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August 18, 2014

Butterflies' Evolutionary Responses to Warmer Temperatures May Compromise Their Ability to Adapt to Future Climate Change

Members of the brown argus butterfly species that moved north in response to recent climate change have evolved a narrower diet dependent on wild Geranium plants, UK researchers report. However, butterflies that did not move north have more diverse diets, including plants such as Rockrose that are abundant in southern parts of the UK.  

August 18, 2014

Did an Exceptional Iceberg Sink the Titanic?

While the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is typically blamed on human, design and construction errors, a new Significance paper points to 2 other unfavorable factors outside human control: there were a greater number of icebergs than normal that year, and weather conditions had driven them further south, and earlier in the year, than was usual.

August 18, 2014

Ebola Has Profound Effects on Wildlife Population Dynamics

New research in gorillas that were affected by an Ebola virus outbreak shows that disease can influence reproductive potential, immigration and social dynamics, and it highlights the need to develop complex models that integrate all the different impacts of a disease.

August 18, 2014

World’s Vegetated Areas Face Threats from Climate Change

Researchers who analyzed the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate change have found that between 10 and 28% of the world’s terrestrial vegetated area can be considered refugia, depending on whether or not wilderness areas are considered. Refugia are areas of biological diversity where natural environmental conditions remain relatively constant during times of great environmental change.

August 13, 2014

Wiley Announces Continued Growth in Titles with Impact Factor

John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced a continued increase in the proportion of its journal titles indexed in the 2014 release of Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports® (JCR).  A total of 1,202 Wiley titles (approximately 70%) were indexed, up from 1,193 in the 2012 JCR, and including 13 titles which have been indexed for the first time.

August 04, 2014

How should flood risk assessments be done in a changing climate?

Growing consensus on climate and land use change means that it is reasonable to assume, at the very least, that flood levels in a region may change. Then why, ask Rosner et al. in a new study, do the dominant risk assessment techniques used to decide whether to build new flood protection infrastructure nearly always start with an assumption of “no trend” in flood behavior?

August 04, 2014

Humane Strategy Reduces Shark Attacks

A simple and humane technique may be an effective strategy to reduce human encounters with sharks without harming populations of threatened shark species.

August 04, 2014

Study Assesses Shark Attacks on Atlantic Spotted Dolphins Near The Bahamas

A Marine Mammal Science analysis on failed shark attacks on the approximately 120 Atlantic spotted dolphins that are residents of the waters near Bimini, The Bahamas, has found that a total of 14 dolphins (15% of 92 cataloged animals) showed some sign of shark attack, and a further 15 (16%) exhibited scars that could not conclusively be classified as shark induced or not.

August 04, 2014

Study Provides Insights on Whale Shark Populations and Evidence for their Historic Rise and Recent Decline

In the largest study on the genetics of whale sharks conducted to date, researchers found that the world’s biggest fish likely exist in 2 distinct populations with minimal connectivity between the Indo-Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. The findings suggest that mixing of whale sharks between the Indian and Atlantic was and is rare.

July 29, 2014

Dinosaurs fell victim to perfect storm of events, study shows

Dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them out if it had taken place slightly earlier or later in history, scientists say.

A fresh study using up-to-date fossil records and improved analytical tools has helped palaeontologists to build a new narrative of the prehistoric creatures' demise, some 66 million years ago.

July 21, 2014

Examining the causes of a devastating debris flow

Storm-triggered landslides cause loss of life, property damage, and landscape alterations. For instance, the remnants of Hurricane Camille in 1969 caused 109 deaths in central Virginia, after 600 mm of rain fell in mountainous terrain in 6 hours. More recently, on 8 August 2010, a rainstorm-induced landslide devastated the Chinese county of Zhouqu, causing more than 1000 deaths. A new modeling study by Ren examines the multiple factors, both natural and human caused, that came together to produce this event.

July 21, 2014

Mammals Metabolize Some Pesticides to Limit Their Biomagnification

The concentrations of many historically used, and now widely banned, pesticides and other toxic chemicals—called legacy contaminants—can become magnified in an animal that eats contaminated food; however, a new Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry study has found that Arctic mammals metabolize some currently used pesticides, preventing such ‘biomagnification.’

July 21, 2014

Replacing Coal and Oil with Natural Gas Will Not Help Fight Global Warming

Both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger greenhouse gas footprint than do coal or oil, especially for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating.

July 21, 2014

Researchers Simplify Process to Purify Water Using Seed Extracts

Researchers have streamlined and simplified a process that uses extracts from seeds of Moringa oleifa trees to purify water, reducing levels of harmful bacteria by 90% to 99%. The hardy trees that are drought resistant are cultivated widely throughout many countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

July 21, 2014

Study Provides Insights into Birds' Migration Routes

By tracking hybrids between songbird species, investigators have found that migration routes are under genetic control and could be preventing interbreeding. The research, which is published in Ecology Letters, was conducted using geolocators that, like GPS, record the position of a bird and allow its long distance movement to be tracked.

12:00 AM EDT June 18, 2014

Study Examines El Niño-Southern Oscillation’s Impacts on Water, Agriculture, and Health

Researchers who reviewed the impact of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on society have found that there are significant differences in the uptake of forecasts across sectors, with the highest use in agriculture, intermediate use in water resources management, and the lowest in health.

June 16, 2014

High-Altitude Weight Loss May Have an Evolutionary Advantage

Weight loss at high altitudes—something universally experienced by climbers and people who move to higher terrain—may not be a detrimental effect, but rather is likely an evolutionarily-programmed adaptation, according to a new article in BioEssays.

June 16, 2014

New Advance Allows Gels to Wiggle Through Water

Using a worm’s contracting and expanding motion, researchers have designed a way for gels to swim in water. The advance, which is described in a Journal of Applied Polymer Science paper, involves the use of a hand-held laser to shrink and swell polymer gels comprised mostly of water.

7:00 PM EDT June 04, 2014

Crooning in the Concrete Jungle: Taiwan’s Frogs Use Drains to Amplify Mating Calls

Journal of Zoology reports on how Taiwan's tiny mientien tree frog is using the cities storm drains to amplify mating calls.

June 02, 2014

Going Grey: Chinese Plants Evolve Alpine Camouflage to Avoid Attack

New Phytologist has found that a Chinese species of herb uses its grey leaves to blend into its mountainside surroundings.

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