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News Headlines

'Beetlejuice'—it works for real beetles too

In Tim Burton's classic comedy "Beetlejuice", the toxic title character can escape from his inferno only if someone pronounces his name three times in a row.The real-world bombardier beetle escapes from its purgatory—the belly of a predator—by squirting the real thing: boiling-hot pulses of noxi ...

News Headlines

'Omnipresent' effects of human impact on England's landscape revealed

Concrete structures forming a new, human-made rock type; ash particles in the landscape; and plastic debris are just a few of the new materials irreversibly changing England's landscape and providing evidence of the effects of the Anthropocene, the research suggests.

News Headlines

10,000 year-old DNA proves when fish colonized lakes

DNA molecules in lake sediment are few and hard bound to particles. This resulted in challenging analyses and required development of new methods, both for extracting sufficiently clean DNA and for the statistical analysis of data. For this work, doctoral student Fredrik Olajos and researcher Fo ...

News Headlines

5.5 million-year-old fossil turtle species sheds light on invasive modern relatives

A University of Pennsylvania paleontologist has described a 5.5 million-year-old fossil species of turtle from eastern Tennessee. It represents a new species of the genus Trachemys, commonly known as sliders, which are frequently kept as pets today.

News Headlines

6th Global Mass Extinction Is Coming All Too Soon, According to This Mathematician

It doesn't come along very often, but after some 540 million years, this world we live on has witnessed five mass extinctions – and the next curtain could fall before the century is up.

News Headlines

A New Model Yields a Better Picture of Methane Fluxes

Scientists update an old model with recent findings, allowing for a more accurate understanding of methane dynamics in wetlands.Peat-forming wetlands, including bogs and fens, can switch between acting as sources and sinks of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas.

News Headlines

A bed & breakfast in L.A. reveals the lifestyle of a secretive fly species

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Brian Brown knew about a mysterious unidentified phorid fly species, whose females would often be spotted flying above mushrooms, while the males were nowhere to be found.

News Headlines

A fresh look at fresh water—researchers create a 50,000-lake database

Countless numbers of vacationers spent this summer enjoying lakes for swimming, fishing and boating. But are they loving these lakes to death?

News Headlines

A global view of species diversity in high elevations, via mountain birds

A new look at mountain birds is helping Yale University researchers test long-held assumptions about species richness in high elevations.

News Headlines

A new estimate of biodiversity on Earth

Anyone who has studied biology, watched a nature documentary, or, for that matter, simply enjoyed time in the outdoors, has likely been amazed by the variety of plant and animal life on our planet.To date, about 1.5 million species have been formally described in the scientific literature, most ...

News Headlines

A new type of virus found in our oceans

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have reported a new tailless virus prevalent in the world’s oceans. These viruses remained undiscovered till now as they cannot be detected using standard tests. The new find was made possible by ...

News Headlines

A potentially powerful new antibiotic is discovered in dirt

The modern medical era began when an absent-minded British scientist named Alexander Fleming returned from vacation to find that one of the petri dishes he forgot to put away was covered in a bacteria-killing mold. He had discovered penicillin, the world's first antibiotic.

News Headlines

A squid graveyard and a deep-sea buffet

A recent paper describes an unusual discovery: dead squid littered across the deep sea bottom of the Gulf of California. It's a squid graveyard that might be a boon for deep-sea animals.

News Headlines

A survival lesson from bats—eating variety keeps species multiplying

Diet is an important factor influencing the survival and evolution of all species. Many studies have shown that when species evolve from being a predator or insectivore to being a vegetarian, the rate at which new species arise increases. But a new study published in Ecology Letters reveals that ...

News Headlines

A switch to plant-based protein could help tackle climate change and hunger

Agriculture – both victim and cause of climate change. New research shows moving away from animal protein towards legumes makes sense nutritionally and environmentally.

News Headlines

A technological eye on the future of our seas and our agriculture

From the ocean depths to the vastness of the cosmos, new technologies give scientists a better understanding of the world around us. In this special episode of Futuris, we will meet with modern explorers of the sea, land, and space.

News Headlines

Accounting for tree height, biodiversity is 3-D

The species-area relationship (SAC) is a long-term pattern in ecology and is discussed in most academic Ecology books. Its implications are relevant for many ecological, evolutionary, conservation and biogeographic purposes.

