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EurekAlert! - Earth Science



The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Last Build Date: Tue, 23 May 2017 18:24:01 EDT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Stingless bees have specialized guards to defend their colonies, study reveals

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) Several species of stingless bees have specialized guards or soldiers to defend their colonies from attacks by natural enemies. The differentiation of these guardian bees evolved in the last 25 million years and coincided with the appearance of parasitic 'robber' bees, which represent a major threat to many stingless bee species. These discoveries were made by a group of researchers in Brazil in collaboration with colleagues in Germany.



New chemical reaction developed at UCLA could eventually yield new fuels and medications

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Los Angeles) UCLA chemists have developed a new technique to convert carbon-hydrogen bonds into carbon-carbon bonds using catalysts made of silicon and boron, both abundant and inexpensive elements.



NASA sees powerful storms with advancing monsoon in Bay of Bengal

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Storms associated with the advancing monsoon in the Northern Indian Ocean's Bay of Bengal were analyzed by NASA with the GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission core satellite.



The high plains aquifer: Can we make it last?

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Geological Society of America) he heart of the United States is a highly productive agricultural region. This "breadbasket" underpins much of U.S. society, but it also relies almost entirely on a complex network of diminishing groundwater resources. In a short and provocative article, for GSA Today, Susan Stover and Rex Buchanan ask a simple question: "How long can the High Plains aquifer last?"



How X-rays helped to solve mystery of floating rocks

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) Experiments at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source have helped scientists to solve a mystery of why some rocks can float for years in the ocean, traveling thousands of miles before sinking.



Pope's encyclical boosted his credibility on climate change, especially among liberals

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania) The Pope's 2015 encyclical on climate change did not directly influence people's beliefs about the seriousness of climate change or its effect on the poor, a study in Cognition has found. The papal message did, however, indirectly influence people's beliefs about climate change by raising the Pope's credibility on that issue, most strongly among liberals.



Gutenberg Research College welcomes new fellows and presents 2017 Gutenberg Research Award

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz) The Gutenberg Research College of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz granted the 2017 Gutenberg Research Award worth EUR 10,000 to sociologist and anthropologist Professor Karin Knorr Cetina of the University of Chicago and welcomed seven new fellows.



Researchers untangle causes of differences in East Coast sea level rise

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(The Earth Institute at Columbia University) For years, scientists have been warning of a so-called 'hot spot' of accelerated sea-level rise along the northeastern US coast, but understanding the causes has proven challenging. Now an upcoming paper offers the first comprehensive model for sorting this out.



CAST project places new limitations on dark matter

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Freiburg) CERN research results deliver no evidence for the existence of solar axions.



Should you pee on a jellyfish sting? (video)

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Chemical Society) We all know the evils that come from a run-in with a jellyfish's tentacles. But thankfully, we can resort to peeing on a sting to make the pain go away -- or can we? Filmed at San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay, the latest Reactions episode explains the fearsome chemistry of jellyfish stings, and debunks this age-old beach myth: https://youtu.be/KDj2t4-bn1g.



Three new mini thorn snails described from Georgia (USA), Belize and Panama

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Pensoft Publishers) Computer tomographic scans are used in a pioneering initiative by Adrienne Jochum and her interdisciplinary team of scientists to describe snails too small to handle. In a paper published in the open access journal ZooKeys, the scans elucidated three new species of thorn snails - a group of tiny, fragile and colourless land snails (<2 mm) showing characteristic internal sculpture. Uncovered through molecular analysis, the new species are described from Georgia (USA), Belize and Panama.



NTU partners with Danish consortium to develop green technologies

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Nanyang Technological University) NTU Singapore and the Smart City World Labs, a Danish consortium, are collaborating to develop technologies to improve the sustainability and livability of cities.



Two missing World War II B-25 bombers documented by Project Recover off Papua New Guinea

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - San Diego) Two B-25 bombers associated with American servicemen missing in action from World War II were recently documented in the waters off Papua New Guinea by Project Recover -- a collaborative team of marine scientists, archaeologists and volunteers who have combined efforts to locate aircraft and associated MIAs from World War II.



