ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

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ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Think chimpanzee beds are dirtier than human ones? Think again
The mystery of lime-green lizard blood
Three gallons of radioactive tank waste vitrified last month
Cannabidiol significantly reduces seizures in patients with severe form of epilepsy
Climate change impacts fragile river ecosystems
Diverse and abundant megafauna documented at new Atlantic US Marine National Monument
Climate change in Quebec equals a much greater diversity of species???
Major shifts in global freshwater
Rising emissions of ozone-destroying chemical banned by Montreal Protocol
Europium points to new suspect in continental mystery
Scientists predict how 686 marine species' habitats may shift in response to warming seas
Natural regeneration or tree-planting? Study points to bias in forest restoration studies
Early evidence of use of a bit on domestic donkeys found in the Near East
Whole-tree logging may not hinder plant biodiversity
How the gut influences neurologic disease
Exploration of diverse bacteria signals big advance for gene function prediction
New nuclear RNA retention activity discovered
A simple software error corrected: Bittersweet chloroplast genome becomes the model
Beef peptides block bitter tastes
Climate change should help Midwest corn production through 2050
Less water, same Texas cotton
How 'navigational hazards' in metro maps confuse travelers
New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
Plug-and-play diagnostic devices
How large can a tsunami be in the Caribbean?
A shipwreck and an 800-year-old 'made in China' label reveal lost history
Global 2 degrees C rise doubles population exposed to multiple climate risks compared to 1.5 degrees C
World's Strongest bio-material outperforms steel and spider silk
Small birds almost overheat while feeding their young
Scientists' new way to identify microscopic worm attacking coffee crops
Forest loss in one part of US can harm trees on the opposite coast
Worm-eating mice reveal how evolution works on islands
Hippo waste causes fish kills in Africa's Mara River
Self-driving car has taken a leap towards automatic 24/7 driving
China's program 'riskiest environmental project in history,' researcher warns
New way to stimulate cellular recycling process
Biologists find mechanisms that control where transcription factors bind
A green approach to making ammonia could help feed the world
Superbug MRSA infections less costly, but still deadly
Traditional knowledge sheds light on changing East Greenland climate and polar bear hunt
Eyewitness accounts fill in details of 1946 Dominican Republic tsunami


Think chimpanzee beds are dirtier than human ones? Think again



Posted: 16 May 2018 02:23 PM PDT


Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) appear to keep tidier sleeping arrangements than humans do. That's one finding of a recent study that evaluated the microbes and arthropods found in the treetop beds that chimpanzees make each night.


The mystery of lime-green lizard blood



Posted: 16 May 2018 02:23 PM PDT


Green blood is one of the most unusual characteristics in the animal kingdom, but it's the hallmark of a group of lizards in New Guinea. The muscles, bones and tongues of these lizards appear bright, lime-green due to high levels of biliverdin, or a green bile pigment, which is toxic and causes jaundice. Surprisingly, these lizards remain healthy with levels of green bile that are 40 times higher than the lethal concentration in humans.


Three gallons of radioactive tank waste vitrified last month



Posted: 16 May 2018 02:23 PM PDT


Approximately three gallons of low-activity Hanford tank waste were vitrified at PNNL's Radiochemical Processing Laboratory in April. The laboratory-scale demonstration is an important step toward the eventual treatment of millions of gallons of hazardous waste generated during past plutonium production at Hanford.


Cannabidiol significantly reduces seizures in patients with severe form of epilepsy



Posted: 16 May 2018 02:22 PM PDT


Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound derived from the cannabis plant that does not produce a 'high,' was shown in a new large-scale, randomized, controlled trial to significantly reduce the number of dangerous seizures in patients with a severe form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. This study also is the first to offer information on cannabidiol dosing for patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy.


Climate change impacts fragile river ecosystems



Posted: 16 May 2018 02:22 PM PDT


Research undertaken in South Africa's Kruger National Park (KNP) has shown that some of the world's most sensitive and valuable riverine habitats are being destroyed due to an increasing frequency of cyclone-driven extreme floods.


