>ScienceDaily Environment Headlines — for Monday, March 14, 2011

>

ScienceDaily Environment Headlines

for Monday, March 14, 2011

Welcome to another edition of ScienceDaily’s email newsletter. You can change your subscription options or unsubscribe at any time.


Non-native snakes are taking a toll on native birds in Florida, scientists find (March 13, 2011) — The Everglades National Park in Florida is home to hundreds of species of native wildlife. It has also become the well-established home of the non-native Burmese python — known to be a predator of native species. Now scientists, for the first time, have conducted a detailed analysis of the avian component of the python’s diet and the negative impact the snakes may have on Florida’s native birds, including some endangered species. … > full story

NASA images tsunami’s effects on northeastern Japan (March 13, 2011) — The extent of inundation from the destructive and deadly tsunami triggered by the March 11, 2011, magnitude 8.9 earthquake centered off Japan’s northeastern coast about 130 kilometers (82 miles) east of the city of Sendai is revealed in this before-and-after image pair from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft. … > full story

Chilly times for Chinese dinosaurs: Abundance of feathered dinosaurs during temperate climate with harsh winters (March 13, 2011) — Dinosaurs did not always enjoy mild climates. New findings show that during part of the Early Cretaceous, north-east China had a temperate climate with harsh winters. They explain the abundance of feathered dinosaurs in fossil deposits of that period. … > full story

Scientists reveal role of light sensor in temperature sensation (March 13, 2011) — A light-sensing receptor that’s packed inside the eye’s photoreceptor cells has an altogether surprising role in cells elsewhere in the body, scientists have discovered. Using fruit flies, they showed that this protein, called rhodopsin, also is critical for sensing temperature. … > full story

Mouse nose nerve cells mature after birth, allowing bonding, recognition with mother (March 13, 2011) — For rodent pups, bonding with mom isn’t hard-wired in the womb. It develops over the first few weeks of life, which is achieved by their maturing sense of smell, possibly allowing these mammals a survival advantage by learning to identify mother, siblings, and home. Blending electrophysiological, biochemical and behavioral experiments, researchers demonstrated that neurons in the noses of mice mature after birth. … > full story

Atlantis found? Film highlights professor’s efforts to locate fabled lost city (March 13, 2011) — Could the fabled lost city of Atlantis have been located? Using satellite photography, ground-penetrating radar and underwater technology, a team of experts has been surveying marshlands in Spain to look for proof of the ancient city. If the team can match geological formations to Plato’s descriptions and date artifacts back to the time of Atlantis, we may be closer to solving one of the world’s greatest mysteries. … > full story

Halibut stock decline forces increased management measures for southeast Alaska charter fleet (March 13, 2011) — NOAA’s Fisheries Service has announced it is implementing the regulatory recommendations of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) due to concerns over declining halibut stocks. These regulations include limiting the maximum size of a halibut caught by charter anglers in southeastern Alaska to 37 inches, and retaining the one-fish-per-person-per-day rule that began in 2009. The halibut stock is declining due to reduced numbers of fish reaching a catchable size range, lower growth rates, and higher than target harvest rates. The stock remains at risk of further declines. Conservation of the halibut resource is the primary concern and management objective of the measures. … > full story

Low cost solar cells: New European record in efficiency (March 12, 2011) — Scientists have developed an improved preparation process for kesterite solar cells, which resulted in a new European record efficiency of 6.1 percent. … > full story

Engineer studies damage caused by New Zealand earthquake (March 12, 2011) — Researchers are just back from studying the damage caused by the Feb. 22 earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand, and killed more than 160 people. In Christchurch, researchers said unreinforced brick masonry buildings built in the 1930s and ’40s suffered significant damage. … > full story

Nanoscale whiskers from sea creatures could grow human muscle tissue (March 12, 2011) — Minute whiskers of nanoscale dimensions taken from sea creatures could hold the key to creating working human muscle tissue, researchers say. … > full story

Perfect buns: Imaging system controls baking process on production line to improve sandwich bun quality (March 12, 2011) — Food companies requiring tight control over baking conditions should benefit from a new imaging system that automatically inspects sandwich buns on the production line and adjusts oven temperatures to provide product of consistent quality. A prototype has been in use in a baking facility for a year. … > full story

