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Earth Climate News

Earth Science News. From earthquakes and hurricanes to global warming and energy use, read the latest research news here.

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Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans
A team of scientists studying the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, found that it was especially well-suited to jump from animals to humans by shapeshifting as it gained the ability to infect human cells.

A rising tide of marine disease? How parasites respond to a warming world
A recent study explores the ways parasitism will respond to climate change, providing researchers new insights into disease transmission.

Yes, your dog wants to rescue you
Imagine you're a dog. Your owner is trapped in a box and is crying out for help. Are you aware of his despair? If so, can you set him free? And what's more, do you really want to? That's what researchers wanted to know when they gave dogs the chance to rescue their owners.

Smart windows that self-illuminate on rainy days
A research team develops self-powering, color-changing humidity sensors. Applicable to various fields including smart windows, health care and safety management.

New view on how tissues flow in the embryo
Watching and measuring what happens in tissues inside the human embryo is currently not possible, and it's difficult to do in mammalian models. Because humans and the fruit fly Drosophila share so many biological similarities, researchers tackled this problem by focusing on fruit flies. The team reports today that they can predict when the tissue will begin to rapidly flow just by looking at cell shapes in the tissue.

A hormone -- plant style
Researchers have now found a method that might make the production of a biologically significant precursor of jasmonic acid more efficient and cheaper. Their innovation: they imitate how plants produce the hormone. The result is 12-OPDA, a central precursor of jasmonic acid. In the long term, it could also be a potential precursor for high-quality perfume.

New research reveals cannabis and frankincense at the Judahite shrine of biblical Arad
Analysis of the material on two Iron Age altars discovered at the entrance to the 'holy of holies' of a shrine at Tel Arad in the Beer-sheba Valley, Israel, were found to contain cannabis and frankincense, according to new article.

Climate could cause abrupt British vegetation changes
Climate change could cause abrupt shifts in the amount of vegetation growing in parts of Great Britain, new research shows.

Using electrical stimulus to regulate genes
A team of researchers has succeeded in using an electric current to directly control gene expression for the first time. Their work provides the basis for medical implants that can be switched on and off using electronic devices outside the body.

New technology enables fast protein synthesis
Chemists have developed a protocol to rapidly produce protein chains up to 164 amino acids long. The flow-based technology could speed up drug development and allow scientists to design novel protein variants incorporating amino acids that don't occur naturally in cells.

Gold mining with mercury poses health threats for miles downstream
Small-scale gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon poses a health hazard not only to the miners and communities near where mercury is used to extract gold from ore, but also to downstream communities hundreds of kilometers away where people eat mercury-contaminated river fish as part of their diet. Downstream children under 12 with the highest levels of mercury in their bodies were found to have lost IQ points and become anemic.

Global environmental changes leading to shorter, younger trees
Ongoing environmental changes are transforming forests worldwide, resulting in shorter and younger trees. Researchers found that a range of factors, including rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels, have caused a dramatic decrease in the age and stature of forests.

CBD improves arthritis symptoms in dogs
This study shows that in dogs diagnosed with arthritis, CBD treatment significantly improved quality of life as documented by both owner and veterinarian assessments.

Breaking up is hard to do (especially for sex chromosomes)
A team of scientists has discovered how the X and Y chromosomes find one another, break, and recombine during meiosis even though they have little in common.

Antarctic ice sheets capable of retreating up to 50 meters per day
The ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic coastline retreated at speeds of up to 50 meters per day at the end of the last Ice Age, far more rapid than the satellite-derived retreat rates observed today, new research has found.

Environmental groups moving beyond conservation
Although non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have become powerful voices in world environmental politics, little is known of the global picture of this sector. A new study shows that environmental groups are increasingly focused on advocacy in climate change politics and environmental justice. How they do their work is largely determined by regional disparities in human and financial resources.

Survey identifies learning opportunities related to health impacts of climate change
An international survey of Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education (GCCHE) membership found that the majority of members -- health professions schools and programs, including medical, nursing, and public health -- offer learning opportunities related to the health impacts of climate change, yet many also encountered challenges in instituting or developing curricula. The results of the survey provide a baseline assessment of the state of climate-health education internationally among health professions institutions.

Smart sponge could clean up oil spills
Researchers have developed a highly porous smart sponge that selectively soaks up oil in water. It can absorb more than 30 times its weight and be reused many dozens of times.

Reintroduction of wolves tied to return of tall willows in Yellowstone National Park
The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park is tied to the recovery of tall willows in the park, according to a new study.

New Zealand blue whale distribution patterns tied to ocean conditions, prey availability
The researchers who recently discovered a population of blue whales in New Zealand are learning more about the links between the whales, their prey and ocean conditions that are changing as the planet warms.