RUB researchers discover protein protecting against chlorine

RUB researchers headed by professor Dr. Lars Leichert have discovered a protein in the intestinal bacterium E. coli that protects bacteria from chlorine. In the presence of chlorine, it tightly bonds with other proteins, thus preventing them from coagulating. Once the danger has passed, it releases them again and the proteins can continue to work as usual. The researchers report their findings in the current issue of Nature Communications. —> Read More Here

Pilot plant for the removal of extreme gas charges from deep waters installed

Being part of the mining area Herrerias, Andalusia, deep waters of Pit Lake Guadiana show extremely high concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide. In the case of a spontaneous ebullition, human beings close-by would be jeopardized. To demonstrate the danger and the possible solution, scientists of the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining, the University of the Basque Country and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research constructed a pilot plant for degassing. —> Read More Here

Mutations prevent programmed cell death

Programmed cell death is a mechanism that causes defective and potentially harmful cells to destroy themselves. It serves a number of purposes in the body, including the prevention of malignant tumor growth. Now, researchers at Technische Universität München have discovered a previously unknown mechanism for regulating programmed cell death. They have also shown that patients with lymphoma often carry mutations in this signal pathway. —> Read More Here

Comet Finlay in Bright Outburst, Visible in Small Telescopes

Comet Finlay on December 16th showing a bright coma and short tail. Credit: FRAM team

Comet Finlay on December 16th shows a bright coma and short tail. Its sudden rise to 9th magnitude was confirmed on December 18th by Australian comet observer Paul Camilleri. The moderately condensed object is about 3? in diameter. Credit: J. Cerny, M. Masek, K. Honkova, J. Jurysek, J. Ebr, P. Kubanek, M. Prouza, M. Jelinek

Short-period comet 15P/Finlay, which had been plunking along at a dim magnitude +11, has suddenly brightened in the past couple days to +8.7, bright enough to see in 10×50 or larger binoculars. Czech comet observer Jakub Cerny and his team photographed the comet on December 16th and discovered the sudden surge. Wonderful news!

While comets generally brighten as they approach the Sun and fade as they depart, any one of them can undergo a sudden outburst in brightness. You can find Finlay right now low in the southwestern sky at nightfall near the planet Mars. (…)
Read the rest of Comet Finlay in Bright Outburst, Visible in Small Telescopes (545 words)


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Eat The Enemy: As Jellyfish Bloom, So Do Appetites Overseas

shrimpers jellyfish

This story is part of “Eat The Enemy,” a HuffPost series on edible invasive species, non-native plants and animals you can help contain from the comfort of your dinner table. Not all invasive species are edible, and some included in this series can be dangerous, including lionfish and wild boar. Please take caution when foraging or hunting for your own food.

It’s no secret that climate change is a problem for ocean dwellers. Coral reefs are suffering, mollusks are losing their skeletons and fish really don’t like it hot. The seas are changing. Yet for one gelatinous creature, the deader the oceans get, the better.

Enter the jellyfish: slimy, entrancing, dangerous and prolific. Over the past few decades, a trifecta of human activities has helped the creature’s populations boom — overfishing has removed their natural predators, fertilizer runoff has created low oxygen “dead zones” where they thrive, and acidification has melted the shells of shellfish, but left the jellies unscathed to bob about. Jellyfish blooms have become a major problem around the world far beyond the notorious sting to swimmers. They were responsible for <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/01/jellyfish-clog-swedish-nuclear-reactor-shutdown" —> Read More Here

Hōkūle‘a: Making a Grand Entrance in Auckland

Hōkūle'a and the Auckland skyline.  (Photo by Daniel Lin)

After several exciting weeks of traversing the Northland of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and interacting with incredible communities all throughout, our leg of the Worldwide Voyage finally concluded with a sail into Auckland, the capital city, and a day of ceremonies.

Hōkūle’a and the Auckland skyline. (Photo by Daniel Lin)

The day started at 4:30 a.m. on Motutapu, an island within sight of the Auckland skyline that is now set aside for conservation. This island was the intended meeting place for eight sailing wakas of the voyaging family, including Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, before sailing into Auckland Harbor together. These wakas were: Haunui (New Zealand), Hine Moana (New Zealand), Aotearoa 1 (New Zealand), Marumaru Atua (Cook Islands), Gaualofa (Samoa), and Uto ni Yalo (Fiji). The latter three had sailed in from Sydney, Australia after having represented the voyaging family at the World Parks Congress meeting a few weeks prior. Unfortunately, due to light winds, only Marumaru Atua was able to make it to the arrival ceremony on time. Still, the image of six Polynesian voyaging canoes sailing into Auckland was a powerful one for all who were there to witness it.

<img src="http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/files/2014/12/IMG_4052-1024×671.jpg" alt="Four voyaging wakas sail into Auckland harbor with Hōkūle'a —> Read More Here

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