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Methods for Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass for Efficient Hydrolysis and Biofuel Production- TERA

Biofuels produced from various lignocellulosic materials, such as wood, agricultural, or forest residues, have the potential to be a valuable substitute for, or complement to, gasoline. Many physicochemical structural and compositional factors hinder the hydrolysis of cellulose present in biomass to sugars and other organic compounds that can later be converted to fuels. The goal [...]

Contrasting Ancient Diversity with Recent Homogenization Due to the Austronesian Expansion- TERA

Archaeology, linguistics, and existing genetic studies indicate that Oceania was settled by two major waves of migration. The first migration took place approximately 40 thousand years ago and these migrants, Papuans, colonized much of Near Oceania. Approximately 3.5 thousand years ago, a second expansion of Austronesian-speakers arrived in Near Oceania and the descendants of these [...]

Can Cloning Revive Spain’s Extinct Mountain Goat?

The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a group of scientists is trying to revive the species by cloning cells from its last living member. A previous attempt in 2003 failed, but renewed interest in “de-extinction” in general and a private donation [...]

Systems ecology and environmentalism: Are we getting the science right?

Problems of environmentalism—environmental protection, conservation, and preservation—are now widely appreciated as important to human enterprise and destiny. Called to attention by advances in descriptive empirical ecology, the new problems are too complex for this same ecology to solve without further expansion of basic knowledge. Environmentalism needs an ecological science of complex systems, but its development [...]

Quick start and challenges for UN’s tech transfer body

The “lightning speed” with which a UN-led initiative to transfer technologies for tackling climate change to developing nations has been set up is impressive, but remaining challenges could prevent its success, a member of its advisory board says.Difficulties in encouraging applications for technological assistance and concern about finding enough partners to build a viable international [...]

25 to 35 Individuals remain of world’s rarest primate: Hainan gibbon

Only 23 to 25 of the animals are thought to remain, clustered in less than 20 square kilometres of forest in China’s Hainan Island. The species (Nomascus hainanus), which numbered more than 2,000 in the late 1950s, has been devastated through the destruction of habitat from logging, and by poaching. Extinction would give the gibbon [...]

Himalayan Glaciers Shown to Be Losing Ground Using Indirect Method of Measurement

Quantifying the water loss of Himalayan glaciers due to global warming from direct measurement is difficult, as some glaciers are advancing or stable in spite of an overall retreat. We use a novel approach to provide an alternative estimate of the amount of Himalayan ice melt. Because a major part of this melted ice debouches [...]

Global patterns of marine mammal, seabird, and sea turtle bycatch reveal taxa-specific and cumulative megafauna hotspots- TERA

Recent research on ocean health has found large predator abundance to be a key element of ocean condition. Fisheries can impact large predator abundance directly through targeted capture and indirectly through incidental capture of nontarget species or bycatch. However, measures of the global nature of bycatch are lacking for air-breathing megafauna. We fill this knowledge [...]

Global and time-resolved monitoring of crop photosynthesis with chlorophyll fluorescence- TERA

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants harvest sunlight to produce sugars from carbon dioxide and water. It is the primary source of energy for all life on Earth; hence it is important to understand how this process responds to climate change and human impact. However, model-based estimates of gross primary production (GPP, output from [...]

Natural disasters and economic growth: A meta-analysis- TERA

Using more than 750 estimates, we perform a meta-regression analysis of studies examining the relationship between economic growth per capita and natural disasters. The studies considered are very different with respect to the type of disasters considered, the sample of countries and time periods covered, model specification, estimators used and publication outlet. After extensive testing [...]