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New Studies Take a Second Look at Coral Bleaching Culprit

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Scientists have called superoxide out as the main culprit behind coral bleaching: The idea is that as this toxin build up inside coral cells, the corals fight back by ejecting the tiny energy- and color-producing algae living inside them. In doing so, they lose their vibrancy, turn a sickly white, and are left weak, damaged, and vulnerable to disease.

Science

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Greenland, Ice Sheet, Climate Change, UVM, Greenland Ice Sheet, Sea Level Rise, sea level prediction, Geology, Nature, glacial ice, Ice Core, ocean sampling

Greenland on Thin Ice?

New research opens up the deep history of the Greenland Ice Sheet, looking back millions of years farther than previous techniques allowed—and raises urgent questions about if the giant ice sheet might dramatically accelerate its melt-off in the near future.

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Malaria Mystery: Researchers Find Overwhelming Evidence of Malaria’s Existence 2,000 Years Ago at the Height of the Roman Empire

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An analysis of 2,000-year-old human remains from several regions across the Italian peninsula has confirmed the presence of malaria during the Roman Empire, addressing a longstanding debate about its pervasiveness in this ancient civilization.

Medicine

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Evaluation of Scientific Rigor in Animal Research

The “reproducibility crisis” in biomedical research has led to questions about the scientific rigor in animal research, and thus the ethical justification of animal experiments. In research publishing in the Open Access journals PLOS Biology and PLOS ONE on December 2nd, 2016, researchers from the University of Bern have assessed scientific rigor in animal experimentation in Switzerland. The study, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), found widespread deficiencies in the reporting of experimental methodology.

Science

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Tornado, Thunderstorms, Weather, Climate Change, Outbreaks, Meteorological, Insurance, wind shear

Increasing Tornado Outbreaks—Is Climate Change Responsible?

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In a new study, Columbia Engineering researchers looked at increasing trends in the severity of tornado outbreaks where they measured severity by the number of tornadoes per outbreak. They found that these trends are increasing fastest for the most extreme outbreaks.

Science

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Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Visual Cortex, Brain Activity Imaging, Brain oscillations, oscillating blood flow, fMRI, Neural Activity, Neural Networks

Imaging Technique Can See You Think

NIBIB-funded researchers have used fast fMR Ito image rapidly fluctuating brain activity during human thought. fMRI measures changes in blood oxygenation, which were previously thought to be too slow to detect the subtle neuronal activity associated with higher order brain functions. The new discovery is a significant step towards realizing a central goal of neuroscience research: mapping the brain networks responsible for human cognitive functions such as perception, attention, and awareness.

Science

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Zahavi’s handicap principle, Natural Selection, Sexual Selection, Evolution, Biology, ornamentation

Study Explains Evolution Phenomenon That Puzzled Darwin

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Why do some animals have extravagant, showy ornaments -- think deer antlers, peacock feathers and horns on beetles -- that can be a liability to survival? Northwestern University researchers have a possible explanation for this puzzling phenomenon of evolution.

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Timing the Shadow of a Potentially Habitable Extrasolar Planet

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A group of researchers have observed the transit of a potentially Earth-like extrasolar planet as it passes in front of its parent star.

Science

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Microbes, Microbiome, Evolution, Nasonia wasp, deer mice, Mosquito, Drosophila, Great Ape, Phylosymbiosis, Microbiota

Each Animal Species Hosts a Unique Microbial Community and Benefits From It

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A laboratory study of four animal species and their microbiota finds that each species hosts a unique community of microbes that can significantly improve its health and fitness.

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Researchers Develop Soft, Microfluidic 'Lab on the Skin' for Sweat Analysis

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A Northwestern University research team has developed a first-of-its-kind soft, flexible microfluidic device that easily adheres to the skin and measures the wearer’s sweat to show how his or her body is responding to exercise. A little larger than a quarter and about the same thickness, the simple, low-cost device analyzes key biomarkers to help a person decide quickly if any adjustments, such as drinking more water or replenishing electrolytes, need to be made or if something is medically awry.

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Clunio, University of Vienna, marine midges, Kristin Tessmar-Raible, internal clocks, Nature, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, chronotypes

Right Timing Is Crucial in Life

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Humans, as well as many other organisms, possess internal clocks. The exact timing, however, can differ between individuals – for instance, some people are early risers whereas others are "night owls". Neurobiologist Kristin Tessmar-Raible and her team at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) of the University of Vienna and Medical University of Vienna investigated that underlie such timing variations or "chronotypes". The non-biting midge Clunio marinus has two internal clocks, since it times its reproduction according to sun and moon. The team around Tessmar-Raible and Postdoc Tobias Kaiser were now able to identify relevant genes for this adaptation, and published their results in the current issue of "Nature".

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Geology, Water

FSU Researcher Targeting Mysteries of Deep Earth

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New Study Finds Water Deeper In Planet than Scientists Previously Believed

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Geochemistry, Geodynamics, Petrology, Volcanic Eruptions

Researchers Explore Gigantic Volcanic Eruptions That Caused Worldwide Mass Extinctions

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A paper in Nature Communications confirms a major feature in the formation of large igneous provinces — massive worldwide volcanic eruptions that created incredibly high volumes of lava and triggered environmental catastrophes and mass extinctions from 170 to 90 million years ago.

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Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat Is the Fastest Flyer in the Animal Kingdom

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Bats are not just skillful aviators, they can also reach record-breaking speeds.

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Study: Carbon-Hungry Plants Impede Growth Rate of Atmospheric CO2 

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New findings suggest the rate at which CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere has plateaued in recent years because Earth’s vegetation is grabbing more carbon from the air than in previous decades.

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After a Long Demise Due to Poaching, Virunga’s Hippos Climbing Back

NEW YORK (November 3, 2016)—Recent surveys for hippos in Virunga National Park—the oldest protected area in Africa—have found that the beleaguered behemoths are finally recovering from decades of poaching and habitat loss in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to researchers from the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) who conducted the research.

Science

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Climate Change, CO2, Ecosystem, Ecosystem Function, Plant, Food Security, Water Resources

Indirect Effects of Rising CO2 Levels on Ecosystems More Important Than Previously Thought

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The indirect effects of rising CO2 levels, such as changes in soil moisture and plant structure, can have a bigger impact on ecosystems than previously thought. Understanding their importance, in comparison to the direct effects, will improve our understanding of how ecosystems respond to climate change.

Science

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fish, Food, Food Security, Rivers, Ecology, Environment, Limnology, Water

Report Reveals a Big Dependence on Freshwater Fish for Global Food Security

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Freshwater fish play a surprisingly crucial role in feeding some of the world’s most vulnerable people, according to a study published Monday (Oct. 24) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Study Finds Earliest Evidence in Fossil Record for Right-Handedness

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Teeth striations of Homo habilis fossil date back 1.8 million years.

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Soil Moisture, Snowpack Data Could Help Predict 'Flash Droughts'

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Severe 2012 drought could have been predicted months in advance.







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