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  • Keep the environment as clean and energy efficient as we can with these discoveries from Science Daily.
    • Last updated Jul 1
  • Source: sciencedaily.com

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Top Environment News -- ScienceDaily

Published: Jul 23, 2021 8:00:03 PM
Top stories featured on ScienceDaily's Plants & Animals, Earth & Climate, and Fossils & Ruins sections.
  • Jul 23, 2021 4:15:12 PM
    Researchers have discovered that spontaneous impulses of dopamine, the neurological messenger known as the brain's 'feel good' chemical, occur in the brain of mice. The study found that mice can willfully manipulate these random dopamine pulses for reward.
  • Jul 23, 2021 4:15:08 PM
    Humid tropical forests, vital in global efforts to limit rising temperatures, are under threat as a result of changes in land use and climate. Now, researchers have developed a new way to keep tabs on the vulnerability of these forests on a global scale using satellite data called the tropical forest vulnerability index (TFVI).
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:53:19 PM
    Scientists have studied the characteristics determining the maximum running speed in animals. The model they developed explains why humans cannot keep up with the fastest sprinters in the animal kingdom. Based on these calculations, the giant spider Shelob from 'The Lord of the Rings' would have reached a maximum speed of 60 km/h.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:53:16 PM
    A new optogenetic tool, a protein that can be controlled by light, has been characterized by researchers. They used an opsin -- a protein that occurs in the brain and eyes -- from zebrafish and introduced it into the brain of mice. Unlike other optogenetic tools, this opsin is not switched on but rather switched off by light. Experiments also showed that the tool could be suitable for investigating changes in the brain that are responsible for the development of epilepsy.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:53:10 PM
    Researchers have used lignin, a natural polymer abundant in wood and other plant sources, to create a safe, low-cost and high-performing coating for use in construction. As there is a global urge to meet the rising sustainability standards, this new coating has great potential to protect wood, whose use in construction is continually increasing. The new coating is non-toxic, hydrofobic, it retains wood's breathability and natural roughness while being resistant to color changes and abrasion.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:52:58 PM
    Researchers have recently identified a DNA region known as VNTR2-1 that appears to drive the activity of the telomerase gene, which has been shown to prevent aging in certain types of cells. Knowing how the telomerase gene is regulated and activated and why it is only active in certain cell types could someday be the key to understanding how humans age and how to stop the spread of cancer.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:52:56 PM
    Advanced technologies have been used to solve a long-standing mystery about why some people develop serious illness when they are infected with the malaria parasite, while others carry the infection asymptomatically.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:52:53 PM
    New research debunks a long-held belief about our ancestors' eating habits.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:52:42 PM
    Scientists have created plants whose cells and tissues 'blush' with beetroot pigments when they are colonized by fungi that help them take up nutrients from the soil. This is the first time this vital, 400 million year old process has been visualized in real time in full root systems of living plants. Understanding the dynamics of plant colonisation by fungi could help to make food production more sustainable in the future.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:52:36 PM
    Scientists have identified five new plant species in the Bolivian Andes. The species are all part of the genus Jacquemontia, which are twining or trailing plants with pretty blue flowers.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:52:33 PM
    Researchers have developed a methodology for avoiding conflicts of use in transboundary rivers. The model-based procedure allows for participatory planning and cooperative management of water resources.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:52:30 PM
    A phenomenon known from quantum systems could now make its way into biology: Researchers show that the notion of topological protection can also apply to biochemical networks. The model which the scientists developed makes the topological toolbox, typically used only to describe quantum systems, now also available to biology.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:52:22 PM
    Many species within Kenya's Tana River Basin will be unable to survive if global temperatures continue to rise as they are on track to do - according to new research. A new study outlines how remaining within the goals of the Paris Agreement would save many species. The research also identifies places that could be restored to better protect biodiversity and contribute towards global ecosystem restoration targets.
