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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
Rating the planet's oceans
Researchers from UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis helped produce the first Ocean Health Index that includes all the Earth's oceans.

Contact: Julie Cohen
University of California - Santa Barbara

Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
In stickleback fish, dads influence offspring behavior and gene expression
Researchers report that some stickleback fish fathers can have long-term effects on the behavior of their offspring: The most attentive fish dads cause their offspring to behave in a way that makes them less susceptible to predators. These behavioral changes are accompanied by changes in gene expression, the researchers report.

Contact: Diana Yates
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
Pollution linked to lethal sea turtle tumors
Polluted urban and farm runoff in Hawaii has been linked to lethal tumors in endangered sea turtles. A new Duke University-led study finds that excess nitrogen in the runoff accumulates in algae that the turtles eat and can cause the disease Fibropapillomatosis which is the leading known cause of death in endangered green sea turtles. The disease causes the formation of tumors on the animals' eyes, flippers, and internal organs.
Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering

Contact: Tim Lucas
Duke University

Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Shape up quickly -- applies to fish, too!
Fish can live in almost any aquatic environment on Earth, but when the climate changes and temperatures go up many species are pushed to the limit. The amount of time needed to adjust to new conditions could prove critical for how different species cope in the future, reveals a new study from researchers at the University of Gothenburg, published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Contact: Erik Sandblom
University of Gothenburg

Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts
Bacteria may have ability to reduce impact of diazepam on UK river environments
Scientists at Plymouth University and the University of Liverpool have identified a reaction pathway which could reduce the potentially harmful impact of diazepam and similar chemicals on the UK's freshwater environment.
Natural Environment Research Council

Contact: Alan Williams
University of Plymouth

Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
Environmental Microbiology
On the trail of the truffle flavor
German and French scientists discovered that soil bacteria contribute to the taste and smell of the white truffle.

Contact: Richard Splivallo
Goethe University Frankfurt

Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
American Journal of Botany
Gene doubling shapes the world: Instant speciation, biodiversity, and the root of our existence
In their review, Soltis and colleagues emphasize that polyploidy and the important role it has played, especially in plant evolution, would not have gained the recognition it deserves would it not have been for its staunch proponent, G. L. Stebbins. In the mid-20th century Stebbins synthesized what was known at that time about polyploidy, classifying different types of ploidy, discussing ancient polyploidy events, and investigating hybridizing species and polyploid derivatives.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Richard Hund
American Journal of Botany

Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
Frontiers in Marine Science
Biodiversity in the Mediterranean is threatened by alien species
Humans have introduced nearly a thousand species from other seas into the Mediterranean with very serious impact on its unique flora and fauna, finds new study to be published in Frontiers in Marine Science.

Contact: Gozde Zorlu

Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
Smithsonian scientists discover coral's best defender against an army of sea stars
Coral reefs face a suite of perilous threats in today's ocean. From overfishing and pollution to coastal development and climate change, fragile coral ecosystems are disappearing at unprecedented rates. Despite this trend, some species of corals surrounding the island of Moorea in French Polynesia have a natural protector in their tropical environment: coral guard-crabs. New research has helped unravel the complex symbiotic relationship between these crabs and the coral reefs they live in and defend.
University of Florida, BIOCODE Mo'orea Project

Contact: Kathryn Sabella

Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
Physics of Fluids
Laser-guided sea monkeys show how zooplankton migrations may affect global ocean currents
Sea monkeys have captured the popular attention of both children and aquarium hobbyists because of their easily observable life cycle. Physicists are interested in a shorter-term pattern: Like other zooplankton, brine shrimp vertically migrate in large groups throughout the day in response to changing light conditions. New research suggests that the collective movement of small marine organisms could affect global ocean circulation patterns on a level comparable to the wind and the tides.

Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
American Institute of Physics

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Nature Climate Change
NASA ocean data shows 'climate dance' of plankton
The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the growth cycles of phytoplankton -- microscopic aquatic plants important for fish populations and Earth's carbon cycle.

Contact: Patrick Lynch
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Food Chemistry
An apple a day could keep obesity away
Scientists at Washington State University have concluded that nondigestible compounds in apples -- specifically, Granny Smith apples -- may help prevent disorders associated with obesity. The study, thought to be the first to assess these compounds in apple cultivars grown in the Pacific Northwest, appears in October's print edition of the journal Food Chemistry.
Agricultural Research Center at Washington State University's College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences

Contact: Giuliana Noratto
Washington State University

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Tree killers, yes, fire starters, no: Mountain pine beetles get a bad rap, study says
New research led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources provides some of the first rigorous field data to test whether fires that burn in areas impacted by mountain pine beetles are more ecologically severe than in those not attacked by the native bug. In a study published this week, UW-Madison zoology professor Monica Turner and her graduate student, Brian Harvey, show pine beetle outbreaks contributed little to the severity of six wildfires in 2011.
Joint Fire Science Program Grants, National Park Service/George Melendez Wright Climate Change Fellowship

