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  • Sugar pine genome is 10X the size of human genome - Futurity
    University of Iowa University of Kansas University of Leeds University of Maryland University of Melbourne University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Earth and Environment Related Articles Plastic junk and fibers show up in market fish Wind churned plastics litter deep ocean Mercury from Asia shows up in Hawaii s fish Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print The genome of the sugar pine the so called king of conifers is the largest ever sequenced for any organism Credit dotpolka Flickr Sugar pine genome is 10X the size of human genome University of California Davis Posted by Pat Bailey UC Davis on December 18 2015 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license John Muir declared the sugar pine to be king of the conifers more than a century ago Now scientists have sequenced its genome At 10 times the size of the human genome the sugar pine genome is the largest ever sequenced for any organism The findings are expected to provide valuable information that may help preserve the iconic but endangered tree Having the genome sequence allows us to discover the underlying genetic determinants of disease resistance which will greatly facilitate reforestation efforts says David Neale a forest tree geneticist at the University of California Davis We can now give forest managers modern rapid genetic tools to identify resistant trees The genome has been publicly released and is available through open access at the Pine Reference Sequences website Scientists decode loblolly pine s giant genome The sugar pine Pinus lambertiana is one of the tallest tree species in the world It is endemic primarily to California stretching south into parts of Baja Mexico and north into Oregon The tree s pinecones averaging 10 to 20 inches in length are among the longest of any conifer species The sugar pine has important environmental value as a key component of California forests ecological and recreational value throughout the Sierra Nevada and economic value as a source of timber Neale says Around 1930 white pine blister rust was introduced into California The fungal pathogen is a significant threat to sugar pines and other species of white pines In fact of the commercially important white pines in North America sugar pine is most susceptible to white pine blister rust In addition sugar pine survival is threatened by damage from bark beetles and the ongoing drought and lack of snowpack in the Sierra Drought can kill trees for years and years Pine trees and other ancient conifers are dominant species

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/sugar-pine-genome-1073552-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Tiny ponds are big source of greenhouse gases - Futurity
    University Northwestern University Penn State Princeton University Purdue University Rice University Rutgers University Stanford University Stony Brook University Syracuse University Texas A M University Tulane University University at Buffalo University College London University of Arizona University of California at Irvine University of California Berkeley University of California Davis University of California Santa Barbara University of Chicago University of Colorado at Boulder University of Copenhagen University of Florida University of Illinois University of Iowa University of Kansas University of Leeds University of Maryland University of Melbourne University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Earth and Environment Related Articles Will global warming eclipse evolution In desert cave microbes feed on water rocks and air Glaciers act as mountains armor Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print Our study is the first to include these small ponds in global estimates of CO2 and CH4 emissions largely because they are difficult to map and were thought to play a small role in carbon cycling says Meredith Holgerson Credit iStockphoto Tiny ponds are big source of greenhouse gases Yale University right Original Study Posted by Jim Shelton Yale on February 9 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license The smaller the pond the higher the concentration of carbon dioxide and methane new research shows Although ponds less than a quarter of an acre in size make up only 8 6 percent of the surface area of the world s lakes and ponds they account for 15 1 percent of carbon dioxide CO2 emissions and 40 6 percent of diffusive methane CH4 emissions That makes small ponds an important player in the carbon cycle says Meredith Holgerson a doctoral student at Yale University and the study s lead author Our study is the first to include these small ponds in global estimates of CO2 and CH4 emissions largely because they are difficult to map and were thought to play a small role in carbon cycling Holgerson and coauthor Peter Raymond professor of ecosystem ecology at Yale conducted their analysis by combining recent estimates on the global number of lakes and ponds with a compilation of direct measurements of CO2 and CH4 concentrations from 427 lakes and ponds They found that concentrations were greatest in smaller ponds and decreased as the ponds and lakes grew larger Pond in a jar finds best algae for biofuel The reason has to do with the physical makeup of very small ponds and the way they cycle carbon Small ponds have a high perimeter to surface

