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Climate change linked to more flowery forests, FSU study shows
(Florida State University) New research from a Florida State University scientist has revealed a surprising relationship between surging atmospheric carbon dioxide and flower blooms in a remote tropical forest. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Conserving our biodiversity: Priorities for well-connected protected areas
(European Commission Joint Research Centre) The Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission's science and knowledge service, has measured progress and shortfalls in the connectivity of protected areas in countries across the world, identifying the main priorities to sustain or improve connectivity in each country. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

City lights setting traps for migrating birds
(University of Delaware) A University of Delaware study has examined how light pollution lures birds into urban areas during fall migration, a trend that poses risk for the fowl that often fly into buildings and has increased with the addition of brighter LED lights. The researchers were interested in seeing what factors shape the birds' distributions and why they occur in certain areas. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New technique for finding life on Mars
(McGill University) Researchers demonstrate for the first time the potential of existing technology to directly detect and characterize life on Mars and other planets. The study, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, used miniaturized scientific instruments and new microbiology techniques to identify and examine microorganisms in the Canadian high Arctic -- one of the closest analogs to Mars on Earth. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Piecework at the nano assembly line
(Technical University of Munich (TUM)) Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a novel electric propulsion technology for nanorobots. It allows molecular machines to move a hundred thousand times faster than with the biochemical processes used to date. This makes nanobots fast enough to do assembly line work in molecular factories. The new research results will appear as the cover story on 19th January in the renowned scientific journal Science. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors
(National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have now unveiled the long-mysterious inner workings of these semiconductor elements, which can act like the short-term memory of nerve cells. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Breakthrough study shows how plants sense the world
(University of Alabama at Birmingham) Plants lack eyes and ears, but they can still see, hear, smell and respond to environmental cues and dangers. They do this with the aid of hundreds of membrane proteins that sense microbes or other stresses. Researchers now have created the first network map for 200 of these proteins. The map shows how a few key proteins act as master nodes critical for network integrity, and the map also reveals unknown interactions. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

USDA's NIFA invests in fighting citrus greening disease
(National Institute of Food and Agriculture) The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced awards to combat citrus greening disease. The funding to support research and extension programs is made through the emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE). CDRE was authorized as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

'Programmable droplets' could enable high-volume biology experiments
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) MIT researchers have developed hardware that uses electric fields to move droplets of chemical or biological solutions around a surface, mixing them in ways that could be used to test thousands of reactions in parallel. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Climate change affects fish reproductive phenology in plateau area: Study
(Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters) The Research Group of Biological Invasion and Adaptive Evolution (BIAE; PI: CHEN Yifeng) at Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently answered how reproductive phenology of Gymnocypris selincuoensis, an endemic fish in Lake Selicuo in Tibetan Plateau, associated with climate changes. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Alternatives to toxic phenol compounds are being developed
(VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland) Finnish softwood bark contains large amounts of water-soluble tannin-polyphenols, which can be used as renewable alternatives to the fossil and toxic phenol compounds widely used in glues. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Researchers disprove one of the most widespread assumptions among geneticists regarding DNA
(University of C ó rdoba) A study by a C ó rdoba research team, just published in Proceedings of the USA National Academy of Sciences, shows that spontaneous DNA gaps are not -- as hitherto believed -- equivalent to those produced during DNA repair (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Free online access to millions of documents on chemical toxicity made possible through ToxicDocs
(Springer) Millions of pages of internal corporate and trade association documents relating to the introduction of new products and chemicals into the workplace and commerce have been compiled into a free searchable online database called ToxicDocs. The history and future outlook for this database is now the subject of a free to view special section in the Journal of Public Health Policy which is a Palgrave Macmillan journal and is published by Springer Nature. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Hunting dogs as possible vectors for the infectious disease tularaemia
(University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna) The zoonosis Tularaemia is life-threatening for rodents, rabbits and hares, but which can also infect humans and dogs. While contact with contaminated blood or meat makes hunters a high-risk group, the frequency of infections among hunting dogs has not been much studied. Researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna now confirmed a relevant prevalence of infections in Austrian hunting dogs. This could intensify the debate whether the often asymptomatic animals represent an additional risk of infection for people. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Reviled animals could be our powerful allies
(University of Queensland) Animal carnivores living in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate -- but they may provide crucial benefits to human societies. An international review led by University of Queensland researchers has revealed that predators and scavengers ranging from bats to leopards and vultures are valuable to human health and well-being. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

