A medication commonly taken for Type II diabetes, which is being found in freshwater systems worldwide, has been shown to cause intersex in fish –or male fish that produce eggs. The study determined exposure to the diabetes medicine metformin causes physical changes in male fish exposed to doses similar to the amount in wastewater effluent.... Read more »
Niemuth, N., & Klaper, R. (2015) Emerging wastewater contaminant metformin causes intersex and reduced fecundity in fish. Chemosphere, 38-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.03.060
Five years ago, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill changed the trajectory of ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. We take a look at how species have been affected and what we can do to prevent another disaster.... Read more »
A potentially game-changing breakthrough in artificial photosynthesis has been achieved with the development of a system that can capture carbon dioxide emissions before they are vented into the atmosphere and then, powered by solar energy, convert that carbon dioxide into valuable chemical products, including biodegradable plastics, pharmaceutical drugs and even liquid fuels.... Read more »
Liu, C., Gallagher, J., Sakimoto, K., Nichols, E., Chang, C., Chang, M., & Yang, P. (2015) Nanowire–Bacteria Hybrids for Unassisted Solar Carbon Dioxide Fixation to Value-Added Chemicals. Nano Letters, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b01254
how bacteria batteries work and the role they play in contaminated groundwater remediation. ... Read more »
Schreiberová O, Hedbávná P, Cejková A, Jirků V, & Masák J. (2012) Effect of surfactants on the biofilm of Rhodococcus erythropolis, a potent degrader of aromatic pollutants. New biotechnology, 30(1), 62-8. PMID: 22569140
Naomi Wells is working on developing better ways of measuring where water pollution comes from, and how long it’s going to stick around for. She uses light stable isotopes to improve the understanding of the fate and transport of key nutrients across biomes, landscapes, and scales.... Read more »
Wells, N., Baisden, W., & Clough, T. (2015) Ammonia volatilisation is not the dominant factor in determining the soil nitrate isotopic composition of pasture systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems , 290-300. DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2014.10.001
Wells, N., Clough, T., Johnson-Beebout, S., & Buresh, R. (2014) Land management between crops affects soil inorganic nitrogen balance in a tropical rice system. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 100(3), 315-332. DOI: 10.1007/s10705-014-9644-7
Wells, N., Clough, T., Condron, L., Baisden, W., Harding, J., Dong, Y., Lewis, G., & Lear, G. (2013) Biogeochemistry and community ecology in a spring-fed urban river following a major earthquake. Environmental Pollution, 190-200. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.07.017
Coal jobs have decreased dramatically in the past seven years, but are renewable energy and natural gas jobs compensating? New policy work reveals the geographical patterns in job changes that do not bode well for coal-producing states.... Read more »
Haerer, D., & Pratson, L. (2015) Employment trends in the U.S. Electricity Sector, 2008–2012. Energy Policy, 85-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.03.006
Little research to date has looked into the organic chemicals from fracking fluid that get into surrounding groundwater - here's how science can help!... Read more »
Ferrer, I., & Thurman, E. (2015) Chemical constituents and analytical approaches for hydraulic fracturing waters. Trends in Environmental Analytical Chemistry, 18-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.teac.2015.01.003
Living cells exhibit many types of membranes which participate in most biological precesses, one way or another. Imaging membranes is usually acheived by two types of reagents: chemical dyes or fluorescent proteins that are targeted to the membrane itself or … Continue reading →... Read more »
Jiang H, English BP, Hazan RB, Wu P, & Ovryn B. (2015) Tracking surface glycans on live cancer cells with single-molecule sensitivity. Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English), 54(6), 1765-9. PMID: 25515330
Revelo NH, Kamin D, Truckenbrodt S, Wong AB, Reuter-Jessen K, Reisinger E, Moser T, & Rizzoli SO. (2014) A new probe for super-resolution imaging of membranes elucidates trafficking pathways. The Journal of cell biology, 205(4), 591-606. PMID: 24862576
Ever hear that old saying an apple a day keeps the Doctor away? Well it might have the right idea, just the wrong person. New research investigating the relationship between eating fruit and vegetables containing pesticide residues and the quality of men’s semen has shown a link with lower sperm counts and percentages of normally-formed sperm. So for people wanting children it may be time to rethink that produce.... Read more »
Y.H. Chiu et al. (2015) Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction. info:/10.1093/humrep/dev064
Hagai Levine, & Shanna H. Swan. (2015) Is dietary pesticide exposure related to semen quality? Positive evidence from men attending a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction. info:/10.1093/humrep/dev065
Think real estate decisions are hard for humans? Imagine if the house you lived in were also your singles bar, your babies' nursery, and your shelter from large animals trying to eat you. And, while you were growing up, your food source, as you nibbled away its floors and shingles.
