Scientists have found an explanation for one of the big mysteries in climate science with the help of 12,000-year old Swedish midges... Read more »
Muschitiello, F., Pausata, F., Watson, J., Smittenberg, R., Salih, A., Brooks, S., Whitehouse, N., Karlatou-Charalampopoulou, A., & Wohlfarth, B. (2015) Fennoscandian freshwater control on Greenland hydroclimate shifts at the onset of the Younger Dryas. Nature Communications, 8939. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9939
We know almost nothing about Giant Squids with mantles lengths less than 1000 mm (~40 inches). Very young squids are even more enigmatic than adults. A recent study reports the collection of three very young Giant Squids off the Japanese coast. The three young measured 140.8, 332, and 332 mm (5.5 and 13 inches). The heaviest of […]... Read more »
Wada, T., Kubodera, T., Yamada, M., & Terakado, H. (2015) First records of small-sized young giant squid Architeuthis dux from the coasts of Kyushu Island and the south-western Sea of Japan. Marine Biodiversity Records. DOI: 10.1017/S175526721500127X
Scientists have suggested that we have more diamonds than we think, and the process of formation of diamond is probably not as complicated as we think.
In a recent study from scientists of Johns Hopkins University, it has been suggested that diamonds in the Earth are not as rare as once thought. They are of opinion that diamonds are commonly produced deep inside the Earth.
“Diamond formation in the deep Earth,........ Read more »
Sverjensky, D., & Huang, F. (2015) Diamond formation due to a pH drop during fluid–rock interactions. Nature Communications, 8702. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9702
Mr. T made mohawks and fool pitying a life goal for many. Another life goal for many, thanks to first name Mr, middle name period, last name T, was decorating themselves with enough gold chains to crash a third-world economy. Although humans are the only species where decoration functions strongly in social interactions (see Beyonce), […]... Read more »
From a new date for earliest life on earth to the potentially controversial findings that Antarctica is gaining more ice than it’s loosing, here are 5 of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »
Bell, E., Boehnke, P., Harrison, T., & Mao, W. (2015) Potentially biogenic carbon preserved in a 4.1 billion-year-old zircon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201517557. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1517557112
Zwally, H. Jay, Li, Jun, Robbins, John W, Saba, Jack L, Yi, Donghui, & Brenner, Anita C. (2015) Mass gains of the Antarctic ice sheet exceed losses. Journal of Glaciology. DOI: 10.3189/2015JoG15J071
Kim TW, Ping Y, Galli GA, & Choi KS. (2015) Simultaneous enhancements in photon absorption and charge transport of bismuth vanadate photoanodes for solar water splitting. Nature communications, 8769. PMID: 26498984
Tyagi, N., Farnell, E., Fitzsimmons, C., Ryan, S., Tukahebwa, E., Maizels, R., Dunne, D., Thornton, J., & Furnham, N. (2015) Comparisons of Allergenic and Metazoan Parasite Proteins: Allergy the Price of Immunity. PLOS Computational Biology, 11(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004546
Barrett, S., Speth, R., Eastham, S., Dedoussi, I., Ashok, A., Malina, R., & Keith, D. (2015) Impact of the Volkswagen emissions control defeat device on US public health. Environmental Research Letters, 10(11), 114005. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/11/114005
An improving Mesozoic dinosaur and bird fossil record highlights details of their evolutionary history and also illuminates some general principles of evolution... Read more »
There's simply not enough time in the week to write about everything that I'd like! So here are 6 extra short summaries of scientific studies published during the past week, available free via open-access journals for anyone and everyone to read and enjoy!... Read more »
Bergmann, M., Sandhop, N., Schewe, I., & D’Hert, D. (2015) Observations of floating anthropogenic litter in the Barents Sea and Fram Strait, Arctic. Polar Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s00300-015-1795-8
Padowski, J., Gorelick, S., Thompson, B., Rozelle, S., & Fendorf, S. (2015) Assessment of human–natural system characteristics influencing global freshwater supply vulnerability. Environmental Research Letters, 10(10), 104014. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/10/104014
