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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
NASA/USGS satellite sees green-up along Colorado River's Delta after experimental flow
A pulse of water released down the lower reaches of the Colorado River last spring resulted in more than a 40 percent increase in green vegetation where the water flowed, as seen by the Landsat 8 satellite.
NASA, US Geological Survey

Contact: Kate Ramsayer
kate.d.ramsayer@nasa.gov
831-247-2112
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Environmental Science & Technology
Study finds Illinois is most critical hub in food distribution network
Illinois is the most critical hub in the network of US domestic food transfers, according to a new study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. According to the report, the US food network moves more than 400 million tons of food annually. Of that total, more than 70 million tons are transported through Illinois, the most of any state in the nation.

Contact: Megan Konar
mkonar@illinois.edu
847-322-9215
University of Illinois College of Engineering

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
550-million-year-old fossils provide new clues about fossil formation
A new study from University of Missouri and Virginia Tech researchers is challenging accepted ideas about how ancient soft-bodied organisms become part of the fossil record. Findings suggest that bacteria involved in the decay of those organisms play an active role in how fossils are formed -- often in a matter of just a few tens to hundreds of years. Understanding the relationship between decay and fossilization will inform future study and help researchers interpret fossils in a new way.
NASA Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology Program, NASA Astrobiology Institute, National Science Foundation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China

Contact: Jeff Sossamon
sossamonj@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Industrial Biotechnology
How does enzymatic pretreatment affect the nanostructure and reaction space of lignocellulosic biomass?
Pretreatment of cellulosic biomass using cell wall degrading enzymes is a critical step in the release of sugars needed to produce biofuels and renewable, biobased chemicals and materials. A new study that demonstrates and quantifies the impact of enzymatic hydrolysis and drying on the nanostructure and available reaction volume of pretreated hardwoods and switchgrass is published in Industrial Biotechnology.

Contact: Kathryn Ryan
kryan@liebertpub.com
914-740-2100
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Environmental Research Letters
How will climate change transform agriculture?
Climate change impacts will require major but very uncertain transformations of global agriculture systems by mid-century, according to new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
European Union, Austrian Climate Fund

Contact: Katherine Leitzell
leitzell@iiasa.ac.at
43-223-680-7316
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Nature Climate Change
Report: Clearing rainforests distorts wind and water, packs climate wallop beyond carbon
A new study released today presents powerful evidence that clearing trees not only spews carbon into the atmosphere, but also triggers major shifts in rainfall and increased temperatures worldwide that are just as potent as those caused by current carbon pollution. Further, the study finds that future agricultural productivity across the globe is at risk from deforestation-induced warming and altered rainfall patterns.

Contact: Susan Tonassi
stonassi@burnesscommunications.com
Burness Communications

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
PLOS Computational Biology
Time management skills keep animals primed for survival
Many animals may have a previously under-appreciated ability to make up for lost time with more effort, according to new research publishing this week in PLOS Computational Biology.

Contact: Adrian de Froment
adriandefroment@gmail.com
609-258-6880
PLOS

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Journal of Sustainable Tourism
Policy action urgently needed to protect Hawaii's dolphins
Tourism is increasing pressure on Hawaii's spinner dolphins. A new Duke-led study shows that long-proposed federal regulations to limit daytime access to bays where the dolphins rest are greatly needed, but local, community-based conservation measures tailored to each individual bay will speed their acceptance. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work.
NOAA, Marine Mammal Commission, State of Hawaii, Dolphin Quest

Contact: Tim Lucas
tdlucas@duke.edu
919-613-8084
Duke University

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
Colorado River Delta greener after engineered pulse of water
The engineered spring flood that brought water to previously dry reaches of the lower Colorado River and its delta resulted in greener vegetation, the germination of new vegetation along the river and a temporary rise in the water table, according to new results from the binational team of scientists studying the water's effects. The team's latest findings will be presented at the American Geophysical Union's annual meeting the afternoon of Dec. 18.

Contact: Mari N. Jensen
mnjensen@email.arizona.edu
520-626-9635
University of Arizona

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Journal of the American Water Resources Association
National model of restoration: Nine Mile Run
A study by a Pitt hydrologist shows that one of the largest urban-stream restorations in the United States has led to the recovery of fish and, more importantly, a groundswell of local support.

Contact: Joe Miksch
jmiksch@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Forest Ecology and Management
Even in restored forests, extreme weather strongly influences wildfire's impacts
A study led by the US Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station and recently published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management examined how the Rim Fire burned through forests with restored fire regimes in Yosemite National Park to determine whether they were as resistant to high-severity fire as many scientists and land managers expected.

Contact: Stephanie Worley Firley
sworleyfirley@fs.fed.us
828-257-4380
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Applied Energy
Guelph researchers recipe: Cook farm waste into energy
Guelph researchers are studying how to make biofuels from farm waste, especially 'wet' waste, such as corn husks, tomato vines and manure, that is typically difficult to use. They have developed a fairly simple procedure, pressure cooking, to transport waste and produce energy from it. Cooking farm waste yields compact, easily transportable material that will not degrade and can be used in energy-producing plants.

