Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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Emissions slashed today won’t slow warming until mid-century – The Economist

Jul 11th 2020 MUCH OF the international effort thus far to combat climate change has focused on cutting emissions of greenhouse gases, chief among them carbon dioxide. That is, of course, a rational approach. Global average temperatures are roughly 1.1°C…

Media tip sheet: Ecological forecasting

(Ecological Society of America) These presentations feature research that attempts to forecast ecosystems of the future. All will be presented at the Ecological Society of America’s upcoming virtual annual meeting, August 3-6, 2020.

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Safer CRISPR gene editing with fewer off-target hits

The CRISPR system is a powerful tool for the targeted editing of genomes, with significant therapeutic potential, but runs the risk of inappropriately editing ”off-target” sites. However, a new study shows that mutating the enzyme at the heart of the CRISPR gene editing system can improve its fidelity.

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Scientists urge caution, further assessment of ecological impacts above deep sea mining

A new study argues that deep-sea mining poses significant risks, not only to the area immediately surrounding mining operations but also to the water hundreds to thousands of feet above the seafloor, threatening vast midwater ecosystems. Further, the scientists suggest how these risks could be evaluated more comprehensively to enable society and managers to decide if and how deep-sea mining should proceed.

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A ‘regime shift’ is happening in the Arctic Ocean

Scientists find the growth of phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean has increased 57 percent over just two decades, enhancing its ability to soak up carbon dioxide. While once linked to melting sea ice, the increase is now propelled by rising concentrations of tiny algae.

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Gall fly outmaneuvers host plant in game of ‘Spy vs Spy’

Over time goldenrod plants and the gall flies that feed on them have been one-upping each other in an ongoing competition for survival. Now, a team of researchers has discovered that by detecting the plants’ chemical defenses, the insects may have taken the lead.

NASA announces Venus rover challenge winners

The Venus rover challenge – called “Exploring Hell” – received a great response from countries around the world. NASA said the design ideas submitted will help advance the final design of a mechanical rover that might one day explore the hellish surface of Venus.

Biologists trace plants’ steady mitochondrial genomes to a gene found in viruses, bacteria

(Colorado State University) CSU biologists have traced the stability of plant mitochondrial genomes to a particular gene – MSH1 – that plants have but animals don’t. Their experiments, described in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lend insight into why animal mitochondrial genomes tend to mutate.