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Science/Tech / ScienceDaily

New evidence of long-term volcanic, seismic risks in northern Europe

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.

10 Jul 2020 2:58 am
Discovery reveals how plants make cellulose for strength and growth

The discovery unveils the molecular machinery that plants use to weave cellulose chains into cable-like structures called 'microfibrils.'

9 Jul 2020 11:46 pm
Safer CRISPR gene editing with fewer off-target hits

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.

9 Jul 2020 11:46 pm
Scientists urge caution, further assessment of ecological impacts above deep sea mining

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.

9 Jul 2020 11:46 pm
Global wildlife surveillance could provide early warning for next pandemic

Researchers propose a decentralized, global wildlife biosurveillance system to identify -- before the next pandemic emerges -- animal viruses that have the potential to cause human disease.

9 Jul 2020 11:46 pm
5G wireless networks have few health impacts, finds study using zebrafish model

Findings from a new study into the effects of radiofrequency radiation generated by the wireless technology that will soon be the standard for cell phones suggest few health impacts.

9 Jul 2020 11:45 pm
Bats offer clues to treating COVID-19

Bats carry many viruses, including COVID-19, without becoming ill. Biologists are studying the immune system of bats to find potential ways to 'mimic' that system in humans.

9 Jul 2020 11:26 pm
Native bees also facing novel pandemic

There is growing evidence that another 'pandemic' has been infecting bees around the world for the past two decades, and is spreading: a fungal pathogen known as Nosema.

9 Jul 2020 11:26 pm
15-foot-long skeleton of extinct dolphin suggests parallel evolution among whales

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.

9 Jul 2020 9:05 pm
Discovery makes microscopic imaging possible in dark conditions

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.

9 Jul 2020 8:22 pm
Evolution makes the world less ragged

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.

9 Jul 2020 8:22 pm
Skull of two million year-old giant dormouse reconstructed

A researcher has digitally pieced together fossilized fragments from five giant dormouse skulls to reconstruct the first known complete skull of the species, which was roughly the size of a cat.

9 Jul 2020 8:21 pm
New clues from fruit flies about the critical role of sex hormones in stem cell control

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.

9 Jul 2020 6:55 pm
Daytime aardvark sightings are a sign of troubled times

New research reveals what a shift from night-time to daytime activity means for the well-being of aardvarks in a warming and drying world.

9 Jul 2020 6:54 pm
Care for cats? So did people along the Silk Road more than 1,000 years ago

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.

9 Jul 2020 6:23 pm
Stress testing 'coral in a box'

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

9 Jul 2020 1:25 am
Fossil jawbone from Alaska is a rare case of a juvenile Arctic dromaeosaurid dinosaur

A small piece of fossil jawbone from Alaska represents a rare example of juvenile dromaeosaurid dinosaur remains from the Arctic, according to a new study.

9 Jul 2020 12:36 am
Naturally perforated shells one of the earliest adornments in the Middle Paleolithic

Ancient humans deliberately collected perforated shells in order to string them together as beads, according to a new study.

9 Jul 2020 12:36 am
'Bystander Effect' not exclusive to humans

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.

9 Jul 2020 12:36 am
How good gut bacteria help reduce the risk for heart disease

Scientists have discovered that one of the good bacteria found in the human gut has a benefit that has remained unrecognized until now: the potential to reduce the risk for heart disease.

9 Jul 2020 12:36 am
Supergenes play a larger role in evolution than previously thought

Large blocks of 'plug and play' genes play a super-sized role in adaption-and may help fill lingering gaps in Darwin's theories.

8 Jul 2020 10:23 pm
Strain of E. coli may offer protections against its more malevolent cousins

Researchers say E. coli Nissle may protect human cells against other more pathogenic strains of E. coli such as E. coli 0157:H7, which is commonly associated with contaminated hamburger meat.

8 Jul 2020 4:09 am
Famous 'Jurassic Park' dinosaur is less lizard, more bird

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.

