Earth

Posidonia oceanica seagrass -an endemic marine phanerogam with an important ecological role in the marine environment- can take and remove plastic materials that have been left at the sea, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. The article's first author is the tenure-track 2 lecturer Anna Sànchez-Vidal, from the Research Group on Marine Geosciences of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Barcelona (UB).

Bacteria are likely triggering greater melting on the Greenland ice sheet, possibly increasing the island's contribution to sea-level rise, according to Rutgers scientists.

In the inaugural issue of the journal Nature Aging a research team led by aging expert Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, dean of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, synthesizes converging evidence that the aging-related pathophysiology underpinning the clinical presentation of phenotypic frailty (termed as "physical frailty" here) is a state of lower functioning due to severe dysregulation of the complex dynamics in our bodies that maintains health and resilience. When severity passes a threshold, the clinical syndrome and its phenotype are diagnosable.

NEW YORK (January 14) -- A new study co-authored by researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Global Conservation Program and the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Forestry introduces a classification called Resistance-Resilience-Transformation (RRT) that enables the assessment of whether and to what extent a management shift toward transformative action is occurring in conservation.

Many animal and insect species use Batesian mimicry - mimicking a poisonous species - as a defense against predators. The common palmfly, Elymnias hypermnestra (a species of satyrine butterfly), which is found throughout wide areas of tropical and subtropical Asia, adds a twist to this evolutionary strategy: the females evolved two distinct forms, either orange or dark brown, imitating two separate poisonous model species, Danaus or Euploea. The males are uniformly brown. A population group is either entirely brown (both males and females) or mixed (brown males and orange females).

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Milan and Google Research have used machine learning techniques to predict how proteins, particularly those implicated in neurological diseases, completely change their shapes in a matter of microseconds.

They found that when amyloid beta, a key protein implicated in Alzheimer's disease, adopts a highly disordered shape, it actually becomes less likely to stick together and form the toxic clusters which lead to the death of brain cells.

Scientists who highlighted the bug-busting properties of bacteria in Northern Irish soil have made another exciting discovery in the quest to discover new antibiotics.

The Traditional Medicine Group, an international collaboration of scientists from Swansea University, Brazil and Northern Ireland, have discovered more antibiotic-producing species and believe they may even have identified new varieties of antibiotics with potentially life-saving consequences.

Climate change impacts, affecting primarily ecosystems' functions and consequently human sectors, have become a crucial topic. Observed and expected variations in climate conditions can in fact undermine the ecosystems' ecological equilibrium: average climate patterns, mainly represented by intra-annual (monthly to seasonal) temperature and precipitation cycle, directly influence the distribution, abundance and interactions of biological species.

In a normal year, biologists Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs spend about six months in Costa Rica, where they conduct research and pursue conservation efforts in Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), a World Heritage Site in the northwest that encompasses, a network of parks and preserves they helped establish in the 1980s and that has grown to more than 400,000 acres, including marine, dry forest, cloud forest, and rain forest environments.

When the Thomas Fire raged through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in December 2017, Danielle Touma, at the time an earth science researcher at Stanford, was stunned by its severity. Burning for more than a month and scorching 440 square miles, the fire was then considered the worst in California's history.

Six months later the Mendocino Complex Fire upended that record and took out 717 square miles over three months. Record-setting California wildfires have since been the norm, with five of the top 10 occurring in 2020 alone.

"The lotus roots may break, but the fiber remains joined" is an old Chinese saying that reflects the unique structure and mechanical properties of the lotus fiber. The outstanding mechanical properties of lotus fibers can be attributed to their unique spiral structure, which provides an attractive model for biomimetic design of artificial fibers.

Oxygen levels in the ancient oceans were surprisingly resilient to climate change, new research suggests.

Scientists used geological samples to estimate ocean oxygen during a period of global warming 56 million years ago - and found "limited expansion" of seafloor anoxia (absence of oxygen).

Global warming - both past and present - depletes ocean oxygen, but the new study suggests warming of 5°C in the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) led to anoxia covering no more than 2% of the global seafloor.

Just like humans trying to stick to New Year's resolutions, guppies have varying levels of self-control, a new study shows.

Researchers from the University of Exeter and Ghent University studying the behaviours of Trinidadian guppies tested "inhibitory control" (suppressing unhelpful impulses or urges).
The tiny fish first learned how to swim into a cylinder to get food - then a cover was removed to make the cylinder transparent.

PULLMAN, Wash. - Scientists have identified the presence of a non-tobacco plant in ancient Maya drug containers for the first time.

The Washington State University researchers detected Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucida) in residues taken from 14 miniature Maya ceramic vessels.

Divergences between scientific and Indigenous and Local Knowledge can provide a better understanding of why local pastoralists may be willing, or not, to participate in conservation initiatives for carnivores, a study from University of Helsinki suggests.