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Communal Nesting Confuses Paternity, Reduces Infanticide

September 19, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Conversation, Sinead English | News | Comments

It is a cruel world out there, particularly for young animals born into social groups where infanticide occurs. This dark side of evolution is revealed when adults– often males– kill offspring to promote their own genes being passed on, by reducing competition for resources or making females become sexually receptive more quickly.

Plant Engineered for Better Photosynthesis

September 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Cornell Univ. | News | Comments

A genetically engineered tobacco plant, developed with two genes from blue-green algae holds...

Unmown Areas Benefit Nature, Humans

September 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Sussex | News | Comments

Creating unmown areas in an urban park can significantly increase flowers and pollinating...

Corn Yields Depend on Nutrient Balance

September 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

Ensuring that corn absorbs the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is crucial to...

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Chevron Meets Voluntary Shale Drilling Rules

September 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Kevin Begos | News | Comments

Chevron has become the first energy company to meet a new set of voluntary shale gas drilling standards that aim to go beyond existing state laws in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale announced today.

Researchers Look at the Origins of Plate Tectonics

September 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Sydney | News | Comments

The mystery of what kick-started the motion of our earth's massive tectonic plates across its surface has been explained by researchers. Their new model also makes a number of predictions explaining features that have long puzzled the geoscience community.

Artificial Beaks May Be Drought Solution

September 18, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

From the most parched areas of Saudi Arabia to water-scarce areas of the western U.S., the idea of harvesting fog for water is catching on. Now, a novel approach to this process could help meet affected communities’ needs for the life-essential resource.

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What is Chikungunya? Concerns Over New Mosquito-borne Virus

September 17, 2014 1:37 pm | by Carol Kuchta, Art Director, Advantage Business Media | News | Comments

Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus similar to dengue, is spreading rapidly in the Western Hemisphere. Although there is little risk of it becoming a major threat in the U.S., health officials are still warning residents to exercise caution when outdoors as there have been confirmed cases in the U.S., mostly due to traveling citizens. Check out the infographic for more info on the relatively unspoken-about virus.

Feds Explore Shipwrecks Near San Francisco

September 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Terence Chea | News | Comments

Federal researchers are exploring several underwater sites where ships sank while navigating in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. During the past week, researchers have used a remote-controlled underwater vehicle, equipped with sonar and video cameras, to examine and record the historic shipwrecks.

Meteorite Doomed Dinos, Altered Forests

September 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Arizona | News | Comments

The meteorite impact that spelled doom for the dinosaurs 66 million years ago decimated the evergreens among the flowering plants to a much greater extent than their deciduous peers. Researchers have found evidence that, after the event, fast-growing, deciduous angiosperms had replaced their slow-growing, evergreen peers to a large extent.

Early Earth Was Less Hellish than Thought

September 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Vanderbilt Univ. | News | Comments

Conditions on Earth for the first 500 million years after it formed may have been surprisingly similar to the present day, complete with oceans, continents and active crustal plates. This alternate view of Earth’s first geologic eon, called the Hadean, has gained substantial new support from the first detailed comparison of zircon crystals that formed more than 4 billion years ago with those formed contemporaneously in Iceland.

Study: Bad Wells, Not Fracking, Contaminate Groundwater

September 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Ohio State Univ. | News | Comments

A study has pinpointed the likely source of most natural gas contamination in drinking-water wells associated with hydraulic fracturing, and it’s not the source many people may have feared. What’s more, the problem may be fixable with improved construction standards for cement well linings and casings at hydraulic fracturing sites.

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Climate Change Formula Isn’t Universal

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by ETH Zurich | News | Comments

Based on models and observations, climate scientists have devised a simplified formula to describe one of the consequences of climate change: regions already marked by droughts will continue to dry out in the future climate. Regions that already have a moist climate will experience additional rainfall. However, this formula is less universally valid than previously assumed.

Asian Monsoon Much Older than Believed

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Arizona | News | Comments

The Asian monsoon already existed 40 million years ago during a period of high atmospheric carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures, reports an international research team. Scientists had thought the climate pattern known as the Asian monsoon began 22 to 25 million years ago as a result of the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya Mountains.

Mars May Grow Better Veggies than the Moon

September 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Patricia Waldron | News | Comments

Any explorers visiting Mars and the moon will have to boldly grow where no man has grown before. Setting up lunar or Martian colonies will require that explorers raise their own food. New research finds that simulated Martian soil supported plant life better than both simulated moon soil and low-quality soil from Earth.