Diverse and abundant megafauna documented at new Atlantic US Marine National Monument



Posted: 16 May 2018 02:22 PM PDT


Airborne marine biologists were dazzled by the diversity and abundance of large, unusual and sometimes endangered marine wildlife on a recent trip to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument, about 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod.


Climate change in Quebec equals a much greater diversity of species???



Posted: 16 May 2018 02:22 PM PDT


A team of researchers believe that, paradoxically, climate change may result in Quebec's national and provincial parks becoming biodiversity refuges of continental importance as the variety of species present there increases. They calculated potential changes in the presence of 529 species in about one third of the protected areas in southern Quebec. Their results suggest that fifty -- eighty years from now (between 2071-2100) close to half of the protected regions of southern Quebec may see a species turnover of greater than 80 %.


Major shifts in global freshwater



Posted: 16 May 2018 01:25 PM PDT


A new global, satellite-based study of Earth's freshwater found that Earth's wet areas are getting wetter, while dry areas are getting drier. The data suggest this pattern is due to many factors, including human water management practices, human-caused climate change and natural climate cycles.


Rising emissions of ozone-destroying chemical banned by Montreal Protocol



Posted: 16 May 2018 01:25 PM PDT


Emissions of one of the chemicals most responsible for the Antarctic ozone hole are on the rise, despite an international treaty that required an end to its production in 2010, a new study shows.


Europium points to new suspect in continental mystery



Posted: 16 May 2018 11:48 AM PDT


Clues from some unusual Arizona rocks pointed scientists toward a discovery -- a subtle chemical signature in rocks the world over -- that could answer a long-standing mystery: What stole the iron from Earth's continents?


Scientists predict how 686 marine species' habitats may shift in response to warming seas



Posted: 16 May 2018 11:48 AM PDT


New predictions reveal how global warming may shift the geographic distribution of 686 marine species that inhabit North America's Atlantic and Pacific continental shelves, according to a new study.


Natural regeneration or tree-planting? Study points to bias in forest restoration studies



Posted: 16 May 2018 11:47 AM PDT


At a time when countries are pledging to restore millions of hectares of forest, new research argues that recent studies on forest regeneration techniques are flawed. Sites used to evaluate natural regeneration were secondary growth forests, whereas sites chosen to evaluate artificial regeneration ranged from abandoned coal mines to cattle-trampled fields. Authors of the new study suggest elements of both techniques should be considered, depending on the objectives for a site and its current state.


Early evidence of use of a bit on domestic donkeys found in the Near East



Posted: 16 May 2018 11:46 AM PDT


Donkeys may have worn bits as early as the third millennium BCE, long before the introduction of horses in the ancient Near East, according to a study published May 16, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Haskel Greenfield from University of Manitoba, Canada, Aren Maeir from Bar-Ilan University, and colleagues.


Whole-tree logging may not hinder plant biodiversity



Posted: 16 May 2018 11:46 AM PDT


When it comes to timber harvesting, removing the whole tree -- from stump to twigs -- doesn't reduce plant diversity any more than old-fashioned logging, which leaves tree branches behind in the woods, new research finds.


How the gut influences neurologic disease



Posted: 16 May 2018 10:12 AM PDT


A study sheds new light on the connection between the gut and the brain, untangling the complex interplay that allows the byproducts of microorganisms living in the gut to influence the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.


Exploration of diverse bacteria signals big advance for gene function prediction



Posted: 16 May 2018 10:12 AM PDT


Scientists have developed a workflow that enables large-scale, genome-wide assays of gene importance across many conditions. The study, 'Mutant Phenotypes for Thousands of Bacterial Genes of Unknown Function,' has been published in the journal Nature and is by far the largest functional genomics study of bacteria ever published.


