ScienceDaily: Top Environment News : New study sheds light on link between dairy intake and bone health: Not all dairy products are equal

Jay Owen Earth Systems Science

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

New study sheds light on link between dairy intake and bone health: Not all dairy products are equal

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 10:23 AM PST

A new study has found that dairy intake — specifically milk and yogurt — is associated with higher bone mineral density in the hip, but not the spine.

Some plants are altruistic, too, new study suggests

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 10:23 AM PST

We’ve all heard examples of animal altruism: Dogs caring for orphaned kittens, chimps sharing food or dolphins nudging injured mates to the surface. Now, a new study suggests some plants are altruistic, too.

New protocol recommendations for measuring soil organic carbon sequestration

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 08:41 AM PST

Increased levels of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, have been associated with the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, cultivation of grasslands, drainage of the land, and land use changes. Concerns about long-term shifts in climate patterns have led scientists to measure soil organic carbon (SOC) in agricultural landscapes and to develop methods to evaluate how changes in tillage practices affect atmospheric carbon sequestration.

Coral-killing starfish decimate entire coral reefs, reason for spread unclear

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 08:41 AM PST

Acanthaster planci is the principle natural enemy of reef-building corals. Outbreaks of this coral-feeding starfish occur periodically, due to reasons that remain unclear. It decimates entire reefs in the space of just a few years, as has been the case in French Polynesia since 2004.

When mangroves no longer protect the coastline

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 08:41 AM PST

The mangrove forests in the Guyanas (French Guiana, Surinam and Guyana), which spread across the Orinoco and Amazon deltas, are among the most extensive in the world. This particular ecosystem, between earth and the sea, plays a major role in protecting the particularly unstable muddy coastline against erosion. However, most of the Guyana mangroves have been destroyed to develop the coastal plain. The retreating mangrove wall will result in large-scale coastal erosion, threatening populations and their economic activities, as demonstrated in a new study.

Programming cells: Importance of the envelope

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 08:41 AM PST

In a project that began with the retinal cells of nocturnal animals and has led to fundamental insights into the organization of genomic DNA, researchers show how the nuclear envelope affects nuclear architecture – and gene regulation.

Scientists use Amazon Cloud to view molecular machinery in remarkable detail

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 07:02 AM PST

Researchers have shared a how-to secret for biologists: New code for Amazon Cloud that significantly reduces the time necessary to process data-intensive microscopic images.

Increases in extreme rainfall linked to global warming

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 07:00 AM PST

A worldwide review of global rainfall data has found that the intensity of the most extreme rainfall events is increasing across the globe as temperatures rise.

Amazon freshwater ecosystems are vulnerable to degradation

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 07:00 AM PST

Broadening of forest-centric focus to river catchment-based conservation framework is required: A new study found that freshwater ecosystems in the Amazon are highly vulnerable to environmental degradation. River, lake and wetland ecosystems —- encompassing approximately one-fifth of the Amazon basin area — are being increasingly degraded by deforestation, pollution, construction of dams and waterways, and over-harvesting of plant and animal species.

Cooperators can coexist with cheaters, as long as there is room to grow

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 06:59 AM PST

When a population is a mixture of exploiters and exploited, the natural outcome is perpetual war. A new model reveals that even with never-ending battles, these two groups can survive, but only if they have room to expand and grow.

Imaging unveils temperature distribution inside living cells

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 06:59 AM PST

A new breakthrough marks the first time anyone has been able to show the actual temperature distribution inside living cells.

Planting trees may not reverse climate change, but it will help locally

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 06:06 AM PST

Afforestation, planting trees in an area where there have previously been no trees, can reduce the effect of climate change by cooling temperate regions, a new study finds.

Discovery in synthetic biology takes us a step closer to new ‘industrial revolution’

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 06:06 AM PST

Scientists report that they have developed a method that cuts down the time it takes to make new ‘parts’ for microscopic biological factories from 2 days to only 6 hours. The scientists say their research brings them another step closer to a new kind of industrial revolution, where parts for these biological factories could be mass-produced. These factories have a wealth of applications including better drug delivery treatments for patients, enhancements in the way that minerals are mined from deep underground and advances in the production of biofuels.

Invasion of feral cats could see the end of a seabird endemic to the Mediterranean

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 06:06 AM PST

The population of Yelkouan Shearwater of the French island of Le Levant is seriously under threat due to the invasion of feral cats, according to a French and Spanish joint study. The archipelago is home to the main colonies of this species. Feral cats are considered one of the most dangerous invading species for animals native to Mediterranean Islands.

How do corals survive in the hottest reefs on the planet?

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 06:04 AM PST

Coral reefs are predicted to decline under the pressure of global warming. However, a number of coral species can survive at seawater temperatures even higher than predicted for the tropics during the next century. How they survive, while most species cannot, is being investigated.

The effective collective: Grouping could ensure animals find their way in a changing environment

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 11:44 AM PST

Researchers report that collective intelligence is vital to certain animals’ ability to evaluate and respond to their environment. The results should prompt a close examination of how endangered group or herd animals are preserved and managed because wild animals that depend on collective intelligence for migration, breeding and locating essential resources could be imperiled by any activity that diminishes or divides the group, such as overhunting and habitat loss.

Virus study may signal trouble for animal populations facing climate change

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 11:41 AM PST

A new study suggests that some organisms, such as manatees, polar bears or cheetahs, may be in for a rough time as they try to adapt to climate change.

Corn cobs eyed for bioenergy production

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 09:10 AM PST

Corn crop residues are often left on harvested fields to protect soil quality, but they could become an important raw material in cellulosic ethanol production. USDA research indicates that soil quality would not decline if post-harvest corn cob residues were removed from fields.

The big picture: Getting a better look at Sandy’s wake of destruction

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 09:06 AM PST

In New Jersey, along Hurricane Sandy’s path of destruction, engineers are using infrared and ultraviolet imaging technology and acoustic emission testing combined with low-altitude aircraft photography to generate detailed maps for recovery workers to triage their efforts.

New park protects 15,000 gorillas

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 09:06 AM PST

The Republic of Congo has declared a new national park that protects a core population of the 125,000 western lowland gorillas discovered by WCS in 2008.