Jumat, 25 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Environment Headlines

for Friday, March 25, 2011

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Against the tide: Currents keep dolphins apart; Study finds invisible oceanographic factors that keep populations separate (March 25, 2011) -- Conservationists have discovered that groups of dolphins in the western Indian Ocean do not mix freely with one another. In fact, dolphin populations are kept separate by currents and other unseen factors. ... > full story

Beetle explorers name new species for Roosevelt (March 25, 2011) -- A new species of a rugged and dashing darkling beetle was named in honor of Theodore Roosevelt on the 100th anniversary of a speech he gave at Tempe Normal School, now Arizona State University. ... > full story

Cutting carbon dioxide could help prevent droughts, new research shows (March 25, 2011) -- Recent climate modeling has shown that reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would give the Earth a wetter climate in the short term. New research offers a novel explanation for why climates are wetter when atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are decreasing. Their findings show that cutting carbon dioxide concentrations could help prevent droughts caused by global warming. ... > full story

Biofilm reorganization: Microcinematic image analysis finds existing theories of bacterial self-organization are lacking (March 25, 2011) -- In a surprising new study, researchers using image-analysis methods similar to those employed in facial-recognition software have made a startling discovery that rules out the two main theories scientists had created to explain how bacteria self-organize into multicellular aggregate mounds. ... > full story

Research brings habitat models into the future (March 25, 2011) -- Time marches on, and thanks to new research, models of wildlife habitat now can monitor changes over time more accurately and more easily. Researchers are combining habitat modeling and remote sensing technology, then gain the ability to use one model to monitor various changes over time. ... > full story

Mouse cancer genome unveils genetic errors in human cancers (March 24, 2011) -- By sequencing the genome of a mouse with cancer, researchers have uncovered mutations that also drive cancer in humans. The investigators are the first to sequence a mouse cancer genome. ... > full story

Researchers help map tsunami and earthquake damage in Japan (March 24, 2011) -- Researchers are processing satellite imagery of regions in Japan affected by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that devastated sections of the country's east coast on March 11. ... > full story

High levels of dietary nitrate might in part explain the vascular benefits of diets rich in leafy greens (March 24, 2011) -- Nitric oxide (NO) helps maintain the health of vasculature. NO is synthesized by an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS). In a new study, researchers determined that after vessel injury, the NOS pathway is disrupted, but a secondary pathway that generates NO from nitrate is activated. This suggests that high levels of dietary nitrate might in part explain the vascular benefits of diets rich in leafy greens. ... > full story

Loss of plant diversity threatens Earth's life-support systems, experts say (March 24, 2011) -- An international team of researchers has published a comprehensive new analysis showing that loss of plant biodiversity disrupts the fundamental services that ecosystems provide to humanity. ... > full story

Glimpse of how the 'code' of life may have emerged (March 24, 2011) -- A portion of the "code" of life has been unraveled by a graduate student. She aimed to decipher intramolecular communication within a large RNA-protein enzyme responsible for expressing the genetic code for the amino acid glutamine. To her surprise, the experiments captured a partial glimpse of how the genetic coding of life may have emerged. ... > full story

Suggesting genes' friends, Facebook-style (March 24, 2011) -- Scientists in Germany have developed a new method that uncovers the combined effects of genes. The technique helps understand how different genes can amplify, cancel out or mask each others' effects, and enables scientists to suggest genes that interfere with each other in much the same manner that Facebook suggests friends. ... > full story

The evolution of brain wiring: Navigating to the neocortex (March 24, 2011) -- A new study is providing fascinating insight into how projections conveying sensory information in the brain are guided to their appropriate targets in different species. The research reveals a surprising new evolutionary scenario that may help to explain how subtle changes in the migration of "guidepost" neurons underlie major differences in brain connectivity between mammals and non-mammalian vertebrates. ... > full story

Neutron analysis yields insight into bacteria for solar energy (March 24, 2011) -- Structural studies of some of nature's most efficient light-harvesting systems are lighting the way for new generations of biologically inspired solar cell devices. ... > full story

Epigenomic findings illuminate veiled variants: Study assigns meaning to regions beyond genes with implications for studies of common diseases (March 24, 2011) -- Using a new mapping strategy, scientists have begun to assign meaning to the regions beyond our genes and has revealed how minute changes in these regions might be connected to common diseases. ... > full story

'Junk food' moms have 'junk food' babies (March 24, 2011) -- Pregnant mothers who eat high sugar and high fat diets have babies who are likely to become junk food junkies themselves. According to the report, which used rats, this happens because the high fat and high sugar diet leads to changes in the fetal brain's reward pathway, altering food preferences. ... > full story

Plant oil may hold key to reducing obesity-related medical issues, researcher finds (March 24, 2011) -- Scientists have known for years that belly fat leads to serious medical problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke. Now, a researcher has found a plant oil that may be able to reduce belly fat in humans. A new study has found that a specific plant oil, known as sterculic oil, may be a key in the fight against obesity. ... > full story

