Current Mass Extinction News and Events

Current Mass Extinction News and Events, Mass Extinction News Articles.
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Protective ship coatings as an underestimated source of microplastic pollution
Shipping traffic can be a major source of microplastics, especially out in the open ocean. In a new study, a team of environmental geochemists from the University of Oldenburg (Germany) for the first time provides an overview of microplastics mass distribution in the North Sea. The scientists found that most of the plastic particles in water samples taken in the south-eastern North Sea originate from binders used in marine paints. Their hypothesis is that ships leave a kind of 'skid mark' in the water. (2021-02-23)

Plant responses to climate are lagged
Plant responses to climate drivers such as temperature and precipitation may become visible only years after the actual climate event. This is a key result of new research led by the German Centre of Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) published in Global Change Biology. The results indicate that climate drivers may have different effects on the survivorship, growth and reproduction of plant species than suggested by earlier studies. (2021-02-22)

Unique study of isolated bobcat population confirms accuracy of extinction model
The reintroduction of 32 bobcats to an island off the coast of Georgia more than three decades ago created an ideal experiment to examine the accuracy of a genetic-modeling technique that predicts extinction of isolated wildlife populations. (2021-02-22)

Stem cells provide hope for dwindling wildlife populations
A paper recently published in the scientific journal Stem Cells and Development shares an important advancement in conservation -- one that may make the difference between survival and extinction for wildlife species that have been reduced to very small population sizes. Using fibroblast cells that have been preserved in San Diego Zoo Global's Frozen Zoo®, scientists have been able to generate induced pluripotent stem cells of northern and southern white rhinoceroses. (2021-02-22)

Don't focus on genetic diversity to save our species
Scientists at the University of Adelaide have challenged the common assumption that genetic diversity of a species is a key indicator of extinction risk. Published in the journal PNAS, the scientists demonstrate that there is no simple relationship between genetic diversity and species survival. But, Dr João Teixeira and Dr Christian Huber from the University of Adelaide's School of Biological Sciences conclude, the focus shouldn't be on genetic diversity anyway, it should be on habitat protection. (2021-02-22)

Low-loss single-mode hybrid-lattice hollow-core photonic crystal fiber
Inhibited-coupling hollow-core photonic-crystal fibers (IC-HCPCF) are proving to be serious candidates for next-generation optical fiber. However, the difficulty in simultaneously attaining ultra-low loss, single-mode, polarization-maintaining hinders this prospect. In recent publication, Fetah Benabid and co-workers developed a novel IC-HCPCF. The fiber is based on hybrid Kagome-tubular cladding, and its performance opens up a new route for the development of HCPCFs combining robust ultra-low-loss and single-mode laser beam transportation. (2021-02-21)

Study reveals a new potential mechanism underlying loss of muscle mass during menopause
A new study conducted in collaboration between the universities of Minnesota (USA) and Jyväskylä (Finland) reveals that estrogen deficiency alters the microRNA signalling in skeletal muscle, which may activate signalling cascades leading to loss of muscle mass. (2021-02-18)

First report on mass shootings from Columbia University database
A study by researchers at Columbia University's Center of Prevention and Evaluation finds that most mass murders are not committed by individuals with serious mental illness. (2021-02-18)

The mass of Cygnus X-1's black hole challenges stellar evolution models
Weighing in at roughly 21 solar masses, the black hole in the X-ray binary system Cygnus X-1 is so massive that it challenges current stellar evolution models, a new study reveals. (2021-02-18)

First black hole ever detected is more massive than we thought
An international team, including researchers from National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), found that the first black hole, Cygnus X-1, contains a stellar-mass black hole with 21 solar mass and rotates at a speed close to the speed of light. (2021-02-18)

New research finds drive-through mass-vaccination clinics could alter COVID-19 trajectory
Policymakers at all levels of government are racing to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people to save lives and blunt the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. New research published in the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics provides a simulated model for drive-through clinics that can be used for mass COVID-19 vaccinations based on the successful use of such a clinic to address H1N1. (2021-02-17)

Climate change likely drove the extinction of North America's largest animals
A new study published in Nature Communications suggests that the extinction of North America's largest mammals was not driven by overhunting by rapidly expanding human populations following their entrance into the Americas. Instead, the findings, based on a new statistical modelling approach, suggest that populations of large mammals fluctuated in response to climate change, with drastic decreases of temperatures around 13,000 years ago initiating the decline and extinction of these massive creatures. (2021-02-16)

