Earth

Plants use light energy from the sun for photosynthesis to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) into biomass. Animals can't do that. Therefore, some of them have teamed up with bacteria that carry out a process called chemosynthesis. It works almost like photosynthesis, only that it uses chemical energy instead of light energy. Many animals rely on chemosynthetic bacteria to supply them with food. The symbionts turn CO2 into biomass and are subsequently digested by their host. Kentron, a bacterium nourishing the ciliate Kentrophoros, was thought to be 'just another' chemosynthetic symbiont.

The findings of a research expedition to coastal Greenland which examined, for the first time, how melting ice is affecting supplies of nutrients to the oceans has been published in the journal Progress in Oceanography.

The European Research Council-funded expedition on board the RSS Discovery took place during the summer of 2017. It was led by Dr Kate Hendry a geochemist from the University of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences.

North Carolina State University researchers have developed the first portable technology that can test for cyanotoxins in water. The device can be used to detect four common types of cyanotoxins, including two for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized recreational water quality criteria.

Cyanotoxins are toxic substances produced by cyanobacteria. At high enough levels, cyanotoxins can cause health effects ranging from headache and vomiting to respiratory paralysis and death.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25, 2019 -- Biochips are essentially tiny laboratories designed to function inside living organisms, and they are driving next-generation DNA sequencing technologies. This powerful combination is capable of solving unique and important biological problems, such as single-cell, rare-cell or rare-molecule analysis, which next-generation sequencing can't do on its own.

About one of every five breast cancers presents with high levels of HER2 proteins. Known as HER2-positive breast cancer, these tumors typically show an aggressive behavior - a greater likelihood of metastasis and relapse and decreased patient survival than HER2 negative types - and are physiologically dependent on the abundance of HER2. These findings prompted the question, if we take HER2 away from 'HER2-addicted' cancers, would cancer slow down?

COLUMBUS, Ohio--A shortage of high school physics teachers has led to teachers with little-to-no physics training taking over physics classrooms, causing additional stress and job dissatisfaction for those teachers--and a difficult learning experience for their students.

But new research indicates that focused physics professional development for teachers--even those who have no prior physics training--can lead to better experiences for both students and teachers, and can improve students' understanding of physics concepts.

The frilled dragon exhibits a distinctive large erectile ruff. This lizard usually keeps the frill folded back against its body but can spread it as a spectacular display to scare off predators. Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, and the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics report in the journal eLife that an ancestral embryonic gill of the dragon embryo turns into a neck pocket that expands and folds, forming the frill.

Understanding how the weather and climate change is one of the most important challenges in science today. A new theoretical study from associate professor, Jan Härter, at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, presents a new mechanism for the self-aggregation of storm clouds, a phenomenon, by which storm clouds bunch together in dense clusters. The researcher used methods from complexity science, and applied them to formerly established research in meteorology on the behavior of thunderstorm clouds. The study is now published in Geophysical Research Letters.

A new way of detecting liver disease decades before it can become fatal has been developed by a team of scientists at the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside.

It comes as clinicians warn of a `ticking time bomb' of alcohol-related and obesity-related liver diseases.

Liver disease, which is notoriously asymptomatic, has become the second most common cause of death in under 65 year-olds in the UK. Unlike other common causes of death which have begun to decline in recent years, the age-standardised mortality rates for liver disease have risen by nearly 600% since the 1970s.

The South African dung beetle Scarabaeus lamarcki has - to put it mildly - an interesting technique to ensure its offspring a good start in life. When the animal, which is only a few centimetres tall, encounters elephant dung, for example, it forms small balls out of it which it then rolls away in a randomly chosen direction. After a while, the beetle stuffs the dung into underground passages, which serve as its breeding chamber; where it then lays its eggs.

Brazilian and German scientists have completed a collaborative project to sequence and analyze the whole genome of Arapaima gigas, a giant freshwater fish known in Brazil as pirarucu and elsewhere as arapaima or paiche. Its growth rate is the fastest among known freshwater fish species. Its natural distribution covers most of the Amazon River basin in Peru and Brazil.

A new publication in the journal Estuaries and Coasts investigates the use of a fluorescent dye to track movements of young oysters. The publication, "Field mark-recapture of calcein-stained larval oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in a freshwater-dominated estuary", provides new knowledge on methods for tracking oysters in low salinity environments common to coastal waters, particularly in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Monarch butterflies purchased from a commercial breeder did not fly in a southward direction, even in offspring raised outdoors, in a new study conducted by scientists at the University of Chicago. Wild-caught monarchs bred indoors under simulated outdoor conditions also did not orient south, suggesting that captive breeding disrupts the monarch's famous annual migratory behavior.

You might expect that plants hoping to thrive in California's boom-or-bust rain cycle would choose to set down roots in a place that can store lots of water underground to last through drought years.

But some of the most successful plant communities in the state -- and probably in Mediterranean climates worldwide -- that are characterized by wet winters and dry summers have taken a different approach. They've learned to thrive in areas with a below-ground water storage capacity barely large enough to hold the water that falls even in lean years.

New research led by climate scientists from the University of Bristol suggests that the representation of clouds in climate models is as, or more, important than the amount of greenhouse gas emissions when it comes to projecting future Greenland ice sheet melt.

Recent research shows that the whole of the Greenland ice sheet could be gone within the next thousand years, raising global sea level by more than seven metres.