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New research shows how plants decide what shape to grow new leaves

New research shows how plants decide what shape to grow new leaves

Science
Oct. 27 (UPI) -- How do plant cells know how to organize into the proper pattern as new leaves form? New research offers clues.Scientists have made great progress in detailing the communication among animal cells as they develop and form new tissue, but plants evolved separately from other multicellular organisms. As such, researchers know less about how plant cells organize as they form new structures -- like fresh leaves.New research out of the University of Tübingen's Center for Plant Molecular Biology suggests plant cells use unique signals called "small RNAs" to mobilize new cells. Previous studies have highlighted the role small RNAs play in triggering defense mechanisms against herbivores and disease, but the latest findings -- detailed in the journal Developmental Cell -- suggest t
Butterfly swarm shows up on Denver radar system

Butterfly swarm shows up on Denver radar system

Science
A colourful, shimmering spectacle detected by weather radar over the US state of Colorado has been identified as swarms of migrating butterflies.Scientists at the National Weather Service (NWS) first mistook the orange radar blob for birds and had asked the public to help identifying the species.They later established that the 70-mile wide (110km) mass was a kaleidoscope of Painted Lady butterflies.Forecasters say it is uncommon for flying insects to be detected by radar."We hadn't seen a signature like that in a while," said NWS meteorologist Paul Schlatter, who first spotted the radar blip."We detect migrating birds all the time, but they were flying north to south," he told CBS News, explaining that this direction of travel would be unusual for migratory birds for the time of year.So he...
Study shows star formation influenced by environmental conditions

Study shows star formation influenced by environmental conditions

Science
Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Scientists at Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen have determined that new star formation is influenced by local environmental conditions.According to the classical model, a star is formed when a prestellar core, a roundish accumulation containing 99 percent gas and 1 percent dust, collapses due to overweight, resulting in the formation of a star in the center of the collapse. This is followed by the formation of a disk of gas and dust rotating around said star."This is the star's protoplanetary disk, and planets are thought to be formed in such disks -- planet Earth being no exception," Michael Küffmeier, astrophysicist at the institute, said in a press release.Researchers from the institute carried out computer simulations of the formation of hundreds o
Study shows Arctic sea ice continues to melt considerably

Study shows Arctic sea ice continues to melt considerably

Science
Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Arctic sea ice shrank to roughly 4.7 million square kilometers in September, making the sea ice extent in 2017 far below numbers from 1979 to 2006.Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, the University of Bremen and Universitat Hamburg reported Friday that the minimum sea ice extent for 2017 is average for the past 10 years, despite being far below average from previous decades.The sea ice in the Arctic is considered a critical element in climate processes and a vital early-warning system for global warming. Researches point to the September minimum extent as an important indicator of climate change.Sea ice covered area is measured using high-resolution microwave satellites, with data provided by the University of Bremen and Universitat Hamburg.According to research...
Study shows impact of global warming on coffee production

Study shows impact of global warming on coffee production

Science
Sept. 11 (UPI) -- A recent study by the University of Vermont found global warming could reduce coffee growing areas in Latin America by as much as 88 percent by 2050.Researchers from the University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Environment found climate change will continue to negatively impact coffee production, as well as bee populations, essential to coffee farming."Coffee is one of the most valuable commodities on earth, and needs a suitable climate and pollinating bees to produce well," Taylor Ricketts, director of the UVM's Gund Institute for Environment, said in a press release. "This is the first study to show how both will likely change under global warming -- in ways that will hit coffee producers hard."The study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of S...