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CU-Boulder-led Team Gets First Look at Diverse Life Below Rare Tallgrass Prairies

Published: October 31, 2013.
Released by University of Colorado at Boulder  

America's once-abundant tallgrass prairies—which have all but disappeared—were home to dozens of species of grasses that could grow to the height of a man, hundreds of species of flowers, and herds of roaming bison.


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More news from University of Colorado at Boulder


biology
Know It's a Placebo? CU-Boulder Study Shows the 'Medicine' Could Still Work
You don't think you're hungry, then a friend mentions how hungry he is or you smell some freshly baked pizza and whoaaa, you suddenly feel really hungry. Or, you've had surgery and need a bit of morphine for pain. As soon as you hit that button you feel relief even though the medicine hasn't even hit your bloodstream. These are two examples of the oft-studied placebo effect that demonstrate the amazing and still somewhat confounding powers of the human brain.

biology
Inbreeding Not to Blame for Colorado's Bighorn Sheep Population Decline
The health of Colorado's bighorn sheep population remains as precarious as the steep alpine terrain the animals inhabit, but a new study led by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder has found that inbreeding--a common hypothesis for a recent decline--likely isn't to blame.

psychology
Plump Cartoon Characters Provoke Indulgent Eating in Kids, Says CU-Boulder-led Study
Children consume more low-nutrition, high-calorie food such as cookies and candy after observing seemingly overweight cartoon characters, according to a first-of-its-kind study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

archaeology
New Study Shows South Africans Using Milk-based Paint 49,000 Years Ago
An international research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa has discovered a milk-and ochre-based paint dating to 49,000 years ago that inhabitants may have used to adorn themselves with or to decorate stone or wooden slabs.

nature
New Study Identifies Organic Compounds of Potential Concern in Fracking Fluids
A new University of Colorado Boulder framework used to screen hundreds of organic chemical compounds used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows that 15 may be of concern as groundwater contaminants based on their toxicity, mobility, persistence and frequency of use.

nature
Atmospheric Mysteries Unraveling
It's been difficult to explain patterns of toxic mercury in some parts of the world, such as why there's so much of the toxin deposited into ecosystems from the air in the southeastern United States, even upwind of usual sources. A new analysis led by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder shows that one key to understanding mercury's strange behavior may be the unexpected reactivity of naturally occurring halogen compounds from the ocean.

biology
Professor Discovers New Lichen Species in City of Boulder
A University of Colorado Boulder scientist unexpectedly discovered two lichen species new to science in the same week while conducting research in Boulder Colorado, near the city's eastern limits. After a day of fieldwork inventorying lichens at White Rocks Open Space, Erin Tripp was walking back to her car when an unfamiliar lichen caught her eye. Later that week, Tripp spotted a second species of lichen that she suspected might also be a new species.

nature
CU-Boulder, USGS: US Mid-continent Seismicity Linked to High-rate Injection Wells
A dramatic increase in the rate of earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. since 2009 is associated with fluid injection wells used in oil and gas development, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the U.S. Geological Survey.

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