Dust’s warming counters half of its cooling effect

Ethical Markets Nature/Biomimicry

Dust’s warming counters half of its cooling effect

Posted: 31 Oct 2012 06:42 PM PDT

Dust that routinely rises above the world’s deserts causes a more significant localized warming effect than previously thought, a new study based on NASA field research shows.

Folding funnels key to biomimicry

Posted: 31 Oct 2012 01:10 PM PDT

Researchers have shown that a concept widely accepted as describing the folding of a single individual protein is also applicable to the self-assembly of multiple proteins. Their findings provide important guidelines for future biomimicry efforts, particularly for device fabrication and nanoscale synthesis.

New study shows effects of prehistoric nocturnal life on mammalian vision

Posted: 31 Oct 2012 01:10 PM PDT

Since the age of dinosaurs, most species of day-active mammals have retained the imprint of nocturnal life in their eye structures. Humans and other anthropoid primates, such as monkeys and apes, are the only groups that deviate from this pattern, according to a new study. The findings are the first to provide a large-scale body of evidence for the “nocturnal bottleneck theory,” which suggests that mammalian sensory traits have been profoundly influenced by an extended period of adaptation to nocturnality during the Mesozoic Era.

New inhibitors of elusive enzymes promise to be valuable scientific tools

Posted: 31 Oct 2012 11:20 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered the first selective inhibitors of an important set of enzymes. The new inhibitors, and chemical probes based on them, now can be used to study the functions of enzymes known as diacylglycerol lipases, their products, and the pathways they regulate.

Exhaustive family tree for birds shows recent, rapid diversification

Posted: 31 Oct 2012 11:19 AM PDT

The most comprehensive family tree for birds to date has just been completed, connecting all living bird species — nearly 10,000 in total — and revealing surprising new details about their evolutionary history and its geographic context.

Tabletop fault model reveals why some earthquakes result in faster shaking

Posted: 31 Oct 2012 11:18 AM PDT

A new study reveals that the more time an earthquake fault has to heal, the faster the shake it will produce when it finally ruptures. Because the rapidity and strength of the shaking are what causes damage to major structures, the new findings could help engineers better assess the vulnerabilities of buildings, bridges and roads. They also showed that a lab model of a fault can provide important information for natural faults.

Testosterone regulates solo song of tropical birds

Posted: 31 Oct 2012 10:27 AM PDT

An experiment in females uncovers male hormonal mechanism.

Aphid resistance in black raspberries

Posted: 31 Oct 2012 09:55 AM PDT

There’s good news for fans of black raspberries: scientists have found black raspberries that have resistance to a disease-spreading aphid.