Oil spill and microbes
In the results of a newly released study, researchers explain how they used DNA to identify microbes present in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill--and the particular microbes responsible for consuming natural gas immediately after the spill.
Water temperature played a key role in the way bacteria reacted to the spill, the scientists found.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published the........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 10/4/2011 10:01:46 PM)
Math ability is inbornWe accept that some people are born with a talent for music or art or athletics. But what about mathematics? Do some of us just arrive in the world with betteruture climate requires closer scientific attention, as per CSIRO's Dr Melita Keywood.
5 July 2011.
Dr Keywood said it is likely that fire - one of nature's primary carbon-cycling mechanisms - will become an increasingly important driver of atmospheric change as the world warms.
"Understanding changes in the occurrence and magnitude of fires........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 7/7/2011 9:06:40 AM)
2004 Sumatra earthquake deadliest in historyAn international team of georesearchers has discovered an unusual geological formation that helps explain how an undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in December 2004 spawned the deadliest tsunami in recorded history.
Instead of the usual weak, loose sediments typically found above the type of geologic fault that caused the earthquake, the team found a thick plateau of hard, compacted sediments. Once the fault snapped, the rupture........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 6/22/2011 10:43:36 PM)
Carbon release to atmosphere 10 times faste nowThe rate of release of carbon into the atmosphere today is nearly 10 times as fast as during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), 55.9 million years ago, the best analog we have for current global warming, as per an international team of geologists. Rate matters and this current rapid change may not allow sufficient time for the biological environment to adjust.
"We looked at the PETM because it is believed to be the best ancient........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 6/5/2011 8:51:44 PM)
Education doesn't increase odds that minorities play 'high-status' sportsBlack and Mexican American doctors and lawyers aren't any more likely to play "high-status" sports such as golf or tennis than less educated people within their racial-ethnic groups, and more educated blacks may actually be less inclined to do so, suggests a newly released study in the recent issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Relying on nationally representative data from the 1998 National Health Interview Survey-Sample........Go to the Sports-blog (Added on 6/2/2011 7:55:24 AM)
Tiny bubbles signal to coral reefs A newly released study from University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science researchers Chris Langdon, Remy Okazaki and Nancy Muehllehner and his colleagues from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Gera number of concludes that ocean acidification, along with increased ocean temperatures, will likely severely reduce the diversity and resilience of coral........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 5/29/2011 2:16:59 PM)
Bird, crocodile family trees split earlier than thoughtA fossil unearthed in China in the 1970s of a creature that died about 247 million years ago, originally believed to be a distant relative of both birds and crocodiles, turns out to have come from the crocodile family tree after it had already split from the bird family tree, as per research led by a University of Washington paleontologist.
The only known specimen of Xilousuchus sapingensis has been reexamined and is now classified as an........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 5/19/2011 9:00:11 AM)
Central Andean backarc potential for great earthquake?The region east of the central Andes Mountains has the potential for larger scale earthquakes than previously expected, as per a newly released study posted online in the May 8th edition of Nature Geoscience Prior research had set the maximum expected earthquake size to be magnitude 7.5, based on the relatively quiet history of seismicity in that area. This newly released study by scientists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) and his........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 5/8/2011 9:33:18 PM)
Analysis of National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska"The USGS conducts evaluation updates to re-evaluate petroleum potential as new data and information become available," said USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce. "Understanding how much undiscovered, technically recoverable resource might be present serves as a basis for calculating how much might be economically developed."
the U.S. Geological Survey evaluation on the economic recoverability of undiscovered, conventional........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 5/4/2011 4:22:39 PM)
Some People's Climate Beliefs Shift With WeatherSocial researchers are struggling with a perplexing earth-science question: as the power of evidence showing manmade global warming is rising, why do opinion polls suggest public belief in the findings is wavering? Part of the answer appears to be that some people are too easily swayed by the easiest, most irrational piece of evidence at hand: their own estimation of the day's temperature.
In three separate studies, scientists affiliated........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 4/7/2011 8:40:43 AM)
Instructors Can Reduce Cheating By Being ClearA new University of Missouri study says that the reasons students give for cheating are rational, and that stricter punishments won't solve the problem. Instead, teachers should communicate clear standards and provide consistent enforcement to reduce instances of cheating.
Edward Brent, associate chair of the Department of Sociology in the MU College of Arts and Science, and Curtis Atkisson, an MU anthropology student, asked students, "What........Go to the Media-blog (Added on 4/5/2011 7:09:08 PM)
Mesopotamian cIties in Iraqi Marshes?Learn more about the Iraqi marshes and the origins of Mesopotamian cities in this photo gallery and video.
Three National Science Foundation-supported scientists recently undertook the first non-Iraqi archaeological investigation of the Tigris-Euphrates delta in nearly 20 years. Archeologists Jennifer Pournelle and Carrie Hritz, with geologist Jennifer Smith, carried out the study late last year to look for links between wetland resources........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 3/31/2011 11:00:37 PM)
Newly discovered natural arch in AfghanistanScientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society have stumbled upon a geological colossus in a remote corner of Afghanistan: a natural stone arch spanning more than 200 feet across its base.
Located at the central highlands of Afghanistan, the recently discovered Hazarchishma Natural Bridge is more than 3,000 meters (nearly 10,000 feet) above sea level, making it one of the highest large natural bridges in the world. It also ranks among the........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/31/2011 7:13:48 AM)
'Green' cars from pineapples and bananasYour next new car hopefully won't be a lemon. But it could be a pineapple or a banana. That's because researchers in Brazil have developed a more effective way to use fibers from these and other plants in a new generation of automotive plastics that are stronger, lighter, and more eco-friendly than plastics now in use. They described the work, which could lead to stronger, lighter, and more sustainable materials for cars and other products,........Go to the Auto-blog (Added on 3/28/2011 8:14:16 AM)
ANtarctic Icebergs and GLobal Carbon CycleIn a finding that has global implications for climate research, researchers have discovered that when icebergs cool and dilute the seas through which they pass for days, they also raise chlorophyll levels in the water that may in turn increase carbon dioxide absorption in the Southern Ocean.
An interdisciplinary research team supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) highlighted the research this month in the journal Nature........Go to the Chemistry-blog (Added on 3/18/2011 10:08:59 PM)
Electronic medical records improve quality of careA newly released study, conducted by scientists from the Regenstrief Institute and the schools of medicine at Indiana University and Moi University, is one of the first to explore and demonstrate the impact of electronic record systems on quality of medical care in a developing country.
In a paper reported in the March 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Martin Chieng Were, M.D., M.S., assistant........Go to the Health-blog (Added on 3/18/2011 9:02:19 PM)
Problem-solving and employmentRecognizing the need for university students to develop problem-solving skills they will need in their careers, educators are looking to student-centered, problem-based learning strategies. Problem-based learning (PBL) experiences have been shown to promote higher-order thinking skills in students, but, for faculty, implementing and assessing problem-based activities often means a substantial time investment. Iowa State University professor Ann........Go to the Media-blog (Added on 3/17/2011 11:03:45 PM)
Large Hadron Collider could be world's first time machineIf the latest theory of Tom Weiler and Chui Man Ho is right, the Large Hadron Collider - the world's largest atom smasher that started regular operation last year - could be the first machine capable of causing matter to travel backwards in time.
"Our theory is a long shot," admitted Weiler, who is a physics professor at Vanderbilt University, "but it doesn't violate any laws of physics or experimental constraints".
A main goals of the........Go to the Technology-blog (Added on 3/15/2011 10:12:42 PM)
New measurement technologyThe development of a new measurement technology under a research project funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation is probing the structure of composite and biological materials.
"Our results have provided some of the first microscopic insights into a sixty year old puzzle about the way polymeric networks react to repeated shear strains," said Dr. Daniel Blair, Assistant Professor, and........Go to the Technology-blog (Added on 3/13/2011 11:59:18 AM)
California Islands Give Up Evidence of Early SeafaringEvidence for a diversified sea-based economy among North American inhabitants dating from 12,200 to 11,400 years ago is emerging from three sites on California's Channel Islands.
Reporting in the March 4 issue of Science, a 15-member team led by University of Oregon and Smithsonian Institution scholars describes the discovery of scores of stemmed projectile points and crescents dating to that time period. The artifacts are linked to the........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/10/2011 7:52:10 AM)
Some Antarctic Ice is Forming from BottomResearchers working in the remotest part of Antarctica have discovered that liquid water locked deep under the continent's coat of ice regularly thaws and refreezes to the bottom, creating as much as half the thickness of the ice in places, and actively modifying its structure. The finding, which turns common perceptions of glacial formation upside down, could reshape scientists' understanding of how the ice sheet expands and moves, and how it........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/10/2011 7:49:53 AM)
Hunt for green catalystsL. Keith Woo is searching for cleaner, greener chemical reactions.
