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Colorado's wildfire-stricken forests showing limited recovery

Colorado forests stricken by wildfire are not regenerating as well as expected and may partially transform into grasslands and shrublands in coming decades, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

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How Stressful Will a Trip to Mars Be on the Human Body?

We Now Have a Peek Into What the NASA Twins Study Will Reveal

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New ocean observations improve understanding of motion

Oceanographers commonly calculate large scale surface ocean circulation from satellite sea level information using a concept called “geostrophy,” which describes the relationship between oceanic surface flows and sea level gradient. Conversely, researchers rely on data from in-water current meters to measure smaller scale motion. New research led by University of HawaiÊ»i at Mānoa oceanographer Bo Qiu has determined from observational data the length scale at which using sea level height no longer offers a reliable calculation of circulation.

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How the World Passed a Carbon Threshold and Why It Matters

Last year will go down in history as the year when the planet’s atmosphere broke a startling record: 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. The last time the planet’s air was so rich in CO2 was millions of years ago, back before early predecessors to humans were likely wielding stone tools; the world was a few degrees hotter back then, and melted ice put sea levels tens of meters higher.

“We’re in a new era,” says Ralph Keeling, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s CO2 Program in San Diego. “And it’s going fast. We’re going to touch up against 410 pretty soon.”

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Hormone may offer new contraceptive that protects ovaries from chemotherapy

A naturally occurring hormone that plays an important role in fetal development may be the basis for a new type of reversible contraceptive that can protect ovaries from the damage caused by chemotherapy drugs. In their report receiving online publication in PNAS, a team from the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories in the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Surgery describes using Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) to halt, in a mouse model, the early development of the ovarian follicles in which oocytes mature, an accomplishment that protects these primordial follicles from chemotherapy-induced damage. 

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Kidney Function in Stroke Patients Associated with Short-term Outcomes

A routine blood test that measures kidney function can be a valuable predictor of short-term outcomes for stroke patients, according to a study led by a neurologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

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Fruit flies yield clues on cancerous tumor hotspots

Florida State University researchers have found that the epithelial tissues that line the surfaces of organs throughout the body intrinsically have hot spots for cancerous tumors.

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Role of terrestrial biosphere in counteracting climate change may have been underestimated

New research suggests that the capacity of the terrestrial biosphere to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) may have been underestimated in past calculations due to certain land-use changes not being fully taken into account.

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Scientists explain how meltwater reaches ocean depths

An international team of researchers has discovered why fresh water, melted from Antarctic ice sheets, is often detected below the surface of the ocean, rather than rising to the top above denser seawater. The team found that the Earth’s rotation influences the way meltwater behaves – keeping it at depths of several hundred metres. The research is published this week in the journal Nature in association with colleagues at University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, University of East Anglia (UEA), British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Stockholm University.

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Unexpected result: Ocean acidification can promote shell formation

Fact: More carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air also acidifies the oceans. It seemed to be the logical conclusion that shellfish and corals will suffer, because chalk formation becomes more difficult in more acidic seawater. But now a group of Dutch and Japanese scientists discovered to their own surprise that some tiny unicellular shellfish make better shells in an acidic environment. This is a completely new insight.

Researchers from the NIOZ (Royal Dutch Institute for Sea Research) and JAMSTEC (Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology) found in their experiments that so-called foraminifera might even make their shells better in more acidic water. These single-celled foraminifera shellfish occur in huge numbers in the oceans. The results of the study are published in the leading scientific journal ‘Nature Communications’.

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