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Monsanto Fined for Failing to Report Chemical Release

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Keith Ridler | News | Comments

Monsanto Co. has agreed to pay $600,000 in fines for not reporting hundreds of uncontrolled releases of toxic chemicals at its eastern Idaho phosphate plant. The EPA and the U.S. DOJ announced the agreement involving the biotechnology company's Soda Springs facilities.

Projects Aims to Reintroduce Wild Wood Bison

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Dan Joling | News | Comments

A hundred wood bison that will be the foundation for the first wild herd on U.S. soil in more...

Pre-Dino Predator Found

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Toronto | News | Comments

What do butterflies, spiders and lobsters have in common? They are all surviving relatives of a...

Antarctic Ice Thinned Rapidly Over Two Decades

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by UCSD | Videos | Comments

A new study has revealed that the thickness of Antarctica’s floating ice shelves has recently...

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Today in Lab History: Great Alaskan Earthquake

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 PM AST the most powerful recorded megathrust earthquake in North American history occurred. Falling on Good Friday, it lasted for four minutes and 38 seconds and had a moment magnitude of 9.2, making it the third strongest earthquake in recorded history.

Antarctic Ice Thinned Rapidly Over Two Decades

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by UCSD | Videos | Comments

A new study has revealed that the thickness of Antarctica’s floating ice shelves has recently decreased by as much as 18 percent in certain areas over nearly two decades, providing new insights on how the Antarctic ice sheet is responding to climate change.

Climate Target 'Utterly Inadequate'

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by BioMed Central | News | Comments

The official global target of a 2 C temperature rise is “utterly inadequate” for protecting those at most risk from climate change, says a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, writing a commentary in the open access journal Climate Change Responses. The commentary presents a rare inside-view of a two-day discussion at the Lima Conference of the Parties.

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Coyotes Are Filling in for Wolves

March 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by NC State Univ. | News | Comments

It’s believed that wolves once roamed the southeastern U.S. before they were eliminated by overhunting and habitat loss. Now, the region has a new top dog, the coyote, which may fill the role once played by wolves.

Research Tackles Ancestry of Mysterious Feral Chickens

March 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Michigan State Univ. | News | Comments

How did the chicken cross the sea? No, that’s not a joke. A team has studied the mysterious ancestry of the feral chicken population that has overrun the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Their results may aid efforts to curtail the damage of invasive species in the future, and help improve the biosecurity of domestic chicken breeds.

Industrial Metal Harms Honey Bees

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Washington Univ. in St. Louis | News | Comments

Scientists have looked at the effect of low levels of manganese, a common industrial pollutant, on the behavior of honey bees. At levels considered safe for human food, the metal seemed to addle bees. The bees advanced through age-related work assignments faster than normal, yet completed fewer foraging trips than their sisters who were not exposed to manganese.

Problematic Algae May Aid Biofuels, Farm Soil

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists are working on a way to clean up these environmental scourges and turn them into useful products. The algae could serve as a feedstock for biofuels, and the feedstock leftovers could be recycled back into farm soil nutrients.

Supreme Court to Consider EPA's Mercury Limits

March 25, 2015 8:56 am | by Associated Press, Mark Sherman | News | Comments

The Supreme Court is taking up a challenge by industry groups and Republican-led states that want to roll back Obama administration environmental rules aimed at reducing power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants that contribute to respiratory illnesses, birth defects and developmental problems in children.

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Air Pollution Linked to Anxiety, Stroke

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by BMJ | News | Comments

Two separate studies have found that air pollution is linked to a higher risk of stroke, particularly in developing countries, and is associated with anxiety. Stroke is a leading cause of death and kills around 5 million people each year worldwide. Anxiety is the most common psychiatric disorder and globally affects around 16 percent of people at some point in life.

Hawaii's Coastal Erosion to Double by 2050

March 24, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Hawaii at Mānoa | News | Comments

Chronic erosion dominates the sandy beaches of Hawaii, causing beach loss as it damages homes, infrastructure and critical habitat. Scientists have long understood that global sea level rise will affect the rate of coastal erosion. New research brings into clearer focus just how dramatically Hawaii beaches might change as sea level rises in the future.

Study Atmosphere to Quantify Earth's Gas Leaks

March 24, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Natural gas that is leaked into the atmosphere could speed global warming and climate change. Now, researchers are presenting new and different techniques to make atmospheric observations that are being used to locate, quantify and attribute sources of leaked methane emissions.

Farmers Fund Wheat, Gluten Research

March 24, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Roxana Hegeman | News | Comments

Kansas farmers are paying for genetic research to figure out exactly why some people struggle to digest wheat. The hard science is aimed at developing new varieties of wheat at a time when the gluten-free industry is worth nearly a billion dollars a year in the U.S. alone.

Ecuadorian Frogs Can Shape-shift

March 24, 2015 7:00 am | by Case Western Reserve Univ. | News | Comments

A frog in Ecuador's western Andean cloud forest changes skin texture in minutes, appearing to mimic the texture it sits on. The amphibian is believed to be the first known to have this shape-shifting capability.

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Squid Inspire Stickers that May Help Soldiers

March 24, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Videos | Comments

Squid are the ultimate camouflage artists, blending almost flawlessly with their backgrounds so that unsuspecting prey can't detect them. Using a protein that's key to this process, scientists have designed "invisibility stickers" that could one day help soldiers disguise themselves, even when sought by enemies with tough-to-fool infrared cameras.

Viruses, Archaea Self-mutate to Survive

March 23, 2015 3:00 pm | by UC Santa Barbara | News | Comments

Strange creatures live in the deep sea, but few are odder than archaea, primitive single-celled microorganisms that go to great lengths to survive the most extreme environments on the planet. Now, scientists discovered something odder: a virus that seemingly infects methane-eating archaea living beneath the ocean’s floor. Stranger still, this virus selectively targets one of its own genes for mutation and, moreover, some archaea do too.

Earth Has Hidden Layer

March 23, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Utah | News | Comments

By crushing minerals between diamonds, a study has suggested the existence of an unknown layer inside Earth: part of the lower mantle where the rock gets three times stiffer. The discovery may explain a mystery: why slabs of Earth's sinking tectonic plates sometimes stall and thicken 930 miles underground.

Foreign Wild Horses May Save Czechoslovakian Biodiversity

March 23, 2015 8:29 am | by Associated Press, Karel Janicek | News | Comments

Twenty-five years ago it was a military zone where occupying Soviet troops held exercises. Today it's a sanctuary inhabited by wild animals that scientists hope will improve biodiversity among local plants as well as save endangered species. A herd of 14 wild mares from Britain's Exmoor National Park were moved in January to the former Milovice military base, 22 miles northeast of Prague, the Czech capital.

Popular Weed Killer is One Likely Cause of Cancer

March 23, 2015 8:17 am | by Associated Press, Joshua Goodman | News | Comments

The new labeling of the world's most-popular weed killer as a likely cause of cancer is raising more questions for an aerial spraying program in Colombia that is the cornerstone of the U.S.-backed war on drugs. A research arm of WHO has reclassified the herbicide glyphosate as a result of convincing evidence the chemical produces cancer in lab animals and more limited findings it causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in humans.

Natural Molecule May Make Greener Roofs, Roads

March 23, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Construction crews may someday use a plant molecule called lignin in their asphalt and sealant mixtures to help roads and roofs hold up better under various weather conditions. It also could make them more environmentally friendly.

Science is Not Just About Facts: Readers React

March 23, 2015 7:00 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

Earlier this month, I wrote an editorial based on the release of a study that revealed stark differences between the general public and scientists on science-related issues. It received a lot of attention, garnering comments and sparking debate. Here are a few of the best comments and reaction to them.

Deadly Parasite is Tamed by Cousins

March 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by Burness Communications | News | Comments

African cattle infected with a lethal parasite that kills one million cows per year are less likely to die when co-infected with the parasite's milder cousin, according to a new study. The find suggests that "fighting fire with fire" is a strategy that might work against a range of parasitic diseases.

Biodegradable Plastic Doesn't

March 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by Michigan State Univ. | News | Comments

Recycling plastic works; additives to biodegrade plastic do not. A new study has shown that several additives that claim to break down polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate simply don’t work in common disposal situations such as landfills or composting.

Study Questions Cause of Global Ice Age

March 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by Dartmouth College | News | Comments

A new international study casts doubt on the leading theory of what causes ice ages around the world— changes in the way the Earth orbits the sun. The researchers found that glacier movement in the Southern Hemisphere is influenced primarily by sea surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide rather than changes in the Earth's orbit, which are thought to drive the advance and retreat of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere.

Power Naps Significantly Improve Memory

March 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by Saarland Univ. | News | Comments

A team of researchers has shown that a short nap lasting about an hour can significantly improve memory performance. The study examined memory recall in 41 participants. The volunteers had to learn single words and word pairs. Once the learning phase was over, the participants were tested to determine how much information they could remember.

Huge Lava Tubes May Exist on Moon

March 20, 2015 8:44 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

Lava tubes large enough to house cities could be structurally stable on the moon, according to a theoretical study. The volcanic features are an important target for future human space exploration because they could provide shelter from cosmic radiation, meteorite impacts and temperature extremes.

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