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Futurity.org – How long have humans walked on grasslands?

Futurity.org – How long have humans walked on grasslands? | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
An analysis of how vegetation has changed in the cradle of humanity over the past 12 million years is challenging long-held beliefs about human evolution.
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“The more we nurture the planet, the better and more natural a life we'll have.”  Chris d'Lacey, Icefire
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Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot OFFICIAL - YouTube

"It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works — that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works — that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it."
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Siberian scientists suggested a new method for synthesizing a promising magnetic material

Siberian scientists suggested a new method for synthesizing a promising magnetic material | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Scientists from Siberian Federal University (SFU) together with their colleagues from the Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of Siberian Department of Russian Academy of Sciences and Kirensky Institute of Physics of Siberian Department of Russian Academy of Sciences used a new method for synthesizing iron-dysprosium garnet. Magnetic materials of this class are used in microwave and magnetic photon equipment. Iron-dysprosium garnet is understudied and may have previously unknown properties. The article was published in Materials Science and Engineering journal.
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How climate change weakens coral 'immune systems'

How climate change weakens coral 'immune systems' | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Researchers at The Ohio State University and their colleagues have demonstrated how two separate effects of climate change combine to destabilize different populations of coral microbes -- that is, unbalance the natural coral 'microbiome.'
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15 Stunning Photos That Prove You Have No Clue How Food Is Grown

15 Stunning Photos That Prove You Have No Clue How Food Is Grown | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
These photos of how certain foods are grown may surprise you.
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New study suggests coastal and deep ocean sharks have different feeding patterns

New study suggests coastal and deep ocean  sharks have different feeding patterns | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A research team studying globally declining shark populations report that they used carbon isotopes as biochemical markers in shark muscle tissue to identify where in the oceans the mobile predators feed. They hope that such analyses provide a useful tool for conservation. Michelle Staudinger, an expert in large pelagic foraging ecology at UMass Amherst, worked with lead author Christopher Bird at the University of Southampton, U.K. on the study.
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Climate change linked to more flowery forests, FSU study shows

Climate change linked to more flowery forests, FSU study shows | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
New research from a Florida State University scientist has revealed a surprising relationship between surging atmospheric carbon dioxide and flower blooms in a remote tropical forest.
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There was No Big Bang, Radical Theory of the Universe States

There was No Big Bang, Radical Theory of the Universe States | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
All the answers may lie at the center of a “regular” black hole.
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Study says the world's most vilified and dangerous animals may be humankind's best ally

Study says the world's most vilified and dangerous animals may be humankind's best ally | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
An international review led by the University of Queensland and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) says that many native carnivores that live in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate - spellin
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Massive earthquakes no more likely to strike during full moon

Massive earthquakes no more likely to strike during full moon | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The belief that an earthquake of magnitude-8 or stronger is more likely to strike when the Moon's full in the sky is a myth, a new analysis of quake data confirms.
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Novel hypothesis on why animals diversified on Earth

Novel hypothesis on why animals diversified on Earth | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Can tumors teach us about animal evolution on Earth? Researchers believe so and now present a novel hypothesis of why animal diversity increased dramatically on Earth about half a billion years ago. A biological innovation may have been key.
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New species of lemur found on Madagascar

New species of lemur found on Madagascar | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A team of researchers with members from the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Global Wildlife Conservation and the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership has discovere
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Volcanologist suggests Mt. Etna behaves more like a giant hot spring than a volcano

Volcanologist suggests Mt. Etna behaves more like a giant hot spring than a volcano | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Mt. Etna is a volcano situated on the northeastern side of the island of Sicily, which is just off the toe of the boot of Italy. It is the tallest volcano in Europe, and is famous because it is so active. In addition to spewing tons of lava, it also emits an enormous amount of steam, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. It is these other emissions that has Ferlito convinced that there is something different going on with the volcano.
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Zoology: Luminescent lizards

Zoology: Luminescent lizards | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Chameleons are known to communicate with conspecifics by altering their surface coloration. Munich researchers have now found that the bony tubercles on the heads of many species fluoresce under UV light and form impressive patterns.
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Researchers reveal how microbes cope in phosphorus-deficient tropical soil

Researchers reveal how microbes cope in phosphorus-deficient tropical soil | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has uncovered how certain soil microbes cope in a phosphorus-poor environment to survive in a tropical ecosystem. Their novel approach could be applied in other ecosystems to study various nutrient limitations and inform agriculture and terrestrial biosphere modeling.

