Artificial Night-Lights Are Growing, Getting Brighter Environment Technology 

Artificial Night-Lights Are Growing, Getting Brighter

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore As soon as it gets dark, street lights, which have become widespread in the developed world—and are rapidly expanding in the developing world—are switched on. Indeed, since the second half of the twentieth century, Earth has become brighter at night. Now, new satellite-based research shows that our outdoor artificial night-lights are still spreading to more areas on Earth and have gotten brighter over the past few years. How night-lights impact the world Outdoor lighting is regarded as a necessity, especially in highly populated areas, but artificial…

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How Can Caribbean Corals Cope with Climate Change? Animals Environment Oceanography 

How Can Caribbean Corals Cope with Climate Change?

By Justin Baumann @jbaumann3  The planet is warming. This is a fact we should all be comfortable with by now. As a result of this warming (and other human-caused stressors such as overfishing and nutrient pollution coupled with disease), coral reefs are in decline globally. Corals are animals that live in a symbiotic relationship with algae from the genus Symbiodinium. These symbionts are photosynthetic and transfer sugars to the coral host. While corals can also capture prey using their stinging cells and tentacles, most reef-building corals rely heavily on the…

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Ocean Floor Warming Affects Antarctic Seabed Life Biology Environment Oceanography 

Ocean Floor Warming Affects Antarctic Seabed Life

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore A rise in ocean temperatures by 1°C may not seem like a lot. But researchers were surprised to find nearly doubled growth of some species with just one-degree rise in ocean warming and varied growth responses of assemblages with two degrees of warming, in the most realistic marine warming study conducted in Antarctica to date. These drastic changes in community structure may have huge consequences for the entire ecosystem, as they affect the food chain. “I was not expecting such a visible difference,” said Gail Ashton,…

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Underwater Gardening: Coral Reefs and Aquaculture Animals Citizen Science Environment Oceanography 

Underwater Gardening: Coral Reefs and Aquaculture

By Shayna Keyles Twitter @shaynakeyles Instagram @shaynakeyles Our oceans are home to most of the world’s biodiversity, and 25 percent of its diversity thrives in coral reefs—that’s about two million species that call the reefs their home. But as reefs suffer the effects of climate change and globalization (several Caribbean reef-building species are now considered endangered), their ecosystems suffer, too. Fish colonies that provide food for coastal communities dry up, and the natural barriers that the reefs create become less effective, leading to more destruction in the wake of tropical…

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Coral Gardening Effectively Restores Staghorn Corals Biology Environment Oceanography 

Coral Gardening Effectively Restores Staghorn Corals

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis)—a threatened species that resembles deer antlers—are effectively restored by coral gardening, a process that involves cutting coral fragments from healthy, wild donor colonies, rearing the coral fragments in underwater nurseries, and outplanting or reattaching onto degraded reefs, finds a study conducted in the Caribbean. The study demonstrates that current restoration methods are very effective, that no excess damage is done to donor colonies, and that once outplanted, the corals behave like wild colonies. Stephanie Schopmeyer, a coral biologist at the University of…

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Bee-coming a Beekeeper: An Interview with Andy Zaayenga Animals Environment 

Bee-coming a Beekeeper: An Interview with Andy Zaayenga

By Cathy Seiler @cyc55 Andy Zaayenga was “that guy” who introduced himself to new girlfriends by warning them about the 11-foot boa constrictor he kept as a pet. Not being okay with Andy’s love of all types of animals was a relationship dealbreaker. But despite Andy’s affinity to creatures big (especially in the case of the boa constrictor) and small, Andy’s career took him away from the animals and towards the inanimate. He’s spent most of his career repairing, selling, and developing automated solutions (a.k.a. robots) that doctors use to…

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Chemicals Used on Almond Trees Linked to Bee Deaths Animals Botany Environment 

Chemicals Used on Almond Trees Linked to Bee Deaths

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci Americans have a serious obsession with almonds. In 2016, 1.2 million metric tons were grown worldwide, and 80% of that was grown in California alone. As our taste grows for the protein-packed nut, a looming crisis threatens not only the almond crop, but the global food industry as a whole. Over the last decade, honeybee populations, which are necessary for sustaining a healthy almond industry, have been steadily declining. The reasons for the decrease are not fully clear. What if our rabid consumption of this tasty…

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Urban Life of Bees: A Pollination-Parasite Trade-Off Animals Biology Botany Environment 

Urban Life of Bees: A Pollination-Parasite Trade-Off

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic   Few people would consider cities the ideal home for bees, but what if these dense population centers could provide the means for healthy cohabitation? Scientists from Europe recently examined how bumblebees visit and pollinate flowers across urban and agricultural regions and found that urban areas can have a surprisingly beneficial effect on pollination rates. The reasons behind these results not only provide insight into how cities could be designed to better care for bees but also signal yet another danger of farming monocultures. Urban sanctuary…

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Bee Friendly Garden Animals Botany Environment 

Tips for a Bee-Friendly Garden

By Steven Spence @TheStevenSpence More Diverse Than Honeybees When we hear about bees most of us think of honeybees (Apis mellifera) but there are many more bees around us. In fact, there are approximately 4000 native bee species in North America. Some of the most familiar types are bumblebees, mason bees, carpenter bees, and leaf cutter bees. These bee species also are important as pollinators. Fortunately, there are many ways we can help bees flourish whether we have farms, garden plots, backyards, or live in an urban environment with a…

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Urban Gardening Benefits Outweigh Lead Exposure Risk Environment Health 

Urban Gardening’s Benefits Outweigh Lead Exposure Risk

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci Three years after the Flint water crisis began, lead in drinking water continues to make headlines across the United States. But should city dwellers also be worried about lead exposure from something as innocent as their neighborhood garden? New research suggests that unless you are eating the dirt itself, you should be just fine. America’s urban neighborhoods are often food deserts where fresh vegetables and fruit are sometimes impossible to come by. Some 49–93 million people in the United States are food insecure—they have limited or…

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