110 articles from FRIDAY 12.11.2021

Amazon birds shrink but grow longer wings in sign of global heating

Some species in Brazil have shrunk by nearly 10% over 40 years of measurements, say researchersBirds in the Amazon are becoming smaller but growing longer wings, a study has found, with scientists saying global heating is the most likely explanation.Several recent papers have reported birds getting smaller, but as their subjects were migratory birds there were many confounding factors that could...

Amazon Rainforest birds' bodies transform due to climate change

The most pristine parts of the Amazon rainforest devoid of direct human contact are being impacted by human-induced climate change, according to new research by LSU scientists. New analyses of data collected over the past four decades show that not only has the number of sensitive resident birds throughout the Amazon rainforest declined, but the body size and wing length have changed for most...

Tiny chip provides a big boost in precision optics

By merging two or more sources of light, interferometers create interference patterns that can provide remarkably detailed information about everything they illuminate, from a tiny flaw on a mirror, to the dispersion of pollutants in the atmosphere, to gravitational patterns in far reaches of the Universe.

Key concepts, mathematical models, and statistical techniques for testing animal behavior rationality

Testing rationality of decision-making and choice by evaluating the mathematical property of transitivity has a long tradition in biology, economics, psychology, and zoology. However, this paradigm is fraught with conceptual, mathematical, and statistical pitfalls. A new article published in The Quarterly Review of Biology provides a tutorial review for animal scientists in testing whether animal...

The challenge of forest restoration: Where to obtain tens of billions of quality seeds

With commitments to restore more than 47.5 million hectares of degraded land and forests by 2030, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India hope to become exemplar land custodians. While commitments ending deforestation are critical to obtaining that image—Indonesia is one of the world's poster children for forest loss—even a full halt to natural landscape destruction is only part of the...

Transform approach to Amazon or it will not survive, warns major report

Panel of 200 scientists tells Cop26 Indigenous people, business, governments and scientists must collaborateCop26 – latest updatesThe world’s approach to the Amazon rainforest must be transformed to avoid an irreversible, catastrophic tipping point, according to the most comprehensive study of the region ever carried out.More than 200 scientists collaborated on the new report, which finds that...

Xist marks the spot: How an RNA molecule silences the X chromosome

In one of the mysteries of mammalian development, every cell in the early female embryo shuts down one of its two copies of the X chromosome, leaving just one functional. For years, the mechanics behind this X chromosome inactivation have been murky, but scientists from the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have now taken a major step forward in...

More than half of surveyed crop varieties are under threat of extinction, according to study in India

Crop and varietal diversity are critically important for global food and nutrition security, as well as the livelihoods of millions of people, especially those living in marginal areas. This diversity includes many different crop species and farmer varieties, many of which have been cultivated and safeguarded by farmers and indigenous peoples for millennia on their farms. Each one contains unique...

Quantum confinement discovered in porous nano-photocatalyst

Green hydrogen production from solar water splitting has attracted a great deal of interest in recent years because hydrogen is a fuel of high energy density. A research team discovered the quantum confinement effect in a photocatalyst of a 3D-ordered macroporous structure. The quantum confinement effect was found to enable hydrogen production under visible light. The findings offer an option for...

Fight over US wolf protections heads to federal courtroom

U.S. government attorneys will appear before a federal judge Friday to defend a decision from the waning days of the Trump administration that lifted protections for gray wolves across most of the country, as Republican-led states have sought to drive down wolf numbers through aggressive hunting and trapping.