The evolution of giant tortoise might not be linked to islands, as had been previously thought. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from Argentina and Germany present the most comprehensive family tree of extinct and extant tortoises so far. Analysing genetic and osteological data from living species and fossil tortoise they rewrite the evolution of tortoise: Giant size evolved on multiple occasions on the mainland. The findings will appear in the next issue of "Cladistics".
A new study provides a more comprehensive accounting of the greenhouse gas emissions from EU diets. It shows that meat and dairy products are responsible for the lion's share of greenhouse emissions from the EU diet.
Taste might have less to do with what consumers are willing to pay for wine than you think. In fact, issues like a wine's country and region of origin sometimes had more impact on a person's willingness to pay more for a wine than taste.
Prior research has suggested that mussels are a robust indicator of plastic debris and particles in marine environments. A new study says that's not the case because mussels are picky eaters and have an inherent ability to choose and sort their food. Instead, the researchers have discovered that marine aggregates also called "marine snow," play a much bigger role in the fate of the oceans when it comes to plastic debris.
Elevated concentrations of strontium, an element associated with oil and gas wastewaters, have accumulated in the shells of freshwater mussels downstream from fracking wastewater disposal sites, according to researchers from Penn State and Union College.
Researchers have found that global changes, including warming temperatures and increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, are causing a decrease in the availability of a key nutrient for terrestrial plants. This could affect the ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reduce the amount of nutrients available for the creatures that eat them.
Using a standard they created for measuring potentially damaging nutrient levels in freshwater streams by measuring the prevalence of single-celled algae, called diatoms, researchers from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University analyzed environmental data from 95 river and stream sites in six ecological regions of New Jersey. The team's findings revealed that New Jersey's current allowable threshold for dissolved nutrients in its streams is likely too high.
Japanese researchers identified a large novel protein complex in the inner chloroplast membrane that functions as a motor to import proteins into the chloroplast. Components of the complex evolved from a protein of the endosymbiont cyanobacterium-like ancestor of chloroplasts that lost its protein-degrading function but retained its motor ability. These findings solve a longstanding mystery surrounding this protein translocation system that uniquely evolved in photosynthetic eukaryotes.
A team of researchers at inStem (Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine) has developed a nucleophilic polymer, which formulated into a topical gel can be applied on the skin before spraying of pesticides.
Researchers found that when water temperatures heat up for corals, fish 'tempers' cool down, providing the first clear evidence of coral bleaching serving as a trigger for rapid change in reef fish behavior. Publishing in Nature Climate Change this week, researchers from Lancaster University and collaborating institutes including the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE), show how the iconic butterflyfish, considered to be sensitive indicators of reef health, can offer an early warning sign that reef fish populations are in trouble.