Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

University of California

7 clever behaviors of octopuses

Do you ever wonder if octopuses will one day take over as the planet’s most intelligent species? (And let’s get something out of the way: yes, octopuses is the correct plural.) No one could blame you if you believed in…

Do toxic gases make advanced extraterrestrial life less likely?

A new study suggests that many exoplanets – worlds orbiting distant stars – might have an overabundance of toxic gases in their atmospheres. If so, that would make the evolution of complex life forms more difficult.

Blue States Roll Out Aggressive Climate Strategies. Red States Keep to the Sidelines. – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — At a time when the country is already deeply fractured along partisan lines, individual states are starting to pursue vastly different policies on climate change with the potential to cement an economic and social divide for years to…

Animals’ brain activity ‘syncs’ during social interactions

Egyptian fruit bats and mice, respectively, can ‘sync’ brainwaves in social situations. The synchronization of neural activity in the brains of human conversation partners has been shown previously, as a result of one person picking up social cues from the other and modulating their own behavior based on those cues. These studies suggest that something similar occurs when animals engage in natural social interactions.

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Scientists chart course toward a new world of synthetic biology

A team has compiled a roadmap for the future of synthetic or engineering biology, based on the input of 80 leaders in the field from more than 30 institutions. The report provides a strong case that the federal government should invest in this area, not only to improve public health, food crops and the environment, but also to fuel the economy and maintain the country’s leadership in synthetic/engineering biology.

Today in science: Sally Ride in space

She was the 1st American woman in space, eventually flying on 2 Space Shuttle missions. She played a key role in the investigation of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. And she inspired people.

What drives Yellowstone’s massive elk migrations?

Yellowstone’s migratory elk rely primarily on environmental cues, including a retreating snowline and the greening grasses of spring, to decide when to make the treks between their winter ranges and summer ranges, researchers show. Their study combined GPS tracking data from more than 400 animals in nine major Yellowstone elk populations with satellite imagery to create a comprehensive model of what drives these animals to move.

A shady spot may protect species against rapid climate warming

A shady refuge on a hot day could be more than a simple comfort in a warming world. Finding a cooler spot might save several species that would otherwise go extinct due to global warming, according to a new analysis.

UMass Amherst cell biologist chosen for Pew Scholars Biomedical Research Program

(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) University of Massachusetts Amherst biologist Lillian Fritz-Laylin is one of 22 early-career researchers selected for the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences, the Pew Charitable Trusts announced Friday, June 14, 2019.

Gut microbes eat our medication

Researchers have discovered one of the first concrete examples of how the microbiome can interfere with a drug’s intended path through the body. Focusing on levodopa (L-dopa), the primary treatment for Parkinson’s disease, they identified which bacteria out of the trillions of species is responsible for degrading the drug and how to stop this microbial interference.