Plants & Animals

New fossil species discovered in Mozambique reveals new data on ancient mammal relatives

[caption id="attachment_6738" align="alignleft" width="220"]A female Niassodon mfumukasi protecting its calf in its natural environment by the end of the Permian (~256Ma). Illustrated by Fernando Correia.‬ A female Niassodon mfumukasi protecting its calf in its natural environment by the end of the Permian (~256Ma). Illustrated by Fernando Correia.‬[/caption]A new species and genus of fossil vertebrate has been identified from the remote province of Niassa in Mozambique, according to an international team of paleontologists.

The species is a distant relative of living mammals and is approximately 256 million years old, the researchers reported Dec. 4 in the scientific journal PLoS ONE. Continue reading

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NPR: “Boiling Hot: How Fracking’s Gusher of Geothermal Energy is Wasted”

geothermal_400x300In an energy and environment report on Texas, NPR covered the SMU Geothermal Laboratory‘s research to locate and quantify the huge geothermal resources available for production from existing oil wells within Texas. The NPR report relied on the expertise of SMU geothermal expert Maria Richards, director of the SMU Geothermal Laboratory. Continue reading

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NatGeo: Shark-like Tails Sped Ancient Sea Monsters Through Oceans

Science journalist Jane J. Lee with National Geographic reported on the research of SMU Research Associate Michael J. Polcyn, who co-authored a new study that found the ancient sea monsters known as mosasaurs were not as slow as paleontologists once thought, thanks to their shark-like tails.
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Prevention: Is Organic Food Really Better For You?

Prevention Bauer Chhabra organic fruit flyHealth and science reporter Richard Laliberte with Prevention Magazine has covered research carried out in the fruit fly lab of SMU biologist Johannes H. Bauer. The research by Plano, Texas high school student Ria Chhabra is featured in the article, “Is Organic Food Really Better For You?,” published Aug. 21. Continue reading

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Bloomberg: Ancient Angola Crocodile Ate Fish as Oil Fields Formed

Angola%20006a.jpgThe research of an international paleontological team working in Angola and co-led by SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs has been covered by Bloomberg news service.

Fossils in the rock outcrops of the coast of Angola in Africa are a “museum in the ground,” says SMU vertebrate paleontologist Jacobs. Reporters Colin McClelland and Manuel Soque with Bloomberg interviewed Jacobs for Ancient Angola Crocodile Ate Fish as Oil Fields Formed.
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Dallas Morning News: Study: Mild winter, wet spring to blame for Dallas County’s deadly West Nile outbreak

SMU West Nile Virus, FombyThe Dallas Morning News covered the research of SMU economist Thomas B. Fomby and SMU alumnus Robert W. Haley, who co-authored a new study on West Nile Virus.

Fomby and Haley, along with other researchers, analyzed a decade of data related to West Nile Virus and, in particular, the 2012 West Nile epidemic in Dallas County. The analysis allowed them to identify important precursors of West Nile Virus outbreaks that allow for early and effective intervention. Continue reading

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Mosquito indexing system identifies best time to act against potential West Nile Virus outbreaks

Mosquito biting 400x300Researchers who analyzed a decade of data related to West Nile Virus and, in particular, the 2012 West Nile epidemic in Dallas County, have identified important precursors of West Nile Virus outbreaks that allow for early and effective intervention.

The analysis found that the epidemics begin early, after unusually warm winters and are often in similar geographical locations. Continue reading

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Chemical probe confirms that body makes its own rotten egg gas, H2S, to benefit health

H2S 220x180A new study confirms directly what scientists previously knew only indirectly: The poisonous “rotten egg” gas hydrogen sulfide is generated by our body’s growing cells.

Hydrogen sulfide, or H2S, in small amounts plays a role in cardiovascular health. In the new study, chemists developed a chemical probe that reacts and lights up when live human cells generate hydrogen sulfide, says SMU’s Alexander R. Lippert. Continue reading

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Fox News: Oldest dinosaur embryos ever discovered?

dinosaur-eggs-theropod-nest_220-240Science news reporter Stephanie Pappas covered the research of SMU Earth Sciences doctoral student Ricardo Araújo, “ Oldest dinosaur embryos ever discovered?.”

Araújo published new findings in his scientific paper published May 30 in the journal Nature, “Filling the gaps of dinosaur eggshell phylogeny: Late Jurassic Theropod clutch with embryos from Portugal.” Continue reading

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