|Posted on December 19, 2022 at 5:55 AM||comments (0)|
Tuned in: plant roots use sound to locate water
Because water is essential to life, organisms have evolved a wide range of strategies to cope with water limitations, including actively searching for their preferred moisture levels to avoid dehydration. Plants use moisture gradients to direct their roots through the soil once a water source is detected, but how they first detect the source is unknown. We used the model plant Pisum sativum to investigate the mechanism by which roots sense and locate water. We found that roots were able to locate a water source by sensing the vibrations generated by water moving inside pipes, even in the absence of substrate moisture. When both moisture and acoustic cues were available, roots preferentially used moisture in the soil over acoustic vibrations, suggesting that acoustic gradients enable roots to broadly detect a water source at a distance, while moisture gradients help them to reach their target more accurately. Our results also showed that the presence of noise affected the abilities of roots to perceive and respond correctly to the surrounding soundscape. These findings highlight the urgent need to better understand the ecological role of sound and the consequences of acoustic pollution for plant as well as animal populations..........
Keywords: Bioacoustics; Directional root growth; Foraging behavior; Hydrotropism; Moisture sensing
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|Posted on November 24, 2022 at 7:20 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on November 23, 2022 at 8:25 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on November 23, 2022 at 7:55 AM||comments (0)|
A recent study indicates that young adults who were exposed to air pollution as children experience higher rates of mental health challenges at age 18 when compared to peers with less exposure.
Air pollution—due to smog, acid rain, motor vehicles, and other causes—negatively affects the central nervous system, which could lead to these mental health concerns.
Those who live near roadways or other areas where exposure to air pollutants is highest are most at risk for its negative impacts because of chronic exposure.
New research published in JAMA Network Open highlights the tangible impact of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, two air pollutants that can impact the central nervous system and lead to both physical and mental health concerns.
These findings underline that children who were exposed to air pollution during development are at increased risk for mental health challenges when compared to their peers who had less exposure.
What Is Environmental Racism?
Understanding the Dangers of Air Pollution
Researchers followed a cohort of 2,039 children born in the United Kingdom during 1994 and 1995 throughout childhood and then interviewed them at age 18 to analyze psychological symptoms as they related to a variety of risk factors.
The research team isolated the risk factor of air pollutants to find that increased exposure to nitrogen oxide and particulate matter correlate with greater risk for mental health concerns.
Our findings showed that youth exposed to higher levels of outdoor air pollution, particularly nitrogen oxides, experienced greater mental health problems at the transition to adulthood.
— HELEN L. FISHER, PHD
Helen L. Fisher, PhD, reader in developmental psychopathology at King’s College London, explains that nitrogen oxide (NOx) should not be confused with nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, which is a different chemical compound.
Nitrogen oxide isn't used at the dentist. Instead, this chemical compound has a strong, harsh odor and comes with a familiar brownish haze that hovers over large cities or industrial zones.
Dr. Fisher says that nitrogen oxide is a regulated compound created by motor vehicles and industrial waste, noting that high concentrations are often found near busy roads. She says that these gaseous pollutants contribute to the formation of smog and acid rain.
Additionally, researchers measured levels of particulate matter or particle pollution, which are extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets also suspended in the air. Dr. Fisher explains, "It mainly comes from motor vehicles, wood burning heaters, and industry. During forest fires or dust storms, particle pollution can reach extremely high concentrations."
How Does Your Environment Affect Your Mental Health?
Exposure Could Lead to Mental Illness
Researchers found that higher rates of exposure to these air pollutants during childhood and adolescence was associated with greater overall mental health issues by age 18.
Dr. Fisher explains that these mental health issues included internally expressed conditions, such as depression and anxiety; externally expressed conditions, such as conduct disorder and substance abuse; and conditions related to distortions in thinking, such as seeing or hearing things that are not there.
These findings could not be explained by other risk factors, including children's previous mental health concerns, biological factors and family history of mental illness, or risks associated with poverty and neighborhood differences.
Air pollution may contribute significantly to the global burden of psychiatric disease, and interventions to improve air quality may result in improved mental health at the population level.
— HELEN L. FISHER, PHD
Dr. Fisher explains that air pollution is negatively impacting mental health, highlighting that exposure could be considered a risk factor for developing mental illness. Air pollution is already linked to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, strokes, and other diseases of the central nervous system.
