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Life Sciences - Environment - 27.11.2019
Puffins stay cool thanks to their large beak
Channels McGill University News and Events Tufted puffins regulate their body temperature thanks to their large bills, an evolutionary trait that might explain their capacity to fly for long periods in search for food. In a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology , researchers from McGill University and the University of California, Davis, used thermal imaging cameras to measure heat dissipation off the bodies and beaks of wild tufted puffins in the minutes after flying.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 25.11.2019
Human migration out of Africa may have followed monsoons in the Middle East
Last year, scientists announced that a human jawbone and prehistoric tools found in 2002 in Misliya Cave, on the western edge of Israel, were between 177,000 and 194,000 years old. The finding suggested that modern humans, who originated in Africa, began migrating out of the continent at least 40,000 years earlier than scientists previously thought.

Life Sciences - Environment - 25.11.2019
First-ever recording of a blue whale’s heart rate
Researchers from the Goldbogen Lab place a suction-cup tag on a blue whale in Monterey Bay. (Image credit: Goldbogen Lab/Duke Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab; NMFS Permit 16111) With a lot of ingenuity and a little luck, researchers monitored the heart rate of a blue whale in the wild. The measurement suggests that blue whale hearts are operating at extremes - and may limit the whale's size.

Environment - Health - 25.11.2019
Planning a trip abroad? Before you pack, check the air pollution levels
There are many things people research when planning a vacation or business trip abroad — such as the weather, how to get around a city and where to access free Wi-Fi. But one important piece of information that some people don't look at is a city's air pollution levels. A new study by researchers at UCLA shows that even a short-term visit to a severely polluted city can be detrimental to one's health.

Environment - Life Sciences - 25.11.2019
New issues for plants and carbon dioxide
Multiple Earth Systems computer models assessed potential drought levels Even though plants can, in many cases, benefit from increased levels of carbon dioxide that are predicted for the future atmosphere, the impact of severe drought on destroying these plants will be extreme, especially in the Amazon, South Africa, Mediterranean, Australia, and southwest USA.

Life Sciences - Environment - 25.11.2019
Artificial turf crumb rubber leaches environmental toxins
Channels McGill University News and Events New research spearheaded by scientists at McGill University reports that exposing chicken embryos, a model of higher vertebrate development, to leachate from crumb rubber used for example in artificial turf infill allowed to assess the toxicity of environmental pollutants contained in such material.

Environment - 20.11.2019
When grown right, palm oil can be sustainable
When grown right, palm oil can be sustainable
Turning an abandoned pasture into a palm tree plantation can be carbon neutral, according to a new study by EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL).

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.11.2019
Yeasts in nectar can stimulate the growth of bee colonies
Researchers from KU Leuven have discovered that the presence of yeasts can alter the chemical composition and thus the nutritional value of nectar for pollinators such as bees. The study discovered that yeasts can even boost bee health and colony fitness. "Research into the role of microbes in our ecosystem is of vital importance to safeguard bees." It is not widely known that pollen and floral nectar contain yeasts.

Chemistry - Environment - 20.11.2019
Creating Useful Chemicals Out of Thin Air
Humanity's reliance on fossil fuels is often thought of in the context of energy, but petroleum and natural gas are also important sources of raw materials for the manufacture of commodity chemicals. In concert with efforts to develop sustainable sources of energy, like wind and solar, there has been an increasing push to develop technologies that allow the production of chemicals from renewable resources.

Environment - 19.11.2019
Overlooked measures of biodiversity can have strong effects on ecosystems
Animal and plant species are being lost at alarming rates around the world, which has been dubbed the "global biodiversity crisis." This is alarming because more biodiverse communities help ecosystems function at higher rates and help them maintain important ecosystem services, like plant growth and nutrient uptake.

Environment - Chemistry - 18.11.2019
Climate change could double greenhouse gas emissions from freshwater ecosystems
Climate change could double greenhouse gas emissions from freshwater ecosystems
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Environment - 18.11.2019
’Rapid increase’ in global wind speeds
Wind speeds across the globe have increased rapidly over the past decade signalling good news for the renewable energy industry, scientists say. New findings have shown that a worrying trend of decreasing wind speeds since the 1970s, a phenomenon known as global terrestrial stilling, has now been reversed with a significant increase observed since 2010.

Environment - 18.11.2019
Saving 'Half-Earth' for nature would affect over a billion people
Saving ’Half-Earth’ for nature would affect over a billion people
For Cambridge students For our researchers Colleges and Departments Email and phone search Give to Cambridge Museums and collections Undergraduate Events and open days Fees and finance Postgraduate Postgraduate courses Fees and funding Frequently asked questions International students Continuing education Executive and professional education Courses in education How the University and Colleges work Visiting the University Equality and diversity

Environment - Business / Economics - 18.11.2019
Climate change expert outlines humanity’s role in speeding global warming
Climate change expert Professor Sir David Hendry will explore how humanity has accelerated global warming when he delivers the annual China Institute Li Siguang lecture at the University of Birmingham on Wednesday 20th November. And his talk ‘Climate Change in the Long Run' will illustrate how climatologists, volcanologists, dendrochronologists, meteorologists, geophysicists and health scientists are working together to tackle climate change and its consequences.

Environment - Microtechnics - 18.11.2019
Bees "Surf" Atop Water
Walking on Caltech's campus, research engineer Chris Roh (MS '13, PhD '17) happened to see a bee stuck in the water of Millikan Pond. Although it was a common-enough sight, it led Roh and his advisor, Mory Gharib (PhD '83), to a discovery about the potentially unique way that bees navigate the interface between water and air.

Environment - 18.11.2019
A century later, plant biodiversity struggles in wake of agricultural abandonment
Decades after farmland was abandoned, plant biodiversity and productivity struggle to recover, according to new University of Minnesota research. Published Ecology & Evolution , researchers examined 37 years of data tied to plant biodiversity (i.e., number of different species) and plant productivity (i.e., biomass or amount of plants) related to 21 grasslands and savannas in Minnesota.

Environment - Innovation - 15.11.2019
EPFL creates a solar cooker with solid potential in Switzerland
EPFL creates a solar cooker with solid potential in Switzerland
EPFL scientists have developed a glass-paneled solar cooker that delivers exceptional performance. Their patented design can operate an average of 155 days a year in Switzerland's cloudiest regions and up to 240 days in its sunniest.  Solar cookers - or solar-powered ovens - can be used to cook foods at low temperatures (60-120°C) for anywhere from 30 minutes up to four hours.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 15.11.2019
Weed diversity mitigates crop yield losses
Weed diversity mitigates crop yield losses
Scientists from Inra and the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Italy) have shown that not all weed communities (spontaneous vegetation) generate crop yield losses, even in unweeded conditions, and that high weed diversity is associated to a reduced risk of important crop yield losses. Published in Nature Sustainability , these results provide new grounds for sustainable weed management.

Health - Environment - 15.11.2019
During epidemics, access to GPS data from smartphones can be crucial
During epidemics, access to GPS data from smartphones can be crucial
A new EPFL and MIT study into the interplay between mobility and the 2013 and 2014 dengue outbreaks in Singapore has uncovered a legal void around access to mobile phone data - information that can prove vital in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.  Researchers from EPFL and MIT have shown that human mobility is a major factor in the spread of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue even over short intra-city distances.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.11.2019
Unevenly distributed plankton activity
Unevenly distributed plankton activity
An international research consortium with ETH participation demonstrates that marine plankton is more diverse in warm oceans than in polar seas, both in terms of species count and the biological activities of the plankton communities. Climate change could lead to a redistribution of plankton in the world's oceans.

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