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Monday, December 22, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

First successful vaccination against 'mad cow'-like wasting disease in deer

Posted: 21 Dec 2014 03:37 PM PST

Researchers say that a vaccination they have developed to fight a brain-based, wasting syndrome among deer and other animals may hold promise on two additional fronts: protecting US livestock from contracting the disease, and preventing similar brain infections in humans.

Researchers move closer to new range of biosensors

Posted: 20 Dec 2014 08:43 PM PST

Researchers have found a way of binding peptides to the surface of gallium nitride in a way that keeps the peptides stable even when exposed to water and radiation. The discovery moves researchers one step closer to developing a new range of biosensors for use in medical and biological research applications.

Alaska fish adjust to climate change by following the food

Posted: 20 Dec 2014 08:43 PM PST

Not all species may suffer from climate change. A new analysis shows that Dolly Varden, a species of char common in southeast Alaska, adjust their migrations so they can keep feasting on a key food source -- salmon eggs -- even as shifts in climate altered the timing of salmon spawning.

Trade winds ventilate the tropical oceans: Explanation for increasing oxygen deficiency

Posted: 20 Dec 2014 08:35 PM PST

Long-term observations indicate that the oxygen minimum zones in the tropical oceans have expanded in recent decades. The reason is still unknown. Now scientists have found an explanation with the help of model simulations: A natural fluctuation of the trade winds.

Microplastics in the ocean: Biologists study effects on marine animals

Posted: 20 Dec 2014 08:35 PM PST

Ingestion of microplastic particles does not mechanically affect marine isopods, according to new research. The study marks the launch of a series of investigations aimed at forming a risk matrix on the sensitivity of different marine species to microplastic pollution.

Quantum world without queues could lead to better solar cells

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 07:40 AM PST

Scientists have used new technology to study extremely fast processes in solar cells. The research results form a concrete step towards more efficient solar cells.

'Hairclip' protein mechanism explained

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 11:09 AM PST

A new study describes, for the first time, a fundamental mechanism regulating a protein's shape. The 'Hairclip' mechanism involves mutations acting on one side of a protein to open or close the configuration of amino acids on the other. The findings have implications for the manipulation of proteins, with potential applications in biotechnology and drug development.

The right route to disaster relief: Algorithm automatically finds quickest way to calamity-affected sites

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 11:01 AM PST

A new mapping tool makes preparing for natural disasters and responding to their aftermath easier than ever. Researchers have developed a computer model that analyzes networks of interconnected roads to predict the speediest routes for rescuers to take using real-time data uploaded by aid workers on the ground.

A gold catalyst for clear water: Mixed nanoparticle systems may help purify water and generate hydrogen

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 11:01 AM PST

A new catalyst could have dramatic environmental benefits if it can live up to its potential, suggests research from Singapore. Researchers have produced a catalyst with gold-nanoparticle antennas that can improve water quality in daylight and also generate hydrogen as a green energy source.

Closing the loop for greener production: Technique to analyze production processes highlights financial benefits of recycling

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 11:01 AM PST

A method for analyzing the financial benefits of incorporating the recycling and reuse of materials in manufacturing processes is expected to encourage more companies to adopt environmentally friendly production practices.

The tsunami-early warning system for the indian ocean: Ten years after

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 09:07 AM PST

The day after Christmas this year will mark the 10 anniversary of the tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean. On 26 December 2004, a quarter of a million people lost their lives, five million required immediate aid and 1.8 million citizens were rendered homeless. The natural disaster, which caused extreme devastation over huge areas and the accompanying grief and anxiety, especially in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka exceeded the imaginable and reached such drastic dimensions, mainly due to the lack of a warning facility and a disaster management plan for the entire Indian Ocean region at this time.

Pilot plant for removal of extreme gas charges from deep waters

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 07:32 AM PST

Being part of the mining area Herrerias, Andalusia, deep waters of Pit Lake Guadiana show extremely high concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide. In the case of a spontaneous ebullition, human beings close-by would be jeopardized. To demonstrate the danger and the possible solution, scientists constructed a pilot plant for degassing.

Tailor-made for the aquaculture sector

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 07:31 AM PST

Fish husbandry workers have played an active part in developing work clothing tailor-made for their wet, windy and messy working conditions. They're standing in a small circle around a net pen out in the ocean. Their job is to maintain the net pens, de-louse the salmon, and carry out the many other tasks essential to the running of a fish farm facility. The wind is bitter and the rain is lashing in from all directions. Sea water is splashing around their feet. Everything they handle is wet. Cold water creeps relentlessly up to their knees and along to their elbows inside their coveralls, which are only waterproof up until the second wash.

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