News Headlines

Acidifying Oceans Favor Sea Vermin

Scientists predict that in the next twenty years, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere will rise from the roughly 404 ppm it is now to over 450 ppm—and as a result, ecosystems worldwide will change. Many impacts will be particularly felt in our planet’s oceans. As atmospheric CO2 ...

News Headlines

Acoustic images of sea floor expose areas of ‘breathtaking beauty’

THE world’s seabed has turned artistic canvas, with researchers capturing spectacular images previously hidden beneath the waves.Technology advancements have allowed a global team of scientists, including Hobart-based Vanessa Lucieer, to capture and catalogue a series of detailed acoustic images ...

News Headlines

Action needed now to save forest area the size of India

An area of forest the size of India will be lost by 2050 unless carbon pricing and anti-deforestation policies are put in place.hat is the primary finding of a new study carried out by researchers from the Center for Global Development, Washington, DC, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, pu ...

News Headlines

Adjusting to fluctuating temperatures

The duration of the vegetation period – i.e. the time that elapses between leafing out (the emergence of the first leaf) in spring and the initiation of leaf loss in autumn – is a highly significant ecological parameter that has a considerable influence on both plant productivity and the biogeoc ...

News Headlines

After Mass Extinction, Earth’s Ocean Was Jurassic Dead Zone

A mass extinction event that wiped out the majority of the world’s creatures was made worse because the Earth’s ocean had almost no oxygen for thousands of years afterward.Scientists reported in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems that they studied rock formations to determine how m ...

News Headlines

Airborne method of understanding northern lakes and their links to climate change

Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden are exploring the potential to create a landscape level map of the shapes of lake basins through a laser survey. This is a critical missing piece of the puzzle for understanding the role of lake carbon cycling at large spatial scales.

News Headlines

Alarm over decline in flying insects

It's known as the windscreen phenomenon. When you stop your car after a drive, there seem to be far fewer squashed insects than there used to be. Scientists have long suspected that insects are in dramatic decline, but new evidence confirms this.

News Headlines

Alberta’s ecosystems shrinking faster than Amazon rain forest: report

Alberta’s ecosystems and the natural beauty they create are still largely intact but parts are disappearing at rates that exceed deforestation in the Amazon rain forest. “We continue to lose ecosystems,” said researcher Jahan Kariyeva. “That we can definitely see.”

News Headlines

Algae growing on snow found to cause ice field to melt faster in Alaska

A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.S. has found that algae growing on packed snow causes the snow to melt faster. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the team describes testing the impact of algae growing on snow and measuring its impact on an Alaskan ...

News Headlines

Ancient tree reveals cause of spike in Arctic temperature

A kauri tree preserved in a New Zealand peat swamp for 30,000 years has revealed a new mechanism that may explain how temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere spiked several degrees centigrade in just a few decades during the last global ice age.

News Headlines

Andean orchids – not so ancient

The Andes are the world's most species rich biological diversity hotspot, containing an astounding 15% of the world's plant species, despite making up only 1% of the earth's surface. Orchids are a key element of Andean plant life, but despite their importance and abundance, particularly epiphyti ...

News Headlines

Ant species uncovered in Murray-Darling study in Queensland's Maranoa

A CSIRO biodiversity study in the Maranoa region of Queensland, near Roma, has found 265 ant species, with up to 100 of them expected to be new. It was part of a bigger Queensland Murray-Darling Commission (QMDC) project looking at the biodiversity of the region.

News Headlines

Antarctic Caves Warmed By Volcanic Steam May Harbor Life

Although the temperatures in caves on the world's southernmost active volcano are closer to that of a summer night than a sauna, new research suggests that even this moderate heat may make life possible there.

News Headlines

Antidepressants found in fish brains in Great Lakes region

Researchers have found concentrations of human antidepressants in 10 kinds of fish in the Niagara River, which links Lake Erie with Lake Ontario.Active ingredients in Zoloft, Prozac and other happy-pills were discovered to be built up in the brains of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rudd, rock ...

