355 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
  2. Sep 2019
    1. this coincides with COF values dropping substantially, leading to a superlubric state that is maintained until the end of the simulation.

      Learn more about how the computer simulation led to the discovery of a novel superlubric combination of materials.

    2. Macroscopic friction and wear remain the primary modes of mechanical energy dissipation in moving mechanical assemblies such as pumps, compressors, and turbines, leading to unwanted material loss and wasted energy

      Researchers aim at achieving the lowest possible friction and wear in mechanical systems. The area of superlubricity gained momentum in the last few decades following the discovery of novel 2D materials.

      Please watch the TED talk describing superlubricity and its potential future applications by the lead author here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml1Rj6_W3eY

    3. MD simulations

      Researchers use supercomputing techniques to replicate complex experimental conditions, in order to envision large-scale systems at the atomic/molecular regions.

      To read more details about the simulation techniques used in this study, please visit:

      https://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/07/20150722-mira.html

    1. Our study provides a potential explanation for why clinical deep brain stimulation in the ventral thalamus near the ZI can increase binge eating.

      Deep brain stimulation sometimes causes binge eating in Parkinson’s patients; now scientists might know why.

      Read more in Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/electric-brain-stimulation-offers-binge-eating-clue/

    2. To determine the role of the ZI in feeding and body weight regulation

      The authors set out to understand how the ZI influences food intake and to map the circuits in the brain that underlie these effects.

      Read more in {SciTechDaily}(https://scitechdaily.com/yale-researchers-shed-light-on-binge-eating/).

    3. binge eating, which can at times lead to obesity

      Binge eating disorder in humans is characterized by overeating and can lead to weight gain.

      For interviews with sufferers of the condition and scientists working towards understanding the disorder, read more in BBC News.

    1. China, which has imported a cumulative 45% of plastic waste since 1992, recently implemented a new policy banning the importation of most plastic waste, begging the question of where the plastic waste will go now.

      Enacted in January 2018, China's "National Sword" policy banned 24 types of solid waste, including various plastics, and set a much tougher standard for contamination levels.

      The National Sword policy follows China's "Green Fence," the 2013 policy directive that aimed to lessen the contamination levels and boost the quality of recycled materials.

      The new policy ups the ante with a ban on plastic waste containing more than 0.5% contamination. Some view this move as an unintended consequence of single-stream recycling.

    2. lower-income countries in the East Asia and Pacific for decades.

      Since China's 2018 policy went into effect, many of the "replacement countries" have also started to crack down.

      Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam have enacted stricter quality standards for waste coming from countries such as the US, UK, and Australia.

      Read more here: http://wastemanagementreview.com.au/battling-sovereign-risk/

  3. Aug 2019
    1. transmitter mutability may constitute a unique mechanism underlying plasticity in the nervous system

      The tadpoles in these experiments tends to attach only to their kin.

      However, there is neurotransmitter phenotype change from one to another. The researchers have found a mechanism that helps in regulation of this neurotransmitter phenotype change. The release of the neurotransmitter caused the tadpoles to bond to those who were not biologically related to them. The switching affected the social bond formation in tadpoles.

      Read more at the Dana Foundation.

    2. At this early stage in our understanding,

      The field of neuroplasticity evolved and expanded since this exploratory 1984 research. While there is still ample debate on the plasticity of our brain cells in adulthood, scientists generally agree that neurons are less flexible as we age. Read more in Science. (This resource can also be found in the Related Content tab).

    3. neuronal plasticity

      Check out this video primer on neuroplasticity from Khan Academy.

    4. Consequently, neurons may respond to environmental information by altering transmitter phenotypic expression and, presumably, the signals sent to other neurons.

      Since this paper was published in 1984, the field of synaptic plasticity has progressed. This NeuWire article is an example to show that, in response to environmental conditions (such as changes in day length), the brain can switch the neurotransmitters they produce and release. These neurotransmitter switches also have an impact on behavior in these animals.

      See the original research in Science in the "Related Content" tab and here.

    5. may change transmitter status during development and maturity, upsetting the tacitly assumed dogma of transmitter immutability, and adding an entirely new dimension to our appreciation of neural plasticity.

      When this paper was published, it was assumed that each neuron produces only one transmitter. However, more recent research has challenged this assertion. Contrary to traditional teaching, this article summarizes the new findings in the field of neurotransmitter plasticity, some of which include mechanisms of neurotransmitter plasticity, mechanisms of neurotransmitter switching, and their impact in neurological disorders.

      Read more here.

  4. Jul 2019
    1. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 1 of 59 children in the United States

      There has been increasing concern about rising rates of autism, although this is a controversial subject. For more information, see:

      https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/07/autism-rates-are-it-really-rise

    1. This would include outplanting commonly consumed native plants (e.g., Pipturus albidus) within plant restoration areas, removing commonly consumed introduced plants in sites with high densities of native fruits, and attracting (e.g., via playback) specific frugivores to restoration sites

      Researcher Sean McDonald placed speakers playing non-native bird calls near native plants in danger for extinction in hopes of attracting these birds to these plants and increasing seed dispersal.

      Read more in Inside Science: https://www.insidescience.org/news/playing-birdsongs-save-trees

    2. For example, in Hawai‘i, large frugivorous birds are absent, resulting in a lack of dispersal of large native fruits (38)

      Islands suffer significant losses of large frugivorous birds due to their small size, isolation from mainlands, limited amount of species. These large birds tend to be flightless (making them an easy target for predation) and make it possible for large seeded plants, particularly trees, to be dispersed throughout the island.

      More information about the causes and consequences of large frugivorous bird extinction can be found in the Forbes article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/grrlscientist/2018/10/13/does-it-really-matter-if-just-one-species-goes-extinct/#48e3b358610b

  5. Jun 2019
    1. biogeochemical exchanges among Earth’s soil, water, and atmosphere.

      A 2019 study highlighted the need to update how the water cycle is taught in school to include human interference.

      Read more in Science Daily.

    2. recent research reveals extensive cascading effects of their disappearance in marine, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems worldwide

      The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity completed a metastudy in 2010, examining biodiversity targets and projecting biodiversity losses into the future. Read more: https://www.cbd.int/gbo3/

    3. When the impacts of apex consumers are reduced or removed or when systems are examined over sufficiently large scales of space and time, their influences are often obvious

      One of the most widely publicized long-term studies was that of the Greater Yellowstone system. Wolves were extirpated from the Yellowstone basin by the early 1900s. Wolf reintroduction occurs in the 1990s, followed by an very quick recovery in biodiversity within the region.

      https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/wolf-restoration.htm

    4. Apart from small oceanic islands, all regions of our planet supported a megafauna before the rise of Homo sapiens

      There is current scientific debate about how much influence early human migrants had on the extinction of North American megafauna in the Pleistocene and Holocene:

      http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/01/what-killed-great-beasts-north-america

    5. Trophic cascades associated with the presence or absence of apex predatory fishes in lakes can affect phytoplankton density, in turn affecting the rate of primary production, the uptake rate of CO2, and the direction of carbon flux between lakes and the atmosphere

      This article from the Chicago Tribune describes how scientists on the Great Lakes are trying to determine whether these large bodies of water are carbon sources or sinks.

      http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-08-16/news/ct-met-great-lakes-carbon-20100816_1_carbon-dioxide-climate-change-lake-express-ferry

    6. even today whale feces return various limiting nutrients from the aphotic to photic zones, thereby directly enhancing primary productivity

      Certain island nations are looking to use this carbon "sink" as a way to meet their own carbon emissions targets:

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/whales-keep-carbon-out-of-the-atmosphere/

      Climate change may hamper these efforts by making it difficult for whales to survive in these regions, however.

