• Songbirds offer clues to highly practiced motor skills in humans

    San Francisco - The melodious sound of a songbird may appear effortless, but his elocutions are actually the result of rigorous training undergone in youth and maintained throughout adulthood. His tune has virtually “crystallized” by maturity. The same control is seen in the motor performance of top athletes and musicians. Yet, subtle variations in highly practiced skills persist in both songbirds and humans. Now, scientists think they know why. >> Read the Full Article
  • Youngsters Prefer a Home Like Mom's

    Davis, California - When young mice leave their mothers' homes, they choose to live in places much like the ones where they were raised, according to research done at UC Davis. >> Read the Full Article
  • Bhutan's Green Postage Stamp, A Mini CD ROM

    PITTSBURGH - The tiny nation of Bhutan, whose national credo is "Gross National Happiness," has launched an innovative postage stamps to support its economic development-and to preserve its pristine Himalayan environment-at the same time. The CD stamps are the latest in a series of postage stamp "firsts" by Bhutan since the 1960s. The stamps are mini-CDs that fit into exquisitely decorated self-adhesive envelopes. When affixed to a larger envelop, the CD stamp can be used as postage. >> Read the Full Article
  • Conifers or condos?

    Seattle, Washington - The Northwest Environmental Forum is a University of Washington College of Forest Resources think tank involving forest companies, small landowners, environmental advocates, Native American tribes, government agencies and land conservation organizations is trying to decide how to develop strategies for the legislature, the Department of Natural Resources, other land owners and non-governmental organizations to retain and acquire working forests in the state. >> Read the Full Article
  • Chile approves native forest law after 15 years

    [SANTIAGO] The Chilean parliament has unanimously approved a law to preserve the country's forests, promote their sustainable use and foster related scientific research. >> Read the Full Article
  • Cities, Countries Make Up for What Bali Lacked

    The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, early this month received criticism from some for failing to produce a stronger international plan to address greenhouse gas emissions once the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. “We said we needed a roadmap,” Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth told the BBC, “but this conference has failed to give us a clear destination.” To offset further delay, some countries and many local governments have taken the lead and committed to hefty carbon-reduction schemes ahead of a formalized international plan. >> Read the Full Article
  • Unique Kenyan game park under human threat

    KITENGELA, Kenya (Reuters) - A short distance from the slums and skyscrapers of Nairobi, Naanyu Ntirrisa pulls thorn bushes around her Maasai village to keep out marauding lions that have killed a cow and two sheep.

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  • NOAA: 2007 a Top Ten Warm Year for U.S. and Globe

    The year 2007 is on pace to become one of the 10 warmest years for the contiguous U.S., since national records began in 1895, according to preliminary data from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The year was marked by exceptional drought in the U.S. Southeast and the West, which helped fuel another extremely active wildfire season. The year also brought outbreaks of cold air, and killer heat waves and floods. Meanwhile, the global surface temperature for 2007 is expected to be fifth warmest since records began in 1880. Preliminary data will be updated in early January to reflect the final three weeks of December and is not considered final until a full analysis is complete next spring. >> Read the Full Article
  • Study maps life in extreme environments

    A team of biologists have developed a model mapping the control circuit governing a whole free living organism. This is an important milestone for the new field of systems biology and will allow the researchers to model how the organism adapts over time in response to its environment. This study marks the first time researchers have accurately predicted a cell’s dynamics at the genome scale (for most of the thousands of components in the cell). The findings, which are based on a study of Halobacterium salinarum, a free-living microbe that lives in hyper-extreme environments, appear in the latest issue of the journal Cell. >> Read the Full Article
  • Deep-sea Species "Loss Could Lead To Oceans" Collapse

    "For the first time, we have demonstrated that deep-sea ecosystem functioning is closely dependent upon the number of species inhabiting the ocean floor," said Roberto Danovaro of the Polytechnic University of Marche, in Italy. "This shows that we need to preserve biodiversity, and especially deep-sea biodiversity, because otherwise the negative consequences could be unprecedented. We must care about species that are far from us and [essentially] invisible." Ecosystem functioning involves several processes, which can be summarized as the production, consumption, and transfer of organic matter to higher levels of the food chain, the decomposition of organic matter, and the regeneration of nutrients, he explained. >> Read the Full Article