Phosphorus is a critical nutrient for global biological processes, such as collecting the sun's energy during photosynthesis and degrading plant debris and soil organic matter. Most tropical ecosystems endure long-term weathering that leaches phosphorus from soil.
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Heat loss from the Earth triggers ice sheet slide towards the sea

Heat loss from the Earth triggers ice sheet slide towards the sea | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
In North-East Greenland, researchers have measured the loss of heat that comes up from the interior of the Earth. This enormous area is a geothermal 'hot spot' that melts the ice sheet from below and triggers the sliding of glaciers towards the sea.
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How cod took over in the icy Arctic waters

How cod took over in the icy Arctic waters | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
We all know that water freezes at 0° Celsius. But seawater can retain its liquid state down to -2° C because of it’s a salt solution. Such sub-zero temperatures can cause fatal harm to cold-blooded organisms such as fish.
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Coral's secret midnight tryst caught on camera

Coral's secret midnight tryst caught on camera | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
When Michael Troy's family went snorkelling at Lord Howe Island, they stumbled upon a rare natural wonder that gives scientists hope for the future of coral reefs.
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Breakthrough study shows how plants sense the world

Breakthrough study shows how plants sense the world | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Plants lack eyes and ears, but they can still see, hear, smell and respond to environmental cues and dangers—especially to virulent pathogens. They do this with the aid of hundreds of membrane proteins that can sense microbes or other stresses.

Only a small portion of these sensing proteins have been studied through classical genetics, and knowledge on how these sensors function by forming complexes with one another is scarce. Now, an international team of researchers from four nations—including Shahid Mukhtar, Ph.D., and graduate student Timothy "TC" Howton at the University of Alabama at Birmingham—has created the first network map for 200 of these proteins. The map shows how a few key proteins act as master nodes critical for network integrity, and the map also reveals unknown interactions.

"This is a pioneering work to identify the first layer of interactions among these proteins," said Mukhtar, an assistant professor of biology in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. "An understanding of these interactions could lead to ways to increase a plant's resistance to pathogens, or to other stresses like heat, drought, salinity or cold shock. This can also provide a roadmap for future studies by scientists around the world."
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20 of the Most Spectacular Drone Photographs of 2017

20 of the Most Spectacular Drone Photographs of 2017 | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Dronestagram, a platform for drone photography and video, has released their list of the best drone photography of 2017, culled from their online community. The images come from aerial photographers around the world.
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This Mind-Blowing Visualization Shows How Tiny Our Sun Is Compared To The Universe's Biggest Stars

This Mind-Blowing Visualization Shows How Tiny Our Sun Is Compared To The Universe's Biggest Stars | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Our Sun. It's really big. Vastly, stupefyingly huge. Just kidding, it's actually pretty small by the universe's standards.
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Downturn in crucial North Sea fish species

Downturn in crucial North Sea fish species | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Small fish such as sprat, sandeels, Norway pout, and herring rarely grab the headlines. But these small fish are an important catch in the North Sea.
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Biggest flooded cave on the planet found in Mexico

Biggest flooded cave on the planet found in Mexico | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A group of divers has connected two underwater caverns in eastern Mexico to reveal what is believed to be the biggest flooded cave in the world, a discovery that could help shed new light on the ancient Mayan civilisation.
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Warming Arctic climate constrains life in cold-adapted mammals

Warming Arctic climate constrains life in cold-adapted mammals | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A new study led by Joel Berger has uncovered previously unknown effects of rain-on-snow events, winter precipitation and ice tidal surges on the muskoxen.
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New study suggests shark declines can lead to changes in reef fish body shapes

New study suggests shark declines can lead to changes in reef fish body shapes | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Scientists studying nearly identical coral reef systems off Australia discovered something unusual on the reefs subjected to nearly exclusive fishing of sharks—fish with significantly smaller eyes and tails. The study i
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New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations

New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego were part of an international team that for the first time used hydroacoustics as a method for comparing the abundance of fishes within and outside marine protected areas (MPAs).
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Environmental DNA Analysis

Environmental DNA Analysis | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Environmental DNA analysis makes it possible to detect water organisms without having to capture them first. For the first time, a team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) systematically investigated the effect of various environmental factors on environmental DNA analyses. By doing so, the researchers have made an important step towards the standardized application of this method for the monitoring of water bodies.
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