UNH researchers find human impact on forest still evident after 500 years
(University of New Hampshire) Researchers at the University of New Hampshire used high-tech tools to more precisely view where these cleared sites were and how much lasting impact they had on the rainforest in the Amazon Basin in South America. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a genuine enzyme
(Princeton University) Artificial biology is working toward creating a genuinely new organism. At Princeton, Chemistry Professor Michael Hecht and the researchers in his lab are designing and building proteins that can fold and mimic the chemical processes that sustain life. Now, Hecht and his colleagues have confirmed that at least one of their new proteins can catalyze biological reactions in E. coli, meaning that a protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a genuine enzyme. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Study finds convergent evolution of gene regulation in humans and mice
(University of California - Santa Cruz) Organisms that aren't closely related may evolve similar traits as they adapt to similar challenges. It's called convergent evolution, and familiar examples include the wings of birds, bats, and insects, and echolocation in bats and dolphins. Now, molecular biologists have found evidence of convergent evolution in an important mechanism of gene regulation in humans and mice. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Recent advances in understanding coral resilience are essential to safeguard coral reefs
(Bangor University) The most urgent course of action to safeguard coral reefs is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, but concurrently there is also a need to consider novel management techniques and previously over-looked reef areas for protective actions under predicted climate change impacts. The conclusions were reached following a comprehensive review of the literature on the mechanisms of potential coral resistance and recovery across scales from global reef areas to the microbial level within individual corals. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Viruses are everywhere, maybe even in space
(Portland State University) Viruses are the most abundant and one of the least understood biological entities on Earth. They might also exist in space, but as of yet scientists have done almost no research into this possibility. Portland State University biology professor Ken Stedman and colleagues are trying to change this through their article " Astrovirology: Viruses at Large in the Universe, " published in the February 2018 issue of the journal Astrobiology. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Fanged friends: World's most vilified and dangerous animals may be humankind's best ally
(Wildlife Conservation Society) An international review led by the University of Queensland and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) says that many native carnivores that live in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate - spelling bad news for humans who indirectly rely on them for a variety of beneficial services. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Crop failure in the Andes
(University of Miami) As co-author of a study published in Global Change Biology, Kenneth Feeley, along with fellow biologist, Richard Tito, a native Quechua Indian from the region and the study's first author, discovered that tough times lie ahead for rural farmers growing the Andes' staple crops -- corn and potatoes. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Researchers create first stem cells using CRISPR genome activation
(Gladstone Institutes) In a scientific first, researchers at the Gladstone Institutes turned skin cells from mice into stem cells by activating a specific gene in the cells using CRISPR technology. The innovative approach offers a potentially simpler technique to produce the valuable cell type and provides important insights into the cellular reprogramming process. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Mothers and young struggle as Arctic warms
(Wildlife Conservation Society) A new study from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and partners reveals for the first time the ways in which wild weather swings and extreme icing events are negatively impacting the largest land mammal of the Earth's polar realms -- the muskoxen. The paper demonstrates that while this denizen of the Arctic and other cold-adapted species have spectacular adaptations, the previously unknown effects of rain-on-snow events, winter precipitation, and ice tidal surges are costly for the animals, if not deadly. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Temporary 'bathtub drains' in the ocean concentrate flotsam
(University of Washington) An experiment using hundreds of plastic drifters in the Gulf of Mexico shows that rather than simply spread out, as current calculations would predict, many of them clumped together in a tight cluster. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Novel hypothesis on why animals diversified on Earth
(University of Southern Denmark) Can tumors teach us about animal evolution on Earth? Researchers believe so and now present a novel hypothesis of why animal diversity increased dramatically on Earth about half a billion years ago. A biological innovation may have been key. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New method to stop cells dividing could help fight cancer
(Uppsala University) Researchers at Uppsala University, Karolinska Institutet, and the University of Oxford, have used a new strategy to shut down specific enzymes to stop cells from dividing. The method, published in Cell Chemical Biology, can be used as a strategy to fight cancer. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

