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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Tracing evolution of chicken flu virus yields insight into origins of deadly H7N9 strain

Posted: 29 Dec 2014 01:49 PM PST

An international research team has shown how changes in a flu virus that has plagued Chinese poultry farms for decades helped create the novel avian H7N9 influenza A virus that has sickened more than 375 people since 2013.

Sugar molecule links red meat consumption and elevated cancer risk in mice

Posted: 29 Dec 2014 12:22 PM PST

While people who eat a lot of red meat are known to be at higher risk for certain cancers, other carnivores are not, prompting researchers to investigate the possible tumor-forming role of a sugar called Neu5Gc, which is naturally found in most mammals but not in humans.

What are mechanisms of zooxanthella expulsion from coral?

Posted: 29 Dec 2014 06:26 AM PST

Coral bleaching, which often results in the mass mortality of corals and in the collapse of coral reef ecosystems, has become an important issue around the world, with the number of coral reefs decreasing annually. A research group has demonstrated that corals more actively digest and expel damaged symbiotic zooxanthellae under conditions of thermal stress, and that this is likely to be a mechanism that helps corals to cope with environmental change.

American cities are many times brighter at night than German counterparts

Posted: 29 Dec 2014 05:17 AM PST

German cities emit several times less light per capita than comparably sized American cities, according to recent research. The size of the gap grew with city size, as light per capita increased with city size in the USA but decreased with city size in Germany. The study also examined regional differences, and surprisingly found that light emission per capita was higher in cities in the former East of Germany than from those in the former West.

What you tweet when you go party can be useful for improving urban planning

Posted: 29 Dec 2014 05:17 AM PST

Millions of Twitter users are constantly reporting where they are and what they are doing. With this information, two Spanish computer science experts suggest using geolocalized tweets for urban planning and land use. They have already done it in Manhattan, Madrid and London and have been able to identify, for example, nightlife areas of these large cities. Every day millions of citizens around the world generate massive amounts of geolocalized content using mobile applications and social networks. Especially on Twitter, which could become a sensor of interactions between people and their environment and provide guidelines for planning life in the city.. A forgotten issue in urbanism is land use during the night time, with problems such as noise and dirt, which could be improved with this type of tool.

Parasite Eggs From the Celtic Period Found in Basel

Posted: 29 Dec 2014 05:17 AM PST

Archaeologists have discovered eggs of intestinal parasites in samples from a former Celtic settlement and concluded that its population lived in poor sanitary conditions. Using special geoarchaelogical methods, they found three different types of parasites.

Optogenetics captures neuronal transmission in live mammalian brain

Posted: 25 Dec 2014 11:35 AM PST

Scientists have used a cutting-edge method to stimulate neurons with light. They have successfully recorded synaptic transmission between neurons in a live animal for the first time.

Study sheds light on what causes cells to divide

Posted: 25 Dec 2014 11:35 AM PST

When a rapidly-growing cell divides into two smaller cells, what triggers the split? Is it the size the growing cell eventually reaches? Or is the real trigger the time period over which the cell keeps growing ever larger? A novel study has finally provided an answer to this long unsolved conundrum. And it's not what many biologists expected.

Egg and sperm race: Scientists create precursors to human egg and sperm

Posted: 25 Dec 2014 11:35 AM PST

Scientists have created primordial germ cells -- cells that will go on to become egg and sperm -- using human embryonic stem cells. Although this had already been done using rodent stem cells, this is the first time this has been achieved efficiently using human stem cells.

Young entrepreneurs innovate in green energy with an in situ organic waste digester

Posted: 24 Dec 2014 07:30 AM PST

Young entrepreneurs have developed a bio-digestion plant capable of generating electricity from organic waste in the market of the Nopal Collection Center in Mexico City.

Extracting bioactive compounds from marine microalgae

Posted: 24 Dec 2014 07:27 AM PST

Microalgae can produce high value health compounds like omega-3s , traditionally sourced from fish. With declining fish stocks, an alternative source is imperative. Researchers evaluated various methods for extracting fatty acids and carotenoids from two microalgae species.

Acoustic tweezers manipulate cell-to-cell contact

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:55 PM PST

Sound waves can precisely position groups of cells for study without the danger of changing or damaging the cells, according to a team of researchers who are using surface acoustic waves to manipulate cell spacing and contact.

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