Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Research

Researchers trace geologic origins of Gulf of Mexico ‘super basin’ success

The Gulf of Mexico holds huge untapped offshore oil deposits that could help power the U.S. for decades. According to researchers, the basin’s vast oil and gas reserves are the result of a remarkable geologic past. Only a fraction of the oil has been extracted and much remains buried beneath ancient salt layers, just recently illuminated by modern seismic imaging.

Intertropical Convergence Zone limits climate predictions in the tropical Atlantic

The strongest climate fluctuation on time scales of a few years is the so-called El Niño phenomenon, which originates in the Pacific. A similar circulation pattern exists in the Atlantic, which scientists have now studied in more detail. Their results contribute to a better understanding of this climate fluctuation and pose a challenge for prediction models.

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New fossil provides clarity to the history of Alligatoridae

Families are complicated. For members of the Alligatoridae family, which includes living caimans and alligators – this is especially true. They are closely related, but because of their similarity, their identification can even stump paleontologists.

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Research breaks new ground in understanding how a molecular motor generates force

A team of biophysicists set out to tackle the long-standing question about the nature of force generation by myosin, the molecular motor responsible for muscle contraction. The key question they addressed – one of the most controversial topics in the field – was: how does myosin convert chemical energy, in the form of ATP, into mechanical work? The answer revealed new details into how myosin, the engine of muscle and related motor proteins, transduces energy.

How plants produce defensive toxins without harming themselves

Scientists describe the biosynthesis and exact mode of action of diterpene glycosides in wild tobacco. These antiherbivory compounds attack the cell membrane. To protect themselves from their own toxins, tobacco plants store them in a non-toxic form. Autotoxicity and the protection against it seem to play a greater role in the evolution of plant defenses than previously thought.

Hard to crack research reveals how crop roots penetrate hard soils

Scientists have discovered a signal that causes roots to stop growing in hard soils which can be ‘switched off’ to allow them to punch through compacted soil — a discovery that could help plants to grow in even the most damaged soils.