Senin, 04 April 2011

ScienceDaily Environment Headlines

for Monday, April 4, 2011

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Rare discovery of plant genus (April 4, 2011) -- Usually, when a new species is discovered it is associated with one species. It is rare to find two new species belonging to the same new genus. Yasunia is one of those rare cases. ... > full story

Getting closer to a better biocontrol for garden pests (April 3, 2011) -- Scientists have found strains of bacteria that could one day be used as environmentally friendly treatments to keep caterpillars and other pests out of gardens and cultivated fields. ... > full story

‘SKIP’-ing splicing forces tumor cells to undergo programmed cell death (April 3, 2011) -- When cells find themselves in a tight spot, the cell cycle regulator p21 halts the cell cycle, buying cells time to repair the damage, or if all else fails, to initiate programmed cell death. In contrast to other stress-induced genes, which dispense with the regular transcriptional entourage, p21Cip1 still requires SKIP, a transcription elongation factor that also helps with the editing of transcripts, to be expressed, found researchers. ... > full story

Novel technique reveals how glaciers sculpted their valleys (April 3, 2011) -- How do you reconstruct the landscape that a glacier has obliterated? Geologists have developed a new technique to determine the life history of minerals now on the surface but that once were under a kilometer of rock, and thus to reconstruct the landform history of a mountain range. The work can help us understand how glaciers are changing the landscape today. ... > full story

Ants and termites boost dryland wheat yields (April 3, 2011) -- Ants and termites have a significant positive impact on crop yields in dryland agriculture, according to scientists in Australia. ... > full story

Optical transistor advance: Physicists rotate beams of light with semiconductor (April 2, 2011) -- Physicists have managed to control the rotation of light by means of a ultra thin semiconductor. The advance could potentially be used to create a transistor that works with light instead of electrical current. ... > full story

Soy increases radiation's ability to kill lung cancer cells, study shows (April 2, 2011) -- A component in soybeans increases radiation's ability to kill lung cancer cells, according to a new study. ... > full story

Manage biological invasions like natural disasters, biologists say (April 2, 2011) -- Biological invasions are often more economically damaging than natural disasters and warrant correspondingly large investments in preparedness and response planning, according to biologists. Such measures seem absent in most developed nations. ... > full story

Insulin could be Alzheimer's therapy (April 2, 2011) -- A low dose of insulin has been found to suppress the expression in the blood of four precursor proteins involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, according to new clinical research. ... > full story

When food is scarce, hungry female spiders alter mating preferences (April 2, 2011) -- Weather and environmental change can bring alterations -- and scarcity -- in food resources. In looking at how such changes might affect mating choices and subsequent reproduction, researchers studied how hunger affects the mating preferences of common female spiders. ... > full story

Sun and shade leaves play different roles in tree canopies (April 2, 2011) -- "Outer" tree canopy leaves influence the sunlight reaching inner canopy leaves by changing their shape, says a new study. ... > full story

Green toad inhabited Iberian Peninsula one million years ago (April 1, 2011) -- Although the green toad (Bufo viridis) can today be found all over Central Europe, Asia, Africa, and even on the Balearic Islands, it became extinct in the Iberian Peninsula at the end of the Early Pleistocene (1.1 million years ago). This has been demonstrated by an international research study, with Spanish participation, which has discovered the first green frog fossil in Murcia. ... > full story

Three square meals a day paired with lean protein help people feel full during weight loss (April 1, 2011) -- Eating fewer, regular-sized meals with higher amounts of lean protein can make one feel more full than eating smaller, more frequent meals, according to new research. ... > full story

Some populations of Fraser River salmon more likely to survive climate change (April 1, 2011) -- Populations of Fraser River sockeye salmon are so fine-tuned to their environment that any further environmental changes caused by climate change could lead to the disappearance of some populations, while others may be less affected, says a new study. ... > full story

Cat allergy vaccine safe and effective, study suggests (April 1, 2011) -- Mark Larché and his research team have developed a cat allergy vaccine which is effective and safe with almost no side effects. ... > full story

Probiotic bacteria could help treat Crohn's disease (April 1, 2011) -- New research suggests that infection with a probiotic strain of E. coli bacteria could help treat an reduce the negative effects of another E. coli infection that may be associated with Crohn's disease. ... > full story

Salt-seeking spacecraft arrives at launch site; NASA instrument will measure ocean surface salinity (April 1, 2011) -- An international spacecraft that will take NASA's first space-based measurements of ocean surface salinity has arrived at its launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Aquarius/SAC-D mission will provide scientists with a key missing variable in satellite observations of Earth that links ocean circulation, the global balance of freshwater and climate. ... > full story

