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Mon, 13 Jul 2020
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Better Earth

Ocean Iron Fertilization



©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Researchers will consider whether iron fertilization can allow the ocean to absorb more carbon dioxide while remaining healthy (left), or if the addition of iron will give no net benefit while promoting other problems in the ocean (right).

Bulb

The cockroaches' ability to learn varies

In its ability to learn, the cockroach is a moron in the morning and a genius in the evening.

Dramatic daily variations in the cockroach's learning ability were discovered by a new study performed by Vanderbilt University biologists and published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Magic Wand

Wasp genetics study suggests altruism evolved from maternal behavior

Researchers at the University of Illinois have used an innovative approach to reveal the molecular basis of altruistic behavior in wasps. The research team focused on the expression of behavior-related genes in Polistes metricus paper wasps, a species for which little genetic data was available when the study was begun. Their findings appear today online in Science Express.

Like honey bee workers, wasp workers give up their reproductive capabilities and focus entirely on nurturing their larval siblings, a practice that seems to defy the Darwinian prediction that a successful organism strives, above all else, to reproduce itself. Such behaviors are indicative of a eusocial society, in which some individuals lose, or sacrifice, their reproductive functions and instead work to benefit the larger group.

Question

Researchers investigate new suspect in West Nile deaths of pelicans

Stable flies are the latest suspect that may be involved in the West Nile virus deaths of hundreds of pelican chicks at the Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Montana. West Nile virus killed 800 to 1,000 pelican chicks in 2003, averaged 400 in each of the next three summers and more than 600 this year.

©Greg Johnson
The Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge contains the fifth largest colony of American white pelicans in North America.

Veterinary entomologist Greg Johnson of Montana State University said earlier this year that he considered the possibility that lice were transmitting West Nile virus to pelicans. He became suspicious after collecting very few mosquitoes in 2006, but seeing pelicans continue to die at a high rate. Johnson discovered previously that the Culex tarsalis mosquito is the primary carrier of West Nile virus in Montana and that the Medicine Lake refuge was one of the hot spots for the virus.

Recycle

Bush draws fire at climate talks

Some of the world's biggest greenhouse polluters took aim at President George W. Bush on Friday, calling him "isolated" and questioning his leadership on the problem of global warming.

Bush, who convened the two-day meeting of the 17 biggest emitters of climate-warming gases, stressed new environmental technology and voluntary measures to tackle the issue.

Clock

Drought Threatens Alabama City's Water

Officials coping with a severe drought in eastern Alabama and western Georgia issued sweeping bans Friday on outdoor watering and scrambled to secure a dwindling supply of drinking water to more than 50,000 people.

Divers went into Lake Martin looking for ways to increase the depth around intake pipes that drain water from the massive lake into the water system for Alexander City, 44 miles northeast of Montgomery on the Georgia line. Lake Martin is the only source of water for the Alexander City system.

Bizarro Earth

St. Helens: 3 years of shakes

Mount St. Helens just won't quit.

Three years ago this month, hundreds of small earthquakes heralded the renewal of volcanic activity at the Cascade peak after an 18-year lull. Since then, the volcano has been a perpetual-motion machine.

©EVAM CALDWELL / AP
Gases escape the growing dome inside the Mount St. Helens' crater overlooking Spirit Lake in June. Mount Rainier is in the background.

Bizarro Earth

Strange intrusions threaten Sweden's seas

A gluttonous American pseudo-jellyfish, giant Japanese oysters, and an unidentified virus killing seals: strange intrusions are threatening Sweden's seas and fishermen are concerned.

©AFP
Twenty-seven dead seals found on the beach in Kattegat.

Cloud Lightning

Update! Hurricane Lorenzo hits Mexico, 3 dead

Hurricane Lorenzo crashed into Mexico's Gulf coast on Friday, killing three people in a mudslide and knocking out power to 85,000 homes.

In the coastal fishing town of Nautla, Lorenzo's 80 mph (130 kph) winds ripped off bits of roofs, blew down trees and scattered debris in the streets.

©AFP

Info

Dolphins a rare sight in Baltic Sea

Two dolphins have been spotted in the Baltic Sea, the first such sighting in many years. Maritime expert assume their appearance is the result of warmer temperatures due to global warming.

©DPA
A dolphin swims along side a police boat in the Baltic Sea, Sunday. It was the first such sighting in the area for many years.

Germany's martime experts are excited at the appearance of some friendly visitors to the country's northern shores. Two dolphins have been spotted in the Baltic Sea -- the first sighting of these creatures here for many years. Scientists are assuming that their sudden appearance is linked to global warming.