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Reconstructions of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and sea level over the past 40 million years show that greenhouse gas concentrations similar to the present (nearly 400 parts per million) were associated with sea levels at least nine meters above current levels. 

They determined the 'natural equilibrium' sea level for CO2 concentrations ranging between ice-age values of 180 parts per million and ice-free values of more than 1,000 parts per million.  Of course, it takes centuries for equilibrium to be reached so they don't try to predict any sea level value for the coming century but it can help illustrate what sea level might be expected if climate were stabilized at a certain CO2 level for several centuries. 

A team of archaeologists has made discoveries of extensive water management and agricultural production in and around the ancient desert city of Petra, located in present-day Jordan. 

Successful terrace farming of wheat, grapes and possibly olives resulted in a vast, green, agricultural "suburb" to Petra in an otherwise inhospitable, arid landscape. This terrace farming remained extensive through the third century and surface finds plus comparative data shows this type of farming continued in some extent until around the end of the first millennium, between 800 and 1000 A.D. 

Galactan is a polymer of galactose, a six-carbon sugar that can be readily fermented by yeast into ethanol and is a target of interest for those researching advanced biofuels produced from cellulosic biomass.

Galactans are polysaccharide components of pectin, the sticky sugar substance that binds together the individual cells in plant cell walls (and is used to make delicious jellies and jams). The β-1,4-galactan component of pectin is especially abundant in the “tension wood” that forms in cell walls in response to mechanical stress from wind or snowfall. An international collaboration has identified the first enzyme capable of substantially boosting the amount of galactan in plant cell walls.
Sex is not just an activity confined to higher animals such as mammals and not just for reproduction. The changes in offspring that result during reproduction are integral to the continuing adaptation and evolution of millions of species of plants, fungi and other organisms throughout the food chain. 

Successful solo rock/pop stars are around twice as likely to die early as those in equally famous bands, indicates fascinating research you can read before you over-indulge on New Year's Eve. Though you could have read this same paper on New Year's Eve in 2007, in a different journal, just covering a slightly shorter period. Maybe researchers had a 2012 publish or perish deadline. 

A combination of robotic devices that disperse a time-honored bleaching agent into the air and then detoxify the disinfecting chemical are highly effective at killing and preventing the spread of multiple-drug-resistant bacteria - MRSA and so-called superbugs.

These hydrogen peroxide vaporizers were first deployed in several Singapore hospitals during the 2002 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and later stocked by several U.S. government agencies in case of an anthrax attack