Bacteria and Archaea have developed many types of CRISPR-Cas systems to protect themselves from viruses. A search through metagenomic databases of microbes, many of them uncultivatable, unearthed the genes of the smallest known working Cas complex, Cas14, from the genome of a DPANN Archaea, a group of microbes with the smallest known geomes. Cas14 is being incorporated into a CRISPR diagnostic called DETECTR.
A new collaborative study has investigated Arctic shrub-snow interactions to obtain a better understanding of the far north's tundra and vast permafrost system. Incorporating extensive in situ observations, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists tested their theories with a novel 3D computer model and confirmed that shrubs can lead to significant degradation of the permafrost layer that has remained frozen for tens of thousands of years. These interactions are driving increases in discharges of fresh water into rivers, lakes and oceans.
Samples of ancient sediments from a lake basin in East Africa have revealed that arid conditions developed in the area around half a million years ago, an environmental change that could have played a major role in human evolution and influenced advances in stone technology, according to an international research team that includes geologists from Georgia State University.
Ground penetrating radar measures the amount of moisture in soil quickly and easily. Researchers' calculations from the data informs agricultural water use and climate models.
An international team of earth scientists has linked the establishment of the Mekong River to a period of major intensification of the Asian monsoon during the middle Miocene, about 17 million years ago, findings that supplant the assumption that the river incised in response to tectonic causes.
To reduce pollution and save billions of dollars in damages, the United States and other national governments should require manufacturers to sell nitrogen fertilizer with compounds designed to increase their efficiency and reduce pollution.
Adopting benchmarks similar to the fuel-efficiency standards used by the auto industry in the production of fertilizer could yield $5-8 billion in economic benefits for the U.S. corn sector alone, researchers have concluded in a new analysis.
Urban farmers growing vegetables to feed millions of people in Africa's ever-growing cities could unwittingly be helping to spread disease by irrigating crops with wastewater, a new study reveals.
Eruption patterns in a New Zealand volcanic system reveal how the movement of magma rising through the crust leads to smaller, more frequent eruptions.
The southeast flank of Mount Etna slowly slides towards the sea. A team of scientists from GEOMAR and the Kiel University showed for the first time movement of Etna's underwater flank using a new, sound-based geodetic monitoring network. A sudden and rapid descent of the entire slope could lead to a tsunami with disastrous effects for the entire region. The results have been published today in the international journal Science Advances.