Earth

An invasion of soybean aphids poses a problem for soybean farmers requiring application of pesticides, but a team of Penn State entomologists thinks a careful choice of nitrogen-fixing bacteria may provide protection against the sucking insects.

Soybeans are legumes, plants that can have a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria -- rhizobia -- and therefore do not need additional nitrogen fertilizer. Each type of legume -- peas, beans, lentils, alfalfa -- have their own rhizobia.

Troy, N.Y. – The speed at which heat moves between two materials touching each other is a potent indicator of how strongly they are bonded to each other, according to a new study by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Additionally, the study shows that this flow of heat from one material to another, in this case one solid and one liquid, can be dramatically altered by "painting" a thin atomic layer between materials. Changing the interface fundamentally changes the way the materials interact.

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 14, 2009 – Most fish rely primarily on their vision to find prey to feed upon, but a University of Rhode Island biologist and her colleagues have demonstrated that a group of African cichlids feeds by using its lateral line sensory system to detect minute vibrations made by prey hidden in the sediments.

A University of Toronto research team from the Department of Chemistry has discovered useful "green" catalysts made from iron that might replace the much more expensive and toxic platinum metals typically used in industrial chemical processes to produce drugs, fragrances and flavours.

Propagation of earthquake waves within the Earth is not uniform. Experiments indicate that the velocity of shear waves (s-waves) in Earth's lower mantle between 660 and 2900 km depth is strongly dependent on the orientation of ferropericlase. In the latest issue of "Science" (Vol. 325, 10.04.2009), researchers from the German Research Center for Geosciences GFZ, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the University of Bayreuth, and Arizona State University report unexpected properties of ferropericlase, which is presumably the second most abundant mineral of the lower mantle.

Earth's ozone layer should eventually recover from the unintended destruction brought on by the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and similar ozone-depleting chemicals in the 20th century. But new research by NASA scientists suggests the ozone layer of the future is unlikely to look much like the past because greenhouse gases are changing the dynamics of the atmosphere.

VIRGINIA KEY, Fla. – A magnitude 8.0. earthquake destroyed 90 percent of the city of Pisco, Peru on August 16, 2007. The event killed 595 people, while another 318 were missing. Tsunami waves were observed locally, off the shore of Chile, and as far away as New Zealand.

Session: Active-Source Seismic Imaging—Characterizing the SubsurfacePoster: Location: Serra I, Friday, April 10, 2009, 8:30 a.m.

Active-source seismology is the chief investigative tool for imaging the Earth's crust. This paper focuses on the use of active-source seismic studies to image faults, basin geometry, groundwater, geologic hazards and the local and regional tectonic setting.

Unprecedented dense deployment of EarthScope USArray Transportable Array, Flexible Array and Magnetotelluric instruments is providing data that are being used to develop a new generation of high-resolution Earth models and understanding of structure and processes. Fresh observations: