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Griffith scientists engineer new cancer detection tool

Studying the food poisoning bacteria E. coli may have led scientists to discover a new and improved tool to detect cancer.

In a collaborative research project, scientists from Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, the University of Adelaide and University of Queensland have detailed their findings in a new paper published in Scientific Reports.

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Monkey See, Monkey Do, Depending on Age, Experience and Efficiency

Wild capuchin monkeys readily learn skills from each other — but that social learning is driven home by the payoff of learning a useful new skill. It’s the first demonstration of “payoff bias” learning in a wild animal, and could inform whether and how animals can adapt to rapidly changing conditions, for example due to climate change or reintroduction of species from captive breeding.  

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Record 'green' energy capacity added in 2016 as cost for renewables plunges – UN-backed report

The world is now adding more green energy capacity each year than it adds in new capacity from all fossil fuels combined, a United Nations-backed report revealed today, showing that the “renewables train has already left the station” and those who ignore this will be left behind.

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Small climb in mean temperatures linked to far higher chance of deadly heat waves

An increase in mean temperature of 0.5 degrees Celsius over half a century may not seem all that serious, but it’s enough to have more than doubled the probability of a heat wave killing in excess of 100 people in India, according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions.

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ALMA Finds Ingredient of Life Around Infant Sun-like Stars

Two teams of astronomers have harnessed the power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile to detect the prebiotic complex organic molecule methyl isocyanate [1] in the multiple star system IRAS 16293-2422. One team was co-led by Rafael Martín-Doménech at the Centro de Astrobiología in Madrid, Spain, and Víctor M. Rivilla, at the INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri in Florence, Italy; and the other by Niels Ligterink at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands and Audrey Coutens at University College London, United Kingdom.

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Increased Sea Ice Drift Puts Polar Bears on Faster Moving Treadmill

A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming found that increased westward ice drift in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas requires polar bears to expend more energy walking eastward on a faster moving “treadmill” of sea ice.  

These findings represent the first assessment of the consequences of changing drift rates for polar bears; one of several previously unexplored effects of sea ice loss.

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Red Onions Pack a Cancer-Fighting Punch, Study Reveals

The next time you walk down the produce aisle of your grocery store, you may want to reach for red onions if you are looking to fight off cancer.

In the first study to examine how effective Ontario-grown onions are at killing cancer cells, U of G researchers have found that not all onions are created equal.

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Offshore wind turbines vulnerable to Category 5 hurricane gusts

Offshore wind turbines built according to current standards may not be able to withstand the powerful gusts of a Category 5 hurricane, creating potential risk for any such turbines built in hurricane-prone areas, new University of Colorado Boulder-led research shows.

The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, highlights the limitations of current turbine design and could provide guidance for manufacturers and engineers looking to build more hurricane-resilient turbines in the future.

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Electric car subsidies may do more harm than good

Globally, from China and Germany to the United States, electric vehicle (EV) subsidies have been championed as an effective strategy to boost production of renewable technology and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

But a new study by Concordia economics professor Ian Irvine shows that subsidizing EVs in the North American context will not reduce GHG emissions in the short-term, and may even increase them — at a cost to taxpayers.

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Finding New Homes Won't Help Emperor Penguins Cope with Climate Change

If projections for melting Antarctic sea ice through 2100 are correct, the vanishing landscape will strip Emperor penguins of their breeding and feeding grounds and put populations at risk.  But like other species that migrate to escape the wrath of climate change, can these iconic animals be spared simply by moving to new locations?

According to new research led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), they cannot. Scientists report that dispersal may help sustain global Emperor penguin populations for a limited time, but, as sea ice conditions continue to deteriorate, the 54 colonies that exist today will face devastating declines by the end of this century. They say the Emperor penguin should be listed as an endangered species. The study was published in the June 6, 2017 edition of the journal Biological Conservation.

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