Researchers here now have a picture of a key molecule that lets microbes produce carbon dioxide and methane, the two greenhouse gases associated with global warming. The findings relate to organisms called methanogens and cap a 12-year effort into how industrial processes might be improved, explained Michael Chan, professor of biochemistry, and Joseph Krzycki, professor of microbiology, both of Ohio State University.
Methanogenesis is the process by which the gas methane is made, and it takes place everywhere across the globe, from swamps to landfills, releasing the gas that ultimately seeps into the atmosphere.
"This enzyme is the key to the whole process of methanogenesis from acetic acid," Krzycki said. "Without it, this form of methanogenesis wouldn't happen. Since it is so environmentally important worldwide, the impact of understanding this would be enormous."
Paying rural landowners in Oregon's Willamette Basin to protect at-risk animals won't necessarily mean that their newly conserved trees and plants will absorb more carbon from the atmosphere and vice versa, a new study has found.
The study, to be published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzed hypothetical payments that were given to landowners to voluntarily take their acreage out of production for conservation. Scenarios conserving different types of land were also developed.
Vaginal microbicides currently in clinical trials may be the only weapon that will protect women against infection from HIV but they may actually be of more benefit to men than women, according to a new UCLA AIDS Institute study.
Microbicides are compounds that can be applied inside the vagina to protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Pharmaceutical companies are currently conducting trials of second-generation microbicides that are based on antiretroviral, or ARV, drugs.
The study, which used novel mathematical models to simulate clinical trials and population-level transmission of HIV, appears July 7 in the online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Violence between partners, friends and acquaintances appears prevalent both before and during college, according to results of a survey of students at three urban college campuses published in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
The transition from living at home to attending college may increase adolescents' vulnerability to relationship violence, according to background information in the article. Factors associated with this risk include less parental monitoring and support, isolation in an unknown environment and a strong desire for peer acceptance that can change behaviors toward others.
Is baseball biased toward left-handed pitchers? Indeed it is, says David A. Peters, Ph.D., McDonnell Douglas Professor of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis (and uber baseball fan) and he says he has the data to prove it.
There's no question left-handed pitchers, even less than great ones, can last a long time in baseball. But 90 percent of the world is right-handed yet only 75 percent of baseball players are. Is that because left-handed pitchers do better against right-handed hitters so teams develop more left-handed hitters toi counter that or is it part of a vast, left-hand conspiracy?
If you weren't living under a scientific rock for the last 20 years, you know that everyone from environmental groups to Senator and then Vice-President Al Gore believed biofuels were the renewable way to cut dependence on foreign oil and have a cleaner environment.
If you weren't living under a scientific rock for the last 20 years and know anything about how biofuels are made you always knew that was complete hoopie, but it wasn't until a Republican president and Congress agreed they were good that everyone knew they must be terribly wrong.
But biofuels are not as bad today as some make them out to be, just like they were not as good as many of those same people used to make them out to be. Renewable energy continues to be the goal and biofuels can be a part of that, though most have switched to wildly optimistic projections about solar energy as the magic cure-all of the future now.