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April 03 2020

20:27

Deep-sea worms and bacteria team up to harvest methane

Scientists uncover an unusual partnership at the bottom of the ocean.
17:23

Removing the novel coronavirus from the water cycle

Researchers have called for more research to determine the best ways to keep SARS-CoV-19 out of the water cycle. They also suggest that developed nations should finance water treatment systems in the developing world to help prevent future COVID-19 pandemics.
15:51

An antibiotic masquerading as a natural compound in the Giant Madeiran Squill

A previous study has shown that a type of squill growing in Madeira produces a chemical compound that may be useful as a medicinal drug. But a new study has shown that this is probably not true: instead, the plant had likely accumulated antibiotics from contaminated soil.
15:51

Changes to drylands with future climate change

While drylands around the world will expand at an accelerated rate because of future climate change, their average productivity will likely be reduced, according to a new study. These regions, which primarily include savannas, grasslands and shrublands, are important for grazing and non-irrigated croplands. They are also a critical part of the global carbon cycle and make up 41% of Earth's land surface and support 38% of its population.
15:51

Plant root hairs key to reducing soil erosion

The tiny hairs found on plant roots play a pivotal role in helping reduce soil erosion, a new study has found. The research provides compelling evidence that when root hairs interact with the surrounding soil they reduce soil erosion and increase soil cohesion by binding soil particles.
15:51

Northern peatlands will lose some of their CO2 sink capacity under a warmer climate

A study sheds new light on the role of northern peatlands in regulating the regional climate. According to the researchers, peatlands will remain carbon sinks until the end of this century, but their sink capacity will be substantially reduced after 2050, if the climate warms significantly.
12:28

Coastal pollution reduces genetic diversity of corals, reef resilience

A new study found that human-induced environmental stressors have a large effect on the genetic composition of coral reef populations in Hawai'i. They confirmed that there is an ongoing loss of sensitive genotypes in nearshore coral populations due to stressors resulting from poor land-use practices and coastal pollution. This reduced genetic diversity compromises reef resilience. 

April 02 2020

18:45

Experiments lead to slip law for better forecasts of glacier speed, sea-level rise

Backed by experimental data from a laboratory machine that simulates the huge forces involved in glacier flow, glaciologists have written an equation that accounts for the motion of ice that rests on the soft, deformable ground underneath unusually fast-moving parts of ice sheets. Models using the equation -- a 'slip law' -- could better predict how quickly glaciers are sliding, how much ice they're sending to oceans and how that would affect sea-level rise.
18:44

Scientists develop 'backpack' computers to track wild animals in hard-to-reach habitats

To truly understand an animal species is to observe its behavior and social networks in the wild. With new technology, researchers are able to track tiny animals that divide their time between flying around in the sky and huddling together in caves and hollow trees -- by attaching little backpacks to them with glue.
18:44

Smaller scale solutions needed for rapid progress towards emissions targets

Low-carbon technologies that are smaller scale, more affordable, and can be mass deployed are more likely to enable a faster transition to net-zero emissions, according to a new study. Innovations ranging from solar panels to electric bikes also have lower investment risks, greater potential for improvement in both cost and performance, and more scope for reducing energy demand -- key attributes that will help accelerate progress on decarbonization.
17:46

Giant umbrellas shift from convenient canopy to sturdy storm shield

In a new approach to storm surge protection, a team has created a preliminary design for dual-purpose kinetic umbrellas that would provide shade during fair weather and could be tilted in advance of a storm to form a flood barrier. The researchers used computational modeling to begin evaluating the umbrellas' ability to withstand an acute storm surge.
17:46

What climate change means for Northwestern US wildfires

A synthesis study looks at how climate change will affect the risk of wildfires in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana. The authors also suggest how managers and individual landowners in different ecosystems can best prepare.
15:17

Whooping cranes form larger flocks as wetlands are lost -- and it may put them at risk

Over the past few decades, the endangered whooping crane (Grus Americana) has experienced considerable recovery. However, researchers found that habitat loss has led whooping cranes to gather in unusually large groups during migration. While larger groups are a positive sign of species recovery, the authors say that a disease outbreak or extreme weather event could inadvertently impact this still fragile population.
14:08

Our oceans are suffering, but we can rebuild marine life

It's not too late to rescue global marine life, according to a study outlining the steps needed for marine ecosystems to recover from damage by 2050. The study found many components of marine ecosystems could be rebuilt if we try harder to address the causes of their decline.
14:08

Fourth new pterosaur discovery in matter of weeks

You wait ages for a pterosaur and then four come along at once. Hot on the heels of a recent paper discovering three new species of pterosaur, palaeobiologists have identified another new species -- the first of its kind to be found on African soil.
12:05

Discovery of life in solid rock deep beneath sea may inspire new search for life on Mars

Newly discovered single-celled creatures living deep beneath the seafloor have provided clues about how to find life on Mars. These bacteria were discovered living in tiny cracks inside volcanic rocks after researchers perfected a new method cutting rocks into ultrathin slices to study under a microscope. Researchers estimate that the rock cracks are home to a community of bacteria as dense as that of the human gut, about 10 billion bacterial cells per cubic centimeter.

April 01 2020

19:08

Homo naledi juvenile remains offers clues to how our ancestors grew up

A partial skeleton of Homo naledi represents a rare case of an immature individual, shedding light on the evolution of growth and development in human ancestry, according to a study.
17:08

Fish have diverse, distinct gut microbiomes

The rich biodiversity of coral reefs even extends to microbial communities within fish, according to new research. The study reports that several important grazing fish on Caribbean coral reefs each harbor a distinct microbial community within their guts, revealing a new perspective on reef ecology.
17:08

Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world

Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time.
17:08

Elephant welfare can be assessed using two indicators

In two new studies, scientists have investigated how to measure stress in semi-captive working elephants. The studies suggest that both physiological and behavioral approaches can be used to reliably assess the well-being of semi-captive Asian elephants.
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