Gleanings of the Week Ending October 12, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Climate change may cut soil's ability to absorb water -- ScienceDaily – Climate change impacts everything. The models only model pieces of the puzzle. This study was looking specifically at water and soil – not currently included in models..

The Iguana Invasion – Cool Green Science – They’re a common sight in Florida….and the state is now advising people to kill them. No talk of eating them like they do in their native range further south and the Caribbean where they are farmed.

Sigiriya, the 'Lion Fortress' of Sri Lanka – A Heritage Site that survived by being hidden by forests…and being remote enough to not be marred by modern weapons of war.

Impostor syndrome is more common than you think -- ScienceDaily – Seeking social support outside academic (or workplace) specialization seems to be the best coping strategy.

Pregnant Moms' Air Pollution Exposure May Affect Babies' Health | The Scientist Magazine® - Research is ongoing. The first correlation was between air pollution and low birthweight/preterm birth. Current research is on other health consequences in the early life of the baby and beyond…looking beyond correlation to the underlying mechanism.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: October – The headline picture is of a Green Heron!

BBC - Future - The simple words that save lives – Communication in an emergency…if it goes wrong…tragedy.

Despite growing burden of diet-related disease, medical education does not equip students to provide high quality nutritional care to patients -- ScienceDaily - Researchers call for improved nutrition education to be integrated into the medical curriculum. This makes sense to me…but why hasn’t it been done long before now?

Iceland's Seabird Colonies Are Vanishing, With "Massive" Chick Deaths – Kittiwakes, puffins, murres, fulmars – Chicks die…nests with eggs abandoned. Total breeding failure for many of the birds. For the Puffins it has been happening since 2005. Lots of changes caused by climate change funneling pollution from the North America and Europe to the North Atlantic: mercury ubiquitous and rising fast in some areas, brominated flame retardant, pesticides, PCBs, chemical laced microplastics. A caption under one of the pictures: “In Iceland, levels of PCBs and other contaminants are so high in murre eggs that people shouldn’t eat them.”

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 5, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

BBC - Future - The desert soil that could save lives – Bioprospecting for antibiotics and industrial biocatalysts from bacteria that survive in extreme environments like the Atacama or Antarctica

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Resident Birds – National Geographic Society Newsroom – ‘Resident’ around the world….beautiful birds.

Global warming may threaten availability of essential brain-building fatty acid -- ScienceDaily – Impacts of climate change go far beyond the climate models…many probably still to be discovered.

Recovery: Restoring the Floodplain Forest – Cool Green Science – I started reading the article since I am always interested in how restoration projects are created and evolve…but the aspect I’ll remember about it was the info about a tree: American Elms. Ones resistant to Dutch Elm Disease are among the trees being planted as part of the restoration. I grew up at a time when the elms were all dying. There were several I remember at my grandparents’ house in Oklahoma and a tree beside the playhouse at the house we moved to in Dallas in the early 1970s. It was already sickly. I wonder if there will soon be enough varieties and availability of elm trees for them to become landscaping trees again.

Interview: Self-Taught Myanmar Photographer Captures People Working – Capturing images of human-made place. Now I am wondering what I would photograph in my part of the world to do something equivalent.

Crying over plant-based milk: neither science nor history favors a dairy monopoly – An article about milk….and the argument about what the word means. The dairy industry wants it to mean milk from cows…but milk has been used more broadly to mean white liquid for a very long time. We even have plants with ‘milk’ in their name (i.e. milkweed)!

Pictures of India's UNESCO World Heritage sites – Rich cultural and natural history…reflected in places selected to protect.

'Report card' on diet trends: Low-quality carbs account for 42 percent of a day's calories: Older people, those with lower income, and those with less education face greater hurdles -- ScienceDaily – With results like this, maybe we should come up with better ways of helping people learn about nutrition. Do our schools help students learn about nutrition? How many adults have logged their food intake into an app and discovered how good (or poor) their food choices are? The current outreach strategies relative to nutrition are not enough. Sometimes even doctors seem to lack any expertise other than knowing that a patient is overweight/obese or their waist is too large.

Create Wildlife Habitat Around Your House – Cool Green Science – I already have a bird bath and feeder, milkweed patch, brush pile and some native trees (maple, sycamore, tulip poplar, oak). Even a spongy compost pile is habitat (this summer I had puddling tiger swallowtails on it)!

Komodo Dragons Have Skin That Looks Like Chain Mail | Smart News | Smithsonian – Four distinct morphologies of osteoderms in the skin of adult Komodo dragons. Another example of the wonderful complexity in the natural world.

Gleanings of the Week Ending February 10, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

BBC - Future - The world’s most nutritious foods – A short video and a list. I found that I ate quite a few from the list!

Bumper-Crop Birds: Pop-Up Wetlands Are a Success in California – Cool Green Science – Creating habitat for birds where and when they migrate…through the California Central Valley.

Interview with Photomicrographer Justin Zoll About His Microscopy Series – I was surprised to get ideas from Zentangle from crystals!

A search for insomnia genes involving 1.3 million people is the largest genetic study ever - MIT Technology Review – Lots of people in the study…956 different genes linked to insomnia but genes explain less that 10% of the overall chance that a person has insomnia.

Amazon, JPMorgan, Berkshire creating new health care company – Hopefully these big companies will be able to find ways to make health care better and more affordable for their employees…and then be the model for everyone else.

Frogs Through Time, Modern Portraits of Species Discovered Two Centuries Ago – National Geographic Blog – Looking at frog species documented by the Spix and Martius expedition to Brazil…using their drawings and modern photographs.

This is your brain: This is your brain outdoors: Neuroscientists find differences in brain activity depending whether people are outdoors or in a lab -- ScienceDaily – Most studies have been done indoors … until this one. Until relatively recently in our history, we spent a lot more time outside so I wondered if the warping our brain activity by spending long stretches of time indoors is changing us in more ways that we realize.

Researchers create digital map, cultural history of Carlsbad Caverns  and A day in the park: Carlsbad Caverns National Park – Using LiDAR to create a very detailed map of the cave. The article reminded me that tt’s been a lot of years since I visited the park…maybe it’s time to plan a repeat.

Magnesium makes chromosomes: A new chemical tool, MARIO, shows how free Mg2+ ions regulate chromosome shape -- ScienceDaily – It appears that a mineral we know we need … is key in ways we had not anticipated!

The Prairie Ecologist – Photo of the Week – Pictures of dragonfly larvae that frozen near the surface of a pond! We find dragonfly larvae frequently when we do stream surveys – when things are not frozen. Next time we get many days of very cold weather I’ll take a walk to a local stream (or pond) to see if I find any larvae on the surface.