'Pregnant' housefly males demonstrate the evolution of sex determination

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Zurich) An international team headed up by researchers from the University of Zurich has discovered the gene that determines the male sex in houseflies. Surprisingly, the sex-determining mechanisms are not the same for all houseflies -- they depend on where the insects live. This knowledge not only helps us better understand the evolution of sex determination, but also aids in the control of agricultural pests or carriers of disease.



Off-the-shelf, power-generating clothes are almost here

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) A lightweight, comfortable jacket that can generate the power to light up a jogger at night may sound futuristic, but materials scientist Trisha Andrew at UMass Amherst could make one today. In a new paper this month, she and colleagues outline a way to apply breathable, pliable, metal-free electrodes to fabric and off-the-shelf clothing so it feels good to the touch and also transports enough electricity to power small electronics.



A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) EPFL scientists have developed a mathematical 'face-recognition' method for identifying and discovering nanoporous materials based on their pore size.



Weather patterns' influence on frost timing

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Utah) The frost-free season in North America is approximately 10 days longer now than it was a century ago. In a new study, published today in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Utah and the US Geological Survey parse the factors contributing to the timing of frost in the United States. Atmospheric circulation patterns, they found, were the dominant influence on frost timing, although the trend of globally warming temperatures played a part as well.



Rare tooth find reveals horned dinosaurs in eastern North America

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(PeerJ) A chance discovery in Mississippi provides the first evidence of an animal closely related to Triceratops in eastern North America. The fossil, a tooth from rocks between 68 and 66 million years old, shows that two halves of the continent previously thought to be separated by seaway were probably connected before the end of the Age of Dinosaurs.



Understanding stars: How tornado-shaped flow in a dynamo strengthens the magnetic field

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Institute of Physics) A new simulation based on the von-Kármán-Sodium (VKS) dynamo experiment takes a closer look at how the liquid vortex created by the device generates a magnetic field. Researchers investigated the effects of fluid resistivity and turbulence on the collimation of the magnetic field, where the vortex becomes a focused stream. They report their findings this week in the journal Physics of Fluids.



Wolves need space to roam to control expanding coyote populations

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Washington) Wolves and other top predators need large ranges to be able to control smaller predators whose populations have expanded, according to a study appearing May 23 in Nature Communications. The results were similar across three continents, showing that as top predators' ranges were cut back and fragmented, they were no longer able to control smaller predators.



Improve evolution education by teaching genetics first

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(PLOS) Evolution is a difficult concept for many students at all levels, however, a study publishing on May 23 in the open access journal PLOS Biology has demonstrated a simple cost-free way to significantly improve students' understanding of evolution at the secondary level: teach genetics before you teach them evolution.



Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior

Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences) University of Illinois geologist Lijun Liu and his team have created a computer model of tectonic activity so effective that they believe it has potential to predict where earthquakes and volcanoes will occur. Liu, along with doctoral student Jiashun Hu, and Manuele Faccenda from the University of Padua in Italy, published a research paper in the journal of Earth and Planetary Science Letters focusing on the deep mantle and its relationship to plate tectonics.



3.3-million-year-old fossil reveals the antiquity of the human spine

Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Missouri-Columbia) An international research team has found a 3.3 million Australopithecus afarensis fossilized skeleton, possessing the most complete spinal column of any early fossil human relative. The vertebral bones, neck and rib cage are mainly intact. This new research, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science demonstrates that portions of the human skeletal structure were established millions of years earlier than previously thought.



ESA announces the recipients of the 2016 Murray F. Buell and E. Lucy Braun Student Awards

Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ecological Society of America) The Ecological Society of America recognizes Michael J.M. McTavish and Julienne E. NeSmith for outstanding student research presentations at the 101st Annual Meeting of the Society in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in August 2016. ESA will present the awards during the 2017 Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, Aug. 7, at 8 AM in the Oregon Ballroom at the Oregon Convention Center.



Weathering of rocks a poor regulator of global temperatures

Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Washington) Evidence from the age of the dinosaurs to today shows that chemical weathering of rocks is less sensitive to global temperature, and may depend on the steepness of the surface. The results call into question the role of rocks in setting our planet's temperature over millions of years.