2017 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean
(Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) 2017 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean according to an updated ocean analysis from Institute of Atmospheric Physics/Chinese Academy of Science. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

USC stem cell scientists chew on the mysteries of jaw development
(University of Southern California - Health Sciences) Scientists in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump have revealed how key genes guide the development of the jaw in zebrafish. These findings may offer clues for understanding craniofacial anomalies in human patients, who sometimes carry a mutation in equivalent genes. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New study suggests coastal and deep ocean sharks have different feeding patterns
(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) A research team studying globally declining shark populations report that they used carbon isotopes as biochemical markers in shark muscle tissue to identify where in the oceans the mobile predators feed. They hope that such analyses provide a useful tool for conservation. Michelle Staudinger, an expert in large pelagic foraging ecology at UMass Amherst, worked with lead author Christopher Bird at the University of Southampton, U.K. on the study. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New technique for finding life on Mars
(Frontiers) Miniaturized scientific instruments and new microbiology techniques successfully identified and characterized microorganisms living in Arctic permafrost -- one of the closest analogs to Mars on Earth. By avoiding delays that come with having to return samples to a laboratory for analysis, the methodology could also be used on Earth to detect and identify pathogens during epidemics in remote areas. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

More genes are active in high-performance maize
(University of Bonn) When two maize inbred lines are crossed with each other, an interesting effect occurs: The hybrid offspring have a significantly higher yield than either of the two parent plants. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now investigated a number of genetically distinct hybrids. They showed that the offspring had many more active genes than the original parents. These results may help in the cultivation of even higher-yielding maize varieties. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

A new, dynamic view of chromatin movements
(Ecole Polytechnique F é d é rale de Lausanne) In cells, proteins tightly package the long thread of DNA into pearl necklace-like complexes known as chromatin. Scientists at EPFL show for the first time how chromatin moves, answering longstanding questions about how its structure helps regulate gene expression. The study is published in Nature Communications. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Hybridization can give rise to different genome combinations
(Lund University) Researchers have for the first time determined that hybridization between two bird species can give rise to several novel and fully functional hybrid genomic combinations. This could potentially be because hybrid species emerged through independent hybridisation events between the same parent species on different islands. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Let the good tubes roll
(DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) PNNL scientists have created new tiny tubes that could help with water purification and tissue engineering studies. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Statins to help prevent scar tissue in the eye?
(University of Helsinki) Statin medication seems to reduce the risk of repeated surgery in patients who undergo a vitrectomy to treat a detached retina, shows the new study. The researchers believe that statins might prevent the formation of scar tissue inside the eye. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Scientists identify potential target genes to halt progression of thyroid cancer
(Funda ç ã o de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de S ã o Paulo) Research shows that expression of 52 microRNAs falls as the disease becomes more aggressive. Restoring levels of these molecules in the tumor could be a novel therapeutic strategy. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
(University of Alberta) In an attempt to better understand the urban environment and its components, scientists have discovered that sunlight causes chemical reactions in the dust found on Edmonton roads.'We found that when you shine light on road dust, it produces a reactive form of oxygen called singlet oxygen,' said environmental chemist Sarah Styler. 'It acts as an oxidant in the environment and can cause or influence other chemical reactions.' (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