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/tiny-ponds-carbon-methane-1103152-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Engineers made battery electrodes out of pollen - Futurity
    University of Arizona University of California at Irvine University of California Berkeley University of California Davis University of California Santa Barbara University of Chicago University of Colorado at Boulder University of Copenhagen University of Florida University of Illinois University of Iowa University of Kansas University of Leeds University of Maryland University of Melbourne University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Earth and Environment Related Articles Silver nanoparticles may stress out plants Upside down answer for deep Earth mystery Sea level rise washes out Playboy bunny Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print I was fascinated by the beauty and diversity of pollen microstructures But the idea of using them as battery anodes did not really kick in until I started working on battery research and learned more about carbonization of biomass says Jialiang Tang Credit Lennart Tange Flickr Engineers made battery electrodes out of pollen Purdue University right Original Study Posted by Emil Venere Purdue on February 5 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license Pollen from bees and cattails could potentially be a renewable material for making anodes in lithium ion batteries recent tests show Batteries have two electrodes called an anode and a cathode The anodes in most of today s lithium ion batteries are made of graphite Lithium ions are contained in a liquid called an electrolyte and these ions are stored in the anode during recharging Pollen grains Credit ZEISS Microscopy Flickr Both are abundantly available says Vilas Pol an associate professor in the School of Chemical Engineering and the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University The bottom line here is we want to learn something from nature that could be useful in creating better batteries with renewable feedstock Research findings are detailed in a paper in Scientific Reports Whereas bee pollen is a mixture of different pollen types collected by honeybees the cattail pollens all have the same shape I started looking into pollens when my mom told me she had developed pollen allergy symptoms about two years ago says doctoral student Jialiang Tang I was fascinated by the beauty and diversity of pollen microstructures But the idea of using them as battery anodes did not really kick in until I started working on battery research and learned more about carbonization of biomass This scanning electron microscope image shows bee pollen studied for potential use as electrodes for lithium ion batteries Color was added to the original black and white image Credit Purdue University Jialiang Tang The researchers processed

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/pollen-batteries-anodes-1101602-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Don't let fear of lead put the kibosh on urban gardens - Futurity
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Earth and Environment Related Articles How a tiny coral eating worm hides in plain sight Bottleneck still threatens black bears in the Ozarks Midwest floods aren t bigger just more frequent Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print If you have a kid eating a carrot that is a better nourished kid says Sally Brown Urban agriculture is just such a wonderful thing and you shouldn t let the fear of the soil put the kibosh on it Credit TCDavis Flickr Don t let fear of lead put the kibosh on urban gardens University of Washington right Original Study Posted by Michelle Ma Washington on February 3 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license The benefits of growing locally produced vegetables in urban gardens outweigh any risks from gardening in contaminated soils new research shows Using compost offers protection from any danger associated with lead and as an added bonus may boost the number of vegetables that grow We ve shown that lead is harmful by eating the dirt not from eating the lettuce grown in the dirt People are terrified of soils in urban areas They always think it s a mystery brew of toxins in the soil but in vast majority of cases the contamination is lead says Sally Brown research associate professor of environmental and forest sciences at the University of Washington and lead author of a new study published in the Journal of Environmental Quality We ve shown that lead is harmful by eating the dirt not from eating the lettuce grown in the dirt Previous studies have found that lead contamination and elevated levels in the bloodstream are more common in people who live in urbans areas than in rural or suburban neighborhoods Lead can be absorbed directly from breathing in or inadvertently consuming contaminated soil or dust Are community gardens a better way to address food shortages The soil around older homes and under roof drip lines is most likely to have higher concentrations of lead from paint and other building materials used on older structures These areas unfortunately often double as playgrounds backyards and vegetable gardens in cities across the country A common assumption is that soil contaminated with lead is unsafe for gardening Brown says But with the exception of some root vegetables carrots turnips radishes and beets plants actually take up very little lead in their stems and leaves and are safe to eat It s important to carefully wash the excess dirt from leafy vegetables and also

