ScienceDaily: Top Environment News: Lost in translocation? How bird song could help save species

Jay Owen Nature/Biomimicry

Lost in translocation? How bird song could help save species

Posted: 21 May 2013 08:00 PM PDT

Translocation – or moving animals to safer places – is a vital tool for saving species from extinction. Many factors influence the success of these new populations, including habitat quality, predators, capture and release techniques, the number and sex of individuals, and their genetic diversity. Now new research, the first of its kind suggests bird song could also be important.

Study reveals how fishing gear can cause slow death of whales

Posted: 21 May 2013 04:42 PM PDT

Using a “patient monitoring” device attached to a whale entangled in fishing gear, scientists showed for the first time how fishing lines changed a whale’s diving and swimming behavior. The monitoring revealed how fishing gear hinders whales’ ability to eat and migrate, depletes their energy as they drag gear for months or years, and can result in a slow death.

Minus environment, patterns still emerge: Computational study tracks E. coli cells’ regulatory mechanisms

Posted: 21 May 2013 04:41 PM PDT

Random mutations and genetic drift, rather than design principles, may explain the emergence of regulatory network properties in E. coli.

Bird’s playlist could signal mental strengths and weaknesses

Posted: 21 May 2013 04:41 PM PDT

Having the biggest playlist doesn’t make a male songbird the brainiest of the bunch, a new study shows.

Bacterial spare parts filter antibiotic residue from groundwater

Posted: 21 May 2013 04:40 PM PDT

Researchers have developed and tested a solar-powered nano filter that is able to remove harmful carcinogens and antibiotics from water sources — lakes and rivers — at a significantly higher rate than the currently used filtering technology made of activated carbon.

Engineers devise new way to produce clean hydrogen

Posted: 21 May 2013 12:39 PM PDT

Engineers have developed a novel method for producing clean hydrogen, which could prove essential to weaning society off of fossil fuels and their environmental implications.

Climate change and wildfire

Posted: 21 May 2013 12:26 PM PDT

Concerns continue to grow about the effects of climate change on fire. Wildfires are expected to increase 50 percent across the United States under a changing climate, over 100 percent in areas of the West by 2050 as projected by some studies. Of equal concern to scientists and policymakers alike are the atmospheric effects of wildfire emissions on climate.

Going green: U.S. equipped to grow serious amounts of pond scum for fuel

Posted: 21 May 2013 11:09 AM PDT

A new analysis shows that the nation’s land and water resources could likely support the growth of enough algae to produce up to 25 billion gallons of algae-based fuel a year in the United States, one-twelfth of the country’s yearly needs. For the best places to produce algae for fuel, think hot, humid and wet. Especially promising are the Gulf Coast and the Southeastern seaboard.

Single-cell transfection tool enables added control for biological studies

Posted: 21 May 2013 10:22 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a novel tool for single-cell transfection, in which they deliver molecules into targeted cells through temporary nanopores in the cell membrane created by a localized electric field.

Origins of human culture linked to rapid climate change

Posted: 21 May 2013 09:14 AM PDT

Rapid climate change during the Middle Stone Age, between 80,000 and 40,000 years ago, sparked surges in cultural innovation in early modern human populations, according to new research.

Small but speedy: Short plants live in the evolutionary fast lane

Posted: 21 May 2013 09:14 AM PDT

Biologists have known for a long time that some creatures evolve more quickly than others. Exactly why isn’t well understood, particularly for plants. But it may be that height plays a role. Shorter plants have faster-changing genomes.

Abundance and distribution of Hawaiian coral species predicted by model

Posted: 21 May 2013 07:57 AM PDT

Researchers have developed species distribution models of the six dominant Hawaiian coral species around the main Hawaiian Islands, including two species currently under consideration as threatened or endangered.