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New Approach to Boosting Biofuel Production

October 3, 2014 1:49 pm | News | Comments

Yeast are commonly used to transform corn and other plant materials into biofuels such as ethanol. However, large concentrations of ethanol can be toxic to yeast, which has limited the production capacity of many yeast strains used in industry. Now, researchers have identified a new way to boost yeast tolerance to ethanol by simply altering the composition of the medium in which the yeast are grown.

Study Examines Cancer Risk from First Atom-bomb Test

September 30, 2014 8:30 am | by Susan Montoya Bryan - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute want to know how many past and present cancer...

FDA Revises Food Safety Rules Due Next Year

September 19, 2014 5:35 pm | by Mary Clare Jalonick - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday revised sweeping food safety rules proposed last year...

Modern Europeans Descended from 3 Groups of Ancestors

September 18, 2014 1:56 pm | News | Comments

By comparing nine ancient genomes to those of modern humans, scientists have shown that...

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BST This Week #15: Bees May be Key to Antibiotic Alternatives

September 12, 2014 8:30 am | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski explores the role that bees may play in the search for antibiotic alternatives. Our second story focuses on how increased carbon dioxide levels in water can rob sharks of their ability to sense the smell of food.

Scientists Say the Ozone Layer is Recovering

September 11, 2014 8:37 am | by Seth Borenstein - AP Science Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Earth's protective ozone layer is beginning to recover, largely because of the phase-out since the 1980s of certain chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans, a U.N. scientific panel reported Wednesday.            

Single Cell Smashes, Rebuilds Its Own Genome

September 8, 2014 3:52 pm | News | Comments

Life can be so intricate and novel that even a single cell can pack a few surprises, according to a new study. The pond-dwelling, single-celled organism Oxytricha trifallax has the remarkable ability to break its own DNA into nearly a quarter-million pieces and rapidly reassemble those pieces when it's time to mate, the study says.

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More Than 8 in 10 U.S. Homes Forbid Smoking

September 4, 2014 1:25 pm | by Mike Stobbe - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Smoking is banned in more than eight out of 10 U.S. homes— nearly twice as many as two decades ago, according to a new government study. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found smoking is even forbidden in nearly half of homes where an adult smoker resides.

Fossil Provides Earliest Evidence of Animals with Muscles

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

An unusual new fossil discovery of one of the earliest animals on earth may also provide the oldest evidence of muscle tissue– the bundles of cells that make movement in animals possible.                  

Making Bones from Beer Waste

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | by Skip Derra | Articles | Comments

At first blush it is a bit disingenuous, using beer waste as a base material for new bone. But that is exactly what a multidisciplinary team of researchers in Spain has come up with in a process for making the substrate material on which bone can be regenerated.

Are Failing Bees a Warning Sign to Human Health?

August 20, 2014 12:14 pm | News | Comments

A researcher believes that the potential human health implications of bee colony collapse disorder extend beyond the drop in pollination to the impact on humans of long exposure to low-level poisons, like neonicotinoid pesticides.     

Did Lower Testosterone Help Civilize Humanity?

August 4, 2014 11:46 am | News | Comments

A study of 1,400 ancient and modern human skulls suggests that a reduction in testosterone hormone levels accompanied the development of cooperation, complex communication and modern culture some 50,000 years ago.           

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Toledo Mayor Lifts Water Ban

August 4, 2014 10:22 am | by John Seewer - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

A water ban that had hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio and Michigan scrambling for drinking water has been lifted, Toledo's mayor announced Monday.                           

Bioscience Technology This Week #4: Gold Nanoparticles Show Promise for Drug Delivery

July 30, 2014 2:02 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Editor-in-Chief Rob Fee reports on gold nanoparticles' promise in drug delivery. Our second story examines the work being done to decipher the wheat genome and the implications of this work.

Deadly Melanoma Cases Jump 200%, Report Says

July 30, 2014 8:22 am | by Anne Flaherty - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.                 

Cooler Bedroom Temperatures May Boost Metabolic Activity

July 28, 2014 11:17 am | News | Comments

A new study has found that turning the thermostat down a few notches at night may expand brown fat tissue mass and activity, which could lead to metabolic benefits such as more effective disposal of glucose.             

