Ecology articlesStanford scientists' discovery of virus in lemur could shed light on AIDS
The genome of a squirrel-sized, saucer-eyed lemur from Madagascar may help scientists understand how HIV-like viruses coevolved with primates, according to new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine. The discovery, published online on Dec. 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could provide insight into why non-human primates don't get AIDS and lead to treatments for humans.
Modern day scourge helped ancient Earth escape a deathly deep freeze
The planet's present day greenhouse scourge, carbon dioxide, may have played a vital role in helping ancient Earth to escape from complete glaciation, say scientists in a paper published online.
Developing a better flight plan for weather forecasting
At MIT, planning for bad weather involves far more than remembering an umbrella. Researchers in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics are trying to improve weather forecasting using robotic aircraft and advanced flight plans that consider millions of variables.
Flap like a butterfly, hover like a bumblebee: student's flapping wing vehicle is more stable than a helicopter
Since the days of Leonardo da Vinci people have tried to build machines that fly with flapping wings like a bird or an insect. Even in the jet age the idea remains attractive because such machines could be more maneuverable than fixed-wing aircraft, and at small sizes would use less energy to hover than helicopters.
Global warming aided by drought, deforestation link
In the rainforests of equatorial Asia, a link between drought and deforestation is fueling global warming, finds an international study that includes a UC Irvine scientist.
Bacteria detoxify deadly seawater
Some marine bacteria produce hydrogen sulphide, which is toxic to animals. Scientists have now discovered that bacteria also protect marine animals from this toxic gas. A bacterial bloom detoxified a vast expanse of hydrogen sulphide-containing water off the coast of Namibia, before it could unfold its full deadly impact.
Protea plants help unlock secrets of species 'hotspots'
New species of flowering plants called proteas are exploding onto the scene three times faster in parts of Australia and South Africa than anywhere else in the world, creating exceptional 'hotspots' of species richness, according to new research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Unusual microbial ropes grow slowly in cave lake
Deep inside the Frasassi cave system in Italy and more than 1,600 feet below the Earth's surface, divers found filamentous ropes of microbes growing in the cold water, according to a team of Penn State researchers.
New seawater the way ahead for ocean science
A proposed new definition of 'seawater' is drawing the attention of the world's oceanographic community in a change that will advance the accuracy of climate science projections.
Does global warming lead to a change in upper atmospheric transport?
Most atmospheric models predict that the rate of transport of air from the troposphere to the above lying stratosphere should be increasing due to climate change. Surprisingly, Dr. Andreas Engel together with an international group of researchers has now found that this does not seem to be happening. On the contrary, it seems that the air masses are moving more slowly than predicted. This could also imply that recovery of the ozone layer may be somewhat slower than predicted by state-of-the-art atmospheric climate models.
Scientists fool bacteria into killing themselves to survive
Like firemen fighting fire with fire, researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have found a way to fool a bacteria's evolutionary machinery into programming its own death.
As ice melts, antarctic bedrock is on the move
As ice melts away from Antarctica, parts of the continental bedrock are rising in response -- and other parts are sinking, scientists have discovered.
Answers to huge wind-farm problems are blowin' in the wind
While harnessing more energy from the wind could help satisfy growing demands for electricity and reduce emissions of global-warming gases, turbulence from proposed wind farms could adversely affect the growth of crops in the surrounding countryside.
Tiny magnetic crystals in bacteria are a compass
Scientists have shown that tiny crystals found inside bacteria provide a magnetic compass to help them navigate through sediment to find the best food.
Scientists isolate genes that made 1918 flu lethal
By mixing and matching a contemporary flu virus with the "Spanish flu" - a virus that killed between 20 and 50 million people 90 years ago in history's most devastating outbreak of infectious disease - researchers have identified a set of three genes that helped underpin the extraordinary virulence of the 1918 virus.
Viruses, start your engines!
Peering at structures only atoms across, researchers have identified the clockwork that drives a powerful virus nanomotor.
Structural study backs new model for the nuclear pore complex
In higher organisms, the genetic material is confined and protected in the cell nucleus. In order for a healthy cell to function, the DNA must send manufacturing orders through the double membrane of the nucleus and into the cell's cytoplasm, where the protein production factories are and where most cellular functions are carried out. The sole portals through which these instructions pass - nuclear pore complexes - have a say in what the orders are and how they are conveyed. But these conspicuously large structures have ironically proved all but inscrutable to researchers over the years.
Bacteria in ice may record climate change
To many people, bacteria and climate change are like chalk and cheese: the smallest creature versus one of the biggest phenomena on earth. Not really. Scientists with the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP), Chinese Academy of Sciences and coworkers recently reported that small bugs deposited in ice and snow might tell how our climate has been changing.
Ancient magma superpiles may have shaped the continents
Two giant plumes of hot rock deep within the earth are linked to the plate motions that shape the continents, researchers have found.
Polarized light pollution leads animals astray
Human-made light sources can alter natural light cycles, causing animals that rely on light cues to make mistakes when moving through their environment. In the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a collaboration of ecologists, biologists and biophysicists has now shown that in addition to direct light, cues from polarized light can trigger animal behaviors leading to injury and often death.