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Today: 06 July 2020, Monday.

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#1

 

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Description How much easier life would be after a storm if insurance companies stopped haggling over wind versus water damage! Wind damage, which is covered by insurance, can be identified by combining wind-field models and terrain information. While not something the average homeowner can figure out, this kind

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 05 July 2020

#2

 

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Description It builds on findings of a 2003 study that won an Ig Nobel Prize in Fluid Dynamics.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 04 July 2020

#3

 

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Name
Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 04 July 2020

#4

 

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Description Botswana hosts the largest elephant population in Africa.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 04 July 2020

#5

 

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Description Cave divers found signs people mined in the Yucatán more than 10,000 years ago for a valuable pigment — red ochre.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#6

 

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Description Elasmobranchs are among the species most threatened by overfishing and a large body of evidence reports their decline around the world. As they are large predators occupying the highest levels of marine food webs, their removal can alter the trophic web dynamic through predatory release effects and trophic cascade. Suitable management of threatened shark species requires a good understanding of their behaviour and feeding ecology. In this study we provide one of the first assessments of the trophic ecology of the “vulnerable” smooth-hounds Mustelus mustelus and M. punctulatus in the Central Mediterranean Sea, based on stomach contents and stable isotope analyses. Ontogenetic diet changes were addressed by comparing the feeding habits of three groups of individuals: juveniles, maturing and adults. Our results highlighted that the two species share a similar diet based mostly on the consumption of benthic crustaceans (e.g. hermit crabs). Their trophic level increases during ontogeny, with adults increasing their consumption of large-sized crustaceans (e.g. Calappa granulata, Palinurus elephas), cephalopods (e.g. Octopus vulgaris) and fish (e.g. Trachurus trachurus). Our results provide also evidence of ontogenetic shifts in diet for both species showing a progressive reduction of interspecific trophic overlap during growth. The results of this study contribute to improve the current knowledge on the trophic ecology of these two threatened sharks in the Strait of Sicily, thus providing a better understanding of their role in the food web.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#7

 

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Description Trichosporon asahii is a pathogenic fungus that causes deep mycosis in patients with neutropenia. Establishing an experimental animal model for quantitatively evaluating pathogenicity and developing a genetic recombination technology will help to elucidate the infection mechanism of T. asahii and promote the development of antifungal drugs. Here we established a silkworm infection model with a transgenic T. asahii strain expressing eGFP. Injecting T. asahii into silkworms eventually killed the silkworms. Moreover, the administration of antifungal agents, such as amphotericin B, fluconazole, and voriconazole, prolonged the survival time of silkworms infected with T. asahii. A transgenic T. asahii strain expressing eGFP was obtained using a gene recombination method with Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The T. asahii strain expressing eGFP showed hyphal formation in the silkworm hemolymph. Both hyphal growth and the inhibition of hyphal growth by the administration of antifungal agents were quantitatively estimated by monitoring fluorescence. Our findings suggest that a silkworm infection model using T. asahii expressing eGFP is useful for evaluating both the pathogenicity of T. asahii and the efficacy of antifungal drugs.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#8

 

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Description Sauropodomorpha were herbivorous saurischian dinosaurs that incorporate Sauropoda and early-diverging sauropodomorphs. The oldest sauropodomorph remains are known from Late Triassic deposits, most of them Gondwanan. The Laurasian record comprises some Triassic forms, but the bulk is Jurassic in age. Among the 14 Jurassic non-sauropodan sauropodomorphs from Laurasia described in the past, 8 are from China. Here we describe a new non-sauropodan sauropodomorph, Irisosaurus yimenensis gen. et sp. nov., from the Early Jurassic Fengjiahe Formation of China. Nearly all of the non-sauropodan sauropodomorph genera currently known from China were first reported from the Lufeng Formation. The Fengjiahe Formation is its Southern equivalent, bringing a fauna similar to that of the Lufeng Formation to light. The new genus is defined based on an incomplete but unique maxilla, with a premaxillary ramus higher than long prior to the nasal process, a large and deep neurovascular foramen within the perinarial fossa, and a deep perinarial fossa defined by a sharp rim. Phylogenetic analysis places Irisosaurus at the very base of Sauropodiformes, as the sister-taxon of the Argentinean genus Mussaurus. This specimen adds to a growing assemblage of Chinese Jurassic non-sauropodan sauropodomorphs that offers new insight into the Laurasian evolution of this clade.

#Environment & Nature;#Theoretical sciences
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#9

 

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Description Stomatopods (Crustacea, Stomatopoda) are well studied for their aggressive behavior and unique visual system as well as their commercial importance in Asian and European countries. Like many crustaceans, stomatopods undergo indirect development, passing though several larval stages before reaching maturity. Adult stomatopods can be difficult to catch due to their inaccessible habitats and cryptic coloration. By sampling larvae from the planktonic community, less effort is required to obtain accurate measures of species richness within a region. Stomatopod larvae were collected between 2006 and 2015 from the waters around the Lizard Island reef platform in Eastern Australia. Cytochrome oxidase I (COI) mitochondrial DNA sequences were generated from each larval sample and compared to a database of COI sequences tied to adult specimens. Of the 20 species collected from Lizard Island as adults which have COI data available, 18 species were identified from larval sampling. One additional species identified from larval samples, Busquilla plantei, was previously unknown from Lizard Island. Nine larval OTUs were found not to match any published adult sequences. Sampling larval stomatopod populations provides a comparable picture of the adult population to benthic sampling methods and may include species richness beyond what is measurable by sampling adult populations.

#Environment & Nature;#Theoretical sciences
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#10

 

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Description The wide use of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) has become a matter of concern due to its potential harmful effects on human health, including men fertility. This study sought to investigate, using the pig as a model, the impact of pure glyphosate and its most known commercial formulation, Roundup, on sperm function and survival. With this purpose, fresh commercial semen doses were incubated with different concentrations (0–360 µg/mL) of glyphosate (GLY; exp. 1) or Roundup, at the equivalent GLY concentration (exp. 2), at 38 °C for 3 h. Glyphosate at 360 µg/mL significantly (P < 0.05) decreased sperm motility, viability, mitochondrial activity and acrosome integrity but had no detrimental effect at lower doses. On the other hand, Roundup did significantly (P < 0.05) reduce sperm motility at ≥ 5 µg/mL GLY-equivalent concentration; mitochondrial activity at ≥ 25 µg/mL GLY-equivalent concentration; and sperm viability and acrosome integrity at ≥ 100 µg/mL GLY-equivalent concentration as early as 1 h of incubation. In a similar fashion, GLY and Roundup did not inflict any detrimental effect on sperm DNA integrity. Taken together, these data indicate that, while both glyphosate and Roundup exert a negative impact on male gametes, Roundup is more toxic than its main component, glyphosate.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#11

 

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Description Wildfires can destroy property and vegetation, thereby threatening people’s livelihoods and food security. Soil moisture and biomass are important determinants of wildfire hazard. Corresponding novel satellite-based observations therefore present an opportunity to better understand these disasters globally and across different climate regions. We sampled 9,840 large wildfire events from around the globe, between 2001 and 2018, along with respective surface soil moisture and biomass data. Using composites across fire events in similar climate regions, we show contrasting soil moisture anomalies in space and time preceding large wildfires. In arid regions, wetter-than-average soils facilitate sufficient biomass growth required to fuel large fires. In contrast, in humid regions, fires are typically preceded by dry soil moisture anomalies, which create suitable ignition conditions and flammability in an otherwise too wet environment. In both regions, soil moisture anomalies continuously decrease in the months prior to fire occurrence, often from above-normal to below-normal. These signals are most pronounced in sparsely populated areas with low human influence, and for larger fires. Resolving natural soil moisture–fire interactions supports fire modelling and facilitates improved fire predictions and early warning.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#12

 

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Description Thick ice isolates a hidden ocean cavity from the furious winds and freezing air temperatures of Antarctica. But nothing stops the tides.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#13

 

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Description Fish are at a far greater risk from climate change than previously thought, after researchers showed embryos and spawning adults are more susceptible to warming oceans

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#14

 

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Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#15

 

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Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#16

 

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Description The drop in carbon emissions due to coronavirus lockdowns won’t last. But as we rebuild, we have a unique opportunity to make the structural changes required to hit net-zero targets, says Corinne Le Quéré

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#17

 

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Description Queen Anne’s Revenge, the flagship of the notorious pirate Blackbeard, ran aground in 1718 and was abandoned by its crew. A new analysis says this may have been done on purpose

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#18

 

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Description Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are advancing gas membrane materials to expand practical technology options for reducing industrial carbon emissions. Results published in Chem demonstrate a fabrication method for

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#19

 

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Description Lava International on Thursday launched its &lsquo;Design in India&rsquo; contest calling students and professionals in the country to design the next Indian smartphone.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#20

 

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Description While surface corals are suffering, nearly a mile beneath the waves numerous corals and animals are thriving.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#21

 

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Description If you want to know what a climate emergency looks like, this is it.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#22

 

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Name
Description The BionicSwift flies through the air with the greatest of ease, at least until its battery runs out.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 03 July 2020

#23

 

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Description Tectonics and climate-driven surface processes govern the evolution of Earth’s surface topography. Topographic change in turn influences lithospheric deformation, but the elementary scale at which this feedback can be effective is unclear. Here we show that it operates in a single weather-driven erosion event. In 2009, typhoon Morakot delivered ~ 3 m of precipitation in southern Taiwan, causing exceptional landsliding and erosion. This event was followed by a step increase in the shallow (< 15 km depth) earthquake frequency lasting at least 2.5 years. Also, the scaling of earthquake magnitude and frequency underwent a sudden increase in the area where mass wasting was most intense. These observations suggest that the progressive removal of landslide debris by rivers from southern Taiwan has acted to increase the crustal stress rate to the extent that earthquake activity was demonstrably affected. Our study offers the first evidence of the impact of a single weather-driven erosion event on tectonics.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#24

 

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Description In this study, the chloroplast genome sequencing of the Achyranthes longifolia, Achyranthes bidentata and Achyranthes aspera were performed by Next-generation sequencing technology. The results revealed that there were a length of 151,520 bp (A. longifolia), 151,284 bp (A. bidentata), 151,486 bp (A. aspera), respectively. These chloroplast genome have a highly conserved structure with a pair of inverted repeat (IR) regions (25,150 bp; 25,145 bp; 25,150 bp), a large single copy (LSC) regions (83,732 bp; 83,933 bp; 83,966 bp) and a small single copy (SSC) regions (17,252 bp; 17,263 bp; 17,254 bp) in A. bidentate, A. aspera and A. longifolia. There were 127 genes were annotated, which including 8 rRNA genes, 37 tRNA genes and 82 functional genes. The phylogenetic analysis strongly revealed that Achyranthes is monophyletic, and A. bidentata was the closest relationship with A. aspera and A. longifolia. A. bidentata and A. longifolia were clustered together, the three Achyranthes species had the same origin, then the gunes of Achyranthes is the closest relative to Alternanthera, and that forms a group with Alternanthera philoxeroides. The research laid a foundation and provided relevant basis for the identification of germplasm resources in the future.

