‘Report card’ documents the Arctic’s new normal

‘Report card’ documents the Arctic’s new normal

The Arctic has entered a new era. The region has shifted to conditions of warmer air and water, less ice covering the sea and more vegetation growing on the land, say an international team of scientists in this year’s Arctic Report Card from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

New neurons reduce drug-seeking behaviour

New neurons reduce drug-seeking behaviour

Some of the hard work of fighting addiction to heroin or cocaine is in learning not to use the drug. And if drug use inhibits the generation of new neurons that facilitate learning, the problem becomes a vicious circle. Now, research presented at this week’s annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington DC shows that increasing the brain’s ability to generate new neurons decreases drug-seeking behaviours in rodents.

EPA to regulate fracking waste water

EPA to regulate fracking waste water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday Oct 20 that it plans to develop standards for disposing of waste water generated by hydraulic fracturing, a method used to extract natural gas from shale rock formations, often referred to as “fracking.” Later that day, the EPA provided expert testimony to a Senate panel that continues to look for ways to best regulate a field that could be an energy boon as well as a safety disaster.

A Canadian rescue for The Scientist?

A Canadian rescue for The Scientist?

The Scientist may not be hanging up its lab coat just yet. Just one week after announcing it was shutting down, the possibility of new ownership has revived hopes that the quarter century-old publication which caters to life scientists will continue on with its editorial team intact.

The shrinking effects of climate change

The shrinking effects of climate change

Despite the claims of a few grandstanders, it’s clear that our planet’s thermostat is dialing up. Some plants and animals have already responded to this change by modifying their distributions away from the Equator, toward the cooler poles, and by shifting the timing of their breeding or flowering cycles. But beyond their location and behaviours, the physical stature of some organisms is also affected by climate change — which could play havoc with ecosystems and even global food security.

Postdoc Leapfrog

Postdoc Leapfrog

For most fledgling scientists, the long path to principal investigator-hood includes years of toiling as a postdoc. But the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that ten young biomedical scientists will skip that step in their careers, thanks to its new Early Independence Award programme.  Read more