Ability of urban trees, soils to maintain critical ecosystem services

10 hours 25 minutes ago
If you're a tree, country life is much easier than city living. Rural trees—which can live long, productive lives of sometimes more than 100 years—draw on vast resources of an extensive forest network of nearby trees. In urban areas, friendly, neighboring trees can be few and far between. Heat island effects and variation in nutrient levels leave urban trees more vulnerable to natural environmental pressures. The consequences are depressed growth and an early death.

Sierra Nevada red fox to be listed as federally endangered

14 hours 40 minutes ago
The slender, bushy-tailed Sierra Nevada red fox will be listed as an endangered species, federal wildlife officials announced Monday, saying its population has dipped to just 40 animals in area of California stretching from Lake Tahoe to south of Yosemite National Park.

How we see better by 'looking away'

1 day 3 hours ago
When we fixate an object, its image does not appear at the place where photoreceptors are packed most densely. Instead, its position is shifted slightly nasally and upwards from the cellular peak. This is shown in a recent study conducted at the University of Bonn (Germany), published in the journal Current Biology. The researchers observed such offsets in both eyes of 20 healthy subjects, and speculate that the underlying fixation behavior improves overall vision.

Overfishing and other human pressures are severely harming marine protected areas worldwide

1 day 3 hours ago
A new study by Tel Aviv University reveals significant ecological damage to many MPAs around the world. The study findings point to a strong "edge effect" in MPAs, i.e. a sharp 60% reduction in the fish population living at the edges of the MPA (up to a distance of 1-1.5 km within the MPA) compared to core areas. The "edge effect" significantly diminishes the effective size of the MPA, and largely stems from human pressures, first and foremost overfishing at the borders of the MPA.

Punishment enforces cooperation in the fig-wasp mutualism: The exception proves the rule

1 day 3 hours ago
Removal of an offender's hand, tongue or ear: punishments described in Babylon's Hammurabi Code, depended on the nature of the crime. Published in 1771 B.C., the code set the first formal standards for business interactions. But scientists disagree about whether punishment is necessary to maintain mutually-beneficial interactions between animals and plants in nature. In a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama and the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden in China discovered the exception that clearly demonstrates that sanctions enforce cooperation in the fig-wasp mutualism.

Building a better model of Arctic ecosystems

1 day 7 hours ago
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory added new plant data to a computer model that simulates Arctic ecosystems, enabling it to better predict how vegetation in rapidly warming northern environments may respond to climate change.

First comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts on coasts and seas across the UK Overseas Territories

1 day 8 hours ago
Professor John Turner and Dr. Gareth Williams of the School of Ocean Sciences were co-authors of the Indian Ocean Region Assessment which highlighted four priorities, which are the changes in coral species; changes to coral reef habitats; changes to reef islands and sandy beaches and the impacts on the provision of natural coastal protection and island resilience to sea-level rise.

Ecologists outline methods for reaching global biodiversity targets

1 day 8 hours ago
Nature is, in many ways, hard to measure, yet researchers have spent decades searching for ways to best quantify its health and create benchmarks for conservation. Now, an international team led by Montana State University ecologist Andrew Hansen hopes to help the more than 150 countries in the Convention on Biological Diversity standardize how they monitor forest ecosystems.

Atomic-level, 3-D structure of MUTYH protein opens small window into DNA repair mechanism

1 day 8 hours ago
Researchers have analyzed the three-dimensional structure of a protein that suppresses the development of colorectal polyposis, MUTYH, at the atomic level and clarified the repair mechanism for DNA mispairings by MUTYH. Since mutations in the MUTYH gene cause heritable colorectal polyposis, which leads to colorectal cancer, the researchers expect that this work will be useful for future research on heritable colorectal polyposis associated with MUTYH.

Method for discovery of antiviral drugs

1 day 9 hours ago
The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for methods to identify new or repurposed drugs as antivirals. Researchers at Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet are now presenting a new screening approach that focuses on the identification of virus-specific morphological changes in virus-infected cells.

Organoid bladders reveal secrets of UTIs

1 day 9 hours ago
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections. They usually require treatment with antibiotics, and almost a quarter of treated cases lead to recurrent infection. The vast majority of UTIs are caused by a subspecies of the bacterium Escherichia coli, which infect cells that line the bladder wall and form what are known as "intracellular bacterial communities."
49 minutes 45 seconds ago
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