The comet that killed the dinosaurs
In a study published in Scientific Reports, Avi Loeb puts forth a new theory that could explain the origin and journey of the comet that killed the Chicxulub impactor and others like it. (2021-02-15)

Protected areas see continued deforestation but at a reduced rate, OSU research shows
A survey of more than 18,000 land parcels spanning 2 million square miles across 63 countries shows that a ''protected area'' designation reduces the rate of deforestation but does not prevent it. (2021-02-11)

Hubble uncovers concentration of small black holes
Scientists were expecting to find an intermediate-mass black hole at the heart of the globular cluster NGC 6397, but instead they found evidence of a concentration of smaller black holes lurking there. New data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have led to the first measurement of the extent of a collection of black holes in a core-collapsed globular cluster. (2021-02-11)

A new perceptually-consistent method for MSI visualization
Skoltech scientists have proposed a Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) method leveraging the unique features of human vision (2021-02-11)

Sawfish face global extinction unless overfishing is curbed
Sawfish have disappeared from half of the world's coastal waters and the distinctive shark-like rays face complete extinction due to overfishing, according to a new study by Simon Fraser University researchers, published in Science Advances. (2021-02-10)

A deadly fungus is killing frogs, but the bacteria on their skin could protect them
Researchers in Costa Rica have found that some bacteria on the skin of amphibians prevent growth of the fungus responsible for what has been dubbed 'the amphibian apocalypse'. (2021-02-03)

New ion trap to create the world's most accurate mass spectrometer
Mass spectrometers are widely used to analyze highly complex chemical and biological mixtures. Skoltech scientists have developed a new version of a mass spectrometer that uses rotation frequencies of ionized molecules in strong magnetic fields to measure masses with higher accuracy (FT ICR). The team has designed an ion trap that ensures the utmost resolving power in ultra-strong magnetic fields. (2021-01-28)

How heavy is dark matter? Scientists radically narrow the potential mass range for the first time
Scientists have calculated the mass range for Dark Matter - and it's tighter than the science world thought. (2021-01-27)

How did Florida fail to respond to a coral disease epizootic and what's to follow?
By 2020, losses of corals have been observed throughout Florida and into the greater Caribbean basin in what turned out to be likely the most lethal recorded case of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. A Perspectives paper, published in the open-access peer-reviewed journal Rethinking Ecology, provides an overview of how Florida ended up in a situation, where the best that could be done is rescuing genetic material from coral species at risk of regional extinction. (2021-01-26)

Climate-related species extinction possibly mitigated by newly discovered effect
Changes in climate that occur over short periods of time influence biodiversity. For a realistic assessment of these effects, it is necessary to also consider previous temperature trends going far back into Earth's history. Researchers from the University of Bayreuth and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg show this in a paper for ''Nature Ecology and Evolution''. (2021-01-20)

Counting elephants from space
For the first time, scientists have successfully used satellite cameras coupled with deep learning to count animals in complex geographical landscapes, taking conservationists an important step forward in monitoring populations of endangered species. (2021-01-19)

A massive advance in spectrometry
Kanazawa University scientists use computer simulations of charged molecules to help improve the accuracy of mass spectrometers. By understanding the collisions between ions that reduce excess charges, this work may lead to more sensitive radiocarbon dating and medical testing. (2021-01-18)

A 'ghastly future' unless extraordinary action is taken soon on sustainability
Without immediate, drastic intervention, humans face a ''ghastly future'' -- including declining health, climate devastation, tens of millions of environmental migrants and more pandemics -- in the next several decades, according to an international team of 17 prominent scientists. The researchers cite more than 150 scientific studies and conclude, ''That we are already on the path of a sixth major extinction is now scientifically undeniable.'' (2021-01-13)

Researchers identify promising model for studying human aging
The research team plans to study how the changes observed in animal models mimic the deterioration of muscle function in aging humans. (2021-01-13)

Does a mother's pre-pregnancy weight affect her children's future fertility?
A recent study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica found that sons born to mothers who fell within the overweight range were more likely to be diagnosed with infertility during adulthood than sons of mothers with normal-range weight. (2021-01-06)

