Earth Science News

 
EUREKA ALERT! - EARTH SCIENCE NEWS
May 21st
(University of Toronto) Scientists analyzing 7.2 million-year-old fossils uncovered in modern-day Greece and Bulgaria suggest a new hypothesis about the origins of humankind, placing it in the Eastern Mediterranean and not -- as customarily assumed -- in Africa, and earlier than currently accepted. The researchers conclude that Graecopithecus freybergi represents the first pre-humans to exist following the split from the last chimpanzee-human common ancestor.
May 21st
(University of Missouri-Columbia) An international research team has found a 3.3 million Australopithecus afarensis fossilized skeleton, possessing the most complete spinal column of any early fossil human relative. The vertebral bones, neck and rib cage are mainly intact. This new research, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science demonstrates that portions of the human skeletal structure were established millions of years earlier than previously thought.
May 21st
(Rice University) Laser-induced graphene made from an inexpensive polymer is an effective anti-fouling material and, when charged, an excellent antibacterial surface.
May 21st
(Ecological Society of America) The Ecological Society of America recognizes Michael J.M. McTavish and Julienne E. NeSmith for outstanding student research presentations at the 101st Annual Meeting of the Society in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in August 2016. ESA will present the awards during the 2017 Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, Aug. 7, at 8 AM in the Oregon Ballroom at the Oregon Convention Center.
May 21st
(University of Georgia) University of Georgia researchers are part of an international team that has published the first sunflower genome sequence. This new resource will assist future research programs using genetic tools to improve crop resilience and oil production.
May 21st
(University of Washington) Evidence from the age of the dinosaurs to today shows that chemical weathering of rocks is less sensitive to global temperature, and may depend on the steepness of the surface. The results call into question the role of rocks in setting our planet's temperature over millions of years.
May 21st
(National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)) How you dress, talk, eat and even what you allow yourself to feel -- these often unspoken rules of a group are social norms, and many are internalized to such a degree that you probably don't even notice them. Following norms, however, can sometimes be costly for individuals if norms require sacrifice for the good of the group. How and why did humans evolve to follow such norms in the first place?
May 21st
(University of Nevada, Las Vegas) UNLV research in Russia challenges widely held understanding of past climate history; study appears in latest issue of top journal Nature Geoscience.
May 21st
(University of Sheffield) Seawater in Egypt could be turned into drinking water using biomass energy as a source of heat in a new collaborative project from academics at the University of Sheffield UK and Port Said University in Egypt.
May 21st
(University of California - Davis) There's something new to look for in the heavens, and it's called a 'synestia,' according to planetary scientists Simon Lock at Harvard University and Sarah Stewart at UC Davis. A synestia, they propose, would be a huge, spinning, donut-shaped mass of hot, vaporized rock, formed as planet-sized objects smash into each other.
May 21st
(The Earth Institute at Columbia University) Falling sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States are expected to substantially increase rainfall in Africa's semi-arid Sahel, while bringing slightly more rain to much of the US, according to a new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.
May 21st
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Over the week of May 15, extreme rainfall drenched northeastern Australia and NASA data provided a look at the record totals.
May 21st
(University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences) University of Illinois geologist Lijun Liu and his team have created a computer model of tectonic activity so effective that they believe it has potential to predict where earthquakes and volcanoes will occur. Liu, along with doctoral student Jiashun Hu, and Manuele Faccenda from the University of Padua in Italy, published a research paper in the journal of Earth and Planetary Science Letters focusing on the deep mantle and its relationship to plate tectonics.
May 21st
(Lehigh University) A new study of 67 less-developed, malaria-endemic nations led by Lehigh University sociologist Dr. Kelly Austin, finds a link between deforestation and increasing malaria rates across developing nations.
May 21st
(University of Chicago Medical Center) Analysis of a 3.3 million-year-old fossil skeleton reveals the most complete spinal column of any early human relative, including vertebrae, neck and rib cage. The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that portions of the human spinal structure that enable efficient walking motions were established millions of years earlier than previously thought.
May 21st
(Virginia Tech) An international team of researchers led by geoscientists with the Virginia Tech College of Science recently discovered that deep portions of Earth's mantle might be as hot as it was more than 2.5 billion years ago.
May 18th
(SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry) A spider and an ant with names drawn from popular books, a pink katydid and an omnivorous rat made the College of Environmental Science and Forestry's list of the Top 10 New Species for 2017. Also listed: a freshwater stingray, a bush tomato that appears to 'bleed,' a devilish-looking orchid, a millipede with more than 400 legs, an amphibious centipede and a marine worm.
May 18th
(City College of New York) The surfaces of Earth, Mars, and Titan, Saturn's largest moon, have all been scoured by rivers. Yet despite this similarity and the amazingly Earth-like landscapes of Titan complete with valleys, lakes, and mountains, researchers led by City College of New York geologist Benjamin Black report new evidence that the origins of the topography there and on Mars are different from on Earth.
May 18th
(DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory) A team of physicists has discovered that a coating of lithium oxide on the inside of fusion machines known as tokamaks absorbs as much deuterium as pure lithium does.
May 18th
(Utah State University) Focusing on the management of carbon stores within vegetated coastal habitats provides an opportunity to mitigate some aspects of global warming.