ScienceDaily: Top Environment News: Lessons from cockroaches could inform robotics

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ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Lessons from cockroaches could inform robotics

Posted: 22 Feb 2013 11:32 AM PST

Running cockroaches start to recover from being shoved sideways before their dawdling nervous system kicks in to tell their legs what to do, researchers have found. These new insights on how biological systems stabilize could one day help engineers design steadier robots and improve doctors’ understanding of human gait abnormalities.

Forecast is for more snow in polar regions, less for the rest of us

Posted: 22 Feb 2013 11:32 AM PST

A new cli­mate model pre­dicts an increase in snow­fall for Earth’s polar regions and high­est alti­tudes, but an over­all drop in snow­fall for the globe, as car­bon diox­ide lev­els rise over the next century.

The lifetime journeys of manure-based microbes

Posted: 22 Feb 2013 11:32 AM PST

Studies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are shedding some light on the microbes that dwell in cattle manure — what they are, where they thrive, where they struggle, and where they can end up.

Stash of stem cells found in a human parasite

Posted: 22 Feb 2013 11:31 AM PST

Researchers have now found stem cells inside the parasite that cause schistosomiasis, one of the most common parasitic infections in the world. These stem cells can regenerate worn-down organs, which may help explain how they can live for years or even decades inside their host.

Has evolution given humans unique brain structures?

Posted: 22 Feb 2013 09:07 AM PST

Humans have at least two functional networks in their cerebral cortex not found in rhesus monkeys. This means that new brain networks were likely added in the course of evolution from primate ancestor to human.

Vibrant mix of marine life found at extreme ocean depths

Posted: 22 Feb 2013 07:30 AM PST

The first scientific examinations of data recorded during a record-setting expedition have yielded new insights about the diversity of creatures that live and thrive in the cold, dark, and highly pressurized habitats of the world’s deepest points and their vastly unexplored ecosystems.

Fruit flies force their young to drink alcohol for their own good

Posted: 22 Feb 2013 07:29 AM PST

When fruit flies sense parasitic wasps in their environment, they lay their eggs in an alcohol-soaked environment, essentially forcing their larvae to consume booze as a drug to combat the deadly wasps. The finding adds to the evidence that using toxins in the environment to medicate offspring may be common across the animal kingdom.

Circulation changes in a warmer ocean

Posted: 22 Feb 2013 05:30 AM PST

In a new study, scientists suggest that the pattern of ocean circulation was radically altered in the past when climates were warmer.

Formation of nanoparticles can now be studied molecule-by-molecule

Posted: 22 Feb 2013 04:57 AM PST

Atmospheric aerosol particles affect our climate by slowing down the global warming, research suggests. Scientists have succeeded in developing measurement techniques that allow detection of aerosol nucleation starting from the formation of clusters from vapor molecules, and the growth of these clusters into aerosol particles.