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  • richardmitnick 12:02 pm on November 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "From corals to humans-a shared trigger for sperm to get in motion", , , Marine Biology, ,   

    From Penn Today : “From corals to humans-a shared trigger for sperm to get in motion” 

    From Penn Today

    at

    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    November 22, 2021
    Katherine Unger Baillie

    1
    Hemaphroditic coral, like this Montipora capitata, release both eggs and sperm into the water. New findings from Penn biologists reveal that the mechanism by which sperm begin to move is both pH-dependent and similar to the pathways used in a variety of other creatures, including humans. Image: Courtesy of the Barott Laboratory.

    If sperm can’t swim, life can’t go on. And a new study suggests that when evolution hit upon an effective strategy for making sperm move, it stuck with it.

    A molecular pathway governing sperm motility is shared between corals, sea urchins, and even humans, according to research by a team from Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences. The mechanism is regulated by a pH sensor that signals when sperm are to begin swimming. The work, led by Kelsey Speer, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Katie Barott in the Department of Biology, appears in the journal PNAS.

    Climate change, which is making the oceans more not only warmer but also more acidic, and localized disturbances, such as sedimentation, may threaten the process.

    “When we started this project, nobody to our knowledge had looked at the mechanism that controlled coral sperm motility,” says Speer, the study’s first author. “We were really interested in what drives this process in the ocean, because that’s a part of their life cycle that is very vulnerable.”

    “There’s so much diversity in sperm between species, so to find that this pathway was as conserved as it was, was surprising,” adds Barott, senior author on the paper. “I think this work highlights how important it is to regulate this function. Animals are dependent on these pathways functioning in order to make the next generation. If sperm don’t work, that’s the end.”

    Sperm tend to be finicky and vulnerable, highly sensitive to their environment. Too warm? Males don’t produce sperm. Too acidic? Sperm don’t swim. Coral sperm have the odds stacked particularly tall against them. The hermaphroditic creatures only reproduce a few nights each year, timed with the new moon. They release both eggs and sperm into the open ocean, where sperm must swim through the water column, hoping for a fruitful match.

    2
    To capture sperm for their study, the Penn biologists conducted careful field work in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, where the coral Montipora capitata reproduce only a few nights each year. Image: Courtesy of Katie Barott.

    In contrast to coral sperm, which have been little studied, sea urchins serve as a model organism for studying sperm. But despite their appearance, sea urchins are much more closely related to humans than to coral, and the signalling cascade responsible for setting their sperm in motion is also highly similar to that of vertebrates. Thus the Penn team was curious to see how regulation of coral sperm motility compared.

    They started with a clue that corals may possess a similar mechanism.

    “There is a really ancient pH-sensing enzyme that our lab had studied for a while that was present in corals,” Speer says. “It’s present in human sperm and it’s present in sea urchin sperm and we wondered, ‘Hey, it’s present in coral sperm too. What could it be controlling?’”

    To find out, the researchers waited until one of those new-moon nights in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, to scoop up the egg-sperm bundles released by the coral Montipora capitata. Acting quickly, they took the sperm back to the lab, holding them in a sodium-free seawater. “What it does is it prevents all these signaling pathways from operating, so they’re frozen in an immobile state,” says Barott. “Then you can add a chemical to artificially raise their pH, and the sperm start swimming right away.”

    3
    The Penn team labeled the enzyme sAC in sperm with a green fluorescent marker, enabling them to track its activity in the lab. The genetic sequence encoding sAC in coral bore many similarities to the equivalent enzyme in sea urchins as well as vertebrates. Image: Courtesy of Kelsey Speer.

    Upon this activation, the researchers were able to monitor the activity of the enzyme of interest, soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) and cyclic AMP, the messenger molecule it produces, while also tracking how well the sperm were moving. Their experiments confirmed that sAC activity was required for sperm to swim; when the enzyme was blocked, the sperm flagella—the “tails”—moved weakly.

    Comparing the genetic sequence of the M. capitata sAC to the sAC from a sea urchin species, Speer, Barott, and colleagues noted significant similarities, with about 50% of the sequence being the same overall, and identical sequences at key sites for the enzyme’s catalytic activity.

    “We looked at previously published datasets that catalog every mRNA that would become a protein in these cells, so we could get an idea of the molecular machinery in place to regulate sperm motility in these species,” says Barott.

