Enn Original News
Study suggests impact of climate change on agriculture may be underestimated
March 8, 2016 07:10 AM - Brown University
Studies of how climate change might affect agriculture generally look only at crop yields — the amount of product harvested from a given unit of land. But climate change may also influence how much land people choose to farm and the number of crops they plant each growing season. A new study takes all of these variables into account, and suggests researchers may be underestimating the total effect of climate change on the world’s food supply.
Advances in understanding the development of blood cancers
March 4, 2016 10:01 AM - WALTER AND ELIZA HALL INSTITUTE via EurekAlert
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers have uncovered a protein that is key to the development of blood cancers caused by a common genetic error.
The discovery is a missing piece in the puzzle of understanding how high levels of a protein called MYC drive cancer development, and may to lead to future strategies for early treatment or possibly even prevention of these cancers.
Seventy per cent of human cancers have abnormally high levels of MYC, which forces cells into unusually rapid growth.
Whales dine with their friends of the same species
March 3, 2016 08:00 AM - Jennifer Chu, MIT News
For a few weeks in early fall, Georges Bank — a vast North Atlantic fishery off the coast of Cape Cod — teems with billions of herring that take over the region to spawn. The seasonal arrival of the herring also attracts predators to the shallow banks, including many species of whales.
Now researchers from MIT, Northeastern University, the Institute of Marine Research in Norway, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have found that as multiple species of whales feast on herring, they tend to stick with their own kind, establishing species-specific feeding centers along the 150-mile length of Georges Bank. The team’s results are published today in the journal Nature.
Can you guess the world's longest distance flyer?
March 3, 2016 07:18 AM - Rutgers University
A dragonfly barely an inch and a half long appears to be animal world's most prolific long distance traveler – flying thousands of miles over oceans as it migrates from continent to continent – according to newly published research.
Well-maintained roadways improve fuel efficiency
March 1, 2016 07:09 AM - MIT News
Most people know that properly inflated tires can improve a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, but did you know that properly maintained roadways can improve fuel efficiency across an entire pavement network?
New Heat Wave Formula Can Help Public Health Agencies Prepare for Extreme Temperatures
February 26, 2016 07:13 AM - University of Missouri Health
Extreme heat can pose several health risks, such as dehydration, hyperthermia and even death, especially during sustained periods of high temperatures. However, a uniform definition of a heat wave doesn’t exist. As a result, public health agencies may be unsure of when to activate heat alerts, cooling centers and other protective measures. A University of Missouri School of Medicine researcher has developed a uniform definition of a heat wave that may help public health agencies prepare for extreme temperatures.
Rutgers University Study finds sea level rise in the 20th Century was fastest in 3,000 years
February 23, 2016 09:15 AM - Todd B. Bates, Rutgers University.
Global sea level rose faster in the 20th century than in any of the 27 previous centuries, according to a Rutgers University-led study published today.
Moreover, without global warming, global sea level would have risen by less than half the observed 20th century increase and might even have fallen.
Instead, global sea level rose by about 14 centimeters, or 5.5 inches, from 1900 to 2000. That’s a substantial increase, especially for vulnerable, low-lying coastal areas.
“The 20th-century rise was extraordinary in the context of the last three millennia – and the rise over the last two decades has been even faster,” said Robert Kopp, the lead author and an associate professor in Rutgers’ Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
Scientists unlock key to turning wastewater and sewage into power
February 23, 2016 07:16 AM - Virginia Tech
As renewable energy sources goes, solar rays have historically hogged the limelight.
But two Virginia Tech researchers have stolen the spotlight from the sun by discovering a way to maximize the amount of electricity that can be generated from the wastewater we flush down the toilet.
Can ecotourism save threatened species?
February 19, 2016 06:09 AM - Griffith University
Ecotourism can provide the critical difference between survival and extinction for endangered animals, according to new research from Griffith University.
Using population viability modelling, the Griffith team of Professor Ralf Buckley, Dr Guy Castley and Dr Clare Morrison has developed a method that for the first time quantifies the impact of ecotourism on threatened species.
Lawrence Livermore Laboratory looking at ways to deflect killer asteroids
February 17, 2016 08:23 AM - Lawrence Livermore Laboratory
Asteroids headed for a collision with the Earth, if found early enough, can be acted upon to prevent the potentially devastating consequences of an impact. One technique to divert an asteroid, called kinetic impact, uses a spacecraft to crash into the body at high speeds.
This approach delivers the momentum of the spacecraft, while also providing an additional boost of momentum through the production of impact crater ejecta exceeding the asteroid’s escape velocity. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have been studying the effectiveness of the kinetic-impactor strategy by carrying out 3D simulations of the process.
In a new paper published in Icarus(link is external), LLNL planetary defense researchers find that asteroid deflection by kinetic impact is sensitive to a range of asteroid characteristics, including strength, porosity, rotation and shape. These and other asteroid properties may not be well constrained before an actual deflection mission is staged, leading to variability in the deflection outcome. By simulating a range of initial conditions for the target asteroids, researchers were able to quantify, for example, how greater target strength decreases the delivered momentum impulse and how, for an asteroid of constant size, added porosity can result in more effective deflections, despite the dampening of the shock waves produced during an impact