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Saturday, October 25, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Molecular beacons shine light on how cells 'crawl'

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 08:19 AM PDT

Chemists have devised a method using DNA-based tension probes to zoom in at the molecular level and measure and map how cells mechanically sense their environments, migrate and adhere to things.

Decrease of genetic diversity in the endangered Saimaa ringed seal continues

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

The critically endangered Saimaa ringed seal, which inhabits Lake Saimaa in Finland, has extremely low genetic diversity and this development seems to continue, according to a recent study. Researchers analyzed the temporal and regional variation in the genetic diversity of the endangered Saimaa ringed seal. The population is only around 300 individuals divided into smaller sub-populations and with very little migration among between them.

Ebola's evolutionary roots more ancient than previously thought

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

A new study is helping to rewrite Ebola's family history. It shows that Ebola and Marburg are each members of ancient evolutionary lines, and that these two viruses last shared a common ancestor sometime prior to 16-23 million years ago.

Global boom in hydropower expected this decade

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:26 AM PDT

An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity.

New methods for maintaining the quality of minimally processed potatoes for 14 days, without the use of sulphites

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:25 AM PDT

Researchers have proposed alternatives to the use of sulphites in potatoes, one of the main preservatives currently used and which, among other properties, prevents the browning that appears after peeling and/or cutting certain foods.

Intense heat causes health problems among sugar cane workers

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:25 AM PDT

Hard work under hot sun causes health problems for sugar cane workers in Costa Rica, such as headache, nausea, and renal dysfunction. The presence of symptoms is also expected to increase in line with ongoing climate changes, according to research.

Nation's 'personality' influences its environmental stewardship, shows new study

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 04:36 PM PDT

Countries with higher levels of compassion and openness score better when it comes to environmental sustainability, says research. "We used to think that personality only mattered for individual outcomes," says the author, "but we're finding that population differences in personality characteristics have many large-scale consequences."

Without swift influx of substantial aid, Ebola epidemic in Africa poised to explode

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 04:35 PM PDT

The Ebola virus disease epidemic already devastating swaths of West Africa will likely get far worse in the coming weeks and months unless international commitments are significantly and immediately increased, new research predicts.

Bodies at sea: Ocean oxygen levels may impact scavenger response

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 12:50 PM PDT

An ocean's oxygen levels may play a role in the impact of marine predators on bodies when they are immersed in the sea, according to researchers, who deployed a trio of pig carcasses into Saanich Inlet off Vancouver Island and studied them using an underwater camera via the internet.

Coping with water scarcity: Effectiveness of water policies aimed at reducing consumption evaluated

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 11:20 AM PDT

Southern California water agencies have turned to new pricing structures, expanded rebate programs and implemented other means to encourage their customers to reduce consumption. Some of those policies have greatly reduced per capita consumption, while others have produced mixed results.

Meiosis: Cutting the ties that bind

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 11:20 AM PDT

The development of a new organism from the joining of two single cells is a carefully orchestrated endeavor. But even before sperm meets egg, an equally elaborate set of choreographed steps must occur to ensure successful sexual reproduction. Those steps, known as reproductive cell division or meiosis, split the original number of chromosomes in half so that offspring will inherit half their genetic material from one parent and half from the other.

Flu at the zoo and other disasters: Experts help animal exhibitors prepare for the worst

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Here are three disaster scenarios for zoo or aquarium managers: one, a wildfire lunges towards your facility, threatening your staff and hundreds of zoo animals. Two, hurricane floodwaters pour into your basement, where more than 10,000 exotic fish and marine mammals live in giant tanks. Three, local poultry farmers report avian influenza (bird flu) in their chickens, a primary source of protein for your big cats. What do you do?

New insights on carbonic acid in water: Implications for geological and biological processes

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 01:40 PM PDT

A new study provides valuable new insight into aqueous carbonic acid with important implications for both geological and biological concerns.

Finding durable foul-release coatings to control invasive mussel attachment

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 01:39 PM PDT

The Bureau of Reclamation has released a report summarizing six years of testing coatings to control the attachment of quagga and zebra mussels to water and power facilities. Since the study began in 2008, Reclamation has tested more than 100 coatings and materials.

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