Enn Original News
New technology could improve use of small-scale hydropower in developing nations
July 1, 2016 07:10 AM - Oregon State University via EurekAlert!
Engineers at Oregon State University have created a new computer modeling package that people anywhere in the world could use to assess the potential of a stream for small-scale, “run of river” hydropower, an option to produce electricity that’s of special importance in the developing world.
The system is easy to use; does not require data that is often unavailable in foreign countries or remote locations; and can consider hydropower potential not only now, but in the future as projected changes in climate and stream runoff occur.
2 ways to limit the number of heat-related deaths from climate change
June 23, 2016 07:16 AM - Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health via EurekAlert!
By the 2080s, as many as 3,331 people could die every year from exposure to heat during the summer months in New York City. The high estimate by Columbia University scientists is based on a new model--the first to account for variability in future population size, greenhouse gas trajectories, and the extent to which residents adapt to heat through interventions like air conditioning and public cooling centers. Results appear online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Threats to habitat connectivity as sea waters inundate coastal areas
June 21, 2016 07:05 AM - Jim Melvin, Clemson University
By the year 2100, sea levels might rise as much as 2.5 meters above their current levels, which would seriously threaten coastal cities and other low-lying areas. In turn, this would force animals to migrate farther inland in search of higher ground. But accelerated urbanization, such as the rapidly expanding Piedmont area that stretches from Atlanta to eastern North Carolina, could cut off their escape routes and create climate-induced extinctions.
Where and when were dogs first domesticated?
June 3, 2016 10:31 AM - Oxford University
Supported by funding from the European Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council, a large international team of scientists compared genetic data with existing archaeological evidence and show that man’s best friend may have emerged independently from two separate (possibly now extinct) wolf populations that lived on opposite sides of the Eurasian continent. This means that dogs may have been domesticated not once, as widely believed, but twice.
A major international research project on dog domestication, led by the University of Oxford, has reconstructed the evolutionary history of dogs by first sequencing the genome (at Trinity College Dublin) of a 4,800-year old medium-sized dog from bone excavated at the Neolithic Passage Tomb of Newgrange, Ireland. The team (including French researchers based in Lyon and at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris) also obtained mitochondrial DNA from 59 ancient dogs living between 14,000 to 3,000 years ago and then compared them with the genetic signatures of more than 2,500 previously studied modern dogs.
Spring comes sooner to urban heat islands, with potential consequences for wildlife
May 25, 2016 08:21 PM - Jenny Seifert, University of Wisconsin-Madison
With spring now fully sprung, a new study by University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers shows that buds burst earlier in dense urban areas than in their suburban and rural surroundings. This may be music to urban gardeners’ ears, but that tune could be alarming to some native and migratory birds and bugs.
Wildfires no longer spreading like wildfires
May 25, 2016 07:15 AM - Swansea University
A new analysis of global data related to wildfire, published by the Royal Society, reveals major misconceptions about wildfire and its social and economic impacts.
Study shows how air pollution fosters heart disease
May 24, 2016 07:12 PM - Elizabeth Sharpe, University of Washington Health Sciences
Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, but the biological process has not been understood. A major, decade-long study of thousands of Americans found that people living in areas with more outdoor pollution —even at lower levels common in the United States — accumulate deposits in the arteries that supply the heart faster than do people living in less polluted areas. The study was published May 24 online in The Lancet.
Squid populations on the rise
May 24, 2016 07:09 AM - University of Adelaide
Unlike the declining populations of many fish species, the number of cephalopods (octopus, cuttlefish and squid) has increased in the world's oceans over the past 60 years, a University of Adelaide study has found.
The international team, led by researchers from the University's Environment Institute, compiled a global database of cephalopod catch rates to investigate long-term trends in abundance, published in Cell Press journal Current Biology.
Increased vegetation in the Arctic region may counteract global warming
May 19, 2016 07:19 AM - Lund University via AlphaGalileo
Climate change creates more shrub vegetation in barren, arctic ecosystems. A study at Lund University in Sweden shows that organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, are triggered to break down particularly nutritious dead parts of shrubbery. Meanwhile, the total amount of decomposition is reducing. This could have an inhibiting effect on global warming.
You are what you eat
May 12, 2016 07:31 AM - Indiana University Bloomington
Biologists at Indiana University have significantly advanced understanding of the genetic pathways that control the appearance of different physical traits in the same species depending on nutritional conditions experienced during development.
In many animals, nutrition -- not genetic differences -- controls the appearance of certain physical traits. Ants and bees, for example, grow into workers or queens based upon the food eaten as larvae.