Earth

Super Typhoon Maria's seven nautical-mile wide eye appeared very clearly in a visible image from NASA's Aqua satellite on July 6.

When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on July 6 at 0350 UTC (July 5 at 11:50 p.m. EDT), the MODIS instrument or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer provided a visible-light image of Super Typhoon Maria. The MODIS image revealed a clear, small eye, surrounded by a powerful ring of strong thunderstorms.

Washington, DC - July 6, 2018 - Researchers have shown that higher levels of Plasmodium falciparum antibodies are protective against severe malaria in children living in Papua New Guinea. Children who have higher levels of antibodies to a specific short amino acid sequence in the malaria parasite, P. falciparum, have much lower rates of clinical and severe malaria. This amino acid sequence, an antigen, is similar among P. falciparum strains elsewhere in the world, suggesting that this antigen would make a good target for a malaria vaccine.

NASA's Aqua satellite revealed showed deep convection in Fabio dissipated by the morning of July 6. The system now consists of a swirl of low- to-mid-level clouds.

Despite the lack of strong thunderstorms and deep convection, Fabio is creating ocean swells that are affecting portions of the coasts of southern California and the Baja California Peninsula. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Tropical Depression 2 strengthened into a compact hurricane on July 6 as NASA's Aqua satellite gathered temperature data on the storm.

At 2:30 p.m. EDT on July 5, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Beryl. At 5 a.m. EDT on Friday, July 6, Beryl became the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Throughout history, humans have deliberately translocated rabbits and hares (leporids) around the world, so they now occupy every continent (except Antarctica). A new Mammal Review article examines studies on the 12 leporid species that have been introduced by humans to areas beyond their native ranges, highlighting the animals' effects on the ecosystem at different levels.

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- New research shows that mice and voles scurry to bear scats to forage for seeds, finding nutritional value in the seeds and in some cases further dispersing them.

The study is published in the journal Ecosphere by researchers at Oregon State University and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The research builds on an OSU study that determined that bears are the primary seed dispersers of berry-producing shrubs in Alaska.

Tropical forests are important to all of us on the planet. As well as being home for rare and fascinating biodiversity (like the lemurs of Madagascar), tropical forests lock up enormous amounts of carbon helping to stabilise our climate. However tropical forests are also home to many hundreds of thousands of people whose lives can be affected by international conservation policies.

The Baltic Sea is home to some of the world's largest dead zones, areas of oxygen-starved waters where most marine animals can't survive. But while parts of this sea have long suffered from low oxygen levels, a new study by a team in Finland and Germany shows that oxygen loss in coastal areas over the past century is unprecedented in the last 1500 years. The research is published today in the European Geosciences Union journal Biogeosciences.

A rare juvenile foot fossil of our early hominin ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis, exhibits several ape-like foot characteristics that could have aided in foot grasping for climbing trees, a new study shows. This finding challenges the long-held assumption that A. afarensis was exclusively bipedal (using only two legs for walking) and only occasionally climbed into trees. Juvenile hominin fossils provide unique insights into how traits (like foot grasping) become less apparent as the individual grows into adulthood.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is associated with changes to the structure of the brain that are also seen in the early stages of dementia, according to a study published in the European Respiratory Journal [1].

OSA, where the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep stopping breathing, is known to reduce levels of oxygen in the blood. The new study suggests that this drop in oxygen may be linked to a shrinking of the brain's temporal lobes and a corresponding decline in memory.