Woo, an Iowa State University professor of chemistry and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, has studied catalysts and the chemical reactions they affect for more than 25 years. And these days, his focus is on green catalysis.
That, he said, is the search for catalysts that lead to more efficient chemical reactions. That could mean they promote........Go to the Chemistry-blog (Added on 3/8/2011 7:45:24 AM)
An 'eye' on nanoparticlesPrecision measurement in the world of nanoparticles has now become a possibility, thanks to researchers at UC Santa Barbara.
The UCSB research team has developed a new instrument capable of detecting individual nanoparticles with diameters as small as a few tens of nanometers. The study will be published on line this week by Nature Nanotechnology, and appear in the April print issue of the journal.
"This device opens up a wide range of........Go to the Technology-blog (Added on 3/7/2011 6:55:56 AM)
Ecological importance of soundsA Purdue University researcher is leading an effort to create a new scientific field that will use sound as a way to understand the ecological characteristics of a landscape and to reconnect people with the importance of natural sounds.
Soundscape ecology, as it's being called, will focus on what sounds can tell people about an area. Bryan Pijanowski, an associate professor of forestry and natural resources and main author of a paper........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 3/1/2011 10:02:00 PM)
Volcanoes along Pacific Ocean Seamount TrailNearly half a mile of rock retrieved from beneath the seafloor is yielding new clues about how underwater volcanoes are created and whether the hotspots that led to their formation have moved over time.
Georesearchers have just completed an expedition to a string of underwater volcanoes, or seamounts, in the Pacific Ocean known as the Louisville Seamount Trail.
There they collected samples of sediments, basalt lava flows and........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 2/22/2011 8:00:51 AM)
The Year of the Higgs?This February, scientists will renew their search for one of the universe's most elusive mysteries, the Higgs boson--a hypothetical particle that if found would give an insight into why particles have certain mass.
The search will take place at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the world's largest particle accelerator at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Higgs boson is the only remaining........Go to the Chemistry-blog (Added on 2/22/2011 7:54:50 AM)
Testing the limits of where humans can liveOn an isolated segment of islands in the Pacific Ring of Fire, residents endure volcanoes, tsunamis, dense fog, steep cliffs and long and chilly winters.
Sounds homey, huh?
At least it might be for inhabitants of the Kuril Islands, an 810-mile archipelago that stretches from Japan to Russia. The islands, formed by a collision of tectonic plates, are nearly abandoned today, but anthropologists have learned that thousands of people have........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 2/21/2011 7:54:39 AM)
Black carbon and tropospheric ozone in climate changelack carbon (BC) and tropospheric ozone (O3) are harmful air pollutants that also contribute to climate change. The emission of both will continue to negatively impact both human health and climate.
While our scientific understanding of how black carbon and tropospheric ozone affect climate and public health has significantly improved in recent years, the threat posed by these pollutants has catalysed a demand for knowledge and concrete........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 2/21/2011 7:48:53 AM)
Is it safe to drink?"Over the last couple of generations, there has been a huge amount of groundwater pollution worldwide, and this has had a negative impact on our drinking water supply," says Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Canada Research Chair in Isotope Geochemistry of the Earth and the Environment at the University of Toronto.
Sherwood Lollar is taking part in the THINK CANADA Press Breakfast Sunday at AAAS. Her research examines society's efforts to reverse and........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 2/21/2011 7:31:42 AM)
Measuring Science InvestmentsMeasuring the results of scientific research has seen little federal focus until now.
A 2010 administrative memorandum calls on U.S. federal agencies and executive departments to develop tools to "better assess the impact of [.] science and technology investments.".
Translation: There is increasing pressure to document the results of [.] research investments in a scientific manner, writes Julia Lane, Science of Science and........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 2/14/2011 7:42:22 AM)
Neutron analysis reveals superconductivity linkNeutron scattering analysis of two families of iron-based materials suggests that the magnetic interactions thought responsible for high-temperature superconductivity may lie "two doors down": The key magnetic exchange pairings occur in a next-nearest-neighbor ordering of atoms, rather than adjacent atoms.
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, using the Spallation Neutron........Go to the Chemistry-blog (Added on 2/7/2011 3:48:55 PM)
Earliest cemetery in Middle EastAnthropologists at the University of Toronto and the University of Cambridge have discovered the oldest cemetery in the Middle East at a site in northern Jordan. The cemetery includes graves containing human remains buried alongside those of a red fox, suggesting that the animal was possibly kept as a pet by humans long before dogs ever were.
