Earth

Male beetles that have more sex are over-compensating

Male beetles that have more sex are over-compensating

Males that mate more often are more insecure about their social status than those mating less, according to new research on the behaviour of burying beetles.

The study provides new evidence that the social sensitivity of male behavior is linked to how often male beetles mate.

Four images of supernova Refsdal, split by a cosmic lens

Four images of supernova Refsdal, split by a cosmic lens

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have spotted for the first time a distant supernova split into four images. The multiple images of the exploding star are caused by the powerful gravity of a foreground elliptical galaxy embedded in a massive cluster of galaxies. This unique observation will help astronomers refine their estimates of the mass of dark matter in the lensing galaxy and cluster. Dark matter is an invisible form of matter that makes up most of the mass of the universe.

Excess nitrogen and phosphorus damages streams in ways previously unknown

Excess nitrogen and phosphorus damages streams in ways previously unknown

An important food resource has been disappearing from streams without anyone noticing until now.

In a new study published March 6 in the journal Science, a team of researchers led by University of Georgia ecologists reports that nutrient pollution causes a significant loss of forest-derived carbon from stream ecosystems, reducing the ability of streams to support aquatic life.

Methane in Toolik Lake traced to groundwater from seasonal thawing

Global warming may ramp up the flow of methane from groundwater into Arctic lakes, allowing more of the potent greenhouse gas to bubble out into the atmosphere, according to a new study led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz.

Scientists have long known that Arctic lakes emit methane, which comes primarily from the action of microbes in the water and lake sediments. Although numerous studies have monitored and documented these emissions, few have examined the effects of seasonally thawed groundwater, which also contains methane and flows into the lakes.

Tiny minority of Chinese adults enjoy ideal heart health

Nearly three out of four Chinese adults have poor cardiovascular health, with poor diet and growing rates of obesity compounding the risks associated with continuing high rates of smoking, according to a new survey published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Advanced thyroid cancer responds to targeted therapy with sunitinib

In patients with advanced thyroid cancer, sunitinib, a drug approved for treatment of several other cancers, showed significant cancer-fighting activity t, a new phase 2 clinical trial has found. Results of the single-center study will be presented Sunday at the Endocrine Society's 97th annual meeting in San Diego.

"Sunitinib can potentially be used as an effective adjunctive treatment in patients with advanced differentiated thyroid cancer," said Principal Investigator Kenneth Burman, MD, Chief of Endocrine at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C.

Genetically modified soybean oil healthier than regular soybean oil

A new soybean oil genetically modified to be healthier than conventional soybean oil causes obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver in a nearly identical manner to that of regular soybean oil when part of a typical American high-fat diet, an animal study shows. The study results will be presented Friday at The Endocrine Society's 97th annual meeting in San Diego.

BPA harms dental enamel in young animals, mimicking human tooth defect

A tooth enamel abnormality in children, molar incisor hypomineralization (MIH), may result from exposure to the industrial chemical bisphenol A (BPA), authors of a new study conclude after finding similar damage to the dental enamel of rats that received BPA. The study results will be presented Friday at the Endocrine Society's 97th annual meeting in San Diego.

"Human enamel defects may be used as an early marker of exposure to BPA and similar-acting endocrine disruptors," Babajko said.

Feeling sleepy? Might be the melatonin

If you walk into your local drug store and ask for a supplement to help you sleep, you might be directed to a bottle labeled "melatonin." The hormone supplement's use as a sleep aid is supported by anecdotal evidence and even some reputable research studies. However, our bodies also make melatonin naturally, and until a recent Caltech study using zebrafish, no one knew how--or even if--this melatonin contributed to our natural sleep. The new work suggests that even in the absence of a supplement, naturally occurring melatonin may help us fall and stay asleep.

Infant growth affected by exposure to environmental pollutants

Even though the levels of two environmental pollutants have declined over the last 20 years, they may still have adverse effects on children's development, according to a new study by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. This is the largest study of environmental pollutants and infant growth to date.

Researchers investigated whether exposure to two persistent organic pollutants before and after birth was associated with rapid growth in infancy, a known risk factor for obesity in later life: