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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Pilotless aircraft will play critical roles in precision agriculture

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 02:05 PM PST

A new article outlines many of the potential roles drones can play in university research, and the advantages they can offer in speed, cost and data collection.

Relationship critical for how cells ingest matter

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:47 PM PST

To survive and fulfill their biological functions, cells need to take in material from their environment. In this process, proteins within the cell pull inward on its membrane, forming a pit that eventually encapsulates the material in a bubble called a vesicle. Researchers have now revealed a relationship that governs this process, known as endocytosis.

Beating the clock: researchers develop new treatment for rabies

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:46 PM PST

Successfully treating rabies can be a race against the clock. Those who suffer a bite from a rabid animal have a brief window of time to seek medical help before the virus takes root in the central nervous system, at which point the disease is almost invariably fatal. Now, researchers have successfully tested a treatment on mice that cures the disease even after the virus has spread to the brain.

3D enzyme model provides new tool for anti-inflammatory drug development

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:46 PM PST

To better understand PLA2 enzymes and help drive therapeutic drug development, researchers developed 3-D computer models that show exactly how two PLA2 enzymes extract their substrates from cellular membranes.

Researchers image, measure tubulin transport in cilia

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 12:05 PM PST

The mechanism behind tubulin transport and its assembly into cilia have been observed in a new study, including the first video imagery of the process. "Cilia are found throughout the body, so defects in cilia formation affect cells that line airways, brain ventricles or the reproductive track," said the study's lead author.

Geothermal microbial reservoirs: Staircase fractures in microbialites and travertines

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:45 AM PST

Geologists have come up with a new model of the development of fractures showing a stairway trajectory, commonly occurring in finely laminated rock, such microbialites and travertines. These fractures strongly enhance permeability by connecting several highly porous zones enveloped in tight impermeable levels. Understanding and predicting this fracture pattern geometry, distribution, and interconnection is valuable not only for locating water supplies, but also for oil, gas, and geothermal exploration.

Got bees? Got vitamin A? Got malaria? Loss of pollinators increases risk of malnutrition, disease

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:44 AM PST

More than half the people in some developing countries could become newly at risk for malnutrition if crop-pollinating animals -- like bees -- continue to decline, experts say. Despite popular reports that pollinators are crucial for human nutritional health, no scientific studies have actually tested this claim -- until now.

Partly wrong with a chance of being right: Weather forecast

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:23 AM PST

The inaccuracy of weather forecasts has personal implications for people around the world. New research from Tel Aviv University prioritizes, for the first time, the reasons for forecasting failures across different regions of the planet, quantifying the causes -- man-made and natural -- for weather prediction inaccuracies.

Researchers identify materials to improve biofuel, petroleum processing

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:23 AM PST

Using one of the largest supercomputers in the world, a team of researchers has identified potential materials that could improve the production of ethanol and petroleum products. The discovery could lead to major efficiencies and cost savings in these industries.

Climate models disagree on why temperature 'wiggles' occur

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:23 AM PST

Most climate models likely underestimate the degree of decade-to-decade variability occurring in mean surface temperatures as Earth's atmosphere warms. They also provide inconsistent explanations of why these wiggles occur in the first place, a new study finds. These inconsistencies may undermine the models' reliability for projecting the short-term pace and extent of future warming, and indicate that we shouldn't over-interpret recent temperature trends. The study analyzed 34 models used in the most recent IPCC assessment report.

Meteosat-7 becomes EUMETSAT's longest-serving operational satellite

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:22 AM PST

On 24 January 2015, Meteosat-7 becomes the longest-serving operational satellite in EUMETSAT history, clocking up 17 years of monitoring the weather from space.

How tropical parasite hijacks cells

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:22 AM PST

Scientists have pinned down how a dangerous tropical parasite which is transmitted by ticks manages to turn healthy cells into cancer-like invasive cells, according to research. Microscopic Theileria parasites infect the blood of mammals, particularly cattle, causing serious illness.

New mechanism to aid cells under stress identified

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:21 AM PST

New details in a cellular mechanism that serves as a defense against stress have been identified by a team of biologists. The findings potentially offer insights into tumor progression and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's -- the cell's inability to respond to stress is a major cause of these diseases.

Cause for decline of Missouri River pallid sturgeon identified

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:59 AM PST

Oxygen-depleted dead zones between dams in the upper Missouri River have been directly linked with the failure of endangered pallid sturgeon embryos to survive, according to a study. The study is the first to make a direct link among dam-induced changes in riverine sediment transport, the subsequent effects of those changes on reduced oxygen levels and the survival of an endangered species, the pallid sturgeon.

Frogs prove ideal models for studying developmental timing

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:59 AM PST

Thyroid hormone receptor alpha plays an important role in hind limb development in frogs, scientists have found. With new gene mutation technology, researchers were able to successfully mutate the gene in the tadpole models, discovering the value of tadpoles as ideal models for studying the role of hormones in development because of the timely metamorphosis from tadpole to juvenile frog, and because that transition is completely dependent on hormones.

Chemists find a way to unboil egg whites: Ability to quickly restore molecular proteins could slash biotechnology costs

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:59 AM PST

Chemists have figured out how to unboil egg whites -- an innovation that could dramatically reduce costs for cancer treatments, food production and other segments of the $160 billion global biotechnology industry, according to new findings.

Hemin improves adipocyte morphology, function by enhancing proteins of regeneration

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:57 AM PST

Obesity has escalated in every segment of the population including children, adolescences and adults. In obesity, impaired lipid and glucose metabolism are implicated in the conundrum of cardiometabolic complication. Heme-oxygenase is a cytoprotective enzyme that has been recently shown to improve glucose and lipid metabolism in diabetic, hypertensive and obese animals. Thus substances capable of enhancing heme-oxygenase may be explored as novel remedies against cardiometabolic complications arising from excessive adiposity.

Stress during pregnancy related to infant gut microbiota

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:54 AM PST

Women who experience stress during pregnancy are likely to have babies with a poor mix of intestinal microbiota and with a higher incidence of intestinal problems and allergic reactions. This could be related to psychological and physical problems as the child develops.

Rabies booster defends pets with out-of-date vaccination against the disease

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:53 AM PST

Pets with out-of-date rabies vaccinations are very unlikely to develop the fatal disease if given a rabies booster immediately after exposure to the virus, a new study by veterinary diagnosticians finds.

Ethnic minorities, deprived communities hardest hit by air pollution

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:38 AM PST

Air pollution levels are linked to many forms of ill health, including higher risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, especially for more vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly, an English study has concluded.

Converting olive mash into cash

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:38 AM PST

An experimental system to create heat and power with waste from olive oil processing is up-and-running in Spain. The system shows a promising way forward for reducing environmental damage and converting organic waste to energy, scientists say.

Beetroot juice improves exercise function of COPD patients, study shows

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 04:02 PM PST

A study to investigate the effects of acute beetroot juice ingestion on the exercise capacity of COPD patients shows some promise, but a larger clinical trial is needed to verify results, scientists report.

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