Because of the correlation between early-life exposure and an increased risk of mental health symptoms, additional diagnoses—including mental illness—could be linked with exposure.
Major Link Found Between Air Pollution and Neurological Disorders
How Air Pollution Impacts the Brain
Experts know these toxins impact the brain, made clear by their link to diseases of the central nervous system. But Dr. Fisher explains that further study is needed to understand exactly how air pollution is reaching and harming the central nervous system, highlighting the specific need to continue measuring links between exposure and negative outcomes.
She says that air pollution reaches the brain directly by traveling along the nasal nervous system and can indirectly impact the brain through systemic inflammation. Air pollution is also known to enter the vascular system, which creates a pathway to possibly enter the brain through the blood-brain barrier, a semipermeable border that controls the flow of nutrients and helps to protect the brain from toxins.
Dr. Fisher explains that air pollution can interfere with the brain's ideal function—ultimately leading to the disruption and death of neurons, the cells which receive sensory input and send messages from the brain to other parts of the body. Neurotransmitters, which carry signals between neurons, play a strong role in mental health. Imbalance and disruption are known to lead to certain mental health conditions.
These effects are chronic and cumulative and might not cause tangible effects for many years.2 Dr. Fisher points out that this is a particular concern for children whose brains may not fully develop or may not function normally if they are impacted, possibly leading to mental health problems.
In addition to affecting mental health by negatively impacting the central nervous system, air pollution is often accompanied by adjacent stressors.
Dr. Fisher underlines that nitrogen oxide mainly comes from vehicle emissions and therefore comes with the problem of noisy traffic—which can disrupt sleep and lead to other mental health concerns.
Street Trees Near Your Home May Reduce Risk of Depression
Air Pollution, Global Warming, and Injustice Intersect........
Indexed for Very Well Mind by Dragonfly Kingdom Library
|Posted on November 20, 2022 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on November 6, 2022 at 7:45 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on March 29, 2022 at 6:00 AM||comments (0)|
In a globalized world, plant invasions are common challenges for native ecosystems. Although a considerable number of invasive plants form arbuscular mycorrhizae, interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and invasive and native plants are not well understood. In this study, we conducted a greenhouse experiment examining how AM fungi affect interactions of co-occurring plant species in the family Asteracea, invasive Echinops sphaerocephalus and native forb of central Europe Inula conyzae. The effects of initial soil disturbance, including the effect of intact or disturbed arbuscular mycorrhizal networks (CMNs), were examined. AM fungi supported the success of invasive E. sphaerocephalus in competition with native I. conyzae, regardless of the initial disturbance of CMNs. The presence of invasive E. sphaerocephalus decreased mycorrhizal colonization in I. conyzae, with a concomitant loss in mycorrhizal benefits. Our results confirm AM fungi represent one important mechanism of plant invasion for E. sphaerocephalus in semi-natural European grasslands........
Indexed for Nature Journal by Dragonfly Kingdom Library
|Posted on February 24, 2022 at 7:40 AM||comments (0)|
Can we make deforestation illegal? Exploring safe, effective, non-toxic, climate/eco-friendly building materials.
Climate Homeostasis: Clean Fresh Air, Water & Soil. Nature Yogi Marco Andre joins American Forests in support of Trillion Trees Campaign.
|Posted on February 23, 2022 at 6:55 AM||comments (0)|
Archaeological research by Niède Guidon
The rock art of the Serra da Capivara National Park in the north east of Brazil, with research led by archaeologist Niède Guidon, helped establish it as a World Heritage Site in 1991.
The best known archaeological site of Serra da Capivara is Pedra Furada, a rock art shelter with over 1,150 images and thousands of artifacts. Her theories about the archaeology and the rock art are controversial, as she questions the putative dates for the relatively recent occupation of the Americas by anatomically modern humans, proposing a date in excess of 45,000 years ago, based on her archaeological research at the sites.....
