Current Natural Resources News and Events

Current Natural Resources News and Events, Natural Resources News Articles.
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Using human rights laws may be most effective way of harnessing international legislation to protect
Using laws governing human rights may be the best way of harnessing international legislation and tribunals to protect the Amazon, a new study shows. (2021-02-22)

Study reveals energy sources supporting coral reef predators
Since Charles Darwin's day, the abundance of life on coral reefs has been puzzling, given that most oceanic surface waters in the tropics are low in nutrients and unproductive. But now research, led by Newcastle University and published in in the journal Science Advances, has confirmed that the food web of a coral reef in the Maldives relies heavily on what comes in from the open ocean. (2021-02-19)

Direct cloning method CAPTUREs novel microbial natural products
Microorganisms possess natural product biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) that may harbor unique bioactivities for use in drug development and agricultural applications. However, many uncharacterized microbial BGCs remain inaccessible. Researchers at Illinois previously demonstrated a technique using transcription factor decoys to activate large, silent BGCs in bacteria to aid in natural product discovery. (2021-02-19)

Deep seabed mining must benefit all humankind
As investors set their sights on the mineral resources of the deep seabed, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is developing regulations that will govern their future exploration and possible exploitation. A new IASS Policy Brief, published in cooperation with the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), presents three recommendations to ensure that future deep seabed mining would be to the common benefit all humankind, as required by international law. (2021-02-18)

The effect of natural disasters on criminal--and charitable--activity in the USA
While media has popularized a notion of widespread looting and chaos in the wake of major disasters, the researchers found that communities impacted by disasters actually experience a decrease in crime. Their article also found a marked increase in philanthropic activity amongst people that live nearby disaster areas but weren't directly affected by the disaster. (2021-02-16)

Common pipistrelle bats attracted to wind turbines
One of the most abundant bats in Europe may be attracted to wind turbines, a new study shows. (2021-02-11)

Winner-takes-all synthetic gene circuit process opens new pathways to disease treatment
Multicellular synthetic circuits will be a much more effective way to treat cancer. (2021-02-08)

Captive-bred juvenile salmon unlikely to become migratory when released into streams
Researchers at the Kobe University Graduate School of Science have revealed that when captive-bred juvenile red-spotted masu salmon are released into natural streams, very few individuals become migrants. This was an important species in the rivers of west Japan for the fishing industry, however in recent years their numbers are declining rapidly. The results of this research offer important suggestions for stocking practices and the management of river environments. (2021-02-08)

Mapping hotspots of undersized fish and crustaceans may aid sustainable fishing practices
The seafood fished out of certain areas of southern European seas is consistently too small to keep, shows a recent study. Catching and discarding these juvenile and undersized animals harms biodiversity and worsens overexploitation of fisheries. But identifying these regions may help prioritize where fishing restrictions are needed most. (2021-02-05)

Human-generated noise pollution dominates the ocean's soundscape
The soundscapes of the Anthropocene ocean are fundamentally different from those of pre-industrial times, becoming more and more a raucous cacophony as the noise from human activity has grown louder and more prevalent. (2021-02-04)

Study suggests environmental factors had a role in the evolution of human tolerance
Environmental pressures may have led humans to become more tolerant and friendly towards each other as the need to share food and raw materials became mutually beneficial, a new study suggests. (2021-02-03)

Modern anti-cancer drugs work via tiny molecular motions
Modern immunotherapeutic anti-cancer drugs support a natural mechanism of the immune system to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. They dock onto a specific receptor of the killer cell and prevent it from being switched off by the cancer cells. In a molecular dynamics study scientists from MedUni Vienna and the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (Boku) Vienna, have analysed this mechanism for the drugs nivolumab and pembrolizumab. (2021-02-03)

Lack of ICU beds tied to thousands of excess COVID-19 deaths, Yale study finds
New Haven, Conn. --A new study by Yale researchers found a significant association between the availability of hospital resources -- particularly ICU beds -- and patient mortality during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. (2021-02-02)

Biodegradable displays for sustainable electronics
Increasing use of electronic devices in consumables and new technologies for the internet of things are increasing the amount of electronic scrap. To save resources and minimize waste volumes, an eco-friendlier production and more sustainable lifecycle will be needed. Scientists of KIT have now been the first to produce displays, whose biodegradability has been checked and certified by an independent office. The results are reported in the Journal of Materials Chemistry. (DOI: 10.1039/d0tc04627b) (2021-01-26)

