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Chemistry - Environment - 13.12.2022
Using machine learning to improve the toxicity assessment of chemicals
Using machine learning to improve the toxicity assessment of chemicals
Researchers of the University of Amsterdam, together with colleagues at the University of Queensland and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, have developed a strategy for assessing the toxicity of chemicals using machine learning. They present their approach in an article in Environmental Science & Technology for the special issue "Data Science for Advancing Environmental Science, Engineering, and Technology".

Environment - 13.12.2022
Methane from manholes and historic landfills: significant sources of gas go unrecognized
Methane from manholes and historic landfills: significant sources of gas go unrecognized
Cities are responsible for almost 1/5 of the global methane emissions caused by human activities. But most cities don't capture information about the full range of sources of this powerful greenhouse gas. In 2020, a team led by McGill University, measured methane emissions from various sources across the city of Montreal.

Environment - 12.12.2022
Global Warming Causes Changes in Swiss Insect Fauna
Global Warming Causes Changes in Swiss Insect Fauna
How has the distribution of insects in Switzerland changed over the past 40 years? The range of many species has expanded, while that of a similar number has contracted. In particular, cold-adapted species have lost ground. These are the findings published in the journal -Nature Communications-. Various studies conducted in Switzerland and elsewhere give cause for concern that climateand land-use change are causing significant adverse effects to insect fauna (-insect decline-).

Computer Science - Environment - 12.12.2022
Urgent call to protect Madagascar's biodiversity through AI
Urgent call to protect Madagascar’s biodiversity through AI
A large-scale analysis of Madagascar's unique biodiversity has just been conducted with the participation of over 50 international organizations. Madagascar is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, with 82% of its plant species and 90% of its vertebrates found nowhere else on Earth. The results of the study, which rely on AI-based tools developed by Daniele Silvestro of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and his team at the University of Fribourg, were published in two papers in the journal Science.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 12.12.2022
Signals from the ionosphere could improve tsunami forecasts
Research from the University of Washington shows that signals from the upper atmosphere could improve tsunami forecasting and, someday, help track ash plumes and other impacts after a volcanic eruption. A new study analyzed the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha-apai eruption in the South Pacific earlier this year.

Environment - 11.12.2022
International Mountain Day: three projects in the spotlight
International Mountain Day: three projects in the spotlight
Today is International Mountain Day. Mountains are of immeasurable value in our daily existence. Not only does 15% of the world's population live in mountainous areas, mountains also contain some 50% of biodiversity hotspots and provide half of humanity with fresh water. At Utrecht University, we do a lot of research on water management in these important mountain areas.

Environment - Chemistry - 09.12.2022
Recycled gold from SIM cards could help make drugs more sustainable
Recycled gold from SIM cards could help make drugs more sustainable
Researchers have used gold extracted from electronic waste as catalysts for reactions that could be applied to making medicines. Re-using gold from electronic waste prevents it from being lost to landfill, and using this reclaimed gold for drug manufacture reduces the need to mine new materials. Current catalysts are often made of rare metals, which are extracted using expensive, energy-intensive and damaging mining processes.

Pedagogy - Environment - 09.12.2022
Poor classroom air negatively affects learning performance
Since the corona crisis, school ventilation has been in the spotlight, especially to prevent the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. Research published today by Maastricht University (UM) shows that poor ventilation also affects the test scores of elementary school students and thus the core task of schools, good education.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 08.12.2022
Large mammals disappear from the Eifel region 11,000 years ago as a result of increasing forestation
Sediment cores from Eifel maars provide information on the development of ice-age large mammals in Central Europe during the past 60,000 years / Overkill hypothesis not confirmed For tens of thousands of years, herds of large mammals such as mammoth and bison roamed the landscape of what is now Central Europe.

