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Captive Rhinos Exposed to Urban Rumbles

The soundtrack to a wild rhinoceros’s life is wind passing through the savannah grass, birds chirping and distant animals moving across the plains. But a rhinoceros in a zoo listens to children screaming, cars passing and the persistent hum of urban life. A group of researchers from Texas believes that this discrepancy in soundscape may be contributing to rhinos’ difficulties thriving and reproducing in captivity.

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Himalayan Viagra Fuels Caterpillar Fungus Gold Rush

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Overwhelmed by speculators trying to cash-in on a prized medicinal fungus known as Himalayan Viagra, two isolated Tibetan communities have managed to do at the local level what world leaders often fail to do on a global scale — implement a successful system for the sustainable harvest of a precious natural resource, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Why Plants Don't Get Sunburn

Plants rely on sunlight to make their food, but they also need protection from its harmful rays, just like humans do. Recently, scientists discovered a group of molecules in plants that shields them from sun damage. Now, in an article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, one team reports on the mechanics of how these natural plant sunscreens work.

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Impact of Invasive Species Varies with Latitude, Highlighting Need for Biogeographic Perspective on Invasions

In a large scale study of native and invasive Phargmites, researchers from URI and LSU found that the intensity of plant invasions by non-native species can vary considerably with changes in latitude.

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WVU Geography Professor Investigates Risks to North America's Largest and Rarest Bird

Planned wind turbine farms in California --- intended to create new, renewable energy resources --- are endangering the lives of rare birds of prey populations. A geography professor at West Virginia University is monitoring the birds' flight patterns to protect them and preserve the efforts to harvest wind energy.

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Dolphin 'Breathalyzer' Could Help Diagnose Animal and Ocean Health

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Alcohol consumption isn't the only thing a breath analysis can reveal. Scientists have been studying its possible use for diagnosing a wide range of conditions in humans — and now in the beloved bottlenose dolphin. In a report in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, one team describes a new instrument that can analyze the metabolites in breath from dolphins, which have been dying in alarming numbers along the Atlantic coast this year.

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Forest Service Says Buy Local Firewood to Prevent Spread of Invasive Beetle

An invasive beetle has spread to 22 states and could kill millions of Ash trees. A forest health specialist from the Kansas Forest Service encourages the use of local firewood to prevent the spread of Emerald Ash Borer.

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Balancing Birds and Biofuels: Grasslands Support More Species Than Cornfields

In a new study, scientists examined whether corn and grassland fields could provide both biomass for bioenergy production and bountiful bird habitat. The research team found that grasslands supported more bird species than cornfields did, and new findings indicate grassland fields may represent an acceptable tradeoff between creating biomass for bioenergy and providing habitat for grassland birds.

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Are Montana’s Invasive Fish in for a Shock?

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A new paper from the Wildlife Conservation Society, Montana State University, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the U.S. Geological Survey looks at the feasibility of electrofishing to selectively remove invasive trout species from Montana streams as an alternative to using fish toxicants known as piscicides that effect all gill-breathing organisms.

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Spiders: Survival of the Fittest Group

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Researchers have uncovered the first-ever field-based evidence for a biological mechanism called 'group selection' contributing to local adaptation in natural populations. Evolutionary theorists have been debating the existence and power of group selection for decades. Now two scientists have observed it in the wild -- as they report in the journal Nature.

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