    Interestingly, M. capitata contained multiple different forms of sAC, some of which more closely resembled versions present in mammals. In follow-up work, the team hopes to explore how these different forms are operating in the corals, as well as in other model marine organisms.

    Looking at other molecular players in the sperm activation pathways initiated by sAC, the researchers found several shared by sea urchins as well as both other coral species, members of the Cnidarian phylum.

    “If you’re thinking about the difference in the last common ancestor between humans and Cnidarians—that was a heck of a long time ago,” Speer says. “The fact that the core of this mechanism has been conserved between these two species is really neat. I think it speaks to the fact that it’s a really good system, so nobody needed to replace it with something better.”

    With a basic picture of coral sperm motility in place, Barott’s lab hopes to pursue additional experiments that get at the question of how changing environmental conditions could alter the organism’s reproductive success.

    “Both us and colleagues who study this species of coral have seen huge differences in the amount of sperm become mobile from year to year, and it does look like climate change, especially heat stress, can play a big role in knocking down sperm motility,” Barott says. “Now that we have this toolkit, we can do these climate-change type of experiments and understand more about the dynamics of this pathway and how it changes in periods of stress.”

    4
    With coral reefs under threat from climate change, pollutants, sedimentation, and other factors, Barott and colleagues hope to continue investigating how such challenges may influence coral reproduction and persistence. Image: Courtesy of Kelsey Speer.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania (US) is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania (US) is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences(US); 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University(US) and Columbia(US) Universities. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University(US), William & Mary(US), Yale Unversity(US), and The College of New Jersey(US)—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health(US).

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University(US) and Cornell University(US) (Harvard University(US) did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University(US)) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 9:12 am on November 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: " 'We must improve how we treat our Reef' ”, "Moving Corals Project" where coral larvae are grown in floating pools, , , , , Marine Biology, , Multiple coral larvae research projects   

    From CSIROscope (AU): ” ‘We must improve how we treat our Reef’ ” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope (AU)

    at

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

    25 Nov, 2021
    Jane Adcroft, The Great Barrier Reef Foundation(AU)

    Dr. Christopher Doropoulos says utilising the masses of coral larvae released following annual spawning events could help restore our Reef.

    1
    Dr. Christopher Doropoulos.

    Chris’s early life story doesn’t read like your typical marine ecologist-in-the-making. While he was always fascinated by marine ecosystems, Chris grew up in a family of artists. He studied film and photography, later leaving university behind to follow his dreams of becoming a rock star.

    His bands played locally, toured nationally and once even internationally in the early 2000s, performing, recording and featuring on Triple J and the iconic Saturday morning TV music video program Rage.

    “I never imagined being a scientist – the dream was to be a rock star,” he admits.

    Coral captivated Chris

    But in the end, the life cycle of corals won Chris’s heart.

    And it’s little wonder why. To witness coral reproduction is to watch one of nature’s greatest phenomena. Once a year, on cue, millions of corals release their eggs and sperm in a synchronised mass spawning event. Fertilised eggs then develop into baby corals, known as larvae, which settle on the ocean floor and repopulate the Reef.

    Chris said he’s now lucky enough to watch spawning unfold each year as part of his research into the intricacies of coral ‘recruitment’. It looks at the factors that can help or hinder larvae’s chances of surviving to adulthood.

    “The various ecological interactions and trade-offs during the early life stages of corals are just endless! We’ll never know it all but there is so much opportunity for discovery,” he said.

    2
    Chris monitoring coral growth and survival. Credit: Marie Roman, The Australian Institute of Marine Science(AU).

    The importance of how we treat our Reef

    Chris’s love of coral began while working at Edith Cowan University(AU) as a Research Assistant at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. This led to a successful research career with The University of Queensland (AU), The ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, The Australian Coral Reef Society (AU) and as an advisor to Palau International Coral Reef Center and the Maldives Marine Research Institute.

    He is now a Senior Research Scientist with us based in Brisbane.

    Chris leads multiple coral larvae research projects as part of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, which aims to find large-scale solutions to help the Reef recover from the impacts of climate change.

    “It’s all about building on our ecological knowledge – understanding those early interactions – and thinking about and testing how we can use coral larvae to restore the Reef,” he said.

    “I love breaking things down into tiny detailed chunks, like fertilisation, larval development, larval settlement, and early coral growth and survival. Then, investigating how each stage responds to different interactions and disturbances.

