Earth

Small no-fishing zones around colonies of African penguins can help this struggling species, new research shows.

Working with the South African government, researchers from the universities of Exeter and Cape Town tested bans on catching "forage fish" such as sardines and anchovies - key prey for the endangered penguins - from 20km around their breeding islands.

The body condition and survival of chicks improved when the no-fishing zones were in place.

Female fiddler crabs are sensitive to changes in the speed of a male's courtship display, significantly preferring displays that accelerate to those that are performed at a constant speed or slow down.

The new research is published in the journal Biology Letters and was carried out by Dr Sophie Mowles of Anglia Ruskin University, alongside academics from the Australian National University in Canberra.

In the winter of 2015/16, something happened that had never before been seen on this scale: at the end of December, temperatures rose above zero degrees Celsius for several days in parts of the Arctic. Temperatures of up to eight degrees were registered north of Svalbard. Temperatures this high have not been recorded in the winter half of the year since the beginning of systematic measurements at the end of the 1970s. As a result of this unusual warmth, the sea ice began to melt.

UConn engineers have created a biodegradable pressure sensor that could help doctors monitor chronic lung disease, swelling of the brain, and other medical conditions before dissolving harmlessly in a patient's body.

The UConn research is featured in the current online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Constipation is an underestimated and debilitating medical issue related to the opioid epidemic. As a growing concern, researchers look to new tools to help patients with this side effect of opioid use and aging.

In a new study titled 'Mating strategy flexibility in the laboratory: Preferences for long- and short-term mating change in response to evolutionarily relevant variables', the research team captured the relationship preferences of 151 heterosexual male and female volunteers (75 men and 76 women) by asking them to look at pictures of 50 potential partners, and to indicate whether they would prefer a long or short-term relationship with each.

With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in American mortality during the last three decades. According to a new study, a rise in obesity is to blame.

An unexpected source of methane in the environment has been inadvertently discovered.

Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are the chief means by which nitrogen gas in the air is changed into a form that plants and animals can use. Roughly 10 percent of these nitrogen-fixing microorganisms contain the genetic code for manufacturing a back-up enzyme, called iron iron-only nitrogenase, to do their job.

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego were part of an international team that for the first time used hydroacoustics as a method for comparing the abundance of fishes within and outside marine protected areas (MPAs).

They found that the abundance of fishes was four times greater in Mexico's protected Cabo Pulmo National Park than in areas outside the park. Study authors said that hydroacoustics points the way toward a new, more cost-effective method of assessing fish populations.

UPTON, NY - A collaboration led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has observed an unexpected phenomenon in lithium-ion batteries--the most common type of battery used to power cell phones and electric cars. As a model battery generated electric current, the scientists witnessed the concentration of lithium inside individual nanoparticles reverse at a certain point, instead of constantly increasing.