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The Lead

Solar Tech Could Enable World’s First Underground Park

November 26, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Verena Dobnik | News | Comments

Inspired by the High Line's success, planners— including a NASA engineer— are now looking deep under Manhattan at a proposal to create the Lowline, billed as the world's first underground park. Street-level solar collectors would be used to filter the sun about 20 feet down to bedrock, turning the dank, subterranean space into a luminous, plant-filled oasis.

Obama Administration Wants New Smog Standard

November 26, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Dina Cappiello | News | Comments

A stricter smog standard proposed by the Obama administration joins a string of historic— and...

Centipedes Shed Light on Life on Earth

November 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem | News | Comments

Centipedes, those many-legged creatures that startle us in our homes and gardens, have been...

Poultry Scientist Explains Trendy Turkey

November 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Penn State Univ. | News | Comments

Over 45 million turkeys are eaten by Americans each Thanksgiving. Hunters provide some....

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Supreme Court Considers Mercury Limits

November 25, 2014 2:12 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Supreme Court is stepping into a new case about Obama administration environmental rules, agreeing to review a ruling that upholds emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

Vultures have Extreme Gut for Gross Diet

November 25, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Copenhagen | News | Comments

How is it that vultures can live on a diet of carrion that would at least lead to severe food poisoning, and more likely, kill most other animals? Although their diet of meat that is both rotting and liberally contaminated with feces would likely kill most other animals, they are apparently immune to the cocktail of deadly microbes within their dinner.

Image of the Week: Robot Sheds Light on Sea Ice

November 25, 2014 7:00 am | by British Antarctic Survey | News | Comments

The first detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice have been developed using an underwater robot. Scientists from the UK, U.S. and Australia say the new technology provides accurate ice thickness measurements from areas that were previously too difficult to access.


Researchers Create Pain in a Dish

November 25, 2014 7:00 am | by Harvard Stem Cell Institute | News | Comments

After more than six years of intensive effort, and repeated failures that made the quest at times seem futile, researchers have successfully converted mouse and human skin cells into pain-sensing neurons that respond to a number of stimuli that cause acute and inflammatory pain.

500,000 Photos Will Help Coral Reef

November 24, 2014 7:00 am | by The Univ. of Queensland | News | Comments

A picture is worth considerably more than a thousand words to marine scientists working on the Catlin Seaview Survey, as they study more than 500,000 images in research to improve coral reef health. They are analyzing 360-degree underwater images to perform a global marine environment health check.

Scientists Find Ancient Buried Canyon in Tibet

November 21, 2014 2:00 pm | by Caltech | News | Comments

A team of geologists has discovered an ancient, deep canyon buried along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in south Tibet, north of the eastern end of the Himalayas. The researchers say that the ancient canyon— thousands of feet deep in places— effectively rules out a popular model used to explain how the massive and picturesque gorges of the Himalayas became so steep, so quickly.

Polyethylene, Glazing Disinfect Soil

November 21, 2014 2:00 pm | by American Society for Horticultural Science | News | Comments

Soil solarization, a process that uses solar radiation to rid the soil of pests, is most common in regions with high solar radiation and high temperatures during the summer season. New research has found that soil solarization is most effective when moist soil is covered tightly with polyethylene inside a high tunnel covered with glazing.

Plague Outbreaks Linked to El Niño

November 21, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Liverpool | News | Comments

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an ocean-atmosphere fluctuation of air pressure and sea surface temperature. Now, scientists have shown that large outbreaks of plague in Madagascar tend to coincide with the timing of ENSO events.


Understanding Wheat Virus Epidemics Aids Control

November 21, 2014 7:00 am | by The Univ. of Western Australia | News | Comments

Critical new understanding of the disease cycle of a wheat virus will help farmers around the world protect their wheat crops from a devastating disease and major yield losses. A researcher has identified that wheat seed is critical for the dissemination of wheat streak mosaic virus and its persistence between successive growing seasons.

Urbane Female Bats are Picky Eaters

November 21, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Stirling | News | Comments

Female bats are fussier than males when it comes choosing where to eat in urban areas, according to new research. Town and city planners must take the needs of females into account when managing urban woodlands, to prevent a decline in numbers of certain bat species.

