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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Speed warning system saves lives and reduces emissions

Universal adoption of the ISA speed warning system in Norway could reduce both the average speed of vehicles and their emissions, concludes a recent report. Lower speeds also lead to fewer fatalities and serious injuries on the roads.

Tail hairs reveal dietary choices of three horse species in the Gobi Desert

Przewalski’s horse, a species of wild horse that has been successfully reintroduced to the Gobi Desert, shares its pasture grounds with wild asses and free-roaming domestic horses. A scarce supply of food could lead to food competition among the different species, especially if they make the same dietary choices. A team led by researchers therefore chemically analyzed the tail hairs of the animals to determine the seasonal dietary habits of the three species.

Synchronized swimming: How startled fish shoals effectively evade danger

As panic spreads, an entire shoal (collective) of fish responds to an incoming threat in a matter of seconds, seemingly as a single body, to change course and evade a threatening predator. Within those few seconds, the panic-infused information – more technically known as the startle response – spreads through the collective, warning fish within the group that would otherwise have no way to detect such a threat. The ways in which this information spreads and the role played by position dynamics may help us better plan for emergencies.

EPA Action Plan Outlines Ways to Improve Safety, Reliability of Nation’s Drinking Water

Environmental News FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Source: https://www.epa.gov/

Ancient rocks hold evidence for life before oxygen

Somewhere between Earth's creation and where we are today, scientists have demonstrated that some early life forms existed just fine without any oxygen. The 2.52 billion-year-old sulfur-oxidizing bacteria are exceptionally large, spherical-shaped, smooth-walled microscopic structures much larger than most modern bacteria, but similar to some modern single-celled organisms that live in deepwater sulfur-rich ocean settings today, where even now there are almost no traces of oxygen.

Bioenergy grass can withstand freezing temperatures

Prairie cordgrass, a native perennial grass used for biomass energy, is tolerant to salt, flooding, and freezing stress. A new study demonstrates the gene expression patterns responsible for freezing tolerance in prairie cordgrass. Once the genes responsible for freezing tolerance are identified in prairie cordgrass, they may be applied to other crops in the future.

A molecular switch between life, sex and death

Shortly after mating, marine bristle worms die, leaving thousands of newly fertilized eggs to develop in the water. This extreme all-or-nothing mode of reproduction demonstrates a general principle: Animals need to decide if they invest their available energy stores either in growth or in reproduction. Researchers are now able to solve a 60-year-old riddle and determine the molecule that orchestrates this decision in marine bristle worms.

Survey of New York City soil uncovers medicine-making microbes

Microbes have long been an invaluable source of new drugs. And to find more, we may have to look no further than the ground beneath our feet, say researchers.

Cracking the code of a deadly virus

Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is an unforgiving killer of horses, donkeys and zebras, resulting in mortality as high as 80 percent of infected animals. It causes rapid, catastrophic swelling of the brain and spinal cord, leading to severe neurological symptoms and—in many cases—sudden death. The virus can also infect humans, with similar results. Now a research team has exploited a weakness in VEEV's genetic code, resulting in a far less deadly mutant version of the virus when tested in laboratory mice.

Marine incentives programs may replace ‘doom and gloom’ with hope

Incentives that are designed to enable smarter use of the ocean while also protecting marine ecosystems can and do work, and offer significant hope to help address the multiple environmental threats facing the world’s oceans, researchers conclude in a new analysis.

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Brexit: May offers more assurances to EU nationals

Ahead of a key summit, Theresa May vows to make it as easy as possible for them to stay in the UK. Source: BBC

“Cada día me aseguraban que me iban a matar. Y me decían cómo”: el...

Maxim Lapunov dice que pasó 12 días en una celda, golpeado, amenazado y humillado por la policía. Este es el primer testimonio de víctimas de una persecución a hombres homosexuales que reportan grupos de activistas en la república del Cáucaso. Fuente: bbcmundo.com

Rohingya crisis: Refugees tell of ‘house by house’ killings

Refugees continue to pour into Bangladesh, adding to the world's fastest-growing humanitarian crisis. Source: BBC