Top Stories

How phytoplankton rule the oceans
June 20, 2017 03:28 PM - French National Center for Scientific Research

Photosynthesis is a unique biological process that has permitted the colonization of land and sea by plants and phytoplankton respectively. While the mechanisms of photosynthesis in plants are well understood, scientists are only now beginning to elucidate how the process developed in phytoplankton. In collaboration with scientists from several countries, researchers from the Cell and Plant Physiology Laboratory (CNRS/CEA/UGA/Inra), the Institut de Biologie Structurale (CNRS/CEA/UGA), the LEMMA Advanced Electron Microscopy Laboratory (CEA/UGA), and the Laboratory of Membrane and Molecular Physiology of the Chloroplast (CNRS/UPMC) have proposed a structural model of the photosynthetic process in phytoplankton, based on studies of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Their findings are published in Nature Communications on June 20, 2017.

Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds
June 20, 2017 02:06 PM - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs.

NASA Examines Potential Tropical or Sub-Tropical Storm Affecting Gulf States
June 20, 2017 01:50 PM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over a developing low pressure area in the Gulf of Mexico and gathered two days of rainfall and storm height information. The disturbance could become Tropical or Sub-tropical Storm Cindy in the next couple days.

African plant extract offers new hope for Alzheimer's treatment
June 20, 2017 01:37 PM - University of Nottingham

A plant extract used for centuries in traditional medicine in Nigeria could form the basis of a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at The University of Nottingham have found.

Board game helps Mexican coffee farmers grasp complex ecological interactions
June 20, 2017 01:34 PM - University of Michigan

A chess-like board game developed by University of Michigan researchers helps small-scale Mexican coffee farmers better understand the complex interactions between the insects and fungi that live on their plants—and how some of those creatures can help provide natural pest control.

Wet and stormy weather lashed California coast - 8,200 years ago
June 20, 2017 01:22 PM - Vanderbilt University

The weather report for California 8,200 years ago was exceptionally wet and stormy.

That is the conclusion of a paleoclimate study that analyzed stalagmite records from White Moon Cave in the Santa Cruz Mountains published online Jun. 20 in Nature Scientific Reports.

Snake Fungal Disease Identified in Wild British Snakes for First Time
June 20, 2017 08:39 AM - USGS

Europe’s wild snakes could face a growing threat from a fungal skin disease that has contributed to wild snake deaths in North America, according to an international collaborative study, led by conservation charity Zoological Society of London alongside partners including the U.S. Geological Survey. The new study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Earth has 2nd warmest year to date and 3rd warmest May on record
June 20, 2017 08:17 AM - NOAA

Consistent with 2016 global trends that continued into the first five months of this year, much of the world’s land and ocean surfaces registered persistently warm temperatures for both May and the year to date*.

 

California Named State with the Worst Air Quality (Again)
June 19, 2017 04:51 PM - California State University

The quality of the air in California may be improving, but it's still dire.

That's according to the American Lung Association's recent "State of the Air 2017" report, which labeled the state and region a leader in air pollution, with the highest ozone levels.

The annual study ranks the cleanest and most polluted areas in the country by grading counties in the U.S. based on harmful recorded levels of ozone (smog) and particle pollution. The 2017 report used data collected from 2013 to 2015.

Freshwater from salt water using only solar energy
June 19, 2017 04:44 PM - Rice University

A federally funded research effort to revolutionize water treatment has yielded an off-grid technology that uses energy from sunlight alone to turn salt water into fresh drinking water. The desalination system, which uses a combination of membrane distillation technology and light-harvesting nanophotonics, is the first major innovation from the Center for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT), a multi-institutional engineering research center based at Rice University

NEWT’s “nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation” technology, or NESMD, combines tried-and-true water treatment methods with cutting-edge nanotechnology that converts sunlight to heat. The technology is described online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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