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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Crop-saving soil tests now at farmers’ fingertips

Soil pathogen testing -- critical to farming, but painstakingly slow and expensive -- will soon be done accurately, quickly, inexpensively and onsite, thanks to new research.

Why are there so many types of lizards?

Researchers have sequenced the complete genetic code -- the genome -- of several vertebrate species from Panama. They found that changes in genes involved in the interbrain (the site of the pineal gland and other endocrine glands), for color vision, hormones and the colorful dewlap that males bob to attract females, may contribute to the formation of boundaries between species. Genes regulating limb development also evolved especially quickly.

The way streets and buildings are arranged makes a big difference in how heat...

A new study shows a way to dial down the urban heat island effects that can pump up city temperatures, through different city planning based on classical physics formulas.

Domestic goat dating back to the Neolithic Corded Ware period identified in Finland

Goat hairs have been found in a grave structure that was discovered in the 1930s in Kauhava, western Finland. These are the oldest animal hairs found in Finland. From the perspective of Finnish prehistory, the finding supports the evidence of animal husbandry practised during the Corded Ware period, while also revealing details of burial rituals.

Sweet, bitter, fat: Genetics play a role in kids’ snacking patterns

The types of snacks a child chooses could be linked to genetics, a new study found. The study investigated whether genetic variants in taste receptors related to sweet, fat and bitter tastes influence the snacks preschoolers choose and found nearly 80 per cent carried at least one of these genotypes that could predispose them to poor snacking habits. These findings could help parents tailor their kids' diets based on their genetics of taste.

The global footprint of fisheries

The global fishing fleet is so big it can be seen from space. Really.

New crystal structures reveal mysterious mechanism of gene regulation by the ‘magic spot’

Using an innovative crystallization technique for studying 3D structures of gene transcription machinery, researchers revealed new insights into the long debated action of the 'magic spot' -- a molecule that controls gene expression in E. coli and many other bacteria when the bacteria are stressed. The study contributes to fundamental understanding of how bacteria adapt and survive under adverse conditions and provides clues about key processes that could be targeted in the search for new antibiotics.

Laser technology takes Maya archeologists where they’ve never gone before

With the help of airborne laser mapping technology, a team of archeologists is exploring on a larger scale than ever before the history and spread of settlement at the ancient Maya site of Ceibal in Guatemala.

Locomotion of bipedal dinosaurs might be predicted from that of ground-running birds

A new model based on ground-running birds could predict locomotion of bipedal dinosaurs based on their speed and body size, according to a new study.

Sea urchins erode rock reefs, excavate pits for themselves

Through their grazing activity, sea urchins excavate rock and form the pits they occupy. This activity may cause significant bioerosion of temperate reefs, according to a study published Feb. 21, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Michael Russell from Villanova University, US, and colleagues.

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Winter Olympics 2018: Men’s hockey, figure skating exhibition gala and more

It's the final weekend of the Pyeongchang Games

Italy’s anti-immigration party “Casa Pound” hopes to be the voice of the new government

Voters go to the polls in Italy next week to choose a new Parliament. Political parties held rallies on Saturday ahead of the national elections on March 4. A far-right anti-immigration party called "Casa Pound" is on the rise in Italy and hoping to have a voice in the new government. Seth Doane reports.

Syria war: UN Security Council approves 30-day ceasefire

Some of the biggest jihadist rebel groups, and their associates, are not covered by the truce. Source: BBC