Referral Banners

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Ebola, marburg viruses edit genetic material during infection

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 06:11 AM PST

Filoviruses like Ebola 'edit' genetic material as they invade their hosts, according to a study. The findings reported could lead to a better understanding of these viruses, paving the way for new treatments down the road.

Lemurs: Gardeners of Madagascar rainforest at risk

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:38 AM PST

Researchers explored the role of threatened primates as seed dispersers in Madagascar's biodiverse rainforest to better understand possible consequences of their loss. A large proportion of trees in Madagascar's rainforest have fruits eaten by lemurs. Lemurs in turn disperse the seeds of their fruit trees throughout the forest with their scat. Such dispersal can play a crucial role for a tree species' ability to regenerate, but effects are poorly understood, especially when there are multiple dispersers.

Compared with apes, people's gut bacteria lack diversity, study finds

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:21 PM PST

The microbes living in people's guts are much less diverse than those in humans' closest relatives, the African apes, an apparently long evolutionary trend that appears to be speeding up in more modern societies, with possible implications for human health, according to a new study.

Texas Roses Must Be 'on' Year Round to Make the Cut

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 04:10 PM PST

It's late autumn, and most of the blossom-laden plants that colored summer are fading. But seasonal changes offer no excuse for roses in experimental plots around Texas. They had better be loaded with colorful, fragrant autumn blooms and healthy green foliage if they ever expect to be planted in someone's yard.

Groundwater patches play important role in forest health, water quality

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 01:19 PM PST

Patches of soaked soil act as hot spots for microbes removing nitrogen from groundwater and returning it to the atmosphere. The discovery provides insight into forest health and water quality.

Arctic warming: Scientists identify new driver

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 01:19 PM PST

A mechanism that could turn out to be a big contributor to warming in the Arctic region and melting sea ice has been identified by scientists. They found that open oceans are much less efficient than sea ice when it comes to emitting in the far-infrared region of the spectrum, a previously unknown phenomenon that is likely contributing to the warming of the polar climate.

Synthetic biology: 'Telomerator' reshapes synthetic yeast chromosome into more flexible, realistic form, redefining what geneticists can build

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 01:19 PM PST

Yeast geneticists report they have developed a novel tool -- dubbed 'the telomerator' -- that could redefine the limits of synthetic biology and advance how successfully living things can be engineered or constructed in the laboratory based on an organism's genetic, chemical base-pair structure.

Variations in ice sheet height influence global climate

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 01:19 PM PST

Heinrich events, in which large masses of icebergs rapidly broke free from ice sheets during the last ice age, are thought to have influenced global climate by interrupting ocean circulation patterns with a large influx of freshwater. However, new research suggests the variations in the height of the ice sheet that happen in these events might also influence global climate.

Inexpensive, easy way to filter arsenic from water

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:22 AM PST

A quick, cheap and easy way has been developed to filter from water one of the world's most common pollutants: arsenic. Arsenic is one of the most common environmental pollutants, finding its way into drinking water supplies through natural or humanmade sources and affecting millions of people worldwide. It has been shown to cause cancer and new methods to remove arsenic from drinking water and wastewater are urgently needed.

New test shows promise in identifying new drugs to treat lyme disease

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:22 AM PST

A test has been developed by researchers which they say will allow them to test thousands of FDA-approved drugs to see if they will work against the bacteria that causes tick-borne Lyme disease.

Nasal spray vaccine has potential for long-lasting protection from Ebola virus

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 08:41 AM PST

A nasal vaccine in development has been shown to provide long-term protection for non-human primates against the deadly Ebola virus. The Ebola virus is an often fatal illness that is spread among the human population via direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected individual. The current Ebola outbreak in Western Africa is the largest and most complex epidemic since the virus was first discovered in 1976. With a fatality rate currently as high as 70%, officials are declaring this outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

Wrangling data flood to manage health of streams

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:24 AM PST

Today's natural resource manager tending to the health of a stream in Louisiana needs to look upstream. Way upstream -- like Montana. Scientists have invented a way to more easily manage the extensive nature of streams.

Maple syrup production declines after big seed year

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:24 AM PST

New research reveals a more valuable metric for understanding -- and even predicting -- syrup production: How many seed helicopters rained down from the trees the year before.

Diet affects pesticide resistance in honey bees

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:24 AM PST

Feeding honey bees a natural diet of pollen makes them significantly more resistant to pesticides than feeding them an artificial diet, according to a team of researchers, who also found that pesticide exposure causes changes in expression of genes that are sensitive to diet and nutrition.

Countries with poor marine safety records linked to oil spill vessels

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:23 AM PST

More than half of ships involved in the 100 largest oil spills of the past three decades were registered in states that consistently fail to comply with international safety and environmental standards, researchers have determined.

Nanotubes could serve as 'universal scaffolding' for cell membrane channels

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:23 AM PST

A study suggests that single-wall carbon nanotubes could be used as universal scaffolding to help to replicate the properties of cell membrane channels, scientists report. Biological membranes define the functional architecture of living systems: they are selectively permeable, maintain the chemical identity of the cells and intracellular organelles, and regulate the exchange of material between them.