#Environment & Nature;#Theoretical sciences
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#25

 

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Description Plant recruitment is a multi-stage process determining population dynamics and species distributions. Still, we have limited understanding of how the successive demographic processes depend on the environmental context across species’ distributional ranges. We conducted a large-scale transplant experiment to study recruitment of Pinus cembra over six years. We quantified the effects of environmental conditions on four demographic processes and identified the most limiting across and beyond the pines’ elevational range over several years. Realized transition probabilities of the demographic processes varied substantially across the species' distributional range. Seed deposition decreased from the lower to the upper elevational range margin by 90%, but this reduction was offset by increased seed germination and seedling survival. Dispersal limitation at the upper range margin potentially stems from unsuitable seed caching conditions for the animal seed disperser, whereas increased seed germination might result from enemy escape from fungal pathogens and favourable abiotic conditions at the upper range margin. Our multi-year experiment demonstrates that environmental context is decisive for the local relevance of particular demographic processes. We conclude that experimental studies identifying the limiting demographic processes controlling species distributions are key for projecting future range dynamics of plants.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#26

 

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Description

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#27

 

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Description VMware agrees to buy Datrium to deliver on its disaster recovery version with cost-optimized business continuity service.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#28

 

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Description Mid-infrared (MIR) light-emitting devices play a key role in optical communications, thermal imaging, and material analysis applications. Two-dimensional (2D) materials offer a promising direction for next-generation MIR devices owing to their exotic optical properties, as well as the ultimate thickness limit. More importantly, van der Waals heterostructures—combining the best of various 2D materials at an artificial atomic level—provide many new possibilities for constructing MIR light-emitting devices of large tuneability and high integration. Here, we introduce a simple but novel van der Waals heterostructure for MIR light-emission applications built from thin-film BP and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), in which BP acts as an MIR light-emission layer. For BP–WSe2 heterostructures, an enhancement of ~200% in the photoluminescence intensities in the MIR region is observed, demonstrating highly efficient energy transfer in this heterostructure with type-I band alignment. For BP–MoS2 heterostructures, a room temperature MIR light-emitting diode (LED) is enabled through the formation of a vertical PN heterojunction at the interface. Our work reveals that the BP–TMDC heterostructure with efficient light emission in the MIR range, either optically or electrically activated, provides a promising platform for infrared light property studies and applications. Layering thin films of semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides with thin-film black phosphorus enhances its ability to emit mid-infrared (MIR) light, which could facilitate MIR light emission investigations and applications. Xiaolong Chen of China’s Southern University of Science and Technology and colleagues layered thin flakes of black phosphorus (BP) with one or the other of a monolayer of tungsten diselenide (WSe2) or a thin film of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). Thin-film BP is considered a promising MIR material, with potential applications in MIR photodetection and optical modulation. WSe2 efficiently transferred light energy to the BP, enhancing its MIR photoluminescence by up to 192%. On the other hand, the interface created by layering BP with MoS2 enabled the formation of a MIR light-emitting diode at room temperature.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#29

 

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Description Since spring, the bodies of five decapitated sea lions have been found on the shores of Vancouver Island, Canada.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#30

 

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Name
Description One in five of us are night owls, staying up late for good reason. Stop trying to change us. Harness our productivity instead

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#31

 

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Description On Wednesday, more than 500 companies officially kicked off an advertising boycott intended to pressure Facebook into taking a stronger stand against hate speech. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with its organizers ...

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#32

 

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Description University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers has made it possible to remotely determine the temperature beneath the surface of certain materials using a new technique they call depth thermography. The method may be useful in applications where traditional temperature probes won’t work, like monitoring

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#33

 

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Description U.S. effort could also date controversial Hiawatha impact crater

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#34

 

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Description Landslides after Taiwan’s deadliest typhoon unleashed years of unusual earthquake activity

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#35

 

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Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#36

 

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Description In light of the current biodiversity crisis, investigating the human impact on non-human primate gut biology is important to understanding the ecological significance of gut community dynamics across changing habitats and its role in conservation. Using traditional coproscopic parasitological techniques, we compared the gastrointestinal protozoan and metazoan symbiont richness of two primates: the Udzungwa red colobus (Procolobus gordonorum) and the yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus). These species live sympatrically in both protected and unprotected forests within the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania with distinct ecological adaptations and diets. Our results showed that terrestrial and omnivorous yellow baboons had 2 (95% CI 1.47–2.73) and 3.78 (2.62–5.46) times higher gut symbiont richness (both including and excluding rare protozoans) compared to the arboreal and leaf-eating Udzungwa red colobus in unprotected and protected forest, respectively. We also found a consistent depletion of symbiont richness in red colobus living in the unprotected forest fragment compared to the continuous protected forests [the latter having 1.97 times (95% CI 1.33–2.92) higher richness], but not in yellow baboons. Richness reduction was particularly evident in the Udzungwa red colobus monkeys, confirming the pattern we reported previously for gut bacterial communities. This study demonstrates the impact of human activities even on the microbiodiversity of the intestinal tract of this species. Against the background of rapid global change and habitat degradation, and given the health benefits of intact gut communities, the decrease in natural gut symbionts reported here is worrying. Further study of these communities should form an essential part of the conservation framework.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 02 July 2020

#37

 

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Description The study’s lead author, Professor Morgan Pratchett from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE at JCU), says there are active and expanding aquarium coral fisheries operating across the country in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queens

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#38

 

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Description Modeling habitat indicates volcanic warming actually offset the post-impact chill.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#39

 

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Description Not even the authors expect it to become law right now—but they hope for next year.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#40

 

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Description Restaurant owners are increasingly turning to fired charcoal grills to prepare meals for customers—but the odors and fumes emitted by these grills are often a source of irritation for nearby residents. The German Environment ...

