A new study, published in Nature Sustainability, shows satellite images displaying the leafy cover across the globe which has grown by 2.3% per decade since the 1980s. A main driver is the “fertilization effect” which is brought about by humans burning fossil fuels. When plants take up more gas, in this case, CO2, they produce more food and create new leaves. Researchers also found that planting more trees and crops is aiding in the growth. China and India have contributed to approximately a third of the greening since 2000, mainly by forests and farms. The satellite images revealed that only five percent of the vegetated areas are browning.
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New research shows that it is important to be aware of depression and anxiety in preschoolers. Researchers designed a task to scare children where they were placed in a dimly lit room and revealed a realistic looking plastic snake. Each child was fixed with a monitor and their movements were observed during the task. The movements showed that children diagnosed with depression or anxiety turned further away from the perceived threat than those without a diagnosis. These sensors could identify children with depression or anxiety about 80% of the time. It is widely accepted that children as young as 3 can suffer from mental health disorders and the diagnosis remains difficult. It’s increasingly clear that these children are at risk of mental and physical health problems later in life.
There is a new method that can test hundreds of drugs on mini tumors grown from patient’s own cells. In San Diego, they are collection cancer cells from patients and growing them into 3D mini tumors and may make it possible to quickly screen large numbers of potential drugs for rare cancers. There has been some success with a new approach that is guiding the treatment decisions for some patients with recurring cancers. The method was shown to work on various kinds of ovarian cancer. The lab-grown organoids copied how the tumors in the body look and behave. Of the eight total drugs that that organoids were able to find that worked, four were CDK inhibitors. This is telling of the fact that these screens can be useful in identifying tumors that won’t respond to conventional therapy.
Just like babies enjoy being rocked to sleep, apparently adults do too. There is a new study that suggests that rocking puts adults to sleep faster and makes their slumber deeper. These adults were also found to have much sharper memories the next morning. This tips at first seem to solely just sleep aids, however, they also may be telling of how the brain refreshes itself every night. To test this, researchers built a custom made rocking bed and analyzed the quality of participants naps. The researchers measure the people’s brain activity by EEG which can spot electrical signs of certain sleep stages. They believe rocking while asleep might be helpful to people with insomnia compared to sleeping pills.
In 2018 the news of the first gene-edited baby ignited a firestorm. Chinese researchers edited these children's genes by using CRISPR/Cas9 to block HIV infections. This received a lot of backlash because of the ethics behind it. Many people believe that implanting gene-edited embryos to create babies is premature and exposes the children to unnecessary health risks. Alike vaccinations, many people believe that putting these into your system, it will have the opposite effect and may make you more likely to develop the illness. So far, the evidence shows no adverse effects however the babies have not had a long enough time living to determine anything. The researcher went on to explain that another woman is participating in the gene-editing trail and she is in the early stages of pregnancy.
A news report stated that doctors have been overprescribing fentanyl for years and the FDA hasn’t been able to stop it. Fentanyl is a narcotic that helps reduce pain. The news report stated that doctors are aware of the dangers and issues that these painkillers pose, however, their recognition isn’t enough. They still overprescribe the painkillers and they usually don’t go toward any good use. The painkillers that are often overprescribed are called transmucosal immediate-release fentanyls (TIRFs). They are fast-acting and powerful and their main purpose is to help with the pain that cancer patients suffer from. The FDA has tried to put these overprescriptions to an end but has not been super effective in doing so. The CDC estimates that 130 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose where a lot of these prescriptions were misused.
Extreme weather can worsen prenatal depression in mothers which could harm their (unborn) children. Things such as severe storms, floods, and wildfires classify as extreme weather and can leave their victims with PTSD. Since the climate is rapidly changing there is a growing threat to mental health. Scientists are exploring the idea that these symptoms caused by these natural disasters could move onto the next generation. Researchers are able to recognize that external factors can cause genetic changes in utero which are referred to as epigenetics. A scientist by the name of Patrizia Casaccia says that the effects might not be transient and could really take a toll on an entire family (mother and child). Hurricane Sandy and the California Wildfires are some examples of disasters that could have impacted unborn children and their mothers.
- Top figure is taken “more zoomed in”
- Bottom figure has a blue-green hue on each picture
- The labels use completely different fonts
- There is more spacing between the images in the bottom figure than the top figure
- The black backgrounds of the labels in the bottom figure are not as carefully placed into the corners as others in top figure (they are also much bigger in the bottom figure)
- In picture a of top figure, the tree is more centered in the frame than in picture a in the bottom figure
- In picture b of the top figure the focus is very clearly the “hole” in the tree vs the bottom picture b you can see some of the background behind the tree both picture a’s were taken at different angles
- The lighting in the pictures is very different on the trees
- The photographer for the bottom figure may have been shorter and unable to get exact angles/correct amount of zoom on the tree
- The photographer for the bottom figure may not have realized there was a filter on their camera/didn’t use the same camera as the photographer in top figure
- There may not have been specific directions on what exact font to use for the labels/how big to make the squares
- There may not have been exact directions on how wherein the frame the subject’s should have been (ex. In the middle)
- The amount of space between images may not have been defined in the methods
- The pictures may have been taken at different times of day/in different weather and could have caused different shadows on the tree
The top and bottom figures generally look alike. However, there is quite a distinct difference in the hues of the photos. The top figure has a natural daylight hue opposed to the bottom figure which has a blue-green hue. This coloring distracts from what the images are attempting to display. This difference could have occurred under a couple conditions such as the photographer did not realize there was a filter on their camera or they did not use the same camera as the photographer did in the top figure.
Another apparent difference is the size of the objects in each image. The top figure appears to be more zoomed in/objects look larger in each of the photos than the bottom figure. This can clearly be seen when comparing photos and viewing the background. This may have been a difference because of different settings on the camera, such as the zoom being different. This also could be because the photographer in the top photo may have been taller than the photographer in the bottom photo.
Quality of memory and sleep declines with age. The mechanistic interactions that underly the memory function of sleep in older adults are still unknown. In my lab, older adults are defined as anyone who is above the age of 60 years old. The beneficial effect of sleep on memory relies on reactivation during NREM sleep. We target these reactivations by the process of “cueing.” While the older adult is asleep, we administer an odor to see if this activates specific memory consolidation. We are comparing our findings to those of younger adults to see if there is a significant change. So far, we have not been able to gather enough data to reveal any significant findings.
Allergies affect roughly 50 million Americans but are not well understood from a scientific standpoint. In an analysis from 2017 which used hospital admissions for anaphylaxis as a guideline, they found that food allergy rates have nearly doubled and that climate change is increasing the amount of pollen in the United States. The analysis helped deduce the most common allergies in America. They found that rye, followed by dust mites (D. farinae and D. pteronyssinus) are the most common allergies affecting approximately 20% of the population. Food, as well as indoor allergens, are much lower on the list and affect a small percent of the population (2%). This data was taken from a representative sample but the analysis found that tracking allergies is a difficult process. They noted that self-reported data is unreliable and gaining access to private diagnostic data is tricky because of patient confidentiality.