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Latest Soil biology Stories

2011-08-15 00:00:04

Plants and fungi form complex underground networks to trade nutrients and sugars. A new study in the journal Science reveals that partners have evolved a sort of free market economy, allowing them to avoid "Ëœcheaters' and change their trading partners if they don't get a fair deal. Amsterdam, Netherlands (PRWEB) August 14, 2011 Dr. Toby Kiers and her colleagues are interested in how mutualisms "“ cooperative interactions among different species "“ evolve and persist....

2011-08-02 21:04:12

Soil-dwelling bacteria of the genus Frankia have the potential to produce a multitude of natural products, including antibiotics, herbicides, pigments, anticancer agents, and other useful products, according to an article in the June 2011 issue of the journal "Applied and Environmental Microbiology." University of New Hampshire professor of microbiology and genetics Louis Tisa, a Frankia expert, contributed the genomic analysis to this study. "We were able to use cutting-edge techniques to...

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2011-05-26 11:06:29

One helpful action anyone can take in response to global warming is to plant trees and preserve forests. Trees and plants capture carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, thereby removing the most abundant greenhouse gas from the atmosphere and storing some of it in their woody tissue. Yet global warming may affect the capacity of trees to store carbon by altering forest nitrogen cycling, concludes a study led by Jerry Melillo of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), published this week in...

2011-05-23 14:31:52

The next agricultural revolution may be sparked by fungi, helping to greatly increase food-production for the growing needs of the planet without the need for massive amounts of fertilizers according to research presented today at the 111th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in New Orleans. "The United Nations conservatively estimates that by the year 2050 the global human population is expected to reach over 9 billion. Feeding such a population represents an...

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2011-01-11 10:27:56

In the vast ocean where an essential nutrient"”iron"”is scarce, a marine bacterium that launches the ocean food web survives by using a remarkable biochemical trick: It recycles iron. By day, it uses iron in enzymes for photosynthesis to make carbohydrates; then by night, it appears to reuse the same iron in different enzymes to produce organic nitrogen for proteins. The bacterium, Crocosphaera watsonii, is one of the few marine microbes that can convert nitrogen gas into organic...

2010-12-21 23:26:42

In a study published December 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences (PNAS), a team of researchers including University of New Hampshire scientists Wilfred Wollheim, William McDowell, and Jody Potter details findings that show emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from global rivers and streams are three times previous estimates used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "“ the leading international body for the assessment of climate change....

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2010-12-21 08:31:45

New results indicate potential to reduce certain greenhouse gas emissions from oceans to atmosphere Increasing acidity in the sea's waters may fundamentally change how nitrogen is cycled in them, say marine scientists who published their findings in this week's issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients in the oceans. All organisms, from tiny microbes to blue whales, use nitrogen to make proteins and other...

2010-11-17 17:06:17

Research has important implications for both agriculture and energy Scientists at the University of Cambridge are working on ways to improve the efficiency of the ammonia synthesis process. With between 3-5% of the world's natural gas used to create artificial fertilizers, the new research could have major implications for both the agricultural and energy sectors. Ammonia (NH3) is one of the most important chemicals in the modern world, due mainly to its use in the manufacture of artificial...

2010-11-03 13:47:36

A new breakthrough by scientists at the University of Sheffield has shed light on how the Earth's first plants began to colonise the land over 470 million years ago by forming a partnership with soil fungi. The research, which was published today (2 November 2010) in Nature Communications, has provided essential missing evidence showing that an ancient plant group worked together with soil-dwelling fungi to 'green' the Earth in the early Palaeozoic era, nearly half a billion years ago. The...

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2010-10-08 18:00:00

Resulting ecological damage is serious, but could be reduced by wider use of more sustainable, time-honored practices Humans are overloading ecosystems with nitrogen through the burning of fossil fuels and an increase in nitrogen-producing industrial and agricultural activities, according to a new study. While nitrogen is an element that is essential to life, it is an environmental scourge at high levels. According to the study, excess nitrogen that is contributed by human activities pollutes...


Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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