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Can a carbon tax save gingerbread houses?! Flashback 2006: ‘Gingerbread houses latest victim of global warming’

Climate Depot - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 10:39
STOCKHOLM, Dec 11 (AFP) Dec 11, 2006 Sweet-toothed Swedes who have spent hours constructing edible Christmas gingerbread houses are seeing their creations collapse in the Scandinavian country’s unusually damp winter, suppliers said on Monday. “The damp weather spells immediate devastation for gingerbread houses. The problem is the mild winter,” spokesman at Sweden’s leading gingerbread wholesaler [...]

Michael Mann inspires new term: ‘Mannsplaining': ‘Scientists, who brook no outside comment on their field, feel free to lecture other experts’

Climate Depot - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 10:00
Apparently I am not the only person to have been blocked for the transgression of asking Dr. Mann a question, I cannot count the number of times he has used the word “denier” in a tweet…these same individuals do not hesitate to step outside their areas of expertise to lecture us in fields in which [...]

Sen. Marco Rubio on climate: ‘The question is what percentage of that — or what is due to human activity?’

Climate Depot - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:51
GOP Florida Senator Marco Rubio: “What I said was that humans are not responsible for climate change in the way that some of these people out there are trying to make us believe for the following reason: I believe the climate is changing because there has never been a moment when the climate is not [...]

IAEA safety review for Chinese small reactor

World Nuclear News - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:45
China's ACP100 multi-purpose small modular reactor (SMR) design is to undergo a safety review following the recent signing of an agreement between China National Nuclear Corporation and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Euratom approves Paks II fuel supply contract

World Nuclear News - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:17
Euratom, the nuclear watchdog of the European Union, has approved a contract between Hungary and Russia on nuclear fuel supply for the Paks II expansion project. János Lázár, cabinet chief of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's chief of staff, said the European Commission had officially informed the Hungarian government the same day that the Euratom Supply Agency has signed the contract between the two countries.

CDF1 and PORA jointly control pigment homoeostasis [Plant Biology]

PNAS Early Edition Articles - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:01
Tetrapyrroles such as chlorophyll, heme, and bacteriochlorophyll play fundamental roles in the energy absorption and transduction of all photosynthetic organisms. They are synthesized via a complex pathway taking place in chloroplasts. Chlorophyll biosynthesis in angiosperms involves 16 steps of which only one is light-requiring and driven by the NADPH:protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase...

Vibrational theory of olfaction is implausible [Biophysics and Computational Biology]

PNAS Early Edition Articles - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:01
The vibrational theory of olfaction assumes that electron transfer occurs across odorants at the active sites of odorant receptors (ORs), serving as a sensitive measure of odorant vibrational frequencies, ultimately leading to olfactory perception. A previous study reported that human subjects differentiated hydrogen/deuterium isotopomers (isomers with isotopic atoms) of the...

Fatty acid analogs act antiarrhythmically [Cell Biology]

PNAS Early Edition Articles - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:01
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) affect cardiac excitability. Kv7.1 and the β-subunit KCNE1 form the cardiac IKs channel that is central for cardiac repolarization. In this study, we explore the prospects of PUFAs as IKs channel modulators. We report that PUFAs open Kv7.1 via an electrostatic mechanism. Both the polyunsaturated acyl...

Figure-ground modulation in primate thalamus [Neuroscience]

PNAS Early Edition Articles - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:01
Figure-ground discrimination refers to the perception of an object, the figure, against a nondescript background. Neural mechanisms of figure-ground detection have been associated with feedback interactions between higher centers and primary visual cortex and have been held to index the effect of global analysis on local feature encoding. Here, in...

Computational-guided annotation [Biochemistry]

PNAS Early Edition Articles - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:01
Terpenoids are a large structurally diverse group of natural products with an array of functions in their hosts. The large amount of genomic information from recent sequencing efforts provides opportunities and challenges for the functional assignment of terpene synthases that construct the carbon skeletons of these compounds. Inferring function from...

Biodiversity loss diminishes plant productivity [Economic Sciences]

PNAS Early Edition Articles - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:01
The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link...

Magic number ratios in metal-organic frameworks [Chemistry]

PNAS Early Edition Articles - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:01
Multiple organic functionalities can now be apportioned into nanoscale domains within a metal-coordinated framework, posing the following question: how do we control the resulting combination of “heterogeneity and order”? Here, we report the creation of a metal–organic framework, MOF-2000, whose two component types are incorporated in a 2:1 ratio, even...

Nuclear homeostasis in the mammalian cell [Cell Biology]

PNAS Early Edition Articles - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:01
How cells maintain nuclear shape and position against various intracellular and extracellular forces is not well understood, although defects in nuclear mechanical homeostasis are associated with a variety of human diseases. We estimated the force required to displace and deform the nucleus in adherent living cells with a technique to...
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