|Posted on February 19, 2022 at 7:55 AM||comments (0)|
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|Posted on February 19, 2022 at 7:50 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on January 25, 2022 at 9:20 AM||comments (0)|
Silver Nanoparticles as A Highly Viricidal Agent to Deter
Plant-Infecting Viruses and Disrupt their Acquisition and
Transmissibility by Vector Aphid
Ahmed El Gamal ( email@example.com )
Agricultural Research Center https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7811-1195
Mohamed Reda Tohamy
Zagazig University Faculty of Agriculture
Mohamed Ibrahim Abou-Zaid
Zagazig University Faculty of Agriculture
Mahmoud Mohamed Atia
Zagazig University Faculty of Agriculture
Tarek El Sayed
Agricultural Research Center
Agricultural Research Center
Keywords: plant viruses, virus acquisition, antivirus, silver nanoparticles, PR-1 gene, faba bean
Posted Date: April 26th, 2021
License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
|Posted on January 25, 2022 at 6:15 AM||comments (0)|
Invasive species are among the world's greatest threats to native species and biodiversity. Once invasive plants become established, they can alter soil chemistry and shift nutrient cycling in an ecosystem. This can have important impacts not only on plant composition, diversity, and succession within a community, but also in the cycling of critical elements like carbon and nitrogen on a larger, potentially even global, scale. Clearly, both native and exotic plants form intimate relationships with bacteria in the soil that facilitate the extraction and conversion of elements to biologically usable forms. Yet an unanswered question with regard to plant invasions remains: could the changes in soil biogeochemistry be due to an advantage that invasive plants get from interacting with their microbiome?
When alien species invade and take over communities, they may not come alone -- many plant species are host to a whole suite of microorganisms that not only live in plant cells, but also in the soil surrounding the plants' roots. These microbes form close, often mutualistic, associations with their plant hosts. Some convert atmospheric nitrogen into bioavailable forms that are then exchanged for carbon from the plant. Bioavailable nitrogen is frequently limiting in soils, yet many invaded ecosystems have more carbon and nitrogen in plant tissues and soils compared with systems dominated by native plants. Since changes in the soil nitrogen cycle are driven by microbes, could bacteria associated with invasive species not only be responsible for the observed changes in soil nutrient concentrations, but also for enabling the continued growth and persistence of the invader species?
These were the kinds of questions that started percolating for Marnie Rout (University of North Texas Health Science Center) after she drove by a remnant tallgrass prairie in North Central Texas as a beginning graduate student. She was particularly struck by the obvious and drastic changes the native prairie was undergoing due to the invasion of an exotic grass.
"It literally looked like someone had drawn a line down the field," Rout explained. "On one side was the native prairie, the other side had this towering monoculture of invasive Sorghum. The plant looked like it was invading in a military fashion, forming this distinct line that was clearly visible."
Subsequent literature searches led to the discovery that sugar cane, an agriculturally important crop, is a nitrogen fixer that contains bacterial endophytes, and Rout became curious if the microbes she and her colleague Tom Chrzanowski (The University of Texas Arlington) discovered in invasive Sorghum might be providing similar benefits to this invasive plant.
Rout combined forces with colleagues from The University of Montana, The University of Texas Arlington, and University of Washington to investigate whether the differences in soil nutrient concentrations found in an invaded prairie could be due to metabolic processes of the bacterial microbiome associated with the invasive grass, and to determine whether these microbial agents facilitate the perpetuation and spread of this invasive grass. They published their findings in a Special Section in the American Journal of Botany on Rhizosphere Interactions: The Root Biome.
"Things attributed to plant-plant interactions like competition and facilitation are likely under more microbial regulation than we have been giving them credit," Rout commented. "Studying disruptions to ecosystems like those seen in plant invasions provides a window into something -- specifically the process of co-evolution -- that we normally don't get to observe in a single human lifetime."
Indeed, the alarming rate -- almost 0.5 meters a year -- at which the invasive grass Sorghum halepense has invaded the tallgrass prairie, formerly dominated by the native little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), over the last 25 years, and the complete dominance of that invasive was the ideal situation in which Rout could test her ideas.
Rout and colleagues first confirmed that the invaded soils of the prairie did indeed have higher levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, and iron-derived chemicals compared with the non-invaded prairie soils still dominated by native plants. They then tested whether the interactions between the dominant invasive grass and the soil biota could be responsible for the observed changes in the soil nutrient concentrations.
By isolating five bacterial strains of endophytes found inside S. halepense rhizomes (subterranean stems used for storage and vegetative reproduction) and growing them in the lab in different mixtures of substrates, the authors determined that these microbes were able to fix and mobilize nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron. All three are important elements associated with plant growth; however, some were produced in excess of what would be needed for plant growth. Indeed, perhaps somewhat alarmingly, the amount of iron that was produced reached levels that are toxic to many crops -- and may even inhibit establishment of native species.