Conrad, T., & Ayasse, M. (2015) The Role of Vibrations in Population Divergence in the Red Mason Bee, Osmia bicornis. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.08.059
Luo J, Ault JS, Shay LK, Hoolihan JP, Prince ED, Brown CA, & Rooker JR. (2015) Ocean Heat Content Reveals Secrets of Fish Migrations. PloS one, 10(10). PMID: 26484541
Yoon JH, Wang SY, Gillies RR, Kravitz B, Hipps L, & Rasch PJ. (2015) Increasing water cycle extremes in California and in relation to ENSO cycle under global warming. Nature communications, 8657. PMID: 26487088
Lively, J. (2015) A new species of baenid turtle from the Kaiparowits Formation (Upper Cretaceous, Campanian) of southern Utah. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2015.1009084
Palaeontologists have unearthed the remains of a nest of baby dinosaurs in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia.... Read more »
Dewaele, L., Tsogtbaatar, K., Barsbold, R., Garcia, G., Stein, K., Escuillié, F., & Godefroit, P. (2015) Perinatal Specimens of Saurolophus angustirostris (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae), from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia. PLOS ONE, 10(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138806
TFTK has found five of the best free maps that show the neighbourhoods most vulnerable to sea level rise.... Read more »
Winkelmann, R., Levermann, A., Ridgwell, A., & Caldeira, K. (2015) Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Science Advances, 1(8). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500589
Strauss BH, Kulp S, & Levermann A. (2015) Carbon choices determine US cities committed to futures below sea level. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26460051
The Proterozoic fossil record of Eukaryotes is a story of the interplay of geology, ecology and evolution and gives us a broader understanding of the evolution of complexity.... Read more »
Climate scientists have calculated that global warming first became evident in temperature records in Africa in the 1940s.... Read more »
King, A., Donat, M., Fischer, E., Hawkins, E., Alexander, L., Karoly, D., Dittus, A., Lewis, S., & Perkins, S. (2015) The timing of anthropogenic emergence in simulated climate extremes. Environmental Research Letters, 10(9), 94015. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/9/094015
"The Martian" movie opens soon! It's about an astronaut stranded on Mars who is trying to survive and find a way to get back home. But today, we humans here on Earth still have to think of clever ways to survive a trip to the red planet in the first place.... Read more »
Bamford, R., Kellett, B., Bradford, J., Todd, T., Benton, M., Stafford-Allen, R., Alves, E., Silva, L., Collingwood, C., Crawford, I.... (2014) An exploration of the effectiveness of artificial mini-magnetospheres as a potential solar storm shelter for long term human space missions. Acta Astronautica, 105(2), 385-394. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2014.10.012
Bamford, R., Gibson, K., Thornton, A., Bradford, J., Bingham, R., Gargate, L., Silva, L., Fonseca, R., Hapgood, M., Norberg, C.... (2008) The interaction of a flowing plasma with a dipole magnetic field: measurements and modelling of a diamagnetic cavity relevant to spacecraft protection. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 50(12), 124025. DOI: 10.1088/0741-3335/50/12/124025
Walsh, B., Foster, J., Erickson, P., & Sibeck, D. (2014) Simultaneous Ground- and Space-Based Observations of the Plasmaspheric Plume and Reconnection. Science, 343(6175), 1122-1125. DOI: 10.1126/science.1247212
The search to determine how native engineers built Monk’s Mound — North America’s biggest prehistoric earthen structure — has turned up some new and crucial, but very small, clues: the seeds and spores of ancient plants.... Read more »
Lopinot, N., Schilling, T., Fritz, G., & Kelly, J. (2015) Implications of Plant Remains from the East Face of Monks Mound. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, 40(3), 209-230. DOI: 10.1179/2327427115Y.0000000003
To address a long-standing mystery in paleontology, scientists went to the grocery store.
Many dinosaur fossils appear in the same pose, not so much "terrible lizard" as "terrible limbo accident." Their tails are stretched out and their necks thrown back grotesquely. But it's not clear why this is. Researchers from the University of Calgary in Canada got a fresh take on the puzzle—or, at least, a recently killed and frozen take—by using dead chickens.
