Extra Heartbeats Could Be Modifiable Risk Factor for Congestive Heart Failure
Published Jul 6, 2015 - 2:57:19 PM
Common extra heartbeats known as premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) may be a modifiable risk factor for congestive heart failure (CHF) and death, according to researchers at UC San Francisco.
Tundra study uncovers impact of climate warming in the Arctic
Published Jul 6, 2015 - 12:21:18 PM
Significant changes in one of the Earth's most important ecosystems are not only a symptom of climate change, but may fuel further warming, research suggests.
The Good, The Bad, and the Algae
Published Jul 6, 2015 - 8:25:21 AM
Algae are complicated. The little plants can be both good and bad.
Single-celled algae called phytoplankton are a main source of food for fish and other aquatic life, and account for half of the photosynthetic activity on Earth—that’s good.
New model of cosmic stickiness favors 'Big Rip' demise of universe
Published Jul 1, 2015 - 9:11:01 AM
The universe can be a very sticky place, but just how sticky is a matter of debate.
That is because for decades cosmologists have had trouble reconciling the classic notion of viscosity based on the laws of thermodynamics with Einstein's general theory of relativity. However, a team from Vanderbilt University has come up with a fundamentally new mathematical formulation of the problem that appears to bridge this long-standing gap.
Major Midwest flood risk underestimated by as much as 5 feet, study finds
Published Jul 1, 2015 - 8:13:25 AM
As floodwaters surge along major rivers in the midwestern United States, a new study from Washington University in St. Louis suggests federal agencies are underestimating historic 100-year flood levels on these rivers by as much as five feet, a miscalculation that has serious implications for future flood risks, flood insurance and business development in an expanding floodplain.
Yosemite forest fire example of possible things to come
Published Jul 1, 2015 - 7:52:56 AM
Forest composition, ground cover and topography are the best predictors of forest fire severity in the Western U.S., according to Penn State physical geographers who also see that the long history of fire exclusion on federal lands leads to uncharacteristically severe burns and potentially changes the dynamics of forests and their recovery.
USGS: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Remain the Primary Threat to Polar Bears
Published Jun 30, 2015 - 4:50:24 PM
Greenhouse gas emissions remain the primary threat to the preservation of polar bear populations worldwide. This conclusion holds true under both a reduced greenhouse gas emission scenario that stabilizes climate warming and another scenario where emissions and warming continue at the current pace, according to updated U.S. Geological Survey research models.
Nationwide study measures short-term spike in July 4 particulate matter from fireworks
Published Jun 30, 2015 - 8:07:14 AM
From our nation's founding, the Fourth of July has been synonymous with fireworks.
While many grew up learning that fireworks can be dangerous to the eyes and hands if not handled properly, fireworks also produce air pollutants, including particulate matter, that are linked to short-term or long-term health effects.
'Drink When Thirsty' to Avoid Fatal Drops in Blood Sodium Levels During Exercise
Published Jun 29, 2015 - 10:33:27 AM
For hikers, football players, endurance athletes, and a growing range of elite and recreational exercisers, the best approach to preventing potentially serious reductions in blood sodium level is to drink when thirsty, according to an updated consensus statement on exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH). The recommendations appear in the June issue of the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, published by Wolters Kluwer.
Florida Tech lightning research deepens understanding of sprite formation
Published Jun 29, 2015 - 9:33:46 AM
A new study led by Florida Institute of Technology Professor Ningyu Liu has improved our understanding of a curious luminous phenomenon that happens 25 to 50 miles above thunderstorms.
Natural wilderness areas need buffer zones to protect from human development
Published Jun 29, 2015 - 8:16:47 AM
Despite heavy development, the U.S. still has millions of acres of pristine wild lands. Coveted for their beauty, these wilderness areas draw innumerable outdoor enthusiasts eager for a taste of primitive nature.
Argonne analysis shows increased carbon intensity from Canadian oil sands
Published Jun 26, 2015 - 9:40:55 AM
The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory this week released a study that shows gasoline and diesel refined from Canadian oil sands have a higher carbon impact than fuels derived from conventional domestic crude sources.
Soils Are Living
Published Jun 25, 2015 - 9:22:32 AM
In celebration of the International Year of Soil 2015 (IYS), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout to educate the public about the importance of soil. July’s theme is “Soils Are Living.”
NASA's Hubble sees a 'behemoth' bleeding atmosphere around a warm exoplanet
Published Jun 25, 2015 - 8:38:14 AM
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen dubbed "The Behemoth" bleeding from a planet orbiting a nearby star. The enormous, comet-like feature is about 50 times the size of the parent star. The hydrogen is evaporating from a warm, Neptune-sized planet, due to extreme radiation from the star.
Exposed water ice detected on comet’s surface
Published Jun 24, 2015 - 10:34:53 AM
Using the high-resolution science camera on board ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, scientists have identified more than a hundred patches of water ice a few metres in size on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
The Challenge of Measuring a Bird Brain
Published Jun 23, 2015 - 8:35:20 AM
In research, sometimes setting out to demonstrate one concept actually results in proving something entirely different. It’s important to be flexible.
Take, for example, Corina Logan, whose work focuses on the cognitive abilities of the great-tailed grackle, a member of the blackbird family. A junior research fellow at UC Santa Barbara’s SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind when she conducted her research, Logan sought to find a way to accurately approximate the brain size of live grackles by measuring their heads rather than the inside of their skulls.
The Lancet: The threat climate change poses to human health could wipe out health progress over the past 50 years
Published Jun 23, 2015 - 7:35:26 AM
The threat climate change poses to human health is possibly so great that it could wipe out health progress over the past 50 years. But getting to grips with climate change could also present major opportunities for global health. Details can be found in a major international research report published in the journal The Lancet.
