Earth

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 10, 2019) - The parasite that causes Chagas disease, which had largely been thought to be asexual, has been shown to reproduce sexually after scientists uncovered clues hidden in its genomic code.

That's the finding of new research, published by a team of scientists from an international group of institutions that includes the Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine praised an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to phase out animal testing of chemical products. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced today that animal testing will be substantially reduced in six years and phased out by 2035.

The microorganisms living in the intestines could help with muscle growth and function, opening new doors to interventions for age-related skeletal muscle loss, an international research team led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has found.

There are at least three species of electric eels (Electrophorus spp.), not just one as previously believed. Two new species have recently been described with São Paulo Research Foundation - FAPESP's support by a group of researchers affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society, among other institutions. One of the new species can discharge up to 860 volts, the strongest of any known animal.

Electric eels are naked-back knifefishes (Gymnotidae) and are more closely related to catfish and carp than to other eel families.

South American rivers are home to at least three different species of electric eels, including a newly identified species capable of generating a greater electrical discharge than any other known animal, according to a new analysis of 107 fish collected in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname in recent years.

Despite having lived about 300,000 years ago, the oldest ancestor of all members of Homo sapiens had a surprisingly modern skull--as suggested by a model created by CNRS researcher Aurélien Mounier of the Histoire Naturelle de l'Homme Préhistorique laboratory (CNRS / Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle) and Cambridge University professor Marta Mirazón Lahr.

A USC scientist and colleagues have identified a new species of giant flying reptile that once soared over what is now North America.

The creature is similar to the largest pterosaurs known, yet key characteristics gleaned from a cache of bones unearthed in Canada show it's actually part of a new genus and species. The scientists call it Cryodrakon boreas, or Frozen Dragon of the North.

Cold temperatures are not nearly as deadly as heat, with around 2% of all deaths in Australia related to heat, according to new research from the University of Technology Sydney.

The study, published today in the journal Climatic Change, reveals that in warmer regions of Australia up to 9% of deaths were related to heat, with the elderly facing the greatest risk.

Cold weather had a much smaller impact (-0.4% nationwide) except in the coldest climate zone, where 3.6% of deaths could be linked to cold temperatures.

No more than 540 million years ago there was a huge boom in the diversity of animals on Earth. The first larger animals evolved in what is today known as the Cambrian explosion. In the time that followed, the animals evolved and grew larger, but concurrently with the evolution of the animals, the oxygen level in the atmosphere dropped and this temporarily slowed the radiation. However, subsequent oxygenation and growth of algae added energy to the food chain and got the explosion of life going.

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 10, 2019 -- If you've ever looked closely at a 3D sand or sediment dune within a river or coastal area, did you wonder how it formed?

After noticing how the construction of dams significantly alter the hydrodynamics of natural rivers and the resulting downstream riverbed evolution, a group of researchers at Tsinghua University in China decided to apply numerical simulations to help determine what's at play in the relationship of sediment motion and flow conditions. They report their findings in Physics of Fluids, from AIP Publishing.

Among our two closest phylogenetic relatives, chimpanzees remain by far the more thoroughly-studied and widely-recognized species, known for their high levels of cooperation especially among males, which includes sharing food, supporting each other in aggressive conflicts and defending their territories against other communities.

Next to CO2, methane is the greenhouse gas that contributes most to the man-made greenhouse effect. Of the methane sources caused by human activity, rice fields and cattle are among the most important. Furthermore, methane is released from swamp areas on land, melting permafrost as in the Arctic tundra, and from areas with oxygen depletion in the oceans.

We have a good understanding of the processes leading to the increasing CO2 content in the atmosphere, but this understanding is far more unclear when it comes to methane.

By area, tidal flats make up more than 50 percent of Willapa Bay in southwest Washington state, making this more than 142-square-mile estuary an ideal location for oyster farming. On some parts of these flats, oysters grow well, filling their shells with delicacies for discerning diners. But according to experienced oyster farmers, oysters raised in other parts of Willapa Bay don't yield as much meat.

The Atlantic Ocean's Gabrielle has made a second transition and the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite provided information about the rate in which rain was falling within the now extra-tropical storm.

Gabrielle made its first transition to a post-tropical cyclone on Sept. 6 and regained tropical storm status later that same day. Now, the storm has become extra-tropical.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean from its orbit in space and took an image that showed vertical wind shear was weakening Faxai and the storm had become extra-tropical.