"Chickens are living dinosaurs, a........ Read more »
Russell, A., & Bentley, A. (2015) Opisthotonic head displacement in the domestic chicken and its bearing on the ‘dead bird’ posture of non-avialan dinosaurs. Journal of Zoology. DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12287
Cupriavidus metallidurans (roughly translated: lover of copper, enduring metal) is a bacterium of the class Betaproteobacteria known for its ability to withstand high concentrations of numerous metals that would be toxic to most other living things. These metals, which include Ag, Au, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Sr, Tl, U, and Zn, tend to cause problems for bacterial cells by binding to DNA or proteins, which can disrupt important stuff like obtaining energy or reproducing.The bacterium ........ Read more »
Phillips G, Reith F, Qualls C, Ali AM, Spilde M, & Appenzeller O. (2010) Bacterial deposition of gold on hair: Archeological, forensic and toxicological implications. PloS One, 5(2). PMID: 20174476
Wiesemann N, Mohr J, Grosse C, Herzberg M, Hause G, Reith F, & Nies DH. (2013) Influence of copper resistance determinants on gold transformation by Cupriavidus metallidurans strain CH34. Journal of Bacteriology, 195(10), 2298-308. PMID: 23475973
Studies find airplane crews at high altitude are exposed to potentially harmful levels of radiation from cosmic rays. But could these cosmic rays pose hazards even at sea level? In recent years, research has suggested congenital birth defects down on Earth’s surface could be caused by these “solar particle events” — spikes in cosmic rays from the sun that touch off the northern lights and sometimes hamper communications or the electric power grid.... Read more »
Overholt, A., Melott, A., & Atri, D. (2015) A link between solar events and congenital malformations: Is ionizing radiation enough to explain it?. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 120(3), 1537-1542. DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020681
In 1938, a Russian scientist by the name of Mogilewskii published a paper describing the use of methane-oxidizing bacteria as a means of prospecting for natural gas fields. Several patents were subsequently issued to oil companies in the 1940s based on this paper and others by American researchers.The idea is that smaller gaseous hydrocarbons (e.g. methane, propane, butane) tend to escape in small amounts from underground oil and gas deposits and rise to the surface. The continuous seepage of th........ Read more »
Rasheed, M., Hasan, S., Rao, P., Boruah, A., Sudarshan, V., Kumar, B., & Harinarayana, T. (2014) Application of geo-microbial prospecting method for finding oil and gas reservoirs. Frontiers of Earth Science, 9(1), 40-50. DOI: 10.1007/s11707-014-0448-5
Originally written for the Geological Society of London’s History Of Geology Group, where I am web editor. Amidst the many events this year celebrating William Smith and the publication of his 1815 map, comes another, less well-known anniversary. The acceptance of continental drift led to a seismic shift in 20th century geology, the development of the theory … Continue reading Accepting Continental Drift: 50th anniversary of the seminal Bullard et al. map →
The post Accepting........ Read more »
Everett, J., & Smith, A. (2008) Genesis of a Geophysical Icon: The Bullard, Everett and Smith Reconstruction of the Circum-Atlantic Continents. Earth Sciences History, 27(1), 1-11. DOI: 10.17704/eshi.27.1.w0v227931k184h64
It’s been 30 years since Farman et al. published their paper on the ozone “hole”. (Well, I’m a day early but who posts on Saturdays, eh?) It had a huge impact: it’s been cited nearly 3,000 times and accelerated the negotiations that resulted in the Montreal Protocol, which helped phase out the chemicals that were […]... Read more »
Farman, J., Gardiner, B., & Shanklin, J. (1985) Large losses of total ozone in Antarctica reveal seasonal ClOx/NOx interaction. Nature, 315(6016), 207-210. DOI: 10.1038/315207a0
Nanoparticles, it’s the new buzzword that cosmetics and even consumer “anti-aging” products use to promote their brand. As the word suggests, nanoparticles are small and it shouldn’t be too surprising that these nanoparticles are causing problems in nature because of their prevalence. In that light, it might not be a surprise that there could also be some serious health issues associated with these nanoparticles.... Read more »
Taylor, A., Marcus, I., Guysi, R., & Walker, S. (2015) Metal Oxide Nanoparticles Induce Minimal Phenotypic Changes in a Model Colon Gut Microbiota. Environmental Engineering Science, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1089/ees.2014.0518
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