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#41

 

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Description Caries rates in school-age children are still high enough to be the cause of serious concern for health systems in different countries. The biotechnology strategies studied to decrease these rates include the consumption of probiotics—available via a variety of functional foods obtainable on the market—that are able to inhibit bacteria associated with this disease. In this vein, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of these foods on the growth of microorganisms in early carious lesions in children aged between 6 and 12. In the first phase, an agar well diffusion method was applied to selected foods, available in supermarkets, which contain probiotics that have already been shown to inhibit Streptococcus mutans (ATCC 25175), and to lower the pH in liquid culture media. In a second phase, these foods (n = 4) were examined in terms of their ability to inhibit the microorganisms in contact with early carious lesions in children and to reduce the pH of mixed cultures combined with the food. The results revealed that, of the foods tested, three inhibit the growth of microorganisms in carious lesions and, at the same time, lower the pH of the culture by more than 2.5 units. The food with the highest inhibitory capacity (14 mm, IQR 13–14) showed a similar effect among patients (P > 0.05), which together with the fact that its sugar concentration is less than 10%, makes it an ideal candidate for clinical study.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#42

 

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Description A stark graphic shows the extreme size and intensity of the Arctic Circle fires burning in 2020.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#43

 

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Description Absorption and emission of pristine-like semiconducting monolayers of BN, AlN, GaN, and InN are systematically studied by ab-initio methods. We calculate the absorption spectra for in-plane and out-of-plane light polarization including quasiparticle and excitonic effects. Chemical trends with the cation of the absorption edge and the exciton binding are discussed in terms of the band structures. Exciton binding energies and localization radii are explained within the Rytova-Keldysh model for excitons in two dimensions. The strong excitonic effects are due to the interplay of low dimensionality, confinement effects, and reduced screening. We find exciton radiative lifetimes ranging from tenths of picoseconds (BN) to tenths of nanoseconds (InN) at room temperature, thus making 2D nitrides, especially InN, promising materials for light-emitting diodes and high-performance solar cells.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#44

 

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Description Benefits of physical activity are widely demonstrated for early stage cancers but few studies have focused on metastatic disease. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of physical activity on survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer. We conducted a secondary analysis of the national, multicentric, non-randomized, prospective cohort SNPs to Risk of Metastasis (StoRM) study. The level of physical activity was self-reported at inclusion and divided into three categories of physical activity: light level, moderate level, and vigorous level. Overall, 833 patients (56.2%) completed the physical activity questionnaire at baseline on average physical activity during the previous year: 11.6% had a light level of physical activity, 69.0% achieved moderate levels of physical activity and 19.3% reported vigorous levels of physical activity. After adjustment for confounding, physical activity was not statistically significantly associated with overall survival in the whole population. Subgroup analysis identified that both vigorous and moderate physical activity were associated with statistically significantly improved overall survival compared to light physical activity level only in the HER2 positive subgroup (HR 0.23; 95% CI 0.07–0.70, p = 0.01 and HR 0.38; 95% CI 0.15–0.96, p = 0.04). Physical activity done during the previous year was associated with survival in HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer patients. These results suggest that overall survival in metastatic breast cancer patients could be improved through physical activity which should be considered as a complementary intervention for these individuals. The study showed that moderate/vigorous levels of physical activity were associated with better overall survival, and that these associations remained statistically significant in multivariate analysis in the HER2 positive subgroup. These results have clinical relevance and justify the recommendations for physical activity interventions in metastatic breast cancer.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#45

 

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Description Significant uncertainties remain of how global change impacts on species richness, relative abundance and species composition. Recently, a discussion emerged on the importance of detecting and understanding long-term fluctuations in species composition and relative abundance and whether deterministic or non-deterministic factors can explain any temporal change. However, currently, one of the main impediments to providing answers to these questions is the relatively short time series of species diversity datasets. Many datasets are limited to 2 years and it is rare for a few decades of data to be available. In addition, long-term data typically has standardization issues from the past and/or the methods are not comparable. We address several of these uncertainties by investigating bird diversity in a globally important mountain ecosystem of the Hkakabo Razi Landscape in northern Myanmar. The study compares bird communities in two periods (pre-1940: 1900–1939 vs. post-2000: 2001–2006). Land-cover classes have been included to provide understanding of their potential role as drivers. While species richness did not change, species composition and relative abundance differed, indicating a significant species turn over and hence temporal change. Only 19.2% of bird species occurred during both periods. Land-cover model predictors explained part of the species richness variability but not relative abundance nor species composition changes. The temporal change is likely caused by minimal methodological differences and partially by land-cover.

#Environment & Nature;#Theoretical sciences
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#46

 

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Description Knowledge about long-term variation of the geomagnetic dipole field remains in its nascent stage because of the paucity of reliable experimental data over geological periods. Here, we present the first robust experimental data from the largest Cretaceous flood basalt province on Earth, the ~65–66 Ma Deccan basalt within a thick (1250 m) unbiased stratigraphic section down to the basement, recovered from a drill hole of the Koyna Deep Scientific Drilling Project in the Western Ghats, India. Critical analysis of the result along with similar results of the Cretaceous age find that (i) the dipole moment during the end Cretaceous Deccan eruption is the lowest in whole of Cretaceous (ii) dipole moment at the onset/termination of the Cretaceous Normal Superchron is apparently lower relative to that in mid-superchron, however, such differences cannot be deciphered in shorter polarities probably because of insufficient time to develop recognizable variations (iii) inverse relation between dipole moment and reversal rate is lacking and (iv) a cause and effect relation between core-mantle boundary heat flux and low dipole moment that appears to be the principle governing factor in forming the Large Igneous Provinces on the surface of earth.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#47

 

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Description Gathering with customers and colleagues at meetings, events, workshops and seminars and collaborating with them in person has always been important—but it is not an option for the foreseeable future. The coronavirus pandemic ...

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#48

 

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Description The practice of "narco-ranching", in which drug traffickers launder money through cattle ranches, seems to be responsible for swathes of deforestation in Guatemala, according to an analysis of aerial images

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#49

 

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Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#50

 

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Description Scientists have discovered four new species and two new genera inhabiting the deep, abyssal landscape that lines the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#51

 

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Description If our species disappeared tomorrow, what would actually happen, and what kind of planet would we be leaving behind?