Spread of invasive ladybugs explained (April 1, 2011) -- A researcher studying invasive ladybugs has developed new models that help explain how these insects have spread so quickly and their potential impacts on native species. ... > full story

Scientists unlock mystery of how the 22nd amino acid is produced (April 1, 2011) -- The most recently discovered amino acid, pyrrolysine, is produced by a series of just three chemical reactions with a single precursor -- the amino acid lysine, according to new research. Scientists have used mass spectrometry and a series of experiments to discover how cells make the amino acid, a process that until now had been unknown. ... > full story

Got a craving for fast food? Skip the coffee, study suggests (April 1, 2011) -- A new study has revealed not only that a healthy person's blood sugar levels spike after eating a high-fat meal, but that the spike doubles after having both a fatty meal and caffeinated coffee -- jumping to levels similar to those of people at risk for diabetes. Ultimately, saturated fat and fat combined with caffeinated coffee hinder the body's ability to clear sugar from the blood and having high blood sugar levels can take a toll on our body's organs. ... > full story

Long lost cousin of T. rex identified by scientists (April 1, 2011) -- Scientists have identified a new species of gigantic theropod dinosaur, a close relative of T. rex, from fossil skull and jaw bones discovered in China. ... > full story

Whale and dolphin death toll during Deepwater disaster may have been greatly underestimated (April 1, 2011) -- The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 devastated the Gulf of Mexico ecologically and economically. However, a new study reveals that the true impact of the disaster on wildlife may be gravely underestimated. The study argues that fatality figures based on the number of recovered animal carcasses will not give a true death toll, which may be 50 times higher than believed ... > full story

Immune therapy can control fertility in mammals: Technique could prevent pregnancy in pets, human use is also envisioned (April 1, 2011) -- Researchers have shown that it is possible to immunize mammals to control fertility. They say their technique could possibly be used on other mammals -- including humans -- because fertility hormones and their receptors are species-non-specific and are similar in both females and males. For pets, the technique could be an alternative to castration and adverse effects of hormone administration. ... > full story

Making the leap to whole-cell simulations (April 1, 2011) -- Researchers have built a computer model of the crowded interior of a bacterial cell that -- in a test of its response to sugar in its environment -- accurately simulates the behavior of living cells. ... > full story

Economic importance of bats in the 'billions a year' range (April 1, 2011) -- Researchers analyzed the economic impact of the loss of bats in North America in agriculture and found it to be in the .7 to billion a year range. A single colony of 150 big brown bats eat nearly 1.3 million insects a year -- insects that could potentially be damaging to crops. ... > full story

Hidden elm population may hold genes to combat Dutch elm disease (April 1, 2011) -- Scientists may have discovered "the map to El Dorado" for the American elm -- a previously hidden population of elms that carry genes for resistance to Dutch elm disease. The disease kills individual branches and eventually the entire tree within one to several years. ... > full story

Scientists reach beyond the clouds with a mobile phone app to explore the outer atmosphere (April 1, 2011) -- Engineering scientists have reached above the clouds in a first-of-its-kind experiment to develop new technologies that probe the stratosphere using an unmanned vehicle. ... > full story

Advance toward making biodegradable plastics from waste chicken feathers (April 1, 2011) -- In a scientific advance literally plucked from the waste heap, scientists have described a key step toward using the billions of pounds of waste chicken feathers produced each year to make one of the more important kinds of plastic. ... > full story

First report on bioaccumulation and processing of antibacterial ingredient TCC in fish (April 1, 2011) -- In the first report on the uptake and internal processing of triclocarban (TCC) in fish, scientists have reported strong evidence that TCC -- the source of environmental health concerns because of its potential endocrine-disrupting effects -- has a "strong" tendency to bioaccumulate in fish. ... > full story

Insight into lignin biosynthesis (April 1, 2011) -- A new study furthers our understanding of lignin formation in the model plant Arabidopsis. Two laccase genes are shown to play a major role in lignin deposition. ... > full story

Fruit fly's response to starvation could help control human appetites (March 31, 2011) -- Biologists have identified the molecular mechanisms triggered by starvation in fruit flies that enhance the nervous system's response to smell, allowing these insects and presumably vertebrates -- including humans -- to become more efficient and voracious foragers when hungry. Their discovery of the neural changes that control odor-driven food searches in flies could provide a new way to potentially regulate human appetite. ... > full story

Aimless proteins may be crucial to disease (March 31, 2011) -- A supposedly inactive protein actually plays a crucial role in the ability of one the world's most prolific pathogens to cause disease and could also be important to other such pathogen-based diseases as malaria. ... > full story

