Confederate submarine crew killed by their own weapon

Confederate submarine crew killed by their own weapon

A graphic reconstruction of the eight-man submarine H.L. Hunley as appeared just before its encounter with the Union ship Housatonic, which it sunk. The barrel on the end of the 16-foot spar contains 135 pounds of black powder. Credit: Michael Crisafulli, http://www.vernianera/Hunley The H.L. Hunley, the first combat submarine to sink an enemy ship, also instantly killed its own eight-man crew with the powerful explosive torpedo it carried, according to […]

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Research identifies new microbe with potential to help rebalance Earth’s nitrogen cycle

Research identifies new microbe with potential to help rebalance Earth’s nitrogen cycle

This microbe, nitrospira inopinata, could hold the answers for rectifying Earth’s nitrogen problem. Credit: Dimitri Kits New research from University of Alberta and University of Vienna microbiologists provides unparalleled insight into the Earth’s nitrogen cycle, identifying and characterizing the ammonia-oxidizing microbe, Nitrospira inopinata. The findings, explained Lisa Stein, co-author and professor of biology, have significant implications for climate change research. “I consider the camouflaged beast in our midst,” said Stein. […]

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You and some ‘cavemen’ get a genetic checkup

You and some ‘cavemen’ get a genetic checkup

Reconstruction of the Iceman, “Ötzi,” who is believed to have died 5,300 years ago. His frozen cadaver was found in the Alps in 1991, nearly perfectly preserved, and has provided a wealth of scientific study material. Credit: South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Bolzano, Italy. Had an arrow in his back not felled the legendary Iceman some 5,300 years ago, he would have likely dropped dead from a heart attack. Written […]

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Anglers’ delight as algal blooms breakthrough highlights innovative science

Anglers’ delight as algal blooms breakthrough highlights innovative science

Credit: John Innes Centre Millions of fish-deaths caused by toxic Prymnesium algal blooms could be prevented with the application of a household chemical best known for bleaching hair, breakthrough research has revealed. Trials carried out in the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads National Park have shown that at controlled concentrations hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is deadly to Prymnesium parvum, the golden algae. The discovery follows research led by a team of scientists […]

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Disease-carrying mosquitoes rare in undisturbed tropical forests

Disease-carrying mosquitoes rare in undisturbed tropical forests

Aedes is a genus of mosquitoes that includes species that transmit dengue fever, Zika virus, yellow fever and chikungunya virus. It was originally found in the tropics and subtropics and is now found on all continents except Antarctica. Credit: Jose Loaiza A new study by scientists from the Smithsonian, the Panamanian government and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among other institutions, concludes that conserving old-growth tropical rainforest is “highly recommended” […]

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What causes algal blooms to become toxic?

What causes algal blooms to become toxic?

Scanning electron microscope image shows Bacteroidetes bacteria on the algae Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries. Production of the toxin domoic acid seems to depend on the interaction between bacteria and algae. Credit: Sison-Mangus Lab The disastrous 2015-16 Dungeness crab season, delayed and shortened by an unprecedented bloom of toxic algae, is a bitter memory for the West Coast fishing industry. The culprit was domoic acid, a potent neurotoxin produced by marine algae and […]

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Data mining finds more than expected beneath Andean Plateau

Data mining finds more than expected beneath Andean Plateau

Jonathan Delph. Credit: Kevin Ward A true-color image of the Central Andes and surrounding landscape acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft. Credit: NASA Seismologists investigating how Earth forms new continental crust have compiled more than 20 years of seismic data from a wide swath of South America’s Andean Plateau and determined that processes there have produced far more continental rock than previously believed. “When […]

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Scientists ‘excited’ by observations suggesting formation scenarios

Scientists ‘excited’ by observations suggesting formation scenarios

This artist’s concept depicts a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. The blue color here represents radiation pouring out from material very close to the black hole. The grayish structure surrounding the black hole, called a torus, is made up of gas and dust. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Physicists have described how observations of gravitational waves limit the possible explanations for the formation of black holes outside of our […]

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NASA sees Tropical Depression Harvey’s rebirth

NASA sees Tropical Depression Harvey’s rebirth

NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Harvey in infrared light on Aug. 23 at 4:11 a.m. EDT (0811 UTC) and found coldest temperatures and strongest storms around the center (purple). Credit: NASA JPL/Ed Olsen NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at the cloud top temperatures of newly reborn Tropical Depression Harvey. At 11 a.m. EDT on Aug. 23, Harvey regenerated into a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico. The National […]

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New fly fossil sheds light on the explosive radiation of flies during the Cenozoic Era

New fly fossil sheds light on the explosive radiation of flies during the Cenozoic Era

Holotype of Mesembrinella caenozoica sp. nov. Credit: Cerretti et al (2017) The first unambiguous fossil from the botfly family adds to the few known fossils of a major clade of flies (Calyptratae), shedding light on their rapid radiation during the Cenozoic Era, according to a study published August 23, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Pierfilippo Cerrito from Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy, and colleagues. The bot fly […]

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