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Last Update: Fri, 20 Oct 2017

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  Nuclear power plants located in tsunami risk zones

Photo of article On March 11 2011, the world watched in awe at the sheer destructive power of the tsunami that struck Japan. The tsunami began following an earthquake off the east coast of Japan, which was recorded at 9.0 on the Richter scale - the largest quake ever to hit Japan. The ensuing tsunami that was created swept across cities and farmland in the northern part of the country, killing as many as 20 000 people. In the wake of the tsunami, however, another disaster emerged, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which has been referred to by some as the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Scientists have highlighted this disaster as a wake-up call, and one team of scientists has assessed 'potentially dangerous' areas that are home to completed nuclear plants or those under construction. By highlighting high-risk zones, they hope that further plans can be implemented to head off similar disasters.

NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

Published: 17 October 2012

  Scientists identify protein behind plant's oxygen-sensing mechanism

Photo of article Regardless of whether you're a botanist or a weekend gardener, you know that too much water can kill your plants. Flooding or water logging of plants doesn't allow them to take up enough of the oxygen required to ensure their cellular respiration and energy production. In order to deal with this state of hypoxia, plants stimulate specific genes. But exactly how plants sense the oxygen concentration has remained a mystery, until now. Researchers in Europe have identified a protein able to bind to certain regions of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), thus triggering the transcription of stress response genes. The results, published in the journal Nature, could lead to improving a crop's tolerance of flooding events.

NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

Published: 16 November 2011

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