Can cold-loving bacteria help to clean up oil spills?

For several decades scientists have been interested in the ability of psychrophilic (cold- loving) microbial communities to degrade the various components of crude oil, which is a process known as bioremediation. Because temperature has a direct impact on enzyme activity there is a concern that, at very low temperatures, the microbial community might be inhibited […]

Stray stars between galaxies add to the cosmic light in the universe

Using an experiment carried into space on a NASA suborbital rocket, astronomers at Caltech and their colleagues have detected a diffuse cosmic glow that appears to represent more light than that produced by known galaxies in the universe. The researchers, including Caltech Professor of Physics Jamie Bock and Caltech Senior Postdoctoral Fellow Michael Zemcov, say […]

Combining fields of sustainability and astrobiology to probe human civilization longevity

Human-caused climate change, ocean acidification and species extinctions may eventually threaten the collapse of civilization, according to some scientists, while other people argue that for political or economic reasons we should allow industrial development to continue without restrictions. In a new paper, two astrophysicists argue that these questions may soon be resolvable scientifically, thanks to […]

Winter birds are more diverse thanks to warming climate

Climate change alters cast of winter birds MADISON — Over the past two decades, the resident communities of birds that attend eastern North America’s backyard bird feeders in winter have quietly been remade, most likely as a result of a warming climate. Writing this week in the journal Global Change Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison wildlife […]

When the Bangladesh people think the monsoon starts

You might expect that a term like “monsoon” has an agreed definition and that scientists can explain when it starts and ends. Defining the monsoon is actually quite contentious, leading to the publication of many different definitions. Some define the monsoon onset according to rainfall, wind change, cloud top temperatures, or a combination of these […]

First direct detection and identification of elusive dark matter particles

Cutting-edge paper by Professor George Fraser — who tragically died in March this year — and colleagues at the University of Leicester provides first potential indication of direct detection of Dark Matter — something that has been a mystery in physics for over 30 years. Space scientists at the University of Leicester have detected a […]