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UK scientists join race for lab-grown meat

UK scientists join race for lab-grown meat

Science
British scientists have joined the race to produce meat grown in the lab rather than reared on the hoof.Scientists at the University of Bath have grown animal cells on blades of grass, in a step towards cultured meat.If the process can be reproduced on an industrial scale, meat lovers might one day be tucking into a slaughter-free supply of "bacon".The researchers say the UK can move the field forward through its expertise in medicine and engineering.Lab-based meat products are not yet on sale, though a US company, Just, has said its chicken nuggets, grown from cells taken from the feather of chicken that is still alive, will soon be in a few restaurants.Chemical engineer Dr Marianne Ellis, of the University of Bath, sees culture...
Scientists share plans for planetwide biodiversity census

Scientists share plans for planetwide biodiversity census

Science
March 11 (UPI) -- Biologists and data scientists have developed a plan for tracking the numbers and locations of the planet's millions of plant and animal species -- a global biodiversity census of sorts. The new bio-tracking plan -- published this week in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution -- features new strategies for collecting, organizing and translating massive amounts of biodiversity data for decision-makers, including policy-makers and wildlife managers. "There are so many gaps in our knowledge of biodiversity where we don't have the capacity to properly make decisions because of data limitations," Robert Guralnick, associate curator of biodiversity informatics at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said in a news release. "This paper really throws the gauntlet down in t...
Drones help scientists count koalas in Australia

Drones help scientists count koalas in Australia

Science
March 1 (UPI) -- Researchers have trained drones outfitted with infrared sensors to recognize a koala bear's heat signature. Wildlife managers and biologists are using the technology to accurately and efficiently monitor koala populations in Australia. An algorithm processes the drone's infrared readings and determines whether the heat signatures belong to a koala or some other animal. Researchers plan to eventually train algorithms to recognize the heat signatures of other animals, too. In the future, the drone and infrared technology could be used to track a variety of animals, including both threatened and invasive species. In a proof-of-concept study, scientists used a drone to count koalas already tagged with radio collars. As a result, scientists were able to confirm the accuracy of...
Scientists find tanner crabs feeding on seafloor methane vent

Scientists find tanner crabs feeding on seafloor methane vent

Science
Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Marine biologists have discovered a group of tanner crabs feeding vigorously on a seafloor methane seep located off the coast of British Columbia. Tanner crabs are a genus of crabs sometimes referred to as queen crabs or spider crabs. All seven species of the Chionoecetes genus are often marketed as "snow crabs" in seafood markets. The discovery marks the first time a commercially harvested marine species has been observed feeding on a methane vent. Bottom-feeders like tanner crabs -- and the entirety of the ocean floor food chain -- were thought to rely exclusively on phytoplankton descending through the water column, but the latest research suggests seafloor ecosystems host diverse sources of energy and basal nutrition. "Tanner crabs likely are not the only species to g...
Scientists use spacecraft's measurements to study solar wind heating

Scientists use spacecraft's measurements to study solar wind heating

Science
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- With the help of a NASA spacecraft, astrophysicists have uncovered the process by which energy is transferred between electromagnetic fields and plasma in space. Most of the visible matter in the universe exists in the form of plasma, an ionized state of matter. Understanding how energy is transferred to and from ionized particles in space can help scientists to better understand a variety of cosmological phenomena. The transfer of energy from electromagnetic turbulence in space to the electrons in the solar wind is caused by a process known as Landau damping. When electromagnetic waves travel through plasma and the plasma particles themselves are traveling at the same speeds, the plasma particles absorb the wave's energy, reducing -- or damping -- the electromagnetic wav...