Traditional plow-based agricultural methods and the need to feed a rapidly growing world population are combining to deplete the Earth's soil supply, a new study confirms.
In fact, long-established practices appear to increase soil erosion to the point that it is not offset by soil creation, said David Montgomery, a University of Washington professor of Earth and space sciences.
No-till agriculture, in which crop stubble is mixed with the top layer of soil using a method called disking, is far more sustainable, he said.
The emerging threat of pesticide resistance means that biological malaria control methods are once again in vogue. New research published in the online open access journal BMC Public Health shows how Nile tilapia, a fish more commonly served up to Kenyan diners, is a valuable weapon against malaria mosquitoes.
Annabel Howard and Francois Omlin from the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya, introduced Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.), to abandoned fishponds in western Kenya. The study, funded by the Government of Finland, BioVision Foundation (Switzerland) and the Toyota Environment Foundation, monitored pond life, comparing the restocked ponds with a control pond nearby.
Many common diseases exhibit gender bias and gender differences have been observed in the development of high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart (cardiovascular) disease. Previous studies have reported that gender may affect vascular physiology and the body’s response to some types of blood pressure medications.
Although gender is usually accounted for in association studies, newer research has focused on identifying autosomal (not on the X or Y chromosomes) genes that contribute differentially to complex traits (blood pressure) or diseases (hypertension). In a new study, researchers examined the differential contribution of genetic factors involved in regulating blood pressure based on samples drawn from a large community.
Just when you thought it was safer to stay out of the water.
Microbes that result in beach closures and health advisories when detected at unsafe levels in the ocean also have been detected in the sand, according to a recent study by a team of Stanford scientists.
Published in the July 1 issue of Environmental Science and Technology, the study found that sand at beaches all along the California coast contained some level of fecal indicator bacteria. Moreover, when the researchers looked closely at the sand quality at a popular beach in Monterey, Calif., they found evidence of human waste-raising doubt about the commonly held belief that some fecal indictor bacteria occur naturally in the sand and are therefore benign.
Corals in the central and western Pacific ocean are dying faster than previously thought, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have found. Nearly 600 square miles of reef have disappeared per year since the late 1960s, twice the rate of rainforest loss.
The reefs are disappearing at a rate of one percent per year, a decline that began decades earlier than expected, the researchers discovered. Historically, coral cover, a measure of reef health, hovered around 50 percent.
A team of researchers contends that animals learn to connect the taste of food with the amount of caloric energy it provides, and children who consume low-calorie versions of foods that are normally high in calories may develop distorted connections between taste and calorie content, leading them to overeat as they grow up.
So diet foods and drinks for children may inadvertently lead to overeating and obesity.
"Based on what we've learned, it is better for children to eat healthy, well-balanced diets with sufficient calories for their daily activities rather than low-calorie snacks or meals," said Dr. David Pierce, a University of Alberta sociologist and lead author of the paper.