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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Boring barnacles prefer the shallow life on coral reefs

Scientists have quantified how barnacles infest stony coral over a variety of conditions and reduce calcium carbonate on reefs. Coral reefs harbor diverse marine life and help prevent coastal erosion.

Encrypted messages in biological processes

RNA modifications can encrypt the RNA code and are responsible for a very sophisticated control of RNA function. A research team has shown that modified RNA bases have a great impact on the dynamics of gene expression from DNA to functional RNA. The study yields important new insight into how the basis of RNA modifications can affect the function of mature RNA molecules.

Dogs understand what’s written all over your face

Dogs are capable of understanding the emotions behind an expression on a human face. This study is the latest to reveal just how connected dogs are with people. The research also provides evidence that dogs use different parts of their brains to process human emotions.

Beluga whales have sensitive hearing, little age-related loss

Scientists published the first hearing tests on a wild population of healthy marine mammals. The tests on beluga whales in Bristol Bay, Alaska, revealed that the whales have sensitive hearing abilities and the number of animals that experienced extensive hearing losses was far less than what scientists had anticipated.

Machine learning may be a game-changer for climate prediction

New research demonstrates that machine-learning techniques can be used to accurately represent clouds and their atmospheric heating and moistening, and better represent clouds in coarse resolution climate models, with the potential to narrow the range of climate prediction. This could be a major advance in accurate predictions of global warming in response to increased greenhouse gas concentrations that are essential for policy-makers (e.g. the Paris climate agreement).

Ocean’s heat cycle shows that atmospheric carbon may be headed elsewhere

A new study examined the global carbon cycle and suggests that scientists may have misgauged how carbon is distributed around the world, particularly between the northern and southern hemispheres. The results could change projections of how, when and where the currently massive levels of atmospheric carbon will result in environmental changes such as ocean acidification.

New material for splitting water

Solar energy is clean and abundant, but when the sun isn't shining, you must store the energy in batteries or through a process called photocatalysis. In photocatalytic water splitting, sunlight separates water into hydrogen and oxygen, which can then be recombined in a fuel cell to release energy. Now, a new class of materials -- halide double perovskites -- may have just the right properties to split water.

Reduction in sulfur emissions from power plants in China

Air pollution has smothered China's cities in recent decades. In response, the Chinese government has implemented measures to clean up its skies. But are those policies effective? Now scholars show that one of China's key antipollution laws is indeed working -- but unevenly, with one particular set of polluters most readily adapting to it.

Overuse of agricultural chemicals on China’s small farms harms health and environment

The size of farms in China is a key contributor to the overuse of agricultural chemicals, and as a result they may be too small to be environmentally sustainable, a new study has found.

Coral reef ‘oases’ offer glimmer of hope

Scientists have discovered small communities of corals that are flourishing against the odds while so many around the world are dying.

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Japan suspends missile strike drills after Trump-Kim summit

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Mass murderer’s appeal to human rights court rejected

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