ScienceDaily: Top Environment News: Holographic microscopy: Peering into living cells — with neither dye nor fluophore

Jay Owen Earth Systems Science

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Holographic microscopy: Peering into living cells — with neither dye nor fluophore

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 02:22 PM PST

Thanks to holographic microscopy, two young scientists have developed a device that can create 3-D images of living cells, almost in real time, and track their reaction to various stimuli without the use of contrast dyes or fluorophores.

The amazing amphibians and reptiles of the Philippine island Luzon

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 11:16 AM PST

Renewed interest in exploring the unique fauna of the northern Philippines has produced a series of notable discoveries, drawing attention to the astonishingly high level of species diversity in this small island archipelago. A recent categorization of the amphibians and reptiles of the Luzon Island offers insight into the unexpected variety of fascinating species that occur there and no where else in the world.

Most comprehensive tree of life shows placental mammal diversity exploded after age of dinosaurs

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 11:14 AM PST

Scientists have generated the most comprehensive tree of life to date on placental mammals, which are those bearing live young, including bats, rodents, whales and humans.

Stress change during the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake illuminated

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 11:14 AM PST

The March 11, 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake produced the largest slip ever recorded in an earthquake, over 50 meters. Such huge fault movement on the shallow portion of the megathrust boundary came as a surprise to seismologists because this portion of the subduction zone was not thought to be accumulating stress prior to the earthquake. In a recently published study, scientists shed light on the stress state on the fault that controls the very large slip.

Solving big-data bottleneck: Scientists team with business innovators to tackle research hurdles

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 11:14 AM PST

Researchers have demonstrated that a crowdsourcing platform pioneered in the commercial sector can solve a complex biological problem more quickly than conventional approaches — and at a fraction of the cost.

New evidence suggests comet or asteroid impact was last straw for dinosaurs

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 11:14 AM PST

While many assume that a comet or asteroid impact killed off the dinosaurs, the actual dates of the impact and extinction are imprecise enough that some have questioned the connection. Scientists have now dated the extinction with unprecedented precision and concluded that the impact and extinction where synchronous. While global climate change probably brought dinosaurs and other creatures to the brink, the impact likely was the final blow.

Sugar influences the onset of flowering: Only when light, age and energy conditions are right do plants flower

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 11:14 AM PST

Only when light, age and energy conditions are right do plants flower. A plant can reproduce successfully only if it flowers at the appropriate time. Therefore, a complex network of photoreceptors and other proteins has evolved to monitor environmental conditions such as light and temperature.

Animal magnetism: First evidence that magnetism helps salmon find home

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 10:17 AM PST

When migrating, sockeye salmon typically swim up to 4,000 miles into the ocean and then, years later, navigate back to the upstream reaches of the rivers in which they were born to spawn their young. Scientists, the fishing community and lay people have long wondered how salmon find their way to their home rivers over such epic distances.

Scientists discover how the world’s saltiest pond gets its salt

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 10:17 AM PST

Antarctica’s Don Juan Pond exists only because its high salinity — the highest of any body of water on the planet — keeps it from freezing. New researcher finds that water sucked out of the air by parched, salty soil provides the saltwater brine that enables the pond to persist in one of the coldest and driest places on Earth. The findings could shed light on possibility of flowing water on Mars.

For ant pupae, status means being heard

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 10:15 AM PST

For young ants at the pupal stage of life — caught between larva and adulthood — status is all about being heard. The findings add to evidence that ants can communicate abstract information through sound in addition to chemical cues.

Volcano location: Greenhouse-icehouse key? Episodic purging of ‘carbonate capacitor’ drives long-term climate cycle

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 08:50 AM PST

A new study suggests that Earth’s repeated flip-flopping between greenhouse and icehouse climates during the past 500 million years may have been caused by an episodic flare-up of volcanoes at key locations where enormous amounts of carbon dioxide were poised for release into the atmosphere.

New look at human fossil suggests Eastern Europe was an important pathway in evolution

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 08:46 AM PST

A fossilized bone fragment found buried deep in the soil of a Serbian cave is causing scientists to reconsider what happened during a critical period in human development, when the strands of modern humanity were still coming together.

Blame it on Barney: Student perceptions of an upright tyrannosaurus rex remain obsolete

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 08:45 AM PST

Ask a college student to sketch a Tyrannosaurus rex, and he or she will probably draw an upright, tail-dragging creature with tiny arms. An 8-year-old will draw something similar. They’re wrong, of course. The terrible T. rex, an agile, dynamic predator, never went upright. In fact, T. Rex tarried horizontal. So why are students’ perceptions of the T. rex stalled in the early 1900s? A research team sought answers after years of anecdotally observing students drawing the T. rex incorrectly.

Device made of DNA inserted into bacterial cell works like a diagnostic computer

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 04:42 AM PST

A biological device made of DNA inserted into a bacterial cell works like a tiny diagnostic computer.

Smartphones, tablets help researchers improve storm forecasts

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 11:15 AM PST

Atmospheric scientists are using pressure readings from some new smartphones and tablet computers to improve short-term thunderstorm forecasts. A weather station in every pocket would offer an unprecedented wealth of data.

Biocontrol research on Brazilian peppertree in Florida discovers new cryptic species

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 06:47 AM PST

A species of moth from Brazil that was being considered for biocontrol of the Brazilian peppertree in Florida was sent to a USDA-Agricultural Research Service research entomologist for identification. In the course of the research, six new species were discovered.