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November 18th
8:57 AM PST
How many faces do you show the world? Happy, sad, surprised, scared,  mad, excited? Yes, all those and more. Facial expressions are the way  our brains move the muscles in our faces to  express the way we feel. We  raise our eyebrows in surprise, we lower our eyelids in shyness, and we  smile with happiness. That last facial expression is the one we most  like to experience ourselves as well as to see in others.
We know what a happy smile looks like on the faces of our friends and  families, but do our animals smile? And if they do, does the control of  the facial muscles that create that smile come from some kind of  emotion?

How many faces do you show the world? Happy, sad, surprised, scared, mad, excited? Yes, all those and more. Facial expressions are the way our brains move the muscles in our faces to  express the way we feel. We raise our eyebrows in surprise, we lower our eyelids in shyness, and we smile with happiness. That last facial expression is the one we most like to experience ourselves as well as to see in others.

We know what a happy smile looks like on the faces of our friends and families, but do our animals smile? And if they do, does the control of the facial muscles that create that smile come from some kind of emotion?

Comments
November 16th
1:40 PM PST
Predictions that global climate change will lead to more extreme  weather patterns have not been lost on the arid, landlocked nation of  Mongolia, and beginning this month, this sparsely populated country of  3.1 million is embarking on a unique experiment address the effects of a  warming climate.
With its legendary harsh dry winters and short, hot summers, Mongolia is already a land of temperature extremes.

Predictions that global climate change will lead to more extreme weather patterns have not been lost on the arid, landlocked nation of Mongolia, and beginning this month, this sparsely populated country of 3.1 million is embarking on a unique experiment address the effects of a warming climate.

With its legendary harsh dry winters and short, hot summers, Mongolia is already a land of temperature extremes.

Comments
November 14th
7:16 PM PST
Some recycled goods or projects are just plain weird! While others are simply wonderful. As They say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
All recycling is good, don’t get me wrong! Whatever we can do to  promote keeping junk and garbage out of our overloaded landfills is  worth it.

Some recycled goods or projects are just plain weird! While others are simply wonderful. As They say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

All recycling is good, don’t get me wrong! Whatever we can do to promote keeping junk and garbage out of our overloaded landfills is worth it.

Comments
November 13th
11:50 AM PST
Rice University engineering researchers have unveiled a new method  for rapidly converting simple glucose into biofuels and petrochemical  substitutes. In a paper published online in Nature, Rice’s team  described how it reversed one of the most efficient of all metabolic  pathways — the beta oxidation cycle — to engineer bacteria that produce  biofuel at a breakneck pace.

Rice University engineering researchers have unveiled a new method for rapidly converting simple glucose into biofuels and petrochemical substitutes. In a paper published online in Nature, Rice’s team described how it reversed one of the most efficient of all metabolic pathways — the beta oxidation cycle — to engineer bacteria that produce biofuel at a breakneck pace.

Comments
November 12th
2:25 PM PST
Antarctica’s glaciers are melting more rapidly than previously  thought because of climate change, according to new information from US Geological Survey (USGS) through collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
One ice shelf, the Wordie Ice Shelf along the western coast of the  Antarctic Peninsula, has completely disappeared.  Another, the Larsen  Ice Shelf extending along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, has  lost a chunk three times the size of Rhode Island.

Antarctica’s glaciers are melting more rapidly than previously thought because of climate change, according to new information from US Geological Survey (USGS) through collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

One ice shelf, the Wordie Ice Shelf along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, has completely disappeared.  Another, the Larsen Ice Shelf extending along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, has lost a chunk three times the size of Rhode Island.

Comments
11:55 AM PST
You have “geo,” meaning earth, and “thermal” meaning heat. Together, you have “geothermal,” another word for super hot earth. Where and how does earth get so darn hot?

You have “geo,” meaning earth, and “thermal” meaning heat. Together, you have “geothermal,” another word for super hot earth. Where and how does earth get so darn hot?

