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October 23 2019


Mapping millet genetics

In the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa, conditions can be difficult for crops. Plants need to have short growing seasons, survive on poor soils and tolerate environmental stresses. Enter, the millets.

Revealing the nanostructure of wood could help raise height limits for wooden skyscrapers

Researchers have captured the visible nanostructure of living wood for the first time using an advanced low-temperature scanning electron microscope.

Turning plastic trash into treasure

Researchers have developed a new catalyst that can cleave plastic's strong carbon-carbon, converting it into higher value products.

October 22 2019


New portable DNA sequencer quickly and accurately diagnoses wheat viruses

A group of scientists have developed a new technology that makes it possible to rapidly identify viruses in wheat fields with a significantly higher accuracy. They collected four wheat samples from western Kansas and used a new harmonica-sized DNA sequencer and a computer program to quickly detect three different viruses in the samples. Furthermore, their results suggested that the samples contained a new virus strain.

Ways to reduce errors in wildlife surveys

Researchers are working to identify less error-prone methods for performing wildlife surveys.

New species take longer to arise in the Amazon

Amazonia is home to the greatest number of species on earth, many now threatened, but a new study hammers home Amazonia's importance, showing that it is not only a place with many species, but one where it has taken an exceptionally long time for new species to form.

Are humans changing animal genetic diversity worldwide?

Human population density and land use is causing changes in animal genetic diversity, according to new research. The research show that environmental changes caused by humans are leading to changes in genetic variation in thousands of species of birds, fish, insects, and mammals. The evidence for human impacts was most clear for insects and fish species.

October 21 2019


New deep-water coral discovered

A new octocoral species was recently discovered in a biodiversity hotspot and World Heritage Site in Pacific Panama. It inhabits an unexplored and understudied marine ecosystem, under increasing need for protection: the mesophotic coral communities.

GenBank can be trusted, study shows

Scientists working to identify coral reef organisms analyzed more than 4.7 million animal DNA sequences from GenBank, the most commonly used tool used to identify environmental DNA, and discovered that animal identification errors are surprisingly rare -- but sometimes very funny.

'Artificial leaf' successfully produces clean gas

A widely-used gas that is currently produced from fossil fuels can instead be made by an 'artificial leaf' that uses only sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, and which could eventually be used to develop a sustainable liquid fuel alternative to gasoline.

October 18 2019


A quick comment about opt-in panels

Here is a comment I received on a referendum repeated contingent valuation (aka, discrete choice experiment) survey:

I seriously dont think this is a realistic way to make decisions regarding such a complex situation. I hope my answers arent used to help anyone. I truly breezed through and became bored by the end. Much too complex for a lighthearted survey.

The respondent was from the SurveyMonkey (SM) Audience Panel which is more expensive and more problematic (the respondents voiced complaints to SM about my survey) than either respondents from the Research Now/SSI (and now they have a new name) or Qualtrics panels. 

The good news is they answered the stated attribute non-attendance question consistent with this comment so sensitivity analysis will account for considering this as a "lighthearted survey" (at $8 per complete I don't consider it lighthearted).

October 17 2019


Mapping global biodiversity change

A new study which focuses on mapping biodiversity change in marine and land ecosystems shows that loss of biodiversity is most prevalent in the tropic, with changes in marine ecosystems outpacing those on land.

First scientific description of elusive bird illuminates plight of Borneo's forests

Scientists surveying the birdlife of Borneo have discovered a startling surprise: an undescribed species of bird, which has been named the spectacled flowerpecker. While scientists and birdwatchers have previously glimpsed the small, gray bird in lowland forests around the island, the Smithsonian team is the first to capture and study it, resulting in its formal scientific description as a new species.

Scientists discover new species of wasp-mimicking praying mantis

Biologists have described a new species of praying mantis that displays the first documented example of conspicuous mimicking of a wasp among praying mantises.

Sexual selection alone could spark formation of new species

Because of imprinted preferences, strawberry poison frog females mate more with similar colored males, and less with differently colored males. Over time, the behavior could lead to two color types becoming separate species.

October 15 2019


Two new porcelain crab species discovered

Two new symbiotic porcelain crab species have been described. One of them, from the South China Sea of Vietnam, inhabits the compact tube-like shelters built by the polychaete worm with other organisms. The other inhabits the intertidal vermetid snail formations in the Colombian Caribbean.

Inside the fuel cell: Imaging method promises industrial insight

Hydrogen-containing substances are important for many industries, but scientists have struggled to obtain detailed images to understand the element's behavior. Researchers now demonstrate the quantification of hydrogen for different states of water -- i.e., liquid, frozen and supercooled -- for applications to eco-friendly fuel cells.


I'm shouting because the journal is shouting:

Marine Resource Economics is now accepting submissions for a new section of the journal titled Case Studies, which is intended to provide an outlet for rigorous, theoretically grounded analyses of the governance of individual fisheries and/or aquaculture systems. The new section will be edited by Tracy Yandle of Emory University, and the editors expect the first Case Study to be published in the forthcoming volume of the journal.

“Case studies play a valuable role in the development of our understanding of effective marine resource governance, yet they are underrepresented in the economics literature. This new section presents a unique opportunity for researchers to apply an economic perspective to rigorous case studies—whether comparative case studies, or single case studies focused at a range of scales," said section editor Tracy Yandle. "I look forward to continuing the strong intellectual tradition of Marine  Resource Economics, while expanding its coverage to a broader range of settings and research methods.”

The Case Studies section joins four sections currently published in Marine Resource Economics: Articles, Perspectives, Systematic Reviews, and Book Reviews. Its published pieces will provide description and analysis of a particular regionally defined fishery, aquaculture system, marine resource, or comparisons of two or more cases, with an emphasis on an economic analytical perspective and focus on historic and/or current issues of marine or coastal zone policy and governance.

"I'm very excited for the potential of this new section to expand the reach of the journal to a wider range of scholars and resource management practitioners," said Joshua K. Abbott, Marine Resource Economics editor.

The editors encourage submissions focusing on small-scale fisheries and aquaculture in developing nations. Case studies drawing upon quantitative evidence are preferred, though qualitative analyses are also encouraged—particularly in data-poor settings. All submissions to the Case Studies section are subject to a single-blind peer review process. For more information, please review Marine Resource Economics Instructions for Authors webpage.

This is sure to be the home for many studies that haven't been able to find one in the past. 


Rare 'itinerant breeding' behavior revealed in California bird

Only two bird species have ever been shown to undertake what scientists call 'itinerant breeding': nesting in one area, migrating to another region, and nesting again there within the same year, to take advantage of shifting food resources. However, new research provides strong evidence of this rare behavior in a third bird -- the Phainopepla, a unique bird found in the southwestern US and the northernmost member of an otherwise tropical family.

October 14 2019


Cheaper catalyst can generate hydrogen in a commercial device

Researchers have shown for the first time that a cheap catalyst can split water and generate hydrogen gas for hours on end in the harsh environment of a commercial electrolyzer -- a step toward clean, large-scale hydrogen production for fuel, fertilizer and industry.
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