Kamis, 23 Desember 2010

ScienceDaily Environment Headlines

for Thursday, December 23, 2010

Welcome to another edition of ScienceDaily's email newsletter. You can change your subscription options or unsubscribe at any time.

Component in common dairy foods may cut diabetes risk, study suggests (December 23, 2010) -- Scientists have identified a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. ... > full story

New annotated database sifts through mountains of sequencing data to find gene promoters (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers announce the release of an online tool that will help scientists find "gene promoters" -- regions along a DNA strand that tell a cell's transcription machinery where to start reading in order to create a particular protein. The Mammalian Promoter Database (MPromDb) integrates sequencing data generated at Wistar with publicly available data on human and mouse genomics. MPromDb pinpoints known promoters and predicts where new ones are likely to be found. ... > full story

Young female chimpanzees treat sticks as dolls: Growing evidence of biological basis for gender-specific play in humans (December 22, 2010) -- Researchers have reported some of the first evidence that chimpanzee youngsters in the wild may tend to play differently depending on their sex, just as human children around the world do. Scientists say female chimpanzees appear to treat sticks as dolls, carrying them around until they have offspring of their own. Young males engage in such behavior much less frequently. ... > full story

Immunity in emerging species of a major mosquito carrer of malaria (December 22, 2010) -- A new study suggests that the mosquitoes' immune response to malaria parasites, mediated by a gene called TEP1, is one of the traits that differ between two evolving species of Anopheles gambiae. ... > full story

Climbing Mount Everest: Noble adventure or selfish pursuit? (December 22, 2010) -- Adventure seekers are plunking down more than ,000 to climb Mount Everest, but a new study finds that people who pay for transformative experiences often lack the communitarian spirit that usually defines such activities. ... > full story

Sex reversal gene: Male mice can be created without Y chromosome via ancient brain gene (December 22, 2010) -- Researchers in Australia are a step closer to unraveling the mysteries of human sexual development, following genetic studies that show male mice can be created without a Y chromosome -- through the activation of an ancient brain gene. ... > full story

Blue-green algae tested for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (December 22, 2010) -- Spirulina, a nutrient-rich, blue-green algae, an ancient food source used by the Aztecs, may have a dual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on motor neurons. Spirulina appeared to provide neuroprotective support for dying motor neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ... > full story

New ideas enhance efficiency of wind turbines (December 22, 2010) -- One issue confronting the efficiency of wind as a promising renewable energy source is the wind itself -- specifically, its changeability. While the aerodynamic performance of a wind turbine is best under steady wind flow, the efficiency of the blades degrades when exposed to conditions such as wind gusts, turbulent flow, upstream turbine wakes and wind shear. Now, a new type of air-flow technology may soon increase the efficiency of large wind turbines under many different wind conditions. ... > full story

Fossil finger bone yields genome of a previously unknown human relative (December 22, 2010) -- A 30,000-year-old finger bone found in a cave in southern Siberia came from a young girl who belonged to a previously unknown group of human relatives who may have lived throughout much of Asia. Although the fossil evidence consists of just a bone fragment and one tooth, DNA extracted from the bone has yielded a genome sequence that leads to some startling conclusions about this extinct branch of the human family tree. ... > full story

Toxin-laden nectar poses problems for honeybees (December 22, 2010) -- Researchers in the UK have shown for the first time that chemical seratonin enables the honeybee to learn to avoid nectar containing toxins. ... > full story

Stress can enhance ordinary, unrelated memories (December 22, 2010) -- Stress can enhance ordinary, unrelated memories, a team of neuroscientists has found in a study of laboratory rats. Their results may bolster our understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and could offer a pathway for addressing PTSD and related afflictions. ... > full story

Africa has two elephant species, genetic analysis confirms (December 22, 2010) -- By comparing the DNA of modern elephants from Africa and Asia to DNA extracted from two extinct species, the woolly mammoth and the mastodon, researchers have concluded that Africa has two -- not one -- species of elephant. Since 1950, all African elephants have been conserved as one species. Now that we know the forest and savanna elephants are two very different animals, the forest elephant should become a bigger priority for conservation purposes. ... > full story

Long-lasting chemicals threaten the environment and human health (December 22, 2010) -- New research suggests that a number of high production volume chemicals are likely to become sequestered in post-treatment sludge and enter the environment when these biosolids are deposited on land. ... > full story

