Despite having proven effective at reducing wildfire risks, prescribed burns have been stymied by perceived and real risks, regulations and resource shortages. A new analysis highlights ways of overcoming those barriers, offering solutions for wildfire-ravaged landscapes.
River flow is reduced in areas where forests have been planted and does not recover over time, a new study has shown. Rivers in some regions can completely disappear within a decade. This highlights the need to consider the impact on regional water availability, as well as the wider climate benefit, of tree-planting plans.
Few singers reach their sunset years with the same voice they had in younger days. Songbirds are no different. New research reveals that elderly swamp sparrows don't sound quite like they used to -- nor do they strike the same fear in other males who may be listening in. Humans are remarkably good at guessing a person's age by their voice. But this is the first time the phenomenon has been demonstrated in wild animals.
The lungs and placentas of fetuses in the womb -- as young as 11 weeks after conception -- already show a bacterial microbiome signature, which suggests that bacteria may colonize the lungs well before birth. This first-time finding deepens the mystery of how the microbes or microbial products reach those organs before birth and what role they play in normal lung and immune system development.
Engineers looking to nature for inspiration have long assumed that layered structures like those found in mollusk shells enhance a material's toughness, but a study shows that's not always the case. The findings may help engineers avoid 'naive biomimicry, the researchers say.
Simple LEGO bricks can be assembled to more complicated structures, which can be further associated into a wide variety of complex architectures, from automobiles, rockets, and ships to gigantic castles and amusement parks. Such an event of multi-step assembly, so-called 'hierarchical self-assembly', also happens in living organisms.
Hard plant foods may have made up a larger part of early human ancestors' diet than currently presumed, according to a new experimental study of modern tooth enamel. The results have implications for reconstructing diet, and for our interpretation of the fossil record of human evolution, researchers said.
Children with elevated exposure to early life stress in the home and elevated prenatal exposure to air pollution exhibited heightened symptoms of attention and thought problems, according to researchers. Early life stress is common in youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who also often live in areas with greater exposure to air pollution.
Taenia solium -- also called pork tapeworm -- is a parasite which causes disease around the world, particularly in very poor communities with deficient sanitation and where pigs roam free. Researchers have now analyzed the efficacy and adverse effects of three chemotherapeutics against T. solium.
A new computational model shows how different patterns of crop rotation -- planting different crops at different times in the same field -- can impact long-term yield when the crops are threatened by plant pathogens.
Urban growth boundaries are created by governments in an effort to concentrate urban development -- buildings, roads and the utilities that support them -- within a defined area. These boundaries are intended to decrease negative impacts on people and the environment. However, according to a researcher, policies that aim to reduce urban sprawl may be increasing water pollution.
Fish sticks may be a tasty option for dinner, but are they good for the planet? A new study of the climate impacts of seafood products reveals that the processing of Alaskan pollock into fish sticks, imitation crab, and fish fillets generates significant greenhouse gas emissions.
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are among the most common organisms on Earth. A research team has now shown for the first time that Cyanobacteria produce relevant amounts of methane in oceans, inland waters and on land. Due to climate change, ''Cyanobacteria blooms'' increase in frequency and extent, amplifying the release of methane from inland waters and oceans to the atmosphere.
Researchers have detailed the discovery of a tactile-sensory system stowed within the suction disc of remora, believed to enable the fish to acutely sense contact pressure with host surfaces and gauge ocean forces in order to determine when to initiate their attachment, as well as adjust their hold on hosts while traversing long distances.
Researchers have for the first time demonstrated what happens at the molecular level when two compounds known to inhibit crystal growth were combined, yielding new insights into malaria treatments and, more broadly, improving the process of drug development.
A new species of feathered dinosaur has been discovered in China. The one-of-a-kind specimen preserves feathers and bones that provide new information about how dinosaurs grew and how they differed from birds.
Although they have no way of identifying their biological fathers, male chimpanzees form intimate bonds with them, a finding that questions the idea of fatherhood in some of humanity's closest relatives, according to a study of wild chimpanzees in Uganda.
When nearly one million common murres died at sea and washed ashore from California to Alaska in 2015 and 2016, it was unprecedented -- both for murres, and across all bird species worldwide. Scientists blame an unexpected squeeze on the ecosystem's food supply, brought on by a severe and long-lasting marine heat wave known as 'the blob.'
According to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earth's global surface temperatures in 2019 were the second warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880.
Microtubules, filamentous structures within the cell, are required for many important processes, including cell division and intracellular transport. A research team recently discovered how the spiral-shaped, modular microtubules are formed and how their formation is controlled. These processes were visualized using state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).
Scientists know that a particular protein is responsible for regulating gene expression of photosystems in response to perturbations in photosynthetic electron flow, but how it senses the electrons has been an unresolved question -- until now.
Genetic material left behind by animals can provide critical clues to aid conservation and research. New research shows studying DNA in soil samples can be more effective, efficient and affordable than traditional tracking methods, such as camera traps, for assessing biodiversity.
Scientists have transferred a collection of genes into plant-colonizing bacteria that let them draw nitrogen from the air and turn it into ammonia, a natural fertilizer. The work could help farmers around the world use less human-made fertilizers to grow important food crops like wheat, corn, and soybeans.
Phosphorus is an essential element for life as we know it. But how it arrived on the early Earth is something of a mystery. Astronomers have now traced the journey of phosphorus from star-forming regions to comets using the combined powers of ALMA and the European Space Agency's probe Rosetta. Their research shows where molecules containing phosphorus form, how this element is carried in comets, and how a particular molecule may have played a crucial role in starting life on Earth.
The essential roles that microbes play in deep-sea ecosystems are at risk from the potential environmental impacts of mining, a new article reports. The study reviews what is known about microbes in these environments and assesses how mining could impact their important environmental roles.
Studies of animal movement and behavior -- including those addressing disease spread and animal conservation -- should monitor animals at both regular and irregular time points to improve understanding of animal movement behavior, according to a new study by statisticians.
Why are some porphyry deposits rich in copper while others contain gold? A researcher investigated how the metals are accumulated over the time duration of a mineralizing event and discover that the depth of the deposits influences the quantity of metals produced and that over 95% of the gold is lost to the atmosphere. The deeper a deposit is, the more copper there will be, while gold-rich deposits are closer to the surface.
It's a resource used in global construction and mined from rivers and coasts across the world. Now new research has shown sand mining is causing river beds to lower, leading to riverbank instability and increasing the likelihood of dangerous river bank collapse, damaging infrastructure and housing and putting lives at risk.
The association between indoor air quality of the school building and the pupils' symptoms was so weak that it is not possible to reliably assess the quality of the indoor air based on the amount of reported symptoms.
Extreme heat kills more people in the United States than any other type of hazardous weather and will likely become even deadlier due to climate change. However, extreme heat does not affect all people equally.
The sex life of hermaphroditic animals is determined by one fundamental question: Who assumes the female role and produces the costly eggs? Hamlets avoid this dilemma by engaging in reciprocal egg trading. Scientists have now used microeconomic models to analyze the circumstances required for this complex system of trading to work.