Earth

The National Academies have released a new primer on the achievements and promise of plant genome sciences. Based on an expert consensus report from the National Research Council, the booklet explores the potential of the National Plant Genome Initiative -- a federal multiagency project that coordinates research in plant sciences to understand and ultimately harness plants' properties to help meet agriculture, nutrition, energy, and human health needs.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – China's farmers and merchants should take advantage of new agricultural and business opportunities that could help mitigate some effects of the annual flooding behind the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River, according to an Ohio State University wetland expert.

Many people all over the world indulge themselves in drinking, which is correlated to a wide spectrum of medical, psychological, behavioral, and social problems. It is well known that chronic alcohol abuse may induce gastrointestinal dysfunction, chronic atrophic gastritis and is closely related with gastric carcinoma. However, the detailed mechanism by which ethanol affects the gastrointestinal mucosa remains to be elucidated.

(SAUSALITO, Calif. – October 22, 2008) The Marine Mammal Center is seeing a large number of leptospirosis cases in California sea lions this year and is leading a study to determine when and why the sea lions contract this disease. Every four to five years, the Center sees a surge in the number of sea lions admitted as a result of this bacterial infection that affects the kidneys and can be lethal for patients.

AMARILLO – The availability and use of wet distiller's grains in beef finishing diets continues to increase as the ethanol industry expands, and some Texas AgriLife Research scientists are trying to determine if that will affect consumers' meat purchases.

While much of the research focus has been on the energy value of the distiller's grains relative to the corn it replaces, recent questions have been posed on how they may affect beef quality, said Dr. Jim MacDonald, AgriLife Research ruminant nutritionist.

Sapporo/Magdeburg. Climate change will have different effects on lakes in warmer and colder regions of the globe. This is the conclusion reached by Japanese and German researchers following studies of very deep caldera lakes in Japan. Scientists from Hokkaido University, the Hokkaido Institute of Environmental Sciences, Kagoshima University and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) compared current measurements with measurements taken 70 years ago.

A 20-strong -team of cloud and climate experts from the UK's National Centre for Atmospheric Science will today set off for Chile to investigate how massive swathes of clouds that hang over the Pacific are affecting climate and weather all round the world, including the UK. This new £3M project aims to reduce some of the largest errors currently in our climate models and thus greatly improve predictions of future climate change.

COLUMBIA, Mo. –Even though the Cretaceous Period ended more than 65 million years ago, clues remain about how the ocean water circulated at that time. Measuring a chemical tracer in samples of ancient fish scales, bones and teeth, University of Missouri and University of Florida researchers have studied circulation in the Late Cretaceous North Atlantic Ocean. The Late Cretaceous was a time with high atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and warm temperatures. Understanding such ancient greenhouse climates is important for predicting what may happen in the future.

How best to map 'boreal' or northern forest with spaceborne radar is the focus of an ESA campaign currently underway in northern Sweden. By answering this question, the campaign addresses one of the key objectives of the candidate Earth Explorer BIOMASS mission.

MADISON, WI, October 20, 2008 | Union County New Mexico is a landscape of striking diversity. Out of expansive rangelands rise sporadic yet majestic cinder cone volcanoes and mesas preserved by basalt, part of the Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field. Capulin volcano, formed approximately 62,000 years ago, is the youngest volcano in the field. The cone rises 396 m from the plain, reaching an altitude of 2,495 m above sea level. The base of the volcano is 6.4 km in circumference, and the crater is 126 m deep and 442 m across.