Environment - History / Archeology - 08.12.2022
Climate whiplash increased wildfires on California's west coast about 8,000 years ago
Climate whiplash increased wildfires on California's west coast about 8,000 years ago
Researchers use speleothems as a source of information on historic climate / Hydroclimate volatility and increase in natural forest fire events are linked Scientists are trying to uncover and analyze evidence from the past in their search for a better assessment of future climate trends. In a joint international research project, researchers have been studying the effects of the sudden decrease in global temperatures that occurred about 8,200 years ago, the so-called 8.2-kiloyear event, with the help of mineral deposits present in White Moon Cave in Northern California.

Health - Environment - 08.12.2022
Microplastics in human tissue samples
Microplastics in human tissue samples
The distribution of microplastics and nanoplastics in the environment, the potential of human exposure and particle uptake, and the absorption of these particles into tissues are topics that are being intensively researched worldwide. An international research group of the EU project "PlasticsFatE" under the leadership of Christian Laforsch at the University of Bayreuth has evaluated international research literature on these issues.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.12.2022
Forest restoration - ’balance nitrogen-fixing trees with other species’
Reforestation projects could be made more effective with the findings of new research into the constraints on nitrogen fixation among plants. Some trees, such as those from the Fabaceae or legume family, form a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, enabling them to them take in nitrogen from the air.

Environment - 07.12.2022
Circular bioplastics offer solution for climate crisis and growing resource consumption
Joint press release by Utrecht University and Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) A circular bioeconomy can dramatically rein in the fast-growing plastic sector's climate, pollution, and resource consumption impacts.

Life Sciences - Environment - 07.12.2022
Argentine ants will do anything for sugar, but they won't do this
Argentine ants will do anything for sugar, but they won’t do this
Key takeaways Argentine ants have been able to displace native ant species in large part because of their aggressive foraging for sugar and other carbohydrates. However, when they've been deprived of food and competitors are present, they significantly limit their foraging activity instead of vigorously pursuing food.

Environment - 07.12.2022
Novel technology for detecting and identifying traces of micro and nano plastics in consumable water
Micro and nano plastics are everywhere: in the air, in seas and rivers, in soil, and in plants and animals.

Life Sciences - Environment - 06.12.2022
Alpine bacterial strain adapts to the change of seasons
Alpine bacterial strain adapts to the change of seasons
Scientists have discovered for the first time a bacterium in Lake Gossenköllesee in Tyrol that uses two different mechanisms to obtain energy from light. This could be an adaptation to the very pronounced change of seasons in the Alps. The change of seasons is clearly noticeable in the Alps. Moderate temperatures with a high exposure to light in summer give way to months with great cold and only little sunlight in winter.

Environment - 06.12.2022
Remove micropollutants with granulated activated carbon
Remove micropollutants with granulated activated carbon
Currently, the first Swiss wastewater treatment plants are being upgraded with an additional treatment stage for the removal of micropollutants using granulated activated carbon (GAC), including the WWTP at Muri.

Life Sciences - Environment - 05.12.2022
Head-mounted microscope measures neuron activity
Head-mounted microscope measures neuron activity
Miniature device enables scientist to record nerve cell activity in all cortical layers in lit environments Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior have developed a miniature microscope small enough to be carried on the head of freely a moving mouse and capable of measuring neuronal activity in all cortical layers, even the deepest ones.

Environment - 05.12.2022
Biodiversity in drylands protects climate
Biodiversity in drylands protects climate
The livelihood of one in three people on earth depends on livestock and pastoralism. Especially in arid regions, which account for more than 40 percent of the planet's land area, grazing is essential for survival. Despite this importance for humans and nature, until recently there had been no global field study on the impact of pasture management on dryland performance.

Environment - 05.12.2022
Climate change for food projects
Climate change for food projects
SCI Honorary Researcher Ulrike Ehgartner co-published the report 'Climate change for food projects: What it means and what to do about it' for Food Research. Many people working in local or community food projects already know that they need to review how they operate in order to ensure they are doing as much as possible to reduce future negative impacts on the climate.