ScienceDaily: Top Environment News: New species of dolphin found in Australian waters

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New species of dolphin found in Australian waters

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 11:30 AM PDT

A species of humpback dolphin previously unknown to science is swimming in the waters off northern Australia, according to biologists.

Thawing permafrost: The speed of coastal erosion in Eastern Siberia has nearly doubled

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 10:38 AM PDT

The high cliffs of Eastern Siberia — which mainly consist of permafrost — continue to erode at an ever quickening pace. This evaluation is based on data and aerial photographs of the coastal regions for the last 40 years.

Coral reefs may be able to adapt to moderate climate change

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 10:37 AM PDT

Coral reefs may be able to adapt to moderate climate warming, improving their chance of surviving through the end of this century, if there are large reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new study. Results further suggest corals have already adapted to part of the warming that has occurred.

Physicists provide new insights into coral skeleton formation

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 10:34 AM PDT

Scientists have shed important new light on coral skeleton formation. Their investigations, carried out at the nanoscale, provide valuable new information for scientists and environmentalists working to protect and conserve coral from the threats of acidification and rising water temperatures. As corals grow, they produce limestone — calcium carbonate — skeletons which build up over time into vast reefs. The skeleton’s role is to help the living biofilm to move towards the light and nutrients.

Paleontologist presents origin of life theory

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 10:31 AM PDT

Meteorite bombardment left large craters that contained water and chemical building blocks for life, which ultimately led to the first organisms, according to one origin of life theory.

Echolocation: Bats and whales behave in surprisingly similar ways

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 07:16 AM PDT

Sperm whales weigh up to 50 tons, and the smallest bat barely reaches a gram. Nevertheless, the two species share the same success story: They both have developed the ability to use echolocation — a biological sonar — for hunting. Now researchers show that the biosonar of toothed whales and bats share surprisingly many similarities — even though they live in very different environments and vary extremely in size.

Geneticists map human resistance to AIDS

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 06:20 AM PDT

The key to future HIV treatment could be hidden right in our own genes. Everyone who becomes infected deploys defense strategies, and some even manage to hold the virus at bay without any therapy at all. Scientists retraced the entire chain of events in these battles, from the genome of the virus to the genome of the victim, and have published their results.

‘Lost world’ discovered on Australia’s Cape York Peninsula

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 01:36 PM PDT

An expedition to Cape York Peninsula in north-east Australia has found three vertebrate species new to science and isolated for millions of years — a bizarre looking leaf-tail gecko, a golden-colored skink and a boulder-dwelling frog.

Common bioindicator resistant to insecticides

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 01:29 PM PDT

Scientists have found a common bioindicator, Hyalella azteca, used to test the toxicity of water or sediment was resistant to insecticides used in agricultural areas of central California. The study is the first to demonstrate that the indicator species may adapt to polluted conditions of a habitat and become an entirely unreliable source of information about ecosystem health.