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ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Sniffing out error in detection dog data
Viruses under the microscope
The walking dead: Fossils on the move can distort patterns of mass extinctions
Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging
Gut microbes' role in mammals' evolution starts to become clearer
We have more than enough calories, but what about other nutrients?
Probiotic use may reduce antibiotic prescriptions
Geologists reveal ancient connection between England and France
Trees reveal the evolution of environmental pollution
Leptospirosis strains identified in Uruguay cattle
Most fire in Florida goes undetected
Conservation dairy farming could help Pa. meet Chesapeake target
Mixed chemicals in beauty products may harm women's hormones
BPA replacements in plastics cause reproductive problems in lab mice
Open insulin, 'DIY bio' and the future of pharma
New means to fight 'un-killable' bacteria in healthcare settings
Appetite for shark fin soup serious risk to threatened sharks
Heat-related deaths likely to increase significantly as global temperatures rise, warn researchers
Rural and urban communities need different policies to boost economic mobility
The world needs death and decomposition
Air purifiers may benefit fetal growth
Halting biodiversity loss: Political actions are required, not additional scientific knowledge
Carrier status matters in foot-and-mouth disease
New plant species discovered in museum is probably extinct
Fluorescence-activating beta-barrel protein made from scratch for first time
Gut bacteria's shocking secret: They produce electricity
Fire weather prediction improving
Researchers explain how viral protein promotes deadly infection by Nipah and Hendra viruses


Sniffing out error in detection dog data



Posted: 14 Sep 2018 07:04 AM PDT


New research finds three alternative answers beyond errors in handler or dog training that can explain why dogs trained to identify scat for conservation purposes sometimes collect non-target scats.


Viruses under the microscope



Posted: 14 Sep 2018 07:04 AM PDT


Human herpesviruses such as HHV-6 can remain dormant in cells for many years without being noticed. When reactivated, they can cause serious clinical conditions. Researchers have now found a way of differentiating between active and inactive viruses.


The walking dead: Fossils on the move can distort patterns of mass extinctions



Posted: 14 Sep 2018 07:03 AM PDT


Using the fossil record to accurately estimate the timing and pace of past mass extinctions is no easy task, and a new study highlights how fossil evidence can produce a misleading picture if not interpreted with care.


Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging



Posted: 14 Sep 2018 05:48 AM PDT


As mammals age, immune cells in the brain known as microglia become chronically inflamed. In this state, they produce chemicals known to impair cognitive and motor function. That's one explanation for why memory fades and other brain functions decline during old age. But, according to a new study, there may be a remedy to delay the inevitable: dietary fiber.


Gut microbes' role in mammals' evolution starts to become clearer



Posted: 14 Sep 2018 05:48 AM PDT


Scientists have made a key advance toward understanding which of the trillions of gut microbes may play important roles in how humans and other mammals evolve.


We have more than enough calories, but what about other nutrients?



Posted: 14 Sep 2018 05:48 AM PDT


A new study is the first to quantitatively map the flow of energy, protein, fat, essential amino acids and micronutrients from 'field-to-fork' at a global level and identify hotspots where nutrients are lost. The study shows that while we produce far more nutrients than is required for the global population, inefficiencies in the supply chain leave many people nutrient deficient.


Probiotic use may reduce antibiotic prescriptions



Posted: 14 Sep 2018 05:48 AM PDT


The use of probiotics is linked to reduced need for antibiotic treatment in infants and children, according to a review of studies that probed the benefits of probiotics, co-led by a Georgetown investigator.


Geologists reveal ancient connection between England and France



Posted: 14 Sep 2018 05:48 AM PDT


The British mainland was formed from the collision of not two, but three ancient continental land masses, according to new research.


Trees reveal the evolution of environmental pollution



Posted: 13 Sep 2018 11:20 AM PDT


Chemical analysis of tipuana tree rings and bark by Brazilian researchers shows falling levels of heavy metal pollution in the air of São Paulo City, Southern Hemisphere's largest metropolis.


Leptospirosis strains identified in Uruguay cattle



Posted: 13 Sep 2018 11:20 AM PDT


Leptospirosis infections, caused by Leptospira bacteria, occur in people and animals around the world, but different strains of the bacteria may vary in their ability to cause disease and to jump between species. Now, researchers have for the first time described the characteristics of the Leptospira variants that infect cattle in Uruguay.


Most fire in Florida goes undetected



Posted: 13 Sep 2018 10:45 AM PDT


A new study indicates that common satellite imaging technologies have vastly underestimated the number of fires in Florida, detecting only 25 percent of burned area.


Conservation dairy farming could help Pa. meet Chesapeake target



Posted: 13 Sep 2018 10:45 AM PDT


If the majority of dairy farms in Pennsylvania fully adopt conservation best-management practices, the state may be able to achieve its total maximum daily load water-quality target for the Chesapeake Bay, according to researchers.


