Earth

BOSTON, MA (Nov. 30, 2017) - In a new study published this week in Endangered Species Research, North Atlantic right whale scientists found that whales who undergo prolonged entanglements in fishing gear endure "sky-high hormone levels," indicating severe stress, which researchers discovered using a pioneering technique of examining scat from live, entangled, and dead whales over 15 years.

Despite overwhelming scientific agreement on the question of human-caused global warming, a major gap exists between this consensus and the public's understanding of the issue. Writing in BioScience, Jeffrey A. Harvey, of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, and his colleagues examine the causes of the consensus gap, focusing on climate-denier Internet blogs and the ways in which they use topics such as Arctic sea ice extent and polar bear well-being to foment misapprehensions about climate change among the public.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Sea snakes are an evolutionary success story. With about 70 species, they're the most diverse reptile group in the ocean, outnumbering sea turtle species 10-to-1.

They sport a range of physical adaptations for life at sea, including a flattened oar-like tail for paddling and the abilities to smell underwater, hold their breath for hours and go for months without a drink. And although they're not powerful swimmers, they have spread throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, ranging from Japan to New Zealand and from South Africa to Central America.

A team of scientists from the Faculty of Biology of Lomonosov Moscow State University and Laboratory of Aerobic Metabolism in Microorganisms of Skryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms of the Russian Academy of Sciences found a new substance with anti-oxidant properties able protect living organisms from various toxic compounds. The results of the study were published in Preparative Biochemistry and Biotechnology magazine.

Symbiosis between fungi and microalgae gives rise to lichen. Some lichen, however, such as Lobaria scrobiculata, have a unique feature: the fungus establishes a symbiosis with a cyanobacteria, thus requiring water in liquid form to activate photosynthesis. According to a new study, this forces the lichen to concentrate its resources on reproduction in places where water is scarce. For the first time, this study demonstrates the theory of life strategies in fungi.

CHICAGO - Osteoarthritis patients who received a steroid injection in the hip had a significantly greater incidence of bone death and collapse compared with control groups, according to new research presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Receiving an injection of a steroid and anesthetic is a common treatment for patients who are experiencing pain and inflammation in a joint, such as the hip, knee or shoulder.

CHICAGO - The majority of patients were pain free after receiving a new image-guided pulsed radiofrequency treatment for low back pain and sciatica, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Low back pain is an extremely common problem that affects at least 80 percent of the population at some point in their lifetime. It is the most common cause of job-related disability. Low back pain affects men and women equally.

Puerto Rican coqui frogs were accidentally introduced to Hawaii in the 1980s, and today there are as many as 91,000 frogs per hectare in some locations. What does that mean for native wildlife? Concerns that ravenous coquis could reduce the food available for the islands' native insect-eating birds, many of which are already declining, spurred researchers to examine the relationship between frog and bird populations--but their results, published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, weren't what they expected.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 29, 2017) - Nearly 90 percent of older drivers do not make inexpensive adaptations to their vehicles that can improve safety and extend their time behind the wheel, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Common vehicle adaptations like pedal extensions, seat cushions and steering wheel covers can help to improve safety by reducing a senior driver's crash risk. Seniors aged 65 and over are more than twice as likely as younger drivers to be killed when involved in a crash.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Yeti or Abominable Snowman -- a mysterious, ape-like creature said to inhabit the high mountains of Asia -- looms large in the mythology of Nepal and Tibet.

Sightings have been reported for centuries. Footprints have been spotted. Stories have been passed down from generation to generation.

Now, a new DNA study of purported Yeti samples from museums and private collections is providing insight into the origins of this Himalayan legend.