ScienceDaily: Top Environment News: What evolved first, a dexterous hand or an agile foot?

Jay Owen Nature/Biomimicry

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

What evolved first, a dexterous hand or an agile foot?

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 05:41 PM PDT

Resolving a long-standing mystery in human evolution, new research indicates that early hominids developed finger dexterity and tool use ability before the development of bipedal locomotion.

Salt-tolerant bacteria improve crop yields

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 11:27 AM PDT

Microbiologists hope to apply a new agricultural technique soon to boost the yield of economically important crops such as wheat, cotton, tomato and cucumber.

Giant channels discovered beneath Antarctic ice shelf: 250 meter high channels will help predict future of Antarctic ice

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 11:24 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered huge ice channels beneath a floating ice shelf in Antarctica. At 250 meters high, the channels are almost as tall as the Eiffel tower and stretch hundreds of kilometers along the ice shelf. The channels are likely to influence the stability of the ice shelf and their discovery will help researchers understand how the ice will respond to changing environmental conditions.

Health of honey bees adversely impacted by selenium

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 10:22 AM PDT

Traditionally, honey bee research has focused on environmental stressors such as pesticides, pathogens and diseases. Now a research team led by entomologists has published a study that focuses on an anthropogenic pollutant: selenium. The researchers found that the four main forms of Se in plants — selenate, selenite, methylselenocysteine and selenocystine — caused mortality and delays in development in the honey bee.

Invasive mussel not harmed by toxins, invades freshwaters of Europe, North America

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 08:11 AM PDT

While most freshwater mussels react stressfully and weaken when exposed to the toxins in blue-green algae in their water environment, the little zebra mussel is rather indifferent. It is not affected by the toxins, and this helps it outmatch stressed and weakened mussels, report researchers. This is bad for the biodiversity, and in some countries the superior zebra mussels imposes great costs to the industry.

New role for cell dark matter in genome integrity

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 07:57 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered how telomerase, a molecule essential for cancer development, is directed to structures on our genome called telomeres in order to maintain its integrity and in turn, the integrity of the genome.