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  • January 22, 2014
  • 03:52 PM

We Are Each A Community

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Lactobacillus (the purple rod-shaped things) is a common bacterial species in reproductive tracts. Image by Janice Carr from the CDC at Wikimedia Commons. In our world of antibacterial soaps, we have learned that bacteria are evil, dirty, sickness-causing agents to be eliminated at all costs. Although some bacteria can cause sickness, bacteria in general are actually a critical component of animal bodies. A human body has ten times as many bacterial cells as human cells and a hundred times........ Read more »

Archie, E.A., & Theis, K.R. (2011) Animal behaviour meets microbial ecology. Animal Behaviour, 425-436. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.05.029  

  • January 22, 2014
  • 10:16 AM

No loss of vigour for protective male macaques

by Aileen Cudmore in Natural Reactions

Male long-tailed macaques spend much of their time safeguarding females during the mating season, yet are still able to maintain their energy levels, despite this extra duty.... Read more »

  • January 20, 2014
  • 06:43 PM

Survey Finds Nearly 6,000 Natural Gas Leaks in Washington, D.C.

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

More than 5,893 gas leaks from aging natural gas pipelines have been found under the streets of Washington, D.C., by a research team from Duke University and Boston University.... Read more »

Jackson R.B., Down A., Phillips N.G., Ackley R.C., Cook C.W., Plata D.L., & Zhao K. (2014) Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks Across Washington, DC. Environmental science . PMID: 24432903  

  • January 17, 2014
  • 07:08 PM

Study Measures Turbulence Dissipation Rates of Wind Turbines

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have performed the first direct measurements of turbulence dissipation rates of wind turbines in real-world conditions. Wake turbulence might dissipate faster than commonly thought and in ways existing weather models do not reflect, their study suggests.... Read more »

Matthew L. Aitken, Robert M. Banta, Yelena L. Pichugina, Julie K. Lundquist. (2014) Quantifying wind turbine wake characteristics from scanning remote sensor data. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00104.1  

  • January 15, 2014
  • 11:10 AM

It may be time to squirrel proof your bird feeder

by Denise O'Meara in Denise O'Meara

Grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) were introduced into Britain and Ireland in the late 1800s and early 1900s from North America. The species is classed as invasive, and it has spread across many parts of Britain and Ireland, much to the detriment of the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), whose numbers generally decline in the presence of the larger competitor. However, a new study by Colin Bonnington, Kevin Gaston and Karl Ewans, and published in Ibis has shown that urban bird populat........ Read more »

Colin Bonnington, Kevin J. Gaston, Karl L. Evans. (2014) Assessing the potential for Grey Squirrels Sciurus carolinensis to compete with birds at supplementary feeding stations. Ibis, 220-226. info:/

  • January 14, 2014
  • 02:32 PM

Acid Mine Drainage Can Remove Radioactivity From Fracking Wastewater

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Much of the naturally occurring radioactivity in fracking wastewater might be removed by blending it with another wastewater from acid mine drainage, according to a Duke University-led study.... Read more »

  • January 14, 2014
  • 10:31 AM

Newly Discovered Ant Convinces Others to Be Its Slaves

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Studies of ants have the ring of medieval epics: there are queens, castes, warring soldiers and scouts. Certain ant species go on violent raids of neighboring colonies, picking up the young in their jaws and carrying them back to their own homes. The stolen ants become workers that live to serve these "slave-makers." A newly discovered slave-making ant species, though, sometimes accomplishes the same kind of coup without the need for violence. Slave-making ants live all over, but scientists........ Read more »

Bernhard Seifert, Isabelle Kleeberg, Barbara Feldmeyer, Tobias Pamminger, Evelien Jongepier, & Susanne Foitzik. (2014) Temnothorax pilagens sp. n. – a new slave-making species of the tribe Formicoxenini from North America (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) . ZooKeys. info:/10.3897/zookeys.368.6423

  • January 13, 2014
  • 07:08 PM

Study Finds Flaws in Some Tidal Energy Schemes

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Renewable energy can be generated by harnessing the power from the tides, which can be predicted hundreds of years in advance. But the predicted energy gains from certain tidal energy schemes have been overestimated, according to a team of researchers in Liverpool.... Read more »

  • January 13, 2014
  • 04:13 PM

Consumers Buy Energy Efficient Light Bulbs If Energy Costs Are Labeled

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Consumers prefer savings in the present much more than future savings, but the estimated annual energy cost on a label gives energy efficient bulbs more of a chance, according to Carnegie Mellon University researchers.... Read more »

Jihoon Min, Inês L. Azevedo, Jeremy Michalek, Wändi Bruine de Bruin. (2014) Labeling energy cost on light bulbs lowers implicit discount rates. Ecological Economics, 42-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.10.015  

  • January 13, 2014
  • 01:04 PM

Scientist Proposes ‘Comminution’ as Alternative to Fracking

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Instead of pumping deep underground enormous amounts of water to fracture shale, Northwestern University professor Zdeněk P. Bažant proposes exploring an alternative to fracking: using the kinetic energy of high-rate shearing generated by an underground explosion to reduce the rock to small fragments, so as to release the gas trapped in its pores.... Read more »