The 16,500-year-old site at 'Uyun al-Hammam was discovered in 2000 by an expedition led by........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 2/3/2011 7:56:14 AM)
Warehouse fire safetyImagine this: Firefighters enter a several football field-sized, 60-foot high, pitch-black warehouse and they can't see inside�they don't know if there is an inferno or a small fire with a lot of smoke. It's a very dangerous situation, making choices hard. Engineers at UC San Diego have made a breakthrough discovery that could help ease these situations by predicting where and how quickly initial fires spread in warehouses. Results of this........Go to the Media-blog (Added on 2/2/2011 10:29:30 PM)
Ice Cores Yield Rich History of Climate ChangeOn Friday, Jan. 28 in Antarctica, a research team investigating the last 100,000 years of Earth's climate history reached an important milestone completing the main ice core to a depth of 3,331 meters (10,928 feet) at West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS). The project will be completed over the next two years with some additional coring and borehole logging to obtain additional information and samples of the ice for the study of the climate........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 2/2/2011 7:53:30 AM)
Precise way to monitor ocean wave behaviorEngineers have created a new type of "stereo vision" to use in studying ocean waves as they pound against the shore, providing a better way to understand and monitor this violent, ever-changing environment.
The approach, which uses two video cameras to feed data into an advanced computer system, can observe large areas of ocean waves in real time and help explain what they are doing and why, researchers say.
The system appears to be of........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 1/28/2011 7:40:54 PM)
Chemistry Now Video SeriesIn celebration of the International Year of Chemistry, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, have teamed up to launch "Chemistry Now," a weekly online video series that uncovers and explains the science of common physical objects in our world and the changes they undergo every day. The series also looks at the lives and work of researchers on the frontiers of 21st century chemistry.........Go to the Chemistry-blog (Added on 1/28/2011 7:16:55 PM)
Cow rumen for better biofuels enzymesWhen it comes to breaking down plant matter and converting it to energy, the cow has it all figured out. Its digestive system allows it to eat more than 150 pounds of plant matter every day. Now scientists report that they have found dozens of previously unknown microbial enzymes in the bovine rumen � the cow's primary grass-digestion chamber � that contribute to the breakdown of switchgrass, a renewable biofuel energy source.
The study, in........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 1/28/2011 7:59:20 AM)
Ecosystems and Fishing in Northwest MexicoScientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have completed a newly released study on the geography of commercial fisheries in Northwest Mexico and the results could have far-ranging implications for the sustainable future of marine wildlife in the area.
The scientists, led by Scripps postdoctoral researcher Brad Erisman, analyzed data from local fisheries offices around the region that includes Baja California as well........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 1/28/2011 7:56:45 AM)
Beneath massive Antarctic ice shelfAn international team of scientists funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will travel next month to one of Antarctica's most active, remote and harsh spots to determine how changes in the waters circulating under an active ice sheet are causing a glacier to accelerate and drain into the sea.
The science expedition will be the most extensive ever deployed to Pine Island Glacier. It is the area of the ice-covered continent........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 11/9/2011 6:39:31 PM)
Cryogenic Catering TruckUntil now, servicing the state-of-the-art superconducting receivers inside an ALMA telescope has mandatory hauling the entire 115-ton telescope from its observing site at 16,500 feet down to a support facility at 9,500 feet. The dangerous 40-mile roundtrip, atop a monster truck called the ALMA Transporter, uses hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel, and the telescope's absence from scientific observing can be as long as four days.
The newly........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 9/1/2011 6:10:48 PM)
Carbon hitches a ride from field to marketToday, farming often involves transporting crops long distances so consumers from Maine to California can enjoy Midwest corn, Northwest cherries and other produce when they are out of season locally. But it isn't just the fossil fuel needed to move food that contributes to agriculture's carbon footprint.
New research reported in the journal Biogeosciences provides a detailed account of how carbon naturally flows into and out of crops........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 8/4/2011 8:16:57 AM)
"Junk" Energy Into Useful PowerA University at Buffalo-led research team has developed a mathematical framework that could one day form the basis of technologies that turn road vibrations, airport runway noise and other "junk" energy into useful power.
The concept all begins with a granular system comprising a chain of equal-sized particles -- spheres, for instance -- that touch one another.