Furthermore, the authors were able to show that not only can this invasive plant acquire microbes from the environment, but that it is also capable of passing them on to the next generation via seeds. Using a sophisticated series of intricate experiments involving growing seedlings from surface sterilized seeds in nitrogen- deprived or nitrogen-augmented soils and slurries with different suites of soil microbes, Rout and colleagues showed that these microbes enabled the grass to produce 5-fold increases in rhizomes, a primary mechanism driving invasions of this species.......... https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130926131631.htm
|Posted on January 25, 2022 at 6:05 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on January 19, 2022 at 4:25 AM||comments (0)|
William J. Rea Alfred R. Johnson, Gerald H. Ross, Joel R. Butler, Ervin J. Fenyves, Bertie Griffiths, and John Laseter
The study of the effects of the environment upon the individual is now feasible due to new technology developed in the construction of environmental units.1,2,3. Our observations reveal that individual or multiple organs may be involved. The brain is the target organ in only a subset of chemically sensitive patients, and its involvement should not be confused with psychosomatic disease.
Over the last 16 years physicians and scientists at the Environmental Health Center in Dallas have had an opportunity to observe over 20,000 patients who had chemical sensitivity problems. These patients were studied under various degrees of environmental control. This experience is unique in the world and has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles, chapters in books, and books on this subject.
Studies have resulted in over 32,000 challenge tests by inhalation, oral, or injection methods, of which 16,000 are double-blind. Blood chemical levels and fat biopsies for organic hydrocarbons number over 2,000, while the measurement of immune parameters are over 5,000 tests. Objective brain function tests have been accomplished in over 5,000 patients. Other objective tests, like computerized balance studies, depollutant enzyme levels, and autonomic nervous system changes as measured by the Iriscorder, number near 1,000.
We wish to share our findings with the participants of the National Academy of Sciences Committee for the study of chemical sensitivity.
Definition and Principles
Chemical sensitivity is defined as an adverse reaction to ambient doses of toxic chemicals in our air, food, and water at levels which are generally accepted as subtoxic. Manifestation of adverse reactions depend on: (1) the tissue or organ involved; (2) the chemical and pharmacologic nature of the toxin; (3) the individual susceptibility of the exposed person (genetic make-up, nutritional state, and total load at the time of exposure); (4) the length of time of the exposure; (5) mount and variety of other body stressors (total load) and synergism at the time of reaction. (6) the derangement of metabolism that may occur from the initial insults.
To demonstrate cause-and-effect proof of environmental influence on an individual's health, one must understand several important principles and facts. These principles involve those of total body load (burden), adaptation (masking, acute toxicological tolerance), bipolarity, biochemical individuality. Each principle will be discussed separately.........
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Full document at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234807/
|Posted on January 19, 2022 at 4:15 AM||comments (0)|
(MCS), including the recently proposed "evolutive framework."
Discuss the findings of the present review of recent research on MCS, including the types, characteristics, and findings of the studies identified.
Discuss the implications for patient evaluation and further research on MCS.
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is currently included in the broader definition of idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI), which also includes physical risk factors such as electromagnetic fields. It is a complex disease, a multisystem disorder that manifests as a result of exposure to various environmental contaminants (solvents, hydrocarbons, organophosphates, heavy metals) at concentrations below the “Threshold Limit value” (TLV) that are considered toxic doses for the general population.1–4
At the beginning of the ’50, the allergist Theron G. Randolph5 was the first to note that some patients became sick after exposures to a wide range of substances, either job-related, either, broadly speaking, environmental, in concentrations below those considered toxic for most individuals. Dr. Randolph and his colleagues speculated the possibility of allergic reactions and maladjustment to explain the symptoms that are attributed to MCS. It is considered that chronic exposure to subtoxic doses, as well as any acute exposures, can, in some people with, perhaps, a particular metabolic and genetic predisposition, lead to a gradual process of substance sensitization.
However, because of the difficulty of finding unique and incontrovertible diagnostic markers, from the ‘60 to date, the syndrome was analyzed in its different aspects: metabolic, genetic, immunological, epidemiological, etiological, symptomatic, therapeutic, and the criteria for case definition were gradually revised. Currently, the Cullen criteria,6 with or without Lacour revision,7 and the year 1999 criteria of the consensus8 are the most accepted. To perform an initial screening, different questionnaires are used: “Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Intolerance” (EESI) or its short version “Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory” (QEESI),9–11 “Huppe questionnaire,”12 “Chemical sensitivity scale for sensory hyperreactivity” (CSS-SHR),13 German questionnaire on chemical and environmental sensitivity (CGES)..............