    7. Similarly, in terrestrial systems wolves protect riparian trees and shrubs from overbrowsing by large ungulates, in turn shading and cooling the adjacent streams, reducing stream bank erosion, and providing cover for fish and other aquatic life

      The 2007 Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Elk and Vegetation Management Plan for Rocky Mountain National Park lists, as Alternative 5, the reintroduction of wolves to the system to manage elk populations and to restore willow and aspen communities throughout the park. Alternative 5 is listed as the Environmentally Preferred Alternative at the end of the report.

      https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/management/upload/ROMO-EVMP-FEIS-Executive-Summary-12-07.pdf

    8. The impacts of trophic cascades on communities are far-reaching, yet the strength of these impacts will likely differ among species and ecosystems.

      An additional example of top-down forcing can be seen in this HHMI BioInteractive Scientist at Work video featuring Dr. Brian Silliman and his work in salt marshes here.

    1. Our results, therefore, demonstrate that, even among women who are relatively identified with and accomplished in science, a substantial gender gap exists, women’s performance is negatively related to stereotype endorsement, and gender differences can be reduced with a values-affirmation intervention

      Read more in PBS NewsHour.

    2. Of course, even here, there were structural opportunities for learning in the form of a solid curriculum and qualified teachers; without such basic support, the efficacy of any psychological intervention would be limited (23).

      The authors discuss their results and caution that values affirmation is not a perfect solution. Other education reforms are necessary.

      Read more in AAAS.

    3. Although previous attempts to reduce the gender achievement gap in science have focused mostly on instructional methods, the current results highlight the importance of social-psychological factors.

      There are many factors that affect student performance in college, including intrinsic values which can be supported by values affirmation.

      Read more in The National Academies Press.

    1. Accumulation of this transcription factor is a crucial step in the establishment of addiction to most drugs of abuse and has been used as a molecular marker for these processes.

      The study has identified genetic changes that occur in mice treated with cocaine.

      Read the summary of research findings in Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180531102706.htm

    2. In human populations, cigarettes and alcohol generally serve as gateway drugs, which people use first before progressing to marijuana, cocaine, or other illicit substances
    3. Is the hyperacetylation produced by nicotine also a molecular explanation of drug action shared by the two other gateway drugs, alcohol and marijuana?

      Prolonged use of alcohol, another gateway drug also leads to repetitive use of cocaine.

      Read the summary of the research findings in Technology Networks:

      https://www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/articles/alcohol-is-gateway-drug-to-compulsive-cocaine-use-293850

    4. Our results showing how nicotine may act as a gateway drug on the brain—an effect likely to occur whether nicotine exposure is from smoked, passive, or nonsmoked forms—emphasize the need for developing more effective public health prevention programs for all products that contain nicotine, especially those targeted toward young people

      The idea and formulation of the gateway hypothesis and how the hypothesis can be tested in animals are explained in the special article written by Dr.Kandel.

      Read the article “A molecular basis for nicotine as a gateway drug” in the New England Journal of Medicine:

      https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1405092

    5. In the general population of the United States and other Western societies, there is a well-defined sequence of drug usage in which the use of tobacco or alcohol precedes the use of marijuana, which in turn precedes the use of cocaine and other illicit drugs

      The National Institute of Drug Abuse provides the statistics, trends, and the health effects of cocaine.

      Read more in Drug Abuse website: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/cocaine

  6. May 2019
    1. Evidence presented by several groups (8, 9, 11) suggest that poly U stimulates the incorporation of both phenylalanine and a lesser amount of leucine. The meaning of this observation is unclear, but it raises the unfortunate possibility of ambiguous triplets-that is, triplets which may code more than one amino acid. However, one would certainly expect such triplets to be in a minority.

      Now scientists believe that the genetic code is universal, unambiguous, and redundant. In other words, that all living things use the same code, with few exceptions: "universal." That a codon encodes only one amino acid is "unambiguous," but that there are multiple ways to code for the same amino acid is "redundant."

      But what if we could expand the genetic code or reprogram it? Professor Chin of the University of Cambridge explores this possibility here (see also in the Related Resources tab).

    2. The code is probably much the same in different organisms.

      You may have heard about this concept before, maybe even hearing that we humans share 50% of our genes with bananas!

      However, the story is a bit more complicated; in fact, genes (that is, regions coding for proteins) comprise only about 2% of our DNA. About 8% of our genes are involved in regulatory functions and the other 90% is mostly non-functional.

      Because of our shared evolutionary ancestor (approximately 1.6 billion years ago), bananas and humans have a lot in common!

    3. This article is adapted from the lecture which he delivered in Stockholm, Sweden, 11 December 1962, on receiving the Nobel prize in medicine and physiology, a prize which he shared with James D. Watson and M. H. F. Wilkins. It is published with the permission of the Nobel Foundation.

      Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins published the seminal papers about the structure of DNA, winning them the Nobel Prize in 1962. Rosalind Franklin was a major contributor to the discovery; her experimental evidence was critical for understanding DNA's structure.

      Rosalind Franklin has often been uncredited and overshadowed in this historical discovery. Read more here and here.

    1. Hawaiʻi provides an opportunity to investigate the consequences of an extreme scenario of loss of native species and their replacement by non-native species.

      The survival of native plants on the Hawaiian island of Kauai are threatened from changing climate, invasive species, and destruction by feral pigs. Efforts led by the Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP) are working towards saving these endangered species and preventing the loss of further species.

      Read more in the grist: https://grist.org/article/hawaiis-rarest-plants-are-in-crisis-meet-the-people-fighting-to-save-them/

    1. Beak size and beak shape are involved in all the major evolutionary shifts in the adaptive radiation of Darwin’s finches (1).

      Thanks to the long-term scientific field work of Peter and Rosemary Grant, scientists have developed an understand of how this speciation has happened.

      Jonathan Weiner provides an introduction to this legendary field work in The Beak of the Finch.

      For a more scholarly background, check out How and Why Species Multiply by Peter and Rosemary Grant.

    2. As a result of resource competition, they may diverge in traits associated with exploiting these resources (1, 2).

      In addition to Darwin's finches, this story about lizards provides another great example.

      Jonathan Losos also wrote a popular book, Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution, that highlights these anole lizards.

    3. 2004–2005 selection event

      The 2004-2005 selection event was a severe drought. For a thorough explanation of the climate of the Galapagos islands, see here.

    1. Extension of our rational design approach, such as combining promising mutations and directed evolution, could further increase the specificity and efficiency of the system, while unbiased screening approaches could identify additional residues for improving REPAIR activity and specificity.