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#52

 

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Description Many neurodevelopmental disorders are characterized by impaired functional synaptic plasticity and abnormal dendritic spine morphology, but little is known about how these are related. Previous work in the Fmr1-/y mouse model of fragile X (FX) suggests that increased constitutive dendritic protein synthesis yields exaggerated mGluR5-dependent long-term synaptic depression (LTD) in area CA1 of the hippocampus, but an effect on spine structural plasticity remains to be determined. In the current study, we used simultaneous electrophysiology and time-lapse two photon imaging to examine how spines change their structure during LTD induced by activation of mGluRs or NMDA receptors (NMDARs), and how this plasticity is altered in Fmr1-/y mice. We were surprised to find that mGluR activation causes LTD and AMPA receptor internalization, but no spine shrinkage in either wildtype or Fmr1-/y mice. In contrast, NMDAR activation caused spine shrinkage as well as LTD in both genotypes. Spine shrinkage was initiated by non-ionotropic (metabotropic) signaling through NMDARs, and in wild-type mice this structural plasticity required activation of mTORC1 and new protein synthesis. In striking contrast, NMDA-induced spine plasticity in Fmr1-/y mice was no longer dependent on acute activation of mTORC1 or de novo protein synthesis. These findings reveal that the structural consequences of mGluR and metabotropic NMDAR activation differ, and that a brake on spine structural plasticity, normally provided by mTORC1 regulation of protein synthesis, is absent in FX. Increased constitutive protein synthesis in FX appears to modify functional and structural plasticity induced through different glutamate receptors.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#53

 

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Description Some 300 data scientists and health care professionals from around the world joined the MIT Covid-19 Datathon to see what insights about how to contain the virus, limit its damage, and address the deep-rooted health and racial inequalities it has exposed they might uncover.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#54

 

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Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#55

 

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Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#56

 

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Description Dust sweeping across the Southeast U.S. in recent days warns of a growing risk to infants and children in many parts of the world. A Stanford-led study focuses on this dust, which travels thousands of miles from the Sahara Desert, to paint a clearer picture than ever before of air pollution’s impact

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 01 July 2020

#57

 

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Description Sandstorms are meteorological phenomena common in arid and semi-arid regions and have been recognized severe natural disasters worldwide. The key problem is how to control and mitigate sandstorm natural disasters. This research aims to mitigate their development by improving surface stability and soil water retention properties through soil mineralization. The enzymatic induced carbonate precipitation (EICP) is proposed to solidify desert sands and form a hard crust layer on the surface of desert sands. In contrast to micro-induced carbonate precipitation commonly used at room temperatures, EICP had high production efficiency and productivity at a broader temperature range (10–70 °C ±) and significantly improves material water retention properties, which was more suitable to desert environment. Results demonstrate that the enzyme-catalysed mineralisation method can be better resistance to high winds as the number of spraying times increased.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#58

 

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Description Different clades belonging to the cosmopolitan marine diatom Pseudo-nitzschia pungens appear to be present in different oceanic environments, however, a ‘hybrid zone’, where populations of different clades interbreed, has also been reported. Many studies have investigated the sexual reproduction of P. pungens, focused on morphology and life cycle, rather than the role of sexual reproduction in mixing the genomes of their parents. We carried out crossing experiments to determine the sexual compatibility/incompatibility between different clades of P. pungens, and examined the genetic polymorphism in the ITS2 region. Sexual reproduction did not occur only between clades II and III under any of experimental temperature conditions. Four offspring strains were established between clade I and III successfully. Strains established from offspring were found interbreed with other offspring strains as well as viable with their parental strains. We confirmed the hybrid sequence patterns between clades I and III and found novel sequence types including polymorphic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the offspring strains. Our results implicate that gene exchange and mixing between different clades are still possible, and that sexual reproduction is a significant ecological strategy to maintain the genetic diversity within this diatom species.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#59

 

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Description Lyme disease (LD) and relapsing fevers (RF) are vector-borne diseases caused by bacteria of the Borrelia genus. Here, we report on the widespread infection by a non-described Borrelia species in passerine-associated ticks in tropical rainforests of French Guiana, South America. This novel Borrelia species is common in two tick species, Amblyomma longirostre and A. geayi, which feed on a broad variety of neotropical mammal and bird species, including migratory species moving to North America. The novel Borrelia species is divergent from the LD and RF species, and is more closely related to the reptile- and echidna-associated Borrelia group that was recently described. Genome sequencing showed that this novel Borrelia sp. has a relatively small genome consisting of a 0.9-Mb-large chromosome and an additional 0.3 Mb dispersed on plasmids. It harbors an RF-like genomic organization but with a unique mixture of LD- and RF-specific genes, including genes used by RF Borrelia for the multiphasic antigen-switching system and a number of immune-reactive protein genes used for the diagnosis of LD. Overall, our data indicate that this novel Borrelia is an intermediate taxon between the LD and RF species that may impact a large host spectrum, including American mammals. The designation “Candidatus Borrelia mahuryensis” is proposed for this species.

#Environment & Nature;#Theoretical sciences
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#60

 

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Description The activation of the EGFR/Ras-signalling pathway in tumour cells induces a distinct chemokine repertoire, which in turn modulates the tumour microenvironment. The effects of EGFR/Ras on the expression and translation of CCL20 were analysed in a large set of epithelial cancer cell lines and tumour tissues by RT-qPCR and ELISA in vitro. CCL20 production was verified by immunohistochemistry in different tumour tissues and correlated with clinical data. The effects of CCL20 on endothelial cell migration and tumour-associated vascularisation were comprehensively analysed with chemotaxis assays in vitro and in CCR6-deficient mice in vivo. Tumours facilitate progression by the EGFR/Ras-induced production of CCL20. Expression of the chemokine CCL20 in tumours correlates with advanced tumour stage, increased lymph node metastasis and decreased survival in patients. Microvascular endothelial cells abundantly express the specific CCL20 receptor CCR6. CCR6 signalling in endothelial cells induces angiogenesis. CCR6-deficient mice show significantly decreased tumour growth and tumour-associated vascularisation. The observed phenotype is dependent on CCR6 deficiency in stromal cells but not within the immune system. We propose that the chemokine axis CCL20–CCR6 represents a novel and promising target to interfere with the tumour microenvironment, and opens an innovative multimodal strategy for cancer therapy.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#61

