Earth

Oct. 24, 2017 -- A rash of earthquakes in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico recorded between 2008 and 2010 was likely due to fluids pumped deep underground during oil and gas wastewater disposal, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

DURHAM, N.C. -- Scientists have long known that marine animals mistakenly eat plastic debris because the tiny bits of floating plastic might look like prey.

But a new Duke University study of plastic ingestion by corals suggests there may be an additional reason for the potentially harmful behavior. Visual cues, such as a resemblance to prey, don't factor into the appeal, the researchers noted, because corals have no eyes.

The plastic just plain tastes good.

New research shows that a new class of antiviral drugs works by causing the virus' replication machinery to pause and backtrack, preventing the virus from efficiently replicating. This discovery, made possible by a high-throughput experimental technique called "magnetic tweezers," could speed the development and approval of related antiviral drugs.

Volcanic eruptions have been known to cool the global climate, but they can also exacerbate the melting of ice sheets, according to a paper published today in Nature Communications.

Researchers who analyzed ice cores and meltwater deposits found that ancient eruptions caused immediate and significant melting of the ice sheet that covered much of northern Europe at the end of the last ice age, some 12,000 to 13,000 years ago.

(Nara, Japan) Many human and animal foodstuffs, such as grains and fruits, derive from flowering plants. Flowers are formed from groups of dividing stem cells at the ends of shoots, and the division of these cells is stopped at a particular stage of development once floral components have formed. A new study by scientists at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) provides new molecular insight into the coordination of this termination and development by showing the interplay between two molecules, CRABS CLAW and TORNADO2.

While the microbiome has gained significant attention for its impact on digestive health in recent years, its effect on lung disease has largely remained unstudied.

Dr. Patricia Finn says this is a missed opportunity.

Irrigation for agriculture is the largest use of fresh water around the globe, but precise records and maps of when and where water is applied by farmers are difficult to locate. Now a team of researchers has discovered how to track water used in agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory has discovered extreme "bounce," or super-elastic shape-memory properties in a material that could be applied for use as an actuator in the harshest of conditions, such as outer space, and might be the first in a whole new class of shape memory materials.

Shape-memory materials "remember" their original shape and return to it after they are deformed. They are commonly metallic alloys that make possible "unbreakable" eyeglass frames and quieter jet engines.

Osaka -- When Einstein was working toward his PhD, he was among the first to explain how particles exhibit random motions in fluids. Diffusion is an important physical process and the Stokes-Einstein relationship describes how particles diffuse through a fluid based on the hydrodynamic theory. But mysteriously at low temperatures below the melting temperature, something changes in supercooled liquids and the resulting highly viscous glassy behavior can no longer be explained by the simple Stokes-Einstein relationship.

For the first time, a breeding technique known as genetic rescue has been shown to increase population numbers and survival rates of the endangered mountain pygmy possum, now at their highest numbers since 1996.

The study was conducted by a team from the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, CESAR, Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management, and the University of New South Wales.

Dr Andrew Weeks from the University of Melbourne led the project, published in the international journal Nature Communications.