Sci/tech

University of Florida study: Bird evolves virtually overnight to keep up with invasive prey
December 12, 2017 08:10 AM - University of Florida

The federally endangered bird, the snail kite, was faced with an interesting dilemma: The island apple snail was good to eat, but about two to five times bigger than the native snail that the bird usually consumed. What’s a hungry bird to do? Evolve – quickly.

A study by a team of University of Florida researchers has found that in about 10 years, the snail kite has evolved to develop a larger beak as its new prey, the island apple snail, proliferated and became invasive. The study is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Continued Emissions May Cause Global North-to-South Shift in Wind Power By End of Century
December 11, 2017 02:41 PM - Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies

The rapidly growing wind energy industry may be challenged by changes in locations of wind resources

Continued Emissions May Cause Global North-to-South Shift in Wind Power By End of Century
December 11, 2017 02:41 PM - Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies

The rapidly growing wind energy industry may be challenged by changes in locations of wind resources

Sustainable dams — are they possible?
December 11, 2017 02:41 PM - Colorado State University

Humans have been altering natural waterways for centuries, but only in the last several decades have dams raised ecological concerns.

N. LeRoy Poff, professor of biology at Colorado State University, studies the ecological impact to rivers from human-caused changes, such as dam building, and how these modified river systems can be managed for resilience.

Sustainable dams — are they possible?
December 11, 2017 02:41 PM - Colorado State University

Humans have been altering natural waterways for centuries, but only in the last several decades have dams raised ecological concerns.

N. LeRoy Poff, professor of biology at Colorado State University, studies the ecological impact to rivers from human-caused changes, such as dam building, and how these modified river systems can be managed for resilience.

U of T neuroscientist on how advances in AI may help us better understand why neurons are shaped the way they are
December 11, 2017 11:13 AM - University of Toronto

The shape of our neurons may indicate our brains actually employ a type of learning, dubbed “deep learning,” that was developed to drive artificial intelligence, or AI, applications, a University of Toronto researcher has found.

Canola Oil Linked to Worsened Memory and Learning Ability in Alzheimer's Disease, Temple Researchers Report
December 11, 2017 11:07 AM - Temple University Health System

Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in the world, yet surprisingly little is known about its effects on health. Now, a new study published online December 7 in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) associates the consumption of canola oil in the diet with worsened memory, worsened learning ability and weight gain in mice which model Alzheimer’s disease. The study is the first to suggest that canola oil is more harmful than healthful for the brain.

Yeast can be engineered to create protein pharmaceuticals
December 11, 2017 10:58 AM - Chalmers University of Technology

It took several years, but a research team headed by Professor Jens Nielsen at Chalmers University of Technology has finally succeeded in mapping out the complex metabolism of yeast cells. The breakthrough, recently published in an article in Nature Communications, means a huge step forward in the potential to more efficiently produce protein therapies for diseases such as cancer.

Exposure to Air Pollution Just Before or After Conception Raises Risk of Birth Defects
December 11, 2017 10:37 AM - Cincinnati Hospital Medical Center

Women exposed to air pollution just prior to conception or during the first month of pregnancy face an increased risk of their children being born with birth defects, such as cleft lip or palate or abnormal hearts.

How a Wayward Arctic Current Could Cool the Climate in Europe
December 11, 2017 09:28 AM - Yale Environment 360

For millennia, the Beaufort Gyre — a massive wind-driven current in the Arctic Ocean — has been regulating climate and sea ice formation at the top of the world. Like a giant spinning top, the gyre corrals vast amounts of sea ice. Trapped in this clockwise swirl, the ice has historically had more time to thicken than it generally does in other parts of the Arctic Ocean, where currents such as the Trans Polar Drift transport the ice into the warmer north Atlantic more rapidly. In this way, the Beaufort Gyre — located north of Alaska and Canada’s Yukon Territory — has helped create the abundant layers of sea ice that, until recently, covered large parts of the Arctic Ocean year-round.

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