Ecology articlesResearchers reveal 3-d structure of bullet-shaped virus with potential to fight cancer, HIV
Vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV, has long been a model system for studying and understanding the life cycle of negative-strand RNA viruses, which include viruses that cause influenza, measles and rabies.
Upside-down answer for deep Earth mystery
When Earth was young, it exhaled the atmosphere. During a period of intense volcanic activity, lava carried light elements from the planet's molten interior and released them into the sky. However, some light elements got trapped inside the planet. In this week's issue of Nature, a Rice University-based team of scientists is offering a new answer to a longstanding mystery: What caused Earth to hold its last breath?
Radical new directions needed in food production to deal with climate change
Yields from some of the most important crops begin to decline sharply when average temperatures exceed about 30 degrees Celsius, or 86 Fahrenheit. Projections are that by the end of this century much of the tropics and subtropics will regularly see growing season temperatures above that level, hotter than the hottest summers now on record.
Rate of ocean acidification the fastest in 65 million years
A new model, capable of assessing the rate at which the oceans are acidifying, suggests that changes in the carbonate chemistry of the deep ocean may exceed anything seen in the past 65 million years.
'World's most usefull tree' provides low-cost water purification method for developing world
A low-cost water purification technique published in Current Protocols in Microbiology could help drastically reduce the incidence of waterborne disease in the developing world. The procedure, which uses seeds from the Moringa oleifera tree, can produce a 90.00% to 99.99% bacterial reduction in previously untreated water, and has been made free to download as part of access programs under John Wiley & Sons' Corporate Citizenship Initiative.
This is your brain on cryptococcus: pathogenic fungus loves your brain sugar
Highly dangerous Cryptococcus fungi love sugar and will consume it anywhere because it helps them reproduce. In particular, they thrive on a sugar called inositol which is abundant in the human brain and spinal cord.
Scrubbing CO2 from atmosphere could be a long-term commitment
With carbon dioxide in the atmosphere approaching alarming levels, even halting emissions altogether may not be enough to avert catastrophic climate change. Could scrubbing carbon dioxide from the air be a viable solution? A new study by scientists at the Carnegie Institution suggests that while removing excess carbon dioxide would cool the planet, complexities of the carbon cycle would limit the effectiveness of a one-time effort. To keep carbon dioxide at low levels would require a long-term commitment spanning decades or even centuries.
Disinfectants may be contributing to antibiotic resistance
Cleaning products for use in commercial, agricultural and domestic settings could be contributing to a rise in bacterial resistance in food borne pathogens including Salmonella, BBSRC-funded scientists at Birmingham University have found. They recommend a decrease in the "frivolous" use of biocides, particularly in domestic products to ensure the number of resistant bacterial strains does not increase. Improving the control of bacteria that cause food poisoning reduces losses and wastage throughout the food production pipeline thus helping to ensure future food security.
Wind power has emerged as a viable renewable energy source in recent years - one that proponents say could lessen the threat of global warming. Although the American Wind Energy Association estimates that only about 2 percent of U.S. electricity is currently generated from wind turbines, the U.S. Department of Energy has said that wind power could account for a fifth of the nation's electricity supply by 2030.
Ancient birds from North America colonised the South
Scientists studying ancient species migration believe northern birds had the ability to colonise continents that southern species lacked. The research, published in Ecography, reveals how the ancient 'land bridge' of Panama, which first connected North and South America, caused an uneven species migration, leading to a new understanding of species diversity today.
Indian Ocean sea level rise threatens coastal areas
Indian Ocean sea levels are rising unevenly and threatening residents in some densely populated coastal areas and islands, a new study concludes. The study, led by scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), finds that the sea level rise is at least partly a result of climate change.
Supercomputer reproduces a cyclone's birth, may boost forecasting
As a teen in his native Taiwan, Bo-wen Shen observed helplessly as typhoon after typhoon pummeled the small island country. Without advanced forecasting systems, the storms left a trail of human loss and property destruction in their wake. Determined to find ways to stem the devastation, Shen chose a career studying tropical weather and atmospheric science.
Bursting a bubble?
Understanding the processes that cause volcanic eruptions can help scientists predict how often and how violently a volcano will erupt. Although scientists have a general idea of how these processes work - the melting of magma below the volcano causes liquid magma and gases to force their way to Earth's surface - eruptions happen so rarely, and often with little warning, that it can be difficult to study them in detail.
Global model confirms: cool roofs can offset carbon dioxide emissions and mitigate global warming
Can light-colored rooftops and roads really curb carbon emissions and combat global climate change? The idea has been around for years, but now, a new study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that is the first to use a global model to study the question has found that implementing cool roofs and cool pavements in cities around the world can not only help cities stay cooler, they can also cool the world, with the potential of canceling the heating effect of up to two years of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions.
Tiny marine microbes exert influence on global climate
New research indicates that the interactions of microscopic organisms around a particular organic material may alter the chemical properties of the ocean--influencing global climate by affecting cloud formation in the atmosphere.
First-of-its-kind map depicts global forest heights
Using NASA satellite data, scientists have produced a first-of-its kind map that details the height of the world's forests. Although there are other local- and regional-scale forest canopy maps, the new map is the first that spans the entire globe based on one uniform method.
Vaccine-delivery patch with dissolving microneedles boosts protection
A new vaccine-delivery patch based on hundreds of microscopic needles that dissolve into the skin could allow persons without medical training to painlessly administer vaccines -- while providing improved immunization against diseases such as influenza.
Every day, millions of microorganisms reach Spain from the Sahara Desert and the Sahel region - by flying. Louis Pasteur demonstrated back in 1861 that germs can move through the air, but it was only recently discovered that bacteria, funguses and viruses can travel thousands of kilometers stuck onto dust particles.
Mountain marmots made bigger by climate change
Longer summers are causing large mountain rodents called marmots to grow larger and get better at surviving, according to a 33-year study published today in Nature.
CSIRO develops new oil detection technique
CSIRO scientists have developed a revolutionary technique for the rapid on-site detection and quantification of petroleum hydrocarbons (commonly derived from crude oil) in soil, silt, sediment, or rock.