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Thursday, October 23, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Real-time tracking system developed to monitor dangerous bacteria inside body

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 01:40 PM PDT

Combining a PET scanner with a new chemical tracer that selectively tags specific types of bacteria, researchers working with mice report they have devised a way to detect and monitor in real time infections with dangerous Gram-negative bacteria. These increasingly drug-resistant bacteria are responsible for a range of diseases, including fatal pneumonias and various bloodstream or solid-organ infections acquired in and outside the hospital.

Wild chimps use innovative strategies to raid neighboring agricultural fields undetected

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 11:36 AM PDT

Wild chimpanzees living in a disturbed habitat may use innovative strategies, like foraging crops at night, to coexist with nearby human activities.

Rescued 'abandoned' penguin chicks survival similar to colony rates

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 11:36 AM PDT

Abandoned penguin chicks that were hand-reared and returned to the wild showed a similar survival rate to their naturally-reared counterparts.

As permafrost soils thaw soil microbes amplify global climate change

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 10:14 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered how an invisible menagerie of microbes in permafrost soils acts as global drivers of Earth processes such as climate via gas exchange between soils and the atmosphere. These findings will help climate modelers more accurately predict Earth's future climate.

Some scientists share better than others

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:35 AM PDT

Some scientists share better than others. While astronomers and geneticists embrace the concept, the culture of ecology still has a ways to go. New research explores the paradox that although ecologists share findings via scientific journals, they do not share the data on which the studies are built, said a co-author of the paper.

Karakoram glacier anomaly resolved, a cold case of climate science

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:35 AM PDT

Researchers may have hit upon an answer to a climate-change puzzle that has eluded scientists for years, namely why glaciers in the Karakoram range of the Himalayas have remained stable and even increased in mass while glaciers nearby and worldwide have been receding. Understanding the 'Karakoram anomaly' could help gauge the future availability of water for hundreds of millions of people.

Shifting precipitation patterns affect tea flavor, health compounds, study shows

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:34 AM PDT

Major antioxidant compounds that determine tea health properties and taste fell up to 50 percent during an extreme monsoon, a study concludes. The findings are based on samples taken from tea gardens in southwest China. The researchers collected samples from two extreme weather events -- an extreme drought and an extreme monsoon -- and performed a chemical analysis of the samples.

Drones help show how environmental changes affect the spread of infectious diseases

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:34 AM PDT

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, can collect detailed information in real time at relatively low cost for ecological research. In a new article, experts demonstrate that drones can be used to understand how environmental factors influence the spread of infectious diseases.

Lose the weight, not the potatoes, study says

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:33 AM PDT

People can eat potatoes and still lose weight, a new study demonstrates. The study sought to gain a better understanding of the role of calorie reduction and the glycemic index in weight loss when potatoes are included in the diet. "Some people have questioned the role of potatoes in a weight loss regimen because of the vegetable's designation as a high glycemic index food," explained the lead investigator of the study. "However, the results of this study confirm what health professionals and nutrition experts have said for years: it is not about eliminating a certain food or food groups, rather, it is reducing calories that count."

An effective, cost-saving way to detect natural gas pipeline leaks

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:35 AM PDT

Major leaks from oil and gas pipelines have led to home evacuations, explosions, millions of dollars in lawsuit payouts and valuable natural resources escaping into the air, ground and water. Scientists say they have now developed a new software-based method that finds leaks even when they're small, which could help prevent serious incidents -- and save money for customers and industry.

Olive oil more stable and healthful than seed oils for frying food

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:35 AM PDT

Frying is one of the world's most popular ways to prepare food -- think fried chicken and french fries. Even candy bars and whole turkeys have joined the list. But before dunking your favorite food in a vat of just any old oil, consider using olive. Scientists report that olive oil withstands the heat of the fryer or pan better than several seed oils to yield more healthful food.

Global consumption an increasingly significant driver of tropical deforestation

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:34 AM PDT

International trade with agricultural and wood products is an increasingly important driver of tropical deforestation. More than a third of recent deforestation can be tied to production of beef, soy, palm oil and timber. 'The trend is clear: the drivers of deforestation have been globalized and commercialized,' says one expert.

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:33 AM PDT

BiogàsPlus, a technology which allows increasing the production of biogas by 200% with a controlled introduction of iron oxide nanoparticles to the process of organic waste treatment, has been developed by scientists.

Sight neurons recorded in jumping spider brain

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 06:30 AM PDT

For the first time, a team of interdisciplinary researchers have made recordings of neurons associated with visual perception inside the poppy seed-sized brain of a jumping spider using a hair-sized tungsten recording electrode.

Cause of aging remains elusive, researchers assert

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:43 AM PDT

A report by Chinese researchers a few months ago was a small sensation: they appeared to have found the cause for why organisms age. Another international team of scientists has now refuted a basic assumption of the article. The reasons for aging thus remain elusive, they say.

Secret wing colors attract female fruit flies

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:42 AM PDT

Bright colors appear on a fruit fly's transparent wings against a dark background as a result of light refraction. Researchers have now demonstrated that females choose a mate based on the males' hidden wing colors.

Seaweed menace may yield new medicines

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:42 AM PDT

An invasive seaweed clogging up British coasts could be a blessing in disguise. British scientists have won a cash award to turn it into valuable compounds which can lead to new, life-saving drugs.

Cheaper silicon means cheaper solar cells

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:42 AM PDT

Researchers have pioneered a new approach to manufacturing solar cells that requires less silicon and can accommodate silicon with more impurities than is currently the standard. Those changes mean that solar cells can be made much more cheaply than at present.

When the Isthmus is an island: Madison's hottest, and coldest, spots

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 01:21 PM PDT

Researchers highlight the urban heat island effect in Madison: The city's concentrated asphalt, brick and concrete lead to higher temperatures than its nonurban surroundings.

'Shrinking goats' another indicator that climate change affects animal size

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 08:14 AM PDT

Alpine goats appear to be shrinking in size as they react to changes in climate, according to new research. In recent years, decreases in body size have been identified in a variety of animal species, and have frequently been linked to the changing climate. However, the researchers say the decline in size of Chamois observed in this study is striking in its speed and magnitude.

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