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Friday, November 28, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Ancient dental plaque: A 'Whey' into our milk drinking past?

Posted: 27 Nov 2014 06:49 AM PST

We drink milk because it is good for us, but we rarely stop to think "Why?" Archaeologists and geneticists have been puzzling this question since it was revealed that the mutations which enable adults to drink milk are under the strongest selection of any in the human genome.

Ancient marine algae provides clues of climate change impact on today's microscopic ocean organisms

Posted: 27 Nov 2014 05:23 AM PST

A study of ancient marine algae has found that climate change affected their growth and skeleton structure, which has potential significance for today's equivalent microscopic organisms that play an important role in the world's oceans. Coccolithophores, a type of marine algae, are prolific in the ocean today and have been for millions of years. These single-celled plankton produce calcite skeletons that are preserved in seafloor sediments after death. Although coccolithophores are microscopic, their abundance makes them key contributors to marine ecosystems and the global carbon cycle.

New antimicrobial edible films increase lifespan of cheese

Posted: 27 Nov 2014 05:23 AM PST

New coatings to apply to soft cheese have been developed by researchers. These coatings are totally edible and have an antimicrobial capacity, which increases the lifespan of the cheese. These films incorporate oregano and rosemary essential oils as antimicrobial agents, and chitosan, a by-product that comes from crustacean shells.

How can we avoid kelp beds turning into barren grounds?

Posted: 27 Nov 2014 05:21 AM PST

Urchins are marine invertebrates that mold the biological richness of marine grounds. However, an excessive proliferation of urchins may also have severe ecological consequences on marine grounds as they reduce algal cover and affect the survival of other marine species. To explore global dynamics and the factors that turn kelp beds into barren grounds is the main objective of a new study.

Arctic conditions may become critical for polar bears by end of 21st century

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 11:42 AM PST

Shifts in the timing and duration of ice cover, especially the possible lengthening of ice-free periods, may impact polar bears under projected warming before the end of the 21st century, experts say.

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