Earth

Primary forests are forests without any signs of past human use and where ecological processes are not disrupted by human influence. These forests are of outstanding ecological value. They are an irreplaceable part of our natural heritage and critical for conserving forest biodiversity. In Europe, where millennia of land use have transformed forested landscapes, very few such primary forests remain, and these are mostly found in remote and relatively unproductive areas.

A decade-long study of the iconic fish has found male whale sharks grow quickly, before plateauing at an average adult length of about eight or nine metres.

Female whale sharks grow more slowly but eventually overtake the males, reaching an average adult length of about 14 metres.

Australian Institute of Marine Science fish biologist Dr Mark Meekan, who led the research, said whale sharks have been reported up to 18 metres long.

"That's absolutely huge--about the size of a bendy bus on a city street," he said.

Farmers around the world are keen to protect their most important asset: their soil. The soil supports and enriches their crops. But the relatively thin layer of topsoil can readily wash away into streams, carrying unwanted nutrients with it.

Farmers around the world are keen to protect their most important asset: their soil. The soil supports and enriches their crops. But the relatively thin layer of topsoil can readily wash away into streams, carrying unwanted nutrients with it.

Small bivalved crustacean ostracods are the most abundant fossil arthropods since the Ordovician and play an important role in paleoenvironmental reconstruction and evolutionary biology.

The vast majority of fossil ostracods are represented by calcified shells, and their soft parts, which can provide invaluable information about ancient ostracod autoecology, are extremely rare.

West Nile virus spreads most efficiently in the US at temperatures between 24-25 degrees Celsius (75.2-77 degrees Fahrenheit), a new study published today in eLife shows.

The results suggest that climate change could lead to the increased spread of West Nile virus in some places, while potentially causing a decrease in others, and provide insight on where and when these changes might occur.

The spectacular and complex visual patterns created by animal groups moving together have fascinated humans since the beginning of time. Think of the highly synchronized movements of a flock of starlings, or the circular motion of a school of barracudas.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Depression Rene as it was dissipating in the central North Atlantic Ocean.

Published in the journal Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]), the study shows that it is the absence of quality connections with people and not the lack of contact that predicts the onset of type 2 diabetes, suggesting that helping people form and experience positive relationships could be a useful tool in prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes.

Infrared imagery is like having night vision, and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a nighttime view of Tropical Storm Vicky that revealed outside winds are weakening the storm.

About Wind Shear 

The shape of a tropical cyclone provides forecasters with an idea of its organization and strength. When outside winds batter a storm, it can change the storm's shape. Winds can push most of the associated clouds and rain to one side of a storm. Outside winds from the southwest are pushing against Tropical Storm Vicky.

FORT LAUDERDALE/DAVIE, Fla. - They are some of the most iconic and unique-looking creatures in our oceans. While some may think they look a bit "odd," one thing researchers agree on is that little is known about hammerhead sharks. Many of the 10 hammerhead shark species are severely overfished worldwide for their fins and in need of urgent protection to prevent their extinction.

NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed the cloud top temperatures and water vapor content in Hurricane Sally as it crawls toward landfall, and found the potential for large amounts of rainfall, which, coupled with slow movement, can lead to catastrophic flooding. Two instruments provided three views of Sally's temperatures and water vapor that revealed the soaking capability of the slow-moving hurricane.

This study looks at trends in out-of-pocket and total visit expenditures for visits to primary care physicians. Using the 2002-2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), the authors described changes in out-of-pocket and total visit expenditures for primary care visits for Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Between 2002 and 2017, the proportion of primary care visits associated with private insurance or no insurance decreased, while Medicare- and Medicaid-associated visits increased. Total expenditure per visit increased for private insurance and Medicare visits.

When a tropical cyclone consolidates, it means that it is getting more organized and its circulation is improving. An improved circulation helps make for a stronger storm. Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed that Teddy was consolidating in the Central North Atlantic Ocean.

Infrared Data Reveals Teddy is organizing

A new study has detailed the damaging role played by the immune system in a severe brain condition most commonly caused by the cold sore virus.

Researchers have identified the specific type of immune cell that induces brain inflammation in herpes simplex virus (HSV) encephalitis. Crucially, they have also determined the signalling protein that calls this immune cell into the brain from the bloodstream.