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Monday, January 26, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

3-D view of Greenland Ice Sheet opens window on ice history

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 11:09 AM PST

Scientists using ice-penetrating radar have created 3-D maps of the age of the ice within the Greenland Ice Sheet. The new maps will aid future research to understand the impact of climate change on the ice sheet. The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest mass of ice on Earth, containing enough water to raise ocean levels by about 20 feet.

Lead negatively impacts cognitive functions of boys more than girls

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 11:09 AM PST

The female hormones estrogen and estradiol may help ward off the effects of lead exposure for young girls, explaining why boys, are shown to suffer more often from the cognitive disabilities linked to lead.

More light shed on on biomass breakdown

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 09:17 AM PST

A recently discovered family of enzymes can degrade resistant forms of starch, researchers report. Starch is a polysaccharide that is highly prevalent in both food and plants. Determining the way it is broken down by an LPMO now offers potential for utilising this starch in new ways, potentially including the production of biofuels.

Mammalian heart regenerative capacity depends on severity of injury

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 04:38 PM PST

Neonatal mouse hearts have varying regenerative capacities depending upon the severity of injury, researchers have demonstrated. Approaches to extend this regenerative capacity in a mammalian model, from the neonatal period to the juvenile or adult period, could help identify new treatment options for humans.

Surprising insights into effects of wood fuel burning

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 12:48 PM PST

The harvesting of wood to meet the heating and cooking demands for billions of people worldwide has less of an impact on global forest loss and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than previously believed, according to a new study.

How malaria-spreading mosquitoes can tell you're home

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 11:54 AM PST

Females of the malaria-spreading mosquito tend to obtain their blood meals within human dwellings. But is human odor enough as a reliable cue for the mosquitoes in finding humans to bite? Not quite, reports a team of entomologists. The researchers' experiments with female Anopheles gambiae show that the mosquitoes respond very weakly to human skin odor alone. Minute changes in concentrations of exhaled carbon dioxide are also required.

Secrets of a clump-dissolving protein uncovered

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

Workhorse molecules called heat-shock proteins contribute to refolding proteins that were once misfolded and clumped, causing such disorders as Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Researchers are developing ways to 'reprogram' one such protein -- a yeast protein called Hsp104 -- to improve its therapeutic properties.

Using viruses to find the cellular Achilles heel

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

Back-to-back studies have exposed new battle tactics employed by two deadly viruses: hepatitis C and the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. Protein interaction maps -- interactomes -- of where the viruses come into contact with the host during the course of infection uncovered a common set of cellular proteins that are attacked by various infections and may serve as viable new targets for anti-viral treatments.

Promising drug candidate protects against radiation exposure from nuclear fallout

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

A drug candidate called DBIBB that increases the survival of mice suffering from radiation syndrome, even when treatment started three days after radiation exposure, has been identified by scientists. The findings suggest that DBIBB shows promise for becoming the first drug capable of treating acute radiation syndrome caused by the high levels of radiation released by nuclear explosions.

Immune system promotes digestive health by fostering community of 'good' bacteria

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

1.4 million Americans suffer from uncomfortable abdominal cramping and diarrhea that come with inflammatory bowel disease. The condition is associated with an imbalance among the thousands of species of 'good' bacteria that inhabit the gut. A new study demonstrates that a component of the immune system, MyD88, coordinates a host immune response that promotes a healthy colony of good bacteria, and digestive health.

These jellyfish aren't just drifters; many swim strongly

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

Jellyfish might look like mere drifters, but some of them have a remarkable ability to detect the direction of ocean currents and to swim strongly against them, according to new evidence in free-ranging barrel-jellyfish.

As trees are cut and climates shift, can the animals of Borneo be saved?

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

As the third-largest island in the world and the largest island in Asia, Borneo stands out as a hotspot for biodiversity, and there is no question that Borneo's many rare species are in trouble. And yet -- with targeted conservation measures -- there's hope, according to researchers who predict changes to the Bornean landscape over the next 65 years.

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