Mixed chemicals in beauty products may harm women's hormones



Posted: 13 Sep 2018 10:45 AM PDT


Researchers have discovered links between chemicals that are widely used in cosmetic and personal care products and changes in reproductive hormones.


BPA replacements in plastics cause reproductive problems in lab mice



Posted: 13 Sep 2018 08:39 AM PDT


Twenty years ago, researchers made the accidental discovery that BPA had leached out of plastic cages used to house female mice in the lab, causing an increase in chromosomally abnormal eggs. Now, the same team is back to report that the array of alternative bisphenols now used to replace BPA in BPA-free bottles, cups, cages, and other items appear to come with similar problems for their mice.


Open insulin, 'DIY bio' and the future of pharma



Posted: 13 Sep 2018 08:39 AM PDT


A growing community of do-it-yourself 'biohackers' are disrupting business-as-usual for pharmaceutical discovery, development and distribution. A new article looks at how the pharmaceutical industry, and the U.S. regulatory environment, will need to change in response.


New means to fight 'un-killable' bacteria in healthcare settings



Posted: 13 Sep 2018 08:38 AM PDT


Scientists have identified new means of fighting drug-tolerant bacteria, a growing global threat as menacing as drug-resistant microbes. Little is known about the mechanisms leading to tolerance, a strategy that makes bacteria 'indifferent' to antibiotics and almost 'un-killable,' which results in chronic infections extremely difficult to treat and cure.


Appetite for shark fin soup serious risk to threatened sharks



Posted: 13 Sep 2018 08:38 AM PDT


Fishing pressure on threatened shark populations has increased dramatically in recent years and it is urgent that consumers reject shark fin products altogether, new study asserts.


Heat-related deaths likely to increase significantly as global temperatures rise, warn researchers



Posted: 13 Sep 2018 05:21 AM PDT


In a new article, experts argue that the world needs to keep global temperatures in check by meeting the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, or more people could die because of extreme temperatures.


Rural and urban communities need different policies to boost economic mobility



Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:35 AM PDT


The farther away from a city a person is raised, the more likely they are to climb the economic ladder, according to economists, who also found that community characteristics associated with upward mobility actually have different effects in rural and urban locations.


The world needs death and decomposition



Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:35 AM PDT


Thanks to a new study, scientists now have a better way to investigate decomposing plants' and animals' contributions to the ecosystem.


Air purifiers may benefit fetal growth



Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:35 AM PDT


A new study reveals fetal growth may improve if pregnant women use portable air purifiers inside their homes.


Halting biodiversity loss: Political actions are required, not additional scientific knowledge



Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:35 AM PDT


Over 15 years, almost 13,000 scientific papers have been published in the leading conservation science journals. Yet biodiversity remains threatened at a global scale. Researchers have now focused on this worrisome paradox by taking a deeper look at this large volume of literature. One of the major problems is that decisions are usually more favorable to human activities than to nature protection.


Carrier status matters in foot-and-mouth disease



Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:35 AM PDT


Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is believed to be one of the most contagious pathogens of animals in its acute form; however, there is still controversy over whether it is transmissible from asymptomatic, long-term carriers. Despite the lack of evidence for transmission by direct contact with FMDV carrier cattle, there is demonstrable contagion associated with these animals, according to a new study.


New plant species discovered in museum is probably extinct



Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:34 AM PDT


A single non-photosynthetic plant specimen preserved in a Japanese natural history museum has been identified as a new species. However, it is highly possible that this species is already extinct.


Fluorescence-activating beta-barrel protein made from scratch for first time



Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:34 AM PDT


For the first time, scientists have created, entirely from scratch, a protein capable of binding to a small target molecule. They designed a cylindrical protein called a beta barrel, which has a cavity to bind the target. The designed protein was able to bind and activate a compound similar to that housed inside green fluorescent protein.


Gut bacteria's shocking secret: They produce electricity



Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:34 AM PDT


To date, most electricity-generating bacteria have come from weird environments, but researchers have found more than 100 in the human microbiome, both pathogenic and probiotic. They were unsuspected because they employ a different and simpler extracellular electron transfer system, which may prove useful in creating bacterial batteries. Their electrogenic ability may be important in infectivity, or in how they ferment cheese and yogurt.


Fire weather prediction improving



Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:27 AM PDT


Scientists have created a new fire-weather prediction tool that works with the same weather models that are used every day in fire weather forecasts, and thus can be applied anywhere in the world, regardless of fuel conditions or topography.


Researchers explain how viral protein promotes deadly infection by Nipah and Hendra viruses



Posted: 12 Sep 2018 05:12 AM PDT


Researchers have identified how a viral protein, which plays a major role in causing deadly Nipah and Hendra virus infections, targets a critical function in human cells to suppress immune responses and promote fatal disease.
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