Earth

When Zika first buzzed into the continental United States during the 2016 outbreak, Florida was hit first--and hardest--with 1,174 documented cases to date. So, when Marco Ajelli, associate research scientist at Northeastern and an expert in infectious disease modeling, wanted to study how time spent outside might affect the spread of the epidemic, he chose to focus on the state's most stricken county: Miami-Dade.

What Ajelli found was that the amount of time people spend outdoors impacts their risk for contracting the Zika virus.

Most U.S. Zika infections happen outdoors

Think of the relationship between plants and pollinators as a dance -- one that has been taking place, and evolving, for millennia. The importance of this dance is enormous. Pollination from bees (and birds, bats, butterflies, moths, beetles, and other animals) is necessary for the successful reproduction of a great number of plants, while pollinators gain sustenance to give birth to their next generations. These relationships support our natural ecosystems, as well as our cultivated ones, as an incredible amount of food crops worldwide depend on plant-pollinator interaction success.

Hurricane Maria has caused catastrophic flooding in Puerto Rico and left a wake of heavy rainfall that NASA measured using a fleet of satellites in space. NASA satellite imagery also saw Maria's eye close up as it tracked across Puerto Rico and re-open after its exit.

Calculating Maria's Rainfall

(Boston) - Stronger alcohol policies, including taxes and sales restrictions, have been shown to reduce the likelihood of alcohol involvement among homicide victims, according to a new study from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University. The study, published online in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, supports the importance of alcohol control policies to reduce violence, including homicide.

Exceptionally preserved trilobite fossils from China, dating back to more than 500 million years ago, have revealed new insights into the extinct marine animal's digestive system. Published today in the journal PLOS ONE, the new study shows that at least two trilobite species evolved a stomach structure 20 million years earlier than previously thought.

Woody vegetation, such as trees and shrubs, has increased dramatically in Ozark grasslands over the past 75 years, according to a study published this week in the journal Landscape Ecology.

The study examines grasslands called dolomite glades in the Mark Twain National Forest near Ava, Missouri. It analyzed historical aerial photos and found that woody vegetation cover increased from 8 percent in 1939 to 59 percent in 2014.

ANN ARBOR--Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis. It is already in use in a breast cancer clinical trial.

The first large-scale study of ancient human DNA from sub-Saharan Africa opens a long-awaited window into the identity of prehistoric populations in the region and how they moved around and replaced one another over the past 8,000 years.

New insights into how our cells store and manage DNA during cell division could help point towards the causes of a rare developmental condition.

The findings may also help researchers understand how genes are turned on in a process linked to Cornelia de Lange syndrome - a severe condition that thwarts physical and intellectual development in children.

Scientists showed how proteins in cells work together to package DNA and ensure that it is correctly passed on - in the form of parcels called chromosomes - to new cells that are formed during cell division.

ITHACA, N.Y. - Human activities could change the pace of evolution, similar to what occurred 66 million years ago when a giant asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, leaving modern birds as their only descendants. That's one conclusion drawn by the authors of a new study published in Systematic Biology.