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Saturday, November 15, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Scientists employ satellite tags to solve whale-sized mystery

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 10:10 AM PST

For the first time, scientists working in the waters of Patagonia are using satellite tags to remotely track southern right whales from their breeding/calving grounds in the sheltered bays of Península Valdés, Argentina, to unknown feeding grounds somewhere in the western South Atlantic.

Rocky Mountain storms lead to new findings about hailstones

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:49 AM PST

New research shows that hailstones form around biological materials, extending previous findings about the formation of snow and rain.

Chemical in coffee may help prevent obesity-related disease

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:49 AM PST

A chemical compound commonly found in coffee may help prevent some of the damaging effects of obesity. Scientists have found that chlorogenic acid, or CGA, significantly reduced insulin resistance and accumulation of fat in the livers of mice who were fed a high-fat diet.

Fragile X Syndrome: Orphan designation for molecule

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:45 AM PST

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has granted "orphan designation" to BMS 204352(1), a molecule developed by French researchers to treat Fragile X Syndrome, a rare genetic disease for which there exists no treatment. Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic disease that causes inherited intellectual disability often associated with autism spectrum disorders as well as with characteristic physical signs. Affecting almost one in 4,000 infants, this is one of the most frequent rare diseases, but there is no existing treatment.

Theologian examines implications of 13th century manuscripts of Saint Francis of Assisi

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:44 AM PST

With the arrival in the United States earlier this week of several manuscripts from the Sacred Convent of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, a theology professor and specialist in St. Francis, has her own tale to tell about encountering these 700-year-old documents.

Could Depression Actually Be a Form of Infectious Disease?

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:43 AM PST

Major depressive disorder (MDD) should be re-conceptualized as an infectious disease, according to a professor. A new article suggests that major depression may result from parasitic, bacterial, or viral infection. The article presents examples that illustrate possible pathways by which these microorganisms could contribute to the etiology of MDD.

Warmest oceans ever recorded

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 06:00 AM PST

This summer has seen the highest global mean sea surface temperatures ever recorded. Temperatures even exceed those of the record-breaking 1998 El Nino year.

Nonsmokers in automobiles are exposed to significant secondhand smoke

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 06:00 AM PST

Nonsmokers sitting in an automobile with a smoker for one hour had markers of significantly increased levels of carcinogens and other toxins in their urine, indicating that secondhand smoke in motor vehicles poses a potentially major health risk according to a groundbreaking study.

New mechanism for growth control discovered

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:56 AM PST

Research on Drosophila reveals that once activated during starvation, a newly-discovered regulatory system prevents the secretion of insulin like peptides, the counterparts of IGF and insulin in mammals.

Cannabis extract can have dramatic effect on brain cancer, says new research

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:56 AM PST

Experts have shown that when certain parts of cannabis are used to treat cancer tumors alongside radio therapy treatment the growths can virtually disappear.

Seismic hazard in the Puget Lowland, Washington state, USA

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:51 PM PST

Seismic hazards in the Puget Lowland of northwestern Washington include deep earthquakes associated with the Cascadia subduction zone and shallow earthquakes associated with crustal faults across the region. New research establishes not only that one of the more prominent crustal faults, the Darrington-Devils Mountain fault zone, displays evidence of strong earthquakes in the past, but that it will likely be a source of strong earthquakes in the future.

Chemists develop porous molecules that bind greenhouse gases

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:51 PM PST

Chemistry researchers have developed a molecule that assembles spontaneously into a lightweight structure with microscopic pores capable of binding large quantities of several potent greenhouse gases.

'Hidden' emissions in traded meat calculated by researchers

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:51 PM PST

The amount of methane and nitrous oxide that countries release into the atmosphere when producing meat from livestock has been estimated, for the first time, but an international team of researchers. This study assigned the emissions to the countries where the meat is ultimately consumed.

Fungus behind deadly disease in walnut trees mutates easily, complicating control

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 12:55 PM PST

The fungus responsible for thousand cankers disease, a lethal affliction of walnut trees and related species, has a rich genetic diversity that may make the disease more difficult to control, researchers have discovered. The researchers identified 57 distinct haplotypes, or genetic races, among the samples, a curious finding for an organism that reproduces by cloning itself. The high diversity of Geosmithia morbida likely indicates that the fungus mutates readily, said one investigator.

It’s not always the DNA: mRNA play vital role, often overlooked

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:22 AM PST

Scientists have mostly ignored mRNA, the molecule that ferries information from DNA to the cellular machines that make proteins, because these DNA transcripts are ephemeral and soon destroyed. But mRNA can be just as important, DNA scientists say. They found that oxidized messenger RNA jams the cellular machines that make protein. The failure to clear the jams and chew up bad messengers is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Mars, too, has macroweather: But weather forecasting on the Red Planet is likely to be even trickier than on Earth

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 08:00 AM PST

Weather, which changes day-to-day due to constant fluctuations in the atmosphere, and climate, which varies over decades, are familiar. More recently, a third regime called "macroweather," has been used to describe the relatively stable regime between weather and climate.

Premature infants are exposed to unsafe levels of chemical in medical products used to save their lives

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Hospitalized premature infants are exposed to unsafe levels of a chemical found in numerous medical products used to treat them, raising questions about whether critically ill newborns may be adversely affected by equipment designed to help save their lives.

Giant otter's repertoire includes 22 distinct vocalizations

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 11:48 AM PST

Giant otters may have a vocal repertoire with 22 distinct vocalization types produced by adults and 11 neonate vocalization types. Giant otters, found in South America, are very social and frequently vocalizing animals. They live in groups that may vary, but generally include a reproductive pair and their offspring, born in different years.

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