In a paper in Physical Review E this June, UB theoretical physicist Surajit........Go to the Technology-blog (Added on 7/20/2011 10:29:47 PM)
Non-Africans are part NeanderthalSome of the human X chromosome originates from Neanderthals and is found exclusively in people outside Africa, as per an international team of scientists led by Damian Labuda of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center. The research was reported in the recent issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution.
"This confirms recent findings suggesting that the two populations interbred,"........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 7/18/2011 8:29:28 AM)
Retired NFL players at higher risk for mild cognitive impairmentRetired NFL football players are at higher risk for mild cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to Alzheimer's disease, a Loyola University Health System study has observed.
A screening survey of 513 retired players and their wives observed that 35 percent of the players had scores suggesting possible mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Their average age was 61.
"It appears there appears to be a very high rate of cognitive impairment........Go to the Sports-blog (Added on 7/18/2011 8:24:00 AM)
How hot did Earth get in the past?The question seems simple enough: What happens to the Earth's temperature when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase? The answer is elusive. However, clues are hidden in the fossil record. A newly released study by scientists from Syracuse and Yale universities provides a much clearer picture of the Earth's temperature approximately 50 million years ago when CO2 concentrations were higher than today. The results may shed light on what to........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 7/5/2011 8:35:24 PM)
Upping the antiScience fiction is fast approaching science fact as scientists are progressing rapidly toward "bottling" antimatter. In a paper published online today by the journal Nature Physics, the ALPHA experiment at CERN, including key Canadian contributors, reports that it has succeeded in storing antimatter atoms for over 16 minutes. While carrying around bottled antimatter like in the movie Angels and Demons remains fundamentally far-fetched,........Go to the Chemistry-blog (Added on 6/5/2011 8:54:46 PM)
Thomas Edison also invented the concrete houseAfficionados of modern poured-concrete design were in for a rude awakening last month when they heard NJIT Assistant Professor Matt Burgermaster's presentation at the 64th annual meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians. "Edison's 'Single-Pour System: Inventing Seamless Architecture" illustrated how Thomas Edison invented and patented in 1917 an innovative construction system to mass produce prefabricated and seamless concrete........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 6/2/2011 8:04:31 AM)
Seeing hidden building blocks of lifeResearchers from Finland and France have developed a new synchrotron X-ray technique that may revolutionize the chemical analysis of rare materials like meteoric rock samples or fossils. The results have been published on 29 May 2011 in Nature Materials as an advance online publication.
Life, as we know it, is based on the chemistry of carbon and oxygen. The three-dimensional distribution of their abundance and chemical bonds has been........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 5/29/2011 2:39:36 PM)
Women entering the workforce expect less than menWomen have lower career expectations than men, anticipating smaller paycheques and longer waits for promotions, as per a newly released study involving a University of Guelph researcher.
When comparing career expectations of Canadian female and male university students, Prof. Sean Lyons discovered that women predict their starting salaries to be 14 per cent less than what the men forecast. This gap in wage expectations widens over their........Go to the Media-blog (Added on 5/19/2011 8:40:30 AM)
Race in AmericaFour Northwestern University scholars authored or co-authored three essays in "Race, Inequality, and Culture." In the new issue of Daedalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 22 prominent social researchers examine race in America today, weighing in on topics ranging from the future of African American studies to intra-minority group relations in the 21st century.
Has the mission of African American studies changed?........Go to the Media-blog (Added on 5/4/2011 5:36:28 PM)
Air pollution near Michigan schools-Air pollution from industrial sources near Michigan public schools jeopardizes children's health and academic success, as per a newly released study from University of Michigan researchers.
The scientists observed that schools located in areas with the state's highest industrial air pollution levels had the lowest attendance rates---an indicator of poor health---as well as the highest proportions of students who failed to meet state........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 5/4/2011 5:22:44 PM)
Precedent-setting and biodiversityFrequent reports of accelerating species losses invariably raise questions about why such losses matter and why we should work to conserve biodiversity.
Biologists have traditionally responded to such questions by citing societal benefits that are often presumed to be offered by biodiversity--benefits like controlling pests and diseases, promoting the productivity of fisheries, and helping to purify air and water, among a number of others.........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 4/7/2011 8:48:09 AM)
Extra-Cold Winters in Northeastern North AmericaIf you're sitting on a bench in New York City's Central Park in winter, you're probably freezing.
After all, the average temperature in January is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
But if you were just across the pond in Porto, Portugal, which shares New York's latitude, you'd be much warmer--the average temperature is a balmy 48 degrees Fahrenheit.
