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How underground rodent wards off cancer: Second mole rat species has different mechanism for resisting cancer

How underground rodent wards off cancer: Second mole rat species has different mechanism for resisting cancer

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 05:00 PM PST

Biologists have determined how blind mole rats fight off cancer — and the mechanism differs from what they discovered three years ago in another long-lived and cancer-resistant mole rat species, the naked mole rat.

Indian monsoon failure more frequent with global warming, research suggests

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 05:00 PM PST

Global warming could cause frequent and severe failures of the Indian summer monsoon in the next two centuries, new research suggests.

Superbug MRSA identified in US wastewater treatment plants

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 12:13 PM PST

The “superbug” methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is prevalent at several U.S. wastewater treatment plants, according to new research. MRSA is well known for causing difficult-to-treat and potentially fatal bacterial infections in hospital patients, but is also increasingly infecting otherwise healthy people in community settings. This study is the first to document an environmental source of MRSA in the United States.

Carbon buried in the soil rises again

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 12:13 PM PST

A team of researchers estimated that roughly half of the carbon buried in soil by erosion will be re-released into the atmosphere within about 500 years, and possibly faster due to climate change.

Warming temperatures cause aquatic animals to shrink the most

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 12:13 PM PST

Warmer temperatures cause greater reduction in the adult sizes of aquatic animals than in land-dwellers in a new study.

Climate modeler identifies trigger for Earth’s last big freeze

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 12:13 PM PST

For more than 30 years, climate scientists have debated whether flood waters from melting of the enormous Laurentide Ice Sheet, which ushered in the last major cold episode on Earth about 12,900 years ago, flowed northwest into the Arctic first, or east via the Gulf of St. Lawrence, to weaken ocean thermohaline circulation and have a frigid effect on global climate. Now, using new, high-resolution global ocean circulation models, researchers report the first conclusive evidence that this flood must have flowed north into the Arctic first down the Mackenzie River valley.

2001-2002 drought helped propel mountain pine beetle epidemic

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 11:04 AM PST

A new study shows for the first time that episodes of reduced precipitation in the southern Rocky Mountains, especially during the 2001-02 drought, greatly accelerated development of the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

Insect-repelling compounds discovered in folk remedy plant, Jatropha

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 11:02 AM PST

A tip about a folk remedy plant used in India and Africa to ward off bugs has led to the discovery of insect-repelling compounds. Scientists have identified components of Jatropha curcas seed oil that are responsible for mosquito repellency.

Cockatoo ‘can make its own tools’

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 11:02 AM PST

A cockatoo from a species not known to use tools in the wild has been observed spontaneously making and using tools for reaching food and other objects.

Superstorm animation shows Sandy’s explosive development

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 11:01 AM PST

A computer animation shows the explosive development of Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm and its unusual track.

Computers ‘taught’ to ID regulating gene sequences

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 11:01 AM PST

Researchers have succeeded in teaching computers how to identify commonalities in DNA sequences known to regulate gene activity, and to then use those commonalities to predict other regulatory regions throughout the genome. The tool is expected to help scientists better understand disease risk and cell development.

World’s rarest whale seen for the first time

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 10:03 AM PST

A whale that is almost unknown to science has been seen for the first time after two individuals — a mother and her male calf — were stranded and died on a New Zealand beach. A new report offers the first complete description of the spade-toothed beaked whale (Mesoplodon traversii), a species previously known only from a few bones.

Massive volcanic eruption puts past climate and people in perspective

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 08:46 AM PST

The largest volcanic eruption on Earth in the past millions of years took place in Indonesia 74,000 years ago and researchers can now link the colossal eruption with the global climate and the effects on early humans.

People can learn to sense with ‘rat’s whiskers’ on fingers; May improve aids for the blind

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 07:09 AM PST

A new experiment in which volunteers learned to sense objects’ locations using just “rat whiskers” may help improve aids for the blind.

Hydro-fracking: Fact vs. fiction

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 07:09 AM PST

In communities across the US, people are hearing more and more about a controversial oil and gas extraction technique called hydraulic fracturing ? aka, hydro-fracking. Controversies pivot on some basic questions: Can hydro-fracking contaminate domestic wells? Does it cause earthquakes? How can we know? What can be done about these things if they are true?

Taking the ‘pulse’ of volcanoes using satellite images

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 07:09 AM PST

A new study uses satellite data to investigate deformation prior to the eruption of active volcanoes in Indonesia’s west Sunda arc.

Tiger mosquito, vector of chikungunya virus and dengue fever, is more flighty than first thought

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 05:15 AM PST

Female tiger mosquitoes, vectors of the chikungunya virus and of dengue fever, had been thought to mate only once during their short few weeks of life. They are apparently much less faithful than imagined, however. Scientists have discovered that they may in fact mate with several males during their short lives. What is more, the same clutch of eggs can be engendered by different fathers. For their part, the males can mate with over 10 different females.

After long-ago mass extinction, global warming hindered species’ recovery

Posted: 05 Nov 2012 05:12 AM PST

Researchers have discovered why plants and animals had a hard time recovering from the largest mass extinction in Earth?s history 250 million years ago. The reason: global warming.

Young birds can get ‘drunk’ on fermented berries: Effects similar to those for people, only drunk birds have much further to fall

Posted: 02 Nov 2012 05:51 PM PDT

Young birds can get “drunk” on fermented berries and exhibit all the symptoms familiar to people who overindulge, indicates a small study.

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