ScienceDaily: Top Environment News: Fossil of ancient multicellular life sets evolutionary timeline back 60 million years

Jay Owen Earth Systems Science

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Fossil of ancient multicellular life sets evolutionary timeline back 60 million years

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 06:18 PM PDT

Geobiologists shed new light on multicellular fossils from a time 60 million years before a vast growth spurt of life known as the Cambrian Explosion occurred on Earth.

Biochar alters water flow to improve sand and clay


Posted: 24 Sep 2014 01:05 PM PDT


New research could help settle questions about one of biochar’s biggest benefits — the seemingly contradictory ability to make clay soils drain faster and sandy soils drain slower.

Colorado’s Front Range fire severity not much different than past

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 11:49 AM PDT

The perception that Colorado’s Front Range wildfires are becoming increasingly severe does not hold much water scientifically, according to a massive new study.

New analysis of human genetic history reveals female dominance

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 08:37 AM PDT

Female populations have been larger than male populations throughout human history, according to new research. The research used a new technique to obtain higher quality paternal genetic information to analyze the demographic history of males and females in worldwide populations.

Natural gas usage will have little effect on carbon dioxide emissions, researchers find

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 08:36 AM PDT

Abundant supplies of natural gas will do little to reduce harmful U.S. emissions causing climate change, according to researchers. They found that inexpensive gas boosts electricity consumption and hinders expansion of cleaner energy sources, such as wind and solar.

Enzyme discovery paves way to tackling deadly parasite diseases

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 08:36 AM PDT

An enzyme found in all living things could hold the key to combating deadly diseases such as sleeping sickness, a study suggests. Researchers say this discovery creates an opportunity to design drugs that block activity of the enzyme — known as pyruvate kinase — in species that cause infection. Blocking the enzyme would effectively kill the parasite, without affecting the same enzyme in the patient.

‘Fracking’ wastewater that is treated for drinking downstream produces potentially harmful compounds

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 08:35 AM PDT

Concerns that fluids from hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ are contaminating drinking water abound. Now, scientists are bringing to light another angle that adds to the controversy. A new study has found that discharge of fracking wastewaters to rivers, even after passage through wastewater treatment plants, could be putting the drinking water supplies of downstream cities at risk.

New mobile solar unit is designed to save lives when the power goes out

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 08:29 AM PDT

Brooke Ellison draws her own power from will, but the ventilator that keeps her alive requires uninterrupted electricity. Dr. Ellison is allowing scientists to field-test, at her home, the Nextek Power Systems STAR, a mobile solar generator.

Solar energy-driven process could revolutionize oil sands tailings reclamation

Posted: 23 Sep 2014 03:21 PM PDT

A civil engineering research team has developed a new way to clean oil sands process affected water and reclaim tailings ponds in Alberta’s oil sands industry. Using sunlight as a renewable energy source instead of UV lamps, and adding chlorine to the tailings, oil sands process affected water is decontaminated and detoxified — immediately.