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/urban-gardens-lead-1100322-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Satellites find spots where sharks may be overfished - Futurity
    Rutgers University Stanford University Stony Brook University Syracuse University Texas A M University Tulane University University at Buffalo University College London University of Arizona University of California at Irvine University of California Berkeley University of California Davis University of California Santa Barbara University of Chicago University of Colorado at Boulder University of Copenhagen University of Florida University of Illinois University of Iowa University of Kansas University of Leeds University of Maryland University of Melbourne University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Earth and Environment Related Articles Frog eggs hint at source of mildew on wine grapes Is ozone underestimated Got organic milk Got healthier cows Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print Researchers say in certain hotspots of shark activity it may be necessary to introduce catch quotas or size limits to prevent overfishing Credit iStockphoto Satellites find spots where sharks may be overfished University of Southampton right Original Study Posted by U Southampton on January 29 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license While catch rates have declined significantly for many fish species oceanic shark fishing remains largely unregulated and tens of millions of ocean dwelling sharks are caught each year Further researchers say a lack of data on where sharks are likely to encounter fishing vessels hampers conservation efforts In the North Atlantic it seems threatened sharks have few places left to hide in the face of industrialized high seas fishing of the last 50 years Many studies have tracked sharks and many studies have tracked fishing vessels but fine scale tracking of sharks and fishing vessels together is lacking even though this should better inform how shark fisheries should be regulated says David Sims a professor at the University of Southampton To investigate the issue scientists tracked more than 100 sharks from six different species by satellite across the entire North Atlantic one of the most heavily exploited oceans Concurrent with the shark tracking they tracked 186 Spanish and Portuguese longline fishing vessels using GPS to quantify the overlap in space and time From the sharks satellite tracks and from remote sensing images of the ocean environment researchers found that within each species preferred range sharks tended to aggregate in locations characterized by strong temperature gradients and high productivity Why ocean animals are in deep trouble Researchers say that while the fact that fishing vessels targeted the same area as the sharks was not a surprise the scale of the overlap was For the most heavily fished shark species blue and mako

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/sharks-overfishing-1097782-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Is the U.S. burying too much plutonium in New Mexico? - Futurity
    University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Earth and Environment Related Articles Cooling panels send sun s heat back to space Culture drives attitudes about climate Tough love for energy reform so far Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print Nuclear waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico is stored 2 150 feet underground in hundreds of thousands of plastic lined steel drums in rooms carved out of a 250 million year old salt bed The repository is at about half of its planned capacity and slated to be sealed in 2033 Credit Blake Burkhart Flickr Is the U S burying too much plutonium in New Mexico Stanford University right Original Study Posted by Dan Stober Stanford on January 27 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license The US Department of Energy s longterm plan for dealing with material contaminated with plutonium and heavier elements from America s weapons program is to bury it underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico The goal is to safeguard nuclear material for the next 10 000 years But three nuclear scientists point out in a new commentary article in Nature that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant WIPP was not designed to hold as much plutonium as is now being considered for disposal there And in fact the site has seen two accidents in recent years A recovery worker obtains samples from a damaged drum after a safety incident in May 2014 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico Credit US Dept of Energy These accidents during the first 15 years of operation really illustrate the challenge of predicting the behavior of the repository over 10 000 years says Rod Ewing professor in nuclear security at Stanford University What s more there s more plutonium proposed for disposal at WIPP in the future a result of treaties with the former Soviet Union and now Russia to decrease the number of nuclear weapons by dismantling them Simple water filter removes radioactive elements A recent assessment of what to do with the plutonium from dismantled weapons proposed that the material be diluted and disposed of at WIPP But this analysis doesn t include a revision of the safety analysis for the site researchers say They re calling on the Department of Energy which operates WIPP to take another look at the safety assessment of the site Particular emphasis should be on the estimates of drilling activity in the oil rich Permian