Singing fish: Choir of electric fish makes debut in interactive 'scale' exhibit at Netherlands festival (December 22, 2010) -- A neurobiologist, an artist, and a composer recently presented their collaborative "singing electric fish" installation to thousands of people attending the STRP Festival, one of the largest art and technology festival venues in Europe. Many visitors had the chance to grab a baton and direct the unusual choir. ... > full story

Natural supplement, echinacea, may reduce common-cold duration by only half a day (December 22, 2010) -- An over-the-counter herbal treatment believed to have medicinal benefits has minimal impact in relieving the common cold, according to new research. ... > full story

Sea-level study brings good and bad news to Chesapeake Bay (December 22, 2010) -- A study of sea-level trends brings both good and bad news to localities concerned with coastal inundation and flooding along the shores of Chesapeake Bay. Dr. John Boon, the study's lead author, says the good news is that "absolute sea level in Chesapeake Bay is rising only about half as fast as the global average rise rate." The bad news, says Boon, is that "local subsidence more than makes up for it." ... > full story

New Miscanthus hybrid discovery in Japan could open doors for biofuel industry (December 22, 2010) -- In the minds of many, Miscanthus x giganteus is the forerunner in the race of viable feedstock options for lignocellulosic bioenergy production. But researchers believe "putting all their eggs in one basket" could be a big mistake. Scientists recently reported the first natural occurrence in several decades of Miscanthus hybrid plants in Japan. ... > full story

Being good moms couldn't save the woolly mammoth (December 21, 2010) -- Woolly mammoths living north of the Arctic Circle during the Pleistocene Epoch (approx. 150,000 to 40,000 years ago) began weaning infants up to three years later than modern day African elephants due to prolonged hours of darkness, new research suggests. This adapted nursing pattern could have contributed to the prehistoric elephant's eventual extinction. ... > full story

Biomagnification of nanomaterials in simple food chain demonstrated (December 21, 2010) -- Researchers have produced a groundbreaking study of how nanoparticles are able to biomagnify in a simple microbial food chain. ... > full story

Fruit fly study digs deeper into poorly understood details of forming embryos (December 21, 2010) -- Using fruit flies as a model to study embryo formation, scientists report that molecular breakdown of a protein called Bicoid is vital to normal head-to-tail patterning of the insect's offspring. The study shows how Bicoid is targeted for molecular degradation by a newly identified protein the researchers named Fates-shifted (Fsd). Without the interaction between Bicoid and Fsd, fruit fly embryos are improperly formed. ... > full story

Meat-eating dinosaurs not so carnivorous after all (December 21, 2010) -- Scientists used statistical analyses to determine the diet of 90 species of theropod dinosaurs. Their results challenge the conventional view that nearly all theropods hunted prey, especially those closest to the ancestors of birds. ... > full story

Mexico quake studies uncover surprises for California (December 21, 2010) -- New technologies developed by NASA and other agencies are revealing surprising insights into a major earthquake that rocked parts of the American Southwest and Mexico in April, including increased potential for more large earthquakes in Southern California. ... > full story

Raindrops reveal how a wave of mountains moved south across the country (December 21, 2010) -- Analyzing the isotope ratios of ancient raindrops preserved in soils and lake sediments, researchers have shown that a wave of mountain building began in British Columbia, Canada about 49 million years ago and rolled south to Mexico. The finding helps put to rest the idea that there was once a Tibet-like plateau across the western US that collapsed and eroded into the mountains we see today. ... > full story

Link between depression and inflammatory response found in mice: New treatments for mood disorders? (December 21, 2010) -- Researchers may have found a clue to the blues that can come with the flu -- depression may be triggered by the same mechanisms that enable the immune system to respond to infection. In a new study, scientists activated the immune system in mice to produce "despair-like" behavior that has similarities to depression in humans. ... > full story

Novel weight-loss therapies? Scientists identify cells in mice that can transform into energy-burning brown fat (December 21, 2010) -- In some adults, the white fat cells that we all stockpile so readily are supplemented by a very different form of fat -- brown fat cells, which can offer the neat trick of burning energy rather than storing it. Researchers have now have identified progenitor cells in mouse white fat tissue and skeletal muscle that can be transformed into brown fat cells. ... > full story

