Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Biology

Those funky cheese smells allow microbes to ‘talk’ to and feed each other

Researchers found that bacteria essential to ripening cheese can sense and respond to compounds produced by fungi in the rind and released into the air, enhancing the growth of some species of bacteria over others. The make-up of the cheese microbiome is critical to flavor and quality of the cheese.

During COVID, scientists turn to computers to understand C4 photosynthesis

When COVID closed down their lab, a team of researchers turned to computational approaches to understand what makes some plants better adapted to transform light and carbon dioxide into yield through photosynthesis. Most plants use C3 photosynthesis, which is more common but not as efficient as C4. The researchers uncovered clues as to how C4 crops are able to express key enzymes in specialized cells that increase photosynthetic efficiency.

Long-term data show a recent acceleration in chemical and physical changes in the ocean

(Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences) New research published in Nature Communications Earth & Environment uses data from two sustained open-ocean hydrographic stations (Hydrostation ‘S’ and the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study) in the North Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda to demonstrate recent changes in ocean physics and chemistry since the 1980s. The study shows decadal variability and recent acceleration of surface warming, salinification, deoxygenation, and changes in carbon dioxide (CO2)-carbonate chemistry that drives ocean acidification.

RUDN University soil scientist: Paddy soil fertilization can help reduce greenhouse effect

(RUDN University) A soil scientist from RUDN University discovered the effect of fertilization on the ability of the soil to retain carbon. To understand this mechanism, he and his team studied the movement of organic carbon in the soil of rice paddies. The results of the study can help increase the fertility of the paddies while at the same time reducing the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Unprecedented energy use since 1950 has transformed humanity’s geologic footprint

(University of Colorado at Boulder) A new study makes clear the extraordinary speed and scale of increases in energy use, economic productivity and global population that have pushed the Earth towards a new geological epoch, known as the Anthropocene.

Machine learning uncovers potential new TB drugs

Using a machine-learning approach that incorporates uncertainty, researchers identified several promising compounds that target a protein required for the survival of the bacteria that cause tuberculosis.

Remnants of ancient parasites could be shaping our response to coronavirus

(University of Colorado at Boulder) Why are some people more resilient to viruses than others? One scientist, motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has proposed an intriguing answer: Exposure to ancient parasites by our ancestors forever altered our genome, shaping the varied responses of our immune systems today.

Why do identical cells act differently? Team unravels sources of cellular ‘noise’

Researchers have taken an important step toward explaining why genetically identical cells can produce varying amounts of the same protein associated with the same gene. Researchers demonstrated that most of the fluctuations in gene expression between identical cells occur in the first step of protein production, called transcription.