Current Event Summaries by Sierra D.

5 Responses to Current Event Summaries by Sierra D.

  1. Sierra says:

    Title of Article: Antibiotic resistant genes prevalent in groundwater:
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191004105627.htm
    Author: University of Southern California
    Title of Website: ScienceDaily
    Posting Date: October 4, 2019

    Article Summary: While studying and comparing samples from advanced an groundwater treatment facility and groundwater aquifers in Southern California to detect differences in antibiotic resistant genes, scientists found that while this process is useful in being able to reduced almost all targeted antibiotic resistant genes to unnoticeable quantities, groundwater samples had a presence of antibiotic resistant genes everywhere, including both the control locations and the locations with the pretreated water. Because of the overuse of antibiotics in general, antibiotic resistant genes and antibiotic resistant pathogens are on the rise in water sources. Since wastewater treatment plants are not generally designed for removal of micro-pollutants like antibiotics, they tend to persist in treatment systems, leading to high densities of antibiotic resistant genes and antibiotic resistant bacteria at different stages of treatment. When this water is introduced into an aquifer, where antibiotic resistant genes are already naturally occurring, it can become contaminated with antibiotic resistant genes and antibiotic resistant bacteria.

    Personal Reaction: I think that this is a very important rising issue. We use so many antibiotics in our everyday life that if bacteria and genes are evolving to the point where they can resist the effects of the antibiotics that could be harmful to life as we know it. Since most of these genes and bacteria are occurring in the major places we get our water from and we are majorly dependent on water for survival and the systems we have in place to filter and make sure our water is safe are not able to control the resistant genes, we need to find a fix fast before it becomes major or unstoppable.

  2. Sierra says:

    Title of Article: Rare view into the formation of viruses
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191004132338.htm
    Authors: Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Rees F. Garmann, and Aaron M. Goldfain
    Title of Website: ScienceDaily
    Posting Date: October 4, 2019

    Article Summary: For the first time, researchers have been able to view virus formation in real-time. To observe the viruses, the researchers used an optical technique known as interferometric scattering microscopy, in which the light scattered off an object creates a dark spot in a larger field of light. The researchers attached viral RNA strands to a substrate and flowed proteins over the surface. One major thing that they noticed was that the spots from the test started with a low intensity and rapidly grew to the intensity of a full virus. What they learned from this is that viruses grow very quickly and don’t stop growing until they reach the right size. Another useful observation from this testing is that the virus is more likely to misassemble when there are more proteins flowing over the substate.

    Personal Reaction: I think this is a very helpful advancement in technology. If we are able to observe viruses, it will be easier for us to develop treatments and vaccines for them. In addition, as I learned from the last mentioned observation, proteins may be able to prevent viruses from growing and/or spreading. It is always good to have preventative measures in place and this research is helpful for developing said measures.

  3. Sierra says:

    Title of Article: Economic impacts of colony collapse disorder
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191005134022.htm
    Author: Montana State University
    Title of Website: ScienceDaily
    Posting Date: October 5, 2019

    Article Summary: The research and findings of professor Randy Rucker: First receiving attention in the winter of 2006-2007, there was an unsuspected disorder in the beekeeping community. The disorder is known as colony collapse disorder. It is the diagnosis for the natural phenomenon in which entire populations of worker bees completely disappear. There could be 20,000-50,000 bees just gone with but a few dead on the ground. To this day there is not an explanation for this occurrence but professor Randy Rucker is working to help explain a little more about it. In trying to accomplish this, he goes back to records from the winters of 2004-2007. He finds that after the collapse of a colony the prices of worker bees, queen bees, honey, and hives makes a barely noticeable increase. The reason that this disorder doesn’t make a huge impact is because beekeepers have methods of effectively and inexpensively taking a dead or inactive hive and making it prosperous again. There are two methods in which a beekeeper can accomplish this. The first method is called splitting. This is where a beekeeper takes half the bees in a healthy colony, moves them to a struggling colony, and adds a newly fertilized queen. The bee keeper can purchase a queen for $18-25 and can conveniently receive it through the mail. After about six weeks, there are once again two healthy hives. The second way to increase colony numbers after winter losses is to simply buy a package of bees, also through the mail, which includes a fertilized queen and several thousand worker bees. Beekeepers place the bees in the dead hive and then watch as a healthy hive develops.