8 Jul 2020 4:09 am
Algae species discovered infesting NW Hawaiian waters has been identified

A newly-identified, fast-growing species of algae poses a major threat to coral reefs and the ocean ecosystem in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

8 Jul 2020 4:09 am
Making a list of all creatures, great and small

A new article outlines a roadmap for creating, for the first time, an agreed list of all the world's species, from mammals and birds to plants, fungi and microbes.

7 Jul 2020 11:39 pm
Our animal inheritance: Humans perk up their ears, too, when they hear interesting sounds

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.

7 Jul 2020 9:03 pm
1.5 billion people will depend on water from mountains

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''.

7 Jul 2020 9:03 pm
Agriculture - a climate villain? Maybe not!

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that agriculture is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases, and is thus by many observers considered as a climate villain.

7 Jul 2020 9:03 pm
Newly discovered pathogen in NY apples causes bitter rot disease

In a study of New York state apple orchards, plant pathologists have identified a new fungal pathogen that causes bitter rot disease in apples.

7 Jul 2020 12:24 am
Norman Conquest of 1066 did little to change people's eating habits

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.

6 Jul 2020 11:39 pm
How does Earth sustain its magnetic field?

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.

6 Jul 2020 11:38 pm
Physics: Bubbling and burping droplets of DNA

Liquid droplets formed from DNA display a peculiar response to enzymes. An international collaboration has now been able to explain the mechanisms behind bubble formation.

6 Jul 2020 11:38 pm
Researchers develop software to find drug-resistant bacteria

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.

6 Jul 2020 11:38 pm
Plant study challenges tropics' reputation as site of modern evolutionary innovation

In a surprise twist, a major group of flowering plants is evolving twice as quickly in temperate zones as the tropics.

6 Jul 2020 11:38 pm
The sixth sense of animals: An early warning system for earthquakes?

Continuously observing animals with motion sensors could improve earthquake prediction.

6 Jul 2020 7:48 pm
Earth's magnetic field can change 10 times faster than previously thought

A new study reveals that changes in the direction of the Earth's magnetic field may take place 10 times faster than previously thought.

6 Jul 2020 7:11 pm
Harmful microbes found on sewer pipe walls

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.

6 Jul 2020 7:11 pm
First evidence of snake-like venom glands found in amphibians

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.

3 Jul 2020 11:42 pm
Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions

Researchers are advancing gas membrane materials to expand practical technology options for reducing industrial carbon emissions.

3 Jul 2020 12:17 am
New technique in which drugs make bacteria glow could help fight antibiotic resistance

A new technique could help reduce antibiotic prescribing by predicting which drugs could be effective in fighting bacteria within minutes.

3 Jul 2020 12:17 am
Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species

In a new meta-study, experts have published ground-breaking findings on the effects of climate change for fish stock around the globe.

3 Jul 2020 12:17 am
How the brain organizes information about odors

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.

3 Jul 2020 12:11 am
Crystal structure discovered almost 200 years ago could hold key to solar cell revolution

Solar energy researchers are shining their scientific spotlight on materials with a crystal structure discovered nearly two centuries ago.

3 Jul 2020 12:10 am
In mouse study, black raspberries show promise for reducing skin inflammation

In a study done with mice, researchers found that a diet high in black raspberries reduced inflammation from contact hypersensitivity -- a condition that causes redness and inflammation in the skin.

2 Jul 2020 9:07 pm
Twenty-year study tracks a sparrow song that went 'viral

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.

2 Jul 2020 9:07 pm
In the Arctic, spring snowmelt triggers fresh CO2 production

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.

2 Jul 2020 7:35 pm
Climate change threat to tropical plants

Half of the world's tropical plant species may struggle to germinate by 2070 because of global warming, a new study predicts.

2 Jul 2020 7:34 pm
Different tracks, same dinosaurs: Researchers dig deeper into dinosaur movements

Using X-ray-based technology, researchers uncover shared subsurface movement patterns between birds and dinosaurs, adding a new dimension of fossil track diversity.

1 Jul 2020 10:25 pm
Alarming long-term effects of insecticides weaken ant colonies

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.

1 Jul 2020 10:25 pm
Scientists shed new light on how seabirds cruise through air and water

New insight on how four species of seabirds have developed the ability to cruise through both air and water has just been published.

1 Jul 2020 5:02 am