 

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Description Tumors escape immune attack by upregulating the surface expression of PD-L1, which interacts with PD-1 on T cells to activate immune inhibitory signaling. Anti-PD-1 treatments can effectively block this inhibitory signaling and activate antitumor immune responses. However, anti-PD-1 treatment also has a tumor suppressive effect in patients whose tumor cells do not express PD-L1. The underlying mechanisms are poorly defined. Here, we report that exosomes from bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) in tumor-bearing mice, but not in healthy mice, carry PD-L1. PD-L1 on these exosomes is biofunctional and can inhibit CD8+ T cell proliferation and activation in vitro and in vivo. The transfer of exogenous exosomes from BMDCs and the inhibition of the production of endogenous exosomes by BMDCs promote and suppress tumor growth, respectively. PD-L1+ exosomes from BMDCs can be found in tumor tissues. In addition, exosomes from BMDCs promote tumor metastasis in a PD-L1-dependent manner. Therefore, our results indicate that exosomes from BMDCs play important roles in tumor immunosuppression via PD-L1.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#62

 

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Description

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#63

 

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Description

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#64

 

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Description An analysis by the UK's Met Office of future temperatures under global warming has found that 40°C days could become frequent in the future. The current UK record is 38.7°C, set in 2019

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#65

 

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Description Drainage threatens unique microbes in Cuatro Ciénegas oasis

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#66

 

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Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#67

 

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Name
Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#68

 

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Description Researchers have designed a potential new treatment for one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Toshifumi Yokota, professor of medical genetics at the University of Alberta, led a team from Cana

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#69

 

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Description Made by Detroit-based Redcliffe Medical, Leaf is a transparent mask with N99+ HEPA-carbon filtration.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#70

 

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Description Neuroscientists at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory investigated action coordination — where egg-laying is coupled to a nematode's roaming — to demonstrate how a nervous system coordinates distinct behavioral outputs.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#71

 

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Description Or "dermal denticles," if you want the scientific and less disgusting term.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#72

 

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Name
Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#73

 

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Name
Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#74

 

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Description Apple named eight app and game developers as award recipients on Monday.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#75

 

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Description Black Soldier Fly (BSF) meal is considered as an alternative, emerging and sustainable ingredient for aquafeed production. However, results on fish physiological responses are still fragmentary and often controversial, while no studies are available on fish behavior in response to these new diets. The present work represents the first comprehensive multidisciplinary study aimed to investigate zebrafish physiological and behavioural responses to BSF-based diets. Five experimental diets characterized by increasing inclusion levels (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100% respect to fish meal) of full fat BSF prepupae meal were tested during a 2-months feeding trial. Prepupae were cultured on coffee silverskin growth substrate enriched with a 10% Schizochytrium sp. to improve insects’ fatty acids profile. The responses of zebrafish were assayed through biometric, histological, gas chromatographic, microbiological, spectroscopic, molecular and behavioural analyses. Results evidenced that BSF-based diets affected fish fatty acid composition, while behavioural tests did not show differences among groups. Specifically, a 50% BSF inclusion level diet represented the best compromise between ingredient sustainability and proper fish growth and welfare. Fish fed with higher BSF inclusions (75 and 100%) showed hepatic steatosis, microbiota modification, higher lipid content, fatty acid modification and higher expression of immune response markers.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#76

 

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Description In the beginning of April 2020, large fires that started in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) established after the Chernobyl accident in 1986 caused media and public concerns about the health impact from the resuspended radioactivity. In this paper, the emissions of previously deposited radionuclides from these fires are assessed and their dispersion and impact on the population is examined relying on the most recent data on radioactive contamination and emission factors combined with satellite observations. About 341 GBq of 137Cs, 51 GBq of 90Sr, 2 GBq of 238Pu, 33 MBq of 239Pu, 66 MBq of 240Pu and 504 MBq of 241Am were released in 1st–22nd April 2020 or about 1,000,000,000 times lower than the original accident in 1986 and mostly distributed in Central and East Europe. The large size of biomass burning particles carrying radionuclides prevents long-range transport as confirmed by concentrations reported in Europe. The highest cumulative effective doses (> 15 μSv) were calculated for firefighters and the population living in the CEZ, while doses were much lower in Kiev (2–5 μSv) and negligible in Belarus, Russia and Europe. All doses are radiologically insignificant and no health impact on the European population is expected from the April 2020 fires.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 30 June 2020

#77

 

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Description Protein malonylation, a reversible post-translational modification of lysine residues, is associated with various biological functions, such as cellular regulation and pathogenesis. In proteomics, to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of malonylation at the molecular level, the identification of malonylation sites via an efficient methodology is essential. However, experimental identification of malonylated substrates via mass spectrometry is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and expensive. Although numerous methods have been developed to predict malonylation sites in mammalian proteins, the computational resource for identifying plant malonylation sites is very limited. In this study, a hybrid model incorporating multiple convolutional neural networks (CNNs) with physicochemical properties, evolutionary information, and sequenced-based features was developed for identifying protein malonylation sites in mammals. For plant malonylation, multiple CNNs and random forests were integrated into a secondary modeling phase using a support vector machine. The independent testing has demonstrated that the mammalian and plant malonylation models can yield the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) at 0.943 and 0.772, respectively. The proposed scheme has been implemented as a web-based tool, Kmalo (https://fdblab.csie.ncu.edu.tw/kmalo/home.html), which can help facilitate the functional investigation of protein malonylation on mammals and plants.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#78

 

