Enn Original News

Early Life on Earth and Amino Acids
September 13, 2010 02:54 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma (a thin, fuzzy, temporary atmosphere) and sometimes also a tail. Occasionally, they will collide with planets such as the Earth. New research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists shows that comets that crashed into Earth millions of years ago could have produced amino acids — the building blocks of life. Amino acids are critical to life and serve as the building blocks of proteins, which are linear chains of amino acids.

Toxic Algae Killing Sea Otters
September 13, 2010 11:06 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

A toxin produced by a type of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, has been devastating a colony of sea otters off the coast of California. In a paper published in the journal, PLoS ONE, by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and the University of California (UC), Santa Cruz, researchers link the deaths of over 21 California sea otters to toxic chemicals from algae flowing into the ocean.

Yellowstone Magna
September 10, 2010 04:20 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Yellowstone Park is a somewhat dormant super volcano site full of fuming vents and hot geysers. A plume of molten rock rising from deep beneath Yellowstone National Park is probably what is fueling the region's volcanic activity, as well as tectonic plate oddities across the Pacific Northwest, new research suggests.

How Physical Ability Affects Death
September 10, 2010 12:26 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

There has been much already said about how being physically fit promotes better health and long life. Apparently such positive benefits can be seen in much smaller every day activities. People who are better at simple physical acts such as gripping, walking, rising from a chair and balancing on one leg are more likely to live longer, according to a new study published on bmj.com today.

Flying Fish Aerodynamics
September 10, 2010 10:45 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

There is widespread knowledge of airborne creatures taking to the water. Everybody knows about ducks and geese, penguins, and seabirds that dive for their prey. But, there is scant attention for the seaborne creatures that take to the air. Flying fish really do fly. A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology takes a look at how these amazing animals do what they do.

Methane Reduction from Cattle
September 9, 2010 04:30 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Methane is a significant green house gas that can lead to global warming. It is also commonly produced by many animals including humans and cattle. Cow belches, a major source of greenhouse gases, could be decreased by an unusual feed supplement developed by a Penn State dairy scientist.

Termite Mounds
September 8, 2010 04:42 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Termites are a group of social insects usually classified at the taxonomic rank of order Isoptera. Along with ants and some bees and wasps which are all placed in the separate order Hymenoptera, termites divide labor among gender lines, produce overlapping generations and take care of young collectively. They live in giant mounds in Africa. Scientists have discovered that the size and distribution of termite mounds in South Africa can be used to predict ecological shifts from climate change. The research is published in the advanced online edition of Nature Communications.

Potomac River Vegetation Showing Strong Signs of Recovery
September 8, 2010 10:25 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

The Potomac, which runs through the heart of the United States Capital, has suffered centuries of environmental degradation. Water quality has declined steadily as more humans have populated its watershed. However, according to new research, the river is beginning to benefit from restoration efforts that have improved water clarity and reduced nutrient overload. The result has been a ten-fold increase in native submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). This SAV consists of plant life below the water surface which is an important habitat for fish and other marine life.

As Greenland Melts
September 7, 2010 03:11 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Greenland ice sheet is a vast body of ice covering 660,235 square miles, roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland. It is the second largest ice body in the World, after the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The ice sheet is almost 1,500 miles long in a north south direction, and its greatest width is 680 miles at a latitude of 77°N, near its northern margin. Scientists investigating the geophysical and hydrological conditions beneath the Greenland ice sheet say their analysis will be vital for helping understand how the massive ice sheet will respond to climate change.

The Role of Clouds on Earth's Climate
September 7, 2010 10:22 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Modeling for climate change is an extremely complex process because Earth's climate is so complex. It is an interrelated system that involves the atmosphere, biosphere, land, and oceans. A change in one can cause a chain reaction in all the others. By studying ancient climate change patterns, scientists are better able to predict what might happen in future events. However, one factor that remains far from understanding is the role of clouds — how they will react to and influence a changing climate.

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