Earth

Why is it that you can remember the name of your childhood best friend that you haven't seen in years yet easily forget the name of a person you just met a moment ago? In other words, why are some memories stable over decades, while others fade within minutes?

Big brains can help an animal mount quick, flexible behavioral responses to frequent or unexpected environmental changes. But some birds just don't need 'em.

A global study comparing 2,062 birds finds that, in highly variable environments, birds tend to have either larger or smaller brains relative to their body size. Birds with smaller brains tend to use ecological strategies that are not available to big-brained counterparts. Instead of relying on grey matter to survive, these birds tend to have large bodies, eat readily available food and make lots of babies.

With every unfinished meal since Band Aid, you've heard it: "people are starving in Africa, y'know". True, the UN estimates that rich countries throw away nearly as much food as the entire net production of sub-Saharan Africa - about 230 million tonnes per year. But is it any less a waste to eat the excess food?

Morally, it's equivocal. Nutritionally, it depends. However: the land, water and carbon footprints are just the same.

Paris, France - 23 Aug 2019: Heavily polluted areas have a higher rate of angioplasty procedures to treat blocked arteries than areas with clean air, according to research to be presented at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology.(1) Procedures are even more common in winter, the most polluted time of year.

Tissue engineers create artificial organs and tissues that can be used to develop and test new drugs, repair damaged tissue and even replace entire organs in the human body. However, current fabrication methods limit their ability to produce free-form shapes and achieve high cell viability.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (August 22, 2019) - For the first time, scientists built a synthetic biologic system with compartments like real cells. This Army project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst could lead to materials that provide new avenues to deliver medicine, treat wounds and purify water for Soldiers.

Over the last day, winds outside of Tropical Storm Chantal have been weakening the storm in the North Atlantic Ocean. When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the storm from its orbit in space on August 22, the storm had weakened to a depression and strongest storms were still confined to the northeast of the center.

What an animal eats is a fundamental aspect of its biology, but surprisingly, the evolution of diet had not been studied across the animal kingdom until now. Scientists at the University of Arizona report several unexpected findings from taking a deep dive into the evolutionary history of more than one million animal species and going back 800 million years, when the first animals appeared on our planet.

The study, published in the journal Evolution Letters, revealed several surprising key insights:

In the summer of 2011, visitors to the University of California, Davis, Arboretum may have witnessed an unusual site: small teams of students wielding large nets, leaping into the arboretum's waterway to snag basking turtles.

The students weren't in search of new pets -- quite the opposite, in fact. The teams were part of a massive project to remove hundreds of invasive red-eared slider turtles from the arboretum in an effort to observe how California's native western pond turtles fair in the absence of competitors.

Many wild southern sea otters in California are infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, yet the infection is fatal for only a fraction of sea otters, which has long puzzled the scientific community. A study from the University of California, Davis, identifies the parasite's specific strains that are killing southern sea otters, tracing them back to a bobcat and feral domestic cats from nearby watersheds.

August 22, 2019--Exposure to the criminal justice system increases some of the risk factors used to predict recidivism and re-arrest, according to new research out of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. For every arrest or conviction an adolescent experienced, their levels of antisocial attitudes, behaviors, and number of peers became subsequently higher. Findings provide new empirical evidence for an old claim--that exposure to the criminal justice system criminalizes people further.

In the southern Atlantic Rainforest remnants between Rio de Janeiro State in Southeast Brazil and Santa Catarina State in South Brazil, there are some 600 species of harvestmen (Opiliones), arachnids that live in caves and humid forests. The number of species is considered high even for this well-known biodiversity hotspot, and most of these species are endemic.

For every acre of mule deer habitat taken by roads, well pads and other oil and gas development infrastructure in Wyoming's Green River Basin, an average of 4.6 other acres of available forage is lost, according to new research by University of Wyoming scientists.

That's because deer avoid areas close to such human disturbance, even when there's quality forage in those areas, says the research published in the journal Ecological Applications.

Trade-offs in the sizes of visual and olfactory organs are a common feature of animal evolution, but the underlying genetic and developmental mechanisms have not been clear. A study publishing August 22 in the journal Developmental Cell reveals that a single DNA variant that affects the timing of sensory organ development in fruit flies could explain the size trade-off between eyes and antennae, potentially providing a quick route to behavioral changes and adaptation.

The enzyme-nitrogenase-can be traced back to the universal common ancestor of all cells more than four billion years ago.

Found only in bacteria today, nitrogenase is nevertheless essential for the production of oxygen from water in photosynthesis, making it instrumental in how aquatic bacteria produced Earth's first molecular oxygen 2.5 billion years ago.