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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Plants have been helping to offset climate change, but now it’s up to us

Plants are currently removing more carbon dioxide from the air than they did 200 years ago, according to new work. This team's findings affirm estimates used in models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Living downwind of coal-fired power plant could increase risk of low birth weight

Drawing on evidence from a Pennsylvania power plant located upwind of New Jersey, a group of researchers studied live singleton births that occurred from 1990 to 2006 in the area downwind of the plant. Infants born to mothers living as far as 20 to 30 miles downwind from the power plant were 6.5 percent more likely to be born with a low birth weight and 17.12 percent more likely to be born with a very low birth weight.

There’s a cost to ‘bee-ing’ too smart

Researchers have discovered that smart bumblebees die sooner and don't collect as much food over their life spans as their less intelligent co-workers. Researchers suggest that the energy demands of intelligence eat up limited resources, leaving smart bees with less energy for foraging than their slower-learning counterparts. This is the first evidence of a learning-associated cost in the wild and could have implications for a variety of species.

Archaeologist explains innovation of ‘fluting’ ancient stone weaponry

Approximately 13,500 years after nomadic Clovis hunters crossed the frozen land bridge from Asia to North America, researchers are still asking questions and putting together clues as to how they not only survived in a new landscape with unique new challenges but adapted with stone tools and weapons to thrive for thousands of years. Kent State University's Metin Eren, Ph.D., and his colleagues are not only asking these questions but testing their unique new theories.

La EPA revisa el Plan de Energía Limpia conforme a la orden ejecutiva del...

WASHINGTON – Hoy, en la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de EE.UU. Source: https://www.epa.gov/

Toxic mercury in aquatic life could spike with greater land runoff

A highly toxic form of mercury could jump by 300 to 600 percent in zooplankton – tiny animals at the base of the marine food chain – if land runoff increases by 15 to 30 percent, according to a new study. And such an increase is possible due to climate change, according to a new pioneering study.

A wolf’s stowaways

Since the year 2000, the Eurasian grey wolf, Canis lupus lupus, has spread across Germany. For researchers, a good reason to have a closer look at the small “occupants” of this returnee and to ask the question whether the number and species of parasites change with an increasing wolf population. This was the case, because the number of parasite species per individual wolf increased as the wolf population expanded. Furthermore, cubs had a higher diversity of parasite species than older animals. The good news: wolf parasites do not pose a threat to human health.

Challenging traditional theories on organisms’ ‘range expansion’

As climate change and biological invasions continue to impact global biodiversity, scientists suggest that the way organisms move to new areas, called range expansion, can be impacted directly by evolutionary changes.

Climate change helped kill off super-sized Ice Age animals in Australia

During the last Ice Age, Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea formed a single landmass, called Sahul. It was a strange and often hostile place populated by a bizarre cast of giant animals.

Scientists develop new flu vaccines for dogs

Just like humans, dogs can catch the flu. Two new vaccines for canine influenza could curb the spread of flu in shelters and kennels and prevent the possible transmission of a dog flu virus to people.

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Congenital blindness reversed in mice

Researchers have reversed congenital blindness in mice by changing supportive cells in the retina called Müller glia into rod photoreceptors. The findings advance efforts toward regenerative therapies for blinding diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

When viruses infect phytoplankton, it can change the clouds

Microscopic plant-like organisms called phytoplankton support the diversity of life in the ocean. Scientists now report that one species, Emiliania huxleyi, and a virus closely associated with it, might be responsible for changes in cloud properties as well. When infected, E. huxleyi releases its chalky shell into the air, where it acts as an aerosol reflecting sunlight and even affecting cloud creation and movement.

Stern of World War II US destroyer discovered off remote Alaskan island

In the midst of World War II on August 18, 1943, the USS Abner Read struck what was presumed to be a Japanese mine in the Bering Sea. The catastrophic blast took the lives of 71 American sailors. For their families, the final resting place of loved ones lost remained unknown. Until now. On July 16, 2018, a team of researchers using robotics technology discovered the sunken stern of the World War II destroyer -- solving a 75-year-old mystery.