Stanford researcher declares that the sixth mass extinction is here, threatening humanity's existence
Published Jun 22, 2015 - 7:28:10 AM
There is no longer any doubt: We are entering a mass extinction that threatens humanity's existence.
That is the bad news at the center of a new study by a group of scientists including Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies in biology and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Ehrlich and his co-authors call for fast action to conserve threatened species, populations and habitat, but warn that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.
UCLA chemists devise technology that could transform solar energy storage
Published Jun 19, 2015 - 8:19:08 AM
The materials in most of today's residential rooftop solar panels can store energy from the sun for only a few microseconds at a time. A new technology developed by chemists at UCLA is capable of storing solar energy for up to several weeks -- an advance that could change the way scientists think about designing solar cells.
U-Boulder, USGS: US mid-continent seismicity linked to high-rate injection wells
Published Jun 19, 2015 - 7:56:10 AM
A dramatic increase in the rate of earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. since 2009 is associated with fluid injection wells used in oil and gas development, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Jet contrails affect surface temperatures
Published Jun 19, 2015 - 7:53:42 AM
High in the sky where the cirrus ice crystal clouds form, jet contrails draw their crisscross patterns. Now researchers have found that these elevated ice cloud trails can influence temperatures on the ground and affect local climate, according to a team of Penn State geographers.
Proposed floodplain restoration reduces flood risk and restores salmon habitat
Published Jun 19, 2015 - 7:52:14 AM
Salmon are severely impacted by the loss of floodplain habitats throughout the West Coast. In few places is this more pronounced than in Oregon's Tillamook Bay, where nearly 90 percent of estuaries' tidal wetlands have been lost to development -- threatening the survival of federally-protected coho salmon and the safety of the local community. Now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA Fisheries, and others have come together to reduce flood risk, increase resiliency of the ecosystem, and restore salmon habitat in Tillamook Bay by coordinating and aligning their investments.
Fructose powers a vicious circle
Published Jun 19, 2015 - 7:42:59 AM
'Walk through any supermarket and take a look at the labels on food products, and you'll see that many of them contain fructose, often in the form of sucrose (table sugar)' -- that's how Wilhelm Krek, professor for cell biology at ETH Zurich's Institute for Molecular Health Sciences, summarises the problem with today's nutrition. Prepared foods and soft drinks in particular, but even purportedly healthy fruit juices contain fructose as an artificial additive -- often in high quantities. In recent decades fructose spread throughout the food market, due to a reputation as being less harmful than glucose. In contrast to glucose, fructose barely increases blood glucose levels and insulin secretion. This avoids frequently recurring insulin spikes after any glucose consumption, which are judged harmful. In addition, fructose is sweeter to the taste.
Hot lava flows discovered on Venus
Published Jun 18, 2015 - 11:17:03 AM
ESA’s Venus Express has found the best evidence yet for active volcanism on Earth’s neighbour planet.
Seeing the planet’s surface is extremely difficult due to its thick atmosphere, but radar observations by previous missions to Venus have revealed it as a world covered in volcanoes and ancient lava flows.
Researchers discover first sensor of Earth's magnetic field in an animal
Published Jun 18, 2015 - 8:12:05 AM
A team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has identified the first sensor of the Earth's magnetic field in an animal, finding in the brain of a tiny worm a big clue to a long-held mystery about how animals' internal compasses work.
Climate change may impact future tourism at some US national parks
Published Jun 18, 2015 - 8:09:49 AM
Visitation at U.S. National Parks may potentially increase with increasing temperature in temperate areas, but may decrease with temperatures rising over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a study using future climate and visitation modeling scenarios published June 17 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Nicholas Fisichelli and colleagues from U.S. National Park Service.
Glaciers melting in Alaska adding enough water to Earth's oceans to cover the state with a foot of water every 7 years
Published Jun 17, 2015 - 10:15:57 AM
The Alaska region’s melting glaciers are adding enough water to the Earth’s oceans to cover the state with a foot of water every seven years, a new study shows.
The study found that climate-related melting is the primary cause of mountain glacier loss. Glacier loss from Alaska is unlikely to slow down, and this will be a major driver of global sea level change in the coming decades.
Best observational evidence of first generation stars in the universe
Published Jun 17, 2015 - 9:04:40 AM
Astronomers have long theorised the existence of a first generation of stars -- known as Population III stars -- that were born out of the primordial material from the Big Bang . All the heavier chemical elements -- such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and iron, which are essential to life -- were forged in the bellies of stars. This meansthat the first stars must have formed out of the only elements to exist prior to stars: hydrogen, helium and trace amounts of lithium.
University of Alberta scientists help public avoid health risks of toxic blue-green algae
Published Jun 16, 2015 - 12:57:46 PM
As we approach the hottest days of the summer season, toxic algae are starting to bloom in lakes around the world. Increases in atmospheric temperature combined with land nutrients are promoting the growth of harmful cyanobacteria--blue-green algae--in these bodies of water, damaging for not only the associated ecosystems but also potentially for the people who recreationally frequent the lakes.
Meeting global air quality guidelines could prevent 2.1 million deaths per year
Published Jun 16, 2015 - 6:56:04 AM
Improving air quality -- in clean and dirty places -- could reduce pollution-related deaths worldwide by millions of people each year. That finding comes from a team of environmental engineering and public health researchers who developed a global model of how changes in outdoor air pollution could lead to changes in the rates of health problems such as heart attack, stroke and lung cancer.