Current Event Summaries by Max K.

5 Responses to Current Event Summaries by Max K.

  1. max kosmicki says:

    https://phys.org/news/2019-09-gut-bacteria-mammalian-evolution.html

    September 27 2019

    By: Scott Schrage, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Summary

    An experiment conducted by Lincoln and Berkeley University think that bacteria in the digestive tracts of mice has partly directed there evolution. The study was done with the common house mouse and three other mice from the same genus. In the guts of the mice they found between 1200 and 1400 different species of bacteria that differed between species. When the scientists observed the bacteria common in all species of mice they found out they both in the past were branching out genetically at around the same time. This means that there is high evidence that they both evolved alongside each other or coevolved helping each other along the way keeping the relationship a bit beneficial. The scientist conducted an experiment were they feed and observed two groups of mice for any differences over 10 weeks. One group of mice had no bad gut bacteria the other of the same species was injected with bad gut bacteria. The mice who had the bacteria gain more weight than the mice without them which is a good survival tactic for mice to eat less but gain more. Helping it survive on less food for longer, and another change which was found was that the same mice also had larger livers than the regular mice. In order for the scientists to verify their findings they needed to do the experiment again to make sure It was not a fluke. The findings were verified and brings a strong case to microbiome role in mammalian evolution. Along with what we need to consider when we get to the point in modifying our own microbiome.

    Reaccion

    First off, I think that this article was one of the easier ones for me to understand and I do have an interest in the changes that we can do for the better with modifying biology. This really shows how important the little things are and how they have evolved alongside with us throughout the history of life. And that even moving one thing without knowing what it could do will have unexpected consequences. It was a very interesting article and found it very grounded compared to other articles that I came across and I really did like It.

  2. max kosmicki says:

    https://phys.org/news/2019-10-triggering-morel-fruiting.html

    October 4th 2019

    By: DOE/Joint Genome Institute

    Summary

    Morels are an economically and ecologically important fungi because of their impact on the geochemical cycling in forest ecosystems. Because they are extraordinarily capable of acquiring carbon form lignocellulosic-abundant materials like plant litter. This reduces carbon emissions from decaying leaves and wood from getting into the atmosphere, and making the soil more fertile. This fungi was previously considered uncultivable until Ronald D. Own at Francisco State University developed a technique to in the 1980s. But he died suddenly and other scientist found if very difficult to be able to reproduce his results. So scientists tried to find other ways to reproduce the fungi in an artificial environment. But eventually (M. importuna Kuo, O’Donnell & Volk) were able to do it on common farmland soils very successfully. But somehow it was still unknown how the nutritional acquisition is fulfilled by exogenous nutrients supply. I think exogenous nutrients means nutrients coming from outside the organism. To find out the fungus nutritional needs and what triggers fruiting which is the fungi reproducing. So the took a morel strain from a lab in China and another one from the wild in france to test them both and see if a biochemical process was happening when the fungin was gathering CO2. these are two of the key features that trigger morel fruiting out of six because of how in depth they go and in some of them I simply do not know what they are talking about. One says that “A diverse set of hydrolytic and redox CAZymes secreted by the morel mycelium drives ENB substrate decomposition.” the second feature is “Plant polysaccharides such as starch and cellulose were rapidly degraded by a set of significantly upregulated glycoside hydrolases, while triglycerides were accumulated initially by the morel mycelium and consumed later.”

    Reaction
    I thought that this article had some interesting findings on how the morel was fruiting and how it gathered CO2 from decaying leaves and wood. I like the fact that it went back to the 80s for when we were able to cultivate the morel and how much there still is to learn about the little things in our ecosystem and what they can do for us. I like that they included the fact that the morel gathers CO2 because I found that really interesting and feel as if we could use that to maybe help stop some sources of CO2.

  3. max kosmicki says:

    https://phys.org/news/2019-10-bacteria-bullets-toxic-algae.html

    September 27 2019

    By: Trace Brayant and University of Delaware

    Summary

    Communities across the world along salty bays and freshwater lakes are having to deal with the increasing dangerous effects of microscopic algae blooms. These booms might be triggered by storms, and excess of nutrients, rising temperatures, or other many other factors. These harmful algal blooms can produce toxins that sicken people, surrounding marine life, and birds by breaking waves make the toxins airborne sometimes can result in death. This has drastic impacts on the local economy and people of the area affected. According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) says that algal blooms are a growing problem in every coastal and Great Lakes state in the US. one of the most harmful algae called dinoflagellates that causes the water around it to change color most of the time red and why there algae booms are called red tides and could be stopped or prevented. At the University of Delaware they have been developing an application to keep these algae blooms in check that doesn’t harm the environment or life around it. They call it a “magic bullet” for the red tide because Its small and powerful. They have been working on a bacteria that can kill the dinoflagellate algae. Researchers found that a common microbe named shewanella lets off a compound that makes dinoflagellates commit cellular suicied. To make sure that then microb didn’t negatively affect other algae because a lot of marine organisms use them as a food source. They found that the algae didn’t negatively affect the other algae that were needed in the environment. But they still needed at way to deploy it and they found that It was able to attach and live on porous materials. So the scientist had the Idea of attaching the microb to poures beads and then puts them in a mesh bag that way after they have done their job I can be retrieved. Another promising possibility is that they could use this to remove nitric oxide from industrial flue emissions.