MDI Biological Laboratory develops Anecdata citizen science mobile app
(Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory) The MDI Biological Laboratory is riding the growing wave of interest in citizen science with the development of a new, easily accessible mobile phone app to help community organizations track and analyze crowd-sourced data from citizen volunteers on critical environmental questions.The free app is an outgrowth of Anecdata.org, an online citizen science portal for collecting and sharing environmental data that is now home to about 60 projects. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Fort McMurray researchers find simple key to risk of severe peat fires
(McMaster University) The scrawny black spruce trees that push up through the peat bogs of Canada's boreal forest are valuable indicators of fire risk, say researchers who studied a burned-over area just outside Fort McMurray, Alberta, where a devastating wildfire struck in 2016. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Why don't turtles still have tail spikes?
(North Carolina State University) In a study covering 300 million years of evolutionary history, researchers from North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences found four necessary components to tail weapon development: size, armor, herbivory and thoracic stiffness. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Siberian chemists have improved hydrogen sensors
(Siberian Federal University) A group of scientists from the Siberian Federal University (SFU, Krasnoyarsk, Russia) and the Nikolaev Institute of Inorganic Chemistry (NIIC, Novosibirsk, Russia) combined the useful properties of metal phthalocyanines and palladium membranes in order to create active layers in hydrogen detectors. This operation significantly increases the sensitivity of the sensors. The study is reported in the journals Dyes and Pigments and International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Not just for Christmas: Study sheds new light on ancient human-turkey relationship
(University of York) For the first time, research has uncovered the origins of the earliest domestic turkeys in ancient Mexico.The study also suggests turkeys weren't only prized for their meat -- with demand for the birds soaring with the Mayans and Aztecs because of their cultural significance in rituals and sacrifices. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Future climate change revealed by current climate variations
(University of Exeter) Uncertainty surrounding the extent of future climate change could be dramatically reduced by studying year-on-year global temperature fluctuations, new research has shown. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Clean and green: A moss that removes lead (Pb) from water
(RIKEN) Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan have demonstrated that that moss can be a green alternative for decontaminating polluted water and soil. Published in PLOS One, the study shows that in particular, the moss Funaria hygrometrica tolerates and absorbs an impressive amount of lead (Pb) from water. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

First surface-based estimation of the aerosol indirect effect over China
(Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) Aerosol indirect effect (AIE) can significantly affect climate change and is one of the largest uncertainties in climate change studies. To date, only a few AIE studies using satellite measurements have been carried out in China, and no such study has been done using ground-based measurements. The AIE can only be assessed accurately from aircraft or ground-based measurements. The first comprehensive investigation into the AIE over this polluted region is presented. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Lobachevsky University scientists are studying nervous system adaptation to ischemic damage
(Lobachevsky University) Lobachevsky University researchers are working to explore the mechanisms of adaptation of the nervous system to ischemic damage. Scientists say that under certain conditions, the brain's protective forces can be activated, even in some severe cases.According to Maria Vedunova, Director of the Institute of Biology and Biomedicine at Lobachevsky University, a large number of stressors affect the body by depleting its internal reserves and, as a consequence, leading to a number of diseases. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Canine distemper confirmed in Far Eastern leopard, world's most endangered big cat
(Wildlife Conservation Society) The Far Eastern or Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is already among the rarest of the world's big cats, but new research reveals that it faces yet another threat: infection with canine distemper virus (CDV). (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Mantis shrimp size each other up before ceding a fight
(Duke University) To a mantis shrimp, walking away from a fight doesn't mean being a wimp. It means recognizing who they're up against and knowing when to bail rather than drag out a doomed battle, Duke University researchers say. Mantis shrimp use sparring matches to decide when to fight and when to fold, finds a study published Jan. 17 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

California sea lion population rebounded to new highs
(NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region) California sea lions have fully rebounded under the protection of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, with their population on the West Coast reaching carrying capacity in 2008 before unusually warm ocean conditions reduced their numbers, according to the first comprehensive population assessment of the species. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 17, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news