  • January 10, 2014
  • 09:56 AM

Power Plants’ Shift to Natural Gas Means Less Emissions

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Power plants that use natural gas and a new technology to squeeze more energy from the fuel release far less of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide than coal-fired power plants do.... Read more »

  • January 8, 2014
  • 03:22 PM

Mycorrhizal Management of Atmospheric Carbon

by Chris Tucker in The Mycelium Connection

A study published in the January 08, 2014 edition of Nature looked into the relationship of Nitrogen and Carbon storage in soil when compared to atmospheric Carbon as it related to the competition exerted by mycorrhizal fungi. And their studied revealed just how important mycorrhizal fungi (the symbiotic fungi associated with plant roots) are in this relationship.An important contributor to atmospheric Carbon is the decomposition of organics in the soil by free living microbes.  One of the ........ Read more »

  • January 8, 2014
  • 01:12 PM

Freezing the Winter Away

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

The clutches of the Polar Vortex are finally releasing its grasp on us and we can be thankful for our home heating, our layers of warm clothing, and most of all, our bodies’ abilities to generate heat. But it is times like these that make me wonder about our friends that live outside year-round… especially those that don’t generate most of their own body heat. How do they survive these periods of intense cold? There are several species of North American frogs that have an unusual trick up ........ Read more »

  • January 8, 2014
  • 10:00 AM

New Species: This Cebu endemic will be a wonderful addition in your backyard garden

by nath in Imprints of Philippine Science

The Cebu, an island in the central Philippines,  is endangered of losing its natural forest with only 0.2% of it currently …Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 8, 2014
  • 08:00 AM

The Secretive Spotted Skunk

by David Steen in Living Alongside Wildlife

Eastern Spotted Skunk

By David Jachowski

    One of the rarest and most secretive mammals in North America might be a skunk. Not your average backyard, dumpster-loving Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) that causes you to hold your breath after passing an overnight road kill on your morning commute. I am talking about the smaller and perplexingly rare Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius).... Read more »

Lesmeister, D.B., & et al. (2012) Landscape ecology of eastern spotted skunk in habitats restored for red-cockaded woodpeckers. Restoration Ecology, 267-275. info:/

  • January 8, 2014
  • 06:29 AM

Persistent drought linked to local decline of desert tortoise

by Aileen Cudmore in Natural Reactions

The population of the long-lived Agassiz’s desert tortoise is dwindling in the Sonoran Desert of California as their environment shifts to a warmer and dryer climate. ... Read more »

Jeffrey E. Lovich, Charles B. Yackulic, Jerry Freilich, Mickey Agha, Meaghan Austin, Katherine P. Meyer, Terence R. Arundel, Jered Hansen, Michael S. Vamstad, & Stephanie A. Root. (2014) Climatic variation and tortoise survival: Has a desert species met its match?. Biological Conservation, 214-224. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.09.027  

  • January 6, 2014
  • 11:18 AM

The History of the Red Squirrel In Ireland

by Denise O'Meara in Denise O'Meara

While I was researching the history of the red squirrel in Ireland for my thesis, I came across some wonderful old papers and books relating to the history of red squirrel. The work was summarized in my thesis, but I thought the story itself was pretty interesting, so with the help of Andrew Harrington, I put the information together in a blog article. The article can now be read over at Ireland’s Wildlife.... Read more »

Barrington RM. (1880) On the introduction of the squirrel into Ireland. Scientific Proceedings of the Royal Dublin Society, 615-631. info:other/

  • January 3, 2014
  • 05:25 PM

Study: Boreal Forests Coping Well With Oil Sands Development

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Scott Chang, a researcher at the University of Alberta, has found out that trees and soil are adapting well to mining emissions from oil sands development so far. Still, careful monitoring is needed over the long term.... Read more »

  • January 3, 2014
  • 11:00 AM

Snoozing Bats Tune Out Traffic Noise

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

For an easily crushed animal that rests during the day, a highway seems like maybe the worst possible home. Yet some bats pick roosts that are under bridges, or in other spots booming with human noise. Why subject themselves to that? For bats of at least one species, the sound of traffic is easy to doze through. And the more they hear it, the more they ignore it.The greater mouse-eared bat, Myotis myotis, often turns up under bridges in Europe. Jinhong Luo, a PhD student at the Max Planck Instit........ Read more »

Luo J, Clarin BM, Borissov IM, & Siemers BM. (2013) Are torpid bats immune to anthropogenic noise?. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 24311817  

  • January 1, 2014
  • 04:52 PM

Metabolism and Body Size Influence the Perception of Movement and Time

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Zoetropes like this one have been used for almost 2000 years. If you look in the slits from the side, the image appears to be animated. Image by Andrew Dunn at Wikimedia Commons.When we watch TV or a movie, we are essentially watching a series of still images presented in rapid succession… so rapid, in fact, that we perceive them to be a single moving image. The ability of movie-makers to convince us that still images are fluid in time is based on our physiology. Specifically, moving-pictures,........ Read more »

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