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Monday, February 2, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Researchers develop new instrument to monitor atmospheric mercury

Posted: 30 Jan 2015 06:14 PM PST

A new instrument to monitor atmospheric mercury in the atmosphere has been developed and tested by scientists. The measurement approach is called sequential two-photon laser induced fluorescence (2P-LIF) and uses two different laser beams to excite mercury atoms and monitor blue shifted atomic fluorescence.

DNA clock helps to get measure of people's lifespans

Posted: 30 Jan 2015 06:29 AM PST

A biological clock that provides vital clues about how long a person is likely to live has been discovered by researchers. Researchers studied chemical changes to DNA that take place over a lifetime, and can help them predict an individual's age. By comparing individuals' actual ages with their predicted biological clock age, scientists saw a pattern emerging.

Renewable biofuel production avoids competition with food resources

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 05:41 PM PST

The efficient production of both biofuel and animal feed from one crop is now possible, and can be done on a farm without the need for off-site processes. The research demonstrates the practical potential of an alternative to fossil fuels that does not compete with food resources.

A rare glimpse at the elusive Saharan cheetah

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 01:09 PM PST

Research by scientists and conservationists shows that critically endangered Saharan cheetahs exist at incredibly low densities and require vast areas for their conservation. The research also offers some of the world's only photographs of this elusive big cat.

Our seas are in trouble: Extinction risk for 20-25% of well-known marine species

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 09:55 AM PST

Overfishing, pollution, climate change and destruction of habitats like coral reefs are all putting our seas in trouble but academics fear the risk is not being taken as seriously as concerns for the loss of animals and plants which live on land, experts say. Using the most comprehensive conservation data available for both marine and non-marine organisms, new research has shown that 20 to 25 per cent of the well-known species living in our seas are now threatened with extinction -- the same figure as land living plants and animals.

Why is a dolphin not a cat? Repurposing non-coding elements in genome gave rise to great 'mammalian radiation'

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 09:55 AM PST

A study of gene regulation in 20 mammals provides new insights into how species diverged millions of years ago. The findings demonstrate how methods and tools for genetic analysis of humans and mice can be adapted to study non-model species, such as whales and Tasmanian devils.

Genetic basis of color diversity in coral reefs discovered

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 06:42 AM PST

Scientists have discovered the genetic basis which allows corals to produce their stunning range of colors. They have found that instead of using a single gene to control pigment production, corals use multiple copies of the same gene. Depending on how many genes are active, the corals will become more or less colorful.

Moderate lifetime marijuana smoking linked to airway irritation but not lung function

Posted: 28 Jan 2015 02:02 PM PST

A research study based on analysis of publicly available data has found that recent marijuana use was associated with symptoms of airway inflammation, but that moderate lifetime use was not associated with clinically significant changes in measures of lung function. The study is the largest cross-sectional analysis of the relationship between marijuana use and measures of lung health to date

X-ray study reveals division of labor in cell health protein

Posted: 28 Jan 2015 02:00 PM PST

A key protein for cell health, which has recently been linked to diabetes, cancer and other diseases, can multitask by having two identical protein parts divide labor, scientists have discovered. The TH enzyme, short for transhydrogenase, is a crucial protein for most forms of life. In humans and other higher organisms, it works within mitochondria -- tiny, double-hulled oxygen reactors inside cells that help power most cellular processes.

Corn co-products from wet milling may be included in pig diets, study shows

Posted: 28 Jan 2015 01:04 PM PST

Many co-products from the corn processing industry may be used in diets fed to pigs. Much attention over the last 10 years has been on co-products produced from the biofuels industry, including distillers dried grains and high-protein distillers grains. However, the wet milling industry also produces many different co-products that may be used in pig diets.

Ocean waves used to monitor offshore oil and gas fields

Posted: 28 Jan 2015 12:22 PM PST

An ew technique exploits naturally occurring seismic waves to probe seafloor at less expense, and with fewer ill effects on marine life, scientists report.

Green tea ingredient may target protein to kill oral cancer cells

Posted: 28 Jan 2015 12:22 PM PST

A compound found in green tea may trigger a cycle that kills oral cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone, according to food scientists. The research could lead to treatments for oral cancer, as well as other types of cancer.

Illinois: Muskrats, minks harbor toxoplasmosis, a cat disease

Posted: 28 Jan 2015 10:13 AM PST

A new study of muskrats and minks in central Illinois indicates that toxoplasmosis, a disease spread by cats, is moving rapidly through the landscape and contaminating local waterways. In humans, toxoplasmosis infection has been correlatively linked to miscarriage, autism, depression, schizophrenia, increased suicide risk and decreased learning in children, authors note.

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