Eurasian eagle owl diet reveals new records of threatened giant bush-crickets
Bird diets provide a real treasure for research into the distribution and conservation of their prey, conclude scientists after studying the Eurasian Eagle Owl in southeastern Bulgaria. In their paper, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Travaux du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle ''Grigore Antipa'', they report the frequent presence of the threatened Big-Bellied Glandular Bush-Cricket, and conclude that studies on the Eurasian Eagle Owl could be used to identify biodiversity-rich areas in need of protection. (2021-01-05)

Leaf fossils show severe end-Cretaceous plant extinction in southern Argentina
The asteroid impact 66 million years ago that ushered in a mass extinction and ended the dinosaurs also killed off many of the plants that they relied on for food. Fossil leaf assemblages from Patagonia, Argentina, suggest that vegetation in South America suffered great losses but rebounded quickly, according to an international team of researchers. (2021-01-05)

Scientists develop an efficient way to produce low-cost heatsinks
NUST MISIS scientists found a way to reduce the cost of industrial and electronics heatsinks production up to 10 times. Consequently, the product itself would also cost less. The proposed methods presume the use of rubbers and silicon carbide as components, i.e. these components are mixed, pressed and sintered. The article on the research is published in Polymers. (2020-12-21)

Volcanic eruptions directly triggered ocean acidification during Early Cretaceous
New study supports hypothesis that Ontong Java Plateau large igneous province eruptions led to oceanic anoxic event 1a, 127 to 100 million years ago. (2020-12-21)

When dinosaurs disappeared, forests thrived
To understand how specific ecosystems were affected by the meteorite impact that led to the mass extinction of dinosaurs, a team of McGill scientists has analyzed the microscopic remains of plants from this period. They found that local plant communities and ecosystems experienced a long-term shift towards fewer aquatic plants and an increase in terrestrial plants, including trees such as birches and elms. Changes in rainfall patterns during the extinction event were relatively minor and short-lived. (2020-12-16)

Mass extinctions of land-dwelling animals occur in 27-million-year cycle
Mass extinctions of land-dwelling animals--including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds--follow a cycle of about 27 million years, coinciding with previously reported mass extinctions of ocean life, according to a new analysis published in the journal Historical Biology. (2020-12-11)

Sea star listed as critically endangered following research by Oregon State University
The iconic sunflower sea star has been listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature following a groundbreaking population study led by Oregon State University and The Nature Conservancy. (2020-12-11)

Artificial intelligence finds surprising patterns in Earth's biological mass extinctions
Scientists have long believed that mass extinctions create productive periods of species evolution, or ''radiations,'' a model called ''creative destruction.'' However, new analysis provide evidence for different outcome. A new study led by scientists affiliated with the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at Tokyo Institute of Technology used machine learning to examine the co-occurrence of fossil species and found that radiations and extinctions are rarely connected, and thus mass extinctions generally don't cause mass radiations. (2020-12-10)

Researchers estimate nearly one-third of oaks are threatened with extinction
An estimated 31% of the world's oak species are threatened with extinction according to data compiled in a new report by The Morton Arboretum and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Tree Specialist Group, The Red List of Oaks 2020. (2020-12-10)

Deadly, emergent cancer becoming endemic in Tasmanian devils, reducing extinction threat
An emergent transmissible cancer that once threatened Tasmanian devils with extinction appears to be transitioning to a state of endemism, researchers report. (2020-12-10)

Computational method provides faster high-resolution mass spectrometry imaging
Researchers at the Beckman Institute have developed a computational strategy that enables faster chemical and spatial characterization of tissues. (2020-12-10)

Nature conservation requires more dynamic approach to weather impacts of climate change
A new hard-hitting paper, titled ''Post-2020 biodiversity targets need to embrace climate change'' argues that nature conservation strategies need to become more flexible and dynamic in how it addresses the impact of climate change on natural habitats, genetic resources of plants, the composition of species, and the functioning of ecosystems. If not, any apparent short-term gains in reversing biodiversity loss could be lost in the decades to follow, due to climate change. (2020-12-09)

Why do elephants and tigers still roam in India? Study offers clues
A study documenting four extinctions of large mammals on the Indian Subcontinent sheds light on why elephants, tigers, and rhinos still roam there. (2020-12-08)

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