Science Daily – October 11th

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News  

 

  • Complex relationship between phosphorus levels, nitrogen removal in lakes
  • New antiviral response discovered in mammals
  • Innate virus-killing power discovered in mammals
  • How red crabs on Christmas Island speak for the tropics
  • How microbes survive in freezing conditions
  • As sea level rises, Everglades’ freshwater plants perish
  • Massive spruce beetle outbreak in Colorado tied to drought
  • Elephants know what it means to point to something, no training required
  • Eat more, weigh less: Worm study provides clues to better fat-loss therapies for humans
  • Is a constructive conservation the last chance for biodiversity? Pragmatic approach to saving what can be saved
  • Wetland restoration in the northern Everglades: Watershed potential and nutrient legacies
  • The tundra: A dark horse in planet Earth’s greenhouse gas budget
  • Origin of MERS coronavirus identified
  • Enigmatic neurons help flies get oriented
  • Discovery should save wheat farmers millions of dollars
  • Climate change threatens Northern American turtle habitat
 
 
New antiviral response discovered in mammals

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 11:27 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered a part of the innate immune system in mice that had only been known in plants and invertebrates. This system seems more visible in stem and progenitor cells, which it protects from viral infection.

 
Innate virus-killing power discovered in mammals

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 11:27 AM PDT

Scientists have a promising new approach to combating deadly human viruses thanks to an educated hunch by a microbiology professor, and his 20 years of research on plants, fruit flies, nematodes and mice. Researchers have discovered that, like plants and invertebrate animals, mammals use the RNA interference process to destroy viruses within their own cells. Until now, scientists were unable to prove that mammals use RNAi for killing viruses. The findings could help create vaccines against deadly infections, including SARS, West Nile, dengue, Hepatitis C and influenza.

 
 
How red crabs on Christmas Island speak for the tropics

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 09:48 AM PDT

Research has found that erratic rainfall — which could become more irregular as a result of climate change — could be detrimental to animals that migrate with the dry-wet seasonal cycle. The researchers studied the annual mating migration of the land-dwelling Christmas Island red crab in order to help scientists understand the consequences of climate change for the millions of migratory animals in Earth’s tropical zones.

 
How microbes survive in freezing conditions

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 09:48 AM PDT

Most microbial researchers grow their cells in petri dishes to study how they respond to stress and damaging conditions. But researchers tried something almost unheard of: Studying microbial survival in ice to understand how microorganisms could survive in ancient permafrost, or perhaps even buried in ice on Mars.

As sea level rises, Everglades’ freshwater plants perish

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 09:47 AM PDT

Satellite imagery over the southeastern Everglades confirms long-term trends of mangrove expansion and sawgrass habitat loss near the shore.

Massive spruce beetle outbreak in Colorado tied to drought

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 09:47 AM PDT

A new study indicates drought high in the northern Colorado mountains is the primary trigger of a massive spruce beetle outbreak that is tied to long-term changes in sea-surface temperatures from the Northern Atlantic Ocean, a trend that is expected to continue for decades.

Elephants know what it means to point to something, no training required

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 09:45 AM PDT

When people want to direct the attention of others, they naturally do so by pointing, starting from a very young age. Now, researchers have shown that elephants spontaneously get the gist of human pointing and can use it as a cue for finding food. That’s all the more impressive given that many great apes fail to understand pointing when it’s done for them by human caretakers, the researchers say.

Eat more, weigh less: Worm study provides clues to better fat-loss therapies for humans

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 09:43 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered key details of a brain-to-body signaling circuit that enables roundworms to lose weight independently of food intake, and there are reasons to suspect the circuit exists in a similar form in humans and other mammals.

 
Is a constructive conservation the last chance for biodiversity? Pragmatic approach to saving what can be saved

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 07:49 AM PDT

How can biodiversity be preserved in a world in which traditional ecosystems are increasingly being displaced by “human-made nature”? Biologists have developed a new concept for conservation measures that incorporates current landscapes formerly considered ecologically “of little value”. Numerous experiences from islands have shown that this concept has a positive effect on biodiversity. Now the authors are proposing applying these experiences to other landscape scenarios.

 
Wetland restoration in the northern Everglades: Watershed potential and nutrient legacies

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 06:17 AM PDT

To most people, restoration of Florida’s Everglades means recovering and protecting the wetlands of south Florida. What many don’t realize is how intimately the fortunes of the southern Everglades are tied to central Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and lands even further north.

The tundra: A dark horse in planet Earth’s greenhouse gas budget

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 06:17 AM PDT

There are huge amounts of organic carbon in the soil beneath the tundra that covers the northernmost woodless areas of the planet. New research findings show that the tundra may become a source of CO2 as the climate becomes warmer.

 
Origin of MERS coronavirus identified

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 06:56 PM PDT

The newly emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has circulated in bats for a substantial time, before making the species leap to humans, according to research. By analyzing the genome of various bat species, scientists show that bat DPP4 genes have adapted significantly as they evolved, suggesting a long-term arms race between the bat and the virus.

Enigmatic neurons help flies get oriented

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 05:11 PM PDT

Neurons deep in the fly’s brain tune in to some of the same basic visual features that neurons in bigger animals such as humans pick out in their surroundings. The new research is an important milestone toward understanding how the fly brain extracts relevant information about a visual scene to guide behavior.

Discovery should save wheat farmers millions of dollars

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 05:10 PM PDT

The global wheat industry sometimes loses as much as $1 billion a year because prolonged rainfall and high humidity contribute to grains germinating before they are fully mature. This phenomenon, known as pre-harvest sprouting or PHS, has such important economic repercussions for farmers around the world that scientists have been working on finding a solution to the problem for at least a couple of decades. Findings now suggest that the solution may lie not with genetics alone, but rather with a combination of genetic and epigenetic factors.

Climate change threatens Northern American turtle habitat

Posted: 08 Oct 2013 03:23 PM PDT

Although a turtle’s home may be on its back, some North American turtles face an uncertain future as a warming climate threatens to reduce their suitable habitat.