  • Jul 23, 2021 1:56:47 PM
    DeepMind is partnering with EMBL to make the most complete and accurate database yet of the predicted human protein structures freely and openly available to the scientific community. The AlphaFold Protein Structure Database will enable research that advances understanding of these building blocks of life, accelerating research across a variety of fields. AlphaFold's impact is already being realized by early partners researching neglected diseases, studying antibiotic resistance, and recycling single-use plastics.
  • Jul 22, 2021 9:12:20 PM
    By analyzing peoples' visitation patterns to essential establishments like pharmacies, religious centers and grocery stores during Hurricane Harvey, researchers have developed a framework to assess the recovery of communities after natural disasters in near real time. They said the information gleaned from their analysis would help federal agencies allocate resources equitably among communities ailing from a disaster.
  • Jul 22, 2021 9:12:10 PM
    The body's so-called good cholesterol may be even better than we realize. New research suggests that one type of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) has a previously unknown role in protecting the liver from injury. This HDL protects the liver by blocking inflammatory signals produced by common gut bacteria.
  • Jul 22, 2021 8:30:26 PM
    A new approach to analysing the development of magnetic tangles on the Sun has led to a breakthrough in a longstanding debate about how solar energy is injected into the solar atmosphere before being released into space, causing space weather events. The first direct evidence that field lines become knotted before they emerge at the visible surface of the Sun has implications for our ability to predict the behavior of active regions and the nature of the solar interior.
  • Jul 22, 2021 8:30:17 PM
    Having friends may not only be good for the health of your social life, but also for your actual health -- if you're a hyena, that is. Strong social connections and greater maternal care early in life can influence molecular markers related to gene expression in DNA and future stress response, suggests a new study of spotted hyenas in the wild.
  • Jul 22, 2021 8:29:57 PM
    Researchers have uncovered evidence showing that cattle are losing important environmental adaptations, losses the researchers attribute to a lack of genetic information available to farmers. After examining genetic material stretching back to the 1960s, they identified specific DNA variations associated with adaptations that could one day be used to create DNA tests for cattle -- tests that could tell farmers whether their cattle are suited for one environment or another.
  • Jul 22, 2021 6:20:37 PM
    As a newborn mammal opens its eyes for the first time, it can already make visual sense of the world around it. But how does this happen before they have experienced sight?
  • Jul 22, 2021 6:20:31 PM
    A new tool that enables thousands of tiny experiments to run simultaneously on a single polymer chip will let scientists study enzymes faster and more comprehensively than ever before.
  • Jul 22, 2021 6:20:29 PM
    A new study shows that the stiffness of protein fibers in tissues, like collagen, are a key component in controlling the movement of cells. The groundbreaking discovery provides the first proof of a theory from the early 1980s and could have a major impact on fields that study cell movement from regenerative medicine to cancer research.
  • Jul 22, 2021 6:20:03 PM
    Scientists have shown that cockatoos, an iconic Australian bird species, learn from each other a unique skill -- lifting garbage bin lids to gather food. The research confirms that cockatoos spread this novel behavior through social learning. This behavior by cockatoos is actually learnt, rather than a result of genetics.
  • Jul 22, 2021 6:19:50 PM
    Infection with dengue virus makes mosquitoes more sensitive to warmer temperatures, according to new research. The team also found that infection with the bacterium Wolbachia, which has recently been used to control viral infections in mosquitoes, also increases the thermal sensitivity of the insects. The findings suggest that global warming could limit the spread of dengue fever but could also limit the effectiveness of Wolbachia as a biological control agent.
  • Jul 22, 2021 5:13:59 PM
    Researchers have developed a way to analyze how individual immune cells react to the bacteria that cause tuberculosis. It could pave the way for new vaccine strategies and provide insights into fighting other infectious diseases.
  • Jul 22, 2021 5:13:54 PM
    The touchscreen technology used in billions of smartphones and tablets could also be used as a powerful sensor, without the need for any modifications.
  • Jul 22, 2021 5:13:48 PM
    Plastics offer many benefits to society and are widely used in our daily life: they are lightweight, cheap and adaptable. However, the production, processing and disposal of plastics pose a major global threat to the environment and human health. However, researchers have now found a sustainable method - 'hydrosetting', which uses water at normal conditions - to process and reshape a new type of hydroplastic polymer.
