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 June 8, 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.

5 Unusual Species Found in and Around the Everglades - The National Wildlife Federation Blog – I’ve seen two of the 4: the snail kite and wood stork!

Want to reduce single-use plastic in your life? Try these tips from National Geographic Explorer and #ExpeditionPlastic team member Lillygol Sedaghat. – National Geographic Society Newsroom – It’s hard to avoid single use plastics completely….but easy to cut back.

How big data can be used for personal health -- ScienceDaily – Yes – doing a lot of tracking of personal health information and having a baseline might be useful – but it’s not clear (from this article) that it didn’t result in overtreatment. It will be a challenge to match treatments in asymptomatic situations…that may never develop into a health problem. How well do we really understand risks?

BBC - Future - How weeds help fight climate change – And experiment in Australia showing how weeds might help in the process toward sustainable agriculture

Fracking: Earthquakes are triggered well beyond fluid injection zones: Computer model and field experiment data suggest a new link between subsurface injections and earthquake swarms -- ScienceDaily – Oklahoma….in the hot center of man-made earthquakes.

Do additives help the soil? Scientist suggests nature knows what's best -- ScienceDaily – Wow – a whole industry (bio-fertilizers) that is not having the positive effect on crops anticipated….and could have long-term effects on soil that are not positive. Why is the industry surviving?

Blood-squirting insects and more tiny creatures flourish in African park – Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique.

Exploring the origins of the apple -- ScienceDaily – Large fruits developed to attract large animals like wild horses and large deer…..and probably other animals that are now extinct. The modern apple is a hybrid of at least 4 wild apple populations….along the Silk Road.

A Better Route Planner & Other Open Source Projects Need Our Help | CleanTechnica – Technology that needs to mature before Electronic Vehicles become more numerous.

Excessive rainfall as damaging to corn yield as extreme heat, drought -- ScienceDaily – This year there has been too much rain in the corn belt. This story is over a month old but there are still areas of high water. What percentage of the corn fields haven’t been planted yet because they are still flooded?

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 19, 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.

After More Than 4,000 Years, Vibrant Egyptian Tomb Sees the Light of Day: NPR – Hopefully they will take steps to keep the colors vibrant now that the tomb is open to people and light.

The Bizarre and Disturbing Life of Sea Cucumbers – Cool Green Science – Way more complicated than they appear at first glance.

Norway's Energy-Positive Movement to Fight Climate Change - The Atlantic – Norway has some buildings that generate more energy than they use.

Life Deep Underground Is Twice the Volume of the Oceans: Study | The Scientist Magazine® - That’s a massive among of carbon in life that we know very little about….so many unexpected and unusual organisms.

Foods that lower blood pressure | Berkeley Wellness – And the list even includes dark chocolate!

Rising Waters Are Drowning Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor – This article includes time phased projections from 2018 to 2100…lots of track is going to need to be moved – or some other flood mitigation will need to be built.

Google Virtual Tour Preserves Collections Destroyed in Brazil Museum Fire | Smart News | Smithsonian – Some heartening recovery from the tragedy of the fire…Google’s virtual tour work, 1,500 pieces recovered from the debris, and a growing collection of photographs and video clips of the museum the way it was.

Soggy 2018 for the Eastern U.S. – An article from mid-December…showing just how wet we were in 2018. We live between Baltimore and Washington DC….soggy indeed.

New houseplant can clean your home's air -- ScienceDaily – Our houses have become so tightly sealed that concentrations of chemicals that are hard to filter out can accumulate. Maybe ‘engineered’ plants can be a solution.

Periodic graphics: How different light bulbs work – The trend is toward less cost/hour….more hours. Hurray for the LEDs that are not as blue as the compact fluorescents!

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 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.

I have a growing list of gleanings from sites that are not operational because of the partial government shutdown; they’ll come out in the list for the Saturday after the sites are operational again.

Climate, life and the movement of continents: New connections -- ScienceDaily – Sediment, which often includes pieces of dead organisms, may create a lubricating effect between plates, accelerating subduction and increasing plate velocity!

BBC - Future - Six reasons your memory is stranger than you think – Timelines are hard (many times inaccurate) from memory…I’m glad I keep a running list of important family travel and events.

Regenerative Cities: An Urban Concept Whose Time Has Come! | CleanTechnica – Re-thinking what cities of the future could be.

Scientists call for eight steps to increase soil carbon for climate action and food security: International coordination and financing essential -- ScienceDaily – Big benefits…but hard to come by the collective push to obtain them.

Earthquake Damage Detected in Machu Picchu - Archaeology Magazine – Evidence of an AD 1450 earthquake that damaged Machu Picchu is seen in cracks and stone damage of the buildings. The Inca’s modified their construction techniques after the event too.

Shrinking of Utah National Monument May Threaten Bee Biodiversity | Smart News | Smithsonian – Grand Staircase-Escalante is home to 660 bee species, 84 of which live outside of protected land under changes. At a time when we know pollinators are under stress…one more reason why our Federal lands are needed as refuges from human activities that damage the environment.

Scientists Don't Stay for Long in Their Jobs Anymore: Study | The Scientist Magazine® - About half of scientists who enter a scientific discipline drop out after 5 years; in the 1960s, it was 35 years. We are probably training more people in science fields but many don’t stay in academia. This study used publishing records to determine if a person stayed ‘in the discipline.’ I’d prefer to see numbers of people that had careers in a STEM related field rather than just the one they trained in and find another metric than published papers to make the determination. There are a lot more jobs today where people use their science training that do not use ‘publication’ as a measure of success.

BBC - Future - Can we cheat ageing? – Some areas of active research to help us stay healthy longer (may or may not help us live longer).

Corn Domestication May Have Taken Thousands of Years - Archaeology Magazine – It all started 9,000 years ago in southern Mexico. The process continued in Mexico and the southwestern Amazon for several thousand years. It was a slow process.

Ring in the New Year With Dazzling Total Lunar Eclipse of a Supermoon | Smart News | Smithsonian – Hope we have good weather on January 20-21….since it should be visible from our house!