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Description The European honeybee (Apis mellifera) is a key pollinator and has in the last decades suffered significant population decline. A combination of factors, including decrease in genetic diversity and introduction of Varroa mites, have been suggested to be responsible for these losses, but no definitive cause has yet been appointed. In Europe not only have wild colonies been severely affected, but managed hives have had a massive decline in numbers. To test the hypothesis that honeybees’ genetic diversity has decreased in the recent past, we used reduced representation genome sequencing of 40 historical honeybee specimens collected in Natural History collections across Europe and compared them to genomic data from 40 individuals from extant populations (collected post 2006). Our results are consistent with the existence of five evolutionary lineages as previously described, and show a decrease in genetic diversity between historical and extant individuals of the same lineage, as well as high levels of admixture in historical specimens. Our data confirm that a loss of genetic diversity has occurred during the last century, potentially increasing honeybees’ vulnerability to contemporary ecological and anthropogenic stressors.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#79

 

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Description Intraspecific variation in plant defences is expected to be the result of adaptive and plastic responses to environmental conditions, where trade-offs between growth and defences are thought to play a key role shaping phenotypic patterns in defensive investment. Axial resin ducts are costly defensive structures that remain imprinted in the tree rings of conifers, therefore being a valuable proxy of defensive investment along the trees’ lifespan. We aimed to disentangle climate-driven adaptive clines and plastic responses to both spatial and temporal environmental variation in resin duct production, and to explore growth-defence trade-offs. To that aim, we applied dendrochronological procedures to quantify annual growth and resin duct production during a 31-year-period in a Mediterranean pine species, including trees from nine populations planted in two common gardens. Both genetic factors and plastic responses modulated annual resin duct production. However, we found no evidence of adaptive clines with climate gradients driving population differentiation. Our results revealed a marked physiological trade-off between growth and defences, where the slope of the trade-off was genetically variable and associated with climatic gradients. Our results help to enlighten the evolutionary patterns and genetic basis of defensive allocation within species, particularly revealing a key role of growth-defence trade-offs.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#80

 

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Description Using animal cells and tissues as precise measuring devices for developing new drugs presents a long-standing challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. Despite the very significant resources that continue to be dedicated to animal testing of new compounds, only qualitative results can be obtained. This often results in both false positives and false negatives. Here, we show how the effect of drugs applied to animal ventricular myocytes can be translated, quantitatively, to estimate a number of different effects of the same drug on human cardiomyocytes. We illustrate and validate our methodology by translating, from animal to human, the effect of dofetilide applied to dog cardiomyocytes, the effect of E-4031 applied to zebrafish cardiomyocytes, and, finally, the effect of sotalol applied to rabbit cardiomyocytes. In all cases, the accuracy of our quantitative estimates are demonstrated. Our computations reveal that, in principle, electrophysiological data from testing using animal ventricular myocytes, can give precise, quantitative estimates of the effect of new compounds on human cardiomyocytes.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#81

 

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Description The Nconga Formation of the Mesoarchean (~2.96–2.84 Ga) Mozaan Group of the Pongola Supergroup of southern Africa contains the world’s oldest known granular iron formation. Three dimensional reconstructions of the granules using micro-focus X-ray computed tomography reveal that these granules are microstromatolites coated by magnetite and calcite, and can therefore be classified as oncoids. The reconstructions also show damage to the granule coatings caused by sedimentary transport during formation of the granules and eventual deposition as density currents. The detailed, three dimensional morphology of the granules in conjunction with previously published geochemical and isotope data indicate a biogenic origin for iron precipitation around chert granules on the shallow shelf of one of the oldest supracratonic environments on Earth almost three billion years ago. It broadens our understanding of biologically-mediated iron precipitation during the Archean by illustrating that it took place on the shallow marine shelf coevally with deeper water, below-wave base iron precipitation in micritic iron formations.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#82

 

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Description Amazon Prime Video has set a September 4 release date for The Boys season 2. Eric Kripke also unveiled the first three minutes of The Boys season 2. We also got an additional two-minute first look at Stormfront (Aya Cash).

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#83

 

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Name
Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#84

 

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Description Deep in the cold, dark water, on the seafloor west of Greenland, a quiet ecosystem thrives. For the first time, a garden of soft corals and sponges has been found in these waters, sprawling across an area a little bigger than the City of San Jose.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#85

 

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Description A new study argues that humans are responsible for over half of this recent warming.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#86

 

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Description Benchmarks for the Apple ARM transition kits seem to have surfaced on Geekbench.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#87

 

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Description A new study found that some whale sharks have numerous "dermal denticles... distributed on the eye surface".

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#88

 

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Description Compositional signatures of subducted crust in the deep-mantle sources of ocean island volcanoes in the Atlantic Ocean but not the Pacific reveal that plate motions on Earth’s surface influence the characteristics of Earth’s deepest interior.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#89

 

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Description Over the last half of the twentieth century, surface temperature over the South Pole was steady if not slightly cooling, suggesting the high Antarctic interior might be immune to warming. Research now shows a dramatic switch; in the past 30 years, the South Pole has been warming at over three times the global rate.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#90

 

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Name
Description The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a slow-moving tropical mode that produces a planetary-scale envelope of convective storms. By exciting Rossby waves, the MJO creates teleconnections with far-reaching impacts on extratropical circulation and weather. Although recent studies have investigated the response of the MJO to anthropogenic warming, not much is known about potential changes in its teleconnections. Here, we show that the MJO teleconnection pattern in boreal winter will likely extend further eastward over the North Pacific. This is primarily due to an eastward shift in the exit region of the subtropical jet, to which the teleconnection pattern is anchored, and assisted by an eastward extension of the MJO itself. The eastward-extended teleconnection enables the MJO to have a greater impact downstream on the Northeast Pacific and North American west coast. Over California specifically, the multi-model mean projects a 54% increase in MJO-induced precipitation variability by 2100 under a high-emissions scenario. The Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) is a band of convection that travels eastward through the tropics and impacts mid-latitude weather via teleconnections. Under climate warming, these teleconnections are predicted to extend eastward in the Pacific–North America region, amplifying MJO impacts there.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#91

