Earth

The colour of our eyes or the straightness of our hair is linked to our DNA, but the development of Alzheimer's disease isn't exclusively linked to genetics, suggest recently published findings.

In the first study published about Alzheimer's disease among identical triplets, researchers found that despite sharing the same DNA, two of the triplets developed Alzheimer's while one did not, according to recently published results in the journal Brain. The two triplets that developed Alzheimer's were diagnosed in their mid-70s.

Part of being classified as one of 86 public institutions in the Very High Research Activity (R1) category by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education means attracting some of the best and brightest researchers around the world to come to Texas Tech University.

That also means identifying and recruiting some of the top young research-oriented minds to come to campus as undergraduates or graduate students. Julia Kagiliery could be one of those.

SAN FRANCISCO - Satellite data has given scientists clues about how, when and why Greenland's glaciers are shrinking - and shows a sharp increase in glacial retreat beginning about 2000, according to new research presented this week.

As the climate changes, myriad animal populations are being impacted. In particular, Arctic sea-ice is in decline, causing polar bears in the Barents Sea region to alter their feeding and hunting habits. Bears that follow sea-ice to offshore areas have higher pollutant levels than those staying on land -- but why? A new study in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology reports the likely reasons.

Concentrations of methane, a greenhouse gas about 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide, have risen steadily in Earth's atmosphere since 2007. Although several potential explanations, including an increase in methane emissions from the tropics, could account for this upsurge, due to a lack of regional data scientists have been unable to pinpoint the source. Now a study published in the European Geosciences Union (EGU) journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics uses satellite data to determine that one-third of the global increase originates in Africa's tropics.

You may have heard how excess nutrients, such as phosphorus, can run off of crop fields. This can cause harm when the nutrients end up in rivers and lakes. However, there are other sources of excess nutrients you might not think of, such as the pots nursery plants come in.

Before being shipped to farmers and garden centers, many tree crops and ornamental plants are grown in pots at nurseries. The growers apply fertilizer with nutrients, including phosphorus, to the plants in containers.

Analysis of leaf shape and size is a cornerstone of botany, and is crucial in answering a variety of ecological, evolutionary, genetic, and agricultural questions. However, the software packages used to conduct these morphometric analyses can be cumbersome, and sometimes require stringing multiple programs together. This slows the rate of progress in the field, creates higher barriers of entry for newcomers, and introduces unnecessary errors to these calculations.

Wild populations of the western honeybee Apis mellifera were widely assumed as extinct in Europe. "However, recent fieldwork studies reveal that wild honeybees still exist in forests: Their colonies mainly nest in tree cavities," says Dr. Fabrice Requier from the Biocenter of Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany.

Artificial light influences the behaviour of many nocturnal animals such as bats, which are very sensitive to all types of lighting. Particularly critical is the illumination of natural caves in which bats roost. Cave illumination is widespread in tourist areas worldwide and disturbs the animals in their resting places.

Chemists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have discovered a method that could turn plastic waste into valuable chemicals by using sunlight.

In lab experiments, the research team mixed plastics with their catalyst in a solvent, which allows the solution to harness light energy and convert the dissolved plastics into formic acid - a chemical used in fuel cells to produce electricity.

By analysing almost daily water samples taken from the same river from 1940 until today, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have confirmed their hypothesis that the browning of lakes is primarily due to the increase in coniferous forests, as well as rainfall and sulphur deposits.

Difficult to contain, wildfires consume everything in their path and wreak havoc on human and animal lives, homes and landscapes. From 1995 to 2015, wildfire management has cost the U.S. $21 billion. Over the past 10 years, the National Interagency Fire Center reports that there were 1.4 million fires with an average of 67,000 wildfires annually and an average of 7.0 million acres burned annually. Most of these wildfires are caused by human activity.

Over the last three decades, meaning in life has emerged as an important question in medical research, especially in the context of an aging population. A recent study by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that the presence of and search for meaning in life are important for health and well-being, though the relationships differ in adults younger and older than age 60.

Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s and is tracking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's high-end climate warming scenario, which would see 40 million more people exposed to coastal flooding by 2100.

Close friendships improve the survival chances of rhesus macaques, new research shows.

University of Exeter scientists studied the social lives of female macaques on "Monkey Island" (Cayo Santiago, off Puerto Rico).

Data spanning seven years revealed that females with the strongest social connection to a another macaque - measured by factors including time spent together and time grooming each other's fur - were 11% less likely to die in a given year.