Unexpected natural source of methane discovered

Some nitrogen-fixing microorganisms contain an enzyme for the simultaneous production of ammonia and methane.

Wasatch Front Inversions Could Cause More Than 200 Cases of Pneumonia Each Year

Air pollution trapped along the Wasatch Front by winter inversions are estimated to send more than 200 people to the emergency room with pneumonia each year, according to a study by University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare. Bad air quality especially erodes the health of adults over age 65, a population particularly vulnerable to the effects of pneumonia.

Rhythmic interactions between cortical layers underlie working memory

Working memory is a sort of “mental sketchpad” that allows you to accomplish everyday tasks such as calling in your hungry family’s takeout order and finding the bathroom you were just told “will be the third door on the right after you walk straight down that hallway and make your first left.” It also allows your mind to go from merely responding to your environment to consciously asserting your agenda.

When pests graze certain potatoes, yields double

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it’s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity.

Scientists Discover 18 New Spider-Hunting Pelican Spiders in Madagascar

In 1854, a curious-looking spider was found preserved in 50 million-year-old amber. With an elongated neck-like structure and long mouthparts that protruded from the “head” like an angled beak, the arachnid bore a striking resemblance to a tiny pelican. A few decades later when living pelican spiders were discovered in Madagascar, arachnologists learned that their behavior is as unusual as their appearance, but because these spiders live in remote parts of the world they remained largely unstudied—until recently.

Biologists' new peptide could fight many cancers

MIT biologists have designed a new peptide that can disrupt a key protein that many types of cancers, including some forms of lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer, need to survive.

Weather anomalies accelerate the melting of sea ice

ETH researchers reveal why Arctic sea ice began to melt in the middle of winter two years ago – and that the increased melting of ice in summer is linked to recurring periods of fair weather.

Asthma Costs the U.S. Economy More than $80 Billion Per Year

Asthma costs the U.S. economy more than $80 billion annually in medical expenses, missed work and school days and deaths, according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 

Warming Signs: How Diminished Snow Cover Puts Species in Peril

The wolverine is highly adapted to life in a snowy world. It has thick fur and snowshoe-like feet, and it dens high in the mountains as a way to avoid predators that aren’t as nimble in deep snow and to provide its kits with insulation from the bitter high-elevation cold.

Math Can Predict How Cancer Cells Evolve

Applied mathematics can be a powerful tool in helping predict the genesis and evolution of different types of cancers, a study from the University of Waterloo has found.