      It may also be possible to reduce the size of Cas13b as was done with the Cas9 protein. Or use an ortholog of a different size, as was also done with Cas9.

      Smaller Cas13b variants would have lower chance of interfering with cellular processes, making it an even more useful tool for studying RNA biology.

    2. The REPAIR system offers many advantages compared with other nucleic acid–editing tools.

      REPAIR stands for RNA Editing for Programmable A to I Replacement, i.e. it is a system that precisely edits single bases in nucleic acids. Because it is a base editor, the REPAIR system is mainly compared to other base editors and not to all possible genome editing tools.

      To learn more about base editing systems, read more here.

  7. Apr 2019
    1. due to natural or anthropogenic causes.

      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted in 1995 that humans are influencing the climate. Since the publication of this study in 2000, we have learned even more about the extent to which humans have contributed to climate change. 

      In the latest report from 2013, the IPCC was “95 percent certain that humans are the main cause of current global warming.”

      In 2018, oil companies like Chevron began admitting in court that human activities are changing the climate.

      Read more in Vox: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/3/28/17152804/climate-change-federal-court-chevron

    2. The warming could be due to natural variability, anthropogenic effects, or more likely a combination of both.

      Climate scientists have been working on ways to visualize changing global temperatures. One way is to present a spiraling graphic of monthly temperature data going back to the year 1850, where a series of concentric circles represents incremental increases in global temperature.

      When viewed alongside carbon dioxide concentrations emitted by fossil fuels, there is a clear correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide.

      Since 2010 when this paper was published, enough evidence has accumulated that 95% of climate scientists agree that climate change is being driven primarily by human activities.

      View the animation and read more in the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/07/28/these-climate-spirals-perfectly-illustrate-the-human-hand-in-global-climate-change/?utm_term=.34a3c771b2e3

    3. 1997 El Ñino

      Want to see how the 1997 event was different from the El Niño event in 2015-2016?

      Check out this Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/08/13/el-nino-then-and-now-a-side-by-side-comparison-of-1997-and-2015/?utm_term=.48a1ef8932e3

      Or read more in the Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0822-el-nino-1997-20150822-story.html

    4. rest of 1998

      La Niña is the counterpart to El Niño and involves cooler than average waters across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

      "Both El Niño and La Niña can alter wind and water currents across the globe, causing extreme weather that can kill thousands of people and result in billions of dollars in damage."

      The 1998-1999 La Niña event was particularly extreme, causing droughts in the southwest US and thousands of deaths in regions across the globe, including China, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

      Read more in the article by LiveScience: https://www.livescience.com/49572-la-nina-events-increase-climate-change.html

    5. minimize computer time required for completion of the time integrations of these numerical experiments

      "A global climate model typically contains enough computer code to fill 18,000 pages of printed text; it will have taken hundreds of scientists many years to build and improve; and it can require a supercomputer the size of a tennis court to run."

      Running a global climate model can take a long time, even with a super computer (days to weeks). Finding ways to run models more efficiently saves both time and money.

      Read more in the Carbon Brief: https://www.carbonbrief.org/qa-how-do-climate-models-work

    6. lack of deep-ocean observations

      The costs of going to sea add up: the captain, crew, and scientists must have food and income, and the ship must have power. Deploying sensors to great depths in the ocean typically requires that a ship remain stationed in place, taking up time that could be spent heading to port.

      Because of the difficulty of reaching it, the deep ocean is still mostly unexplored and is considered by some to be Earth's "final frontier." In addition to studying the unique organisms that thrive deep in the ocean, scientists are also focused on examining how changes in deep sea temperatures affect global climate.

      Read more in LiveScience: https://www.livescience.com/30890-ocean-deep-mysteries-exploration.html

    1. major challenges still hamper the once assumed imminent translation of microbiome monitoring into diagnostic and clinical practice

      Probiotics are live microorganisms that are sold as a therapeutic food used to treat gut microbiome imbalances, but their usefulness has not yet been conclusively demonstrated. To market these probiotics, some diagnostic centers offer a microbiome analysis to characterize shifts from the "normal" composition, even while the definition of "normal" has yet to be broadly defined. In some countries such as the United States, food supplements are not regulated the same as drugs. New policies on therapeutic foods will need to be developed as personalized nutrition and precision medicine become a reality. Read more from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.

    2. The discovery of these associations has stimulated the search for specific microbiome-based biomarkers for a wide range of pathologies

      Gut microbiome studies have suggested many associations between composition and human health. This has prompted the development of fecal transplants for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections, a bacterium that causes intestinal symptoms like diarrhea. Based on the success of fecal microbiota transfer in recurrent C. diff infections, this potential "treatment" is now being studied for all kinds of diseases that are being linked to the intestinal microbiome, from obesity to autism spectrum disorders.

      Read more in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/mar/31/bacteria-faecal-transplant-gut-mary-roach-gulp

    1. It seems likely, then, that most of the 64 possible triplets will be grouped into 20 groups.

      Scientists have since tried to extend the genetic code to encode for more than the 20 natural amino acids. Read more in Science.

    1. Current editing tools, based on programmable nucleases

      Check out this interview with author Feng Zhang about the development and potential uses of CRISPR technology. Dr. Zheng also compares Cas9 and Cpf1 nucleases.

      To see an animation for how Cas9 works, check out this video.

    2. small enough to fit within the packaging limit of AAV vectors

      The wild type Cas9 is also a relatively big protein at 1368 amino acids. It is too long for many applications, including packaging into viral particles. Recently, scientists have developed a way to dramatically reduce the Cas9 size while retaining its DNA binding properties.

      Smaller orthologs of Cas9, like saCas9, can also be used. Some therapeutic companies are now using this for viral delivery.

    1. hybrid species

      Hybrids are problematic for conservation policy. Hybrids that do not form new species can be seen as decreasing the 'purity' of a species, or as threatening to eliminate one species if it is absorbed into another. Hybrids may be seen as not worthy of conservation, even if they are rare. Conservation guidelines need to be updated.

      Read more in the Related Resources tab or at Current Zoology (will start a PDF download).

  8. Mar 2019
    1. new species

      Understanding the mechanisms by which new species form is a central issue in the study of Biology.

      Read more at Scientific American: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/evolution-watching-speciation-occur-observations/

    2. This example shows that reproductive isolation, which typically develops over hundreds of generations, can be established in only three.

      Read more from two of the authors of this paper explaining how Darwin's finches in the Galapagos provided the basis for novel insights into genetic divergence.

      In Science: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6328/910

    3. Interbreeding of two species

      Though interbreeding can be a source of genetic diversity for populations, it also can be a challenge when deciding which populations of a species are eligible for protection when conservation decisions are made.

      Read more in Science: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6416/789.3

    1. DBS can also encounter limitations as a therapy even for the symptoms that typically respond.

      Part of the ambition in this paper was identifying the contributions of different neurons in a parkinsonian brain. Using optogenetics to better understand DBS can hopefully/theoretically lead to more effective therapies in the future. Read more from The Cellular Scale.