Natural Soundscapes May Become ‘Digital Fossils’

September 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

There is hardly a spot on the planet where manmade noise doesn’t mix with— or intrude on, from another perspective— the sounds of the natural world. Eventually, one professor says, the only way people may be able to hear nature on its own terms is through an artificial digital world, much like “Star Trek.”

Nuclear Plant Stays Open Despite Safety Recommendations

September 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Michael Blood | News | Comments

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected a senior federal expert's recommendation to shut down California's last operating nuclear power plant until the agency can determine whether its twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from nearby earthquake faults. In a decision, the agency concluded there is no immediate or significant safety concern at the Diablo Canyon plant.

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Tool Helps Put a Value on Nature

September 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

An interactive online tool allows users to calculate the value of an ecosystem, and lets them determine how altering a habitat can affect its economic, social and environmental worth.

Ozone Layer is Recovering

September 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Earth's protective ozone layer is beginning to recover, largely because of the phase-out since the 1980s of certain chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans, a U.N. scientific panel reported in a rare piece of good news about the health of the planet. Scientists said the development demonstrates that when the world comes together, it can counteract a brewing ecological crisis.

Researchers Predict Major Quake Off Istanbul’s Coast

September 11, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT | News | Comments

When a segment of a major fault line goes quiet, it can mean one of two things. The seismic gap may simply be inactive— the result of two tectonic plates placidly gliding past each other— or the segment may be a source of potential earthquakes, quietly building tension over decades until an inevitable seismic release. Now, after tracking seismic shifts, researchers say a major quake may occur off the coast of Istanbul.

Sharks May Not Smell Food in Acidic Water

September 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Georgia Institute of Technology | Videos | Comments

The increasing acidification of ocean waters caused by rising atmospheric CO2 levels could rob sharks of their ability to sense the smell of food, a new study suggests. Elevated CO2 levels impaired the odor-tracking behavior of the smooth dogfish, a shark whose range includes the Atlantic Ocean off the eastern U.S.

New-found Bacteria Eats Hazardous Waste

September 10, 2014 7:00 am | by The Univ. of Manchester | News | Comments

Tiny single-cell organisms discovered living underground could help with the problem of nuclear waste disposal. Although bacteria with waste-eating properties have been discovered in relatively pristine soils before, this is the first time that microbes that can survive in the very harsh conditions expected in radioactive waste disposal sites have been found.

Textbooks May be Wrong About Volcanoes

September 9, 2014 2:00 pm | by Caltech | News | Comments

In the typical textbook picture, volcanoes, such as those that are forming the Hawaiian islands, erupt when magma gushes out as narrow jets from deep inside Earth. But that picture is wrong, according to a new study from researchers. New seismology data are confirming that such narrow jets don't actually exist.

USDA Announces $328 M Conservation Plan

September 9, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Steve Karnowski | News | Comments

The USDA announced $328 million in funding to protect and restore farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the country. The initiative, using money provided in the new five-year farm bill, will buy conservation easements from farmers to protect the environment, help wildlife populations and promote outdoor recreation.

Image of the Week: Single Road May Lead to Rome

September 9, 2014 7:00 am | by Michigan State Univ. | News | Comments

A well-known biologist once theorized that many roads led to Rome when it comes to two distantly related organisms evolving a similar trait. But, a new paper suggests that when it comes to evolving some traits– especially simple ones– there may be a shared gene, one road, that’s the source.

Egyptian Art Paints Picture of Ecological Collapse

September 9, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Santa Cruz | News | Comments

Depictions of animals in ancient Egyptian artifacts have helped scientists assemble a detailed record of the large mammals that lived in the Nile Valley over the past 6,000 years. A new analysis of this record shows that species extinctions, probably caused by a drying climate and growing human population in the region, have made the ecosystem progressively less stable.

Mud Disposal Plan Will Protect Barrier Reef

September 8, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The government of Australia's Queensland state approved a plan today that will prevent 3 million cubic meters of seabed mud from being dumped in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Coffee Sheds Light on Evolution of Caffeine

September 5, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. at Buffalo | News | Comments

The newly sequenced genome of the coffee plant reveals secrets about the evolution of man's best chemical friend: caffeine. The scientists who completed the project say the sequences and positions of genes in the coffee plant show that they evolved independently from genes with similar functions in tea and chocolate, which also make caffeine.

NASA Examines Four Decades of Sea Ice Changes

September 5, 2014 7:00 am | by Goddard Space Flight Center | Videos | Comments

The sea ice cap that covers the Arctic Ocean has been changing dramatically. Its ice is thinner and more vulnerable– at summer minimum it now covers more than 1 million fewer square miles than in the late 1970s. A key part of the story of how the world was able to witness and document this change centers on meticulous work over decades by a small group of scientists at NASA.

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