Earth

Washington, DC—The most powerful earthquakes happen at the junction of two converging tectonic plates, where one plate is sliding (or subducting) beneath the other. Now a team of researchers, led by Teh-Ru Alex Song of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, has found that an anomalous layer at the top of a subducting plate coincides with the locations of slow earthquakes and non-volcanic tremors. The presence of such a layer in similar settings elsewhere could point to other regions of slow quakes.

Scientists are tomorrow (24 April 2009) publishing the complete cattle genome in the journal Science. UK researchers, supported in part by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), have played a key part in the annotation and analysis of the genome as part of a 300-scientist collaboration, spanning 25 countries.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A University of Missouri researcher worked with international teams to sequence the bovine genome and study the diversity among breeds. The research from the completed genome will provide new information about mammalian evolution, cattle genetics and could result in improved cattle production. The results appear this week in two articles in the journal Science.

An analysis of ancient Greenland ice suggests a spike in the greenhouse gas methane about 11,600 years ago originated from wetlands rather than the ocean floor or from permafrost, a finding that is good news according to the University of Colorado at Boulder scientist who led the study.

Fire's potent and pervasive effects on ecosystems and on many Earth processes, including climate change, have been underestimated, according to a new report.

"We've estimated that deforestation due to burning by humans is contributing about one-fifth of the human-caused greenhouse effect -- and that percentage could become larger," said co-author Thomas W. Swetnam of The University of Arizona in Tucson.

"It's very clear that fire is a primary catalyst of global climate change," said Swetnam, director of UA's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The landmark sequencing of the domestic cattle genome, reported today in the journal Science, could lead to important new findings about health and nutrition, a participating Michigan State University researcher said.

Theresa Casey, a research assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, joined 300 colleagues around the world in a six-year project to complete, annotate and analyze the bovine genome sequence.

Ice core research has revealed that a vast, potential source of the potent greenhouse gas, methane, is more stable in a warming world than previously thought.

Based on international research published today in Science, the finding includes Australian contributions from CSIRO and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

An expansion of wetlands and not a large-scale melting of frozen methane deposits is the likely cause of a spike in atmospheric methane gas that took place some 11,600 years ago, according to an international research team led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Scientists from Texas AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) are part of a consortium of researchers who have developed an annotated sequence of the cattle genome which could lead to better disease resistance and higher quality meat for consumers, the researchers say. Their work was led by the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center and published in two reports that appear today in the journal "Science."

Scientists from the University of Maryland have published their assembly of the domestic cow (Bos taurus), an important new resource for the genetics community. The new version of the cow genome improves considerably on other assemblies, in terms of both completeness and accuracy. The article describing their research is freely available in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology.

CT colonography allows radiologists to predict, with a high degree of confidence, whether or not a polyp needs to be evaluated through colonoscopy or removed through polypectomy, according to a study performed at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, WI.

For the patient with a positive PPD test, which usually indicates prior exposure to tuberculosis, the guidelines recommend a chest x-ray that typically includes a frontal and lateral view. The lateral view, which accounts for 2/3 of the total radiation dose during screening, is not necessary, according to a study performed at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.

Gas power plants could be cheaply retrofitted to generate hydrogen as well as power, chemists say in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

A catalyst would convert methane into hydrogen gas and combustible coke, allowing the power station to produce hydrogen alongside electricity.

Gadi Rothenberg and colleagues at the University of Amsterdam and at IRCE Lyon report in Green Chemistry that the catalyst could be cheaply installed into existing plants.

BOZEMAN -- Scientists predict that global climate change will make many regions around the world warmer and drier, a factor which, taken by itself, would seem to increase the risk of wildfires.

But a new study led by a Montana State University researcher shows that changes in the types of vegetation covering an area play a major role in determining how often that area is burned by fires and could even counteract the effects of changes in temperature and moisture.