NSAIDs might exacerbate or suppress COVID-19 depending on timing, mouse study suggests
New research shows that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduced both antibody and inflammatory responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice. The study appears this week in the Journal of Virology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. (2021-01-22)

Museum scientists: Prepare for next pandemic now by preserving animal specimens in natural history
It's been more than a year since the first cases were identified in China, yet the exact origins of the COVID-19 pandemic remain a mystery. Though strong evidence suggests that the responsible coronavirus originated in bats, how and when it crossed from wildlife into humans is unknown. (2021-01-12)

A bucket of water can reveal climate change impacts on marine life in the Arctic
We know very little about marine life in the Arctic. Now researchers from the University of Copenhagen, among others, are trying to change that. They have shown that a simple water sample makes it possible to monitor the presence, migration patterns and genetic diversity of bowhead whales in an otherwise hard-to-reach area. The method can be used to understand how climate changes and human activities impact life in the oceans. (2021-01-12)

Scientists find the error source of a sea-ice model varies with the season
Scientists evaluated the sea-ice simulations of the Arctic regional ocean-ice coupling configuration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm) and found there were disagreements between the simulations and observations in both March and September. (2020-12-30)

Keeping up appearances: male fairy-wrens show looks can be deceiving
A new study examines whether conspicuous colours of superb fairy-wrens signal male quality. (2020-12-22)

Wa­ter and genes flow between the two largest Baltic sal­mon rivers
Salmon from upstream reaches of the two northernmost Baltic rivers are different from downstream salmon. A recent study found that upstream salmon from the large Tornio and Kalix Rivers in Finland and Sweden are genetically distinct and migrate at different times and ages than their downstream counterparts. However, there seems to be no such distinction between salmon from these two neighbouring rivers. (2020-12-21)

Biologists clarify how three species of cephalopods coexist in the Arctic
By analyzing the content of stable heavy isotopes of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) in the beaks, the researchers studied three closely related cephalopod species: the highly boreal Rossia megaptera, the wide-boreal-Arctic Rossia palpebrosa, and the Arctic endemic Rossia moelleri, which are sympatric in the Arctic. (2020-12-15)

Can sting rays and electric rays help us map the ocean floor?
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan have completed a feasibility study indicating that electric rays and sting rays equipped with pingers will be able to map the seabed through natural exploration. (2020-12-09)

Nebraska anglers are creatures of habit
Fishing behavior of Nebraska anglers may be more predictable than previously thought, says a new paper published in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecological Applications. Seven fishing spots across the state were visited by loyal communities of anglers throughout the year, with little variation from spring to fall in the home ZIP codes of visitors. (2020-12-09)

Natural reward theory could provide new foundation for biology
Major trends of evolution, including the increase of complexity, command over resources, and innovativeness, have remained difficult to reconcile with Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. A new paper by Owen Gilbert (University of Texas), and published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Rethinking Ecology, suggests that there is an alternative non-random force of evolution: natural reward, which acts synergistically with natural selection and leads to the increased innovativeness, or advancement, of life with time. (2020-12-08)

How plants compete for underground real estate affects climate change and food production
How do plant roots store carbon? Princeton researchers found that the energy a plant devotes to its roots depends on proximity to other plants: when close together, plants heavily invest in their root systems to compete for finite underground resources; if far apart, they invest less. As about a third of the world's vegetation biomass (and carbon) is belowground, this model provides a valuable tool to predict root proliferation in global earth-system models. (2020-12-03)

Natural resources governance -- responsibilization of citizens or forcing responsibility on them?
The possibilities of citizens to participate in natural resource governance are increasing. Responsive and collaborative models of natural resource governance can open up new opportunities, but can also lead to unreasonable responsibilization, or even force responsibility on under-resourced organizations and individuals. (2020-11-30)

Study reveals unintended impact of conversation policies
New research involving the University of East Anglia (UEA) shows how conservation polices can avoid having unintended consequences for local ecosystems and people. The research, conducted by scientists at the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) and University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, with partners in Palau and economists in Italy and the UK, shows that the PNMS policies which restrict industrial offshore fishing could drive up offshore fish prices and, in turn, increase tourists' consumption of reef fish. (2020-11-30)

