ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

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ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Origins of cannabis smoking A microscopic topographic map of cellular function Trigger for muscle-wasting condition discovered Norovirus structures could help develop treatments for food poisoning How multi-celled animals developed Opioid alternative? Taming tetrodotoxin for precise painkilling Using gene editing, neuroscientists develop a new model for autism Rising sea levels destroyed evidence of shell middens at many prehistoric coastal sites How much does climate change affects the risk of armed conflict Large summer 'dead zone' forecast for Chesapeake Bay after wet winter and spring A gut feeling: Microbiome changes may mean early detection of colorectal cancer Future tsunamis possible in the Red Sea's Gulf of Elat-Aqaba Nuclear pore complex outer rings: No longer 'one size fits all' Ants maintain essential interactions despite environmental flux The brains of birds synchronize when they sing duets Protecting coral reefs in a deteriorating environment Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone Organic carbon hides in sediments, keeping oxygen in atmosphere Hybrid nanostructure steps up light-harvesting efficiency New gene editor harnesses jumping genes for precise DNA integration Food access near schools and homes illuminated for children in New York city Pollen collected by US honey bees in urban settings shows dramatic seasonal variation Construction kit for custom-designed products Bacteria such as E. coli detected in minutes by new tech Rescuers often driven by emotion The benefits of being different Dolphins form friendships through shared interests just like us, study finds Monkeys face climate change extinction threat Baby pterodactyls could fly from birth New tool can pinpoint origins of the gut's bacteria Community knowledge can be as valuable as ecological knowledge in environmental decision-making Human protein that aids development of malaria parasite identified Mouse study finds BPA exposure has transgenerational effects on gene linked to autism How the cell protects itself Fifty years later, DDT lingers in lake ecosystems Diet at the docks: Living and dying at the port of ancient Rome Models suggest faults are linked through California's Imperial Valley Rare 'superflares' could one day threaten Earth Why Noah's Ark won't work Climate change benefits for giant petrels The short life of Must Farm: The final decades of the Bronze Age in Britain Beewolves use a gas to preserve food Superweed resists another class of herbicides New to science New Zealand moths link mythological deities to James Cameron's films Driving divergence: Evolved lice show sign of speciation Curbing your enthusiasm for overeating Light-powered nano-organisms consume carbon dioxide, create eco-friendly plastics and fuels

Origins of cannabis smoking

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 01:56 PM PDT

A chemical residue study of incense burners from ancient burials at high elevations in western China has revealed psychoactive cannabinoids. The finding provides some of the earliest evidence for the use of cannabis for its psychoactive compounds.

A microscopic topographic map of cellular function

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 01:56 PM PDT

The flow of traffic through our nation's highways and byways is meticulously mapped and studied, but less is known about how materials in cells travel. Now, a team of researchers is challenging prior theories about how material leaves the inside of an E.coli cell. This discovery could have important implications for how we treat diseases.

Trigger for muscle-wasting condition discovered

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 01:29 PM PDT

A team of researchers has published a research study that reveals how cachexia is triggered, setting the stage for further studies on how to prevent it.

Norovirus structures could help develop treatments for food poisoning

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 01:29 PM PDT

Researchers have used cryo-EM and computational tools to reconstruct the shell structures of four different strains of human noroviruses. Deciphering this can help inform future vaccine developments against the virus.

How multi-celled animals developed

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

New findings challenge the long-standing idea that multi-celled animals evolved from a single-celled ancestor resembling a modern sponge cell known as a choanocyte.

Opioid alternative? Taming tetrodotoxin for precise painkilling

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

Alternatives to opioids for treating pain are sorely needed. A study in rats suggests that tetrodotoxin, properly packaged, offers a potentially safe pain block.

Using gene editing, neuroscientists develop a new model for autism

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

By introducing a gene variant associated with autism into monkeys, researchers hope to study treatment options for severe neurodevelopmental disorders.

Rising sea levels destroyed evidence of shell middens at many prehistoric coastal sites

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

In a new study, researchers confirm a theory from the 1970s that coastal hunter-gatherers processed much of their shellfish at the beach before returning with their meat to camps on higher ground, leaving the heavy shells by the water. This finding has dramatic implications for past analyses of hunter-gatherer diets -- because many beachside shell middens would now be destroyed or underwater due to past sea level rises since the last Ice Age.

How much does climate change affects the risk of armed conflict

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

Intensifying climate change will increase the future risk of violent armed conflict within countries, according to a new study. Synthesizing views across experts, the study estimates climate has influenced between 3% and 20% of armed conflict over the last century and that the influence will likely increase dramatically.

Large summer 'dead zone' forecast for Chesapeake Bay after wet winter and spring

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

Ecologists are forecasting a large Chesapeake Bay 'dead zone' in 2019 due to well-above-average river flows associated with increased rainfall in the watershed since last fall.

