Breaking Waves: Ocean News

Seafarers' scourge provides hope for biofuel future
03/23/2010 - 07:00
For centuries, seafarers were plagued by wood-eating gribble that destroyed their ships, and these creatures continue to wreak damage on wooden piers and docks in coastal communities. But new research is uncovering how the tiny marine isopod digests could hold the key to converting wood and straw into liquid biofuels.
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World has underestimated climate-change effects, expert argues
03/23/2010 - 04:00
The world's policymakers have underestimated the potential dangerous impacts that man-made climate change will have on society, say a professor of earth and atmospheric sciences.
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E-waste: Crude recycling methods used in developing countries contaminate air, water and soil, researchers say
03/22/2010 - 13:00
A proposed US ban on the export of electronics waste won't accomplish its goal of stopping crude methods of recycling "e-waste" -- especially junked computers -- that are resulting in environmental damage in developing countries, researchers say. A new paper calls into question conventional thinking that trade bans can prevent "backyard recycling" of electronics waste -- primarily old and obsolete computers -- in developing countries.
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Incorporating biofunctionality into nanomaterials for medical, environmental devices
03/22/2010 - 13:00
Researchers have discovered how to use atomic layer deposition to incorporate "biological functionality" into complex nanomaterials, which could lead to a new generation of medical and environmental health applications. For example, the researchers show how the technology can be used to develop effective, low-cost water purification devices that could be used in developing countries.
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New research cuts into origins of iron and steel in India
03/21/2010 - 23:00
Researchers in the UK have returned from a six-week archaeological research expedition to a remote region of rural Andhra Pradesh in India. The team studied the origins of high carbon steel-making in the southern Indian sub-continent.
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Cup plant is potential new biomass/carbon storage crop
03/21/2010 - 23:00
American researchers are exploring a native perennial called the cup plant as a potential new biomass crop that could also store carbon in its extensive root system and add biodiversity to biomass plantings.
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Bird bones may be hollow, but they are also heavy
03/21/2010 - 23:00
For centuries biologists have known that bird bones are hollow, and even elementary school children know that bird skeletons are lightweight to offset the high energy cost of flying. Nevertheless, many people are surprised to learn that bird skeletons do not actually weigh any less than the skeletons of similarly sized mammals. In other words, the skeleton of a two-ounce songbird weighs just as much as the skeleton of a two-ounce rodent.
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Fossilized feces research produces new evidence related to giant crocodile
03/21/2010 - 23:00
Ancient bite marks and fossilized feces discovered in Georgia are providing new details about a giant crocodile that roamed the Southeast United States about 79 million years ago.
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How dinosaurs rose to prominence
03/21/2010 - 23:00
How did dinosaurs become rulers of Earth more than 200 million years ago? Widespread volcanism and a spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide wiped out half of all plant species, and extinguished early crocodile relatives that had competed with the earliest dinosaurs, according to experts.
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Marine conditions of Aralar mountain range of 120 million years ago
03/21/2010 - 23:00
The Early Aptian (120 million years ago) was an age of intense volcanic activity on Earth, eruptions that emitted large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus causing a revolution in the carbon cycle. As a consequence, great changes happened in the whole of the terrestrial system. A researcher in Spain has studied how these changes happened in the marine environment of the Aralar mountain range (at that time it was under the sea) in the Basque Country, and found more than one surprise.
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