Throughout northern Europe, average winter temperatures are at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/31/2011 11:04:55 PM)
EarthScope Seismic Sensors Head East of the MississippiMost seismic activity--and earthquakes--have been in the U.S. West. But the East is not out of the woods in terms of risk, geologists say.
After a six-year march eastward from the U.S. West Coast, the EarthScope Transportable Array seismic network has reached a major milestone: installation of the first Transportable Array station east of the Mississippi River.
Station 345A, located on a private farm about 15 miles northwest of Columbia,........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/31/2011 10:57:34 PM)
Communicating uncertain climate risksDespite much research that demonstrates potential dangers from climate change, public concern has not been increasing.
One theory is that this is because the public is not intimately familiar with the nature of the climate uncertainties being discussed.
"A major challenge facing climate researchers is explaining to non-specialists the risks and uncertainties surrounding potential" climate change, says a new Perspectives piece published........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/30/2011 7:13:27 AM)
First practical 'artificial leaf'esearchers today claimed one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy � development of the first practical artificial leaf. Speaking here at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, they described an advanced solar cell the size of a poker card that mimics the process, called photosynthesis, that green plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy.
"A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy........Go to the Technology-blog (Added on 3/28/2011 7:28:32 AM)
Algae and bacteria hogged oxygen after ancient mass extinctionA mass extinction is hard enough for Earth's biosphere to handle, but when you chase it with prolonged oxygen deprivation, the biota ends up with a hangover that can last millions of years.
Such was the situation with the greatest mass extinction in Earth's history 250 million years ago, when 90 percent of all marine animal species were wiped out, along with a huge proportion of plant, animal and insect species on land.
A massive amount........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 3/26/2011 10:09:29 PM)
Rapid, high-definition chemistryWith intensity a million times brighter than sunlight, a new synchrotron-based imaging technique offers high-resolution pictures of the molecular composition of tissues with unprecedented speed and quality. Carol Hirschmugl, a physicist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), led a team of scientists from UWM, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to demonstrate these new........Go to the Chemistry-blog (Added on 3/20/2011 10:08:46 PM)
Climate change hits homeDirect experience of extreme weather events increases concern about climate change and willingness to engage in energy-saving behaviour, as per a new research paper reported in the first edition of the journal Nature Climate Change this week.
In particular, members of the British public are more prepared to take personal action and reduce their energy use when they perceive their local area has a greater vulnerability to flooding, as per the........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/20/2011 9:59:56 PM)
Can Biochar Help Suppress Greenhouse Gases?Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas and a precursor to compounds that contribute to the destruction of the ozone. Intensively managed, grazed pastures are responsible for an increase in nitrous oxide emissions from grazing animals' excrement. Biochar is potentially a mitigation option for reducing the world's elevated carbon dioxide emissions, since the embodied carbon can be sequestered in the soil. Biochar also has the potential to........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/18/2011 10:06:28 PM)
Enhancing the Magnetism"The nation that controls magnetism will control the universe," famed fictional detective Dick Tracy predicted back in 1935. Probably an overstatement, but there's little doubt the nation that leads the development of advanced magnetoelectronic or "spintronic" devices is going to have a serious leg-up on its Information Age competition. A smaller, faster and cheaper way to store and transfer information is the spintronic grand prize and a key........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 3/18/2011 6:19:55 PM)
Wind and solar energyWhen combined with on-Oahu wind farms and solar energy, the Interisland Wind project planned to bring 400 megawatts (MW) of wind power from Molokai and Lanai to Oahu could reliably supply more than 25% of Oahu's projected electricity demand, as per the Oahu Wind Integration Study (OWIS).
For the purposes of the research project, the OWIS released recently studied the impact on the Oahu grid of a total of 500 MW of wind energy and a nominal........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/17/2011 10:39:23 PM)
Golf courses that reuse waterIrrigation is one of the most controversial aspects in the sustainable management of golf courses. Scientists from the Canary Islands have spent 25 years analysing the practices relating to reclaimed water at one of the oldest golf courses in Spain. The results show that plants on the course receive 83% more water than they need.
"Excessive amounts of water are used, and this cannot be justified from any perspective", Mar�a del Pino Palacios........Go to the Sports-blog (Added on 3/15/2011 10:42:48 PM)
Earth's Sixth Mass ExtinctionWith the steep decline in populations of a number of animal species, researchers have warned that Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction like those that have occurred just five times during the past 540 million years.
