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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


nature
Erratic as Normal: Arctic Sea Ice Loss Expected to Be Bumpy in the Short Term
Arctic sea ice extent plunged precipitously from 2001 to 2007, then barely budged between 2007 and 2013. Even in a warming world, researchers should expect such unusual periods of no change--and rapid change--at the world's northern reaches, according to a new paper.

medicine
Bike-to-work Events Offer Chance to Explore Barriers to Cycling
Cities that host bike-to-work events as their sole effort to increase commuter travel by bicycle may be missing a larger -- perhaps more valuable -- opportunity, according to a study involving the University of Colorado Boulder and led by the University of Colorado Denver. Local governments should use bike-to-work days to find out from participants why they're attending and -- more importantly -- what prevents them from biking more often, according to the study.

biology
Study Finds Experience of Pain Relies on Multiple Brain Pathways, Not Just One
People's mindsets can affect their experience of pain. For example, a soldier in battle or an athlete in competition may report that an injury did not feel especially painful in the heat of the moment. But until now it has been unclear how this phenomenon works in the brain.

biology
Research Findings Have Implications for Regenerating Damaged Nerve Cells
Two new studies involving the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia have identified a unique molecule that not only gobbles up bad cells, but also has the ability to repair damaged nerve cells.

psychology
When Pursuing Goals, People Give More Weight to Progress Than Setbacks
New Year's resolution-makers should beware of skewed perceptions. People tend to believe good behaviors are more beneficial in reaching goals than bad behaviors are in obstructing goals, according to a University of Colorado Boulder-led study. A dieter, for instance, might think refraining from eating ice cream helps his weight-management goal more than eating ice cream hurts it, overestimating movement toward versus away from his target.

space
Star Trek-like Invisible Shield Found Thousands of Miles Above Earth
A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered an invisible shield some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks so-called "killer electrons," which whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites and degrade space systems during intense solar storms.

medicine
Powdered Measles Vaccine Found Safe in Early Clinical Trials
A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal Vaccine. The paper is now available online. In 2013, measles killed 145,700 people, most of them children, according to the World Health Organization. That's despite the fact that the conventional injectable vaccine against the measles virus is effective.

biology
Mere Expectation of Treatment Can Improve Brain Activity in Parkinson's Patients
Learning-related brain activity in Parkinson's patients improves as much in response to a placebo treatment as to real medication, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and Columbia University.

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