    2. A major promise of optogenetics has been the potential for dissection of disease circuitry and treatment mechanisms.

      Learn more about the history and potential of optogenetics from Karl Deisseroth's piece in Scientific American.

    3. major depression

      To learn more about deep brain stimulation as a treatment for depression, check out this 2018 article in The Atlantic.

    1. world ocean could store large amounts of heat

      It is possible to think of "global warming" as "ocean warming" because so much heat from the atmosphere makes its way into the world ocean.

      It is difficult to measure the temperature of the oceans because of how large and deep they are. It is also challenging to track this data over time and examine long-term trends. 

      Read more in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/jun/26/new-study-confirms-the-oceans-are-warming-rapidly

    1. Transmitter plasticity adds a newly recognized dimension of flexibility to nervous system function.

      Learn more about the concept of neuroplasticity with this iBiology video. Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist Dr. Eric Kandel explains how neuroplasticity modifies our nervous system. 

  9. Feb 2019
    1. public opinion and social pressure may very well shift

      his article from Science discusses how companies and academic researchers are trying to change the public's distrust of self-driving cars, through advertising, free rides in a safe environment, and other methods.

      Read more at Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/12/people-don-t-trust-driverless-cars-researchers-are-trying-change

    2. liability considerations

      This article from Gizmodo asks transportation experts, ethicists, and lawyers who will be blamed if a self-driving car hurts someone. There is no clear answer.

      Read more at Gizmodo: https://gizmodo.com/if-a-self-driving-car-kills-a-pedestrian-who-is-at-fau-1790049637

    3. these same people have a personal incentive to ride in AVs that will protect them at all costs

      This 2016 article from Fortune discusses how the car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has decided to program its Level 4 (highly automated) and Level 5 (fully automated) self-driving cars to protect their passengers above everything else.

      Read more at Fortune: http://fortune.com/2016/10/15/mercedes-self-driving-car-ethics/

    1. substantially reduce crop yields

      An increase in temperature of 2-4 degrees C could significantly reduce corn yields and other vegetables, making it even harder for people to get the necessary nutrients they need.

      Read more at Inside Climate News: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/11062018/climate-change-research-food-security-agriculture-impacts-corn-vegetables-crop-prices

  10. Jan 2019
    1. we compiled evidence for the earliest dog remains across Eurasia

      Remains aren't the only type of archaeologically significant findings. Recently, cliff drawings were found in northwest Saudi Arabia depicting hunting dogs wearing leashes. These carvings date back to more than 8000 years ago, making them the earliest depictions of dogs ever found.

      Read more in Science Magazine: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/11/these-may-be-world-s-first-images-dogs-and-they-re-wearing-leashes

    2. Two genetically differentiated and potentially extinct wolf populations in Eastern (8, 9) and Western (7) Eurasia may have been independently domesticated before the advent of settled agriculture

      Scientists don't always agree. A paper published in 2017 disagrees with the dual origins theory presented here. To learn more about the disagreement, check out this article in the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/07/18/your-dogs-ancestor-came-from-a-group-of-wolves-40000-years-ago-study-says/

    3. transportation of dogs from east to west

      It was already known that American dogs came from Europe, but in 2017 scientists found evidence that dogs also came with humans across the Bering land bridge—a small piece of land that once connected North America and Russia.

      Read more in Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/grrlscientist/2017/04/25/old-dog-new-dog-genetic-map-tracks-the-evolution-of-mans-best-friend/

    4. evolutionary history of dogs

      After their domestication, dogs were selected to perform specific tasks. Some were used for hunting, some for sledding.

      The domestication of cats doesn't appear to have been as deliberate as dog domestication. As a result, dog breeds are very different from each other, whereas cats didn't change very much from their wild ancestors when they were domesticated.

      Read more at National Geographic: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/domesticated-cats-dna-genetics-pets-science

  11. Dec 2018
    1. Human-based studies such as the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) (Ecker et al. 2012) and “Human Microbiome” projects (Turnbaugh et al. 2007) demonstrate the extraordinary power of genomic technologies to produce data resources that can promote hypothesis generation and more powerful analytical tools.

      Read more on New York Times, which illustrates the founding and main goal in regards to the Human Microbiome projects.

    2. These include the sessile mangrove tunicate, Ecteinascidia turbinata, and the development of the anti-cancer drug, ET-743 (Yondelis®).

      Read more in The Pharmaletter's article, where Zeltia's president has begun second-phase testing with the ET-743 anti-cancer drug for breast cancer and sarcomas.

    3. Invertebrates are becoming increasingly important sources of protein for human nutrition worldwide. Particularly with the collapse of a number of vertebrate fisheries

      Read more in New York Times, where China's overfishing led to the inevitable diminishing of multiple species, which led to the collapse of fisheries whose livelihoods depended on the fish.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/30/world/asia/chinas-appetite-pushes-fisheries-to-the-brink.html

    1. a prominent position in current scenarios

      Looking at phenology through generations can aid us in understanding how the globe is changing. The video linked below shows how recording events can help humans connect and interact with biotic communities. URL: http://climatewisconsin.org/story/phenology

    2. conservation science

      As concern for extinction rates rises, the need for conservation efforts to counteract these rates grows as well. Areas are being mapped out throughout Earth that are ranked by their ecological and economic significance for sustaining life on our planet. For more information about applications of conservation science, follow this link to see research and applications done by Groves and his colleagues. (https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/52/6/499/240341)

    3. habitat fragmentation

      Habitat fragmentation is a direct cause for the extinction of many plant and animal species. However, a recent study found that timely actions could easily slow extinction rates and save species as we implement more effective conservation efforts.

      Read more in Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160725090002.htm

    1. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

      As one of the consequences in the bloom of red algal in the Southern East coat waters, will lead to changes in the marine ecosystems that inhabit the waters by releasing toxicity as Harmful Algal Blooms.

      Read more at: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/hazards/hab/

    2. Overall, the present work provides a basis to better understand how epi-genetic mechanisms participate in responses to environmental stress in marine invertebrates

      Another news story about possible epigenetic effects on marine life. This news story focuses on the current effects of the 1989 oil spill in Alaska on current herring populations.

      https://www.newsdeeply.com/oceans/articles/2017/10/13/boom-and-busted-lessons-from-alaskas-mysterious-herring-collapse

    3. causing high mortality rates and annual losses in excess
    1. commercial cultivation in artificial settings

      Read More: In vitro seed germination and seedling growth of an endangered epiphytic orchid, Dendrobium officinale, endemic to China using mycorrhizal fungi (Tulasnella sp.)

      Tan et al. 2014

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304423813005578

    1. The assumption that stratified lichens are constructed by a single fungus with differentiated cell types is so central to the definition of the lichen symbiosis that it has been codified into lichen nomenclature

      Check out this video from SciShow where Hank Green interviews lead author, Toby Spribille, about his research and conclusions. The interview describes the findings, clarifies the different groups of fungi discussed, and describes how they are related to one another. Spribille describes the differences between Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes and the radiations in the fungal lineage.

    2. over 140 years

      Well-known children's book author Beatrix Potter was one of the earliest proponents of the symbiotic nature of lichens in the English-speaking world.

