Lake Victoria, which came under the spotlight in 2004 by the documentary "Darwin's nightmare", is not only suffering from the introduction and commercialisation of the Nile perch. A study lead researchers from the University of Liège (Belgium) has highlighted other worrying phenomena, particularly climatic ones, which have an equally important impact on the quality of the lake's waters.
Researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science reveal that intensification of major oyster disease was due to evolving parasite, not just drought as previously thought.
Sweet sorghum can be used to produce biogas, biofuels, and novel polymers. In addition, it can help replace phosphate fertilizers. A new sweet sorghum variety developed at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) accumulates particularly high amounts of sugar and thrives under local conditions. The scientists report that sugar transport and sugar accumulation are related to the structure of plant vessels. This was the result of a comparison between sweet and grain sorghums.
Climate warming plays a larger role than plant genes in influencing the number and identity of fungal species on oak leaves, especially in autumn. Recently published in the journal New Phytologist, this research by ecologists sheds light on how warming and tree genes affect the dynamics of fungal communities across the season.
Over the past 35 years, there have been large shifts in the distributions of many dragonfly species in Germany. Those of standing water habitats have declined, probably due to loss of habitat. Running-water species and warm-adapted species have benefited from improved water quality and warmer temperatures. This was found by a team of researchers led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). The study highlights the importance of citizen science and natural history societies for long-term data collection.
Biologists from the Plant Physiology Laboratory at the University of Guam and neuroscientists from the Experimental Medicine Program at The University of British Columbia have published an update on the reputed environmental toxins that have been suspected of being involved in mammal neurodegeneration.
One way of tackling the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is to prevent the underlying adverse changes in the brain. A team of researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) has recently published a study in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, dedicated to neuroprotection against these toxic changes. They used tiny free-living soil worms -- called Caenorhabditis elegans -- and the often-ornamental butterfly pea plant for their exploration.
For the most accurate accounting of a product's environmental impact, scientists look at the product's entire life cycle, from cradle to grave. It's a grand calculation known as a life cycle assessment (LCA), and greenhouse gas emissions are a key component. For corn ethanol, most greenhouse gas emissions can be mapped to the fuel's production, transportation, and combustion, but a large portion of the greenhouse gas calculation can be traced right back to the farm.
Food has become one of the major challenges of the 21st century. According to a study carried out by CNRS scientists, an organic, sustainable, biodiversity-friendly agro-food system, could be implemented in Europe and would allow a balanced coexistence between agriculture and the environment. The scenario proposed is based on three levers.
Forest fires have crept higher up mountains over the past few decades, scorching areas previously too wet to burn, according to researchers from McGill University. As wildfires advance uphill, a staggering 11% of all Western US forests are now at risk.