Scat reveals an immigrant in Isle Royale wolves' gene pool (March 31, 2011) -- Until recently scientists studying the wolves of Isle Royale National Park thought they'd been totally isolated on the Lake Superior island for more than half a century. Now, by analyzing droppings, they've found the DNA of a fairly recent immigrant wolf from Canada. ... > full story

US troops exposed to polluted air in Iraq, researchers report (March 31, 2011) -- Military personnel and contractors stationed in Iraq risk not only enemy gunfire, suicide bombers, and roadside bombs, but the very air they breathe often is polluted with dust and other particles of a size and composition that could pose immediate and long-term health threats, scientists report. ... > full story

Fossil is best look yet at an ancestor of buttercups (March 31, 2011) -- Scientists from the United States and China have discovered the first intact fossil of a mature eudicot, a type of flowering plant whose membership includes buttercups, apple trees, maple trees, dandelions and proteas. The 125-million-year-old find reveals a remarkably developed species. ... > full story

Repulsive smell could combat bed bugs (March 31, 2011) -- Bed bugs are an increasingly common pest that necessitates extensive decontamination of homes. Researchers in Sweden have now discovered that young bed bugs produce a smell that repels other bed bugs. It is hoped that these findings could contribute to more effective control of the blood-sucking insects. ... > full story

Hands-free electronic water faucets found to be hindrance in infection control; Manual faucets work better, study shows (March 31, 2011) -- A study of newly installed, hands-free faucets at The Johns Hopkins Hospital shows they were more likely to be contaminated with one of the most common and hazardous bacteria in hospitals compared to old-style fixtures with separate handles for hot and cold water. ... > full story

Archaeologists explore Iraqi marshes for origins of urbanization (March 31, 2011) -- The first non-Iraqi archaeological investigation of the Tigris-Euphrates delta in 20 years was a preliminary foray by three women who began to explore the links between wetland resources and the emergence and growth of cities last year. ... > full story

Gesture-controlled microscope developed by Finnish researchers (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers in Finland have created a hand-and-finger gesture-controlled microscope. The method is a combination of two technologies: web-based virtual microscopy and a giant-size multitouch display. ... > full story

Common yellow lab dye profoundly extends lifespan in healthy nematodes (March 31, 2011) -- Basic Yellow 1, a dye used in neuroscience labs around the world to detect damaged protein in Alzheimer's disease, is a wonder drug for nematode worms. Thioflavin T extended lifespan in healthy worms by more than 50 percent and slowed the disease process in worms bred to mimic aspects of Alzheimer's. The research -- involving protein homeostasis -- could open new ways to intervene in aging and age-related disease. ... > full story

Vaccine to cure asthma brought on by house dust mite allergies? (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers are working on a vaccine that could completely cure asthma brought on by house dust mite allergies. ... > full story

Worm research defines role of multiple disease genes at base of cilia (March 31, 2011) -- An international collaboration has outlined how cilia disease gene products regulate important aspects of early cilium formation and the integrity of the ciliary transport gate. ... > full story

Open-source software designed to minimize synthetic biology risks (March 31, 2011) -- A software package designed to minimize the potential risks of synthetic biology for the nation's defense and security is now available to the gene synthesis industry and synthetic biology community in an open-source format. ... > full story

Sensory wiring for smells varies among individuals (March 31, 2011) -- If, as Shakespeare's Juliet declared, a rose by any other name smells as sweet -- to you and to me and to anyone else who sniffs it -- then one might assume that our odor-sensing nerve cells are all wired in the same way. Alas, they are not, according to a new study. ... > full story

How to make skinny worms fat and fat worms skinny (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers exploring human metabolism have uncovered a handful of chemical compounds that regulate fat storage in worms, offering a new tool for understanding obesity and finding future treatments for diseases associated with obesity. ... > full story

'Informant' jumping gene offers new method for studying how genes are regulated (March 31, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a new method for studying gene regulation, by employing a jumping gene as an informant. Called GROMIT, it allows scientists to also create mouse models for human diseases caused by chromosomal rearrangements, such as Down syndrome. ... > full story

New wind tunnel will evaluate wind effects and thermal situations to improve urban climate (March 31, 2011) -- On hot days it is often very still in cities because the high density of buildings prevents the air from circulating freely. In a newly commissioned wind tunnel, wind effects and thermal situations in towns and cities can be simulated and various scenarios tested, with the aim of improving urban climate in a natural way. ... > full story

Butterflies that explore and colonize new habitats are genetically different from cautious cousins (March 30, 2011) -- Descendants of "exploratory" butterflies that colonize new habitats differ genetically from their more cautious cousins, discovered scientists. The research has revealed some of the genetic bases for traits that provide an advantage to butterflies that found new populations in previously unoccupied habitat patches. The results have potentially broad importance in understanding natural selection. ... > full story

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