Leaf microbiomes are a neighborhood affair in northern forests — ScienceDaily

Forest leaves are teeming with bacterial life — but despite the vast extent of bacteria-covered foliage across the world, this habitat, known as the phyllosphere, remains full of mysteries. How do bacteria spread from tree to tree? Do certain types of bacteria only live on certain types of trees?

A new paper published in the Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecological Monographs addresses some of these questions. The findings reveal that the leaf microbiomes of sugar maple trees vary across the species’ range, changing in accordance with the types of trees in the surrounding “neighborhood.”

Geneviève Lajoie, now a post-doctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia and the paper’s lead author, performed the research as a Ph.D. student at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She and her field assistant spent a summer in hot pursuit of bacteria-covered foliage, camping at remote parks and rushing to get their leaf

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Killer electrons in strumming northern and southern lights — ScienceDaily

Computer simulations explain how electrons with wide-ranging energies rain into Earth’s upper and middle atmosphere during a phenomenon known as the pulsating aurora. The findings, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggest that the higher-energy electrons resulting from this process could cause destruction of the part of the ozone in the mesosphere, about 60 kilometres above Earth’s surface. The study was a collaboration between scientists in Japan, including at Nagoya University, and colleagues in the US, including from NASA.

The northern and southern lights that people are typically aware of, called the aurora borealis and australis, look like coloured curtains of reds, greens, and purples spreading across the night skies. But there is another kind of aurora that is less frequently seen. The pulsating aurora looks more like indistinct wisps of cloud strumming across the sky.

Scientists have only recently developed the technologies enabling them to understand how

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The pros and cons of advancing forensic technology to solve cold cases in northern Ontario

Police have been laying charges in historic homicides in Ontario recently, and investigators have hinted that advances in forensic technology may have played a key role. 

A flurry of charges have been laid in northern Ontario relating to the Sudbury murder of Renee Sweeney and last week, Ontario Provincial Police laid a first degree charge in the 40-year-old cold case of Micheline St. Amour in East Ferris, near North Bay.

Michele Bobyn, a lecturer with the Department of Forensic Science at Laurentian University, says the developments aren’t surprising.

Especially, she said, after Toronto police recently identified in October, the killer of nine-year-old Christine Jessop, who was abducted from Queensville, Ont., before being raped and killed in 1984. The case resulted in a years-long wrongful conviction of Guy Paul Morin.  

In July of 1980, 20-year-old Micheline St. Amour was found dead in an East Ferris Township home after being stabbed. (Submitted
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Teacher’s decades-old find on a Northern Ireland beach turns out to be the island’s first-ever dinosaur discovery

You never know what you might find while walking along the beach.

a person holding an animal: Mike Simms, who led the research team, holds the theropod tibia on the left and the Scelidosaurus femur on the right.

© From University of Portsmouth
Mike Simms, who led the research team, holds the theropod tibia on the left and the Scelidosaurus femur on the right.

People often come across coins, shells and trash, but a teacher in Northern Ireland made a discovery that will go down in history.

In the 1980s, the late Roger Byrne, a schoolteacher and fossil collector, found several unidentified fossils on the east coast of County Antrim. He held onto them for several years before donating them to the Ulster Museum in Belfast.

Mystery swirled around what the fossils could be until a team of researchers with the University of Portsmouth and Queen’s University Belfast confirmed they are fossilized dinosaur bones.

The 200-million-year-old fossils are the “first dinosaur remains reported from anywhere in Ireland,” according to the article by the research

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Changes in the Antarctic ice sheet were driven by the melting ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere — ScienceDaily

Over the past 40,000 years, ice sheets thousands of kilometres apart have influenced one another through sea level changes, according to research published today in Nature. New modelling of ice sheet changes during the most recent glacial cycle by a McGill-led team offers a clearer idea of the mechanisms that drive change than had previously existed and explains newly available geological records. The study demonstrates, for the first time, that during this period, changes in the Antarctic ice sheet were driven by the melting ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere.

