Density of invasive reed, Phragmites australis, mapped in Great Lakes

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Density of invasive reed, Phragmites australis, mapped in Great Lakes

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 01:25 PM PST

Scientists have used satellite technologies to map the location and density of Phragmites australis, an invasive species of reed, in the coastal wetlands of all five Great Lakes.

Scientists decode three bacterial strains common to grapevines and sugarcane

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 01:24 PM PST

Scientists have sequenced one of the first bacterial genomes associated with Jamaican sugarcane. The team also decoded two bacteria linked to Riesling grapevines. Studying the effects of organisms on crops is gaining attention as the world populations increases and concerns about food production and protection grow.

Plumes across the Pacific deliver thousands of microbial species to North American West Coast

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 12:27 PM PST

Microorganisms — 99 percent more kinds than had been reported in findings published just four months ago — are leaping the biggest gap on the planet. Hitching rides in the upper troposphere, they’re making their way from Asia across the Pacific Ocean and landing in North America.

Chances seen rising for chikungunya outbreaks in NYC, Atlanta, Miami

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 12:27 PM PST

Global travel and climate warming could be creating the right conditions for outbreaks of a new virus in this country, according to a new computer model that predicts outbreaks of chikungunya, a painful virus transported by travelers and spread by the invasive Asian tiger mosquito, could occur in 2013 in New York City during August and September, in Atlanta from June through September, and year-round in Miami.

Farm soil determines environmental fate of phosphorus

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 12:26 PM PST

Brazil’s soybean yields have become competitive with those of the United States and Argentina, but the soil demands a lot of phosphorus, which is not renewable. In the United States, meanwhile, historical applications of the fertilizer have polluted waterways. What accounts for these problems? It’s the soils, according to a new study comparing agriculture in the three countries.

Environmental threat map highlights Great Lakes restoration challenges

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 12:25 PM PST

A comprehensive map three years in the making is telling the story of humans? impact on the Great Lakes, identifying how ?environmental stressors? stretching from Minnesota to Ontario are shaping the future of an ecosystem that contains 20 percent of the world?s fresh water.

Plant sniffs out danger to prepare defenses against pesky insect

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 11:07 AM PST

A plant may start to prime its defenses as soon as it gets a whiff of a male fly searching for a mate, according to entomologists.

New form of cell division found: Natural back-up mechanism during faulty cell division

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 11:03 AM PST

Researchers have discovered a new form of cell division in human cells. They believe it serves as a natural back-up mechanism during faulty cell division, preventing some cells from going down a path that can lead to cancer.

Extreme climate predicted in Eastern U.S.: Storms, heat waves with global warming

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 09:17 AM PST

From extreme drought to super storms, many wonder what the future holds for the climate of the eastern United States. A new study does away with the guessing.

Investigating ocean currents using uranium-236 from the 1960s

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 09:16 AM PST

New research has identified the bomb-pulse of uranium-236 in corals from the Caribbean Sea for the first time. 236U was distributed world-wide in the period of atmospheric nuclear testing in the 1960s. Readily dissolved in seawater it is an ideal tool for investigating ocean currents.

Boreal bird species of conservation concern affected by climate change

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 08:07 AM PST

A new study shows that species of conservation concern show contrasting population trends in boreal protected areas in Finland. In general, population densities of southern species have increased while densities of northern species have decreased.

Role of oxidative stress in diseases needs to be re-evaluated: Preventive detention for oxidizing agents

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 07:26 AM PST

Oxidative stress is believed to cause a number of diseases. Up to now, it has been common practice to measure oxidative stress levels by determining the oxidation state of a small molecule called glutathione in cell extracts. Scientists have now discovered that cells under stress deposit their oxidized glutathione in a cellular waste repository. This protects cells from oxidative stress ? and questions the validity of the conventional measuring method.

Genome of rare fruit fly, Drosophila mauritiana, sequenced: New method measures genetic variability of populations

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 07:26 AM PST

In the twentieth century the sequencing of an entire genome of a higher (eukaryotic) organism was a truly exceptional event — by the end of the year 2000, only four such sequences were available. Since then, technological advances have put whole-genome sequencing within the reach of many more groups and new sequences have appeared at regular intervals. Now the genome of the fruit fly Drosophila mauritiana, a close relative of the well-known (and previously sequenced) Drosophila melanogaster has been sequenced.

Injured coral? Expect less sex

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 07:25 AM PST

Researchers have found that damaged coral colonies can take years to recover their reproductive prowess. Coral colonies that suffered tissue damage in the Bahamas were still producing low numbers of eggs four years after the injuries occurred.

Do-it-yourself viruses: How viruses self assemble

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 06:13 AM PST

A new model of the how the protein coat (capsid) of viruses assembles  shows that the construction  of intermediate structures prior to final capsid production (hierarchical assembly) can be more efficient than constructing the capsid protein by protein (direct assembly). The capsid enveloping a virus is essential for protection and propagation of the viral genome. Many viruses have evolved a self-assembly method which is so successful that the viral capsid can self assemble even when removed from its host cell.

Nanoscale impulse radar measures depth of snow and ice for alpine ski slopes

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 06:13 AM PST

Snow is the be-all and end-all for alpine ski resorts. Now a tiny sensor has been developed to determine how much cold gold there is on the slopes and how much more should be produced. The sensor is based on Norwegian radar technology and is no larger than a match head.

Reproduction and life span are intertwined

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 06:11 AM PST

Removing a roundworm’s germ cells prolongs the animal’s life. The gonad is well known to be important for reproduction but also affects animal life span. Removal of germ cells ? the sperm and egg producing cells ? increases longevity of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms were a mystery. Now scientists have discovered that germ cell removal flips a ?molecular switch? that extends the life span by using components of a ?developmental clock?.

Illegal hunting in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania: Social and molecular genetic methods of combating crimes against fauna

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 06:11 AM PST

Tanzania has many different and diverse wildlife populations spread across a network of protected areas extending over the whole country. These wildlife populations are under threat from illegal hunting and large herbivores are particularly sought-after game. In the future, however, genetic markers can be used to identify meat from game in order to combat crimes against animals.