compared data from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) on board Meteosat with data collected at the lava lake with thermal cameras. Researchers say the technique could be used to help monitor volcanoes in remote places all over the world, and may help with the difficult task of anticipating eruptions.

Breakthrough study solves plant sex mystery: Genetic hierarchy in plant sperm cell formation undressed

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:15 AM PDT

A team of biologists has solved a mystery surrounding how plants have sex. The researchers have discovered a pair of proteins made by flowering plants that are vital for the production of the sperm present within each pollen grain. Scientists already knew that flowering plants, in contrast to animals, require not one, but two sperm cells for successful fertilization: one to join with the egg cell to produce the embryo and one to join with a second cell to produce the nutrient-rich endosperm inside the seed.

New insights into biomass breakdown provided by scientists

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:15 AM PDT

How a recently discovered family of enzymes can degrade hard-to-digest biomass into its constituent sugars has been the focus of new study. The enzymes -- lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) -- are secreted by both fungi and bacteria and have the ability to 'chip away' at cellulose and other intractable materials. This allows cellulosic materials such as plant stems, wood chips and cardboard waste, as well as other tricky polysaccharides such as insect/crustacean shells, to be broken down.

Mitochondrial DNA of first Near Eastern farmers is sequenced for the first time

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:14 AM PDT

The mitochondrial DNA of the first Near Eastern farmers has been sequenced for the first time. Experts analyzed samples from three sites located in the birthplace of Neolithic agricultural practices: the Middle Euphrates basin and the oasis of Damascus, located in today's Syria and date at about 8,000 BC.

Asymmetric continental margins and the slow birth of an ocean

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:14 AM PDT

When South America split from Africa 150 to 120 million years ago, the South Atlantic formed and separated Brazil from Angola. The continental margins formed through this separation are surprisingly different. Along offshore Angola 200 km wide, very thin slivers of continental crust have been detected, whereas the Brazilian counterpart margin features an abrupt transition between continental and oceanic crust.

Newborns exposed to dirt, dander, germs may have lower allergy, asthma risk

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:11 AM PDT

Infants exposed to rodent and pet dander, roach allergens and a wide variety of household bacteria in the first year of life appear less likely to suffer from allergies, wheezing and asthma, according to results of a recent study. Those who encounter such substances before their first birthdays seem to benefit rather than suffer from them. Importantly, the protective effects of both allergen and bacterial exposure were not seen if a child's first encounter with these substances occurred after age 1, the research found.

Long-sought molecular map of critical genetic machinery developed

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:00 AM PDT

Advanced electron microscopy techniques have been used to determine the first accurate structural map of Mediator, one of the largest and most complex "molecular machines" in cells. The finding demonstrates how recently developed molecular imaging methods can be applied to characterize large and important protein complexes.

New antibiotic proven effective to treat acute bacterial skin infections

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 05:31 PM PDT

The antibiotic dalbavancin is as effective as vancomycin, the current standard-of-care antibiotic used to treat serious bacterial skin and skin-structure infections, research shows. The study results establish dalbavancin as a therapy for Staphylococcus aureus infections, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA.

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