As the climate cooled, during the last Ice Age, water became locked up in land ice in the Northern Hemisphere leading to dropping sea levels in Antarctica and consequent growth of the ice sheet. As the climate warmed, on the other hand, as it did through the period of deglaciation, the retreating ice in the Northern Hemisphere led to

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After backlash from tech industry, Northern California won’t require telecommuting

SAN FRANCISCO — The Bay Area has dropped a plan to require office workers to telecommute permanently, a sign that there are limits to how much people will want to work from home once the Covid-19 pandemic passes.

a person riding on the back of a bicycle

© Provided by NBC News

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional planning body, voted Friday to walk back its plan to make working from home mandatory 60 percent of the time for office workers at large local employers such as Apple, Facebook and Google.

The idea would have made official one of the most radical changes to daily life brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, this time with the goal of limiting greenhouse gas emissions by slashing commutes by car or truck.

But the proposal sparked outrage, including from tech workers and their employers, who said they looked forward to returning to their offices one day. The proposal also hadn’t taken into

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Amazon tells customer in Northern Ireland that he’s not in the UK

Seattle, USA - Feb 10, 2020: Amazon Prime Now Delivery van on 4th avenue late in the day with the Space Needle in the background.
Amazon mistakenly told a customer that they couldn’t access a rugby match because they weren’t in the UK – despite being in Northern Ireland. (Stock image: Getty)

Amazon found itself the subject of widespread mockery after telling a rugby fan that Northern Ireland wasn’t part of the United Kingdom.

The company responded to a customer asking why he couldn’t watch a programme by saying it was “only available to subscribers in the UK” – despite the fact he was contacting them from Northern Ireland.

It’s not the first mistake Amazon has made this year. In February the company removed a face mask product after it was flagged by a Yahoo News UK investigation.

Chris Jones, from Ballyclare in County Antrim, contacted the company via Twitter after he found himself unable to watch a rugby match on Amazon Prime.

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Northern Taurid meteor shower peaks this week

The Northern Taurid meteor showers have been spotted in the sky since October, but the annual shower will peak on November 11 and 12, according to the American Meteor Society.
During this time, Earth will be going through the densest part of the debris stream of comet 2P/Encke, the celestial body giving rise to the Northern Taurid showers, according to Bill Cooke Jr., who heads NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.

Stargazers can expect to see about five fireballs per hour during those peak nights, Cooke said. Despite the fiery name, fireballs are perfectly safe to view and will not hurt anyone.

Fireballs are meteors that shine brighter than the planet Venus, which is the brightest object in the night sky after the moon, Cooke said. They tend to last for about a second or two, compared to the average meteor, which tends to last less than half a second, said Robert … Read More

Watch the fireball-fueled Northern Taurid meteor shower peak this week


A Taurid fireball captured in 2015. 

P. Spurny/Czech Academy of Sciences

One of the most explosive meteor showers of the year is active and set to hit an apex of activity soon, which is good news if you’re into seeing a little fire in the sky. 

The Southern Taurid and Northern Taurid showers are active now and tend to produce a lot of sizzle in the form of fireballs that light up the skies. The Southern Taurid branch has already peaked, but can continue to contribute to the overall fireball count. The Northern Taurids are expected to reach maximum activity Wednesday night and into the following morning, according to the American Meteor Society, or AMS.    

The Taurids are produced when Earth drifts through a cloud of debris left behind by Comet 2P/Encke around this time

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Australian scientists find huge new healthy coral reef off northern coast

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian scientists found a detached coral reef on the Great Barrier Reef that exceeds the height of the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower, the Schmidt Ocean Institute said this week, the first such discovery in over 100 years.

The “blade like” reef is nearly 500 metres tall and 1.5 kilometres wide, said the institute founded by ex-Google boss Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy. It lies 40 metres below the ocean surface and about six kilometres from the edge of Great Barrier Reef.

A team of scientists from James Cook University, led by Dr. Robin Beaman, were mapping the northern seafloor of the Great Barrier Reef on board the institute’s research vessel Falkor, when they found the reef on Oct. 20.

“We are surprised and elated by what we have found,” said Beaman.

He said it was the first detached reef of that size to

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