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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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Deciphering the equations of life
Research has resulted in a set of equations that describes and predicts commonalities across life despite its enormous diversity. The new theory allows predictions for organisms that might not be well understood by science.

Efforts to end the HIV epidemic must not ignore people already living with HIV
Efforts to prevent new HIV transmissions in the US must be accompanied by addressing HIV-associated comorbidities to improve the health of people already living with HIV, experts assert.

Scientists convert plastics into useful chemicals using sunlight
Chemists have discovered a method that could turn plastic waste into valuable chemicals by using sunlight.

Isotope analysis points to prisoners of war, 1,400 years ago
Maya archaeologists found the bones of about 20 people at a water reservoir in the former Maya city of Uxul (Mexico). They had apparently been killed and dismembered about 1,400 years ago. Did these victims come from Uxul or other regions of the Maya Area?

Illumination drives bats out of caves
Researchers have investigated how the illumination of bat caves affects the animals' behavior and whether the color of light makes a difference on their flight. Although red light irritates the small mammals somewhat less than white light, from the researchers' point of view neither the entrance nor the interior of bat caves should be illuminated if bats are present.

Trashed farmland could be a conservation treasure
Low-productivity agricultural land could be transformed into millions of hectares of conservation reserve across the world, according to new research. The research team proposed a new way of understanding the conservation value of ''uncontested lands'' - areas where agricultural productivity is low.

How are Utah's dry lakes impacting air quality and human health?
A new study reveals that 90 percent of Utah urban dust comes from dry lakebeds, which not only impacts air quality but also impacting soil and what can grow in it.

Sorghum study illuminates relationship between humans, crops and the environment in domestication
A new study illustrates the concept of a domestication triangle, in which human genetics interact with sorghum genetics and the environment to influence the traits farmers select in their crops. The concept gives a more complete systemic picture of domestication.

Tree cavities for wild honeybees
The forests in Europe provide habitat for around 80,000 colonies of wild honeybees. That is why more attention should be paid to preserving the nesting sites for these threatened insects, according to researchers.

A machine learning approach to identify functional human phosphosites
Scientists have created the largest phosphoproteome resource to date, which is set to help other researchers identify new functionally-relevant phosphosites. The research demonstrates an exciting use for machine learning methods to effectively compile and analyse large phosphorylation related biological datasets. Identifying new functional phosphosites has enormous potential to progress research into many biological processes and diseases.

Why polar bears at sea have higher pollution levels than those staying on land
As the climate changes, myriad animal populations are being impacted. In particular, Arctic sea-ice is in decline, causing polar bears in the Barents Sea region to alter their feeding and hunting habits. Bears that follow sea-ice to offshore areas have higher pollutant levels than those staying on land -- but why? A new study reports the likely reasons.

Altering intestinal microbiota, vaccinating against inflammatory diseases
Targeted immunization against bacterial flagellin, a protein that forms the appendage that enables bacterial mobility, can beneficially alter the intestinal microbiota, decreasing the bacteria's ability to cause inflammation and thus protecting against an array of chronic inflammatory diseases, according to a new study.

Plant researchers examine bread aroma: Modern and old wheat varieties taste equally good
Bread baked from modern wheat varieties are just as aromatic as that baked from old varieties. However, differences exist between the breads from different wheat varieties -- and those that were grown in different locations.

One-third of recent global methane increase comes from tropical Africa
Concentrations of methane, a greenhouse gas about 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide, have risen steadily in Earth's atmosphere since 2007. Although several potential explanations, including an increase in methane emissions from the tropics, could account for this upsurge, due to a lack of regional data scientists have been unable to pinpoint the source. Now a study uses satellite data to determine that one-third of the global increase originates in Africa's tropics.

The secret to a long life? For worms, a cellular recycling protein is key
Scientists have shown that worms live longer lives if they produce excess levels of a protein, p62, which recognizes toxic cell proteins that are tagged for destruction. The discovery could help uncover treatments for age-related conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, which are often caused by accumulation of misfolded proteins.

Breathing new life into the rise of oxygen debate
New research strongly suggests that the distinct 'oxygenation events' that created Earth's breathable atmosphere happened spontaneously, rather than being a consequence of biological or tectonic revolutions. The study not only shines a light on the history of oxygen on our planet, it gives new insight into the prevalence of oxygenated worlds other than our own.

Reducing wildfire risks for better management and resource allocation
Managing future wildfire risk requires an interface between human decision processes and knowledge about climate trends related to fire, as well as humans' abilities to anticipate wildfire potential and mitigation approaches are critical.

'Invisible,' restricted horse racing therapy may leave a trail
Shockwave therapy is used in both horses and humans to speed healing, but it can also mask pain. For the first time veterinarians have identified several biomarkers of the treatment, the use of which is restricted in horse racing.

What blocks bird flu in human cells?
Normally, bird flu viruses do not spread easily from person to person. But if this does happen, it could trigger a pandemic. Researchers have now explained what makes the leap from animals to humans less likely.

Technologies and scientific advances needed to track methane levels in atmosphere
Understanding what influences the amount of methane in the atmosphere has been identified to be one of the foremost challenges in the earth sciences in the coming decades because of methane's hugely important role in meeting climate warming targets.