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Latest Soil biology Stories

2012-08-13 12:59:42

Research study in “Nature” confirms improved method by marine scientists from Kiel In order to predict how the Earth´s climate develops scientists have to know which gases and trace elements are naturally bound and released by the ocean and in which quantities. For nitrogen, an essential element for the production of biomass, there are many unanswered questions. Scientists from Kiel, Bremen and Halifax have now published a research study in the international journal...

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2012-08-11 08:57:40

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists have engineered a soft autonomous robot that crawls across surfaces similar to how an earthworm moves. The robot developed by researchers at MIT, Harvard University and Seoul National University is made almost entirely of soft materials, giving it the ability to be stepped on and inch away without a dent. The "Meshworm" robot has an "artificial muscle" that was created from wire made of nickel and titanium. Researchers...

Earthworm Species Thriving In Ireland As Global Temperatures Rise
2012-07-26 07:04:21

Scientists have discovered a thriving population of Mediterranean earthworms in an urban farm in Dublin, Ireland. The findings by University College Dublin scientists published in the journal Biology Letters on 25 July 2012 suggest that rising soil temperatures due to climate change may be extending the geographical habitat range of the earthworm Prosellodrilus amplisetosus. "Soil decomposer species including earthworms are frequently introduced into non-native soils by human activities...

2012-06-26 11:44:32

A 150-foot-high garbage dump in Colombia, South America, may have new life as a public park. Researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated that bacteria found in the dump can be used to neutralize the contaminants in the soil. Jerry Sims, a U of I associate professor of crop sciences and USDA-Agricultural Research Service research leader and Andres Gomez, a graduate student from Medellín, Colombia, have been working on a landfill called “El Morro” in...

It's All About The Dirt
2012-06-17 03:00:40

[ Watch the Video ] A new study by researchers at BYU, Duke and the USDA finds that soil plays an important role in controlling the planet´s atmospheric future. The researchers set out to find how intact ecosystems are responding to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The earth´s current atmospheric carbon dioxide is 390 parts per million, up from 260 parts per million at the start of the industrial revolution, and will likely rise to more than 500 parts per...

2012-05-15 22:26:14

Ancient plants grown in state-of-the-art growth chambers recreating environmental conditions from more than 400 million years ago have shown scientists from the University of Sheffield how soil dwelling fungi played a crucial role in the evolution of plants. This ground breaking work provides fundamental knowledge of how plants colonized the land before roots evolved and the co-evolution of one of the most ancient relationships, between fungi and early plants that played a founding role in...

2012-04-18 09:14:38

Experimental evidence reveals a reduction in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization of Bt corn An increasing number of crops commercially grown today are genetically modified (GM) to resist insect pests and/or tolerate herbicides. Although Bt corn is one of the most commonly grown GM crops in the United States, little is known about its effects on the long-term health of soils. Although there are many benefits to using biotechnology in agriculture, such as potentially reducing...

2012-03-22 22:54:49

A new paper by researchers from the University of Georgia and Princeton University sheds light on the critical part played by a little-studied element, molybdenum, in the nutrient cycles of tropical forests. Understanding the role of molybdenum may help scientists more accurately predict how tropical forests will respond to climate change. The findings were published March 21 in the journal PLoS ONE. Nutrient cycles track the movement of essential nutrients as they loop through the...

2012-03-13 22:58:52

Biologists at Bielefeld University have developed a new method for quantifying the effect of non-native species on ecosystem functioning They can estimate whether native plants in the neighbourhood of invasive species incorporate the nitrogen fixed by the latter. The biologists examined the Sydney Golden Wattle (Acacia longifolia), an Australian shrub that has established itself in Mediterranean climates worldwide. They found that the invasive species threatens native ecosystems not only...

2012-03-09 00:04:50

Most plants live in symbiosis with soil fungi and are supplied with water and nutrients as a result. Based on the petunia, plant biologists at the University of Zurich have now discovered that a special transport protein is required to establish this symbiotic relationship. The targeted control of this protein could lead to greater harvests. About 80 percent of all terrestrial plants enter into a symbiotic relationship with fungi living in the soil. The fungi provide the plant with water,...


Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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