Earth

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- Brown University researchers have developed a new antibacterial coating for intravascular catheters that could one day help to prevent catheter-related bloodstream infections, the most common type of hospital-acquired infection.

It's widely accepted within agriculture that maintaining genetic diversity is important. In areas where crop plants are more diverse, pathogens might kill some plants but are less likely to wipe out an entire crop.

Few studies, however, have focused on such highly specialized pathogens in natural plant communities. In diverse plant communities, pathogens are thought to maintain diversity by killing common species, making room for rare ones. But what happens to diversity if, like in agriculture, pathogens harm some plants within a species, but not all?

Marine scientists from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and other groups examining the ecological status of coral reefs across the Indian and Pacific oceans have uncovered an unsettling fact: even the best coral reef marine parks contain less than half of the fish biomass found in the most remote reefs that lie far from human settlements.

The study titled "Global baselines and benchmarks for fish biomass: comparing remote reefs and fisheries closures" appears in the new edition of the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Restrictive entry and integration policies are having an adverse effect on the health of migrants in high-income countries, according to the most comprehensive assessment of the impact of general migration policies on migrant health, published in The Lancet Global Health journal.

Scientists are urging for improved regulation on pesticides after finding that they affect genes in bumblebees, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London in collaboration with Imperial College London.

For the first time, researchers applied a biomedically inspired approach to examine changes in the 12,000 genes that make up bumblebee workers and queens after pesticide exposure.

The study, published in Molecular Ecology, shows that genes which may be involved in a broad range of biological processes are affected.

Scientists have shed light on how healthy cells develop by identifying the role of key molecules involved.

The components, known as R-loops, are formed during cell development and have been shown to play an important role in the process. The latest finding overturns previous thinking that R-loops, formed from the genetic material that makes up DNA, were harmful to cells.

Researchers found that R-loops work together with a group of cell proteins, known as Polycomb, to control genes that are important for development in humans and other mammals.

Translocation is an important management tool that has been used for more than 50 years to increase bighorn sheep population numbers in Arizona and to restore herds to suitable habitat throughout their historical range. Yet, translocation also can alter the underlying genetic diversity and spatial structure of managed wildlife species in both beneficial and detrimental ways.

Tropical Cyclone Haleh continued to move in a southerly direction in the Southern Indian Ocean when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead.

Suomi NPP passed over Haleh on March 6 and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument provided a visible image of the storm. The VIIRS image showed a large area of thunderstorms wrapping into the center and the storm appeared to be elongating toward the southeast. The elongation of the storm is a result of outside winds, or moderate to strong vertical wind shear, and is indicative of weakening.

Some wetlands perform better under pressure. A new study revealed that when faced with sea-level rise, coastal wetlands respond by burying even more carbon in their soils.

Coastal wetlands, which include marshes, mangroves and seagrasses, already store carbon more efficiently than any other natural ecosystem, including forests. The latest study, published March 7 in the journal Nature, looked at how coastal wetlands worldwide react to rising seas and discovered they can rise to the occasion, offering additional protection against climate change.

Those of us who drive regularly are keenly aware of gas prices and their daily fluctuations. Many of the factors that influence the price per gallon -- the cost of crude oil, regional taxes and processing and transportation charges -- affect all pumps in a given area. Why then do some stations charge more for fuel than others in the same general geographic location?