New nuclear RNA retention activity discovered



Posted: 16 May 2018 10:11 AM PDT


Gene expression involves mRNA transport from its place of synthesis to the cytoplasm where protein translation occurs. However, many non-coding RNA species do not follow this flow and new data now demonstrate how cells prevent the unwanted export of RNA and instead ensure nuclear degradation.


A simple software error corrected: Bittersweet chloroplast genome becomes the model



Posted: 16 May 2018 09:37 AM PDT


Information about the organization and evolution of plastomes is crucial to improve crop plants and to resolve the phylogeny of photosynthetic organisms. In a recent study researchers have sequenced the plastid genome of a weed called bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara).


Beef peptides block bitter tastes



Posted: 16 May 2018 09:37 AM PDT


From burgers to steaks, beef has a long history of being a delicious part of dinner. But what if that pleasant experience of eating beef could extend beyond the dinner plate? Now, one group reports that beef protein, when broken down into peptides, can block bitter taste receptors on the tongue. Such peptides could someday be used to make other foods and even medicines taste better.


Climate change should help Midwest corn production through 2050



Posted: 16 May 2018 09:36 AM PDT


Contrary to previous analyses, research shows that projected changes in temperature and humidity will not lead to greater water use in corn. This means that while changes in temperatures and humidity trend as they have in the past 50 years, crop yields can not only survive -- but thrive.


Less water, same Texas cotton



Posted: 16 May 2018 09:36 AM PDT


In Texas, the Southern High Plains uses water from an aquifer to water cotton fields. However, the aquifer is running low. Scientists from the area are working to find the best irrigation method for cotton that uses the least water.


How 'navigational hazards' in metro maps confuse travelers



Posted: 16 May 2018 09:36 AM PDT


Some features in metro maps cause passengers to make substantial mistakes in journey planning, but it may be possible to detect and rectify these with automated software, new research has indicated.


New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery



Posted: 16 May 2018 09:35 AM PDT


Do you know someone who's so caught up in the details of a problem that they 'can't see the forest for the trees?' Scientists seeking to understand how forests recover from wildfires sometimes have the opposite problem.


Plug-and-play diagnostic devices



Posted: 16 May 2018 07:23 AM PDT


Researchers have developed modular blocks that can be put together in different ways to produce diagnostic devices. These 'plug-and-play' devices can test blood glucose levels in diabetic patients or detect viral infection, among other functions.


How large can a tsunami be in the Caribbean?



Posted: 16 May 2018 07:23 AM PDT


The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami has researchers reevaluating whether a magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake and resulting tsunami might also be a likely risk for the Caribbean region, seismologists report.


A shipwreck and an 800-year-old 'made in China' label reveal lost history



Posted: 16 May 2018 07:14 AM PDT


Nearly a thousand years ago, a ship sank in the Java Sea near Indonesia. Cargo recovered from the ocean floor -- including the equivalent to a 'Made in China' label on a piece of pottery -- is helping archaeologists reevaluate when the ship went down and how it fits in with China's history.


Global 2 degrees C rise doubles population exposed to multiple climate risks compared to 1.5 degrees C



Posted: 16 May 2018 07:14 AM PDT


New research identifying climate vulnerability hotspots has found that the number of people affected by multiple climate change risks could double if the global temperature rises by 2 degrees C, compared to a rise of 1.5 degrees C.


World's Strongest bio-material outperforms steel and spider silk



Posted: 16 May 2018 07:14 AM PDT


At DESY's X-ray light source PETRA III, researchers have produced the strongest bio-material that has ever been made. The artificial, but biodegradable cellulose fibers are stronger than steel and even than dragline spider silk, which is usually considered the strongest bio-based material.


Small birds almost overheat while feeding their young



Posted: 16 May 2018 07:14 AM PDT


For decades, researchers have thought that access to food determined the brood size of birds. Now, biologists have discovered a completely new explanation: the body temperature of small birds can increase by more than 4°C to exceed 45°C when they are feeding their young. Larger broods would require more work, resulting in even higher body temperatures -- something the birds would probably not survive.


