In the bayous of eastern Arkansas, amidst ancient trees both living and dead that provide nourishment to creatures of the swamp, hangs a high-tech sentinel patiently waiting to capture video of an elusive bird once thought to be extinct. Developed by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Texas A&M University, the high-resolution intelligent robotic video system installed in the Bayou DeView area of the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas is part of a major effort to locate the ivory-billed woodpecker in its historic habitat, the bottomland forests of the southeast United States.
Having a basic knowledge of scientific principles is no longer a luxury but, in today’s complex world, a necessity. And, according to a Michigan State University researcher, while Americans are holding their own, they are not even close to where they should be.
Why do humans and their primate cousins get more stress-related diseases than any other member of the animal kingdom? The answer, says Stanford University neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky, is that people, apes and monkeys are highly intelligent, social creatures with far too much spare time on their hands.
The most complex quandaries of science cannot be answered by pure disciplinary research, according to Richard Zare, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University. Zare is a champion of interdisciplinary research, which was the subject of his presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Feb. 17, in San Francisco. A veteran of collaborative research who has helped Stanford and other institutions implement interdisciplinary initiatives, Zare will give a talk titled ”Perspectives on Team Science: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
Oceanographers, climatologists, and ecologists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting report that unusual ocean conditions and marine die-offs are changing the way scientists think about the future of ocean resources off the US West Coast. The researchers’ new synthesis of decades of atmospheric and oceanographic data reveals that increasingly wild fluctuations in winds and currents appear to account for a series of recent anomalous ocean events — from repeated low oxygen zones larger than the size of Rhode Island to massive die offs of seabirds. The scientists say that the underlying swings in winds and position of the jet stream are consistent with climate change predictions.
There are big changes driven by small forces in two of the oldest industries of the U.S. economy — agriculture and agricultural production. From the fields to the grocery store shelves, nanotechnology — technology that allows the control of unique, sub-molecular properties of matter — is revolutionizing the way food is produced, packaged and distributed, leaving many in the industry grappling with nanotechnology’s numerous implications.
Feeding Fido that raw ground beef might not be the best idea. A University of Missouri-Columbia veterinary professor is warning owners about the dangers of raw meat diets for pets. “We are experiencing a recent national trend where pet owners are feeding their pets raw meat because they think it is healthier, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Robert Backus, assistant professor and director of the Nestle Purina Endowed Small Animal Nutrition Program. “Feeding your pet raw meat puts the safety of not only the pet in danger, but also the household.”
New research aimed at understanding the link between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change in boreal systems has found clear links between both Spring and Fall temperature changes and carbon uptake/loss. Dr Kevin Robert Gurney, assistant professor in the Earth & Atmospheric Science/Agronomy at Purdue University and Associate Director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, presented these results at the “Is a Warmer Arctic Adding Carbon Dioxide to the Atmosphere” session of American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Francisco, CA on December 17th.