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Earth and Environment

The Twists And Turns Of Flowers

The Twists And Turns Of Flowers

A molecule in your jam plays a role in the twisting of flower petals. Yale Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Vivian Irish, studies how a genetic mutation causes epidermal cells and flower organs to twist.

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Something’s Fishy

Something’s Fishy

Diverse fish from Antarctica now face rising temperatures and increased competition from invading species.

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Microbial Diversity: How environmental niches affect biological diversification

Microbial Diversity: How environmental niches affect biological diversification

By studying rocks that are almost three million years old, a team of researchers led by Eva Stüeken found out that the diversification of environmental niches plays a role in the diversification of microbial populations.

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A Gecko Opera: Reptile Vocal Plasticity and the Lombard Effect

A Gecko Opera: Reptile Vocal Plasticity and the Lombard Effect

Humans, and many other animals, reflexively increase the volume of their vocalizations in a noisy environment, a phenomenon called the Lombard effect. A new study on geckos, one of the first to examine vocal plasticity in a reptile, found that while geckos do not exhibit the Lombard effect, they do modify their calls in other ways so as to more easily be heard over noise.

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Peering Into the Earth’s Violent Past : New techniques see origin of ancient volcanic eruptions

Peering Into the Earth’s Violent Past : New techniques see origin of ancient volcanic eruptions

Tracing a 65 million year history of the Earth is no easy task, but researchers at the University of Quebec have found a new method. By taking a tango through time, they created a new tool for modeling our past Earth, and have used it to discover a second hotspot origin for the Deccan traps.

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Sugar’s Saving Graces: Reducing the strain of an active lifestyle

Sugar’s Saving Graces: Reducing the strain of an active lifestyle

Researchers studying hawk moths discover the solution to a long-standing paradox in our understanding of metabolism. An ancient biological remnant of a different time may be responsible for protecting us against the more dangerous side-effects of the oxygen we need to survive.

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Plants Protecting Against Pathogens: Seagrass Meadows Clean the Waters Near Coral Reefs

Plants Protecting Against Pathogens: Seagrass Meadows Clean the Waters Near Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are an economically and ecologically important ecosystem, supporting a vast array of life and providing tourism opportunities. Reefs face numerous threats, including coral disease, but another ecosystem may already be alleviating that problem. Recent research shows that seagrass meadows reduce levels of pathogenic bacteria, improving the health of nearby coral reefs.

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Study of the Center of the Earth

Study of the Center of the Earth

Scientists may finally be able to model magnetic fields more efficiently in the lab, thanks to the development of eGaIn, a magnetic liquid metal with unprecedentedly high magnetic and conductive properties.

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Yale Graduate Challenges Existing Ideas About Ecosystem Models

Yale Graduate Challenges Existing Ideas About Ecosystem Models

Plant functional traits are viewed as key to predicting important ecosystem and community properties among biogeographic regions. However, a recent study led by Elisabeth Forrestel GRD ’15 challenges the trait-based approach to predicting ecosystem function by demonstrating that different combinations of functional traits can act to maximize net primary productivity, a community property, in a given environmental setting.

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Nature’s GPS:  It’s Not As Batty As You Think!

Nature’s GPS: It’s Not As Batty As You Think!

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science used an Epyptian-fruit-bat model to study the brain’s representation of navigation from Point A to Point B. Their work on how the bat brain handles goal-focused navigation could affect how we will one day treat Alzheimer’s.

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