Earth

New findings from zoologists working with birds in Southeast Asia are shining fresh light on the connections between animal behaviour, geology, and evolution - underlining that species can diversify surprisingly quickly under certain conditions.

The zoologists, from Trinity College Dublin's School of Natural Sciences, sequenced DNA and took measurements and song recordings from Sulawesi Babblers (Pellorneum celebense), shy birds that live in the undergrowth on Indonesian islands.

Hydropower has massive potential as a source of clean electricity, and the Indus basin can be a key player in fulfilling long-term energy storage demands across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. IIASA researchers explored the role the Indus basin could play to support global sustainable development.

The sight of felled trees and logging activity can be jarring for nature lovers, but from those sites can sprout young forest growth that's especially attractive to a familiar inhabitant of wooded areas throughout the Northeast - bats.

New findings from researchers at the UConn College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, published in Forest Ecology and Management, finds that a number of bat species native to the Northeast are highly active in newly created forest spaces, foraging for food at higher rates than is typical of mature forests.

The Indian Ocean has been warming much more than other ocean basins over the last 50-60 years. While temperature changes basin-wide can be unequivocally attributed to human-induced climate change, it is difficult to assess whether contemporary heat and freshwater changes in the Indian Ocean since 1980 represent an anthropogenically-forced transformation of the hydrological cycle. What complicates the assessment is factoring in natural variations, regional-scale trends, a short observational record, climate model uncertainties, and the ocean basin's complex circulation.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Scientists who study glacier ice have found viruses nearly 15,000 years old in two ice samples taken from the Tibetan Plateau in China. Most of those viruses, which survived because they had remained frozen, are unlike any viruses that have been cataloged to date.

The findings, published today in the journal Microbiome, could help scientists understand how viruses have evolved over centuries. For this study, the scientists also created a new, ultra-clean method of analyzing microbes and viruses in ice without contaminating it.

Every spring, the Daylight Saving Time shift robs people of an hour of sleep - and a new study shows that DNA plays a role in how much the "spring forward" time change affects individuals.

LAWRENCE -- A new paper appearing the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences gives new detail and understanding to the cultivation of corn, one of the United States' biggest cash crops.

What The Study Did: These results suggest that substantial proportions of Latinx immigrants have immigration concerns about engaging in COVID-19-related testing, treatment and contact tracing.

Authors: Carol L. Galletly, J.D., Ph.D., Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, is the corresponding author.

To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.17049)

A new USC study of a common, yet poorly understood type of white blood cell reveals the immune cell's response to pathogens differs greatly by sex and by age.

In this mouse study, males proved much more susceptible to a condition called sepsis than females. However, the scientists also found that the female disease-defense system is hardly perfect; their system changes with age to become nearly as harmful as the males'.

Michigan State University ecologists led an international research partnership of professional and volunteer scientists to reveal new insights into what's driving the already-dwindling population of eastern monarch butterflies even lower.

When it comes to making eggs, female flies and female humans are surprisingly similar. And that could be a boon for women seeking better birth control methods, a UConn researcher reports in the July 5 issue of PNAS.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - During development, brain cells may find different ways to connect with each other based on sex, according to researchers at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, several reports have indicated that SARS-CoV-2 spillover events have occurred from humans to animals, as evidenced by the transmission of the virus between keepers and tigers and lions in the Bronx Zoo in New York. However, to date, the full range of animal species that are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection remains unclear. Typically, such information could be obtained by experimentally infecting a large variety of animal species with SARS-CoV-2 to see if they are susceptible.

FINDINGS

A chemical modification that occurs in some RNA molecules as they carry genetic instructions from DNA to cells' protein-making machinery may offer protection against non-alcoholic fatty liver, a condition that results from a build-up of fat in the liver and can lead to advanced liver disease, according to a new study by UCLA researchers.

WOODS HOLE, Mass. – What’s a hungry marine microbe to do when the pickings are slim? It must capture nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus, or iron – to survive, yet in vast expanses of the ocean, nutrients are extremely scarce. And the stakes are high: Marine microbial communities drive many of the elemental cycles that sustain all life on Earth.