Earth

Scientists from the University of Maryland have published their assembly of the domestic cow (Bos taurus), an important new resource for the genetics community. The new version of the cow genome improves considerably on other assemblies, in terms of both completeness and accuracy. The article describing their research is freely available in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology.

CT colonography allows radiologists to predict, with a high degree of confidence, whether or not a polyp needs to be evaluated through colonoscopy or removed through polypectomy, according to a study performed at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, WI.

For the patient with a positive PPD test, which usually indicates prior exposure to tuberculosis, the guidelines recommend a chest x-ray that typically includes a frontal and lateral view. The lateral view, which accounts for 2/3 of the total radiation dose during screening, is not necessary, according to a study performed at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.

Gas power plants could be cheaply retrofitted to generate hydrogen as well as power, chemists say in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

A catalyst would convert methane into hydrogen gas and combustible coke, allowing the power station to produce hydrogen alongside electricity.

Gadi Rothenberg and colleagues at the University of Amsterdam and at IRCE Lyon report in Green Chemistry that the catalyst could be cheaply installed into existing plants.

BOZEMAN -- Scientists predict that global climate change will make many regions around the world warmer and drier, a factor which, taken by itself, would seem to increase the risk of wildfires.

But a new study led by a Montana State University researcher shows that changes in the types of vegetation covering an area play a major role in determining how often that area is burned by fires and could even counteract the effects of changes in temperature and moisture.

Plants absorbed carbon dioxide more efficiently under the polluted skies of recent decades than they would have done in a cleaner atmosphere, according to new findings published this week in Nature.

The results of the study have important implications for efforts to combat future climate change which are likely to take place alongside attempts to lower air pollution levels.

The research team included scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the Met Office Hadley Centre, ETH Zurich and the University of Exeter.