Current Event Summaries by Savannah B.

5 Responses to Current Event Summaries by Savannah B.

  1. Savannah Burgess says:

    Title: Breakdown in coral spawning places species at risk of extinction
    Published by: Science Daily
    Date: 9/19/19

    Article Summary: Coral reproduces by releasing their eggs or sperm once a year, and will it be fertilized in the next few hours. It has to be within a few hours, or else the egg/sperm will die. Therefore, the timing, of fertilization has to be perfect. The environmental cues like wind, temperature, and solar irradiance have to be perfect as well. A 4-year experiment published September 6th took place to track the number of offspring the coral produced. Scientists concluded that the synchronization of fertilization had become erratic. Because there isn’t enough new coral in some places, those reefs are nearing extinction. A large reason that fertilization can not occur as well is that ocean temperatures are rising fast, and also pollutants that disrupt hormones caused by human activity. Since we have discovered this early on, we may be able to stop it n the future.

    Personal Reaction:

    I think that it is sad that the reason that coral is dying across oceans is all because of humans. We are the main cause of global warming and pollution. Since coral is the home of many species, those species are suffering too. Coral also produces oxygen just as much as trees, which are also being cut down because of human activity. I am also glad that this is a new event, and that we can research further, and conserve coral as much as we can. I hope that people will start to realize what is happening in our oceans. I also think it is it very interesting how coral reproduce. I never really thought how they did it, so it was interesting to learn about it.

  2. Savannah Burgess says:

    Title: Avocado Toast, Meet Gene Editing
    Published by: The New York Times
    Author(s): David Yaffe-Bellany
    Date: 9/419

    Article Summary: Climate change is threatening many things in the world, including the ability of fruits like avocados to thrive. Scientists in the United States and Mexico have started experimenting with gene editing on the avocado. This research is helpful for breeding techniques for all different types of food that may be in danger. The question is “How are the scientists planning on modifying avocados?” Since avocado trees need three years to grow, the genetically modified avocado has a long way to go. Scientists are hoping to identify genes that can tolerate heat and droughts leading to the engineering of avocados for the future. “Because of climate change, temperature might not be the same, humidity might not be the same, the soil might be different, new insects will come and diseases will come.”As climate change is escalating the concerns for avocados and other plants have become serious. Genetically modified organisms or G.M.O’s are still a controversial topic. Although 90% of scientists approve of GMOs, others argue that it increases pesticides along with unwanted changes in nutrition. Even though the genetically modified avocado has a long way to go, scientists are hoping for this change to come sometime in the near future.

    Personal Reaction: I honestly started reading this article because I love avocado toast and guacamole and seeing the title of the article made me wonder why and how they were going to modify an avocado. As I read I started realizing that climate change is affecting more things than I thought. Soon in the near future if climate change keeps escalating more and more crops will need to genetically modified in order to keep up to their demands. It makes me sad that we need to do this to our crops in order to eat. i would much rather eat organic food, but soon that might not even be an option because of climate change. I wish more people would see this and try to stop climate change, because we only have one Earth and we need to protect it as best as we can.

  3. Savannah Burgess says:

    Title: Green Turtles eat plastic that looks like their food


    Published by: ScienceDaily


    Date: 9/6/19

    Article Summary: New studies done by the University of Exeter and the Society for the Protection of Turtles say that turtles are more likely to eat plastic that looks like their food. Leatherback turtles eat plastic they looks like jellyfish, so the researchers wanted to see if something similar was happening to green turtles. Turtles are visual predators, so if it looks like food, they eat it. They favor green, black, and clear plastic and small, thin sheets of it. This includes things like plastic bags and fishing rope. They examined 34 turtles washed up on a beach in Cyprus, and every single one had plastic in their gastrointestinal tracts. They found everywhere from 3 to 183 pieces of plastic in the turtles. Although, it is uncertain exactly how each turtle died. The study also found that younger turtles are more likely to eat plastic because they are inexperienced and likely to eat something that isn’t food. This means that turtles start to understand not to eat plastic as they get older.

    Personal Reaction: I hope that more people read this article, and realize that turtles really are dying because they are eating plastic that we put into oceans. I think that it’s important to know what kinds of plastic is causing this so that companies can stop producing that kind of plastic, or at best, stop producing one-use plastics at all. Everyone should also cut back on their use of plastic. It makes me sad that the oceans are being polluted and filling up with plastic because of human activity. It’s not just affecting turtles, but all sea life. I hope that one day humans can live in peace with the earth.

  4. Savannah Burgess says:

    Title: Why sleeping in on the weekends won’t work
    Published by: ScienceNews
    Author(s): Jeremy Rehm
    Date: 9/6/19

    Article Summary: A team from the University of Colorado did a study showing why sleep is important, and why catching up on sleep over the weekends won’t solve any problems. The study included three groups: one group that got 8 hours of sleep every night, one that got 5 hours of sleep, and one that got 5 hours on weeknights, but could sleep in as long as they wanted to on weekends. In two weeks, the two last groups gained an average of 3.3 pounds. This could be because their “internal clocks” got shifted, so they got hungry later. Getting little sleep interferes with hormones that control hunger. The two groups were different with insulin sensitivity levels. The 5-hour group’s insulin sensitivities dropped only half of what the weekend sleepers’ insulin sensitivities did. This affected the weekend sleepers’ metabolisms, liver, and muscle cells, which help with digestion. The first group didn’t experience any of this. Other research proves that getting a few extra hours of sleep improves insulin sensitivity.

    Personal Reaction: I clicked on this article because this explains my sleep schedule. I normally stay up late but catch up on sleep during the weekends. I now know because of this article that sleeping more on the weekends, doesn’t help but actually hurts the problem. I am going to try to get more sleep at night. It surprised me that in only two weeks, getting a small amount of sleep can make someone gain 3 pounds. I think that this article would be very helpful to people especially teens.

  5. Savannah Burgess says:

    Title: Biochemical tricks of the hibernating bear
    Published by: ScienceDaily
    Date: 9/7/19

    Article Summary: When bears go into hibernation, they don’t eat, drink, or move. When humans are immobile, they have bone loss, muscle loss, and heart complications. Bears do not experience this. This is because of a lot of things. Complex pathways with many proteins are replaced with a small number of proteins with more functions. The switch from complexity to simplicity helps bears bring down their necessary energy needed for survival. This is protein synthesis. While most of the protein levels decreases during hibernation, the protein concentration increases because of dehydration. This allows bears to use less energy. A few certain proteins elevated to allow bears to harvest energy from stored fat during hibernation. Other certain factors were also increased permitting blood clot formation only when necessary. The sex-hormone increased 45x so it also must play a vital role in the maintenance of hibernation. All of these things help a bear survive while hibernating.

    Personal Reaction: I never actually thought about how bears hibernate, I just assumed that they stored up a bunch of food and called it good. I didn’t know how much had to go into maintaining health during hibernation. This article was very interesting. Since winter is coming up, a lot of animals will start going into hibernation, and I will probably continue to research it. I wonder how they manage to stay warm, and how mothers take care of their young during hibernation.

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