Road traffic pollution doubles risk of rejection after lung transplant (March 24, 2011) -- Lung transplant patients have double the risk of organ rejection and death within five years of the procedure if they live near a main road, new research indicates. ... > full story

Health information technology 'control tower' could improve earthquake response (March 24, 2011) -- A new study foresees improvements in patient outcomes after a major earthquake through more effective use of information technology. A control tower-style telemedicine hub to manage electronic traffic between first responders and remote medical experts could boost the likelihood that critically injured victims will get timely care and survive, according to the team's computer simulation model. ... > full story

Researchers collect 'signals intelligence' on insect pests (March 24, 2011) -- Using commercially available parts, scientists have developed a new automated system for detecting insects based on the peculiar sounds the insects make while moving. ... > full story

Larger female hyenas produce more offspring (March 24, 2011) -- When it comes to producing more offspring, larger female hyenas outdo their smaller counterparts. A new study revealed this as well as defined a new way to measure spotted hyenas' size. ... > full story

Developing strategies in a desert watershed that sustain regional water supplies (March 24, 2011) -- Agricultural scientists are helping meet the water demands of a riparian desert region that is home to a national conservation area and a thriving military base. ... > full story

Study finds no association between mercury exposure and risk of cardiovascular disease (March 23, 2011) -- In a new, large-scale study, researchers found no evidence that higher levels of mercury exposure were associated with higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or total cardiovascular disease in two separate studies of US adults. ... > full story

Zebrafish model of human melanoma reveals new cancer gene (March 23, 2011) -- Looking at the dark stripes on the tiny zebrafish you might not expect that they hold a potential clue for discovering a treatment for melanoma. Yet melanocytes, the same cells that are are responsible for the pigmentation of zebrafish stripes and for human skin color, are also where melanoma originates. Researchers have now used zebrafish to identify a new gene responsible for promoting melanoma. ... > full story

Bird embryo provides unique insights into development related to cancer and wound healing (March 23, 2011) -- Avian embryos could join the list of model organisms used to study a specific type of cell migration called epiboly, a developmental process involving mass movement of cells as a sheet that is linked with medical conditions that include wound healing and cancer. ... > full story

Anaerobic digestion on farms could turn agriculture green (March 23, 2011) -- New research has shown that small scale digesters on farms could be profitable for farmers, good for the environment and help the UK meet targets on green energy and greenhouse gas emissions. ... > full story

Tree resin captures key evidence of current and ancient insect invasions (March 23, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered that insects that bore into trees as long ago as 90 million years, or as recently as last summer, leave a calling card that's rich with information. ... > full story

European coastal pollution is harmful to seals, study finds (March 23, 2011) -- The bodies of harbor seals, which live in estuaries or along coastlines where industrial activities take place, are highly contaminated. This is the result of a European study, involving Spanish participation, which warns of the danger to these mammals from ports throughout Europe, even in the Mediterranean. ... > full story

Plant buffers can slow runoff of veterinary antibiotics (March 23, 2011) -- Field tests support laboratory research indicating that vegetative buffer strips can reduce levels of herbicide and veterinary antibiotics in runoff from farm plots. Plant species tested included tall fescue, switchgrass and native warm-season grasses. Researchers applied three herbicides and three antibiotics, then generated water runoff using a rotating-boom rainfall simulator. All vegetative buffer systems significantly reduced the transport of dissolved and sediment-bound herbicides atrazine, metolachlor and glyphosate in runoff. ... > full story

First image of protein residue in 50-million-year-old reptile skin (March 23, 2011) -- The organic compounds surviving in 50-million-year-old fossilized reptile skin can be seen for the first time, thanks to a stunning infrared image produced by palaeontologists and geochemists. ... > full story

New scientific field will study ecological importance of sounds (March 23, 2011) -- Researchers are aiming to create a new scientific field that will use sound as a way to understand the ecological characteristics of a landscape and to reconnect people with the importance of natural sounds. ... > full story

Bees could reveal key to dementia (March 23, 2011) -- Scientists have succeeded in reversing the aging process in the bee brain -- findings which she believes may bring hope to people with dementia. ... > full story

Load up on fiber now, avoid heart disease later (March 23, 2011) -- A new study shows a high-fiber diet could be a critical heart-healthy lifestyle change young and middle-aged adults can make. ... > full story

In the race of life, better an adaptable tortoise than a fit hare (March 23, 2011) -- When it comes to survival of the fittest, it's sometimes better to be an adaptable tortoise than a fitness-oriented hare, an evolutionary biologist says. Scientists show that more adaptable bacteria oriented toward long-term improvement prevailed over competitors that held a short-term advantage. ... > full story

Good news for meat lovers: Most ready-to-eat meat products contain very few cancerous compounds, study finds (March 23, 2011) -- Researchers have shown that ready-to-eat meat products -- such as pepperoni, deli meats and hot dogs -- are relatively free of carcinogenic compounds. ... > full story

