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Scientists find link between increases in local temperature and antibiotic resistance

Over-prescribing has long been thought to increase antibiotic resistance in bacteria. But could much bigger environmental pressures be at play?

While studying the role of climate on the distribution of antibiotic resistance across the geography of the U.S., a multidisciplinary team of epidemiologists from Boston Children’s Hospital found that higher local temperatures and population densities correlate with higher antibiotic resistance in common bacterial strains. Their findings were published today in Nature Climate Change.

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Smog laid bare: Precise analysis of the composition of particulate matter

Smog is a problem. But the knowledge about its constituents – no longer. Researchers from several leading Warsaw scientific institutions have joined forces and developed a new, extremely precise method for the chemical analysis of suspended particulate matter. The method, easily adaptable in many modern laboratories, not only determines the chemical composition of compounds, but even recognizes changes in the spatial distribution of atoms in molecules.

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Closing Coal, Oil Power Plants Leads to Healthier Babies

Shuttering coal- and oil-fired power plants lowers the rate of preterm births in neighboring communities and improves fertility, according to two new University of California, Berkeley, studies.

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UNH Researchers Find Invasive Seaweed Makes Fish Change Their Behavior

When it comes to finding protection and a safe feeding ground, fish rely on towering blades of seaweed, like kelp, to create a three-dimensional hiding space. Kelp forests have been shown to be one of the most productive systems in the ocean with high biodiversity and ecological function. However, in recent decades, many kelp habitats have been taken over and replaced by lower turf-dominated seaweed species. Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that this change in the seascape may impact the behavior of fish and could be leaving them less options for refuge and more vulnerable to predators.

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Following Bats to Predict Ebola

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa killed more than 11,000 people and was the deadliest outbreak since the discovery of the virus in 1976.

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How Australia Got Planted

A new study has uncovered when and why the native vegetation that today dominates much of Australia first expanded across the continent. The research should help researchers better predict the likely impact of climate change and rising carbon dioxide levels on such plants here and elsewhere. The dominant vegetation, so-called C4 plants, includes a wide variety of tropical, subtropical and arid-land grasses. , C4 plants also include important worldwide crops such as sugarcane, corn, sorghum and millet. The research has just been published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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Crop Immunisation Can Root Out Take-All Fungus

In the soils of the world’s cereal fields, a family tussle between related species of fungi is underway for control of the crops’ roots, with food security threatened if the wrong side wins. Beneficial fungi can help plants to protect themselves from cousins eager to overwhelm the roots, but it’s a closely fought battle.

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Technique doubles conversion of CO2 to plastic component

Fossil fuels have long been the precursor to plastic, but new research from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and European collaborators could help send that era up in smoke — carbon dioxide, to be exact.

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Raising the heat to lower the cost of solar energy

Sandia National Laboratories will receive $10.5 million from the Department of Energy to research and design a cheaper and more efficient solar energy system.

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NASA Measures Heavy U.S. Rainfall From Space

For close to two weeks the combination of a nearly stationary front and tropical moisture caused almost continuous precipitation over much of the Mid-Atlantic. Using data from a constellation of satellites, NASA calculated the extreme rainfall that occurred in parts of the U.S.

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