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Latest and Breaking Earth Science News

Satellite sees Tropical Storm Guillermo nearing Hawaii
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Tropical Storm Guillermo continued to creep closer to the Hawaiian Islands on Aug. 4, and NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an image of the weakening storm. Westerly wind shear is pushing a stream of clouds to the northeast of the center, making it appears as if Guillermo has a long tail stretching back toward Mexico.

NASA sees Soudelor reach category 5 typhoon status
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's Aqua satellite and RapidScat instrument analyzed Super typhoon Soudelor's extent and winds as it reached Category Five typhoon status on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale.

Amazon fire risk differs across east-west divide in 2015
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Scientists at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, project fire risk for South America's Amazon Basin in 2015 to fall along an east-west divide. According to their model, based on multiple satellite datasets, the forests of the western Amazon will experience average or below-average fire risk, while those in the eastern Amazon will see above-average risk.

IU biologist contributes to international effort to expand theory of evolution
(Indiana University) An Indiana University professor is part of an international team of biologists working to expand Darwin's theory of evolution to encompass factors that influence a species' growth and development beyond genetics -- as well as to consider the impact of species on the environment.

Feed supplement greatly reduces dairy cow methane emissions
(Penn State) A supplement added to the feed of high-producing dairy cows reduced methane emissions by 30 percent and could have ramifications for global climate change, according to an international team of researchers.

How did the Fantastic Four get their powers? (video)
(American Chemical Society) The Thing, Human Torch, Invisible Woman and Mister Fantastic are back this summer! In the new movie reboot, the team gets its powers while in an alternate dimension. Here at Reactions, though, we stick to comic-book canon. In this week's video, we explain the original way the Fantastic Four got their power - radiation - with help from SciPop Talks.

Keeping algae from stressing out
(DOE/Joint Genome Institute) Some algae like Chlamydomonas reinhardtii produce energy-dense oils or lipids when stressed, and these lipids can then be converted into fuels. However, researchers must stress the algae just enough to produce lipids, but not enough to kill them. In Nature Plants, a team led by DOE Joint Genome Institute scientists analyzed the genes being activated during algal lipid production; particularly the molecular machinery that orchestrates these gene activities inside the cell when it produces lipids.

Sardines, anchovies, other fast-growing fish vulnerable to dramatic population plunges
(Rutgers University) A Rutgers marine biologist studying the rise and fall of fish populations worldwide recently made a counterintuitive discovery: ocean species that grow quickly and reproduce frequently are more likely to experience dramatic plunges in population than larger, slower growing fish such as sharks or tuna. In nearly all of the cases, overfishing was the culprit. Combining climate variability with high levels of fishing greatly increases the risk of population collapse.

Researchers strategize to outsmart bacteria
(Rice University) Rice University scientists found a mechanism by which bacteria can become resistant to treatment with antibiotics. They hope to develop strategies to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Precariously balanced rocks provide clues for unearthing underground fault connections
(University of California - Irvine) Stacked in gravity-defying arrangements in the western San Bernardino Mountains, near the San Andreas Fault, granite boulders that should have been toppled by earthquakes long ago resolutely remain. In exploring why these rocks still stand, researchers have uncovered connections between Southern California's San Jacinto and San Andreas faults that could change how the region plans for future earthquakes.

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