Articoli filtrati per data: Mercoledì, 03 Maggio 2017

Bombus Terrestris Bee


New research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B has found that wild bumblebee queens are less able to develop their ovaries when exposed to a common neonicotinoid pesticide. The research was conducted by Dr Gemma Baron , Professor Mark Brown of Royal Holloway, University of London and Professor Nigel Raine, (now based at the University of Guelph). The study investigated the impact of exposure to field-realistic levels of a neonicotinoid insecticide (thiamethoxam) on the feeding behaviour and ovary development of four species of bumblebee queen.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
Mercoledì, 03 Maggio 2017 14:16

Smog, Italia e' paese piu' colpito nella UE

Siamo al paradosso: l’Unione Europea è costretta a ricordare ad amministratori locali e regionali, nonché al governo italiano che l’inquinamento dell’aria da polveri sottili (PM10) sta provocando enormi impatti sulla salute dei cittadini italiani. La UE  sottolinea che l’Italia è il Paese più colpito nella UE e l’Agenzia Europea per l’Ambiente calcola che il PM10 abbia provocato oltre 66 mila morti. Per il WWF la salvaguardia della salute dei cittadini italiani dovrebbe essere la prima preoccupazione di governi nazionali, regionali e locali, mentre mancano ancora serie politiche di sistema per affrontarne e abbatterne le cause, dal traffico all’energia e al riscaldamento. È necessario un provvedimento quadro che assegni target e compiti alle singole amministrazioni: un provvedimento concepito, da subito, in modo integrato con le politiche di decarbonizzazione che presentano un ventaglio di soluzioni che portano validi co-benefici anche per l’inquinamento (dall’uso delle fonti pulite e rinnovabili, alla elettrificazione dei trasporti, all’efficienza energetica negli edifici che diminuisce drasticamente le necessità di riscaldamento, ecc).

Pubblicato in Ambiente

Phthalates, which are used as plasticizers in plastics, can considerably increase the risk of allergies among children. This was demonstrated by UFZ researchers in conjunction with scientists from the University of Leipzig and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in a current study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. According to this study, an increased risk of children developing allergic asthma exists if the mother has been particularly heavily exposed to phthalates during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The mother-child cohort from the LINA study was the starting and end point of this translational study. In our day-to-day lives, we come into contact with countless plastics containing plasticizers. These plasticizers, which also include the aforementioned phthalates, are used when processing plastics in order to make the products more flexible. Phthalates can enter our bodies through the skin, foodstuffs or respiration. "It is a well-known fact that phthalates affect our hormone system and can thereby have an adverse effect on our metabolism or fertility. But that's not the end of it," says UFZ environmental immunologist Dr Tobias Polte. "The results of our current study demonstrate that phthalates also interfere with the immune system and can significantly increase the risk of developing allergies."

Pubblicato in Scienceonline

Marine surveys estimating fish population density and diversity are crucial to our understanding of how human activities impact coral reef ecosystems and to our ability to make informed management plans for sustainability. KAUST researchers recently conducted the first baseline surveys of reefs in the southern Red Sea by comparing reefs off the coast of Saudi Arabia with those of Sudan1. “A major issue is that there is no established historical record for Red Sea ecosystems,” said Dr. Darren Coker, who worked on the project with KAUST M.Sc. Alumnus Alexander Kattan and Professor Michael Berumen all of the University’s Red Sea Research Center. “This means we can only hypothesize what the natural reef environment would have looked like before human interference through fishing began.”

Pubblicato in Scienceonline


Exposure to the aroma of rosemary essential oil can significantly enhance working memory in children. This is one the findings of a study presented today, Thursday 4 May 2017, by Dr Mark Moss and Victoria Earle of Northumbria University at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Brighton. Dr Mark Moss said: “Our previous study demonstrated the aroma of rosemary essential oil could enhance cognition in healthy adults. Knowing how important working memory is in academic achievement we wanted to see if similar effects could be found in school age children in classroom settings.” A total of 40 children aged 10 to 11 took part in a class based test on different mental tasks. Children were randomly assigned to a room that had either rosemary oil diffused in it for ten minutes or a room with no scent.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline

This Vouivria herd are roaming the coast of what is now Europe.


Scientists have re-examined an overlooked museum fossil and discovered that it is the earliest known member of the titanosauriform family of dinosaurs. The fossil, which the researchers from Imperial College London and their colleagues in Europe have named Vouivria damparisensis, has been identified as a brachiosaurid sauropod dinosaur. The researchers suggest the age of Vouivria is around 160 million years old, making it the earliest known fossil from the titanosauriform family of dinosaurs, which includes better-known dinosaurs such as the Brachiosaurus. When the fossil was first discovered in France in the 1930s, its species was not identified, and until now it has largely been ignored in scientific literature. The new analysis of the fossil indicates that Vouivria died at an early age, weighed around 15,000 kilograms and was over 15 metres long, which is roughly 1.5 times the size of a double-decker bus in the UK.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
Mercoledì, 03 Maggio 2017 12:42

How do fishes perceive their environment?

In this image generated using micro-computed tomography, the blue dyed lateral lines of the ide (Leuciscus idus) are clear to see. Source: Dr. Hendrik Herzog


Fishes perceive changes in water currents caused by prey, conspecifics and predators using their lateral line. The tiny sensors of this organ also allow them to navigate reliably. However, with increasing current velocities, the background signal also increases. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now created a realistic, three-dimensional model of a fish for the first time and have simulated the precise current conditions. The virtual calculations show that particular anatomical adaptations minimize background noise. The results are now being presented in The Journal of the Royal Society Interface. The ide (Leuciscus idus) is a fish that inhabits the lower stretches of slow-flowing rivers. Like most fishes, it can perceive the current using its lateral line. The mechanoreceptors of this organ are distributed over the surface of the entire body, which is why the organ provides a three-dimensional image of the hydrodynamic conditions. Fishes can thus also find their way around themselves in the dark and identify prey, conspecifics, or predators. The recently retired zoologist Prof. Horst Bleckmann from the University of Bonn has spent many years researching the sensitive organ and has used it as inspiration for technical flow sensors in order to, for instance, identify leakages in water pipes.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline


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