A gut feeling: Microbiome changes may mean early detection of colorectal cancer

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

Most sporadic colorectal cancers can develop over decades. Recent studies showed that the gut microbiome has possible diagnostic potential for health and disease. Researchers assessed fecal samples from patients who underwent colonoscopy to study the relationship between gut microbiota and colorectal cancer. They found specific markers that could discriminate cases of colorectal cancer from healthy samples. This posits that colorectal cancer is not only a genetic, but also a microbial disease.

Future tsunamis possible in the Red Sea's Gulf of Elat-Aqaba

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

Researchers who took a closer look at a 1995 tsunami in the Gulf of Elat-Aqaba, at the northeastern tip of the Red Sea, say that the gulf's surrounding countries should prepare for future tsunami hazards in the economically developing vital region.

Nuclear pore complex outer rings: No longer 'one size fits all'

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

In eukaryotic cells, molecules can only move into or out of the nucleus through specialized channels called nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). Each NPC has a ring of nucleoporin proteins flanking either end of the central channel, which usually share an identical structure. But in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, researchers have found that the NPC outer ring structures are completely asymmetrical, shedding new light on the structure and function of the nucleus.

Ants maintain essential interactions despite environmental flux

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

Ants adjust their social interactions to accommodate changes in population density, according to researchers. The findings suggest that ant colonies are capable of maintaining their sophisticated social organization despite potentially drastic changes in their environments.

The brains of birds synchronize when they sing duets

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

Vocal control areas in the brain of weaver birds fire in time when they sing together.

Protecting coral reefs in a deteriorating environment

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

A new report examines novel approaches for saving coral reefs imperiled by climate change, and how local decision-makers can assess the risks and benefits of intervention.

Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

Using rare oxygen molecules trapped in old ice and snow, US and French scientists have answered a long-standing question: How much have 'bad' ozone levels increased since the start of the Industrial Revolution?

Organic carbon hides in sediments, keeping oxygen in atmosphere

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

A new study may help settle a long-standing question -- how small amounts of organic carbon become locked away in rock and sediments, preventing it from decomposing. Knowing exactly how that process occurs could help explain why the mixture of gases in the atmosphere has remained stable for so long.

Hybrid nanostructure steps up light-harvesting efficiency

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

Energy is transferred through the structure in a way that boosts its response to light, showing promise for solar cell applications.

New gene editor harnesses jumping genes for precise DNA integration

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a gene-editing tool -- using jumping genes -- that inserts any DNA sequence into the genome without cutting, fixing a major shortcoming of existing CRISPR technology.

Food access near schools and homes illuminated for children in New York city

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

A study of nearly 800,000 schoolchildren in New York City shows that Black, Hispanic, and Asian students live and go to school closer to both healthy and unhealthy food outlets than do White students.

Pollen collected by US honey bees in urban settings shows dramatic seasonal variation

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

The diversity and availability of pollen foraged by honey bees across urban and suburban areas in the US varies drastically with the seasons.

Construction kit for custom-designed products

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 08:01 AM PDT

Microorganisms often assemble natural products similar to product assembly lines. Certain enzymes, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), play a key role in this process. Biotechnologists have now succeeded in changing these enzymes so that entirely new natural products, or even libraries of natural products, can be produced by microorganisms.

Bacteria such as E. coli detected in minutes by new tech

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 08:01 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered that healthy bacteria cells and cells inhibited by antibiotics or UV light show completely different electric reactions. These findings could lead to the development of medical devices which can rapidly detect live bacterial cells, evaluate the effects of antibiotics on bacteria colonies, or reveal antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Rescuers often driven by emotion

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 06:58 AM PDT

Scientists have found reason can go out the window when people's family members, children and pets are in trouble in the water, and people should be better trained in water rescue skills.

The benefits of being different

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 06:58 AM PDT

Six different color morphs of the elusive Asiatic golden cat have been discovered in Northeast India -- with the findings being hailed as 'an evolutionary puzzle' -- as the world's greatest number of different colored wild cat species in one area are reported.

Dolphins form friendships through shared interests just like us, study finds

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 06:39 AM PDT

When it comes to making friends, it appears dolphins are just like us and form close friendships with other dolphins that have a common interest. The research provides further insight into the social habits of these remarkable animals.

Monkeys face climate change extinction threat

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 06:38 AM PDT

Monkeys living in South America are highly vulnerable to climate change and face an 'elevated risk of extinction', according to a new study.

Baby pterodactyls could fly from birth

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 06:29 AM PDT

Researchers have found that pterodactyls, extinct flying reptiles also known as pterosaurs, had a remarkable ability -- they could fly from birth.

New tool can pinpoint origins of the gut's bacteria

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 06:29 AM PDT

A research team has developed a faster and more accurate way to determine where the many bacteria that live in, and on, humans come from. Broadly, the tool can deduce the origins of any microbiome, a localized and diverse community of microscopic organisms.