Scientists' new way to identify microscopic worm attacking coffee crops



Posted: 16 May 2018 07:14 AM PDT


The plants which produce one of the most popular drinks in the world, coffee, are targeted by a microscopic worm, but scientists are fighting back. An underestimated problem in coffee farming, the parasite has been found in soil samples across the coffee growing world thanks to a new and quick detection method.


Forest loss in one part of US can harm trees on the opposite coast



Posted: 16 May 2018 05:57 AM PDT


If a whole forest disappears, new research shows, this has ricocheting effects in the atmosphere that affect vegetation on the other side of the country.


Worm-eating mice reveal how evolution works on islands



Posted: 16 May 2018 05:56 AM PDT


When animals are isolated on islands, they can evolve into strange new species found nowhere else on Earth. But what's the cut-off -- how small can an island be and still support the evolution of multiple new species from a single common ancestor? A family of worm-eating mice from a tiny island in the Philippines have set a new lower limit for island size and evolution.


Hippo waste causes fish kills in Africa's Mara River



Posted: 16 May 2018 05:56 AM PDT


Ecologists have long known that agricultural and sewage pollution can cause low oxygen conditions and fish kills in rivers. A new study reports that hippo waste can have a similar effect in Africa's Mara River, which passes through the world renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve of Kenya, home to more than 4,000 hippos.


Self-driving car has taken a leap towards automatic 24/7 driving



Posted: 15 May 2018 03:09 PM PDT


VTT's robot car, Marilyn, sees better than humans in foggy, and even snowy, conditions, and can now navigate without stopping -- including in bad weather. It can also see a human through fog and avoid accident automatically.


China's program 'riskiest environmental project in history,' researcher warns



Posted: 15 May 2018 03:09 PM PDT


A global expert on infrastructure says that China's plan to crisscross half of the Earth with massive transportation and energy projects is environmentally the riskiest venture ever undertaken.


New way to stimulate cellular recycling process



Posted: 15 May 2018 01:28 PM PDT


In research that could lead to future therapies for age-related diseases, researchers have found a new way to stimulate the process by which cells recycle their spare parts.


Biologists find mechanisms that control where transcription factors bind



Posted: 15 May 2018 11:25 AM PDT


A team of biologists has determined how transcription factors, which guide gene regulation, function differently in embryonic development. The results help illuminate how cells acquire distinct functions as the embryo matures.


A green approach to making ammonia could help feed the world



Posted: 15 May 2018 10:15 AM PDT


Researchers have developed a new 'green' approach to making ammonia that may help make feeding the rising world population more sustainable.


Superbug MRSA infections less costly, but still deadly



Posted: 15 May 2018 10:15 AM PDT


Drug-resistant staph infections continue to be deadlier than those that are not resistant and treatable with traditional antibiotics, but treatment costs surprisingly are the same or slightly less, a new national analysis shows.


Traditional knowledge sheds light on changing East Greenland climate and polar bear hunt



Posted: 15 May 2018 10:15 AM PDT


Inuit polar bear hunters in East Greenland report changes to their subsistence hunting patterns as well as polar bear distribution and behavior due to decreasing sea ice and the introduction of hunting quotas in 2006. The study is the first in nearly 20 years to document traditional knowledge in East Greenland -- providing a valuable baseline for monitoring future changes and the polar bear population.


Eyewitness accounts fill in details of 1946 Dominican Republic tsunami



Posted: 15 May 2018 07:56 AM PDT


Almost 70 years later, the man remembers the August day in Playa Rincon, when he clung to the top of an almond tree to survive a tsunami where the waters rushed about 700 meters inland after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake. His recollections and other astonishing eyewitness accounts of the tsunami that struck the Dominican Republic in 1946 are being used to reconstruct the tsunami's heights and inundation distances.
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