Friday January 20th 2017

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Declining air pollution levels continue to improve life expectancy in U.S.

Declining air pollution levels continue to improve life expectancy in U.S.

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 01:35 PM PST

A new study has found an association between reductions in fine particulate matter and improved life expectancy in 545 counties in the US from 2000 to 2007.

Probiotics help fish grow up faster and healthier

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 01:35 PM PST

Probiotics like those found in yogurt are not only good for people — they are also good for fish. A new study found that feeding probiotics to baby zebrafish accelerated their development and increased their chances of survival into adulthood.

Plant organ development breakthrough

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 01:35 PM PST

Plants grow upward from a tip of undifferentiated tissue called the shoot apical meristem — some cells eventually differentiating into leaves and flowers. Because each plant’s form and shape is determined by organ formation and organ boundary creation, elucidating the underlying mechanisms that govern these functions could help scientists design the architecture of crop plants to better capture light and ultimately produce more crop yield with less input.

Canopy structure more important to climate than leaf nitrogen levels, study claims

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 01:35 PM PST

Claims that forest leaves rich in nitrogen may aid in reflecting infrared radiation — thereby cooling the atmosphere — have been challenged by new research that shows that the structure of forests’ canopies is a more important factor in infrared reflection.

New Jamaica butterfly species emphasizes need for biodiversity research

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 12:00 PM PST

Scientists have described a new Lepidoptera species found in Jamaica’s last remaining wilderness. Belonging to the family of skipper butterflies, the new genus and species is the first butterfly discovered in Jamaica since 1995. Scientists hope the native butterfly will encourage conservation of the country’s last wilderness where it was discovered: the Cockpit Country. The study underscores the need for further biodiversity research and establishing a baseline of organisms as more tropical areas suffer habitat destruction.

Mercury released into air contaminates ocean fish

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 12:00 PM PST

Mercury released into the air and then deposited into oceans contaminates seafood commonly eaten by people in the US and globally, new research shows.

Pygmy mole crickets don’t just walk on water, they jump on it

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 09:16 AM PST

Pygmy mole crickets are known to be prodigious jumpers on land. Now, researchers have found that the tiny insects have found an ingenious method to jump from the water, too. Their secret is a series of spring-loaded, oar-like paddles on their back legs.

Male chimpanzees choose their allies carefully

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 08:28 AM PST

The ability of male chimpanzees to form coalitions with one another in order to direct aggression at other male chimpanzees has certain benefits. A new study has further revealed that it may not just be the coalition that is important, but who the coalition is with that determines future success.

How different nerve cells develop in the eye: Development in fish embryos with aid of 4D recordings

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 08:24 AM PST

Neurobiologists have gained new insights into how different types of nerve cells are formed in the developing animal. Through specialised microscopes, they were able to follow the development of the neural retina in the eye of living zebrafish embryos. Using high-resolution three-dimensional time-lapse images the researchers simultaneously observed the division of retinal nerve cells and changes in gene expression. This enabled them to gain insights into the way in which the two processes are linked during eye development and how the number and proportion of different cell types are regulated.

Need for speed: High-speed measurements of molecular motion in the cell nucleus

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 08:24 AM PST

Using a new measurement technique, researchers have succeeded in tracking interactions between proteins and DNA in the cell nucleus at a resolution of 1/1000 of a second. They were able to measure the binding of highly specialized protein complexes that specifically change the spatial structure of the genetic information, thereby controlling the readout of the DNA information.

Physicist happens upon rain data breakthrough

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 06:04 AM PST

A physicist and researcher who set out to develop a formula to protect Apollo sites on the moon from rocket exhaust may have happened upon a way to improve weather forecasting on Earth.

Removing sea defenses may reduce impact of coastal flooding

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 05:20 AM PST

Ensuring continued flood protection for low lying coastal areas may mean sacrificing cliff top communities to the sea. New research shows that the benefits of protecting the English coastline from erosion must be balanced against the impacts of coastal flooding.

Key pathological mechanism found in plague bacterium

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 05:20 AM PST

A more than 50-year-old question has now been answered. Chemists and microbiologists are now able to describe in detail the role of calcium in the ability of the plague bacterium Yersinias to cause disease.

Corn: Many active genes — high yield

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 05:18 AM PST

Hybrid plants provide much higher yield than their homozygous parents. Plant breeders have known this for more than 100 years and used this effect called heterosis for richer harvests. Until now, science has puzzled over the molecular processes underlying this phenomenon. Researchers have now decoded one possible mechanism in corn roots. More genes are active in hybrid plants than in their homozygous parents. This might increase growth and yield of the corn plants.

Go with the flow in flood prediction

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 05:18 AM PST

Floods have once again wreaked havoc across the country and climate scientists and meteorologists suggest that the problem is only going to get worse with wetter winters and rivers bursting their banks becoming the norm. Scientists have now developed a computer model that can work out how the flood flow will develop and where flooding will be worst based on an understanding of fluid dynamics and the underlying topology of a region.

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