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Bacteria of Another Color

The adaptation of the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa often produces phenotypic diversity. Here, mutants isolated from a genetic screen show notable differences in phenotype: the production of pigments, size, shape, and texture. The blue-green pigmentation seen in some mutants results from the production of pyocyanin, an excreted toxin that kills other microbes and mammalian cells. Whereas, the brown pigmentation is caused by the exocellular pigment, pyomelanin, which … Continue reading Bacteria of Another Color

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Why are hurricanes weakening? Possible reasons and the long term pattern

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy, the second costliest hurricane in United States history, caused the loss of 233 lives and assessed damage of 75 billion dollars. With Sandy still on the minds of many, it may surprise you that America’s Atlantic coast may actually be in the middle of a decades long lull in hurricane activity. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published this surprising … Continue reading Why are hurricanes weakening? Possible reasons and the long term pattern

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Charging your cell phone through your shirt

Modern society is built on portable electronics, and with these power-hungry pieces of technology comes the need for convenient charging. To mitigate the need to find power outlets, a team at the University of Central Florida, lead by Jayan Thomas, created a ribbon which both harvests solar energy and stores it within a single unit. Remarkably, the technology is able to be woven with other … Continue reading Charging your cell phone through your shirt

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Lakes formed from glacial melting may cause havoc on local communities

Glacier meltwater provides a steady source of water for communities that would otherwise lack access during the dry season, but melting glaciers can cause problems beyond raising the sea level and endangering coastal communities. Meltwater forms lakes below the glaciers, and this water is often held in place by natural dams. Rock slides or avalanches can weaken or destroy these dams, causing the lakes to … Continue reading Lakes formed from glacial melting may cause havoc on local communities

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Reconsidering the Risks of Nuclear Power

by Jordan Wilkerson figures by Shannon McArdel The United States emits an immense amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is extremely likely that the rising global temperature trends since the mid-20th century is dominantly due to human activity. No scientific organization of national or international standing disputes this. Furthermore, the US Department of Defense has … Continue reading Reconsidering the Risks of Nuclear Power

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New technology lets researchers visualize the evolution of antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are powerful drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Recently, however, a growing number of bacterial infections have developed resistance to many commonly used antibiotics. In fact, the World Health Organization has pegged antibiotic resistance as one of the world’s biggest threats to global health! Bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance by changing in a way that reduces drug effectiveness. In a recent article, a research team … Continue reading New technology lets researchers visualize the evolution of antibiotic resistance