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Viruses Can Destroy Massive Algal Blooms

August 21, 2014 2:00 pm | by Cell Press | News | Comments

Algae might seem easy to ignore, but they are the ultimate source of all organic matter that marine animals depend upon. Algae also suck up CO2 from the atmosphere and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. Now, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are driving the life-and-death dynamics of the algae's blooms, even when all else stays essentially the same.

Drones Banned Over Appalachian Trail

August 21, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The National Park Service has banned drones from flying over the Appalachian Trail. The Park...

Tourists Evacuated in Iceland

August 21, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities have evacuated tourists from an area north of Iceland's largest glacier amid...

Neanderthals, Humans had Ample Time to Mix

August 21, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Frank Jordans | News | Comments

Humans and Neanderthals may have coexisted in Europe for more than 5,000 years, providing ample...

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Sunblock is Possible Hazard to Sea Life

August 20, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

When certain sunblock ingredients wash off skin and into the sea, they can become toxic to some of the ocean’s tiniest inhabitants, which are the main course for many other marine animals.

Are Failing Bees Foreshadowing Human Health?

August 20, 2014 2:00 pm | by Harvard Univ., Alvin Powell | News | Comments

A professor of environmental exposure biology believes that the potential human health implications of colony collapse disorder extend beyond the drop in pollination— though that is worrisome enough— to the impact on humans of long exposure to low-level poisons like neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been suspected in the bee disorder.

California Gave Away Rights to Nonexistent Water

August 20, 2014 2:00 pm | by UC Davis | News | Comments

California has allocated five times more surface water than the state actually has, making it hard for regulators to tell whose supplies should be cut during a drought. Scientists have said California’s water-rights regulator, the State Water Resources Control Board, needs a systematic overhaul of policies and procedures to bridge the gaping disparity, but lacks the legislative authority and funding to do so.

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Less Shakes from Man-made Quakes

August 19, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude.

Iceland Braces for Possible Volcanic Eruption

August 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Iceland has raised its alert level for the risk of a possible volcanic eruption to orange— the second-most severe level. The warning comes amid swarms of earthquakes that have taken place since Saturday in Bardabunga— a subglacial stratovolcano located under Iceland's largest glacier.

Model Predicts Water Scarcity, Climate Change in 2095

August 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | News | Comments

What will a global water scarcity map look like in 2095? Radically different, according to scientists, depending on the type and stringency of the climate mitigation policies chosen to reduce carbon pollution.

Sun’s Activity Impacts Climate Change

August 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Lund Univ. | News | Comments

A new study has, for the first time, reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age. The study shows that the regional climate is influenced by the sun and offers opportunities to better predict future climate conditions in certain regions.

Solar Plant Scorches Birds Midair

August 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Ellen Knickmeyer, John Locher | News | Comments

Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays— "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair. Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes.

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Bats Bolster Brain Hypothesis, Maybe Tech

August 18, 2014 7:00 am | by Brown Univ. | News | Comments

Decades of research on how bats use echolocation to keep a focus on their targets not only lends support to a long debated neuroscience hypothesis about vision but could also lead to smarter sonar and radar technologies.

NASA to Investigate Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice Loss

August 18, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | Videos | Comments

A new field campaign will begin flights over the Arctic this summer to study the effect of sea ice retreat on Arctic climate. The Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) will conduct research flights Aug. 28 through Oct. 1, covering the peak of summer sea ice melt.

Beetle Inspires Whiter Paper, Plastics, Paints

August 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

The physical properties of the ultra-white scales on certain species of beetle could be used to make whiter paper, plastics and paints, while using far less material than is used in current manufacturing methods.

Toxic Fracking Fluids Raise Red Flags

August 15, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

As the oil and gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing proliferates, a new study on the contents of the fluids involved in the process raises concerns about several ingredients. Out of nearly 200 commonly used compounds, there’s very little known about the potential health risks of about one-third, and eight are toxic to mammals.