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/nuclear-waste-storage-1096472-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Water filter removes toxic metals with charcoal and whey - Futurity
    University in St Louis Yale University Earth and Environment Related Articles Cheatgrass sparks fires in US Great Basin Did this 1945 nuclear test trigger a new age Flower power lets the globe chill out Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print The project is one of the most important things I might have ever done says Raffaele Mezzenga Credit iStockphoto Water filter removes toxic metals with charcoal and whey ETH Zurich right Original Study Posted by Peter Rüegg ETH Zurich on January 26 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license A new water filter can remove toxic heavy metal ions and radioactive substances in just one pass The filter membrane is a hybrid of two low cost materials whey protein fibers and activated charcoal The simple technology overcomes several disadvantages of existing methods which are typically expensive and can only remove a specific element or have a very small filter capacity The project is one of the most important things I might have ever done says Raffaele Mezzenga a professor of food and soft materials at ETH Zurich He and colleague Sreenath Bolisetty describe the technology in the journal Nature Nanotechnology At the heart of the filtration system is a new type of hybrid membrane made up of activated charcoal and tough rigid whey protein fibers The two components are inexpensive and simple to produce The whey proteins are denatured which causes them to stretch and ultimately come together in the form of amyloid fibrils Together with activated carbon these fibers are applied to a suitable substrate material such as a cellulose filter paper The carbon content is 98 percent with a mere 2 percent made up by the protein Recovers valuable gold This hybrid membrane absorbs various heavy metals in a non specific manner including industrially relevant elements such as lead mercury gold and palladium However it also absorbs radioactive substances such as uranium or phosphorus 32 which are relevant in nuclear waste or certain cancer therapies respectively Gold removed and recovered from polluted water Credit ETH Zurich R Mezzenga S Bolisetty The membrane also eliminates highly toxic metal cyanides from water This class of materials includes gold cyanide which is used commonly in the electronics industry to produce conductor tracks on circuit boards The membrane provides a simple way of filtering out and recovering the gold thus the filter system could one day play an important role in gold recycling as well The profit generated by the recovered gold is more than 200 times the cost of the hybrid membrane says Mezzenga How it works The filtration process is extremely simple Contaminated water is drawn through the membrane by vacuum A sufficiently strong vacuum could be produced with a simple hand pump says Mezzenga which would allow the system to be operated without electricity The system is almost infinitely scalable making it cost effective to filer large volumes of

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/water-filter-heavy-metals-1096012-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • These are the first puppies born by I.V.F. - Futurity
    University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Earth and Environment Related Articles Cement s genome could make concrete greener California s native fish face extinction Hey this invasive crab s not all bad Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print A total of seven puppies were born by in vitro fertilization two from a beagle mom and cocker spaniel dad and five from two pairings of beagle moms and dads Credit Mike Carroll College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University These are the first puppies born by I V F Cornell University right Original Study Posted by Krishna Ramanujan Cornell on December 10 2015 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license The first litter of puppies born by in vitro fertilization shows promise for conserving endangered canid species say researchers The breakthrough described in the journal PLOS ONE also opens the door to using gene editing technologies to eradicate heritable diseases in dogs and for study of genetic diseases Canines share more than 350 similar heritable disorders and traits with humans almost twice the number as any other species Scientists transferred 19 embryos to the host female dog who gave birth to seven healthy puppies two from a beagle mother and a cocker spaniel father and five from two pairings of beagle fathers and mothers Since the mid 1970s people have been trying to do this in a dog and have been unsuccessful says Alex Travis associate professor of reproductive biology in the Baker Institute for Animal Health in Cornell University s College of Veterinary Medicine Rare breeds and species The findings have wide implications for wildlife conservation because Travis says We can freeze and bank sperm and use it for artificial insemination We can also freeze oocytes but in the absence of in vitro fertilization we couldn t use them Now we can use this technique to conserve the genetics of endangered species In vitro fertilization allows conservationists to store semen and eggs and bring their genes back into the gene pool in captive populations In addition to endangered species this can also be used to preserve rare breeds of show and working dogs With new genome editing techniques researchers may one day remove genetic diseases and traits in an embryo ridding dogs of heritable diseases While selecting for desired traits inbreeding has also led to detrimental genetic baggage Different breeds are predisposed to different diseases golden retrievers are likely to develop lymphoma while Dalmatians carry a gene that predisposes them to blockage with urinary stones Mutated gene causes heart defect in Newfoundland dogs With a combination of gene editing techniques and IVF we can potentially prevent genetic disease before it starts Travis says Finally since

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/ivf-dogs-puppies-1066982-2/ (2016-02-11)
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