Trade winds ventilate the tropical oceans

Long-term observations indicate that the oxygen minimum zones in the tropical oceans have expanded in recent decades. The reason is still unknown. Now scientists at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and the Collaborative Research Centre 754 ‘Climate – Biogeochemical Interactions in the Tropical Ocean’ have found an explanation with the help of model simulations: A natural fluctuation of the trade winds. The study has been published in the international journal Geophysical Research Letters. —> Read More Here

New challenges for ocean acidification research

To continue its striking development, ocean acidification research needs to bridge between its diverging branches towards an integrated assessment. This is the conclusion drawn by Professor Ulf Riebesell from the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and Dr. Jean-Pierre Gattuso from the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie. In a commentary in the journal Nature Climate Change, the two internationally renowned experts reflect on the lessons learned from ocean acidification research and highlight future challenges. —> Read More Here

Microplastics in the ocean: Biologists study effects on marine animals

Ingestion of microplastic particles does not mechanically affect marine isopods. This was the result of a study by biologists at the North Sea Office of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research that was published recently in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The study marks the launch of a series of investigations aimed at forming a risk matrix on the sensitivity of different marine species to microplastic pollution. —> Read More Here

Hermit creepy crawlies: Two new taxa of wood-feeding cockroach from China

Scientists from the Southwest University, Chongqing, China, have found a new species and a new subspecies of cockroach. What makes these creepy crawlies distinctive from the cockroaches most of us know is that they don’t infest houses, on the contrary they prefer to live a hermit life hidden away drilling logs, far away from human eyes. The study was published in the open-access journal ZooKeys. —> Read More Here

Helping parents understand infant sleep patterns

Most parents are not surprised by the irregularity of a newborn infant’s sleep patterns, but by six months or so many parents wonder if something is wrong with their baby or their sleeping arrangements if the baby is not sleeping through the night. Health-care providers, specifically nurse practitioners, can help parents understand what ‘normal’ sleep patterns are for their child, according to researchers. —> Read More Here

A ‘GPS’ for molecules

In everyday life, the global positioning system can be employed to reliably determine the momentary location of one en route to the desired destination. Scientists from the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry of the University of Bonn have now developed a molecular ‘GPS’ with which the whereabouts of metal ions in enzymes can be reliably determined. Such ions play important roles in all corners of metabolism and synthesis for biological products. The ‘molecular GPS’ is now being featured in the journal Angewandte Chemie. —> Read More Here

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