News Archives: January, 2018

Breakthrough study shows how plants sense the world

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Plants lack eyes and ears, but they can still see, hear, smell and respond to environmental cues and dangers — especially to virulent pathogens. They do this with the aid of hundreds of membrane proteins that can sense microbes or other stresses.

Only a small portion of these sensing proteins have been studied through classical genetics, and knowledge on how these sensors function by forming complexes with one another is scarce. Now, an international team of researchers from four nations — including Shahid Mukhtar, Ph.D., and graduate student Timothy “TC” Howton at the University of Alabama at Birmingham — has created the first network map for 200 of these proteins. The map shows how a few key proteins act as master nodes critical for network integrity, and the map also reveals unknown interactions.

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New Study: Industry Conservation Ethic Proves Critical to Gulf of Maine Lobster Fishery

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A new study, led by scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and colleagues at the University of Maine and NOAA, demonstrates how conservation practices championed by Maine lobstermen help make the lobster fishery resilient to climate change.

For generations, lobstermen in Maine have returned large lobsters to the sea and have designed a special way of marking egg-bearing lobsters to give them further protection. This conservation culture distinguishes the Gulf of Maine fishery from southern New England, where fishermen have not historically taken the same steps to preserve large, reproductive lobsters.

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Research reveals evidence of new population of ancient Native Americans

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Genetic analysis of ancient DNA from a six-week-old infant found at an Interior Alaska archaeological site has revealed a previously unknown population of ancient people in North America.

The findings, published in the Jan. 3 edition of the journal Nature, represent a major shift in scientists’ theories about how humans populated North America. The researchers have named the new group “Ancient Beringians.”

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UNH Researchers Find Effects of Climate Change Could Accelerate By Mid-Century

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Environmental models used by researchers at the University of New Hampshire are showing that the effects of climate change could be much stronger by the middle of the 21st century, and a number of ecosystem and weather conditions could consistently decline even more in the future. If carbon dioxide emissions continue at the current rate, they report that scenarios of future conditions could not only lead to a significant decrease in snow days, but also an increase in the number of summer days over 90 degrees and a drastic decline in stream habitat with 40 percent not suitable for cold water fish.

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In Case You Missed It: NASA EPSCoR Publication 'Stimuli' 2016-2017

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Stimuli is a summary collection of college and university basic research and technology development reports impacting NASA's earth science, aviation, and human and robotic deep space exploration programs. This document addresses research which is relevant to NASA’s mission, and currently administered by the agency's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

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