Ecology articlesMicroscope reveals how bacteria breathe toxic metals
Researchers are studying some common soil bacteria that "inhale" toxic metals and "exhale" them in a non-toxic form.
New Madrid fault system may be shutting down
The New Madrid fault system does not behave as earthquake hazard models assume and may be in the process of shutting down, a new study shows.
Dust plays larger than expected role in determining Atlantic temperature
The recent warming trend in the Atlantic Ocean is largely due to reductions in airborne dust and volcanic emissions during the past 30 years, according to a new study.
Tornado-like rotation is key to understanding volcanic plumes
A 200-year-old report by a sea captain and photographs of the 2008 eruption of Mount Chaiten are helping scientists better understand strong volcanic plumes.
Study shows how salmonella survives in environment
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have demonstrated how a single-celled organism, living freely in the environment, could be a source of Salmonella transmission to animals and humans.
Deep sea rocks point to early oxygen on Earth
Red jasper cored from layers 3.46 billion years old suggests that not only did the oceans contain abundant oxygen then, but that the atmosphere was as oxygen rich as it is today, according to geologists.
Microbes turn electricity directly to methane without hydrogen generation
A tiny microbe can take electricity and directly convert carbon dioxide and water to methane, producing a portable energy source with a potentially neutral carbon footprint, according to a team of Penn State engineers.
Scripps scientists help decode mysterious green glow of the sea
Many longtime sailors have been mesmerized by the dazzling displays of green light often seen below the ocean surface in tropical seas. Now researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have uncovered key clues about the bioluminescent worms that produce the green glow and the biological mechanisms behind their light production.
Ice-free arctic summers likely sooner than expected
Summers in the Arctic may be ice-free in as few as 30 years, not at the end of the century as previously expected. The updated forecast is the result of a new analysis of computer models coupled with the most recent summer ice measurements.
Tropical forest seed banks: a blast from the past
Seeds of some tree species in the Panamanian tropical forest can survive for more than 30 years before germinating. That is 10 times longer than most field botanists had believed.
Rocket launches may need regulation to prevent ozone depletion
The global market for rocket launches may require more stringent regulation in order to prevent significant damage to Earth's stratospheric ozone layer in the decades to come, according to a new study by researchers in California and Colorado.
Dust may settle unanswered questions on Antarctica
Dust trapped deep in Antarctic ice sheets is helping scientists unravel details of past climate change.
Technique measures heat transport in the Earth's crust
Putting a new spin on an old technique, Anne M. Hofmeister, Ph.D., research professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has revolutionized scientists' understanding of heat transport in the Earth's crust, the outermost solid shell of our planet.
Locking parasites in host cell could be new way to fight malaria
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that parasites hijack host-cell proteins to ensure their survival and proliferation, suggesting new ways to control the diseases they cause. The study, appearing online in Science, was led by Doron Greenbaum, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology in the Penn School of Medicine.
Frogs reveal clues about the effects of alcohol during development
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) cause malformations in babies, including facial defects, short stature, and mental and behavioral abnormalities. The African frog, Xenopus, is a valuable tool for understanding early vertebrate development since these embryos are large, easy to work with and very responsive to environmental cues. New research uses this system to address the mechanism underlying the characteristics associated with maternal consumption of alcohol in early pregnancy.
Earthshine reflects Earth's oceans and continents from the dark side of the moon
Researchers from the University of Melbourne and Princeton University have shown for the first time that the difference in reflection of light from the Earth's land masses and oceans can be seen on the dark side of the moon, a phenomenon known as earthshine.
Did a nickel famine trigger the 'great oxidation event'?
The Earth's original atmosphere held very little oxygen. This began to change around 2.4 billion years ago when oxygen levels increased dramatically during what scientists call the "Great Oxidation Event." The cause of this event has puzzled scientists, but researchers writing in Nature have found indications in ancient sedimentary rocks that it may have been linked to a drop in the level of dissolved nickel in seawater.
Study compares sound from exploding volcanoes with jet engines
New research on infrasound from volcanic eruptions shows an unexpected connection with jet engines. Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego speeded up the recorded sounds from two volcanoes and uncovered a noise very similar to typical jet engines. These new research findings provide scientists with a more useful probe of the inner workings of volcanic eruptions. Infrasound is sound that is lower in frequency than 20 cycles per second, below the limit of human hearing.
Aerosols may drive a significant portion of Arctic warming
Though greenhouse gases are invariably at the center of discussions about global climate change, new NASA research suggests that much of the atmospheric warming observed in the Arctic since 1976 may be due to changes in tiny airborne particles called aerosols.
Scientists pierce veil of clouds to see lightning inside a volcanic plume
Researchers hit the jackpot in late March, when, for the first time, they began recording data on lightning in a volcanic eruption--right from the start of the eruption.