Study Blames Humans for Melting Glaciers

August 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Scientists looking at glacier melt since 1851 didn't see a human fingerprint until about the middle of the 20th century. Even then only one-quarter of the warming wasn't from natural causes. But since 1991, about 69 percent of the rapidly increasing melt was man-made.

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Groups Accuse EPA of Muzzling Science Advisers

August 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Dina Cappiello | News | Comments

This week, journalist and scientific organizations accused the EPA of attempting to muzzle its independent scientific advisers by directing them to funnel all outside requests for information through agency officials.

Spanish Forest Fires Have Evolved with Climate

August 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Plataforma SINC | News | Comments

A group from Spain has defined the landscape of forest fires on a nationwide scale over the course of 42 years. The research has found that the abandonment of agricultural land and higher temperatures have contributed to intensifying the fires.

Dust Chemistry Influences Rain, Climate

August 13, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Dusty air blowing across the Pacific from Asia and Africa plays a critical role in precipitation patterns throughout the drought-stricken western U.S. Today, a scientist is presenting new research suggesting that the exact chemical make-up of that dust, including microbes found in it, is the key to how much rain and snow falls from clouds throughout the region.

'Street View' to Map Underwater Wonders

August 13, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Jennifer Kay | News | Comments

It's easy to go online and get a 360-degree, ground-level view of almost any street in the U.S. and throughout the world. Soon, scientists hope people will be able to do the same with coral reefs and other underwater wonders.

UPDATE: WHO OKs Untested Ebola Drug

August 13, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Maria Cheng, Ciaran Giles | News | Comments

The World Health Organization declared it's ethical to use untested drugs and vaccines in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, although the tiny supply of one experimental treatment has been depleted and it could be many months until more is available.

Oyster Numbers Still Suffering Since BP Spill

August 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Stacey Plaisance, Janet McConnaughey | News | Comments

Gulf Coast oyster harvests have declined dramatically in the four years since a BP PLC oil well blew in the U.S.'s worst offshore oil disaster, spilling millions of gallons off Louisiana's coast in 2010. Even after a modest rebound last year, thousands of acres of oyster beds where oil from the well washed ashore are producing less than a third of their pre-spill harvest.

Forecasters Add Layers to Storm Warnings

August 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Forecasters Add Layers to Storm Warnings | News | Comments

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has said it will add two threat levels to its weather outlooks so people aren't surprised by really bad storms on days with just a "slight risk" of tornadoes, hail or high winds. Beginning Oct. 22, forecasters can say whether slight risk days are "enhanced" or "marginal" or just plain "slight." Other categories remain, including "high" and "moderate."

Images of the Week: Supermoon Lit World's Sky

August 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

People around the world this weekend looked up at the sky to view a lunar phenomenon: the supermoon. Here are a few amazing pictures of the event.

Short Trees May Lower Orchard Costs

August 11, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Davis | News | Comments

Can shorter peach and nectarine trees reduce labor costs without sacrificing fruit quality and yield? According to researchers, eliminating ladders for stone-fruit farmers could cut labor costs by 50 percent or more and improve worker safety.

Symposium Explores Wine

August 11, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | Videos | Comments

Location. Location. Location. The popular real estate mantra also turns out to be equally important for growing wine grapes in fields and storing bottles of the beverage at home or in restaurants, according to researchers. Those are just two of the topics that will be covered in a symposium on wine this week.

Study Yields Insight into Early Aftermath of Oil Spills

August 8, 2014 2:00 pm | by EPFL | News | Comments

The fate of oil during the first day after an accidental oil spill is still poorly understood, with researchers often arriving on the scene only after several days. New findings, from a field experiment carried out in the North Sea, provide valuable insight that could help shape the emergency response in the immediate wake of disasters.

Basic Plant Chemicals Traced to Bacteria

August 8, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

A fundamental chemical pathway that all plants use to create an essential amino acid needed by all animals to make proteins has now been traced to two groups of ancient bacteria. The pathway is also known for making hundreds of chemicals, including a compound that makes wood strong and the pigments that make red wine red.

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