Earth

Tiny, easy-to-produce particles, called quantum dots, may soon take the place of more expensive single crystal semiconductors in advanced electronics found in solar panels, camera sensors and medical imaging tools. Although quantum dots have begun to break into the consumer market - in the form of quantum dot TVs - they have been hampered by long-standing uncertainties about their quality. Now, a new measurement technique developed by researchers at Stanford University may finally dissolve those doubts.

Visible imagery from NASA's Terra satellite revealed 03W that formed near the island of Yap in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Yap State is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia. The other three states include Kosrae State, Pohnpei State, and Chuuk State.

A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Yap and Ngulu in Yap State and Kayangel in the Republic of Palau.

"Our goal was to see how chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas react to unfamiliar objects in the wild since novel object experiments are often used in comparative psychology research, and we wanted to know if there were any differences among the three great apes," says Ammie Kalan, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "We were specifically surprised by the differences in reactions we observed between the chimps and bonobos.

Antifreeze is life's means of surviving in cold winters: Natural antifreeze proteins help fish, insects, plants and even bacteria live through low temperatures that should turn their liquid parts to deadly shards of ice. Strangely enough, in very cold conditions, the same proteins can also promote the growth of ice crystals. This was the finding of experiments carried out in Israel and Germany using proteins taken from fish and beetles.

Brazilian scientists have discovered that the strong odor released by some amphibian species is produced by bacteria and that attracting a mate is one of its purposes.

The bacteria in question are a noteworthy example of symbiosis as they assist in the animal's mating process. A paper recounting the discovery of this role of microorganisms isolated from the skin of frogs has been published
in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It's not uncommon for young adults to pitch in and help out with the care of younger siblings. But it turns out that sometimes birds choose to become avian au pairs rather than raise their own brood.

After a five-year experiment, researchers from Florida State University and the Tallahassee-based Tall Timbers Research Station found that when fewer mates were available for brown-headed nuthatches, these small pine-forest birds opted to stay home and help their parents or other adults raise their offspring.

Glyphosate is back in the news again. The common weed killer, which has previously attracted controversy for its possible link to cancer, has been found in beer and wine.

Researchers in the US tested 15 different types of beer and five different types of wine, finding traces of the pesticide in 19 out of the 20 beverages.
 

An imaging technique used to detect some forms of cancer can also help detect preeclampsia in pregnancy before it becomes a life-threatening condition, a new Tulane study says.

Preelcampsia is a hypertensive disorder that accounts for 14 percent of global maternal deaths annually and affects 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies. Symptoms may include high blood pressure and protein in the urine and typically occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy.

AMHERST, Mass. - A persistent question among urban ecology researchers has been the long-term impact of urbanization on bird species biodiversity. Specifically, they wonder whether the portions of cities with higher diversity are simply exhibiting an "extinction debt" - populations doomed to extinction but not yet disappeared - or if other factors such as range shifts or local environmental changes play a role in changes in diversity.

University of Oklahoma neuroscientists have found a pathway in the brain where taste and pain intersect in a new study that originally was designed to look at the intersection of taste and food temperature. This study was the first time researchers have shown that taste and pain signals come together in the brain and use the same circuitry. OU neuroscientists received a five-year, $1.6 million National Institutes of Health grant to study this concept.