Newer Hybrids Give Corn Producers Options

November 21, 2014 7:00 am | by Texas A&M AgriLife Research | Videos | Comments

Scientists are wrapping up a two-year study to determine the best combination of corn hybrids, planting dates and maturity to maintain yield and maximize water-use efficiency.

Salinity Matters to Sea Level Changes

November 21, 2014 7:00 am | by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | News | Comments

Using ocean observations and a large suite of climate models, scientists have found that long-term salinity changes have a stronger influence on regional sea level changes than previously thought.

Fishermen Are Fighting Crab Menace

November 21, 2014 7:00 am | by ScienceNetwork WA | News | Comments

Perth fishermen have helped stop a nasty crab invading West Australian waters that could have devastated local marine biodiversity. Introduced pests like this are one of the greatest threats to global marine biodiversity.


Tech Sheds New Light on Landslides

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Oregon State Univ. | News | Comments

Engineers have created a new way to use lidar technology to identify and classify landslides on a landscape scale, which may revolutionize the understanding of landslides in the U.S. and reveal them to be far more common and hazardous than often understood.

Calcium Loss Causes 'Jellification' of Lakes

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Declining calcium levels in some North American lakes are causing major depletions of dominant plankton species, enabling the rapid rise of their ecological competitor: a small jelly-clad invertebrate. Scientists say increasing “jellification” will damage fish stocks and filtration systems that allow lakes to supply drinking water, and that lakes may have been pushed into an entirely new ecological state.

Fossils Cast Doubt on Climate Change Predictions

November 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Oregon | News | Comments

Leave it to long-dead short-tailed shrew and flying squirrels to outfox climate modelers trying to predict future habitats. Evidence from the fossil record shows that a gluttonous insect-eating shrew didn't live where a species distribution technique, drawn by biologists, put it 20,000 years ago to survive the reach of glaciers.

San Diego Reconsiders Recycling Water

November 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Elliot Spagat | News | Comments

Dismissed only a few years ago by residents of California's second-largest city, San Diego is joining other California cities that are taking a closer look at recycling wastewater for drinking as the state suffers from severe drought.

Tests Find Water Clean After Energy Boom

November 18, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Matthew Brown | News | Comments

Random testing of shallow groundwater in the Northern Plains oil patch found no evidence of contamination from an energy boom that's already seen more than 8,500 wells drilled, federal scientists have said.

Will US-China Climate Agreement Ease Global Accord?

November 14, 2014 2:31 pm | by Chris Gorski, Senior Editor, Inside Science News | News | Comments

Despite an agreement between the world's two two polluting countries this week, a global agreement is still needed to limit future warming to levels that experts deem acceptable. Research on negotiations suggests that getting all countries to agree on an overall agreement is still a big job.

Supercomputers Enable High-res Climate Models

November 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Videos | Comments

Not long ago, it would have taken several years to run a high-resolution simulation on a global climate model. But using some of the most powerful supercomputers now available, a climate scientist was able to complete a run in just three months.

U.S. to Get More Lightning as Climate Changes

November 14, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Berkeley | News | Comments

Today’s climate models predict a 50 percent increase in lightning strikes across the U.S. during this century as a result of warming temperatures associated with climate change.

Pigeons May Have an Internal Gyroscope

November 13, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Company of Biologists | News | Comments

How homing pigeons find their way home is still largely a mystery. Now, researchers have found that homing pigeons are affected by disturbances in the gravity field and suggest that the birds navigate using an internal gyroscope to guide themselves home.

What's Bad for the Seedling is Good for the Forest

November 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Utah | News | Comments

Plant diseases attack trees and crops and can hurt lumber and food production, but biologists have found that pathogens that kill tree seedlings actually can make forests more diverse.

Plants Can Regenerate by Copying Their DNA

November 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Illinois | News | Comments

When munched by grazing animals, some herbaceous plants overcompensate– producing more plant matter and becoming more fertile than they otherwise would. A new study is the first to show that a plant’s ability to dramatically rebound after being cut down relies on a process called genome duplication, in which individual cells make multiple copies of all of their genetic content.

Wine Owes Debt to 30 M-year-old Viruses

November 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Univ. of Queensland | News | Comments

Next time you pour a glass of wine, raise a toast to the 30-million-year-old viruses that have contributed to the genetic make-up of modern grapes. Viruses are usually a curse to farmers because of the damage they cause to crops, but this study also suggests they play a vital evolutionary role.

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