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Paleontologists identify new 508-million-year-old sea creature with can opener-like pincers
Paleontologists have uncovered a new fossil species that sheds light on the origin of mandibulates, the most abundant and diverse group of organisms on Earth, to which belong familiar animals such as flies, ants, crayfish and centipedes. Named Tokummia katalepsis by the researchers, the creature documents for the first time the anatomy of early mandibulates, a sub-group of arthropods with specialized appendages known as mandibles, used to grasp, crush and cut their food. (2017-04-26)

Replacing coal and oil with natural gas will not help fight global warming
Both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger greenhouse gas footprint than do coal or oil, especially for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating. (2014-07-21)

Unconventional: The Development of Natural Gas from the Marcellus Shale
Shale gas has changed thinking about fossil energy supplies worldwide, but the development of these resources has been controversial. Activists have made claims that hydraulic fracturing may contribute to climate change, threaten groundwater resources, and pose risks to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and human health. (2017-03-14)

Discovery challenges timeline of oxygen on Earth
An international team of researchers has determined there was a 'whiff' of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere about 2.5 billion years ago, the earliest time any significant amount of oxygen has been detected on Earth. (2007-09-27)

UF report: 2011 shark attacks remain steady, deaths highest since 1993
Shark attacks in the US declined in 2011, but worldwide fatalities reached a two-decade high, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File report released today. (2012-02-07)

Global shark attacks drop to recent average in 2016
After 2015's record-busting 98 shark attacks, calmer waters prevailed in 2016. The University of Florida's International Shark Attack File reported 81 unprovoked attacks worldwide, in line with the five-year average of about 82 incidents annually. (2017-01-25)

Fracking's environmental impacts scrutinized
Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually faired better than renewables on some environmental impacts, according to new research. (2014-09-21)

A little impurity makes nanolasers shine: ANU media release
Scientists at The Australian National University have improved the performance of tiny lasers by adding impurities, in a discovery which will be central to the development of low-cost biomedical sensors, quantum computing, and a faster internet. Researcher Tim Burgess added atoms of zinc to lasers one hundredth the diameter of a human hair and made of gallium arsenide -- a material used extensively in smartphones and other electronic devices,. (2016-07-04)

Groundwater unaffected by shale gas production in Arkansas
A new study by scientists at Duke University and the U.S. Geological Survey finds no evidence of groundwater contamination from shale gas production in Arkansas. (2013-05-15)

Unconventional natural gas on Bornholm
A scientific drilling project to investigate natural gas in shale rock is launched on the Danish island of Bornholm. (2010-08-11)

Last unidentified sport fish in North America gets a scientific name
Scientists have identified a new species of bass, making the finned fighter likely the last game fish in North America to get a scientific name, says a University of Florida researcher. (2000-01-19)

Sybille Hildebrandt and Chelsea Wald awarded EGU Science Journalism Fellowship
The European Geosciences Union has named journalists Sybille Hildebrandt and Chelsea Wald as the winners of its 2014 Science Journalism Fellowship for projects on palaeontology, geochemistry and the origin of animal life, and on soil sciences and forensics, respectively. Hildebrandt will receive €3,500 to join a research team travelling to the Canadian Rockies, and Wald €1,500 to cover expenses related to a trip to Scotland. (2014-01-10)

UK shale gas extraction could be reduced by limited space to develop wells
Only a quarter of the shale gas contained in one of the UK's largest reserves might be recoverable because of limited space to develop the wells needed to extract it, according to new research. (2017-04-02)

A voracious Cambrian predator, Cambroraster, is a new species from the Burgess Shale
Palaeontologists at the Royal Ontario Museum and University of Toronto have uncovered fossils of a large new predatory species in half-a-billion-year-old rocks from Kootenay National Park in the Canadian Rockies. This new species has rake-like claws and a pineapple-slice-shaped mouth at the front of an enormous head, and it sheds light on the diversity of the earliest relatives of insects, crabs, spiders, and their kin. (2019-07-30)

Shark attacks decline worldwide in midst of economic recession
The recession may be responsible for a slump of a different sort: an unexpected dive in shark attacks, says a University of Florida researcher. (2009-02-19)

Analysis of fracking wastewater yields some surprises
Hydraulically fractured natural gas wells are producing less wastewater per unit of gas recovered than conventional wells would. But the scale of fracking operations in the Marcellus shale region is so vast that the wastewater it produces threatens to overwhelm the region's wastewater disposal capacity, according to new analysis by researchers at Duke and Kent State universities. (2013-01-22)

A steady increase in the water footprint at US fracking sites
Water use for hydraulic fracturing (commonly referred to as 'fracking') in the US has been increasing at individual facilities in recent years, even as unconventional oil and gas production has more broadly declined, a new study reports. The findings emphasize the importance of water management at fracking operations, particularly if the prices of oil and natural (2018-08-15)

U.Va. researcher: Methane out, carbon dioxide in?
University of Virginia researchers have found that the Marcellus Shale geological formation in Pennsylvania has the potential to store roughly 50 percent of the US carbon dioxide emissions produced from stationary sources between 2018 and 2030. (2013-09-26)

World shark attacks sink for second year in row, UF research shows
A weak economy and excessive fishing may have taken a bite out of shark attacks, which declined in 2002 for the second straight year, a new University of Florida report shows. (2003-02-05)

500-million-year old worm 'superhighway' discovered in Canada
Prehistoric worms populated the sea bed 500 million years ago--evidence that life was active in an environment thought uninhabitable until now, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows. (2019-02-28)

