Science Highlights

Phytoplankton known as coccolithophores bloom in the Barents Sea north of Russia, their scales giving off a bright green glow.

Genomic Sequence of a Marine Blooming Alga

Genome variability helps explain why Emiliania huxleyi canflourish in diverse ocean habitats. Read More »

Researchers are studying how bacteria transform mercury into a toxic form in the environment that can accumulate in the food web, posing a threat to wildlife and people.

Multiple Species of Bacteria Convert Elemental Mercury to Toxic Methylmercury

New insights could assist in cleanup of contaminated environments. Read More »

Protein production occurs in two basic steps: transcription and translation.

Recoding of Bacterial Genome Produces Proteins with New Functions

Altered stop codon allows E. coli strain to incorporate nonstandard amino acids. Read More »

An assessment of the ability of climate models to simulate clouds shows that newer models are better aligning with cloud satellite observations.

Improved Climate Model Simulations of Clouds

New models show reduction in bias associated with too many highly reflective clouds. Read More »

Researchers are genetically engineering microorganisms to produce high-energy biofuels that can directly replace petroleum in existing engines.

Higher Yields of Advanced Biofuels from Genetically Engineered Yeast

Strains produce “drop-in” fuels and chemicals derived from fatty acids. Read More »

Researchers have used a global climate model to assess future water demands in the agricultural, energy, industrial, and municipal sectors, concluding that freshwater availability may be insufficient in some regions.

Long-Term Water Projections and Climate Change

Model scenarios predict increased scarcity in the Middle East and India. Read More »

Research suggests that methane (CH<sub>4</sub>) utilization by the bacterium <em>Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum</em> under low  oxygen (O<sub>2</sub>) conditions may involve switching to a new fermentation-based  mode that leads to the formation of formate, acetate, succinate, lactate,  hydrogen, and hydroxybutyrate as end products.

New Metabolic Pathway Discovered in Methane-Consuming Bacteria

Opportunities emerge for using microbes to convert the gas to biofuels and other products. Read More »

Cultivated barley is the fourth most abundant crop in the world and a model for plant genetics research.

Assembling Complex Plant Genomes

New, rapid, and low-cost approach can be applied to many species. Read More »

A study comparing microbial communities before and after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico indicates that, although overall population diversity changed, some microbes were unaffected.

Hope for Re-establishing Microbial Populations in the Gulf of Mexico

2010 oil spill reduced diversity, but some species were unaffected. Read More »