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How killer cells take out tumours

The use of immunotherapy to treat cancer is celebrating its first successes – but there are still many knowledge gaps in the underlying mechanisms of action. In a study of mice with soft tissue tumours, ETH researchers have now shown how endogenous killer cells track down the tumours with the help of dormant viruses.

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Genetic study shakes up the elephant family tree

New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago – ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct – is more closely related to today’s African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant.

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How the Arctic Ocean Became Saline

The Arctic Ocean was once a gigantic freshwater lake. Only after the land bridge between Greenland and Scotland had submerged far enough did vast quantities of salt water pour in from the Atlantic. With the help of a climate model, researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute have demonstrated how this process took place, allowing us for the first time to understand more accurately how Atlantic circulation as we know it today came about. The results of the study have now been published in the journal Nature Communications.

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Keeping the hydrogen coming

A novel molybdenum-coated catalyst that can efficiently split water in acidic electrolytes is developed by researchers at KAUST and could help with efficient production of hydrogen.

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Why do Antarctic krill stocks fluctuate?

It is only six centimetres long, but it plays a major role in the Antarctic ecosystem: the small crustacean Euphausia superba (Antarctic krill). It's one of the world's most abundant species and the central diet of a number of animals in the Southern Ocean. For a long time, scientists have been puzzled why the size of krill stocks fluctuates so widely. In a new study headed by Prof. Bernd Blasius and Prof. Bettina Meyer, a group of scientists from the University of Oldenburg's Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) and the Bremerhaven-based Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have shown that the competition for food within the population is responsible for the variability.

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University of Toronto scientists develop custom-engineered protein to battle MERS virus

In 2012, a 60-year-old man with flu-like symptoms died in Saudi Arabia, becoming the first victim of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS.

Until now, there has been no vaccine or known treatment. That could change thanks to a new anti-viral tool, developed by University of Toronto researchers.

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Above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year

May 25, 2017 Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year.

For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.

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Breeding pairs of birds cooperate to resist climate change

Climate change causes ecological variation and affects the lives of animals. The ever-earlier springs and later autumns caused by rising temperatures cause changes to animals’ physiology, breeding seasons and even population distributions. However, little is still known about how animals behave in response to these disturbances.

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Evidence shows increased risk of ozone loss over the United States in summer

A new study out of Harvard University reveals that the protective stratospheric ozone layer above the central United States is vulnerable to erosion during the summer months from ozone-depleting chemical reactions, exposing people, livestock and crops to the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Powerful storm systems common to the Great Plains inject water vapor that, with observed temperature variations, can trigger the same chemical reactions over the central United States that are the cause of ozone loss over the polar regions, according to a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Decomposing Leaves Are A Surprising Source Of Greenhouse Gases

Michigan State University scientists have pinpointed a new source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that’s more potent than carbon dioxide. The culprit?

Tiny bits of decomposing leaves in soil.

This new discovery is featured in the current issue of Nature Geoscience, could help refine nitrous oxide emission predictions as well as guide future agriculture and soil management practices.

“Most nitrous oxide is produced within teaspoon-sized volumes of soil, and these so-called hot spots can emit a lot of nitrous oxide quickly,” said Sasha Kravchenko, MSU plant, soil and microbial scientist and lead author of the study. “But the reason for occurrence of these hot spots has mystified soil microbiologists since it was discovered several decades ago.”

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