Why Are Giant Pandas Black and White?

The giant panda’s graphic pattern has stumped biologists for years … now they have an answer.

New research finds infants are more exposed to harmful pollution on the way to school than on the way home

Babies in prams accompanying older siblings on the school run are twice as likely to be exposed to harmful air pollution in the morning than in the afternoon, a new study has found.

Investment key in adapting to climate change in West Africa

Climate projections for West Africa show that crop yields and grass for livestock grazing are likely to decline in the future. But a new study in the journal Global Environmental Change shows that when ineffective institutions and political instability limit investment in agriculture climate change would have greater impacts on regional food security.West Africa is a major producer of crops such as cassava, millet, and sorghum but in the future, regional production may not be able to meet the growing demand for food and livestock feed. “How and to what extent the region’s agricultural sector develops in the future will have profound implications for the livelihoods of millions of people,” says IIASA researcher Amanda Palazzo, who led the study.

Iran and Middle East could adopt fully renewable electricity systems

Iran can transition to a fully renewable electricity system and financially benefit from it by 2030. Researchers at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) show that major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region could turn their abundant renewable energy resources into lucrative business opportunities in less than two decades.

People who Trust Their Doctor Tend to Feel Better

Confidence in doctors, therapists and nursing staff leads to an improvement in subjectively perceived complaints, satisfaction and quality of life in patients. This is the conclusion of a meta-analysis by psychologists at the University of Basel, published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Unseasonable Warm Spells Endanger Fruit Crops Nationwide

Plants are blooming early across the country as a result of this winter’s ongoing record warmth, which many connect to climate change. And some fear that an impending freeze could destroy countless fruit flowers and wreak havoc on the industry.

Chicago Records No Snow in January and February for the First Time in 146 Years

Chicago—a city well known for its windy and snowy winters—is experiencing some unusually warm weather. For the first time in 146 years, there was no documented snow on the ground in January and February, according to the local National Weather Service.

Research break-through: Producing gasoline in yeast cell factories

There have been many attempts to modify this stubborn little enzyme. But none have succeeded, until now. With new findings from Chalmers the enzyme FAS has started to produce sustainable chemicals for biofuels.We are in great need of sustainable and clean alternatives to oil-derived products. One of the choices at hand is to produce chemicals and biofuels from sustainable biomass.

New evidence that tropical ice caps existed in the Andes

Scientists have long suspected that ice caps formed repeatedly in the tropical Andes during the late Pliocene, but only evidence of a single glaciation was known until now.

Caribou Appear to Keep up with Warming Arctic

Despite recent changes to the growing season for plants in the Arctic, Alaska, caribou appear to have remained in sync with these changes over the last 30 years.