New lobster-like predator found in 508 million-year-old fossil-rich site
What do butterflies, spiders and lobsters have in common? They are all surviving relatives of a newly identified species called Yawunik kootenayi, a marine creature with two pairs of eyes and prominent grasping appendages that lived as much as 508 million years ago -- more than 250 million years before the first dinosaur. It was identified by palaeontologists at the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and Pomona College in California. (2015-03-27)

$1.1 million grant aimed at preventing coal mine collapses
No one can predict exactly when a coal mine will collapse, but a $1.1 million grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health aims to change that, according to a Penn State mineral engineer. (2016-11-09)

Perimeter Institute congratulates Cliff Burgess on CAP-CRM Prize
Perimeter Institute Associate Faculty member Clifford Burgess has won the 2010 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics. (2010-04-16)

Rare fossils provide more detailed picture of biodiversity during Middle Ordovician
Marine fossil specimens unearthed in northern Portugal are filling a gap in understanding evolution during the Middle Ordovician period. (2019-06-04)

New study shows no evidence of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing
Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to extract natural gas has no direct connection to reports of groundwater contamination, based on evidence reviewed in a study released Thursday by the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. (2012-02-16)

Endangered sawfish focus of national collection and recovery efforts
The University of Florida, keeper of the world's shark attack records, is also now overseeing a national records collection for another toothy marine predator: the sawfish. (2008-12-01)

Unconventional natural gas reservoir in Pennsylvania poised to dramatically increase US Production
Natural gas distributed throughout the Marcellus black shale in northern Appalachia could conservatively boost proven US reserves by trillions of cubic feet if gas production companies employ horizontal drilling techniques, according to a Penn State and State University of New York, Fredonia, team. (2008-01-17)

Fossil find fills in picture of ancient marine life
Paleontologists have discovered a rich array of exceptionally preserved fossils of marine animals that lived between 480 million and 472 million years ago, during the early part of a period known as the Ordovician. The specimens are the oldest yet discovered soft-bodied fossils from the Ordovician, a period marked by intense biodiversification, and greatly expand our understanding of the animal life that existed at a crucial point in evolutionary history. (2010-05-13)

Residual hydraulic fracturing water not a risk to groundwater
Hydraulic fracturing -- fracking or hydrofracturing -- raises many concerns about potential environmental impacts, especially water contamination. Currently, data show that the majority of water injected into wells stays underground, triggering fears that it might find its way into groundwater. New research by a team of scientists should help allay those fears. (2014-09-10)

How to avoid water wars between 'fracking' industry and residents
The shale gas boom has transformed the energy landscape in the US, but in some drier locations, it could cause conflict among the energy industry, residents and agricultural interests over already-scarce water resources, say researchers. They add that degraded water quality is a potential risk unless there are adequate safeguards. The feature article appears in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology. (2014-04-23)

Barium leaches directly from fracked rocks, Dartmouth team finds
Dartmouth College researchers are shedding light on the early chemical reactions in the organic sediments that would ultimately become the Marcellus Shale, a major source of natural gas and petroleum. (2016-05-24)

Marcellus brine migration likely natural, not man-made
A Duke University study of well water in northeastern Pennsylvania suggests that naturally occurring pathways could have allowed salts and gases from the Marcellus shale formation deep underground to migrate up into shallow drinking water aquifers. The study found elevated levels of salinity with similar geochemistry to deep Marcellus brine in drinking water samples from three groundwater aquifers, but no direct links between the salinity and shale gas exploration in the region. (2012-07-09)

Monitoring, management, and oversight critical for responsible shale gas development
A new expert panel report, 'Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in Canada,' concludes that shale gas development must be supported by well-targeted science and management strategies to understand and mitigate potential impacts. The report, released today by the Council of Canadian Academies, addresses environmental and associated health impacts and offers insights regarding public engagement and trust. (2014-05-01)

UF study: World shark attacks sink again, may signal long-term trend
The number of shark attacks worldwide took a dip for the third straight year, in part perhaps because more people are realizing the ocean is a wild place instead of a backyard swimming pool, a new University of Florida study finds. (2004-01-27)

Oil spill threatens toothy marine predator that is cultural and historic icon
The BP oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico threatens the existence of a critically endangered sawfish and its relative that recently has been proposed to join it as the only two marine fish in United States waters to receive such federal protection, says a University of Florida researcher. (2010-05-27)

Bradford Co. water quality improves; impacts rare near shale gas wells
A new study of groundwater in a rural Pennsylvania county shows only rare instances of possible gas contamination amid an overall trend of improving water quality despite heavy Marcellus Shale development. (2018-06-12)

'Realistic' new model points the way to more efficient and profitable fracking
The mathematical and computational model is the first to predict branching while being consistent with the amount of gas that is known to be released from the shale. (2019-01-07)

Newly found ring of teeth uncovers what common ancestor of molting animals looked like
A new analysis of one of the most bizarre-looking fossils ever discovered has definitively sorted its head from its tail, and turned up a previously unknown ring of teeth, which could help answer some of the questions around the early development of moulting animals. (2015-06-24)

Bedrock type under forests greatly affects tree growth, species, carbon storage
A forest's ability to store carbon depends significantly on the bedrock beneath, according to Penn State researchers who studied forest productivity, composition and associated physical characteristics of rocks in the Appalachian ridge and Valley Region of Pennsylvania. (2020-06-10)

How fluids flow through shale
Current drilling and fracturing methods can't extract oil and natural gas very well, recovering an estimated 5 percent of oil and 20 percent of gas from shale. That's partly due to a poor understanding of how fluids flow through these small pores, which measure only nanometers across. But new computer simulations, described this week in the Physics of Fluids, can better probe the underlying physics, potentially leading to more efficient extraction of oil and gas. (2017-05-02)

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