Biodiversity needs better data archiving

Missing metadata — data that provide information about other data — might not sound like a big deal, but it’s a costly problem that’s hindering humanity’s plans to protect the planet’s biodiversity. An international team of researchers has audited the largest global repository for storing genetic sequence data to see if the entries included basic […]

Global warming may limit spread of dengue fever

Infection with dengue virus makes mosquitoes more sensitive to warmer temperatures, according to new research led by Penn State researchers. The team also found that infection with the bacterium Wolbachia, which has recently been used to control viral infections in mosquitoes, also increases the thermal sensitivity of the insects. The findings suggest that global warming […]

Megafires burn critical habitat of ‘Vulnerable’ virus-harboring bats

The severe megafires that occurred in eastern Australia during 2019-20 were much larger and more concentrated across the landscape than in previous years, according to a study by researchers at Penn State and the University of New South Wales. The unprecedented fires included the burning of 34% of the foraging habitat of grey-headed flying foxes, […]

Loss of biodiversity in streams threatens vital biological process

The photographs of aquatic detritivores in this graphic represent a subset of families (ordered left to right from the most to the least abundant in the study). All over the world, detritivore populations are dwindling and disappearing at an alarming rate. IMAGE: BRADLEY CARDINALE LAB/PENN STATE The fast-moving decline and extinction of many species of […]

Scientists resurrect ‘forgotten’ genus of algae living in marine animals

In the late 1800s, scientists were stumped by the “yellow cells” they were observing within the tissues of certain temperate marine animals, including sea anemones, corals and jellyfish. Were these cells part of the animal or separate organisms? If separate, were they parasites or did they confer a benefit to the host? In a paper […]

Eco-friendly carbon-dioxide conversion process may revolutionize existing method

A new, environmentally friendly, single-step process has been developed to convert carbon dioxide into higher hydrocarbons using plasma, according to scientists and engineers. Converting carbon dioxide into usable liquid fuels and value-added chemicals like plastics offers not only a possible solution to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but also the potential to alleviate dependence on fossil […]