Radiation expert discusses Japan nuclear power plant concerns (March 11, 2011) — Following Friday’s massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that caused tsunamis and rocked the island nation of Japan, Japanese government officials announced a nuclear emergency after the quake caused a reactor cooling system malfunction at Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. … > full story

West Coast tsunami warnings shouldn’t lull Oregonians to sleep, expert says (March 11, 2011) — The massive earthquake that rocked Japan on March 11 and generated a tsunami that inundated coastal cities at that island nation triggered alerts around the world. The Oregon coast was no exception. … > full story

NASA study goes to Earth’s core for climate insights (March 11, 2011) — The latest evidence of the dominant role humans play in changing Earth’s climate comes not from observations of Earth’s ocean, atmosphere or land surface, but from deep within its molten core. … > full story

Near-real-time map of Japan quake aftershocks (March 11, 2011) — Researchers have created a near-real-time map of the aftershocks occurring globally following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked Japan Friday. … > full story

Pacific Northwest faces nearly identical risks to Japanese quake (March 11, 2011) — It’s being called one of the largest recorded earthquakes in world history. Japan today is struggling with the aftermath of a massive 8.9 earthquake on a subduction zone, a short distance offshore, which unleashed a devastating tsunami that killed hundreds and has turned large parts of cities into rubble. The disaster is also a “wake up call” for the Pacific Northwest, a noted geologist says. … > full story

Geologists in the UK trace readings from Japan earthquake (March 11, 2011) — Geologists in the UK have recorded the impact of today’s major earthquake, off the coast of Japan, using sophisticated equipment. The magnitude 8.9 quake east of Honshu on March 11, 2011 was recorded on a SEIS-UK seismometer. It shows three traces that measure movement of Earth’s surface in the vertical, north-south and east-west direction. SEIS-UK is part of the Natural Environment Research Council’s Geophysical Equipment Facility. … > full story

Pinpointing air pollution’s effects on the heart (March 11, 2011) — Scientists are untangling how the tiniest pollution particles — which we take in with every breath we breathe — affect our health, making people more vulnerable to cardiovascular and respiratory problems. While scientists know that air pollution can aggravate heart problems, showing exactly how it does so has been challenging. Scientists have now shown that in people with diabetes, breathing ultrafine particles can activate platelets, cells in the blood that normally reduce bleeding from a wound, but can contribute to cardiovascular disease. … > full story

Snails’ complex muscle movements, rather than mucus, key to locomotion (March 11, 2011) — New evidence suggests that the key to locomotion in snails stems from the animal’s complex muscle movements, and not from its mucus, as had been previously thought. This finding could open the door to the construction of robots which could imitate this form of propulsion. … > full story

Oldest known wild bird in US returns to Midway to raise chick (March 11, 2011) — The oldest known US wild bird — a coyly conservative 60 — is a new mother. The bird, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, was spotted a few weeks ago with a chick by a US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist with the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. … > full story

Anthropologists link human uniqueness to hunter-gatherer group structure (March 11, 2011) — New findings by an international team of anthropologists suggest that human ancestral social structure may be the root of cumulative culture and cooperation and, ultimately, human uniqueness. … > full story

Roundworm could provide new treatment for sepsis (March 11, 2011) — Medical researchers have found that systemic inflammation caused by sepsis can be suppressed by a protein which occurs naturally in a type of roundworm. … > full story

Weed-eating fish ‘key to reef survival’ (March 11, 2011) — Preserving an intact population of weed-eating fish may be vital to saving the world’s coral reefs from being engulfed by weed as human and climate impacts grow. A study by researchers in Australia has found weed-eaters like parrotfish and surgeonfish can only keep coral reefs clear of weed up to a point. After the weeds reach a certain density, they take over and the coral is lost. … > full story

New robot system to test 10,000 chemicals for toxicity (March 11, 2011) — Several federal agencies have unveiled a new high-speed robot screening system that will test 10,000 different chemicals for potential toxicity. The system marks the beginning of a new phase of an ongoing collaboration, referred to as Tox21, that is working to protect people’s health by improving how chemicals are tested in this country. … > full story

Scientists develop high-tech crop map (March 11, 2011) — AgroAtlas is a new interactive website that shows the geographic distributions of 100 crops; 640 species of crop diseases, pests, and weeds; and 560 wild crop relatives growing in Russia and neighboring countries. Downloadable maps and geographic information system software are also available, allowing layering of data, such as that relating major wheat production areas to concentrations of Russian wheat aphids. … > full story

Pollution forms an invisible barrier for marine life (March 10, 2011) — Researchers in Hawaii have examined the genetic structure of a common, non-harvested sea star using a spatially explicit model to test whether the largest sewage discharge and urban runoff sources were affecting the genetic structure of this species. They found that these large pollution sources are not only increasing genetic differentiation between populations (presumably by limiting the dispersal of larvae between them) but also decreasing the genetic diversity of populations closest to them. … > full story

Aerosol plumes downwind of Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Insights from air pollution study have applications beyond Gulf (March 10, 2011) — During a special airborne mission to study the air-quality impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill last June, researchers discovered an important new mechanism by which air pollution particles form. Although predicted four years ago, this discovery now confirms the importance of this pollution mechanism and could change the way urban air quality is understood and predicted. … > full story

Aging rates, gender gap in mortality similar across all primates (March 10, 2011) — Humans aren’t the only ones who grow old gracefully, says a new study of primate aging patterns. For a long time it was thought that humans, with our relatively long life spans and access to modern medicine, aged more slowly than other animals. Early comparisons with rats, mice, and other short-lived creatures confirmed the hunch. But now, the first-ever multi-species comparison of human aging patterns with those in chimps, gorillas, and other primates suggests the pace of human aging may not be so unique after all. … > full story

Banana peels get a second life as water purifier (March 10, 2011) — To the surprisingly inventive uses for banana peels — which include polishing silverware, leather shoes, and the leaves of house plants — scientists have added purification of drinking water contaminated with potentially toxic metals. Minced banana peel performs better than an array of other purification materials, according to a new study. … > full story

‘Love song’ of the fly shows how nervous system initiates, controls and utilized behavior (March 10, 2011) — Neurobiologists used the mating ritual of the fruit fly to study how the nervous system initiates, controls and utilizes behavior. Using newly developed thermogenetic methods, the researchers were able to initiate the courtship song of the male fly by “remote control”, and study the involved neural networks. … > full story

American birds of prey at higher risk of poisoning from pest control chemicals (March 10, 2011) — A new study using American kestrels, a surrogate test species for raptorial birds, suggests that they are at greater risk from poisoning from the rodenticide diphacinone than previous believed. The research considers the threat posed by diphacinone as its usage increases following restrictions on the use of similar pesticides. … > full story

Migrating moths and songbirds travel at similar rates (March 10, 2011) — Researchers report the surprising finding that night-flying moths are able to match their songbird counterparts for travel speed and direction during their annual migrations, but they use quite different strategies to do so. … > full story

Drug use increasingly associated with microbial infections (March 10, 2011) — Illicit drug users are at increased risk of being exposed to microbial pathogens and are more susceptible to serious infections, say physicians in a new report. The review, which aims to improve the microbiological diagnosis of drug use-related infections, assesses the role of drug-related practices in the spread of a range of bacterial, viral, fungal and protozoal infections. … > full story

Surprisingly few white sharks off California, first census finds (March 10, 2011) — In the first census of its kind, researchers found that there are far fewer white sharks off central California than biologists had thought. … > full story

Cell component involved in triggering cat allergy identified (March 10, 2011) — New research could provide hope for any allergy sufferers who have ever had to choose between their health and their household pet. … > full story

How plants sort and eliminate genes over millennia (March 10, 2011) — Hybrid plants with multiple genome copies show evidence of preferential treatment of the genes from one ancient parent over the genes of the other parent, even to the point where some of the unfavored genes eventually are deleted. … > full story

