science biology antarctica cryptobiosis suspended_animation plants moss ecology frozen

Ancient Frozen Moss Revived
This is a picture of an Antarctic moss that started to grow again after being frozen for as long as 1,700 years.
A 4.5-foot-long core of frozen bank containing the plant, Chorisodontium aciphyllum, was taken from the South Orkney Islands in the Southern Ocean. Samples were exposed to daily light and temperatures that reached 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
The moss regenerated from the deepest part of the core thanks to a process called cryptobiosis, a state of suspended animation that allows some organisms to live indefinitely through extreme conditions. 
British scientists reported the discovery this week in the journal Current Biology. Their finding extends the known time that organisms can remain in cryptobiosis. Previous studies had found that some plants could maintain a non-metabolic state for two decades at most. [[MORE]]

Ancient Frozen Moss Revived

This is a picture of an Antarctic moss that started to grow again after being frozen for as long as 1,700 years.

A 4.5-foot-long core of frozen bank containing the plant, Chorisodontium aciphyllum, was taken from the South Orkney Islands in the Southern Ocean. Samples were exposed to daily light and temperatures that reached 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

The moss regenerated from the deepest part of the core thanks to a process called cryptobiosis, a state of suspended animation that allows some organisms to live indefinitely through extreme conditions. 

British scientists reported the discovery this week in the journal Current Biology. Their finding extends the known time that organisms can remain in cryptobiosis. Previous studies had found that some plants could maintain a non-metabolic state for two decades at most. 

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science tech 3_d_printing soil ct_scan x_ray microbiology ecology fungi bacteria computer_modeling

CT Scans And 3-D Printer Show World Beneath Our Feet

Researchers at Scotland’s Abertay University are getting a brand new look at the seemingly nondescript world hidden in plain sight—the soil beneath our feet. 

Using computed tomography, an imaging technique that takes virtual slices of a subject using X-rays, computer modelling and a 3-D scanner, the team is revealing the previously hidden complex structures of soil.

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tech science forest drone uav ecology tree mapping 3_d data_analysis remote_sensing
Camera-Armed Autocopters Mapping Forest Treetops

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by Wynne Parry

Trees don’t make work easy for the scientists who want to study them and the landscapes they create, since the leaves, fruits and flowers of a forest’s canopy generally stretch far above human reach. So, a team of researchers is turning to drones, programming these pilot-less flying machines to buzz over forests while snapping pictures. 

“I flip the switch on the controller and away it goes on its own,” says Jonathan Dandois, a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, as he launched a drone over a patch of forest on campus on an overcast October day. “It will climb up to about 100 meters above and will continue on its route.”

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tech clean_water water wastewater_treatment ecology environment environmental_engineering engineering energy_efficient_design life_and_nature
Treatment System Harnesses Nature to Clean Toxic Wastewater

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by Michael Keller

The rural highlands farmers and herdsmen called campesinos who work the land near Bolivia’s Cerro de Potosí Mountain have had a problem for the last 468 years.

It was way back then when someone stumbling around this dry and dusty section of the Andes kicked over a rock on the mountain and found silver ore. A mine was built that fed the Spanish Empire’s thirst for the precious metal. It still operates today.

Those mining the mountain have slowly chipped away what became known as Cerro Rico—Rich Hill—and, after the silver ore started drying up, expanded their production to other valuable metals found in the ground there: copper, gold, iron, zinc, tin, lead, cadmium and chromium. More than 10,000 still travel down some 600 pitheads to make their pay underground.

The resulting environmental mess caused by metal contamination running out of the mines has made headlines for years. Dozens of toxic minerals spew out of mines, boreholes and tailing piles in the region’s wastewater discharge, including 161 tons of zinc, 157 tons of iron and more than two tons of arsenic that scientists have estimated flow out of just one study area every year. Some streams sampled around Potosí are as acidic as lemon juice from the runoff; others are as basic as milk of magnesia.

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