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Sweet potato is already a GM crop from before the anthropocene- TERA

The sweet-potato genome contains genes from bacteria, so is an example of a naturally occurring genetically modified (GM) plant.While combing through the genome of the domesticated sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), Jan Kreuze of the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru, and his colleagues stumbled on genes that originated from one… Ed. Note: We living beings [...]

US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities- TERA

The United States has one of the oldest and most sophisticated systems of protected areas in the world. Given the large amount of information on the country’s biodiversity, and the potential resources available, one might expect it to do well in protecting biodiversity. We find that it does not. The United States protected areas do [...]

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Battery Storage Systems for Stationary Applications- TERA

This paper presents a comparative life cycle assessment of cumulative energy demand (CED) and global warming potential (GWP) of four stationary battery technologies: lithium-ion, lead-acid, sodium–sulfur, and vanadium-redox-flow. The analyses were carried out for a complete utilization of their cycle life and for six different stationary applications. Due to its lower CED and GWP impacts, [...]

Development and Evaluation of a Database of Dietary Bioaccumulation Test Data for Organic Chemicals in Fish- TERA

Dietary bioaccumulation tests for fish have been conducted for about 40 years. Standardized test guidance has recently been developed. Test metrics of primary scientific and regulatory interest are the whole body depuration rate constant (kT), whole body growth corrected depuration rate constant (kTg), and corresponding chemical half-lives (t1/2 and t1/2g), dietary chemical absorption efficiency (AE), [...]

Researchers turn to volunteer readers to speed research on rare genetic disorder- TERA

This crowdsourcing curation campaign, dubbed Mark2Cure, is first reaching out to a particularly motivated crowd—the community of people affected by NGLY1 deficiency, a newly discovered genetic disorder. Researchers have diagnosed the disease—which is caused by defects in NGLY1, an enzyme that removes sugar molecules from proteins to ensure proper degradation—in about 35 people worldwide, but [...]

Truly Amazing New Species Found in 2014 Include Possible New Phylum

An international committee of taxonomists selected the top 10 from among the approximately 18,000 new species named during the previous year and released the list to coincide with the May 23 birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy. The 2015 Top Ten Alphabetical order by scientific name – species are not ranked Feathered [...]

Norms, Standards, and Legislation for Fast Pyrolysis Bio-oils from Lignocellulosic Biomass- TERA

Fast pyrolysis of woody biomass is close to full maturity, with first-of-its-kind commercial size installations for fuel production being commissioned in Finland (Fortum) and in The Netherlands (Empyro), and in the design phase in Brazil (Ensyn). In the industrial-scale combustion tests, the use of fast pyrolysis bio-oil (FPBO) has been demonstrated to be a viable [...]

Asian atmospheric pollution hitchhikes south

A team led by Matthew Ashfold at the University of Cambridge, UK, detected elevated levels of a chlorine-containing gas at two remote sites in tropical Borneo during the Northern Hemisphere winter of 2008–09. The team used an atmospheric transport model to show that the chemical — an indicator of a range of industrial pollutants — [...]

Acid oceans cited in Earth’s worst extinction die-off

The Permian mass extinction, 250 million years ago, was the worst in Earth’s history, killing off some 90% of living species. A team of European geoscientists has found the most direct evidence yet that ocean acidification was a major part of the die-off. Scientists have long suspected that volcanoes dumped trillions of tons of carbon [...]

Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity- TERA

Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth’s ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the [...]