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Latest Nitrogen cycle Stories

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2010-07-28 11:56:36

Within the sludge of wastewater treatment plants is an invisible world teeming with microbes. Here, diverse species of bacteria convert solid and liquid wastes into gases, some of which contribute to global warming. Now two Stanford University engineers are developing a new sewage treatment process that would actually increase the production of two greenhouse gases "“ nitrous oxide (aka, "laughing gas") and methane "“ and use the gases to power the treatment plant. "Normally, we...

2010-05-18 08:22:30

Study suggests pollution reductions could help restoration efforts A new study to be published in the academic journal Reviews in Fisheries Science recommends that efforts to restore the endangered California delta smelt and other declining pelagic fish should more sharply focus on reducing nutrient pollution to the species' native waters. The research indicates these fish populations would greatly benefit from reductions in the amount of nitrogen flowing into the Sacramento-San Joaquin...

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2010-02-21 13:26:55

Flightless birds, blind cave shrimp, and other oddities suggest a "use it or lose it" tendency in evolution. In the microbial world, an unusual marine microorganism appears to have ditched several major metabolic pathways, leaving it with a remarkably reduced set of genes. This metabolic minimalist is a specialist uniquely suited to performing one very important function: taking nitrogen gas from the atmosphere and "fixing" it into a form that makes this essential nutrient available to other...

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2009-11-02 13:40:00

Nitrogen fixation in the Atlantic Scientists including researchers from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton and the University of Essex have discovered that interactions between iron supply, transported through the atmosphere from deserts, and large-scale oceanic circulation control the availability of a crucial nutrient, nitrogen, in the Atlantic. Their findings have potentially important implications for understanding global climate, both past and future. Nitrogen is an essential...

2009-10-22 15:34:09

A team of researchers at the University of British Columbia, along with colleagues at the US Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Institute, has mapped the genome of a microbe that is silently helping to shape the ecology of oxygen-minimum areas in the ocean known as dead zones. "Microbes specialize in metabolic innovation and many can use alternatives to oxygen, including nitrates, sulfates and metals, breathing these compounds instead of oxygen. These adaptations likely enable them to thrive in...

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2009-10-16 08:00:01

Sediment samples from methane cold seeps off California shed light on mystery Scientists have identified an unexpected metabolic ability in a symbiotic community of deep-sea microorganisms. It may help solve a lingering mystery about the world's nitrogen cycle. The element nitrogen is a critical part of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and therefore essential to all life. Although nitrogen is plentiful on Earth--it represents 78 percent of the atmosphere, by volume--the element...

2009-10-01 09:26:57

It's not every day you find clues to the planet's inner workings in aquarium scum. But that's what happened a few years ago when University of Washington researchers cultured a tiny organism from the bottom of a Seattle Aquarium tank and found it can digest ammonia, a key environmental function. New results show this minute organism and its brethren play a more central role in the planet's ecology than previously suspected. The findings, published online today in the journal Nature, show that...

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2009-09-30 13:53:27

Trichodesmium has important role in nitrogen cycle and carbon sequestration A new study of microscopic marine microbes, called phytoplankton, by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of South Carolina has solved a ten-year-old mystery about the source of an essential nutrient in the ocean. Roughly a decade ago scientists discovered a rare form of organic phosphorus in marine organic matter. Not only were the researchers surprised to find this form of...

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2009-09-02 15:13:11

After more than a decade of inquiry, a Princeton-led team of scientists has turned the tables on a long-standing controversy to re-establish an old truth about nitrogen mixing in the oceans. For decades, scientists thought they had a handle on the workings of an intricate natural mechanism known as the nitrogen cycle, essential to maintaining life on Earth. This process, one of nature's most elegant sleights-of-hand, shuttles nitrogen from the soils to the oceans to the atmosphere and back. A...

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2009-08-04 09:45:00

Climate change, land-use patterns are culprits, scientists to report at Ecological Society of America conferenceWhat do the Gulf of Mexico's "dead zone," global climate change, and acid rain have in common? They're all a result of human impacts to Earth's biology, chemistry and geology, and the natural cycles that involve all three.On August 4-5, 2009, scientists who study such cycles--biogeochemists--will convene at a special series of sessions at the Ecological Society of America (ESA)'s...


Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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