Comments
November 11th
2:55 PM PST
Plastic bags made of corn are “popping” up in all kids of places: Restaurants, sporting events, and even concerts. Corn plastic is also being substituted for oil-based plastic in the production of everyday objects like cups, clothes, and containers.

Plastic bags made of corn are “popping” up in all kids of places: Restaurants, sporting events, and even concerts. Corn plastic is also being substituted for oil-based plastic in the production of everyday objects like cups, clothes, and containers.

Comments
11:45 AM PST
Birds are great to have around. They eat harmful bugs and are fun to  listen to and watch. If you want to attract more birds to your home,  garden or school, try building them a nestbox. Birds can have a hard  time finding a good place to build a home, especially in cities. With a  nestbox, they can move in without much fuss or muss.

Birds are great to have around. They eat harmful bugs and are fun to listen to and watch. If you want to attract more birds to your home, garden or school, try building them a nestbox. Birds can have a hard time finding a good place to build a home, especially in cities. With a nestbox, they can move in without much fuss or muss.

Comments
November 10th
4:36 PM PST
Today, the stereotypical image of eastern Africa features immense  stretches of grasslands, dotted by herds of huge herbivores, chewing  their way across the plains. It seems like a timeless scene, the world’s  last glimpse of what it was like when megafauna spanned the globe.
In actuality, these wide grasslands are an extremely recent feature in  the region’s history. There isn’t solid evidence of animals consuming C4  plants until a scanty 10 million years ago (mya), and grasslands did  not become widespread until the late Pliocene and Pleistocene. This  recent birth of what is now a dominant feature of the landscape brings  to mind many important questions. Specifically, after C4 plants started  to become a food source in the Oligocene, how long did it take different  herbivore species to adapt to eating this new type of greenery? Which  species were early adopters, and which made the most complete shift from  C3 to C4 plants? The process of adapting to a new resource–the  relatively young C4 plants–had profound effects on community ecology of  eastern Africa, as it provided new ways for large herd animals to both  exploit new food sources and partition resources in order to facilitate  coexistence and/or higher densities.

Today, the stereotypical image of eastern Africa features immense stretches of grasslands, dotted by herds of huge herbivores, chewing their way across the plains. It seems like a timeless scene, the world’s last glimpse of what it was like when megafauna spanned the globe.

In actuality, these wide grasslands are an extremely recent feature in the region’s history. There isn’t solid evidence of animals consuming C4 plants until a scanty 10 million years ago (mya), and grasslands did not become widespread until the late Pliocene and Pleistocene. This recent birth of what is now a dominant feature of the landscape brings to mind many important questions. Specifically, after C4 plants started to become a food source in the Oligocene, how long did it take different herbivore species to adapt to eating this new type of greenery? Which species were early adopters, and which made the most complete shift from C3 to C4 plants? The process of adapting to a new resource–the relatively young C4 plants–had profound effects on community ecology of eastern Africa, as it provided new ways for large herd animals to both exploit new food sources and partition resources in order to facilitate coexistence and/or higher densities.

Comments
3:11 PM PST
Siberian cranes are critically endangered. Whooping cranes and  red-crowned cranes are endangered. Sandhill cranes are making a  comeback, but many are relocating to Pennsylvania.
Florida cranes nonchalantly wander neighborhoods and golf courses,  while Demoiselles are dying out in Turkey — but number in the hundreds  of thousands elsewhere.
From Germany to Japan, India to Uganda, and Florida to Bhutan, cranes  and their traditional, threatened habitats are making news.

Siberian cranes are critically endangered. Whooping cranes and red-crowned cranes are endangered. Sandhill cranes are making a comeback, but many are relocating to Pennsylvania.

Florida cranes nonchalantly wander neighborhoods and golf courses, while Demoiselles are dying out in Turkey — but number in the hundreds of thousands elsewhere.

From Germany to Japan, India to Uganda, and Florida to Bhutan, cranes and their traditional, threatened habitats are making news.

Comments