Nature (category filter × )

Wood wide web: Trees' social networks are mapped

bbc.com
  • Using machine-learning to make sense of millions of direct observations, researchers have visualized the “wood wide web” for the first time ever.
  • This web is a complex network of underground mycorrhizal fungi (plant symbiotes), roots and bacteria which connect plants to one another.
  • It exists under every forest and wood, and scientists are studying it because of its’ role in climate change.
  • The first global map of the "wood wide web" will support efforts like the UN’s trillion tree campaign, as it shows what type of trees to plant in different areas of the world.

Scientists discover Hawaiian ‘Supercorals’ thriving in warm, acidic water

blogs.discovermagazine.com
  • Environmental pollution, climate change, and overfishing have caused the destruction of more than half of the world's coral reefs.
  • However, a group of researchers has found in Hawaii a species of coral that can withstand warmer and more acidic waters.
  • Scientists believe that the discovery of these "supercorals" represents a hope to preserve a part of the reefs that still remain in the oceans.
  • Nonetheless, the study suggests that if the impact of climate change and environmental pollution does not diminish, coral reefs will disappear from the planet.

Scientists find genetic reason why store-bought tomatoes taste so bland

blogs.discovermagazine.com
  • The study indicates that the tomatoes that most people buy in stores are tasteless because they lack a gene that transmits the flavor and color of tomatoes: the TomLoxC gene.
  • The authors of the research came to this conclusion after analyzing the genetic information of more than 700 species of wild and domestic tomatoes.
  • The analysis showed that tomatoes grown on domestic farms lacked more than 5,000 genes, including those for protection against diseases and the gene for flavor and color.
  • The lack of these genes is not due to genetic manipulations but to the selection of species that over time only took into account the search for size, profitable production, and shelf life of the tomato.
  • The results of this research will allow incorporating genes that contribute to improving the flavor and protection of tomatoes grown against disease-producing agents.

Methane-consuming bacteria could be the future of fuel

news.northwestern.edu
  • Decades-long search finally over, thanks to groundbreaking discovery of the process governing how methanotrophic bacteria change methane to fuel.
  • Team found that an enzyme responsible for methane-methanol conversion activates this reaction at a site with just one copper ion.
  • Identifying the correct metal ion provides a foundation to understand what could be the most game-changing reaction for global warming.
  • This reaction could remove harmful methane from the environment, and provide usable fuel - without using additional energy to do so.
  • Current methane-methanol processes are inefficient, requiring extreme pressure and temperatures to work.

Nature crisis: Humans 'threaten 1m species with extinction'

bbc.com
  • According to a UN report, human beings have caused a catastrophic impact on the soil, atmosphere, water resources and all entities of nature.
  • Soils, water, and air have been contaminated with chemical waste; forests, wetlands, and biodiversity have been reduced; the greenhouse effect has intensified, and all ecosystems have been degraded.
  • The expansion of human activities is threatening to extinguish animal and plant species at a rate unprecedented in the history of mankind.
  • The main causes that drive the devastation of nature are the tendency to exaggerated economic growth and the search for food and energy sources.
  • This trend can be reversed but it needs to change the way humans interact with nature's ecosystems.

Newsletter

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Categories

  • Science Science (23) Dark-matter detector observes exotic nuclear decay
  • Psychology Psychology (23) The surprising truth about perfectionism in millennials
  • Cosmos Cosmos (13) From the Lunar far side, China’s rover reveals moon’s hidden depths
  • History History (9) Ancient rock art in the plains of India
  • Society Society (29) Psychedelics' role in beating alcoholism illustrated in LSD, psilocybin study
  • Medicine Medicine (13) End to Aids in sight as huge study finds drugs stop HIV transmission
  • Technology Technology (20) UVM study: AI can detect depression in a child’s speech
  • Nature Nature (13) Wood wide web: Trees' social networks are mapped