New technique could help solve mystery of vanishing bees (March 23, 2011) -- Ecologists have developed a better way of rearing bee larvae in the laboratory that could help discover why honey bee populations worldwide are declining. The technique, together with details of how statistics adapted from other areas of ecology can aid bee research, is published in a new article. ... > full story

Scientists grow personalized collections of intestinal microbes (March 23, 2011) -- Scientists have shown they can grow and manipulate personalized collections of human intestinal microbes in the laboratory and pluck out particular microbes of interest. The research sets the stage for identifying new probiotics and evaluating in preclinical trials whether microbe transplants can restore the natural balance of intestinal bacteria in "sick" microbial communities. ... > full story

Scientists crack molecular code regulating neuronal excitability (March 23, 2011) -- A key question in protein biochemistry is how proteins recognize "correct" interaction partners in a sea of cellular factors. Nowhere is that more critical to know than in the brain, where interactions governing channel protein activity can alter an organism's behavior. A team of biologists has recently deciphered a molecular code that regulates availability of a brain channel that modulates neuronal excitability, a discovery that might aid efforts to treat drug addiction and mental disorders. ... > full story

The killer within: A novel bacterial suicide mechanism (March 23, 2011) -- The zeta toxins are a family of proteins that are normally present within various pathogenic bacteria and can mysteriously trigger suicide when the cells undergo stress. Researchers in Germany have now found the mechanism underlying this programmed bacterial cell death. ... > full story

The Mekong: Record of the Vietnam War (March 23, 2011) -- During the second half of the 20th Century, South-East Asia was the arena of a series of armed conflicts, direct consequences of the Second World War, decolonization and the Cold War, followed by political instability which continued up to the 1990s. The region's history has left its scars: extensive forests erased from the map by bombing, populations displaced or forced to emigrate, entire areas abandoned although vegetation is steadily taking over again. Research scientists recently showed the discharge rate of the Mekong has oscillated in close correlation with the major events that had taken place. Runoff increased by over 50% in southern Laos be tween 1972 and 1975, at the height of the Vietnam War. Conversely, the north of the country saw it decrease by 30% between 1995 and 2004, following people's exodus from the area to escape from the communist forces' advance. Only the extensive changes in land-use and vegetation pattern can explain such variations in discharge of the Mekong. ... > full story

Chikungunya: The key role of 'innate immunity' (March 23, 2011) -- Chikungunya is transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. The disease is spreading in the world and periodically sparks new outbreaks. Blood analyses conducted during the 2007 Gabonese epidemic recently showed the key role of innate immunity, the organism's first line of defense, in the clinical course of the infection. Control of the disease thus closely depends on the underlying configuration of each patient's immune system. ... > full story

Carbon capture and storage: Carbon dioxide pressure dissipates in underground reservoirs (March 23, 2011) -- The debate surrounding carbon capture and storage intensifies as scientists examine the capacity for storing carbon dioxide underground, in a new study. ... > full story

Two new targets for melanoma therapies (March 23, 2011) -- Zebrafish don't get sunburns, but they can get skin cancer -- at least those fish that have been engineered to model the often deadly human cancer. Researchers have used the zebrafish model to discover two new melanoma-promoting proteins that could be targets for therapy. ... > full story

Tahoe native fish population declines sharply, invasives on the rise (March 22, 2011) -- In a lakewide study, scientists have found a considerable decline in native fish species density at Lake Tahoe since 1951. They are recommending establishing and implementing a management plan to protect the nearshore zone habitat, which is critical to native fish. ... > full story

Stress affects the balance of bacteria in the gut and immune response (March 22, 2011) -- Stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut, according to new research. ... > full story

Unknown animals nearly invisible yet there (March 22, 2011) -- Bryozoans (moss animals) are a group of aquatic invertebrates that are found in great variety throughout the world, with well over 100 species in Sweden alone. Yet little is known about them. Researchers have now studied Swedish bryozoan species using DNA techniques. ... > full story

Golf courses that reuse water irrigate too much, study suggests (March 22, 2011) -- Irrigation is one of the most controversial aspects in the sustainable management of golf courses. Researchers from the Canary Islands have spent 25 years analyzing the practices relating to reclaimed water at one of the oldest golf courses in Spain. The results show that plants on the course receive 83 percent more water than they need. ... > full story

Newly discovered virus implicated in deadly Chinese outbreaks (March 22, 2011) -- Outbreaks of a mysterious and deadly disease in central China have been linked to a previously unknown virus. Five years ago, large numbers of farmers in central China began falling victim to an mysterious disease marked by high fever, gastrointestinal disorder and an appalling mortality rate -- as high as 30 percent in initial reports. ... > full story

Conservationists develop coral 'stress test' to identify reefs more likely to survive climate change (March 22, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a "stress test" for coral reefs as a means of identifying and prioritizing areas that are most likely to survive bleaching events and other climate change factors. The scientists say that these "reefs of hope" are priorities for national and international management and conservation action. ... > full story

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