Contact: Monica Turner
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Chefs move to schools can increase school meal participation and vegetable intake among students
Gourmet pizza in school? According to a new Food and Brand Lab pilot study, published in Appetite, chef-made meals can increase participation in the National School Lunch Program by 9 percent and overall selection and consumption of vegetables by 16 percent.
Cornell BEN Center, US Department of Agriculture

Contact: Andrew Hanks
Cornell Food & Brand Lab

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Fires in Papua, Indonesia and New Guinea
According to a NASA story from 2009, 'human activities in this area of the world have contributed to the growing fire emissions issue.'

Contact: Rob Gutro
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
New way to detox? 'Gold of Pleasure' oilseed boosts liver detoxification enzymes
University of Illinois scientists have found compounds that boost liver detoxification enzymes nearly fivefold, and they've found them in a pretty unlikely place -- the crushed seeds left after oil extraction from an oilseed crop used in jet fuel.
US Department of Agriculture

Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Half of global wildlife lost, says new WWF report
Between 1970 and 2010 populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish around the globe dropped 52 percent, says the 2014 Living Planet Report released today by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This biodiversity loss occurs disproportionately in low-income countries -- and correlates with the increasing resource use of high-income countries.

Contact: Brendan Rohr
World Wildlife Fund

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Naturwissenschaften, The Science of Nature
Tooth serves as evidence of 220-million-year-old attack
At the beginning of the age of dinosaurs, gigantic reptiles -- distant relatives of modern crocodiles -- ruled the earth. Some lived on land and others in water and it was thought they didn't much interact. But a tooth found by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researcher in the thigh of one of these ancient animals is challenging this belief.

Contact: Whitney Heins
University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Ocean acidification could lead to collapse of coral reefs
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Carnegie Institute of Science researchers have measured a roughly 40 percent reduction in the rate of calcium carbonate deposited in Australia's Great Barrier Reef in the last 35 years, likely caused by ocean acidification. If the trend continues, it could damage the reef framework and endanger the entire coral ecosystem, with the loss of its magnificent and highly diverse flora and fauna.
Israel Science Foundation, Moore Foundation

Contact: Dov Smith
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Dolphins are attracted to magnets
Dolphins are indeed sensitive to magnetic stimuli, as they behave differently when swimming near magnetized objects. So says Dorothee Kremers and her colleagues at Ethos unit of the Université de Rennes in France, in a study in Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften -- The Science of Nature. Their research, conducted in the delphinarium of Plančte Sauvage in France, provides experimental behavioral proof that these marine animals are magnetoreceptive.

Contact: Laura Zimmermann

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Investigating the 'underground' habitat of Listeria bacteria
In low amounts, Listeria bacteria are present almost everywhere, including soil and water. In order to better understand how Listeria spread, a group of scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna collected soil and water samples throughout Austria. Their study revealed a higher detection of Listeria in soil and water samples during periods of flooding. The researchers also found antibiotic-resistant strains of Listeria in soil samples. The data were published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Contact: Susanna Kautschitsch
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Causes of California drought linked to climate change
The extreme atmospheric conditions associated with California's crippling drought are far more likely to occur under today's global warming conditions than in the climate that existed before humans emitted large amounts of greenhouse gases, Stanford scientists say.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, UPS Fund

Contact: Ker Than
Stanford University

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
5th ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes
Plants prepackage beneficial microbes in their seeds
Plants have a symbiotic relationship with certain bacteria. These 'commensal' bacteria help the pants extract nutrients and defend against invaders -- an important step in preventing pathogens from contaminating fruits and vegetables. Now, scientist have discovered that plants may package their commensal bacteria inside of seeds; thus ensuring that sprouting plants are colonized from the beginning. The researchers, from the University of Notre Dame, presented their findings today at the 5th ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes.

Contact: Garth Hogan
American Society for Microbiology

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Global Change Biology
Climate change appears a mixed bag for a common frog
After warmer winters, wood frogs breed earlier and produce fewer eggs, a Case Western Reserve University researcher has found. Michael F. Benard also found that frogs produce more eggs during winters with more rain and snow.
University of Michigan, Michigan Society of Fellows, Case Western Reserve University

Contact: Kevin Mayhood
Case Western Reserve University

Public Release: 27-Sep-2014
Evolutionary biology: It's not just for textbooks anymore
UA scientists, including entomology expert Bruce Tabashnik, are on the leading edge of an approach to tackle global challenges in food security, emerging diseases and biodiversity loss.
National Science Foundation, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station, National Research Centre for Growth and Development, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, others

Contact: Daniel Stolte
University of Arizona