Community knowledge can be as valuable as ecological knowledge in environmental decision-making

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 06:29 AM PDT

An understanding of community issues can be as valuable as knowing the ecology of an area when making environmental decisions, according to new research.

Human protein that aids development of malaria parasite identified

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 06:29 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered that the Plasmodium parasites responsible for malaria rely on a human liver cell protein for their development into a form capable of infecting red blood cells and causing disease. The study suggests that targeting this human protein, known as CXCR4, could be a way to block the parasite's life cycle and prevent the development of malaria.

Mouse study finds BPA exposure has transgenerational effects on gene linked to autism

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 06:29 AM PDT

Transgenerational bisphenol A (BPA) exposure may contribute to autism, according to a mouse study.

How the cell protects itself

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 06:29 AM PDT

The cell contains transcripts of the genetic material, which migrate from the cell nucleus to another part of the cell. This movement protects the genetic transcripts from the recruitment of 'spliceosomes'. If this protection does not happen, the entire cell is in danger: meaning that cancer and neurodegenerative diseases can develop. Researchers have demonstrated the underlying mechanism in the cell.

Fifty years later, DDT lingers in lake ecosystems

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 05:44 AM PDT

To control pest outbreaks, airplanes sprayed more than 6,280 tons of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) onto forests in New Brunswick, Canada, between 1952 and 1968, according to Environment Canada. By 1970, growing awareness of the harmful effects of DDT on wildlife led to curtailed use of the insecticide in the area. However, researchers have now shown that DDT lingers in sediments from New Brunswick lakes, where it could alter zooplankton communities.

Diet at the docks: Living and dying at the port of ancient Rome

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 05:43 AM PDT

Researchers present the results of an analysis of plant, animal and human remains, reconstructing both the diets and geographic origins of the inhabitants of Portus, the maritime port of Imperial Rome.

Models suggest faults are linked through California's Imperial Valley

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 05:43 AM PDT

New mechanical modeling of a network of active strike-slip faults in California's Imperial Valley suggests the faults are continuously linked, from the southern San Andreas Fault through the Imperial Fault to the Cerro Prieto fault further to the south of the valley.

Rare 'superflares' could one day threaten Earth

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 05:43 AM PDT

New research shows that the sun could experience a massive burst of energy called a superflare sometime in the next several thousand years.

Why Noah's Ark won't work

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 05:43 AM PDT

Many species will need large population sizes to survive climate change and ocean acidification, a new study finds.

Climate change benefits for giant petrels

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 05:43 AM PDT

Giant petrels will be 'temporary' winners from the effects of climate change in the Antarctic region -- but males and females will benefit in very different ways, a new study shows.

The short life of Must Farm: The final decades of the Bronze Age in Britain

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 05:26 AM PDT

An extraordinarily well-preserved Late Bronze Age settlement in Cambridgeshire provides exceptional opportunity to investigate the everyday lives of people in the final decades of the Bronze Age in Britain.

Beewolves use a gas to preserve food

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 12:55 PM PDT

Scientists have discovered that the eggs of the European beewolf produce nitric oxide. The gas prevents the larvae's food from getting moldy in the warm and humid brood cells.

Superweed resists another class of herbicides

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 12:39 PM PDT

We've all heard about bacteria that are becoming resistant to multiple types of antibiotics. These are the so-called superbugs perplexing and panicking medical science. The plant analogue may just be waterhemp, a broadleaf weed common to corn and soybean fields across the Midwest. With resistance to multiple common herbicides, waterhemp is getting much harder to kill.

New to science New Zealand moths link mythological deities to James Cameron's films

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 06:24 AM PDT

In an unexpected discovery, two species of macro-moths were described as new species endemic to the South Island, New Zealand. Each is restricted to only a couple of subalpine/alpine localities, which makes them particularly vulnerable to extinction, point out the scientists.

Driving divergence: Evolved lice show sign of speciation

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 06:24 AM PDT

Biologists drove the divergence of different-sized feather lice from a single population. In four years, the evolved lice had trouble mating with each other -- a sign of speciation.

Curbing your enthusiasm for overeating

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 05:19 AM PDT

Signals between our gut and brain control how and when we eat food. But how the molecular mechanisms involved in this signaling are affected when we eat a high-energy diet and how they contribute to obesity are not well understood. Using a mouse model, a research team led by a biomedical scientists has found that overactive endocannabinoid signaling in the gut drives overeating in diet-induced obesity by blocking gut-brain satiation signaling.

Light-powered nano-organisms consume carbon dioxide, create eco-friendly plastics and fuels

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 05:19 AM PDT

Researchers have developed nanobio-hybrid organisms capable of using airborne carbon dioxide and nitrogen to produce a variety of plastics and fuels, a promising first step toward low-cost carbon sequestration and eco-friendly manufacturing for chemicals.

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