    Reaction

    I have heard a little about this before and I wanted to know more because it had been a while secace I had read on it. I like the fact that they were aware of the important role algae has on the ecosystem, and that you need to perces when solving a problem in nature. If they were not percies and the magic bullet also killed off another helpful algae that would have major implications for the environment and not for the better. I found it interesting that there was already a microbe in our environment that we could use and that we didn’t have to create a new microbe. I really enjoyed reading and thinking about this article.

  4. max kosmicki says:

    https://phys.org/news/2019-10-nature-documentaries-difference.html

    October 4th 2019

    By: University College Cork

    Summary

    Nature documentaries raise species awareness and promote pro conservation behaviors but have not shown to lead to more donations. This was shown by a Irish study whose objective was to track how nature documentaries change attitudes towards nature. By measuring audiences reactions and engagement on social media. The document that they used for this study was the popular Planet Earth 2. A question that they had was if the criticisms of nature documentaries, like that they misleading in showing pristin views and their portrayal of environmental problems were true. Their data shows that the show barely touches on conversation topics and when they did it generated very little reaction from the audience. “But we did find that the show generated active interest in the species it portrayed, and that in some cases this interest lasted up to six months after the initial broadcast”. They also examined how the show portrays nature from what species appeared on the show, and how much screen time they got. Along with which tweets from around 35,000 on twitter got more attention based on species. The last two they examined were the visits to the wikipedia page of the species and the donations to two nature charities coinciding with the broadcasting of the show. The researchers in sale prediction with twitter were that the mammals would get more attention than other species. It turned out that it depended on the amount of screen time that each species got, and the same was found of the wikipedia article. They found peaks on the visits to the site after the broadcast of the show and the more air time they had the bigger the peaks were. The facts were independent to how well known the species was the visit went to very few or no attention before the show and spared interest that lasted months. An extreme example of this was with the Racer Snake with it not having a wikipedia page before the show, and two days after the show aired It had a page setup. The track with donations was less clear with there being no solid evidence that there was an increase in donations. “But we found no clear evidence for this. In a way, this is not altogether surprising, because there was no unique charity that was associated with the show”. Along with donations come from many factors like personality, education, and attitude. After seeing these results the researchers called for an increase in attention on how we deliver pro conservation messages.

    Reaction

    I like the focus on how we are preserving the world and its problems because if we diminish the problems we have we will do less to solve them. I found I interesting that they couldn’t find anything reliable for donations thinking that you would just look for any changes and that it wouldn’t be as hard to find an answer. I do like how they didn’t verify wikipedia but known that its something that people use. I also like that they tried to get people more aware by getting to the root of the problem.

  5. max kosmicki says:

    https://phys.org/news/2019-10-king-cricket-species-discovery-costa.html
    October 4th 2019
    By: Texas A&M University
    Summary
    A group of four Texas A&M Department of Entomology undergraduate students discovered a new species of king cricket during a study abroad trip to Costa Rica. the new species was found in the tropical rainforests near the Soltis Center for Research and Education in San Isidro. While the students were working on their project they noticed a type of cricket that was common to the area and couldn’t identify it. They realized that it was a new species and the discovery was recorded in the journal Zootaxa in September. After this the teacher that was accompanying them took a few of the crickets to his lab in College Station teaching his students how to properly describe the new species. This new species is distributed in the northernmost rainforest of Costa Rica, and thought to be the southernmost distribution of the genus Glaphyrosoma Brunner von Wattenwyl. The species is found hiding under leaves and breaches and thought to be living under ground to avoid extreme dehydration. In the wild they are found to prefer eating leaves and native plants, but when caged prefer dead crickets and katydids. Song there teacher feels that biodiversity is curtal stating “Every day we see habitat destruction and urbanization, which has a profound impact on biodiversity,” he also said that studying abroad is a great way to have students experience the real world and get them out of their comfort zone. And that this is a great way to experiment and to take leap to experience something different than a boring class room.
    Reaction
    I like that they highlight the fact that students made this discovery and how they were the ones recording everything down and was probably a very jaw dropping moment for the students. I found that after they described and talked about their discovery they went on about how studying abroad or in different places can have a big impact on how a student can learn. Along with how it is a great way to get you outside your comfort zone and get to know how the real world works.

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