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|Posted on January 19, 2022 at 4:10 AM||comments (0)|
G. Latini, G. Passerini, R. Cocci Grifoni & M. M. Mariani
To understand the relationship between health and the environment, we must study a series of events that might begin with the release of pollutants into the environment and might end with the development of disease in an individual, or a population. Noticeably, many studies have demonstrated an association between environmental exposure and certain diseases or health problems. Amongst all pollutants, Cadmium, Mercury, Arsenic, Nickel and Lead are emitted from several industrial processes, energy production processes and most vehicles. Methyl-Mercury is a poisonous industrial derivative of Mercury, enters the food chain and is toxic to the nervous system. Cadmium, Arsenic, Nickel and Lead are considered carcinogenic. Lead also causes digestive problems and damage to the nervous systems, especially in children. Assessing the relationship between exposure to air pollutants and disease is complicated by the problem of multiple exposures to multiple pollutants. In fact, a controversial condition, known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), is thought to arise only through the combined effects of a number of chemicals in concentrations that might not be harmful on their own. In this first Italian pilot study, sufficiently large population groups have been considered to evaluate levels of toxic trace metals stored in the body by means of a hair analysis technique. For a majority of toxic trace metals the hair analysis technique has proved to be a well-suited biological marker of environmental exposure of general population to such toxic metals. The results suggest that there is an explicit correlation between exposure to air pollutants and high levels of toxic metals in the body with consequent development of diseases.
|Posted on January 19, 2022 at 3:55 AM||comments (0)|
The global picture of chemical pollution in the environment is often fragmented.
This perspective highlights global picture of pollution regarding catastrophic risk.
Exposure related impact on fertility, cognition and food safety are discussed.
Prioritised strategies for curbing chemical dispersal are recommended.
Synthetic chemical pollution has the potential to pose one of the largest environmental threats to humanity, but global understanding of the issue remains fragmented. This article presents a comprehensive perspective of the threat of chemical pollution to humanity, emphasising male fertility, cognitive health and food security. There are serious gaps in our understanding of the scale of the threat and the risks posed by the dispersal, mixture and recombination of chemicals in the wider environment. Although some pollution control measures exist they are often not being adopted at the rate needed to avoid chronic and acute effects on human health now and in coming decades. There is an urgent need for enhanced global awareness and scientific scrutiny of the overall scale of risk posed by chemical usage, dispersal and disposal........
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|Posted on January 15, 2022 at 4:30 AM||comments (0)|
Yoga has proven beneficial effects on various health domains including musculoskeletal conditions, cardiopulmonary conditions through the practice of asana and pranayamas as well as on mental health, as it is known to enhance the body-and mind coordination. There is paucity of data on the effect of yoga on functional capacity in literature using 6 min walk test. The present study aims to look at the effect of yoga on 6-min walked distance, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), recovery time following the walk and state of well being. This is a hospital-based longitudinal study where 30 physiotherapy students of the age group 18 - 22 years of either sex were enrolled.
Subjects having musculoskeletal problems, cardio respiratory disease and those who were not willing to volunteer were excluded They received Yoga intervention in form of Yogic practices which included a combination of asanas, pranayamas and omkar chanting for 1 h for 30 sessions. A baseline 6-min walk test was conducted on subjects and the 6-min walked distance, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) on modified Borg's scale were recorded. The baseline state of well-being was noted using the Warwick- Edinburgh mental well-being scale and similar recording was done post intervention after 30 sessions.
Of the 30 subjects, there were no drop outs as these were committed college students. Of them, 24 were females and 6 were males with a mean age of 21.5 years SD 2.38. Statistically significant improvements were observed in 6-min walk distance (P value = 0.000), RPE (P value < 0.000), recovery time (P value < 0.000) and sense of well being score (P value < 0.000). Yoga practices are beneficial in improving the functional capacity in young healthy adults.
Yoga can very well be incorporated in medical practice for increasing the patient's functional capacity, for those who have limitations in performing aerobic training due to various health reasons. The improved state of well being motivates the patients to adhere to yogic practices.
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|Posted on January 10, 2022 at 5:05 AM||comments (0)|