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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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To survive asteroid impact, algae learned to hunt
Tiny, seemingly harmless ocean plants survived the darkness of the asteroid strike that killed the dinosaurs by learning a ghoulish behavior -- eating other living creatures.

New study reveals United States a top source of plastic pollution in coastal environments
The United States ranks as high as third among countries contributing to coastal plastic pollution when taking into account its scrap plastic exports as well as the latest figures on illegal dumping and littering in the country.

New cause of inflammation in people with HIV identified
A new study examined what factors could be contributing to inflammation, and they identified the inability to control HIV RNA production from existing HIV DNA as a potential key driver of inflammation.

'Green' method for making pharmaceutical intermediates
Scientists develop cHAT to simplify the reduction of alkenes to more useful intermediate molecules for drugs and other useful chemical compounds.

Future lake food webs in Subarctic have more biomass and contain more omega-3 fatty acids
Subarctic regions are facing rapid changes in climate and land-use intensity. An international research team recently completed an investigation to see how these changes are affecting the food webs and fish communities of lakes in northern Finland. Biomasses and omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, were determined from the algal producers at the base of food web to large carnivorous fish from 20 lakes along a pronounced climatic and productivity gradient.

New synthetic DNA vaccine against Powassan virus
Scientists have designed and tested the first-of-its-kind synthetic DNA vaccine against Powassan virus (POWV), targeting portions of the virus envelope protein.

Expect more mega-droughts
Mega-droughts - droughts that last two decades or longer - are tipped to increase thanks to climate change, according to new research.

Waste not, want not: Recycled water proves fruitful for greenhouse tomatoes
In the driest state in the driest continent in the world, South Australian farmers are acutely aware of the impact of water shortages and drought. So, when it comes to irrigation, knowing which method works best is vital for sustainable crop development.

New fault zone measurements could help us to understand subduction earthquakes
Researchers have conducted detailed structural analyses of a fault zone in central Japan to identify the specific conditions that lead to devastating earthquake. The seismic slip processes that were inferred based on the measurements may be applicable to other subduction zones, such as those below the oceans. The gathered data could be applied in future attempts to describe or model the subduction earthquakes that lead to ground shaking and tsunami risk.

Organization of organisms: Better understanding of biological processes
A new model that describes the organization of organisms could lead to a better understanding of biological processes.

Malaria parasites adapt to survive the dry season
The main parasite that causes malaria can alter its gene expression to survive undetected in the human blood stream, new research has shown.

Beetroot peptide as potential drug candidate for treating diseases
Medical researchers isolated a peptide (small protein molecule) from beetroot. The peptide is able to inhibit a particular enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of messenger molecules in the body. Due to its particularly stable molecular structure and pharmacological properties, the beetroot peptide may be a good candidate for development of a drug to treat certain inflammatory diseases, such as e.g. neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases.

Parasitology: Bringing the locals onboard
A new study examines local perceptions of Chagas disease in a region where the infectious agent is endemic. The results underline the need to take social and cultural factors into account in campaigns designed to curb infectious diseases.

Radical changes in ecosystems
Earth and all the living organisms on it are constantly changing. But is there any way we can detect if these changes are occurring at an abnormal rate? Scientists have now developed a method of detecting such developments and tracking how new ecosystems are formed.

Researchers devise new method to get the lead out
Researchers have devised a simple, quick and inexpensive way to quantify how much lead is trapped by a water filter.

Carbon-releasing 'zombie fires' in peatlands could be dampened by new findings
New simulations have provided clues on reducing uncontrolled peat fires, which hide underground and are notoriously bad for human health and the environment.

Comparing sensitivity of all genes to chemical exposure
An environmental health scientist has used an unprecedented objective approach to identify which molecular mechanisms in mammals are the most sensitive to chemical exposures.

Tuning biomolecular receptors for affinity and cooperativity
Our biological processes rely on a system of communications -- cellular signals -- that set off chain reactions in and between target cells to produce a response. The first step in these often complex communications is the moment a molecule binds to a receptor on or in a cell, prompting changes that can trigger further signals that propagate across systems. From food tasting and blood oxygenation during breathing to drug therapy, receptor binding is the fundamental mechanism that unlocks a multitude of biological functions and responses.

Landscape to atomic scales: Researchers apply new approach to pyrite oxidation
Pyrite, or fool's gold, is a common mineral that reacts quickly with oxygen when exposed to water or air, such as during mining operations, and can lead to acid mine drainage. Little is known, however, about the oxidation of pyrite in unmined rock deep underground.

High-sugar diet can damage the gut, intensifying risk for colitis
Mice fed diets high in sugar developed worse colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and researchers examining their large intestines found more of the bacteria that can damage the gut's protective mucus layer.