Environment

(Ruhr-University Bochum) Researchers have developed a new mechanism to protect enzymes from oxygen as biocatalysts in fuel cells. The enzymes, known as hydrogenases, are just as efficient as precious metal catalysts, but unstable when they come into contact with oxygen. They are therefore not yet suitable for technological applications. The new protective mechanism is based on oxygen-consuming enzymes that draw their energy from sugar.
September 17, 2018
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) ICESat-2 scientists to investigate icy mysteriessoon after NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, launches on Sept. 15 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, it will start collecting a terabyte of data a day to monitor the height of Earth's surface below.
September 06, 2018
(University of California - San Diego) A new study led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF) in Palau describes a novel approach for predicting warm temperature-induced stress on corals from the sea surface through a deeper expanse ranging from 30-150 meters (100-500 feet) known as the mesophotic zone.
August 27, 2018
(Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies) Fog can act as a vector for microbes, transferring them long distances and introducing them into new environments. So reports an analysis of the microbiology of coastal fog, recently published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
August 23, 2018
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) New NASA-funded research has discovered that Arctic permafrost's expected gradual thawing and the associated release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere may actually be sped up by instances of a relatively little known process called abrupt thawing. Abrupt thawing takes place under a certain type of Arctic lake, known as a thermokarst lake that forms as permafrost thaws.
August 17, 2018
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) A stalled weather pattern led to persistent showers and thunderstorms moving up the eastern seaboard during the week of July 22, resulting in significant rainfall amounts and numerous flood warnings. NASA utilized satellite data to analyze and tally the rainfall from the storms.
July 31, 2018
(European Research Council) Why is the world so green? What can we eat to prevent dementia? Are our eyes really the windows to our personalities? 403 talented early career researchers have been awarded European Research Council grants to answer such questions. Scientists will benefit from EUR603 million in total to create their own research teams and conduct pioneering projects. The grants are part of the 'excellent science' pillar of the EU's current Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.
July 27, 2018
(American Society of Agronomy) One of the essential nutrients for vigorous crop production is nitrogen. Yet most routine tests done in commercial soil testing labs do not measure available nitrogen in the soil. Soil scientists at The Ohio State University and Cornell University think they have found a solution.
July 18, 2018
(Duke University) An international team of researchers has developed a comprehensive set of criteria to help the International Seabed Authority (ISA) protect local biodiversity from deep-sea mining activities. These guidelines should help identify areas of particular environmental importance where no mining should occur. The new ecological framework is a set of 18 quantitative metrics to assess whether the number, shapes, sizes and locations of proposed zones will be sufficient to protect threatened habitats and species.
July 10, 2018
(Pensoft Publishers) Six new species of unique land snails whose shells are covered with what look like scales are described from the biodiversity hotspot of Malaysian Borneo in the open-access journal ZooKeys. The snails were discovered by a Malaysian-Dutch team of scientists, thanks to a set of modern tools, high-magnification scanning electron microscope and 3D modeling. All species are named after their original localities to highlight the need for conservation efforts in the particular areas.
July 10, 2018