Globalization burdens future generations with biological invasions, study finds (December 21, 2010) -- The consequences of the current high levels of socio-economic activity on the extent of biological invasions will probably not be completely realized until decades into the future, according to new research. ... > full story

Ocean acidification changes nitrogen cycling in world seas (December 21, 2010) -- Increasing acidity in the sea's waters may fundamentally change how nitrogen is cycled in them, say marine scientists. Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients in the oceans. All organisms, from tiny microbes to blue whales, use nitrogen to make proteins and other important compounds. ... > full story

Comprehensive wind info collected to improve renewable energy (December 21, 2010) -- Scientists are researching how radar weather instruments can help improve predictions on when and how strongly winds will blow. They're testing the instruments from a working wind farm in southeastern Washington State with the goal of helping power grid operators better manage the intermittent stress that spinning wind turbines put on the electrical grid. ... > full story

Free radicals good for you? Banned herbicide makes worms live longer (December 20, 2010) -- It sounds like science fiction -- scientists tested the current "free radical theory of aging" by creating mutant worms that had increased production of free radicals, predicting they would be short-lived. But they lived even longer than regular worms! Moreover, their enhanced longevity was abolished when they were treated with antioxidants such as vitamin C. ... > full story

Water pathways from the deep sea to volcanoes (December 20, 2010) -- Oceanic plates take up a lot of water when submerged into the Earths' interior at continental margins. This water plays a central role in plate boundary volcanism. Scientists have, for the first time, tracked the pathway of the water up to 120 kilometers in depth. This is an important piece in the puzzle to understand the highly active volcanoes in Pacific "ring of fire". ... > full story

Satellites give an eagle eye on thunderstorms (December 20, 2010) -- It's one of the more frustrating parts of summer. You check the weather forecast, see nothing dramatic, and go hiking or biking. Then, four hours later, a thunderstorm appears out of nowhere and ruins your afternoon. Additional data, taken from a satellite, could greatly improve the accuracy of thunderstorm prediction a few hours out. ... > full story

Genetic basis of brain diseases: Set of proteins account for over 130 brain diseases (December 20, 2010) -- Scientists have isolated a set of proteins that accounts for over 130 brain diseases, including diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsies and forms of autism and learning disability. They showed that the protein machinery has changed relatively little during evolution, suggesting that the behaviors governed by and the diseases associated with these proteins have not changed significantly over many millions of years. The findings open several new paths toward tackling these diseases. ... > full story

Study supports gluten-free diet in potential celiac disease patients (December 20, 2010) -- Findings from a new study of 141 adults add to an ongoing medical debate over which patients with symptoms of celiac disease should go on a gluten-free diet. The study concludes that people currently diagnosed as "potential" celiac disease patients and not advised to follow a gluten-free diet may not be "potential" patients at all. Rather, the scientists found that these patients have the same distinctive metabolic fingerprint as patients with full-blown disease who do benefit from gluten-free diets. ... > full story

Warning lights mark shellfish that aren't safe to eat (December 20, 2010) -- Red tides and similar blooms can render some seafood unsafe to eat, though it can be difficult to tell whether a particular batch harbors toxins that cause food poisoning. A new kind of marker makes it easier to see if shellfish are filled with toxin-producing organisms. ... > full story

Zebrafish provide new hope for cancer treatment (December 20, 2010) -- The imaging of tumor growth in zebrafish has revealed for the first time how newly formed cancer cells have the capacity to co-opt the immune system into spreading the disease, leading the way for investigations into potential therapies for eliminating early stage cancer in humans. ... > full story

Trace amounts of water created oceans on Earth and other terrestrial planets, study suggests (December 20, 2010) -- Study suggests that trace amounts of water created oceans on Earth and other terrestrial planets, including those outside the solar system. ... > full story

Three billion-year-old genomic fossils deciphered (December 20, 2010) -- Scientists traced thousands of genes from modern genomes back to those genes' first appearance on Earth to create a genomic fossil telling when genes came into being and which ancient microbes possessed them. They found that the collective genome underwent an expansion between 3.3 and 2.8 billion years ago, during which time 27 percent of all presently existing gene families came into being. Many are oxygen related, an early indicator of the Great Oxidation Event. ... > full story

