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Study: Maximizing grain yields won't meet future African needs

Maximizing cereal crop yields in sub-Saharan Africa would still fail to meet the region’s skyrocketing grain demand by 2050, according to a new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Wageningen University and multiple African institutions.

Warming global temperatures may not affect carbon stored deep in northern peatlands, study says

Deep stores of carbon in northern peatlands may be safe from rising temperatures, according to a team of researchers from several U.S.-based institutions.And that is good news for now, the researchers said.Florida State University research scientist Rachel Wilson and University of Oregon graduate student Anya Hopple are the first authors on a new study published today in Nature Communications. The study details experiments suggesting that carbon stored in peat—a highly organic material found in marsh or damp regions—may not succumb to the Earth's warming as easily as scientists thought.

For platinum catalysts, a tiny squeeze gives a big boost in performance, Stanford study finds

A nanosize squeeze can significantly boost the performance of platinum catalysts that help generate energy in fuel cells, according to a new study by Stanford scientists.The team bonded a platinum catalyst to a thin material that expands and contracts as electrons move in and out, and found that squeezing the platinum a fraction of a nanometer nearly doubled its catalytic activity. The findings are published in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Science.

While global methane emissions are up, study says fossil fuels not the culprit

A new study from NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, puts a new twist on a tricky question about the impact of increased oil and gas production on greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have detected increased rates of methane emissions globally since 2007. That uptick corresponds to the rapid boom in U.S. shale gas and shale oil production, and some hypothesized that the two could be connected. But it turns out that the correlation may not necessarily be a cause.

Can air pollution impact childhood mental health?

Air pollution is a known risk factor for certain mental health problems in adults, but a new study also links high rates of air pollution to poorer psychiatric health in children and adolescents.To investigate this link, researchers from Umeå University in Sweden examined what is known as “register-based” data.

High blood pressure linked to short-, long-term exposure to some air pollutants

High blood pressure was associated with short-term and long-term exposure to some air pollutants commonly associated with the burning/combustion of fossil fuels, dust and dirt, a new study shows. Researchers suggest people — especially those with high blood pressure — limit their time outdoors when pollution levels are high.

Study confirms benefits of reducing the amount of chemicals you put on your body

A new study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas demonstrates how even a short break from certain kinds of makeup, shampoos and lotions can lead to a significant drop in levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body.The shampoos, lotions and other personal care products you use can affect the amount of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in one’s body, a new study showed.The results, published today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, came from a study of 100 Latina teenagers participating in the Health and Environmental Research on Makeup of Salinas Adolescents (HERMOSA) study.

Tiny chameleons deliver powerful tongue-lashings

A new study reports one of the most explosive movements in the animal kingdom: the mighty tongue acceleration of a chameleon just a couple of inches long. The research illustrates that to observe some of nature’s best performances, scientists sometimes have to look at its littlest species.