Moths face all these pressures each time they settle down on a plant. That may be why at least one type of moth uses pleasant associations to help with its choices. The plant species where an individual loses........ Read more »
Proffit, M., Khallaf, M., Carrasco, D., Larsson, M., & Anderson, P. (2015) ‘Do you remember the first time?’ Host plant preference in a moth is modulated by experiences during larval feeding and adult mating. Ecology Letters, 18(4), 365-374. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12419
This boy may be influencing who he will marry when he grows up. Photo by Orrling at Wikimedia Commons.Animals (including humans) are swarming with microorganisms both on and in our bodies. Humans harbor so many different microorganisms that we have over 150 times more microbial genes than mammalian genes, and it is reasonable to suspect that this scenario is similar for most animals. But before you run to soak in a tub of hand sanitizer, you should realize that many of these microorganisms are a........ Read more »
Cryan, J., & Dinan, T. (2015) More than a Gut Feeling: the Microbiota Regulates Neurodevelopment and Behavior. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40(1), 241-242. DOI: 10.1038/npp.2014.224
New satellite measurements have given unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution to Antarctice melting. The data indicates the Western shelf is melting faster than thought and the Eastern shelf is no longer gaining thickness. Important information to predict future sea level rises!... Read more »
Paolo, F., Fricker, H., & Padman, L. (2015) Volume loss from Antarctic ice shelves is accelerating. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa0940
Furans are coffee’s dirty little secret. Although we can thank them for the pleasant aroma and delicious flavour of freshly brewed coffee, furans have been labelled as a possible human carcinogen (cause of cancer) in disguise by food safety agencies. How many are in there
depends on how you like your cup of Joe.... Read more »
Altaki, M., Santos, F., & Galceran, M. (2011) Occurrence of furan in coffee from Spanish market: Contribution of brewing and roasting. Food Chemistry, 126(4), 1527-1532. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.11.134
Pavesi Arisseto, A., Vicente, E., Soares Ueno, M., Verdiani Tfouni, S., & De Figueiredo Toledo, M. (2011) Furan Levels in Coffee As Influenced by Species, Roast Degree, and Brewing Procedures. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 59(7), 3118-3124. DOI: 10.1021/jf104868g
Guenther, H., Hoenicke, K., Biesterveld, S., Gerhard-Rieben, E., & Lantz, I. (2010) Furan in coffee: pilot studies on formation during roasting and losses during production steps and consumer handling. Food Additives , 27(3), 283-290. DOI: 10.1080/19440040903317505
Electric vehicles are touted as environmentally friendly, but they actually pollute more than conventional vehicles during manufacturing. However, a new report argues that, because electric vehicles are cooler, they can reduce heat and temperature increases in urban environments, leading to a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.... Read more »
Li C, Cao Y, Zhang M, Wang J, Liu J, Shi H, & Geng Y. (2015) Hidden benefits of electric vehicles for addressing climate change. Scientific reports, 9213. PMID: 25790439
Like those breakfast cereals that look healthy on the box but have even more sugar inside than Cocoa Puffs, some rainforest trees engage in false advertising. It's not their fault—it's ours. Climate change has made their leaves less nutritious than they used to be. And the animals who live off of those trees don't exactly have another store to shop at.
