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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: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:24:01 EDT

Copyright: Copyright 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.

New species of extremely leggy millipede discovered in a cave in California

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Pensoft Publishers) Ninety years ago, a world record-breaking 750-legged millipede was discovered in California. Now, scientists have found a closely related species in Sequoia National Park to partner the former one in its genus. The new species may possess 'only' 414 legs, yet, it has a similar complement of bizarre anatomical features, including a body armed with 200 poison glands, silk-secreting hairs, and 4 penises. The study is published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) One of the most detailed genomic studies of any ecosystem to date has revealed an underground world of stunning microbial diversity, and added dozens of new branches to the tree of life. The bacterial bonanza comes from scientists who reconstructed the genomes of more than 2,500 microbes from sediment and groundwater samples collected at an aquifer in Colorado.

No evidence climate change boosts coffee plant disease

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Exeter) Fears that climate change is promoting a fungal disease which can devastate coffee crops may be unfounded, research by the University of Exeter suggests.

Unusual quantum liquid on crystal surface could inspire future electronics

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Princeton University) Researchers at Princeton University and the University of Texas-Austin found that electrons, when kept at very low temperatures where their quantum behaviors emerge, can spontaneously begin to travel in elliptical paths on the surface of a crystal of bismuth. The strange elliptical orbits correspond to the electrons being in different "valleys" of possible states created by the crystal. The findings could inform further research on a forward-looking strategy for electronics called "valleytronics."

Pitt researcher part of team that finds Southern East Africa getting wetter, not dryer

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Pittsburgh) The prevailing notion that the African continent has been getting progressively drier over time is being challenged finding that drought has decreased over the past 1.3 million years and that the continent is on a 100,000-year cycle of wet and dry conditions. These findings add a wrinkle to one of the keys to human evolutionary theory, the savannah hypothesis, which states that the progressively drier conditions in Africa drove prehuman ancestors from forests into grasslands.

Climate change impairs survival instincts of fish and can make them swim towards predators

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Exeter) Fish farms may hold key to studying the impact of rising CO2 on marine life, and if fish could adapt to climate change.

New study to characterize methane emissions from natural gas compressor stations

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Colorado State University) Colorado State University, home to some of the world's top researchers on methane emissions, will lead a Department of Energy-supported project to analyze emissions from a specific part of the natural gas supply chain: compressor stations. The new project will help scientists develop a more complete picture of overall emissions.

Research targets conflict over wind farming and renewable energy in Korea

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Griffith University) Griffith University is undertaking a major international project to help address community conflict and disruption over wind farms and their implementation in Korea.

Researchers discover ways to expand temperature stability range of solar cells

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Virginia) University of Virginia researchers have discovered ways to markedly expand the stable range of HOIP solar cells during temperature changes.

From ancient fossils to future cars

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Riverside) Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have developed an inexpensive, energy-efficient way to create silicon-based anodes for lithium-ion batteries from the fossilized remains of single-celled algae called diatoms. The research could lead to the development of ultra-high capacity lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and portable electronics.

Lab frog Xenopus laevis genome sequence shows what happens when genomes collide

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Berkeley) The common laboratory frog Xenopus laevis has puzzled researchers because it has twice the normal number of genes. A newly published genome sequence shows why: between 15 and 20 million years ago, two different species interbred and produced a hybrid, which then mated with its parent species to eventually form a new organism with a doubled genome. The frog has since adapted to the excess by losing or disabling many of these genes.

New evolutionary finding: Species take different genetic paths to reach same trait

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Nebraska-Lincoln) By studying Andean bird species adapted to high altitudes, University of Nebraska-Lincoln biologist Jay Storz and colleagues found that even if natural selection produces similar beneficial traits in different species, evolutionary changes at the molecular level are idiosyncratic and less predictable.

Colorado River Delta flows help birds, plants, groundwater

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Arizona) Two growing seasons after the engineered spring flood of the Colorado River Delta in 2014, the delta's birds, plants and groundwater continue to benefit, according to the latest monitoring report prepared for the International Boundary and Water Commission by a binational University of Arizona-led team. The report was released on Oct. 19, 2016.

10/31/16 Academic Symposium: Probabilistic Modeling in Engineering and Science

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Lehigh University) On Monday, October 31, Lehigh University is hosting a symposium to advance the understanding and usage of probabilistic modeling in science and engineering academia, especially across in the U.S. Midlantic region. Probabilistic modeling provides essential tools for analyzing vast amounts of data that have become available in science, scholarship, and everyday life; increasingly, it is becoming an important skillset for all scientists and engineers.

Move over, solar: The next big renewable energy source could be at our feet

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Wisconsin-Madison) Flooring can be made from any number of sustainable materials, making it, generally, an eco-friendly feature in homes and businesses alike. Now, flooring could be even more 'green,' thanks to an inexpensive, simple method developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison materials engineers that allows them to convert footsteps into usable electricity.

Agronomy, crops and soils lectures live streamed

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(American Society of Agronomy) Variety of topics available for media registration.

Apocalypse not yet -- surviving the 21st century

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Springer) Humanity and our civilization are facing the greatest challenge in the million-year ascent of our species. It consists of the coming-together of ten huge, man-made threats which are now combining to imperil our future. In his new book 'Surviving the 21st Century -- Humanity's Ten Great Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them,' published by Springer, Julian Cribb explores these risks and explains what can and should be done to limit them.

Women, diversity in STEM focus of ADVANCE grant to Clemson

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Clemson University) With $3.4 M NSF grant, Clemson will increase women and underrepresented minorities in STEM, and increase diversity and inclusion across campus.

Safe new storage method could be key to future of hydrogen-powered vehicles

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Oxford) One of the main obstacles facing hydrogen fuel technology has been the lack of a lightweight, safe on-board hydrogen storage material.A major new discovery by scientists has shown that hydrocarbon wax rapidly releases large amounts of hydrogen when activated with catalysts and microwaves.

Amazonian frog has its own ant repellent

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Springer) Special chemicals covering the skin of a tiny yellow-striped Amazonian frog provide a protective shield that wards off leaf-cutting ants allowing it to live comfortably among them. 'It helps the frog blend in, because it imitates the ants own chemical signals,' says André Barros of the National Institute of Amazonian Research in Brazil. He led a study in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Early fossil fish from China shows where our jaws came from

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Uppsala University) Where did our jaws come from? The question is more complicated than it seems, because not all jaws are the same. In a new article, published in Science, paleontologists from China and Sweden trace our jaws back to the extinct placoderms, armored prehistoric fish that lived over 400 million years ago.

Turning biofuel waste into wealth in a single step

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) Lignin is a bulky chain of molecules found in wood and is usually discarded during biofuel production. But in a new method by EPFL chemists, the simple addition of formaldehyde could turn it into the main focus.

Mt. Aso could erupt much sooner, scientists warn

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(Kyoto University) Damage from the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake could hasten Mt. Aso's eruption, volcanologists warn. In a paper published on Science, Kyoto University researchers and colleagues report new faults in the vicinity of Mt. Aso's magma chamber and volcanic cones, which they say could alter spatial and mechanical properties of Aso volcano.

Risk analysis for common ground on climate loss and damage

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) The Paris Agreement included groundbreaking text on the need for a mechanism to help identify risks beyond adaptation and support the victims of climate-related loss and damage -- but how exactly it will work remains unclear. New IIASA research lends insight to policymakers on how to move forward.

Study finds earliest evidence in fossil record for right-handedness

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Kansas) By examining striations on teeth of a Homo habilis fossil, a new discovery led by a University of Kansas researcher has found the earliest evidence for right-handedness in the fossil record dating back 1.8 million years.