  • Jul 22, 2021 5:13:45 PM
    New hydrogels mimic intestines when lined with epithelial cells. A study demonstrated hydrogels in various stiffnesses are valuable for learning the dynamics of pathogens that cause diarrhea and other intestinal diseases.
  • Jul 22, 2021 5:13:39 PM
    To meet an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, California's policymakers are relying in part on forests and shrublands to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but researchers warn that future climate change may limit the ecosystem's ability to perform this service.
  • Jul 22, 2021 4:06:24 PM
    It's a favourite first-order for the day, but while a quick coffee may perk us up, new research shows that too much could be dragging us down, especially when it comes to brain health.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:31:06 PM
    Researchers used the City of Pittsburgh to create a model built upon the design, materials and purpose of commercial buildings to estimate their energy usage and emissions.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:30:58 PM
    A new approach to treating breast cancer kills 95 to 100 percent of cancer cells in mouse models of human estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers and their metastases in bone, brain, liver and lungs. The newly developed drug, called ErSO, quickly shrinks even large tumors to undetectable levels.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:30:55 PM
    For more than a century, researchers have relied on flat sketches of sharks' digestive systems to discern how they function -- and how what they eat and excrete impacts other species in the ocean. Now, researchers have produced a series of high-resolution, 3D scans of intestines from nearly three dozen shark species that will advance the understanding of how sharks eat and digest their food.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:30:52 PM
    Scientists have successfully reversed age-related memory loss in mice and say their discovery could lead to the development of treatments to prevent memory loss in people as they age.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:30:40 PM
    New research has been examining how alpine-based hedgehogs hibernate from a different perspective - their backs.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:30:37 PM
    The future of Samoa's electricity system could go green, a new study has shown.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:30:07 PM
    Advances in microscopy reveal how the human genome organises itself in three-dimensional space at much higher resolution than previously possible. A new study finds that transcription generates a force that moves across DNA strands like ripples through water. The discovery may have future implications for the understanding of genetic diseases such as Cornelia de Lange syndrome, developmental disorders linked to chromatin folding, and open new avenues of research in genome fragility and cancer development.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:29:53 PM
    A new RNA breakthrough is allowing plants to yield dramatically more crops and increase drought tolerance, which could have an impact on food scarcity and production as climate change threatens ecosystems. In initial tests, adding a gene encoding for a protein called FTO to both rice and potato plants increased their yield by 50 percent in field tests -- and the plants grew significantly larger, produced longer root systems and were better able to tolerate drought stress.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:29:35 PM
    Reduced mobility induced by the COVID-19 restrictions had only minor influence on particulate pollution levels, according to atmosphere studies in the Po Valley region of northern Italy. Eventually computer simulations indicated that the change in air quality led to an increase in secondary aerosol formation.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:29:24 PM
    New research represents one of the first studies to examine the effectiveness of targeted lionfish removals from both an ecological and a socio-economic perspective.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:29:20 PM
    Researchers report the first structural confirmation that endogenous -- or self-made -- molecules can set off innate immunity in mammals via a pair of immune cell proteins called the TLR4-MD-2 receptor complex. The work has wide-ranging implications for finding ways to treat and possibly prevent autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and antiphospholipid syndrome.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:28:59 PM
    Scientists have developed a 'nanobody' - a small fragment of a llama antibody - that is capable of chasing out human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) as it hides away from the immune system. This then enables immune cells to seek out and destroy this potentially deadly virus.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:28:56 PM
    Newly-hatched pterosaurs may have been able to fly but their flying abilities may have been different from adult pterosaurs, according to a new study. Researchers found that hatchling humerus bones were stronger than those of many adult pterosaurs, indicating that they would have been strong enough for flight.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:28:50 PM
    Researchers reported the development of a transferrable and integrative type I CRISPR-based platform that can efficiently edit the diverse clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a superbug capable of infecting various tissues and organs and a major source of nosocomial infections. The technique can accelerate the identification of resistance determinants of multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogens and the development of novel anti-resistance strategies.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:28:47 PM
    Scientists have found in Salzgitter-Salder what researchers have been searching for for more than 20 years: A geological formation that perfectly represents the transition from the Cretaceous Turonian to the Coniacian Age. The former limestone quarry is now considered a global reference point (GSSP) for the turn of the ages 89.4 million years ago.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:28:34 PM
    Scientists report strong indications of freshened groundwater offshore the coastline between Valletta and Marsascala, in the south-east of Malta.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:28:29 PM
    More than 820 million people in the world don't have enough to eat, while climate change and increasing competition for land and water are further raising concerns about the future balance between food demand and supply. The results of a new study can be used to benchmark global food security projections and inform policy analysis and public debate on the future of food.