News Headlines

Ants nurse wounded warriors back to health: study

African Matabele ants dress the wounds of comrades injured during hunting raids and nurse them back to health, according to an "astonishing" discovery reported Wednesday.

News Headlines

Ants—master manipulators for biodiversity, or sweet treats

Symbiotic ants manipulate aphid reproduction rates to achieve a specific mix of green and red aphids, maintaining the inferior green aphids which produce the ants' favorite snack.

News Headlines

Arctic lakes are releasing relatively young carbon, study discovers

When Arctic permafrost soil thaws, greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, but most of the carbon currently escaping from lakes in northern Alaska is relatively young, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Irvine.

News Headlines

Are Studies That Evaluate Ecosystem Services Useful?

Ecologists find flaws in the approach to research that focuses on services ecosystems provide to humans. These flaws limit certain studies’ utility.

News Headlines

Asian elephants have different personality traits just like humans

Researchers of the University of Turku, Finland, have studied a timber elephant population in Myanmar and discovered that Asian elephant personality manifests through three factors. The personality factors identified by the researchers are attentiveness, sociability and aggressiveness.

News Headlines

Australia offers cash for Great Barrier Reef rescue ideas

Australia is calling on the world's top scientific minds to help save the Great Barrier Reef, offering hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund research into protecting the world's largest living structure.

News Headlines

Australian trees 'sweat' to survive extreme heatwaves, researchers reveal

Australian researchers growing trees in climate change conditions have found the leaves “sweat” to survive extreme heatwaves. The year-long experiment showed that trees continue to release water through their leaves as an evaporative cooling system during periods of extreme heat, despite the car ...

News Headlines

Back from the dead—how to revive a lost species

Scientists from around the world are hoping to return a lost species of giant tortoise to one of the world-famous Galápagos islands.

News Headlines

Bacteria can spread antibiotic resistance through soil

When most people think about bacterial antibiotic resistance, they think about it occurring in bacteria found in people or animals. But the environment surrounding us is a huge bacterial reservoir, and antibiotic resistance can be passed between bacteria in the environment, including in the soil.

News Headlines

Bacteria collaborate to propel the ocean 'engine'

Essential microbiological interactions that keep our oceans stable have been fully revealed for the first time, by researchers at the University of Warwick.

News Headlines

Bacterial baggage: how humans are spreading germs all over the globe

Humans are transporting trillions of bacteria around the world via tourism, food and shipping, without stopping to think about the potential damage being caused to bacterial ecosystems.

News Headlines

Bats key pollinators for durian production, new study says

Camera trap footage has shown, for the first time, that a threatened bat species in Malaysia is an important pollinator of durian trees (Durio zibethinus).Past research in other parts of the world has shown that certain bats do pollinate durian trees, and insects may also play a role. But until ...

News Headlines

Baw Baw frog charms researchers in battle against extinction

Scientists are racing against time to save Victoria's unique Baw Baw frog - facing extinction from a fungus threatening a third of Australia's frog species.

News Headlines

Beavers' biodiversity benefits highlighted in new study

A new study has highlighted beavers "exceptional" ability to rebuild diverse wetlands. Scientists from Stirling University looked at the effects a group of beavers had on a wetland in Tayside originally drained for farming.

News Headlines

Bees use invisible heat patterns to choose flowers

A new study, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, has found that a wide range of flowers produce not just signals that we can see and smell, but also ones that are invisible such as heat.

News Headlines

Biding time could improve conservation outcomes

Strategic delays in conservation efforts could be the key to protecting more species according to researchers at The University of Queensland.

News Headlines

Biodiversity Is More Than Just Counting Species

Emmett Duffy was about 5 meters under water off the coast of Panama, when a giant, tan-and-white porcupinefish caught his eye. The slow-moving creature would have been a prime target for predators if not for the large, treelike branches of elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) it was sheltering under.

News Headlines

Biodiversity loss raises risk of 'extinction cascades'

New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of "extinction cascades," where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.

News Headlines

Biomarkers helped solving the mystery of 500-million-year-old macroorganisms

Researchers have conducted chemical analysis of biomarkers remaining after the decomposition of the genus Beltanelliformis. These organisms populated the Earth in the Ediacaran period (about 575-541 million years ago), and their position on the evolutionary tree was unknown. The data show that B ...

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