Earth

A part of the global food crisis is the inefficiency of current irrigation methods. More irrigated water evaporates than reaches the roots of crops, amounting to an enormous waste of water and energy.

Tel Aviv University researchers, however, are investigating a new solution that turns the problem upside-down, getting to the root of the issue. They are genetically modifying plants' root systems to improve their ability to find the water essential to their survival.

The Root Cause of Wasting Water

Dartmouth researchers identify an important gene for a healthy, nutritious plant.

The research paper, published with colleagues from Colorado State University and the University of South Carolina, appeared in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science during the week of July 21.

Batavia, Ill.— Scientists of the DZero collaboration at the US Department of Energy's Fermilab have announced the observation of pairs of Z bosons, force-carrying particles produced in proton-antiproton collisions at the Tevatron, the world's highest-energy particle accelerator. The properties of the ZZ diboson make its discovery an essential prelude to finding or excluding the Higgs boson at the Tevatron.

Boulder, CO, USA – GSA's August GEOSPHERE articles are all about technology and modeling: how geographical information systems increase understanding of shear-zone growth; fault structures as fingerprints for rockslide motion and direction; a reconstruction of the Cenozoic geologic history of the southern Tobin Range, Nevada; thermal infrared and visible/short-wave infrared sensing help map metamorphic and igneous terrains in Morocco; and CT scans provide insight into the evolutionary traits of foraminifera, possibly leading to improved reconstructions of past environments.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Contrary to previous evidence, a new University of Florida study shows the Isthmus of Panama was most likely formed by a Central American Peninsula colliding slowly with the South American continent through tectonic plate movement over millions of years.

A linear string of mud pots and mud volcanoes suggest surface evidence for a southern extension of the San Andreas Fault that runs through the Salton Sea, according to a paper published in the August issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA).

Inhibiting the proton currents in basophils, a rare type of white blood cell, can stop the release of histamine and could provide a new target for allergy and asthma drugs according to a new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and the Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center in Baltimore. The research is published in the August 5th issue the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

There's a new "gold standard" in the sensitivity of weighing scales. Using the same technology with which they created the world's first fully functional nanotube radio, researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California (UC) at Berkeley have fashioned a nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS) that can function as a scale sensitive enough to measure the mass of a single atom of gold.

Madison, WI July 28, 2008--As atmospheric CO2 levels rise, methods to mitigate these increases are becoming very important. Three studies published in the July-August 2008 issue of Soil Science Society of America Journal explore the potential roles of soils as a C sink in different regions in the Western Hemisphere.

A snapshot of New Zealand's climate 40 million years ago reveals a greenhouse Earth, with warmer seas and little or no ice in Antarctica, according to research published this week in the journal Geology.

The study suggests that Antarctica at that time was yet to develop extensive ice sheets. Back then, New Zealand was about 1100 km further south, at the same latitude as the southern tip of South America – so was closer to Antarctica – but the researchers found that the water temperature was 23-25°C at the sea surface and 11-13°C at the bottom.