Minggu, 13 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Environment Headlines

for Sunday, February 13, 2011

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Mystery of how fleas jump resolved after 44 years (February 12, 2011) -- New research sheds light on how fleas jump, reaching speeds as fast as 1.9 meters per second. Using high-speed recording equipment and sophisticated mathematical models, scientists were able to prove that fleas use their toes to push off and propel themselves into the air, resolving the 44-year-old mystery. ... > full story

3-D digital dinosaur track download: A roadmap for saving at-risk natural history resources (February 12, 2011) -- Portable laser scanning technology allows researchers to tote a fossil discovery from field to lab in the form of digital data on a laptop. But standard formats to ensure data accessibility of these "digitypes" are needed, say paleontologists. They field-scanned a Texas dinosaur track, then back at the lab created an exact 3-D facsimile to scale. ... > full story

Firefly glow: Scientists develop a hydrogen peroxide probe based on firefly luciferin (February 12, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a probe for monitoring hydrogen peroxide levels in mice that enables them to track the progression of cancerous tumors or infectious diseases without harming the animals or even having to shave their fur. This new probe is based on luciferase, the enzyme that gives fireflies their glow. ... > full story

Scientists hope to cut years off development time of new antibiotics (February 12, 2011) -- Eliminating tens of thousands of manual lab experiments, researchers are working toward a method to cut the development time of new antibiotics. A computerized modeling system they're developing will speed up the often decade-long process. Pharmacy professors and engineering professors are focusing on dosing regimens to reveal which ones are most likely to be effective in combating infection and which are not worth pursuing. ... > full story

New way to attack pathogens: RNA recycling system gone awry brings MRSA to a halt (February 11, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a new way to attack dangerous pathogens, marking a hopeful next step in the ever-escalating battle between man and microbe. By stopping bacteria's ability to degrade RNA -- a "housekeeping" process crucial to their ability to thrive -- scientists were able to stop methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA both in the laboratory and in infected mice. The approach shows promise against the most severe strains of the bacteria as well as MRSA biofilms. ... > full story

Livestock boom risks aggravating animal 'plagues,' poses threat to food security and world's poor (February 11, 2011) -- Increasing numbers of domestic livestock and more resource-intensive production methods are encouraging animal epidemics around the world, a problem that is particularly acute in developing countries, where livestock diseases present a growing threat to the food security of already vulnerable populations, according to new assessments. ... > full story

Quest for extinct giant rats leads scientists to ancient face carvings (February 11, 2011) -- Ancient stone faces carved into the walls of a well-known limestone cave in East Timor have been discovered by a team searching for fossils of extinct giant rats. ... > full story

Identifying large hurricanes through seismology (February 11, 2011) -- Storm-generated seismic signals may allow seismologists to detect large hurricanes at sea and track their intensity, adding useful data to the discussion of whether anthropogenic global warming has increased the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms, including ones that don't reach land. ... > full story

New view of human evolution? 3.2 million-year-old fossil foot bone supports humanlike bipedalism in Lucy's species (February 11, 2011) -- A fossilized foot bone recovered from Hadar, Ethiopia, shows that by 3.2 million years ago human ancestors walked bipedally with a modern human-like foot. These findings support the hypothesis that A. afarensis was primarily an upright walker, as opposed to a more versatile creature that also moved through the trees. ... > full story

New hybrid drug, derived from common spice, may protect, rebuild brain cells after stroke (February 11, 2011) -- Whether or not you're fond of Indian, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern food, stroke researchers think you may become a fan of one of their key spices. The scientists created a new molecule from curcumin, a chemical component of the golden-colored spice turmeric, and found in laboratory experiments that it affects mechanisms that protect and help regenerate brain cells after stroke. ... > full story

LED products billed as eco-friendly contain toxic metals, study finds (February 11, 2011) -- Those light-emitting diodes marketed as safe, environmentally preferable alternatives to traditional light bulbs actually contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially hazardous substances, according to new research. ... > full story

Virus, parasite may combine to increase harm to humans (February 11, 2011) -- A parasite and a virus may be teaming up in a way that increases the parasite's ability to harm humans, scientists have discovered. When the parasite Leishmania infects a human, immune system cells known as macrophages respond. However, some Leishmania strains are infected with a virus that can trigger a severe response in macrophages, allowing the parasite to do more harm in animal infections. ... > full story

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