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Petition Congress to Investigate USGS Polar Bear Research Methods

More Research Finds Polar Bears’ Condition Unaffected by Reduced Summer Sea Ice. Guest essay by Jim Steele Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University and author of Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s...Show More Summary

Robot to help passengers find their way at airport

A robot in the “Spencer” project is now all set to face the real world at the major international airport Schiphol in Amsterdam. Its mission: to help passengers find their way around the airport.

Surprise: One organism responsible for nitrification instead of two

It could never be found until recently, in a fish tank a few floors below a university microbiology department: one single organism able to perform the complete process of nitrification. Microbiologists used to think that two distinct groups of bacteria were responsible for the stepwise oxidation of ammonia to nitrate via nitrite. Show More Summary

Functional human liver cells grown in the lab

A new technique for growing human hepatocytes in the laboratory has now been described by a team of researchers. This groundbreaking development could help advance a variety of liver-related research and applications, from studying drug toxicity to creating bio-artificial liver support for patients awaiting transplantations.

Using sphere packing models to explain the structure of forests

Explaining the complex structure of tropical forests is one of the great challenges in ecology. An issue of special interest is the distribution of different sizes of trees, something which is of particular relevance for biomass estimates. Show More Summary

Remote lakes are affected by warming climate, research shows

The rate of carbon burial in remote lakes has doubled over the last 100 years, researchers say, suggesting even isolated ecosystems are feeling the effects of our changing climate. 

A 'bottom up' approach to managing climate change

In advance of next week's United Nations climate meeting in Paris, Allen Fawcett et al. highlight the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), in which various countries have put forward their commitments toward emissions reductions. Show More Summary

Researchers uncover essential interaction between malaria parasites and liver cells

Scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research recently uncovered a critical piece in the puzzle of how malaria parasites infect their host. The work, recently published in Science Magazine, reveals the details of how the malaria parasite invades its initial target organ, the liver. Show More Summary

International disparities in measuring energy sources

As countries around the world shift toward greater use of non-fossil fuels, the wide range of methods used to set targets for remaining fossil fuel emissions and to measure results and progress is highly disparate and needs to be standardized, authors of this Policy Forum emphasize. Show More Summary

Mobile phone data 'predicts' wealth and poverty in Rwanda

A person's history of phone communication can be used to infer aspects of his or her socioeconomic status, a new study suggests. The study, focused in Rwanda, reveals how cell phone metrics can be a source of "big data" in resource-constrained regions. Show More Summary

Increases in certain algae could impact carbon cycle

Two new studies report dramatic changes in phytoplankton abundance and nature, changes that have important implications for storing excess carbon. Collectively, these studies suggest that certain types of carbon-intensive algae are flourishing and will play increasingly prominent roles as carbon pumps, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Show More Summary

Coming to a monitor near you: A defect-free, molecule-thick film

Berkeley -- An emerging class of atomically thin materials known as monolayer semiconductors has generated a great deal of buzz in the world of materials science. Monolayers hold promise in the development of transparent LED displays, ultra-high efficiency solar cells, photo detectors and nanoscale transistors. Show More Summary

Nuclear waste storage sites in rock salt may be more vulnerable than previously thought

Research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that rock salt, used by Germany and the United States as a subsurface container for radioactive waste, might not be as impermeable as thought or as capable of isolating nuclear waste from groundwater in the event that a capsule or storage vessel failed. read more

Scientists get first glimpse of black hole eating star, ejecting high-speed flare

An international team of astrophysicists led by a Johns Hopkins University scientist has for the first time witnessed a star being swallowed by a black hole and ejecting a flare of matter moving at nearly the speed of light. The finding...Show More Summary

Rapid plankton growth in ocean seen as sign of carbon dioxide loading

A microscopic marine alga is thriving in the North Atlantic to an extent that defies scientific predictions, suggesting swift environmental change as a result of increased carbon dioxide in the ocean, a study led a by Johns Hopkins University...Show More Summary

Can Paris pledges avert severe climate change?

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - More than 190 countries are meeting in Paris next week to create a durable framework for addressing climate change and to implement a process to reduce greenhouse gases over time. A key part of this agreement would be the pledges made by individual countries to reduce their emissions. read more

Doping powers new thermoelectric material

In the production of power, nearly two-thirds of energy input from fossil fuels is lost as waste heat. Industry is hungry for materials that can convert this heat to useful electricity, but a good thermoelectric material is hard to find. read more

Increased carbon dioxide enhances plankton growth, opposite of what was expected

Coccolithophores--tiny calcifying plants that are part of the foundation of the marine food web--have been increasing in relative abundance in the North Atlantic over the last 45 years, as carbon input into ocean waters has increased. Show More Summary

The Innovation That Doomed The Very Fish It Helped

A few hundred thousand years ago, a group of fish in an African lake evolved something new—a set of strong chewing jaws in their throats. They became better at eating a wide variety of tough foods. They thrived. They diversified into endless forms most wonderful. And in doing so, some of them doomed themselves. This […]

Data scientists create world's first therapeutic venom database

What doesn't kill you could cure you. A growing interest in the therapeutic value of animal venom has led data scientists to create the first catalog of known animal toxins and their physiological effects on humans.

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