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Ashley Yeager

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Science Ticker

Surge seen in number of U.S. wildfires

Each year between 1984 and 2011, the area of scorched land increased by 355 square kilometers.

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Guest post by Beth Mole

The number and size of wildfires in the western United States has steadily risen over the last three decades, according to a new report.

Between 1984 and 2011, the number of large, uncontrolled burns jumped by seven each year. The area of scorched land also expanded by 355 square kilometers each year.

The finding, based on national wildfire database, appeared April 17 in Geophysical Research Letters. The authors, led by geographer Philip Dennison of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, say that the trend could continue due to ongoing climate change that will raise temperatures and spur more severe droughts.

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Cells,, Neuroscience

Insulating sheath on nerve cells isn't an even coat

By Ashley Yeager 6:42pm, April 18, 2014
Myelin doesn't evenly coat axons, a finding that runs counter to what scientists suspected.
Planetary Science,, Astronomy

RIP LADEE: 9/6/2013 – 4/18/2014

By Science News Staff 2:43pm, April 18, 2014
NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission ended April 18.
Health,, Genetics

Gene variant, processed meat linked to boost in cancer risk

By Ashley Yeager 9:00am, April 18, 2014
In people with a specific variation of a gene on chromosome 10, eating processed meat is associated with an increased risk of developing colon cancer.
Cells,, Human Development

Protein that gets sperm into egg identified

By Ashley Yeager 8:00pm, April 17, 2014
The protein Folr4 on a reproductive egg plays this crucial role in the fusion of the sperm and egg, research shows.
Neuroscience,, Mental Health

Even with rest, brain changes linked to football linger

By Ashley Yeager 5:15pm, April 17, 2014
The offseason may not allow enough time for football players' brains to heal from hard hits.
Paleontology

Early meat-eater may have led to larger plant-eaters

By Ashley Yeager 3:06pm, April 17, 2014
The newly identified Eocasea martini may have set the stage for later, much larger animals to become plant-eaters.
Genetics,, Human Development

Down’s syndrome goes beyond chromosome 21

By Ashley Yeager 6:20pm, April 16, 2014
A genetic analysis suggests that the DNA changes linked to Down's syndrome happen on all chromosomes, not just the 21st.
Paleontology,, Animals

Fish gill fossils gnaw at ideas of jaw evolution

By Ashley Yeager 1:45pm, April 16, 2014

Bony fishes, not modern sharks, may provide a better understanding of the earliest jawed animals and the evolution of the jaw itself.

Quantum Physics

Excitons' motions captured in images

By Ashley Yeager 12:45pm, April 16, 2014
Scientists have observed how quasiparticles called excitons move.
Planetary Science,, Astronomy

Saturn may be getting a new moon

By Ashley Yeager 2:36pm, April 15, 2014
An icy object within Saturn's rings may be a new moon in the making.
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