Each of these "Big Five" saw three-quarters or more of all animal species go extinct.
In results of a study published in this week's issue of journal Nature, scientists report on an evaluation of where mammals and other........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/10/2011 7:57:13 AM)
Black Holes: A Model for Superconductors?Black holes are some of the heaviest objects in the universe. Electrons are some of the lightest. Now physicists Robert G. Leigh and Philip Phillips along with postdoctoral fellow Mohammad Edalati and graduate student Ka Wai Lo of the University of Illinois have shown how charged black holes can be used to model the behavior of interacting electrons in unconventional superconductors.
Unlike the old superconductors, which were all metals, the........Go to the Technology-blog (Added on 3/10/2011 7:55:35 AM)
Web Use Doesn't Encourage Belief In Poltical RumorsDespite the fears of some, a newly released study suggests that use of the internet in general does not make people more likely to believe political rumors.
However, one form of internet communication - e-mail - does seem to have troubling consequences for the spread and belief of rumors.
"I think a lot of people will be surprised to learn that using the internet doesn't necessarily promote belief in rumors. A number of people seem to........Go to the Media-blog (Added on 3/8/2011 7:50:20 AM)
Ideal teacher and the ideal pupilA thesis from the University of Gothenburg on school policy documents shows that the ideal pupil and the ideal teacher are supposed to be naturally curious and have an inherent will to learn as a means of increasing Sweden's economic competitiveness. "The argument that education should contribute to democracy or solidarity has taken a back seat," says author Lena Sj�berg.
Lena Sj�berg, a PhD student at the University of Gothenburg and........Go to the Media-blog (Added on 3/8/2011 7:43:38 AM)
Observing Arctic ice-edge plankton blooms"Ice-edge phytoplankton blooms in the Arctic Ocean provide food for planktonic animals called zooplankton, which are in turn exploited by animals higher up the food chain such as fish," explained Dr Andrew Yool, one of the team of NOC researchers.
During the Arctic spring and summer, sea-ice melts and breaks up. Freshwater from melting ice forms a blanket over the denser, saltier water below. This stratification of the water column, along........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 3/7/2011 7:30:19 AM)
World's oldest Pteranodon?Fossilized bones discovered in Texas from a flying reptile that died 89 million years ago appears to be the earliest occurrence of the prehistoric creature known as Pteranodon.
Previously, Pteranodon bones have been found in Kansas, South Dakota and Wyoming in the Niobrara and Pierre geological formations. This likely Pteranodon specimen is the first of its kind found in Texas, as per paleontologist Timothy S. Myers at Southern Methodist........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 3/1/2011 10:21:06 PM)
Small Cars in the Big CityIn large cities, space is limited and only the elite can afford the vast garage fees and high insurance rates. This is one of the main reasons why small cars have become such a popular choice for those who live in a big city. With many compact options, people living in the city are more apt to buy a smaller car, one that will just meet their daily needs. When choosing these small cars, it is important to think of practicality. Will it allow........Go to the Auto-blog (Added on 2/27/2011 8:11:11 PM)
Oldest Fossils of Large SeaweedsAlmost 600 million years ago, before the rapid evolution of life forms known as the Cambrian explosion, a community of seaweeds and worm-like animals lived in a quiet deep-water niche near what is now Lantian, a small village in south China.
Then they simply died, leaving some 3,000 nearly pristine fossils preserved between beds of black shale deposited in oxygen-free and unbreathable waters.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 2/22/2011 7:55:58 AM)
First harmful algal bloom species genome sequencedThe microscopic phytoplankton Aureococcus anophagefferens, which causes devastating brown tides, appears to be tiny but it's proven to be a fierce competitor.
In the first genome sequencing of a harmful algal bloom species, scientists observed that Aureococcus' unique gene complement allows it to outcompete other marine phytoplankton and thrive in human-modified ecosystems, which could help explain the global increases in harmful algal........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 2/22/2011 7:40:36 AM)
Are population estimates off the mark?In 2011 the Earth's population will reach 7 billion. The United Nations (UN) reports that the total number of people will climb to 9 billion in 2050, peak at 9.5 billion, stabilize temporarily, and then decline. Despite the confidence with which these projections are presented, in an American Association for the Advancement of Science press briefing and presentation today the Population Council's John Bongaarts presents evidence that the actual........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 2/21/2011 7:51:52 AM)
New study illustrates shifting biomes in Alaska newly released study released recently in the EarlyView of Ecology Letters addresses forest productivity trends in Alaska, highlighting a shift in biomes caused by a warming climate. The findings, conducted by researchers at the Woods Hole Research Center and three other institutions based in Alaska and France, linked satellite observations with an extensive and unique tree-ring data set. Patterns observed support current hypotheses regarding........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 2/21/2011 7:26:52 AM)
Archaeologists find hidden African side One of North America's most famous Revolutionary-era buildings � a lone-surviving testament to an Enlightenment ideal � has a hidden West African face, University of Maryland archaeologists have discovered.