      Read more in the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160215-beatrix-potter-pioneering-scientist-or-passionate-amateur

    1. Drosophila is a useful and accessible model system in which to decipher the mechanisms by which social experiences interact with reward systems

      The authors of this paper have made good on this assertion. In a follow-up study published recently (2018)30368-3), researchers have shown that the mere act of ejaculation, even if triggered artificially in the lab, can affect how much male flies drink. This more recent research is summarized in the following article: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/male-fruit-flies-enjoy-ejaculation

    2. Flies from each cohort

      Here is a video showing the distinct experiences of the males in the two groups. In the first portion of the video, you will see a male successfully mate with a receptive female. You will then see a male unsuccessfully attempt to mate with an unreceptive female.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH9Xjk28cZ0

    3. Here, we extend studies in the Drosophila model

      Fruit flies are a good model organism for this kind of research; however, there is a danger of applying these findings too heavily to human behavior which is much more complex.

      Read more: https://mappingignorance.org/2016/11/23/sex-alcohol-flies/

    1. dogs, like pigs (22), may have been independently domesticated twice

      Some of the authors of this paper have also looked at the genetic information for domestication in other species, like pigs.

      To learn more about the similarities and differences of pig domestication compared to dog domestication, check out this article in Science Magazine: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/08/taming-pig-took-some-wild-turns

  12. Nov 2018
    1. A start has been made to construct polynucleotides whose exact sequence is known at one end, but the results obtained so far are suggestive rather than conclusive (12).

      The 1980 Nobel Prize in chemistry went to Paul Berg, Walter Gilbert, and Frederick Sanger for successfully sequencing DNA! This scientific feat is now commonplace, generating a mixed response of enthusiasm and concern.

      Read more at NPR.org:

      https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/06/26/534338576/routine-dna-sequencing-may-be-helpful-and-not-as-scary-as-feared

    1. Drosophila melanogaster

      The fruit fly. This particular species is commonly used by scientists as a model organism.

      To learn more about why Drosophila have become so commonly used in genetics research, check out this profile in The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/25/in-praise-of-the-humble-fruit-fly-genetics-research

    2.  Yob represents an excellent tool to be used in transgenic technology

      A lot of laboratory technologies derive from natural phenomena (PCR, restriction enzymes, viral vectors, etc.). The discovery of Yob is just the beginning of unlocking the power of what lies within. In an interview with The Scientist, the authors suggest pairing this new knowledge of the mosquito sex determination system with the use of CRISPR gene editing technologies to create mosquitoes that can express Yob on the autosomes. This would allow female-lethality to be passed on to subsequent generations.

      Read more in The Scientist: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/maleness-gene-found-in-malaria-mosquito-33283

    3. The sterile insect technique and other genetic control methods have been proposed to complement current efforts to suppress mosquito populations

      There are many scientific efforts afoot to control mosquito populations (especially those species who are vectors for disease) through the use of genetic methods. One such method used in California in 2017 released sterile A. aegypti mosquito males (sterile due to a bacterial infection) into the wild in efforts to reduce the local population.

      Read more at NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/21/538470321/to-shrink-the-mosquito-population-scientists-are-releasing-20-million-of-them

    4. This female-killing property may be an invaluable tool for creation of conditional male-only transgenic Anopheles strains for malaria control programs

      Malaria is a severe illness caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans (and other animals) from the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitos. With over 200 million cases of life-threatening malaria each year, scientists are looking for ways to eradicate the disease. Learning about the genetic pathways of sex determination in mosquitos can help, along with genetic technologies like CRISPR.

      Learn more about about how genetic modification of mosquitos might help in the fight against malaria in Vox. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/5/31/17344406/crispr-mosquito-malaria-gene-drive-editing-target-africa-regulation-gmo

    1. we successfully isolated a bacterium capable of degrading and assimilating PET.

      There have been a variety of recent scientific reports focusing on degrading PET. While they are scientifically exciting, Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN News) wrote an article detailing work that needs to be done before such methods could be viable on a large scale.

      Read more at C&EN News: https://cen.acs.org/environment/sustainability/Plastics-recycling-microbes-worms-further/96/i25

    2. accumulation of PET in ecosystems

      In 2015, the Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment showed that there will be 1 pound of plastic for every 3 pounds of fish by 2025.

      Here is the report in full: https://oceanconservancy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/full-report-stemming-the.pdf

    1. incomplete nature of the archaeological record

      A recent study (2017) on fossils found in Siberia provides evidence for the earliest dog breeding program, but it doesn't necessarily contradict the research presented here. Read more in Science News: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/earliest-evidence-dog-breeding-found-remote-siberian-island

    2. admixture signatures from wolves into Western Eurasian dogs

      In this 2016 study, we see that there's evidence of wolf DNA in dogs, but a study published in 2018 showed the first evidence for dog DNA in wild wolf populations. Read more: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-extent-cross-breeding-wild-wolves-domestic.html

    3. Despite their importance in human history

      Humans have had an emotional bond with dogs for a very long time—14,000 years, according to new archaeological evidence.

      Read more: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-emotional-bond-humans-dogs-dates.html

    1. Here we report on impairments in cocaine-addicted patients to act purposefully toward a given goal and on the influence of extended training on their behavior.

      For a summary of this article, see lead author Dr. Karen Ersche's story on the UK Medical Research Council's website:

      http://www.insight.mrc.ac.uk/2016/06/16/breaking-the-habit-why-is-it-so-difficult-to-change-cocaine-users-behaviour/

  13. Oct 2018
    1. fruit fly

      Fruit flies have a long history of use in scientific (and especially medical) research. But why are they so popular? As insects, how do they contribute to our understanding of humans and other mammals?

      Fruit flies can perform many of the same essential neural functions (albeit in a simpler form) as mammalian brains, and they are very tractable to study (there are genetic tools to measure and manipulate neural circuitry, and their brain size is order of magnitudes smaller than mice or other mammals). The hope is that by understanding fruit flies, it will offer researchers a basis or framework for studying more sophisticated brains.

      Read more in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/25/in-praise-of-the-humble-fruit-fly-genetics-research

    1. large-scale cross-sectional fecal sampling effort in a confined geographic region

      Many other gut flora projects have since followed, including one that suggested there may be an association between household cleaners and BMI due to varying abundance of the microbe, Lachnospiraceae.

      Read more: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article-household-cleaners-may-alter-kids-gut-flora-contribute-to-being-2/

    1. We next sought to determine whether this uncharacterized basidiomycete was specific to the studied Bryoria species or could be found in other lichens.

      How do scientists learn to ask the right questions about novel data?

      Read about the life and academic path of the first author in The Atlantic at: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/07/how-a-guy-from-a-montana-trailer-park-upturned-150-years-of-biology/491702/

    2. The structurally important lichen cortex, long treated as a zone of differentiated ascomycete cells, appears to consistently contain two unrelated fungi.

      A 60-second podcast on the findings of this paper from Scientific American at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/for-lichens-3-s-not-a-crowd/

    3. Here we show that many common lichens are composed of the known ascomycete, the photosynthesizing partner, and, unexpectedly, specific basidiomycete yeasts.

      Two's Company, Three's a Lichen?

      Read more about the results of this study in The New York Times Science column at: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/science/lichen-symbiotic-relationship.html

    1. environmentally benign

      Plastics are wreaking havoc to ecosystems all over the planet. An ecologically harmless solution for plastic recycling is desperately needed.

      Learn more from this 2012 case study created by Montana State University: https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/health/case_studies/plastics.html

    2. Large quantities of PET have been introduced into the environment through its production and disposal,

      Plastic waste that ends up in the ocean can have a negative impact on aquatic wildlife. Furthermore, finding places to dispose of plastic on land can be challenging. Many countries are responding to the high levels of plastic pollution by regulating the use of single-use plastic.

      Read more about a recent agreement (2018) signed by many countries to combat ocean pollution: http://www.dw.com/en/g7-minus-two-leaders-agree-to-ocean-plastics-charter/a-44107774

    1. chlorofluorocarbons

      Compounds that contain chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. These types of compounds have previously been used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and in aerosol spray cans. These molecules were determined to be main contributors to the ozone hole in the stratosphere.

      In 1987 the Montreal Protocol was passed as an international treaty to limit the emissions of chlorofluorocarbons and protect the ozone layer.

      Read more about the ozone layer at the EPA: https://www.epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection

      See how the world might look if the Montreal Protocol did not exist at NASA: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/3586

    2. Chemical manufacturers have reformulated products to reduce aromatic content, such as in cleaning agents (33). However, single- and multiple-ring aromatics are still present in products and in indoor air (32), and they contribute to SOA outdoors (44, 58).

      Manufacturers of various products have tried to eliminate the use of VOCs that are known air toxins, but many VOCs that are precursors to SOAs are still present in everyday products.

    3. The rest is from upstream sources associated with oil and natural gas production and distribution.

      To see how this finding was covered in traditional media.

      Read more at the Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-la-smog-petroleum-20180215-story.html

    4. At national and urban scales, we attribute 15 to 42% of petrochemical VOCs to mobile sources and 39 to 62% of petrochemical VOCs to VCPs.

      To see how this finding was covered in traditional media.

      Read more at The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/climate/perfume-pollution-smog.html

    5. he relatively low VOC emission factor for on-road gasoline engines today (Fig. 2) results from (i) combustion oxidizing most hydrocarbons in fuel to carbon dioxide, and (ii) the increasing effectiveness of modern three-way catalytic converters in reducing tailpipe VOC emissions over multiple decades (5–7).

      Air pollution from automobiles has been greatly reduced by the use of catalytic converters. Catalytic converters have an interesting history.

      Read more at the Royal Society of Chemistry:

      https://eic.rsc.org/feature/the-evolution-of-catalytic-converters/2020252.article

    6. Chemical feedstocks are almost entirely derived from fossil hydrocarbons (18) and are transformed to chemicals found in everyday household products (tables S1 to S3).

      Chemicals are primarily made with fossil fuels. An ever growing field of research in chemistry, known as Green Chemistry, seeks to find ways of performing chemistry that reduce environmental impacts.

      Read more at Scientific American:

      https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/doing-good-science/httpblogsscientificamericancomdoing-good-science20110802building-knowledge-and-stuff-ethically-the-principles-of-green-chemistry/

    7. It is thus critical to identify and quantify the most important human-produced sources of VOC emissions to effectively mitigate air pollution and improve human health.

      Regulations on sulfur content of automobiles helps improve air quality.

      Read more at Scientific American:

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-epa-gasoline-rules-help-presidents-climate-agenda/

    8. Existing U.S. regulations on VCPs emphasize mitigating ozone and air toxics

      Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been shown to have a negative impact on human health, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In October 2018, the EPA announced it would disband its Particulate Matter Review Panel.

      Read more in The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/11/climate/epa-disbands-pollution-science-panel.html

    9. A gap in emission inventories

      When we think of air pollution, automobile exhaust is one of the first images that comes to mind, but other sources of air pollution are also responsible.

      Read more at CBS News:

      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-surprising-source-of-much-us-air-pollution/

    1. Assessments of climate change on species’ ranges need to account for observations across the full extent of species’ latitudinal and thermal limits and explicitly test for interactions with other global change drivers.

      This type of assessment is important for determining threat statuses for species, such as International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species (see here to look at an assessment done for the Rusty Patched Bumbebee).

      These assessments are also important for planning conservation actions as part of initiatives like the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency's Pollinator Health Task Force, which was established to "[promote] the health of honey bees and other pollinators (including birds, bats, butterflies, and insects)".

    2. Neonicotinoid effects known from individual and colony levels certainly contribute to pollinator declines and could degrade local pollination services.

      This was shown again in some recent 2017 studies, find out more in this Science Perspectives piece.

    3. contribute more to these services than bumblebees (Bombus)

      Visit the Bumblebee Conservation Trust for more info on what makes bumblebees such great pollinators.

    1. Image of a water-harvesting prototype with activated MOF-801
    2. Although MOFs have already been considered in numerous applications

      MOFs are porous materials that can be used to capture and release a variety of ions and small molecules.

      Read more and listen to a podcast in Chemistry World: https://www.chemistryworld.com/podcasts/mofs-metalorganic-frameworks-/3007204.article

    3. Two-thirds of the world’s population is experiencing water shortages

      Less than 1% of the total water on Earth is drinkable and easily accessible. Due to an uneven distribution, the world is facing a global water crisis, and billions of people do not have regular access to clean drinking water.

      Read more on National Geographic: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/03/world-water-day-water-crisis-explained/

    4. low humidity levels (down to 20%)

      In arid areas, where an efficient water-harvesting system is most needed, the relative humidity can go as low as about 20% with extremely large temperature variations.

      Read more on Sciencing: https://sciencing.com/humidity-mojave-desert-19526.html

    5. The water in the form of vapor and droplets in the atmosphere, estimated to be about 13 thousand trillion liters

      Where is Earth's water? The water contained in the atmosphere represents about 0.001% of the total water on Earth, and about 3% of the accessible freshwater.

      Read more on USGS: https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthwherewater.html

  14. Sep 2018
    1. ambient VOC measurements

      The VOC measurements were part of a large community-wide effort by atmospheric scientists to better understand issues posed by air pollution and climate change in California. A link to the field study (including a white paper and policy-relevant findings) can be found at: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/projects/calnex/.

    1. SST and the maximum potential hurricane intensity

      According to a CBS News article from 2017:

      Numerous studies have "confirmed the importance of sea surface temperature in controlling hurricane maximum intensity, and suggest an increase of 2-3 percent in hurricane strength per 1 Celsius degree increase in sea surface temperature under favorable conditions."

      However directly connecting individual storms to the increasing sea surface temperatures related to climate change is still a difficult proposition. This is because "on top of the day-to-day intensity fluctuations due to local environmental conditions, hurricanes may also possess chaotic behaviors that cause their intensity to highly vary."

      Read this article at CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/does-climate-change-affect-hurricanes/

    2. increased hurricane frequency to increasing SST

      One of the reasons for why it is so difficult to predict a change in hurricane frequency is due to intrinsic biases and assumptions built into the climate models being utilized.

      While the 2012 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that tropical hurricanes are likely to decrease in frequency with increasing temperatures, the storms that do form are likely to see increased winds and rainfall.

      This article from Climate Central in 2013 details one study by MIT researcher Kerry Emanuel which found that tropical cyclones are likely to become both stronger and more frequent in the years to come, which is contrary to previous findings.

      Read the article here: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/study-projects-more-frequent-and-stronger-hurricanes-worldwide-16204

    3. Four of these hurricanes

      The year 2004 was the "Year of the Four Hurricanes" when Hurricane Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne made landfall in Florida and caused billions of dollars worth of damages.

      Since then there have been improvements to electric grids, shelters, forecasting abilities and the ability to communicate which should hopefully save lives in future hurricanes.

      The Florida newsgroup Sun Sentinel reviews these 4 hurricanes, what has been improved since, and what still needs fixing. Read their article here: http://interactive.sun-sentinel.com/2004storms/

    1. Cocaine addiction is a major public health problem that is particularly difficult to treat.

      The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides information about treatments for cocaine addiction, including the length of treatment and what makes a treatment successful. It also highlights how drug addiction compares to other chronic illnesses.

      Read more at the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

      https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-effective-drug-addiction-treatment

    1. Ileret in Kenya

      Read more in Nature.

      Homo erectus footprints hint at ancient hunting party. https://www.nature.com/news/homo-erectus-footprints-hint-at-ancient-hunting-party-1.17346

    2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

      The area is protected by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, an arm of the Tanzanian government. In 2009, the Ngorongoro Wildlife Conservation Act was passed which limited human settlement and subsistence farming in the area, generating some controversy.

    3. Our results

      Hear one of the authors of this paper, Marco Cherin, discuss the findings of this research in the eLife Podcast.

    1. machine learning

      A type of computer algorithm which relies on a large amount of input data to make a future decision about a new data point.

      How do our brains use machine learning algorithms to make decisions? This article explores how machine learning affects everything from our belief systems to our online shopping habits.

      Read more in Forbes magazine: https://www.forbes.com/sites/annapowers/2017/12/31/is-our-mind-a-machine-learning-algorithm/

    1. Biological effects of climate change threaten many species

      This has been shown by studies time and time again, and the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) lists climate change as one of the major threats to the world's biodiversity, along with habitat loss.

      Read more about the value of biodiversity, threats to biodiversity, and the coordinated actions the CBD is taking with governments around the world to combat biodiversity loss on the CBD website.

    1. After the lamentable breach in the former international relations existing among men of science, it is with joy and gratefulness that I accept this opportunity of communication with English astronomers and physicists.

      Einstein's letter was originally published in the 28 November 1919 issue of The Times, a British daily national newspaper.

      During the war, Einstein lived and worked in Berlin, Germany. Communication between England and Germany seems to have been limited during the war, even among scientists in those countries. Because science is a collaborative endeavor that spans countries and cultures, Einstein understandably appreciates the renewed communication between these two important countries.

  15. Aug 2018
    1. It was in accordance with the high and proud tradition of English science that English scientific men should have given their time and labor, and that English institutions should have provided the material means, to test a theory that had been completed and published in the country of their enemies in the midst of war.

      Einstein published his equations that describe gravity with respect to space and time in 1915 —right in the middle of World War I (1914-1918).

      Despite poor political relations during this period, two Englishmen published experimental evidence that supported Einstein's theory. Einstein commended the English scientists and institutions for prioritizing scientific pursuits over politics.

    2. The shifting of spectral lines towards the red end of the spectrum in the case of light coming to us from stars of appreciable mass (not yet confirmed).

      In 1959, the Pound–Rebka experiment confirmed that light moving out of a gravitational well is in fact red-shifted.

      Read more in The New York Times:

      https://www.nytimes.com/1959/12/13/archives/way-to-test-an-einstein-premise-found-by-2-harvard-scientists.html

    1. corals

      Dr. Rachel Levin and her team of researchers may have found a solution to minimize coral bleaching, which is caused by ocean warming and is a huge threat to coral reefs. She proposed a way to genetically modify Symbiodinum (a group of microalgae in corals) such that they may increase their stress tolerance to changes in ocean temperature and inherently save coral reefs.

      Read more in the Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170720095111.htm

    1. native/endemic species

      Plants are imperative to the world’s ecosystem, nevertheless, many plant species are largely disappearing. Cycads, palm-like plants, are one of these endangered plants that has been around for more than 300 years. Studies are being conducted on ways to save these plants and the implications its extinction may have.

      Read more here: https://news.mongabay.com/2017/05/saving-the-most-endangered-plants-in-the-world/

    2. genetic diversity and erosion

      Gene diversity in a species of plants is imperative to its survival when its environment is either degrading or constantly changing. If genetic erosion occurs, the fitness of this species decreases and it is at a much higher risk of extinction which is the case for Pulsatilla patens, a plant species from East Central Europe.

      Read more about it: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0151730

    1. nearest neighbors

      A "nearest neighbors" search takes a specific item and looks for other nearby items that are similar to it. This is a very common problem in everyday life (for example, a business owner who wants to find other coffee shops near hers, or a dating profile that wants to find compatible suitors nearby). But how exactly do nearest neighbors searches work? And how difficult are they to implement?

      Read more in Quanta Magazine: https://www.quantamagazine.org/universal-method-to-sort-complex-information-found-20180813/

    1. Electric discharges (EODs) generated by a specialized electric organ (EO) within the body cause electric current to flow in the surrounding water.

      An exhibit dedicated to electric fish has opened at Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The exhibit includes a life-sized electric eel model and lights powered by eel-generated electricity to enable visitors to see and understand how these creatures work.

      For more information on this exhibit, visit https://nationalzoo.si.edu/news/new-electric-fishes-exhibit-opens-smithsonians-national-zoo

    2. the generation and detection of electric currents

      This paper goes in-depth on how different kinds of fish use their electrical currents to detect different objects and sense their location. They also use electrical discharge as a way of exposing who they are, similar to how humans can recognize other people are by looking at their faces.

      For more information into another use for these fish's electrical discharge visit, https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/wuis-jic041511.php

    1. The spread velocity of cane toads

      In recent years, traps for adult toads and nets for tadpoles were set in order to limit this invasive population in Australia. While successful in slowing spread in the West, expansion of cane toad territory in northern Australia is only expanding.

      Read more in ABC Science: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2003/02/28/793049.htm

    1. Although fossil fuels remain important sources of urban air pollution, exposure to ambient PM2.5 is increasingly from chemical products as the transportation sector becomes cleaner.

      Learn about the air quality index from the Environmental Protection Agency and monitor the air quality in your area. Learn about air quality index

      United States Air Quality Monitoring

    1. mismatch between shorter-tongued bees and the longer-tubed plants they once pollinated.

      As this research has presented, due to rising temperatures, bees have began to favor generalist foraging. A recent news story shows how honey bees have started pollinating blueberry plants, which are not very easily accessible for other bees.

      Read more: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/honeybees-fumble-their-way-blueberry-pollination

    2. Mutualisms evolve through the matching of functional traits between partners

      Mutualistic relationships between bees and flowers have resulted in both to coevolve with one another. Bees are essential to the pollination of flowers, because of this recent headlines about their possible endangerment could be catastrophic.

      Read more: http://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/11037/20170326/bumble-bees-news-endangered-species-one-important-insect-earth.htm

    1. By preying on seabirds, foxes reduced nutrient transport from ocean to land, affecting soil fertility and transforming grasslands to dwarf shrub/forb-dominated ecosystems.

      The effects of foxes on the Aleutian islands are both direct and indirect in nature. The presence of foxes directly affects the seabirds by decreasing their population due to them being easy prey. Indirectly the islands plant composition is affected by the reduced populations of birds distributing fewer nutrients needed by the vegetation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been reducing fox populations in order to restore the seabirds and have the islands support more plant life. To read more go to USGS: https://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2005/05/research.html

  16. Jul 2018
    1. hurricane season

      According to the National Weather Service, the official hurricane season starts on June 1 for the Atlantic and May 15 for the Pacific, both ending on Nov. 30. August through November are peak months with a high storm likelihood.

      For information about the 2018 hurricane season, check out this article from LiveScience: https://www.livescience.com/57671-hurricane-season.html

  17. Jun 2018
    1. Zika infection disrupts the binding of MSI1 to its endogenous targets

      Zika virus is dangerous for fetuses, but in adults the virus may eradicate cancerous brain tumors.

      Read more about how Zika virus affects brain tumors here: https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/zika-virus-kills-brain-cancer-stem-cells/

    2. A recent outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil

      Zika is type of virus called a flavivirus, a family of viruses that is transmitted by mosquitoes and includes yellow fever, West Nile, and dengue virus.

      In May 2015, Brazil was the first to associate Zika virus infection with microcephaly in newborns.

      Watch the following video for more about the history of Zika: https://youtu.be/FOcSe0LtoTg

    1. adaptation policies in the Mediterranean region, notably with respect to land-use systems and the conservation of biodiversity

      How are local communities responding to reports like this one about the impacts of climate change in their region?

      Read about how communities in the Maghreb region of North Africa are working to keep desert oasis ecosystems from disappearing at Yale Environment 360: http://e360.yale.edu/features/a_drive_to_save_sahran_oases_as_climate_change_takes_a_toll_cop22

  18. May 2018
    1. similar species conservation issues.

      Medicinal Plant Trade in Sierra Leone: Threats and Opportunities for Conservation (Jusu and Sanchez 2014)

      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12231-013-9255-2

    2. conservation

      Other strategies used for conservation include seed banking and establishing new protected areas.

      Orchid conservation in the biodiversity hotspot of southwestern China (Lia et al. 2015) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12584/full)

    3. Many more nature reserves were established at the provincial and lower government levels.

      In 2016 the Chinese government announced that they plan to establish 30 to 50 nature reserves across China by 2020.

      Read more in "China to establish up to 50 new nature reserves in next 5 years" http://www.ecns.cn/2016/11-03/232694.shtml

    4. Dendrobium plants available in recent years have largely come from neighboring Vietnam and Laos

      In Thailand there is a large network of illegal trading for endangered species of orchids to be used for medicinal purposes in China. These trades are done without domestic harvest permits or CITES permit which violates state and international restrictions on wild orchid harvest.

      Read More: "Unseen harvest: Southeast Asia’s illegal orchid trade"

      http://www.traffic.org/home/2015/11/24/unseen-harvest-southeast-asias-illegal-orchid-trade.html

    5. conservation success

      Read more:

      A more recent look at diversity in the region.

      Tropical China Plant Diversity, Ecology and Conservation – a Glimpse at the Current State (Liu et al 2017, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12229-017-9180-7)

    1. In 2012, two projects were implemented to increase H. a. ponceanus population:

      Authors obtained this information from the following News

      Daniels JC (2014) Conservation matters: status and conservation of the federally endangered Schaus swallowtail butterfly. News of the Lepidopterists’. Society 56:138–139

    1. Recent studies using the Ednrb antagonist bonsentan suggest that the use of Ednrb antagonists may prove useful for the treatment of melanoma.

      Ednrb antagonists could potentially be used for the treatment of melanoma. Read more: www.theoncologist.alphamedpress.org/content/20/10/1121.full.pdf

    1. drug-addicted individuals, who fail to stop taking drugs

      Why is it that some people use drugs without becoming addicted, while others will continue to abuse a substance despite consequences such as jail time and health problems?

      Read more at the Association for Psychological Science:

      https://www.psychologicalscience.org/publications/observer/obsonline/how-a-habit-becomes-an-addiction.html

    1. The discharge of plastic from at-sea vessels has since been banned

      There is international recognition that plastic pollution in the ocean is a global problem, and policy decisions by governments have worked to address it.

    2. widely documented

      The Jambeck et al. paper focuses on sources of plastic waste entering the oceans. A 2018 publication from Lebreton et al. presents research on the size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of plastic waste floating halfway between California and Hawaii. The patch contains about 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing 88,000 tons (more than 500 jumbo jets) and covering an area more than 600,000 square miles (more than twice the size of Texas) in extent. The plastic is "collected" by winds and ocean currents.

      For more information, see these links: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/2018/03/22/great-pacific-garbage-patch-grows/446405002/ and https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-22939-w

  19. Apr 2018
    1. role of the ocean as being critical to understanding the variability of Earth's climate system.

      "The Ocean is essential to life on Earth. Most of Earth's water is stored in the ocean. Although 40 percent of Earth's population lives within, or near coastal regions- the ocean impacts people everywhere. Without the ocean, our planet would be uninhabitable."

      Check out this NASA's Goddard video about the ocean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vgvTeuoDWY

    2. Modeling studies are required even to be able to attempt such a partition.

      "Underneath all the complexity of a big climate model lies a simple bedrock fact: In the long run, the Earth must balance its energy budget. However much incoming solar radiation the planet absorbs, the same amount must eventually be radiated back into space. The planet warms or cools as needed to satisfy this rule."

      Read more about climate models at the American Scientist: https://www.americanscientist.org/article/clarity-in-climate-modeling

    1. stimulated at nutrient concentrations that are now common

      A city releases water contaminated by agriculture which will have an adverse effect on local ecosystems.

      Read more in Lawrence-Journal World: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/nov/15/short-notice-citys-release-nitrogen-contaminated-w/

    2. phosphorus (P) additions

      The levels of phosphorus in Lake Coeur d’Alene have doubled since the 1990's. This worries authorities about the potential growth of algae and increase in heavy metals in the lake.

      Read more in The Spokesman-Review: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/nov/15/phosphorus-pollution-flowing-into-lake-coeur-dalen/

    3. Nutrients stimulate microbial processing of POC, which results in increased losses of CO2 to the atmosphere

      William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science are studying oysters to see if they could be used to reduce nitrogen levels.

      Read more in the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily: https://wydaily.com/2017/11/05/study-suggests-oysters-offer-hot-spot-for-reducing-nutrient-pollution-tek/