 

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Name
Description TBD

#Construction;#Agriculture & Gardening;#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#92

 

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Name
Description While most snakes undulate their bodies to propel themselves on land or water, the paradise tree snake, a species of flying snake, wiggles its body to stabilise itself as it glides through the air

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#93

 

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Name
Description TBD

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#94

 

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Description (Inside Science) -- It is almost as if foxes, seeing people walking and feeding presumably happy dogs, decided it was time they changed their lifestyle.New evidence from a British study suggests that foxes may be domesticating themselves.Dogs, wolves and foxes are all part of the same family, canids. Foxes are found around the world and the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, is the most

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#95

 

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Description The 2019 Fat Bear Week champion, bear 435 "Holly," returned to Katmai National Park and Preserve's Brooks River in 2020 with a major transformation.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#96

 

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Description We need legislation forcing producers to take responsibility for their waste, and we need it now.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#97

 

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Description While these are important steps, it remains to be seen what actual change will be brought at Dark Horse.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#98

 

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Description The sequence of wildfires followed by debris flows, frequently affects southern California, reflecting its drought-heavy precipitation climate bipolarity. Organic debris from incomplete burning is lighter than inorganic matter, and partially inviscid. Hence lower rainfall totals can trigger downslope motion than typically required by the underlying clasts of loose inorganic granular material. After advection downslope, the pebble-laden organic debris has a higher capacity for rilling; a positive feedback process. A mechanism is proposed whereby boulders are ‘rafted’ by organic debris. This coordinated movement of boulders greatly enhances the debris flow erosion capacity. This climate change sensitive debris flow enhancing mechanism, through organic–inorganic granular material interaction, is supported by observations and the numerical simulations. Using a model explicitly parameterizing erosion processes, including runoff entrainment, rilling incision, and bank collapse, the lifecycle of the Montecito debris flow of January 9, 2018 is simulated, providing quantitative estimates of mass conveyed and debris sorting at the terminus. Peak rafting speeds are ~ 12.9 m/s at ~ 300 m asl. Total boulder (effective diameter > 25 cm) volume involved for the Ysidro Creek area alone is ~ 5 × 104 m3, scattered between the region 50–260 m asl. Debris flows are highly repeatable and locations prone to debris flows are identified and their likelihood of realization estimated.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#99

 

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Description Caterpillars of many lycaenid butterflies are tended by ants that offer protection from predators and parasitoids. Specialized structures such as glands, ciliary organs and chitinous ornamentation in caterpillars play key roles in the underlying tactile, acoustic, and chemical communication between caterpillars and ants. Although the ecological, evolutionary, and behavioural aspects of these interactions are well studied, the mechanisms (i.e., the functional morphology) that drive the specialized interactive organs are poorly characterized. We used advanced X-ray microtomography (MicroCT) to delineate internal, native morphology of specialized larval dew patches, nectar glands, and tactile ciliary organs that mediate interactions between Crematogaster ants and caterpillars of the obligate myrmecophilous Apharitis lilacinus butterfly. Our non-destructive MicroCT analysis provided novel 3-D insights into the native structure and positions of these specialized organs in unmatched detail. This analysis also suggested a functional relationship between organ structures and surrounding muscles and nervation that operate the glands and tactile organs, including a ‘lasso bag’ control mechanism for dew patches and muscle control for other organs. This provided a holistic understanding of the organs that drive very close caterpillar–ant interactions. Our MicroCT analysis opens a door for similar structural and functional analysis of adaptive insect morphology.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#100

 

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Description Sleep plays an essential role in both neural and energetic homeostasis of animals. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) manifest the sleep state as a reduction in muscle tone and antennal movements, which is susceptible to physical or chemical disturbances. This social insect is one of the most important pollinators in agricultural ecosystems, being exposed to a great variety of agrochemicals, which might affect its sleep behaviour. The intake of glyphosate (GLY), the herbicide most widely used worldwide, impairs learning, gustatory responsiveness and navigation in honey bees. In general, these cognitive abilities are linked with the amount and quality of sleep. Furthermore, it has been reported that animals exposed to sleep disturbances show impairments in both metabolism and memory consolidation. Consequently, we assessed the sleep pattern of bees fed with a sugar solution containing GLY (0, 25, 50 and 100 ng) by quantifying their antennal activity during the scotophase. We found that the ingestion of 50 ng of GLY decreased both antennal activity and sleep bout frequency. This sleep deepening after GLY intake could be explained as a consequence of the regenerative function of sleep and the metabolic stress induced by the herbicide.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020

#101

 

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Description Climate warming is expected to significantly affect plant–herbivore interactions. Even though direct effects of temperature on herbivores were extensively studied, indirect effects of temperature (acting via changes in host plant quality) on herbivore performance have rarely been addressed. We conducted multiple-choice feeding experiments with generalist herbivore Schistocerca gregaria feeding on six species of genus Impatiens cultivated at three different temperatures in growth chambers and a common garden. We also studied changes in leaf morphology and chemistry. We tested effects of temperature on plant palatability and assessed whether the effects could be explained by changes in the leaf traits. The leaves of most Impatiens species experienced the highest herbivory when cultivated at the warmest temperature. Traits related to leaf morphology (specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content and leaf area), but not to leaf chemistry, partly mediated the effects of temperature on plant palatability. Herbivores preferred smaller leaves with lower specific leaf area and higher leaf dry matter content. Our study suggests that elevated temperature will lead to changes in leaf traits and increase their palatability. This might further enhance the levels of herbivory under the increased herbivore pressure, which is forecasted as a consequence of climate warming.

#Environment & Nature
Field # Environment & Nature
Updated 29 June 2020