Efficient phosphorus use by phytoplankton (December 20, 2010) -- Rapid turnover and remodelling of lipid membranes could help phytoplankton cope with nutrient scarcity in the open ocean. ... > full story

Pathogenic attacks on host plants examined (December 20, 2010) -- Researchers focusing on rice genetics are providing a better understanding of how pathogens take over a plant's nutrients. Their research provides insight into ways of reducing crop losses or developing new avenues for medicinal research. ... > full story

Overindulgence is not the green option (December 20, 2010) -- At this time of year, indulgence is the buzzword. Luxury goods to buy, roaring fires to relax by, jetting off to sunnier climes, visiting distant friends and family. But, how does this festive spirit align with environmental obligations and our attitudes to going green? Researchers in Norway suggest we are deluding ourselves that overindulgence is the environmentally friendly option. ... > full story

First measurement of magnetic field in Earth's core (December 19, 2010) -- Measurements of the magnetic field at the earth's surface can tell only so much about the dynamo producing it in the planet's core. Geophysicists have now used precise astronomical position data to calculate tidal damping in the core and determine for the first time the magnetic field in the center of the planet. The magnetic field strength is 25 Gauss, or 50 times stronger than the magnetic field at the surface that makes compass needles align north-south. ... > full story

Construction of the world's largest neutrino observatory completed: Antarctica's IceCube (December 19, 2010) -- Culminating a decade of planning, innovation and testing, construction of the world's largest neutrino observatory, installed in the ice of the Antarctic plateau at the geographic South Pole, was successfully completed Dec. 18, 2010, New Zealand time. The last of 86 holes had been drilled and a total of 5,160 optical sensors are now installed to form the main detector -- a cubic kilometer of instrumented ice -- of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, located at the National Science Foundation's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. From its vantage point at the end of the world, IceCube provides an innovative means to investigate the properties of fundamental particles that originate in some of the most spectacular phenomena in the universe. ... > full story

How plants counteract against the shade of larger neighbours (December 19, 2010) -- Plants that "lose the battle" during competitiveness for light because they are shaded by larger neighbours, counteract. They adapt by rapid shoot elongation and stretch their leaves towards the sun. The molecular basis of this so-called shade avoidance syndrome had been unclarified to date. Research scientists from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands and the Ruhr University in Bochum have now been able to unravel a regulation pathway. A specific transport protein (PIN3) enables the accumulation of the plant hormone auxin, which plays an important role during this adaptation process, in the outer cell layers of the plants, thus enhancing the growth process. The international group of researchers, which includes the plant hormone specialist Prof. Stephan Pollmann from the RUB, has published its observations in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science PNAS. ... > full story

Rise in oxygen drove evolution of animal life 550 million years ago (December 18, 2010) -- Researchers have uncovered a clue that may help to explain why the earliest evidence of complex multicellular animal life appears around 550 million years ago, when atmospheric oxygen levels on the planet rose sharply from 3 percent to their modern day level of 21 percent. ... > full story

Wind turbines help crops by channelling beneficial breezes over nearby plants (December 18, 2010) -- Researchers have found that wind turbines benefit nearby crops, keeping them cooler and drier and boosting the uptake of carbon dioxide. ... > full story

Using digitized books as 'cultural genome,' researchers unveil quantitative approach to humanities (December 18, 2010) -- Researchers have created a powerful new approach to scholarship, using approximately 4 percent of all books ever published as a digital "fossil record" of human culture. By tracking the frequency with which words appear in books over time, scholars can now precisely quantify a wide variety of cultural and historical trends. ... > full story

Prions mutate and adapt to host environment (December 18, 2010) -- Scientists have shown that prions, bits of infectious protein that can cause fatal neurodegenerative disease such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or "mad cow disease," have the ability to adapt to survive in a new host environment. ... > full story

As earthquakes take their toll, engineers look at enhancing building designs (December 18, 2010) -- A next generation of design criteria for buildings located in geographic regions where earthquakes are known to occur, either rarely or frequently, is under development. ... > full story

Copyright 1995-2010 © ScienceDaily LLC. All rights reserved. Terms of use.

This message was sent from ScienceDaily to beritanarablog@gmail.com. It was sent from: ScienceDaily, 1 Research Court, Suite 450, Rockville, MD 20850. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.

Email Marketing by
iContact - Try It Free!

To update/change your profile click here