Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Environmental Sciences

Journal Club: Layer-cake chemistry offers up a cheap way to perform chemical tests

Sana Jahanshahi-Anbuhi started her study with a trip to the supermarket to buy Listerine breath strips, the sort that melt on your tongue in seconds. But the chemical engineering postdoc at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada wasn’t worried about bad … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Why do trees fix nitrogen in certain forests and not others? Model offers insights with big implications for the biosphere

Many trees can generate their own fertilizer from nitrogen in the air. But it remains a mystery as to why they grow where they do – for example, few grow in the nitrogen-poor soils of temperate forests but many thrive … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Maya altered their environment significantly, for better or worse

The ancient Maya once had a civilization in the Americas that stretched over an area the size of Texas. Now scientists detail a number of key ways the Maya left behind a lasting impact on the environment during the so-called … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Epigenetic marks may reveal how the environment affected ancient societies

Ancient DNA can shed light on the past in myriad ways — for instance, genes and mutations may reveal important adaptations or physiological changes. But gene-regulating molecules latched onto the DNA, known as epigenetic marks, may also reveal important clues. … Continue reading

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New forests change land temperatures

Thirty years ago China began launching ambitious reforestation projects, aiming to undo some of the massive environmental damage caused by years of clear cutting. Each year the country adds around 2 million hectares of new trees, with no sign of … Continue reading

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Porous aerosol particles could play a key role in the atmosphere

Microscopic droplets and particles make up aerosols in the air, clouds of haze, dust and soot that play vital roles in climate, absorbing or reflecting sunlight to help warm or cool the planet and serving as the seeds of precipitation. … Continue reading

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Shrimp insecticide resistance varies wildly

No one would guess Hyalella azteca’s importance just by looking at it. Toxicologists use this unassuming, shrimp-like animal to test water quality. A body of water can be proclaimed healthy or toxic based on whether Hyalellas raised in a sample … Continue reading

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Reconstructing the effects of fishing on the ecology of petrels

Reconstructing long-term ecological records is always a challenge, but for the open ocean the problem can be especially vexing because animal remains don’t last, and even if they did they’d be so deep as to be very difficult to access. … Continue reading

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Dams not cause of salmon decline, study suggests

In their first months at sea, salmon that have migrated through the eight dams of the Snake River are no more likely to perish than juveniles that traversed fewer dams, according to a new PNAS Early Edition paper. The finding … Continue reading

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Harvard Research Forest–Fertile soil for scientists and artists

[slideshow_deploy id=’673′]   The Harvard Research Forest might not seem like the most obvious or attractive location for creating nature photography. The trees are wrapped in cables, shrubs enclosed in plastic, and unsightly pipes run from here to there. The forest, … Continue reading

Categories: Ecology | Environmental Sciences | Plant Biology | Visual Science | Leave a comment