Top Stories

The truth about cats' and dogs' environmental impact

With many Americans choosing to eat less meat in recent years, often to help reduce the environmental effect of meat production, UCLA geography professor Gregory Okin began to wonder how much feeding pets contributes to issues like climate change.

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Lizard blizzard survivors tell story of natural selection

An unusually cold winter in the U.S. in 2014 took a toll on the green anole lizard, a tree-dwelling creature common to the southeastern United States. A new study offers a rare view of natural selection in this species, showing how the lizard survivors at the southernmost part of their range in Texas came to be more like their cold-adapted counterparts further north.

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New dust sources resulting from a shrinking Salton Sea have negative ecological and health impacts

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside investigating the composition of particulate matter(PM) and its sources at the Salton Sea have found that this shrinking lake in Southern California is exposing large areas of dry lakebed, called playa, that are acting as new dust sources with the potential to impact human health.

“Playas have a high potential to act as dust sources because playa surfaces often lack vegetation,” said Roya Bahreini, an associate professor of environmental sciences, who led the research project. “Dust emissions from playas increase airborne PM mass, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and mortality.”

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Animal coloration research: On the threshold of a new era

In the last 20 years, the field of animal coloration research has experienced explosive growth thanks to numerous technological advances, and it now stands on the threshold of a new era.

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Natural compound coupled with specific gut microbes may prevent severe flu

Microbes that live in the gut don’t just digest food. They also have far-reaching effects on the immune system. Now, a new study shows that a particular gut microbe can prevent severe flu infections in mice, likely by breaking down naturally occurring compounds — called flavonoids — commonly found in foods such as black tea, red wine and blueberries.

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Study reveals exactly how low-cost fuel cell catalysts work

In order to reduce the cost of next-generation polymer electrolyte fuel cells for vehicles, researchers have been developing alternatives to the prohibitively expensive platinum and platinum-group metal (PGM) catalysts currently used in fuel cell electrodes. New work at Los Alamos and Oak Ridge national laboratories is resolving difficult fuel-cell performance questions, both in determining efficient new materials and understanding how they work at an atomic level. The research is described this week in the journal Science.

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The Amazing Dinosaur Found (Accidentally) by Miners in Canada

Known as a nodosaur, this 110 million-year-old, armored plant-eater is the best preserved fossil of its kind ever found.

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Light pollution as a new threat to pollination

Artificial light disrupts nocturnal pollination and leads to a reduced number of fruits produced by the plant.

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Deadly Fungus Affecting Hibernating Bats Could Spread During Summer

The cold-loving fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd) that causes white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of North American bats during hibernation, could also spread in summer months. Bats and humans visiting contaminated caves and mines can inadvertently contribute to the spread of the fungus, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS scientists tested samples collected from bats, the environment and equipment at eight bat hibernation sites in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. They found that bats occupying such sites in summer can harbor the Pd fungus on their skin, and that Pd is more readily detectable in their guano, or feces.

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A clean future

A Métis student in the University of Saskatchewan School of Public Health, Adams is one of 16 young leaders from across Canada appointed to the Your Energy Future program.

Participants in the year-long program, delivered in partnership by the Public Policy Forum and leadership development fellowship Action Canada, will become change-makers in Canada’s energy agenda.  They develop strategies to prepare Canadian people, communities and governments to successfully transition to a low-carbon, clean energy future.

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