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Coral conservation efforts aided by computer simulations: New research shows that endangered corals in the eastern Pacific Ocean are isolated from healthy coral populations in the west
Coral conservation efforts aided by computer simulations:     New research shows that endangered corals in the eastern Pacific Ocean are isolated from healthy coral populations in the west 23 August 2016Contrary to a prevailing theory, coral larvae could not survive the five-thousand-kilometer trip across the Pacific Ocean to replenish endangered corals in the eastern Pacific, according to new research. Researchers used a supercomputer to simulate billions of coral larvae traveling on ocean currents over a 14.5-year period. The simulations showed that even during extreme environmental events that speed ocean currents, like the 1997-1998 El Niño, coral larvae could not survive long enough to make the trip from coral reefs in the western and central Pacific to help corals in the east recover from environmental damage.
Record-breaking map of 1.2-million galaxies now ready to reveal secrets of dark energy
Record-breaking map of 1.2-million galaxies now ready to reveal secrets of dark energy 14 July 2016Astronomers are announcing this week the sharpest view yet of the properties of dark energy -- the force that currently is driving the accelerated expansion of the universe. "These results are a milestone in the study of the large-scale structure of the universe," said Penn State Professor Donald Schneider, who was the survey coordinator and scientific publications coordinator for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) -- a collaboration of hundreds of scientists whose work produced the largest-ever, three-dimensional map of distant galaxies as well as one of the most precise measurements yet of dark energy.
New clues could help scientists harness the power of photosynthesis
 New clues could help scientists harness the power of photosynthesis 07 July 2016Identification of a gene needed to expand light harvesting in photosynthesis into the far-red-light spectrum provides clues to the development of oxygen-producing photosynthesis, an evolutionary advance that changed the history of life on Earth. "Knowledge of how photosynthesis evolved could empower scientists to design better ways to use light energy for the benefit of mankind," said Donald A. Bryant, the Ernest C. Pollard Professor of Biotechnology and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University and the leader of the research team that made the discovery.

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