Tiny algae, called diatoms, living in water could be key to providing a definitive and clear measure of whether streams, rivers and lakes have damaging levels of nutrients in them.
Toxic arsenic initially accumulates in the nuclei of plants' cells. This has been revealed by an X-ray examination of the aquatic plant rigid hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) using DESY's X-ray source PETRA III. Even at comparatively low concentrations, the arsenic also floods the vacuole, a liquid-filled cavity which takes up most of the cell. The scientists report their findings in the Journal of Experimental Botany.
The elephantnose fish explores objects in its surroundings by using its eyes or its electrical sense -- sometimes both together. Zoologists at the University of Bonn and a colleague from Oxford have now found out how complex the processing of these sensory impressions is. With its tiny brain, the fish achieves performance comparable to that of humans or mammals. The advance results have been published online in PNAS.
New research establishes the amazing diversity of maize -- specifically the variety of proteins that the plant's genes can generate. The finding has great import for agriculture., as maize is one of the world's top-three staple foods, along with rice and wheat accounting for two-thirds of world food consumption.
The Siberian permafrost regions include those areas of the Earth, which heat up very quickly in the course of climate change. Nevertheless, biologists are currently observing only a minimal response in forest composition.
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan along with collaborators at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) have succeeded in decoding the genome sequence for Hevea brasiliensis, the natural rubber tree native to Brazil. Published in Scientific Reports, the study reports a draft genome sequence that covers more than 93 percent of expressed genes, and pinpoints regions specific to the biosynthesis of rubber.
Gravel-bed river floodplains are some of the most ecologically important habitats in North America, according to a new study by scientists from the US and Canada. Their research shows how broad valleys coming out of glaciated mountains provide highly productive and important habitat for a large diversity of aquatic, avian and terrestrial species.
A team of scientists from NOAA Fisheries and the University of California San Diego (Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Department of Economics) has for the first time attached a dollar value to several of the leading 'ecosystem services' -- or natural benefits -- provided by the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean, an immense region stretching west from the west coasts of North and South America.
Scientists have discovered the oldest fossil evidence of agriculture -- not by humans, but by insects.
An old technology that uses natural bacteria predators, called bacteriophages, is the focus of new research at the University of Nevada, Reno. The technique is being used to reduce salmonella bacteria in meat products.