Foundations of empathy in chickens? Avian maternal response to chick distress studied (March 10, 2011) — Researchers in the UK have gained new insight into the minds of domestic hens, discovering, for the first time, that domestic hens show a clear physiological and behavioral response when their chicks are mildly distressed. … > full story

New mouse models generated for MYH9 genetic disorders (March 10, 2011) — Researchers have created the first mouse models of human MYH9 genetic disorders, which cause several problems — including enlarged platelets and sometimes fatal kidney disease. … > full story

Model organisms? Broadening the biological lexicon to bolster translational research (March 10, 2011) — So-called model organisms have long been at the core of biomedical research, allowing scientists to study the ins and outs of human disorders in non-human subjects. In the ideal, such models accurately recapitulate a human disorder so that, for example, the Parkinson’s disease observed in a rat model would be virtually indistinguishable from that in a human patient. The reality, of course, is that rats aren’t human, and few models actually faithfully reflect the phenotype of the disease in question. Thus, in the strictest sense of the word, many “models” aren’t truly models at all. To developmental biologist, this is no small matter. … > full story

Intelligent microscopy: Software runs experiments on its own (March 10, 2011) — Scientists in Germany have created new software that rapidly learns what researchers are looking for and automatically performs complex microscopy experiments. … > full story

‘Singing’ mice: The ongoing debate of nature vs. Nurture (March 9, 2011) — What happened to being “quiet as a mouse”? Researchers have recently shown that, rather than being the silent creatures of popular belief, mice emit ultrasonic calls in a variety of social contexts, and these calls have song-like characteristics. So if mice sing, where do they get their music? … > full story

New biomarker for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease identified (March 9, 2011) — Researchers have identified the first disease-specific biomarker for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), a universally fatal, degenerative brain disease for which there is no cure. sCJD is one of the causes of dementia and typically leads to death within a year of disease onset. … > full story

Synthetic biology: Novel kind of fluorescent protein developed (March 9, 2011) — Since the 1990s a green fluorescent protein known as GFP has been used in research labs worldwide. Protein designers have now taken it a step further: They have managed to incorporate a synthetic amino acid into the natural GFP and thus to create a new kind of chimeric fluorescent bio-molecule by means of synthetic biology. By exploiting a special physical effect, the fluorescent protein glows in turquoise and displays unmatched properties. … > full story

Deforestation’s impact on Mount Kilimanjaro calculated (March 9, 2011) — The impact that local deforestation might have on the snowcap and glaciers atop Mount Kilimanjaro are being calculated using regional climate models and data from NASA satellites. … > full story

New type of secretory cell in the intestine (March 9, 2011) — The intestinal epithelium consists of four main specialized cell lineages: absorptive enterocytes and three secretory cell types known as enteroendocrine, Paneth, and goblet cells. But a rare, fifth type of intestinal cell called tuft cells also exists. Defined by the thick brush of long microvilli that project from their apical surface, tuft cells are seen in several epithelial tissues, yet little is known about their function due to a lack of tuft cell-specific markers. … > full story

Missing DNA helps make us human (March 9, 2011) — Specific traits that distinguish humans from their closest living relatives — chimpanzees, with whom we share 96 percent of our DNA — can be attributed to the loss of chunks of DNA that control when and where certain genes are turned on. … > full story

Newly identified spider toxin may help uncover novel ways of treating pain and human diseases (March 9, 2011) — Spider venom toxins are useful tools for exploring how ion channels operate in the body. These channels control the flow of ions across cell membranes, and are key components in a wide variety of biological processes and human diseases. … > full story

Fossil bird study describes ripple effect of extinction in animal kingdom (March 9, 2011) — A new study demonstrates extinction’s ripple effect through the animal kingdom, including how the demise of large mammals 20,000 years ago led to the disappearance of one species of cowbird. … > full story


Copyright 1995-2010 © ScienceDaily LLC. All rights reserved. Terms of use.

This message was sent to hawkjohn7.hawkjohn7@blogger.com from:

ScienceDaily | 1 Research Court, Suite 450 | Rockville, MD 20850

Email Marketing by iContact - Try It Free!

Update Profile  |  Forward To a Friend

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: