An ancient European volcanic region may pose both a greater long-term volcanic risk and seismic risk to northwestern Europe than scientists had realized, geophysicists report. The densely populated area is centered in the Eifel region of Germany, and covers parts of Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Luxembourg.
The CRISPR system is a powerful tool for the targeted editing of genomes, with significant therapeutic potential, but runs the risk of inappropriately editing ''off-target'' sites. However, a new study shows that mutating the enzyme at the heart of the CRISPR gene editing system can improve its fidelity.
A new study argues that deep-sea mining poses significant risks, not only to the area immediately surrounding mining operations but also to the water hundreds to thousands of feet above the seafloor, threatening vast midwater ecosystems. Further, the scientists suggest how these risks could be evaluated more comprehensively to enable society and managers to decide if and how deep-sea mining should proceed.
A report offers a detailed description of the first nearly complete skeleton of an extinct large dolphin, discovered in what is now South Carolina. The 15-foot-long dolphin (Ankylorhiza tiedemani comb. n.) lived during the Oligocene -- about 25 million years ago -- and was previously known only from a partial rostrum (snout) fossil.
Researchers have discovered a new way to more accurately analyze microscopic samples by essentially making them 'glow in the dark', through the use of chemically luminescent molecules. Current methods of microscopic imaging rely on fluorescence, which means a light needs to be shining on the sample while it is being analyzed. While this method is effective, it also has some drawbacks.
How does evolution impact ecological patterns? It helps smooth out the rough edges, say researchers. A new review of the history of ecological and evolutionary research establishes a framework to better understand evolution's impact on ecosystem patterns.
In one of the first studies addressing the role of sex hormones' impact on stem cells in the gut, scientists outline new insights showing how a steroidal sex hormone, ecdysone, drastically alters the way intestinal stem cells behave, ultimately affecting the overarching structure and function of this critical organ.
Common domestic cats, as we know them today, might have accompanied Kazakh pastoralists as pets more than 1,000 years ago. This is indicated by new analyses done on an almost complete cat skeleton found during an excavation along the former Silk Road in southern Kazakhstan. An international research team has reconstructed the cat's life, revealing astonishing insights into the relationship between humans and pets at the time.
Coral death is impacting oceans worldwide as a consequence of climate change. The concern is that corals cannot keep pace with the rate of ocean warming. In particular, because a temperature increase of only one degree Celsius can make the difference between healthy and dying coral reefs. Some corals, however, are more resistant to increasing temperatures. In order to effectively protect coral reef habitats, it is important to identify which corals and reef sites are more resistant and thus have
A rat is less likely to help a trapped companion if it is with other rats that aren't helping, according to new research that showed the social psychological theory of the ''bystander effect'' in humans is present in these long-tailed rodents.
From movies to museum exhibits, the dinosaur Dilophosaurus is no stranger to pop culture. Many probably remember it best from the movie 'Jurassic Park,' where it's depicted as a venom-spitting beast with a rattling frill around its neck and two paddle-like crests on its head. But a new comprehensive analysis of Dilophosaurus fossils is helping to set the record straight, finding that the Dilophosaurus was actually the largest land animal of its time.
Many animals move their ears to better focus their attention on a novel sound. That humans also have this capability was not known until now. A research team now has demonstrated that we make minute, unconscious movements of our ears that are directed towards the sound want to focus our attention on. The team discovered this ability by measuring electrical signals in the muscles of the vestigial motor system in the human ear.
Global water consumption has increased almost fourfold in the past 100 years, and many regions can only meet their water demand thanks to essential contributions from mountain regions. In 30 years, almost a quarter of the world's lowland population will strongly depend on runoff from the mountains. Only sustainable development can ensure the important function of mountain areas as Earth's ''water towers''.
Archaeologists have combined the latest scientific methods to offer new insights into life during the Norman Conquest of England. Until now, the story of the Conquest has primarily been told from evidence of the elite classes of the time. But little has been known about how it affected everyday people's lives.
Life as we know it could not exist without Earth's magnetic field and its ability to deflect dangerous ionizing particles. It is continuously generated by the motion of liquid iron in Earth's outer core, a phenomenon called the geodynamo. Despite its fundamental importance, many questions remain unanswered about the geodynamo's origin. New work examines how the presence of lighter elements in the predominately iron core could affect the geodynamo's genesis and sustainability.
The program could make it easier to identify the deadly antimicrobial resistant bacteria that exist in the environment. Such superbugs annually cause more than 2.8 million difficult-to-treat pneumonia or bloodstream infections and 35,000 deaths in the US.
Can antibiotic-resistant bacteria escape from sewers into waterways and cause a disease outbreak? A new study examined the microbe-laden ''biofilms'' that cling to sewer walls, and even built a simulated sewer to study the germs that survive within.
Caecilians are limbless amphibians that can be easily mistaken for snakes. Though caecilians are only distantly related to their reptilian cousins, researchers describe specialized glands found along the teeth of the ringed caecilian (Siphonops annulatus), which have the same biological origin and possibly similar function to the venom glands of snakes. As such, caecilians may represent the oldest land-dwelling vertebrate animal with oral venom glands.
Neuroscientists describe for the first time how relationships between different odors are encoded in the brain. The findings suggest a mechanism that may explain why individuals have common but highly personalized experiences with smell, and inform efforts better understand how the brain transforms information about odor chemistry into the perception of smell.
With the help of citizen scientists, researchers have tracked how one rare sparrow song went ''viral'' across Canada, traveling over 3,000 kilometers between 2000 and 2019 and wiping out a historic song ending. The study reports that white-throated sparrows from British Columbia to Ontario have ditched their traditional three-note-ending song in favor of a unique two-note-ending variant -- although researchers don't know what made the new song so compelling.
Studies have shown the Arctic is warming roughly twice as fast as the rest of the world, and its soil holds twice the amount of carbon dioxide as the atmosphere. New research finds that water from spring snowmelt infiltrates the soil and triggers fresh carbon dioxide production at higher rates than previously assumed.
Scientists have shown how even low doses of neonicotinoid insecticides, as they may realistically occur in contaminated soils, adversely affect the development of black garden ants (Lasius niger). This study highlights the need to overthink current deployment and management of chemical pest control for more sustainable agriculture.