Experiments in labs and greenhouses have given scientists mixed answers about what happens to plant tissues in a changing climate. So pr........ Read more »
Rothman, J., Chapman, C., Struhsaker, T., Raubenheimer, D., Twinomugisha, D., & Waterman, P. (2015) Long-term declines in nutritional quality of tropical leaves. Ecology, 96(3), 873-878. DOI: 10.1890/14-0391.1
By Shelly Sonsalla Komodo Dragon. Image by Arturo de Frias Marques on Wikimedia. Komodo dragons are the world’s largest living lizard and can be found only on select islands in the Indonesian archipelago. These massive lizards can grow to be 10 feet in length and up to 150 pounds! Their natural prey includes wild boars, deer, and water buffalo—animals which may outweigh them by several hundred pounds. So how does a lizard, even such a large one, manage to take down prey so much larger tha........ Read more »
Christiansen P, & Wroe S. (2007) Bite forces and evolutionary adaptations to feeding ecology in carnivores. Ecology, 88(2), 347-58. PMID: 17479753
Fry, B., Wroe, S., Teeuwisse, W., van Osch, M., Moreno, K., Ingle, J., McHenry, C., Ferrara, T., Clausen, P., Scheib, H.... (2009) A central role for venom in predation by Varanus komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) and the extinct giant Varanus (Megalania) priscus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(22), 8969-8974. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0810883106
Merchant, M., Henry, D., Falconi, R., Muscher, B., & Bryja, J. (2013) Antibacterial activities of serum from the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis). Microbiology Research, 4(1), 4. DOI: 10.4081/mr.2013.e4
Montgomery JM, Gillespie D, Sastrawan P, Fredeking TM, & Stewart GL. (2002) Aerobic salivary bacteria in wild and captive Komodo dragons. Journal of wildlife diseases, 38(3), 545-51. PMID: 12238371
You’ve probably heard of all sorts of diets, paleo, low-fat, low-carb, atkins, but now microbes may just be the next diet craze. Researchers have programmed bacteria to generate a molecule that, through normal metabolism, becomes a hunger-suppressing lipid (fat). Mice that drank water laced with the programmed bacteria ate less, had lower body fat and staved off diabetes — even when fed a high-fat diet — offering a potential weight-loss strategy for humans.... Read more »
Zhongyi Chen, Lilu Guo, Yongqin Zhang, Rosemary L. Walzem, Julie S. Pendergast, Richard L. Printz, Lindsey C. Morris, Elena Matafonova, Xavier Stien, Li Kang.... (2014) Incorporation of Therapeutic Bacteria into the Gut Microbiome for Treatment of Obesity. The Journal of clinical investigation . info:/10.1172/JCI72517.
SUMMARY: In this fascinating video, Professor Ros Rickaby from Oxford chats with Professor Simon Conway-Morris at Cambridge about how Earth’s changing chemistry has affected evolution, and how this can sometimes lead to evolutionary convergence... Read more »
Williams R. J. P. (1981) The Bakerian Lecture, 1981: Natural Selection of the Chemical Elements. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 213(1193), 361-397. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.1981.0071
Cook L. M., I. J. Saccheri, & J. Mallet. (2012) Selective bird predation on the peppered moth: the last experiment of Michael Majerus. Biology Letters, 8(4), 609-612. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2011.1136
Dhingra A., & H. Daniell. (2004) Enhanced translation of a chloroplast-expressed RbcS gene restores small subunit levels and photosynthesis in nuclear RbcS antisense plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101(16), 6315-6320. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0400981101
Even the most dismal gardener wouldn't mind taking charge of a plot of Lodoicea maldivica. This palm tree knows how to water itself. It even adds fertilizer. As a result, it rules the forest, turning a bad soil situation into seeds the size of a four-year-old human.
Lodoicea maldivica is commonly called the coco de mer palm. "Commonly" might be the wrong word, though, since the tree grows on exactly two islands in the world, in the Seychelles. It roots itself in soil made from weathered g........ Read more »
Edwards PJ, Fleischer-Dogley F, & Kaiser-Bunbury CN. (2015) The nutrient economy of Lodoicea maldivica, a monodominant palm producing the world's largest seed. The New phytologist. PMID: 25616088
SUMMARY: To meet humanity’s growing energy demands, scientists are taking lessons from plants, which perfected the process of capturing the sun’s rays and transforming that into starch. Might scientists be able to adapt the photosynthetic process pioneered by plants and adapt it to meet human demands? ... Read more »
Porter G. (1950) Flash Photolysis and Spectroscopy. A New Method for the Study of Free Radical Reactions. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 200(1061), 284-300. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspa.1950.0018
Porter G. (1966) Studies of Triplet Chlorophyll by Microbeam Flash Photolysis. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 295(1440), 1-12. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspa.1966.0222
Porter G. (1978) The Bakerian Lecture, 1977: In Vitro Models for Photosynthesis. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 362(1710), 281-303. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspa.1978.0134
Tyndall J. (1861) The Bakerian Lecture: On the Absorption and Radiation of Heat by Gases and Vapours, and on the Physical Connexion of Radiation, Absorption, and Conduction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1-36. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstl.1861.0001
Cogdell R. J., P. I. Molina, & L. Cronin. (2013) The use and misuse of photosynthesis in the quest for novel methods to harness solar energy to make fuel. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 371(1996), 20110603-20110603. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2011.0603
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