    Personal Reaction: This was a very interesting topic to learn about. I am thankful I now have a greater knowledge of it. I think more people should be aware of this rising issue. Because of the effective ways beekeepers are able to bounce back, this disorder is not extremely urgent but it is no question that it should be researched to all extents to find a permanent solution.

  4. Sierra says:

    Title of Article: Proximity to paths and roads is a burden for white-tailed sea eagles
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191007100416.htm
    Author: Forschungsverbund Berlin
    Title of Website: ScienceDaily
    Posting Date: October 7, 2019

    Article Summary: A study was held in northern Germany concerning the breeding patterns of the white-tailed sea eagle. By testing the urine samples of the white-tailed sea eagles found near a nest, they found that the urine had varying concentrations of a hormone called corticosterone. Corticosterone is a hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex and is involved in the regulation of energy, immune reactions, and stress responses. White-tailed sea eagles are generally known as sensitive animals; in other words, they have high-stress response levels. In the urine samples taken, Dr. Oliver Krone discovered that they have a higher concentration of corticosterone nearer to roads and paths, and a lower concentration the farther away from a road or path, but did not seem to be affected in any way by a highway or busy street. He found that white-tailed sea eagles are more affected by cyclists, climbers, and people in general than they are by a busy road. However, even with all of these conclusions drawn that appear to have a truth value, the varying levels of corticosterone didn’t change the amount of offspring that the birds produced. The only factor that seemed to affect the amount of offspring produced as if the area was more or less densely populated.

    Personal Reaction: I think that we should respect the environment and the seabirds by giving them space to live freely and not be affected by the stress of humans. We want to keep as many animals in existence for as long as possible and we can better achieve this by respective them and their environment. The more area they have to roam, the more dispersed the population will be and the more dispersed the population is, the more offspring are produced. We can always help to improve and help our environment and this is just one of the many ways we can do it.

  5. Sierra says:

    Title of Article: Urban, home gardens could help curb food insecurity, health problems
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191007180035.htm
    Author: Elsevier
    Title of Website: ScienceDaily
    Posting Date: October 7, 2019

    Article Summary: Researchers did a study on the health benefits and acceptability of urban home gardening programs. To start off, they had a group of 32 participants in the Valley Verde gardening program, a community-based urban garden organization in Santa Clara County, California, and followed them for a year. The program provided a low-income and immigrant population with the knowledge, skills, and tools to help them grow, upkeep, and harvest their very own garden. The program also teaches them about healthy eating, how to work more fruits, vegetables, and grains into their diets, healthy shopping strategies, and healthy recipes that align with their culture. The participants were interviewed 3 times throughout the year-long course on what they were learning, how they were implementing it inter everyday lives, and how it was affecting them. Almost all of the participants agreed that they were eating much more fruits and vegetables and were saving money due to the affordability and convenience of the garden. Participants often mentioned how much stress gardening relieves and how they were even getting more exercise. There were also multiple people who said how much pride they had after harvesting the vegetables, making a meal from them, and eating it. Not only does putting the work in benefit you, but the results of the work also befit you as well.

    Personal Reaction: This article is not only beneficial for educational purposes but is encouraging and somewhat inspiring. Seeing the tremendous benefits of having your own garden and keeping up with it and using it to your advantage, this something that can easily be implemented into your everyday life. The biggest takeaway that I got from this article is that you can do something that benefits you, your family, your bank account, and the environment with just simply upkeeping fruit and vegetable garden.

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