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Apigenin-rich foods may help defeat cancer cells
May 31, 2013 12:08 PM - Allison Winter, ENN
We are constantly being told what to eat, what not to eat, what is good for our eyesight and what helps us loose weight. Well here's another suggestion: eat parsley, celery, and chamomile tea in order to help kill cancer cells. Researchers at The Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center found that the compound identified as apigenin could stop breast cancer cells from inhibiting their own death.
'Blind As A Bat' Is Surprisingly Inaccurate, As Researchers Determine The Mammals' 3D Vision
May 31, 2013 08:56 AM - Maya Yarowsky, NoCamels
Many of us humans take for granted our ability to perceive three-dimensional spaces, and neuroscientists have often wondered if this capability is present in other mammals. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have now constructed miniature wireless devices that measure brain activity and are able to detect how fruit bats perceive space, remember spaces and navigate within them. This is the first time neuroscientists have been able to observe the perception of space and movement in the brains of non-human mammals.
Asia-Pacific Analysis: Rain harvesting can avert crisis
May 30, 2013 04:17 PM - Crispin Maslog, SciDevNet
To ensure South-East Asias's growing population has enough water to drink, we need to collect more rain, says Crispin Maslog. The world's next major crisis will be a lack of water for home use, including drinking water, many scientists predict. Humans can survive around 40 days without food, but much less than that without water to drink. The scarcity of water for domestic use is becoming a critical problem, especially in rural parts of developing countries. Surface water in rivers, streams or lakes, and groundwater, are increasingly becoming contaminated with pollutants from factories, households, farms and mines. Wells dug deeper to extract groundwater are drying up.
Extreme Ice Melts: The New Normal?
May 30, 2013 09:09 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Most of us are familiar with snow and ice melting as seasons change. This process even occurs in colder regions that typically have ice and snow all year round. However, last July, 98 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet's surface melted. While losing all this snow and ice may seem normal to those of us who experience different seasons, this percentage is compared to roughly 50 percent that usually melts during an average summer. Snow that usually stays frozen and dry in these colder areas are turning wet with melted water and research led by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences now shows last summer's extreme melt could soon be the new normal.
May 29, 2013 04:28 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Stromatolites are layered accretionary structures formed in shallow water by the trapping, binding and cementation of sedimentary grains by biofilms of microorganisms, especially cyanobacteria (commonly known as blue-green algae). Stromatolites provide some of the most ancient records of life on Earth by fossil remains which date from more than 3.5 billion years ago. The widespread disappearance of stromatolites, the earliest visible manifestation of life on Earth, may have been driven by single-celled organisms called foraminifera. The findings, by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI); Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Connecticut; Harvard Medical School; and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, were published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Parasite-resistant maize developed by Kenyan scientist
May 29, 2013 08:48 AM - George Achia, SciDevNet
Two new varieties of hybrid maize that are resistant to the deadly parasitic Striga weed have been developed by a Kenyan scientist. The weed affects cereal crops in many parts of Africa and is a major cause of crop failure in East Africa, where climate change has been driving its spread in recent years. Mathews Dida, a maize breeder in the school of agriculture and food security at Maseno University, developed two maize varieties that produce a natural chemical that suppresses the growth of Striga weed, also known as witch-weed.
Plants re-grow after five centuries under the ice
May 28, 2013 08:42 AM - Tanya Dimitrova, MONGABAY.COM
While monitoring the retreat of the Teardrop Glacier in the Canadian Arctic, scientists have found that recently unfrozen plants, some of which had been under ice since the reign of Henry VIII, were capable of new growth. While in the field, the researchers from the University of Alberta discovered that the receding ice--which has doubled from 2 meters per year in the 1990s to 4.1 meters per year in 2009--had uncovered lots of mosses and other non-vascular plants, including more than 60 plant species. Upon careful examination, the scientists were impressed by how well preserved the delicate bodies were; the stems and leaf structures were perfectly intact, although some of them were only one-cell layer think.
Data from HMS Challenger Expedition Helps Confirm Long Term Ocean Warming
May 25, 2013 07:50 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
Global warming has been going on for a long time. What were the temperatures like a hundred years ago? Terrestrial records go back that far and farther, but what about ocean temperatures? In the late 1800's the HMS Challenger conducted extensive measurements of ocean temperatures across the globe. Researchers from the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay, Australia; and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., combined the ship's measurements of ocean temperatures with modern observations from the international Argo array of ocean profiling floats. They used both as inputs to state-of-the-art climate models, to get a picture of how the world's oceans have changed since the Challenger's voyage. The Challenger expedition, from 1872 to 1876, was the world's first global scientific survey of life beneath the ocean surface. Along the way, scientists measured ocean temperatures, lowering thermometers hundreds of meters deep on ropes.
To Walk or to Climb
May 24, 2013 09:21 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
To walk on two or four limbs, that is the question... Jeremy M. DeSilva an anthropologist at Worcester University in Massachusetts has published Functional Morphology of the Ankle and the Likelihood of Climbing in Early Hominins, in the peer-reviewed journal, Proceeding of the National Academies of Sciences of the USA current issue. The study includes data gathered by DeSilva in Uganda's Kibale National Park of modern chimpanzee and comparisons of hominin fossil skeletal remains dating back some 4.12 million to 1.53 million years ago. The findings appear to show that if early hominins depended on tree climbing as part of their survival repertoire, they were performing it decidedly different from modern chimpanzee locomotor activity. The question DeSilva addresses is whether early man's adaptation to full bipedalism involved a swift shedding of the ability to climb and swing from trees. DeSilva compared the great apes and early hominin ankle joint, the tibia and the talus in the foot. He discovered marked differences between the structure and capacity of these two skeletal fossils.
Ocean Acidification and Deep-sea Organisms
May 23, 2013 04:17 PM - Allison Winter, ENN
Although the natural absorption of CO2 by the world's oceans help mitigate climate effects, the resulting decrease in pH causes ocean acidification which can have negative consequences for much of the marine life, specifically calcifiers such as corals and mollusks that construct their shells and skeletons from calcium carbonate.