  • Jul 21, 2021 9:27:14 PM
    Researchers chronicle the history of African dust transport, including three independent 'first' discoveries of African dust in the Caribbean Basin in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Jul 21, 2021 9:27:03 PM
    Researchers have identified an immune protein tied to the rare neurodegenerative condition known as Niemann-Pick disease type C. The finding, made in mouse models, could offer a powerful new therapeutic target for Niemann-Pick disease type C, a condition that was identified more than a century ago but still lacks effective treatments.
  • Jul 21, 2021 9:27:00 PM
    In a new study that combines assessments of the risks of toxic emissions, nontoxic emissions and people's vulnerability to them, researchers found a strong and statistically significant relationship between the spatial distribution of global climate risk and toxic pollution.
  • Jul 21, 2021 9:26:54 PM
    In a new study, researchers have uncovered how cytolysins from Enterococcus faecalis destroys bacterial and mammalian cells.
  • Jul 21, 2021 6:19:51 PM
    When kids sit down to eat lunch at school, fruits and vegetables may not be their first choice. But with more time at the lunch table, they are more likely to pick up those healthy foods. If we want to improve children's nutrition and health, ensuring longer school lunch breaks can help achieve those goals, according to new research.
  • Jul 21, 2021 6:19:42 PM
    Rabbits were raised for over a thousand years in Mexico without becoming domesticated. A new study finds that their solitary lifestyle and greater species diversity made domestication unlikely.
  • Jul 21, 2021 6:19:17 PM
    Common yeast are able to adapt and thrive in response to a long-term rise in temperature by changing the shape, location and function of some of their proteins. The surprising findings demonstrate the unappreciated plasticity in the molecular and conformational level of proteins and bring the power of molecular biology to the organismal response to climate change.
  • Jul 21, 2021 6:19:12 PM
    During cell division, chromosomes are duplicated and separated so that one copy of each chromosome is inherited by each of the two emerging daughter cells. Correct distribution of chromosomes requires high accuracy and defects in this process can cause aberrant distribution of chromosomes and facilitate cancer development. By analyzing the structure of the protein responsible for chromosome separation, a team has shed light on the mechanisms controlling this essential player in cell division.
  • Jul 21, 2021 6:19:09 PM
    Researchers at RIKEN, Japan have succeeded in creating the first genetically engineered marsupial. This study will contribute to deciphering the genetic background of unique characteristics observed only in marsupials.
  • Jul 21, 2021 4:07:14 PM
    Researchers have developed an innovative method to detect and quantify the more transmissible B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant of concern via wastewater epidemiology.
  • Jul 21, 2021 2:24:32 PM
    A landmark study documenting instances where native Mediterranean species have preyed upon two highly invasive marine fish -- the Pacific red lionfish and the silver-cheeked toadfish -- has just been published.
  • Jul 21, 2021 2:23:55 PM
    A new study has found that infants born within three kilometers of oil and natural gas drilling facilities in Texas had slightly lower birthweights than those born before drilling began in their vicinity.
  • Jul 21, 2021 2:23:49 PM
    Whether summer or winter, midnight sun or polar night, the sand on the ocean floor is always inhabited by the same bacteria. Although the microbial communities differ between different ocean regions, they do not change between the seasons. Presumably, there is simply no room for change. Researchers now describe this phenomenon in a new study.