Research partnership key to biodiversity conservation

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:23 AM PST

A new policy paper aims to increase awareness among researchers of the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach to safeguarding ecosystems and species. The HCV approach is widely used in sustainable land management schemes to identify important ecosystems and species to conserve, but is little known in academia and the scientific evidence base is lacking.

Combining 'Tinkertoy' materials with solar cells for increased photovoltaic efficiency

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:22 AM PST

Researchers are working to develop a technique that they believe will significantly improve the efficiencies of photovoltaic materials and help make solar electricity cost-competitive with other sources of energy.

New process transforms wood, crop waste into valuable chemicals

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 07:22 AM PST

Scientists have disclosed a new method to convert lignin, a biomass waste product, into simple chemicals. The innovation is an important step toward replacing petroleum-based fuels and chemicals with biorenewable materials, says an expert in "green chemistry."

MRSA bugs linked to livestock found in hospitals, study finds

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 06:16 AM PST

Some methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bugs in UK hospitals can be traced back to a type of bacteria found in farm animals, a study suggests. A strain of drug-resistant bacteria carried by some livestock -- the MRSA strain Staphylococcus aureus CC398 -- has also been found in patients, researchers say.

Flu infection has long-ranging effects

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 06:16 AM PST

Flu infection has long-ranging effects beyond the lung that can wreak havoc in the gut and cause gastrointestinal symptoms, according to new research. The study suggests ways to relieve these symptoms without interfering with the body's ability to fight the flu virus in the lung.

First Immature form of HIV seen at high resolution surprises researchers

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 05:25 AM PST

The first structure of the immature form of HIV at a high enough resolution has been obtained by researchers, allowing them to pinpoint exactly where each building block sits in the virus. The study reveals that the building blocks of the immature form of HIV are arranged in a surprising way.

Sea sponge drug could boost advanced breast cancer survival by five extra months

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 06:20 PM PST

The cancer drug eribulin, originally developed from sea sponges, could give women with advanced triple negative breast cancer an average of five extra months of life, according to research.

Mussels on California Coast contaminated with giardia transmitted from land-based sources

Posted: 01 Nov 2014 02:32 PM PDT

The pathogen Giardia duodenalis is present in mussels from freshwater run-off sites and from areas where California Sea Lions lounge along the coast of California, according to a team of researchers. One of the G. duodenalis strains found is known to infect humans; the two others occur mostly in dogs and other canids. 'Thus, the detection of these assemblages implies a potential public health risk if consuming fecally contaminated water or uncooked shellfish,' says a coauthor.

Study of Chile earthquake finds new rock structure that affects earthquake rupture

Posted: 01 Nov 2014 02:32 PM PDT

An unusual mass of rock deep in the active fault line beneath Chile has been found. Researchers say that this mass influenced the rupture size of a massive earthquake that struck the region in 2010.

Scientists seek cure for devastating witches' broom disease of the chocolate tree

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 12:00 PM PDT

As children across the country savor the last of this year's Halloween candy, a deadly and untreatable fungus, Moniliophthora perniciosa, is hexing chocolate tree, Theobroma cacao, plantations in many South and Central American countries, threatening livelihoods and imperiling the world's favorite treat. A team of scientists from Brazil has taken the first steps towards conquering this aggressive fungus by deciphering the interaction between the fungus and the chocolate tree at the molecular level.

Bladderwrack: Tougher than suspected

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 12:00 PM PDT

The bladderwrack Fucus vesiculosus is actually one of the most important species of brown algae along the North Atlantic coasts. But for years their populations in the Baltic Sea were declining. Looking for the reasons, biologists now have analyzed the defense mechanisms of bladderwrack against bacterial vermins under different environmental conditions. The surprising result: The defense proved to be very robust to environmental changes.

Majority of high school seniors favor more liberal marijuana policies

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 05:20 AM PDT

A new study analyzed adolescents' positions toward marijuana decriminalization and legalization. In the analysis, researchers identified how positions toward various marijuana policies differ by gender, race, political affiliation and religion, and also examined how lifetime and recent marijuana use relate to such positions.

'Swiss cheese' membrane with adjustable holes

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 05:20 AM PDT

The pore size of the smart membranes can be adjusted from the outside, experts report. This is very attractive in applications such as biosensors or chemical analysis. The 'Swiss cheese' structure is characteristic of many polymer membranes and is now modified by introducing iron within the polymer. Using an electric signal or a chemical reaction, the pore size can be adjusted. The key to this is controlled adding or extracting of electrons to and from iron.

LED lighting can significantly reduce energy consumption in greenhouse horticulture

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 05:20 AM PDT

With the exception of energy consumption, where there is still much to be done, the Dutch are global leaders in greenhouse horticulture. The quality is high, and nowhere else is the use of water and pesticides so low. Even so, demand for innovation, sustainable production and healthy fruit and vegetables and high-quality flowers remains high. One innovation that would help in this is the introduction of LED lighting in the greenhouse horticulture sector, says one expert.

No comments: