Earth

(PHILADELPHIA) An herb recently found to kill pancreatic cancer cells also appears to inhibit development of pancreatic cancer as a result of its anti-inflammatory properties, according to researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. The data were presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009 in Denver. (Abstract #494)

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Apollo Moon Program struggled with a minuscule, yet formidable enemy: sticky lunar dust. Four decades later, a new study reveals that forces compelling lunar dust to cling to surfaces — ruining scientific experiments and endangering astronauts' health —change during the lunar day with the elevation of the sun.

MOSS LANDING, CA — New calculations made by marine chemists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) suggest that low-oxygen "dead zones" in the ocean could expand significantly over the next century. These predictions are based on the fact that, as more and more carbon dioxide dissolves from the atmosphere into the ocean, marine animals will need more oxygen to survive.

New York (17 April 2009) –The critical role of forests as massive "sinks" for absorbing greenhouse gases is "at risk of being lost entirely" to climate change-induced environmental stresses that threaten to damage and even decimate forests worldwide, according to a new report released today. The report will be formally presented at the next session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) taking place 20 April-1 May 2009 at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A reservoir of briny liquid buried deep beneath an Antarctic glacier supports hardy microbes that have lived in isolation for millions of years, researchers report this week in the journal Science.

The discovery of life in a place where cold, darkness, and lack of oxygen would previously have led scientists to believe nothing could survive comes from a team led by researchers at Harvard University and Dartmouth College. Their work was funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and Harvard's Microbial Sciences Initiative.

Devastating droughts worse than the infamous Sahel drought are part of the normal climate regime for sub-Saharan West Africa, according to new research.

For the first time, researchers have developed an almost year-by-year record of the last 3,000 years of West Africa's climate. In that period, catastrophic droughts occurred every 30 to 65 years, and the pattern can be expected to continue in the future, the team reports.

Droughts far worse than the infamous Sahel drought of the 1970s and 1980s are within normal climate variation for sub-Saharan West Africa, according to new research.

For the first time, scientists have developed an almost year-by-year record of the last 3,000 years of West African climate. In that period, droughts lasting 30 to 60 years were common. Surprisingly, however, these decades-long droughts were dwarfed by much more severe droughts lasting three to four times as long, scientists report in the 17 April issue of the journal Science.

A new study of lake sediments in Ghana suggests that severe droughts lasting several decades, even centuries, were the norm in West Africa over the past 3,000 years.

The earlier dry spells dwarfed the well-documented drought that plagued West Africa in the late-20th century, and as the planet warms, the study's authors believe the region's rainfall patterns will have an even greater impact.

A clock that is so precise that it loses only a second every 300 million years – this is the result of new research in ultra cold atoms. The international collaboration is comprised of researchers from the University of Colorado, USA and the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and the results have just been published in the prestigious scientific journal, Science.

Sedimentary rocks created more than 2.4 billion years ago sometimes have an unusual sulfur isotope composition thought to be caused by the action of ultra violet light on volcanically produced sulfur dioxide in an oxygen poor atmosphere. Now a team of geochemists can show an alternative origin for this isotopic composition that may point to an early, oxygen-rich atmosphere.