Satellite images confirm uneven impact of climate change
University of Copenhagen researchers have been following vegetation trends across the planet's driest areas using satellite imagery from recent decades. They have identified a troubling trend: Too little vegetation is sprouting up from rainwater in developing nations, whereas things are headed in the opposite direction in wealthier ones. As a result, the future could see food shortages and growing numbers of climate refugees. (2020-11-26)

Songbird parents evict young for their own benefit
Parents, you might know the feeling. When kids get pushy and demanding, it's a tempting fantasy to shove them out of the house and let them survive on their own. Of course, we'd never put our babies in harm's way, but according to new research from the University of Illinois, many songbird parents give nestlings the boot well before they're ready. (2020-11-16)

Researchers quantify carbon changes in Sierra Nevada meadow soils
Meadows in the Sierra Nevada mountains are critical components of watersheds. In addition to supplying water to over 25 million people in California and Nevada, meadows contain large quantities of carbon belowground. While it has been known for some time that meadows have large quantities of soil carbon, whether meadow soils are gaining or losing carbon has remained unclear. (2020-11-16)

New bird genomes give insight into evolution of genomic diversity
The Bird 10,000 Genome Project (B10K), an initiative to sequence the genomes of all living bird species, announces the completion of its second milestone--the release of genomes representing 92% of all bird families. (2020-11-12)

In a warming climate, can birds take the heat?
We don't know precisely how hot things will get as climate change marches on, but animals in the tropics may not fare as well as their temperate relatives. Many scientists think tropical animals, because they're accustomed to a more stable thermal environment, may be pushed beyond their limits quickly as temperatures soar. Yet, in a University of Illinois study, researchers show both temperate and tropical birds can handle acute heat stress better than expected. (2020-11-12)

Sustainable tourism--or a selfie? Ecotourism's fans may be in it for the 'gram
A new study by researchers at the University of Georgia suggests ecotourism's altruistic attractions may be overshadowed by another benefit: photos for social media. (2020-11-12)

Scientists release genomes of birds representing nearly all avian families
In the Nov. 11, 2020 issue of the journal Nature, scientists report on the genomes of 363 species of birds, including 267 that have been sequenced for the first time. The studied species--from widespread, economically important birds such as the chicken to the lesser known birds--represent more than 92% of the world's avian families. The data from the study will advance research on the evolution of birds and the conservation of threatened bird species. (2020-11-11)

Mental health strained by disaster
A new study found that suicide rates increase during all types of disasters -- including severe storms, floods, hurricanes and ice storms -- with the largest overall increase occurring two years after a disaster. A team of researchers examined the impact of 281 natural disasters on suicide rates during a 12-year span and found overall suicide rates increased by 23% when compared to rates before and after the disaster. (2020-11-11)

Urban gulls adapt foraging schedule to human activity patterns
If you've ever seen a seagull snatch a pasty or felt their beady eyes on your sandwich in the park, you'd be right to suspect they know exactly when to strike to increase their chances of getting a human snack. A new study by the University of Bristol is the most in-depth look to date at the foraging behaviours of urban gulls and how they've adapted to patterns of human activity in a city. (2020-11-10)

New primary care tool to prescribe referrals for community health and social services
CommunityRx-H3 is a practice-level, customizable community resource referral system that uses evidence-based algorithms to auto-generate a list of community resources to address such needs. This study evaluated the implementation of CommunityRx-H3 through the perspective of primary care practice facilitators. (2020-11-10)

Ice-binding molecules stop ice growth, act as natural antifreeze
Certain molecules bind tightly to the surface of ice, creating a curved interface that can halt further ice growth. Some insects, plants, and sea-dwelling creatures contain protein molecules of this type that act as natural antifreeze agents, allowing the organisms to withstand freezing temperatures. In The Journal of Chemical Physics, scientists report a computational method to model ice binding using a biasing technique to drive the formation of ice in the simulation. (2020-11-03)

Living near green space linked to lower rates of smoking and higher chances of quitting
A study led by the University of Plymouth showed people living in areas with a high proportion of greenspace were 20% less likely to be current smokers than those in less green areas, and up to 12% more likely to have successfully quit smoking. (2020-10-30)

Globalized economy making water, energy and land insecurity worse: Study
The first large-scale study of the risks that countries face from dependence on water, energy and land resources has found that globalisation may be decreasing, rather than increasing, the security of global supply chains. (2020-10-25)

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