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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Atrazine alters the sex ratio in Blanchard’s cricket frogs

A study found that Blanchard's cricket frogs are highly sensitive to atrazine. When exposed, there were up to 55 percent fewer males than females compared with the control group, indicating that atrazine can affect the sex ratio. However, cricket frog populations do persist in areas with widespread atrazine application, despite reports of range contractions for enigmatic reasons.

Melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

For the first time, ocean data from Northeast Greenland reveals the long-term impact of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. The observed increase in freshwater content will affect the conditions in all Greenland fjords and may ultimately affect the global ocean currents that keep Europe warm.

Usutu virus is back: Not only in blackbirds but also in humans

Usutu virus, a flavivirus of African origin, was first detected in Austria in 2001, when it caused a severe bird die-off, mainly of blackbirds. The virus was active in the eastern part of Austria until 2005, killing many blackbirds, but also other songbirds. During 10 subsequent years no Usutu virus associated bird mortality was observed in Austria -- contrary to neighboring Hungary. Last year Usutu virus was identified again in two blackbirds -- and in 2017 already in sixteen songbirds. In another study Usutu virus was demonstrated in seven human blood donations from eastern Austria, suggesting that human infections seem to be more frequent than previously thought. 

Cell biology: Proteins may prevent dysfunction, disease by relaxing, study shows

A team of researchers used simulations and X-rays to conclude that disordered proteins remain unfolded and expanded as they float loose in the cytoplasm of a cell. The answer affects how we envision the movement of a protein through its life--essential for understanding how proteins fold, what goes wrong during disorders and disease and how to model their behavior.

Contests for female attention turns males into better performers in fruit flies

Giving females an opportunity to choose the male they mate with leads to the evolution of better performing males, according to new research into the behavior of fruit flies.

Wildlife in the ditches need a detox cure

When it's raining on the roads, slops of road dust and contaminants drain into the road trenches. What does it do to wildlife living by the road?

Does size matter? Bigger cod fish contain more mercury

The levels of mercury in the Oslofjord cod has increased over the last 30 years, despite reduced emissions of this toxic element. In the same period, the average size of sampled cod has increased. Are the elevated levels of mercury simply a result of larger cod?

Baltic clams, worms release as much greenhouse gas as 20,000 dairy cows

Ocean clams and worms are releasing a significant amount of potentially harmful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, scientists have shown.

‘Magic mushrooms’ may ‘reset’ the brains of depressed patients, study suggests

Patients taking psilocybin to treat depression show reduced symptoms weeks after treatment following a 'reset' of their brain activity.

Understanding rare Earth emulsions

Through a series of theoretical simulations, researchers discovered that surface polarization in mixed media increases attraction among elements.

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