Earth

It is widely recognized that rainfall over the Yangtze River valley (YRV) strengthens considerably during the decaying summer of El Niño, as demonstrated by the catastrophic flooding suffered in the summer of 1998. Nevertheless, the rainfall over the YRV in the summer of 2016 was much weaker than that in 1998, despite the intensity of the 2016 El Niño having been as strong as that in 1998. A group of scientists from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, have now revealed the remarkable role played by the mid-latitude circulation in this surprising feature.

An unexpected discovery has given scientists a greater understanding of an important methane-producing enzyme.

A team of researchers at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign published a paper in eLife that outlined their findings on an enzyme called methyl-coenzyme M reductase, or MCR.

Their findings overturn what was previously believed to be true in the field: that a set of unique modifications present in MCR were essential to how the enzyme functions.

As schools around the U.S. start back up, so do trips to the doctor's office. But is that raw sore throat due to bacteria, which can be fought off with antibiotics, or a virus? Getting a definitive diagnosis of bacterial infections like Strep throat can take days. Now, one group reports in ACS Sensors that they have developed a new test that will provide results in just hours.

The drugs people inhale, inject or ingest ultimately end up in some form down the toilet. So scientists have started monitoring drug use through sewage-based epidemiology. But this approach hasn't taken into account the variation in number of people who add to wastewater in a given area at a given time. Now one team reports in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology a way to account for commutes and vacations: by tracking cell phone signals.

Some of nature's most vibrant colors occur in frogs, who peek out from rainforests and marshes in startling shades of blue, yellow and red. But for hundreds of species, only males flaunt flashy colors--and sometimes only for a few hours, days or weeks each year.

Complex life, as we know it, started completely by chance, with small strands of molecules linking up, which eventually would have given them the ability to replicate themselves.

In this world, billions of years ago, nothing existed that we would recognise today as living. The world contained only lifeless molecules that formed spontaneously through the natural chemical and physical processes on Earth.

However, the moment that small molecules connected and formed larger molecules with the ability to replicate themselves, life started to evolve.

A deadly amphibian disease called severe Perkinsea infections, or SPI, is the cause of many large-scale frog die-offs in the United States, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its yearly lowest extent on Sept. 13, NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder have reported. Analysis of satellite data by NSIDC and NASA showed that at 1.79 million square miles (4.64 million square kilometers), this year's Arctic sea ice minimum extent is the eighth lowest in the consistent long-term satellite record, which began in 1978.

Thanks to the international pet trade, populations of exotic animals are popping up in unexpected places worldwide. One of these successful invaders is the monk parakeet: a small, green parrot native to South America that now flies free in cities across North America, Europe, and elsewhere around the world.

In a new paper published in PLOS ONE, Elizabeth Hobson and colleagues describe a recent, rapid, and ongoing invasion of monk parakeets in Mexico, and the regulatory changes that affected the species' spread.

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A new study by scientists in the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions has shown that pregnant smokers are more likely to quit if they can learn to manage negative emotions that lead to smoking.

Smoking during pregnancy is a matter of serious concern, says Clara Bradizza, PhD, senior research scientist at RIA.