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Brain Network, Executive Function, teen brains, Adolescence, Youth

Penn Medicine Researchers Identify Brain Network Organization Changes That Influence Improvements in Executive Function Among Adolescents and Young Adults


In a new study, published this week in Current Biology, a team of University of Pennsylvania researchers report newly mapped changes in the network organization of the brain that underlie those improvements in executive function. The findings could provide clues about risks for certain mental illnesses.



South Sudan Wildlife Surviving Civil War, but Poaching and Trafficking Threats Increase


The first aerial assessment of the impact of South Sudan’s current civil war on the country’s wildlife and other natural resources shows that significant wildlife populations have so far survived, but poaching and commercial wildlife trafficking are increasing, as well as illegal mining, timber harvesting and charcoal production, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said in a report issued today.



Parasitic plants , Mistletoe, Seed Dispersal, Enviornment, bird ecology, Puerto Rico

Mistletoe Research May Keep You Healthy


A new study examines the spread of mistletoe—a parasitic plant—and finds that the plant’s success is determined not only by its compatibility with a host tree, but also whether or not the plants’ fruiting seasons overlap. Knowing what factors are necessary for the parasite to spread may help scientists better understand the variability of other parasitic interactions, including infectious diseases.



Wolves Need Space to Roam to Control Expanding Coyote Populations


Wolves and other top predators need large ranges to be able to control smaller predators whose populations have expanded, according to a study appearing May 23 in Nature Communications. The results were similar across three continents, showing that as top predators' ranges were cut back and fragmented, they were no longer able to control smaller predators.



Flowers, Sunflower, Plant Biology, Evolurtion, Plant Genetics, Agriculatural

Sunflower Genome Sequence to Provide Roadmap for More Resilient Crops

University of Georgia researchers are part of an international team that has published the first sunflower genome sequence.



Fossils, Argentina, Flowers, Cornell University, History, Cretaceous Period, Paleocene epoch

Oldest Buckthorn Fossilized Flowers Found in Argentina


Around 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, a giant asteroid crashed into the present-day Gulf of Mexico, leading to the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs. How plants were affected is less understood, but fossil records show that ferns were the first plants to recover many thousands of years afterward. Now, a team including Cornell researchers reports the discovery of the first fossilized flowers from South America, and perhaps the entire Southern Hemisphere, following the extinction event



Climate Change, atmospheric warming, Biomass Production, Tibetan Plateau, species synchrony

Rising Temperatures Threaten Stability of Tibetan Alpine Grasslands


A warming climate could affect the stability of alpine grasslands in Asia’s Tibetan Plateau, threatening the ability of farmers and herders to maintain the animals that are key to their existence, and potentially upsetting the ecology of an area in which important regional river systems originate.




Trees, Arbor Day, College Campus, Sitka Spruce, Evergreens

The World’s Tallest Tree (on a College Campus)

Humboldt State University’s northern California campus is home to the tallest tree on any college campus anywhere in the world. This was confirmed by HSU Forestry Professor and renowned tall tree expert Steve Sillett and his graduate students who have painstakingly measured and mapped the major limbs of this impressive 240 foot Sitka spruce.



Honey Bees

Common Pesticide Damages Honey Bee’s Ability to Fly

Biologists at UC San Diego have provided the first evidence that a widely used pesticide can significantly impair the ability of otherwise healthy honey bees to fly. The study, which employed a bee “flight mill,” raises concerns about how pesticides affect honey bee pollination and long-term effects on the health of honey bee colonies.



Isle Royale, Wolves, Moose, Ecology, Conservation

Two in the Pack: No Changes for Isle Royale Wolves


Researchers from Michigan Technological University have released the annual Winter Study detailing updates on the ecology of Isle Royale National Park.

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