Their excavation at the 1785 Wye �Orangery� on Maryland's Eastern Shore � the only 18th century greenhouse left in North America � reveals that African American slaves played a sophisticated, technical role in its construction and........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 2/14/2011 6:52:58 AM)
Bound Neutrons Pave Way to Free OnesA study of bound protons and neutrons conducted at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has allowed scientists, for the first time, to extract information through experimentation about the internal structure of free neutrons, without the assistance of a theoretical model. The result was reported in the Feb. 4 issue of Physical Review Letters.
The major hurdle for researchers who study the internal........Go to the Chemistry-blog (Added on 2/8/2011 6:48:27 AM)
Field study of smoggy inversions to endDuring the past two months, scientists launched weather balloons, drove instrument-laden cars and flew a glider to study winter inversions that often choke Salt Lake City in smog and trap dirty air in other urban basins worldwide.
The field campaign � part of a three-year study by the University of Utah and other institutions � ends Monday, Feb. 7 as atmospheric researchers begin analyzing data they collected to learn how weather........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 2/3/2011 7:51:32 AM)
Adele"s "Someone like you"As of late I have been obsessed with Adele"s new album 21 (officially releasing in the US on February 22nd). It"s beyond incredible, you have to listen to her sing Someone Like You in the video below, shot at her London home. This is amazing, trust me, I can guarantee you a case of the chills, I was literally mesmerized! Without a doubt, Adele has safely secured herself a spot in my top favorite albums of 2011 list, even if the year is just........Go to the Entertainment-blog (Added on 2/3/2011 7:11:25 AM)
Quantum-mechanical implementation of 'shell game' Inspired by the popular confidence trick known as "shell game," scientists at UC Santa Barbara have demonstrated the ability to hide and shuffle "quantum-mechanical peas" �� microwave single photons �� under and between three microwave resonators, or "quantized shells".
In a paper reported in the Jan. 30 issue of the journal Nature Physics, UCSB scientists show the first demonstration of the coherent control of a multi-resonator........Go to the Chemistry-blog (Added on 2/1/2011 8:00:36 AM)
Pinus jeffreyiToday"s entry was supposed to be posted yesterday, but we"re still trying to determine the optimal settings for the new server, so it ended up crashing again last night. It shouldn"t be too much longer before things are back to being stable, though
I briefly spoke to the Vancouver Rhododendron Society last night about some of my trips to the Siskiyous, so while working through the images for that presentation, I pulled this one for BPotD........Go to the Botany-blog (Added on 1/30/2011 11:07:03 AM)
Ecology-evolution dynamicEcology drives evolution. In today's issue of the journal Science, UC Davis expert Thomas Schoener describes growing evidence that the reverse is also true, and explores what that might mean to our understanding of how environmental change affects species and vice-versa.
A classic example of ecology influencing evolution is seen in a Gal�pagos ground finch, Geospiza fortis. In this species, larger beaks dominated the population after dry........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 1/28/2011 7:25:58 PM)
Physics-Based Space Weather ModelThe first large-scale, physics-based space weather prediction model is transitioning from research into operation.
Researchers affiliated with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling (CISM) and the National Weather Service reported the news today at the annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting in Seattle, Wash.
The model will provide forecasters with a one-to-four day advance warning........Go to the Geography-blog (Added on 1/28/2011 7:12:30 PM)
Dinosaurs survived mass extinction by 700,000 yearsUniversity of Alberta scientists determined that a fossilized dinosaur bone found in New Mexico confounds the long established paradigm that the age of dinosaurs ended between 65.5 and 66 million years ago.
The U of A team, led by Larry Heaman from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, determined the femur bone of a hadrosaur as being only 64.8 million years old. That means this particular plant eater was alive about 700,000........Go to the Archeology-blog (Added on 1/28/2011 7:43:31 AM)