Managing Ecosystems via Genomics

July 18, 2014 2:11 pm | News | Comments

A cross-disciplinary team is calling for public discussion about a potential new way to solve longstanding global ecological problems by using an emerging technology called “gene drives.” The advance could potentially lead to powerful new ways of combating malaria and other insect-borne diseases.

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Climate Change May Bring More Kidney Stones

July 11, 2014 1:57 pm | Videos | Comments

As daily temperatures increase, so does the number of patients seeking treatment for kidney stones. In a study that may both reflect and foretell a warming planet’s impact on human health, a research team found a link between hot days and kidney stones in 60,000 patients in several U.S. cities with varying climates.

Vitamin D Ups Bowel Cancer Survival

July 9, 2014 4:31 pm | News | Comments

Bowel cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D in their blood are more likely to survive the disease, a new study shows. Patients with the highest levels of vitamin D have half the risk of dying compared with those with the lowest levels, the findings reveal.

Neandertal Trait Found in Ancient Skull Raises New Evolution Questions

July 8, 2014 12:02 pm | News | Comments

Re-examination of a circa 100,000-year-old archaic early human skull found 35 years ago in Northern China has revealed the surprising presence of an inner-ear formation long thought to occur only in Neandertals.           

Low Doses of Arsenic Cause Cancer in Mice

July 8, 2014 11:50 am | News | Comments

Mice exposed to low doses of arsenic in drinking water, similar to what some people might consume, developed lung cancer, researchers have found. Arsenic is present in the environment as a naturally occurring substance or due to contamination from human activity.

Genetically Driven Gut Feelings Help Female Flies Choose Mates

July 3, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

The elaborate courtship dance done by flies combines multiple motor skills with advanced sensory cues. Remarkably, this behavior is entirely innate. Now, researchers have determined that the Abdominal-B (Abd-B) gene is important for this complex behavior.

Lead in Kids’ Blood Linked to Behavioral, Emotional Issues

July 2, 2014 9:17 am | News | Comments

Emotional and behavioral problems show up even with low exposure to lead, and as blood lead levels increase in children, so do the problems, according to new research.                       

Using DNA to Monitor Environments

June 27, 2014 12:52 pm | News | Comments

Environmental policy must respond to ever-changing conditions on the ground and in the water, but doing so requires a constant flow of information about the living world. Now, scientists propose employing emerging environmental DNA sampling techniques that could make assessing the biodiversity of marine ecosystems as easy as taking a water sample.

Insect Diet Helped Early Humans Build Bigger Brains

June 26, 2014 11:25 am | News | Comments

Figuring out how to survive on a lean-season diet of hard-to-reach ants, slugs and other bugs may have spurred the development of bigger brains and higher-level cognitive functions in the ancestors of humans and other primates, suggests new research.

How Keeping Cool Could Spur Metabolic Benefits

June 23, 2014 2:37 pm | News | Comments

A new study being presented at ICE/ENDO 2014, the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago, demonstrates that ambient temperatures can influence the growth or loss of brown fat in people. Cool environments stimulate growth, warm environments loss.

Livestock Gut Microbes Contributing to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

June 18, 2014 11:51 am | News | Comments

Ruminant livestock are the single largest source of methane emissions, and in a country like New Zealand, where the sheep outnumber people 7 to 1, that’s a big deal. However, not all ruminants are equal when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions.  It turns out that the amount of methane produced varies substantially across individual animals of the same ruminant species.

Female Hormones May Contribute to Male Obesity

June 13, 2014 12:45 pm | News | Comments

An imbalance of female sex hormones among men in Western nations may be contributing to high levels of male obesity, according to new research. The study suggest that obesity among Western men could be linked with exposure to substances containing the female sex hormone estrogen.

Newborns Exposed to Allergens May Have Lower Allergy, Asthma Risk

June 9, 2014 12:57 pm | News | Comments

Infants exposed to rodent and pet dander, roach allergens and a wide variety of household bacteria in the first year of life appear less likely to suffer from allergies, wheezing and asthma, according to a new study.          

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