ScienceDaily: Top Environment News : Early warning signs of population collapse

Jay Owen Nature/Biomimicry

Early warning signs of population collapse

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 05:19 PM PDT

Spatial measurements of population density could reveal when threatened natural populations are in danger of crashing.

Scientists use nature against nature to develop an antibiotic with reduced resistance

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 05:18 PM PDT

A new broad range antibiotic has been found to kill a wide range of bacteria, including drug-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA) bacteria that do not respond to traditional drugs, in mice. The antibiotic, Epimerox, targets weaknesses in bacteria that have long been exploited by viruses that attack them, known as phage, and promises to avoid the problem of resistance that plagues other antibiotics.

Goosefish capture small puffins over deep water of Northwest Atlantic

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 12:50 PM PDT

A recent study has shown that bottom-dwelling goosefish, also known as monkfish, prey on dovekies, a small Arctic seabird and the smallest member of the puffin family. To understand how this deep-water fish finds a shallow-feeding bird in offshore waters, researchers looked at when, where, and how these animals were most likely to be in the same place at the same time.

Scientists use islands to gauge rainfall’s effect on landscapes

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 12:49 PM PDT

Researchers have used volcanic islands to measure how rainfall sets the pace of landscape formation.

Biofilm helps Salmonella survive hostile conditions

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 12:49 PM PDT

Scientists have provided new evidence that biofilms — bacteria that adhere to surfaces and build protective coatings — are at work in the survival of the human pathogen Salmonella.

‘Sustainable fishing’ certification too lenient and discretionary

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 12:49 PM PDT

The certification of seafood as “sustainable” by the nonprofit Marine Stewardship Council is too lenient and discretionary, a study by a consortium of researchers has found.

Metabolic fingerprinting: Using proteomics to identify proteins in gymnosperm pollination drops

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 11:15 AM PDT

Proteomics is a powerful technique for examining the structure and function of the proteome. Proteomics can uncover the relationship between DNA, RNA, and the production of proteins — enabling the comparison of the genome to the proteome. For organisms that have not yet been sequenced, proteomics facilitates the discovery and identification of proteins. A new study demonstrates the suitability of proteomics in determining the composition of gymnosperm pollination drops.

Great white sharks scavenging on dead whales

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 11:15 AM PDT

Biologists have explored the behaviors of Great white sharks scavenging on dead whales in South Africa. The team documented as many as 40 different sharks scavenging on a carcass over the course of a single day, revealing unique social interactions among sharks.

Research enables fishermen to harvest lucrative shellfish on Georges Bank

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 10:14 AM PDT

New scientific understanding of toxic algal blooms on Georges Bank, along with an at-sea and dockside testing protocol, has allowed fishermen to harvest ocean quahogs and surf clams in these offshore waters for the first time in more than two decades. The Georges Bank surf clam and ocean quahog fishery has an estimated annual value of $10-15 million.

Young children have grammar and chimpanzees don’t

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 10:13 AM PDT

A new study has shown that children as young as two understand basic grammar rules when they first learn to speak and are not simply imitating adults. The study also applied the same statistical analysis on data from one of the most famous animal language-acquisition experiments — Project Nim — and showed that Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who was taught sign language over the course of many years, never grasped rules like those in a two-year-old’s grammar.

Transparent brain using hydrogel process

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 10:12 AM PDT

Combining neuroscience and chemical engineering, researchers have developed a process that renders a mouse brain transparent.

World’s oldest dinosaur embryo bonebed yields organic remains

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 10:12 AM PDT

A 190-million-year-old dinosaur bonebed near the city of Lufeng, in Yunnan, China has revealed for the first time how dinosaur embryos grew and developed in their eggs.

Pottery reveals Ice Age hunter-gatherers’ taste for fish

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 10:11 AM PDT

Hunter-gatherers living in glacial conditions produced pots for cooking fish, according to the findings of a pioneering new study which reports the earliest direct evidence for the use of ceramic vessels. Scientists carried out chemical analysis of food residues in pottery up to 15,000 years old from the late glacial period, the oldest pottery so far investigated.

Clinging to crevices, E. coli thrive

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 07:33 AM PDT

New research helps to explain how waterborne bacteria can colonize rough surfaces —- even those that have been designed to resist water. 

Genome mapping of koalas is promising start for understanding how koalas respond to infectious diseases

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 06:43 AM PDT

The “holy grail” for understanding how and why koalas respond to infectious diseases has been uncovered in a world-first genome mapping project.

Chimpanzees use botanical skills to discover fruit

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 06:41 AM PDT

Fruit-eating animals are known to use their spatial memory to relocate fruit, yet, it is unclear how they manage to find fruit in the first place. Researchers have now investigated which strategies chimpanzees in the Taï National Park in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, use in order to find fruit in the rain forest. The result: Chimpanzees know that trees of certain species produce fruit simultaneously and use this botanical knowledge during their daily search for fruit.

Limiting greenhouse gas emissions from land use in Europe

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 05:27 AM PDT

New research estimates future land use emissions for the European Union, showing that Europe could potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land use by more than 60 percent by 2050.

Ocean nutrients a key component of future change, say scientists

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 05:22 AM PDT

Variations in nutrient availability in the world’s oceans could be a vital component of future environmental change, according to a new review paper.

Protected wildlife areas are ‘welcome mats’ for UK’s bird newcomers

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 05:22 AM PDT

A new study shows that bird species which have colonized the UK in recent decades breed initially almost exclusively in nature reserves and other areas specially protected for wildlife.

Unusual anal fin offers new insight into evolution

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 05:22 AM PDT

An unusual fossil fish that has fins behind its anus could have implications for human evolution.

Snowflakes falling on cameras: What snow looks like in midair

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 05:20 AM PDT

University of Utah researchers developed a high-speed camera system that spent the past two winters photographing snowflakes in 3-D as they fell – and they don’t look much like those perfect-but-rare snowflakes often seen in photos.