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Noisy jackdaw birds reach “consensus” before taking off

Newswise — On cold, dark winter mornings, small black crows known as jackdaws can be heard calling loudly to one another from their winter roosting spots in the U.K. before taking off simultaneously right around sunrise. Now, researchers who’ve studied their daily activities in unprecedented detail report evidence that these groups of hundreds of individuals rely on a “democratic” decision-making…

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Gene-edited tomatoes could be a new source of vitamin D

Newswise — Tomatoes gene-edited to produce vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, could be a simple and sustainable innovation to address a global health problem.       Researchers used gene editing to turn off a specific molecule in the plant’s genome which increased provitamin D3 in both the fruit and leaves of tomato plants. It was then converted to vitamin D3 through exposure…

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Light pollution can disorient monarch butterflies

Even a single light can throw off the butterfly’s internal compass, UC biologists say Newswise — Besides planting milkweed in the garden, people interested in helping monarch butterflies might want to turn off the porch light. Biologists at the University of Cincinnati say nighttime light pollution can interfere with the remarkable navigational abilities of monarchs, which travel as far as…

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How a cognitive bias is blocking the rise of electric cars

white car charging

A UNIGE team shows that underestimating battery autonomy is a major psychological barrier to buying an electric car. Newswise — What are the barriers to the adoption of electric cars? Although the main financial and technological obstacles have been removed, their market share still needs to increase. In a recent study, a team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) investigated…

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Watch Dolphins Line Up to Self-Medicate Skin Ailments at Coral “Clinics”

Newswise — If a human comes down with a rash, they might go to the doctor and come away with some ointment to put on it. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins get skin conditions, too, but they come about their medication by queuing up nose-to-tail to rub themselves against corals. In the journal iScience on May 19, researchers show that these corals have medicinal…

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NASA, Partners Offer Global View of Environmental Changes

Continuing the collaboration that produced the COVID-19 Earth Observing Dashboard in 2020, NASA and its international partners in Europe and Japan have combined the collective scientific power of their Earth-observing satellite data in expanding the online resource to document a broad array of planet-wide changes in the environment and human society. The expanded dashboard from NASA, ESA (European Space Agency),…

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Earthworms Like to Eat Some Plastics, but Side Effects of Their Digestion Are Unclear

earthworm on brown soil

Newswise — Earthworms are a welcome sight for gardeners and farmers because the wriggling invertebrates recycle nutrients from soil, making them more accessible to plants. As worms burrow, they consume almost everything in their path, including microscopic plastic pollution. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology have observed that earthworms actually prefer soil with some types of microplastics but digest…

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In sediments below Antarctic ice, scientists discover a giant groundwater system

Previously unmapped reservoirs could speed glaciers, release carbon Newswise — Many scientists say that liquid water is a key to understanding the behavior of the frozen form found in glaciers. Melt water is known to lubricate their gravelly bases and hasten their march toward the sea. In recent years, researchers in Antarctica have discovered hundreds of interconnected liquid lakes and rivers cradled…

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Actionable Environmental Impacts at Home: Swap common household devices to curb your carbon footprint

(Family Features) In every room of your home, you’ll likely find numerous devices, appliances and fixtures that rely on the electric grid for power. Collectively, they affect your carbon footprint more than you may realize. Converting to lower carbon alternatives can help you be a better steward for the environment while reducing your reliance on electricity. “As a father, husband,…

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