Image credit: Geograph ? N Chadwick The University of Oxford has today publicised plans for a new graduate college, located centrally within the town. Its intake will comprise largely of students from the Mathematics, Physics and Life Sciences departments, with some provision for other subjects. According to the official announcement, the college will provide particular space [?]
Science is an always changing field that develops just as quickly as the technology it uses. Shepherd University is catering to that with the help of a degree called environmental geometrics.Environmental geometrics is a science that gathers data using pictures taken by aerial drones. The inform
The Internet of Things (IoT) is being increasingly adopted to help improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes and equipment across a variety of industries, and Toyota Material Handling is one company aiming for a fully connected plant. The forklift and truck lift producer has three plants and 8,400 workers in the ... Read more »
The concept of de-extinction, aimed at restoration of extinct species, is controversial ( 1 ). Improvements in de-extinction techniques (back-breeding, cloning, and genomic engineering) now provide the opportunity to attempt to resurrect extinct species ( 2 , 3 ). Up to 25 extinct animal species have been proposed as candidates for de-extinction ( 4 ) on the basis of their high public profiles, availability of well-preserved DNA, existence of closely related species who may serve as host or surrogate parents, and availability of suitable habitat in the case of planned reintroductions ( 1 ). From a legal point of view, it will be crucial to clarify how de-extinct species will be classified, in particular, in relation to their potential conservation status under national and international law. We discuss implications for conservation laws, which largely depend on nomenclature, and laws regarding the release of genetically engineered species, which do not, and argue for unique naming of de-extinct species.
Dittmar et al . proposed that mixing alone can explain our observed decrease in marine dissolved organic sulfur with age. However, their simple model lacks an explanation for the origin of sulfur-depleted organic matter in the deep ocean and cannot adequately reproduce our observed stoichiometric changes. Using radiocarbon age also implicitly models the preferential cycling of sulfur that they are disputing.
Global warming potentials (GWPs) have become an essential element of climate policy and are built into legal structures that regulate greenhouse gas emissions. This is in spite of a well-known shortcoming: GWP hides trade-offs between short- and long-term policy objectives inside a single time scale of 100 or 20 years ( 1 ). The most common form, GWP100, focuses on the climate impact of a pulse emission over 100 years, diluting near-term effects and misleadingly implying that short-lived climate pollutants exert forcings in the long-term, long after they are removed from the atmosphere ( 2 ). Meanwhile, GWP20 ignores climate effects after 20 years. We propose that these time scales be ubiquitously reported as an inseparable pair, much like systolic-diastolic blood pressure and city-highway vehicle fuel economy, to make the climate effect of using one or the other time scale explicit. Policy-makers often treat a GWP as a value-neutral measure, but the time-scale choice is central to achieving specific objectives ( 2 ? 4 ).
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation?s Capital (EFFNC), an annual cultural event in Washington, D.C., that features dozens of films with Earth-friendly messages. The longest-running festival of its kind in the United States, the 2017 EFFNC could not have felt more urgent, shining a spotlight on the Standing Rock protests in North Dakota, the water crisis in California, and the geopolitical instability that has been exacerbated by climate change in areas such as Syria and Somalia, among other timely topics. Read on to see what the Science staff thought of 10 of this year's featured films
Methylmercury (CH3Hg+) is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain anaerobic microorganisms in natural environments. Although numerous studies have characterized the basis of mercury (Hg) methylation, no studies have examined CH3Hg+ degradation by methanotrophs, despite their ubiquitous presence in the environment. We report that some methanotrophs, such as Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b, can take up and degrade CH3Hg+ rapidly, whereas others, such as Methylococcus capsulatus Bath, can take up but not degrade CH3Hg+. Demethylation by M. trichosporium OB3b increases with increasing CH3Hg+ concentrations but was abolished in mutants deficient in the synthesis of methanobactin, a metal-binding compound used by some methanotrophs, such as M. trichosporium OB3b. Furthermore, addition of methanol (>5 mM) as a competing one-carbon (C1) substrate inhibits demethylation, suggesting that CH3Hg+ degradation by methanotrophs may involve an initial bonding of CH3Hg+ by methanobactin followed by cleavage of the C?Hg bond in CH3Hg+ by the methanol dehydrogenase. This new demethylation pathway by methanotrophs indicates possible broader involvement of C1-metabolizing aerobes in the degradation and cycling of toxic CH3Hg+ in the environment.
The quietly brilliant industrial microbiologist H. Boyd Woodruff, whose work underpinned two Nobel Prizes, died at home in Watchung, NJ, on 19 January. He was 99. We lost a dear friend and mentor, and the world lost one of its last living links to the dawn of antibiotic discovery. Boyd played a major role in the expansion of the pharmaceutical industry from relying primarily on chemistry to also embracing microbial natural products.
Late March is the end of the cicada season in New Zealand. But the summer has been unusually wet in Auckland, and the insects' constant singing is still going strong in Henderson Park, where a larger-than-usual crowd of visitors has gathered for the 2017 edition of Bioblitz. The goal of this event
In dividing bacterial cells, asymmetric distribution of cell wall constituents occurs between mother cells and their progeny. Asymmetric distribution of efflux machinery in a growing population of bacterial cells results in heterogeneity in antibiotic resistance. One consequence is that in the presence of low levels of antibiotic, older cells tend to live longer than younger cells. Using a microfluidic device to trap and measure dividing cells, Bergmiller et al. showed that AcrAB-TolC, the main multidrug efflux pump of Escherichia coli , clusters at the pole of older cells (see the Perspective by Barrett et al. ). As cell division proceeds and daughter cells age, they too gradually accumulate polar efflux pumps.
Science , this issue p. ; see also p. 
As the human population grows and increasingly encroaches on remaining wildlife habitat, hunting threatens many species. Benítez-López et al. conducted a large-scale meta-analysis of hunting trends and impacts across the tropics (see the Perspective by Brashares and Gaynor). Bird and mammal populations were considerably lower in areas where hunting occurred. Although commercial hunting and proximity to roads and urban centers were the most damaging factors, all hunting had worrying impacts, even in protected areas. Protection and alternative approaches for sustainable subsistence hunting must be implemented soon if we are to prevent further, rapid defaunation.
Science , this issue p. ; see also p. 
Large-scale wildfires have recently swept through 475,000 hectares of central Chile ([ 1 ]), displacing thousands of households. The affected region is located in a globally threatened biodiversity hotspot ([ 2 ], [ 3 ]). The suspected causes of the wildfires were a combination of human
With the 22 April March for Science on the horizon, we have advocacy for science on the mind. In today's world of Twitter and sound bites, it is often crucial to make arguments concisely. Last year, we drew inspiration from the six-word story attributed to the legend Ernest Hemingway: ?For sale: