Earth

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 19, 2019 -- Coordinated behavior is common in a variety of biological systems, such as insect swarms, fish schools and bacterial colonies. But the way information is spread and decisions are made in such systems is difficult to understand.

A group of researchers from Southeast University and China University of Mining and Technology studied the synchronized flight of pigeon flocks. They used this as a basis to explain the mechanisms behind coordinated behavior, in the journal Chaos, from AIP Publishing.

"They're out there," goes a saying about extraterrestrials. It would seem more likely to be true in light of a new study on planetary axis tilts.

Astrophysicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology modeled a theoretical twin of Earth into other star systems called binary systems because they have two stars. They concluded that 87% of exo-Earths one might find in binary systems should have axis tilts similarly steady to Earth's, an important ingredient for climate stability that favors the evolution of complex life.

Genetic analyses have revealed remarkably higher species diversity in common red seaweed than previously assumed. It was thought that there were only five related species of the Gloiopeltis genus (known as 'funori' in Japanese) worldwide. However, genetic analyses of historic and modern specimens have revealed that there are over ten in Japan alone. The reinstatement of the species Gloiopeltis compressa (new Japanese name: Ryukyu-funori) was proposed by this research. It is found in Okinawa and has previously been confused with other species of Gloiopeltis.

In the deep sea, far away from the light of the sun, organisms use chemical energy to fix carbon. At hydrothermal vents - where hot, mineral-rich water gushes out of towering chimneys called black smokers - vibrant ecosystems are fueled by chemical energy in the vent waters. Mussels thrive in this seemingly hostile environment, nourished by symbiotic bacteria inside their gills. The bacteria convert chemicals from the vents, which the animals cannot use, into tasty food for their mussel hosts.

The discovery of gases released from deep beneath the Earth's crust could help to explain Southern Africa's unusual landscape, a study suggests.

Scientists have long puzzled over why areas such as South Africa's Highveld region are so elevated and flat, with unexpectedly hot rocks below the surface.

Geologists have revealed that carbon dioxide-rich gases bubbling up through natural springs in South Africa originate from a column of hot, treacle-like material - called a hotspot - located deep inside the Earth.

Zoology researchers from Trinity College Dublin, working with the Department of Agriculture, Food and The Marine (DAFM) and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), have unlocked the secrets of dispersing badgers.

Their research has major implications for implementing vaccination programmes to limit the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB).

The findings come at an opportune time, as DAFM has commenced rolling out a national programme to vaccinate badgers in its efforts to eradicate TB.

MADISON - There's a long-standing belief in the freshwater fishing community that once anglers find it too hard to land a particular fish for their dinner plate, they either move on to fishing for different species or fish in new waters, giving depleted populations time to rebound.

London schoolchildren have found that some of their families' soup recipes have antimalarial properties, with the help of Imperial scientists.

Researchers from Imperial College London helped the schoolchildren test their family soup broths for activity against the malaria parasite.

The predentary bone is one of the most enigmatic skeletal elements in avian evolution. Located at the tip of the lower jaw, this bone is absent in more primitive birds and in living birds; it is thought to have been lost during evolution. For over 30 years, the origin and function of the avian predentary has remained mysterious.

INFORMS Journal Management Science New Study Key Takeaways:

There is growing concern that digital platforms are contributing to the U.S. drug epidemic.

Over a period of more than 10 years after Craigslist's founding, there was a nearly 15% increase in drug abuse treatment admissions, 5.7% increase in drug abuse violations and 6% increase in drug overdose deaths.

The impact of online drug sales is higher in areas typically thought to be at a lower risk for drug abuse.

Margays (Leopardus wiedii), small wild cats living in forest areas fragmented by agriculture near Campinas and Botucatu in São Paulo State, Brazil, prey on animals inhabiting nearby sugarcane plantations, such as birds and small rodents.

NASA analyzed the cloud top temperatures in Typhoon Kalmaegi using infrared light to determine the strength of the storm. Kalmaegi is known locally as Ramon in the Philippines where warnings are in effect.

Artificial light at night negatively impacts thousands of species: beetles, moths, wasps and other insects that have evolved to use light levels as cues for courtship, foraging and navigation.

A NASA analysis of rainfall rates shows that the once mighty Fengshen is now a depression devoid of heavy rainfall.

On Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. EST (1800 UTC), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that Tropical Depression Fengshen was located near 24.8 degrees north latitude and 157.9 east longitude, approximately 585 nautical miles northwest of Wake Island, and had tracked southeastward. Maximum sustained surface winds were estimated at 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph) and weakening.

CAMBRIDGE, MD (November 18, 2019)--Most of us know nitrous oxide as "laughing gas," used for its anaesthetic effects. But nitrous oxide (N2O) is actually the third most important long-lived greenhouse gas, after carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. Nitrous oxide is also one of the main stratospheric ozone depleting substances-- and we are releasing more of it into the atmosphere than previously thought, according to a new study published this week in Nature Climate Change.