Contact: Animesh Dutta
adutta@uoguelph.ca
University of Guelph

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry
Not just for the holidays, mistletoe could fight obesity-related liver disease
Mistletoe hanging in doorways announces that the holidays are just around the corner. For some people, however, the symbolic plant might one day represent more than a kiss at Christmas time: It may mean better liver health. Researchers have found that a compound produced by a particular variety of the plant can help fight obesity-related liver disease in mice. Their study appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
National Research Foundation of Korea, Korea Science and Engineering Foundation

Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-6042
American Chemical Society

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Environmental Science & Technology
Scientists trace nanoparticles from plants to caterpillars
In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, Rice University scientists tracked uptake and accumulation of quantum dot nanoparticles from water to plant roots, plant leaves and leaf-eating caterpillars. The research is available online in Environmental Science & Technology.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Discovery aims to fight destructive bee disease
University of Guelph researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world. The researchers have found a toxin released by the pathogen that causes American foulbrood disease -- Paenibacillus larvae -- and developed a lead-based inhibitor against it.

Contact: Rod Merill
rmerrill@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 x53806
University of Guelph

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Royal Society Open Science
Study reveals abundance of microplastics in the world's deep seas
Around four billion minute fibers could be littering each square kilometer of some of the world's deep seas, according to a study led by Plymouth University and Natural History Museum.

Contact: Alan Williams
alan.williams@plymouth.ac.uk
44-175-258-8004
University of Plymouth

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
The Quarterly Review of Biology
What was the 'Paleo diet'? There was far more than one, study suggests
The Paleolithic diet, or caveman diet, a weight-loss craze in which people emulate the diet of plants and animals eaten by early humans during the Stone Age, gives modern calorie-counters great freedom because those ancestral diets likely differed substantially over time and space, according to researchers at Georgia State University and Kent State University.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: LaTina Emerson
lemerson1@gsu.edu
404-413-1353
Georgia State University

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Trends in Plant Science
Can returning crops to their wild states help feed the world?
To feed the world's growing population -- expected to reach nine billion by the year 2050 -- we will have to find ways to produce more food on less farmland, without causing additional harm to the remaining natural habitat. A Trends in Plant Science review points the way to intensifying agriculture sustainably by fixing weaknesses that have sprung up quite by accident in the process of traditional crop breeding over the course of thousands of years.

Contact: Jennie Eckilson
jeckilson@cell.com
617-386-2121
Cell Press

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Science of the Total Environment
Urban stream contamination increasing rapidly due to road salt
Average chloride concentrations often exceed toxic levels in many northern United States streams due to the use of salt to deice winter pavement, and the frequency of these occurrences nearly doubled in two decades.

Contact: Marisa Lubeck
mlubeck@usgs.gov
303-526-6694
United States Geological Survey

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Chapman University research on farmers' markets shows presence of Salmonella and E. coli
Researchers in Chapman University's Food Science Program and their collaborators at University of Washington have just published a study on the presence of Salmonella and E. coli on certain herbs sold at farmers' markets. Of the 133 samples tested from 13 farmers' markets, 24.1 percent tested positive for E. coli and one sample tested positive for Salmonella.
Schmid College of Science and Technology and Chapman University

Contact: Sheri Ledbetter
sledbett@chapman.edu
714-289-3143
Chapman University

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Switching to vehicles powered by electricity from renewables could save lives
Driving vehicles that use electricity from renewable energy instead of gasoline could reduce the resulting deaths due to air pollution by 70 percent. This finding comes from a new life cycle analysis of conventional and alternative vehicles and their air pollution-related public health impacts, published Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
University of Minnesota/Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, DOE/Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, USDA/Agricultural and Food Research Initiative

Contact: Press Office
unews@umn.edu
612-626-7959
University of Minnesota

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Journal of Archaeological Science
Dental plaque reveals key plant in prehistoric Easter Island diet
A University of Otago, New Zealand, Ph.D. student analyzing dental calculus from ancient teeth is helping resolve the question of what plant foods Easter Islanders relied on before European contact.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Monica Tromp
monica.tromp@anatomy.otago.ac.nz
University of Otago

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
New Phytologist
How trap-flowers attract and deceive pollinating food thieves
Researchers have discovered a new pollination system that involves food-thieving flies as pollinators. These flies feed on insect secretions, available when a spider, a praying mantis, or other predatory arthropods feed on insects. The plant mimics compounds released from freshly killed insects to deceive flies that are in search of food.

Contact: Dawn Peters
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Seeing the forest for the trees
The largest trees in a forest may command the most attention, but the smallest seedlings and youngest saplings are the ones that are most critical to the composition and diversity of the forest overall.

Contact: Alison Satake
asatake@lsu.edu
225-578-3870
Louisiana State University

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
genesis
To know the enemy
Recent collaborations between scientists in Okinawa and Australia are helping to spur genomic research of the Crown of Thorns starfish, a threat to coral reefs across the Indo-Pacific region.

Contact: Kaoru Natori
kaoru.natori@oist.jp
81-989-662-389
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University