    “We can utilise this information to predict and test what happens at larger scales,” he said.

    3
    Professor Peter Harrison of Southern Cross University (AU) (left) with his research assistant Christina Langley and Christopher. Credit: Southern Cross University.

    Teamwork makes the dream work

    4
    Chris co-leads the Moving Corals Project, where coral larvae are grown in floating pools. Credit: Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum.

    Chris has a desire to understand more about reef ecology. He’s also motivated and inspired by his mentors and the teams of people he works with from multiple fields that allow for experiments and trials to operate at unprecedented scales.

    “This work has really highlighted the value of working with experts from different areas to try and achieve effective scaling for coral restoration. This teamwork has really broaden my thoughts and confidence in just how possible it really is,” he said.

    Another draw card is the Reef itself

    “It’s so massive and incredible and full of life. For those of us who live in Australia, we are so fortunate to have it on our doorstep. We need to continually improve how we treat and respect it for long-term sustainability,” Chris said.

    “With climate change pressures constantly ramping up, it’s increasingly stressed. We can’t wait for the system to collapse because then it will be too late.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

    CSIRO works with leading organisations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

    Federally funded scientific research began in Australia 104 years ago. The Advisory Council of Science and Industry was established in 1916 but was hampered by insufficient available finance. In 1926 the research effort was reinvigorated by establishment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which strengthened national science leadership and increased research funding. CSIR grew rapidly and achieved significant early successes. In 1949 further legislated changes included renaming the organisation as CSIRO.

    Notable developments by CSIRO have included the invention of atomic absorption spectroscopy; essential components of Wi-Fi technology; development of the first commercially successful polymer banknote; the invention of the insect repellent in Aerogard and the introduction of a series of biological controls into Australia, such as the introduction of myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus for the control of rabbit populations.

    Research and focus areas

    Research Business Units

    As at 2019, CSIRO’s research areas are identified as “Impact science” and organised into the following Business Units:

    Agriculture and Food
    Health and Biosecurity
    Data 61
    Energy
    Land and Water
    Manufacturing
    Mineral Resources
    Oceans and Atmosphere

    National Facilities

    CSIRO manages national research facilities and scientific infrastructure on behalf of the nation to assist with the delivery of research. The national facilities and specialized laboratories are available to both international and Australian users from industry and research. As at 2019, the following National Facilities are listed:

    Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes included in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    STCA CSIRO Australia Compact Array (AU), six radio telescopes at the Paul Wild Observatory, is an array of six 22-m antennas located about twenty five kilometres (16 mi) west of the town of Narrabri in Australia.

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) Parkes Observatory, [ Murriyang, the traditional Indigenous name] , located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia, 414.80m above sea level.

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) Mopra radio telescope

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder

    NASA Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, AU, Deep Space Network. Credit: The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (US)

    CSIRO Canberra campus

    ESA DSA 1, hosts a 35-metre deep-space antenna with transmission and reception in both S- and X-band and is located 140 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia, near the town of New Norcia

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU)CSIRO R/V Investigator.

    UK Space NovaSAR-1 satellite (UK) synthetic aperture radar satellite.

    CSIRO Pawsey Supercomputing Centre AU)

    Magnus Cray XC40 supercomputer at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia

    Galaxy Cray XC30 Series Supercomputer at at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia

    Pausey Supercomputer CSIRO Zeus SGI Linux cluster

    Others not shown

    SKA

    SKA- Square Kilometer Array

    SKA Square Kilometre Array low frequency at Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

    EDGES telescope in a radio quiet zone at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia, on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:04 pm on November 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New possibilities for life at the bottom of Earth's ocean and perhaps in oceans on other planets", Around hydrothermal vents on the seafloor hot fluids mix with extremely cold seawater to produce conditions where making the molecules of life releases energy.”, In the strange dark world of the ocean floor underwater fissures-called hydrothermal vents-host complex communities of life., Marine Biology, , New possibilities for life in the dark at the bottom of oceans on Earth as well as throughout the solar system., So there are two opposing energy flows: release of energy by biosynthesis of basic building blocks and the energy required for polymerization., , This finding provides a new perspective on not only biochemistry but also ecology because it suggests that certain groups of organisms are inherently more favored in specific hydrothermal environments, Where there is life there is water but water needs to be driven out of the system for polymerization to become favorable.   

    From The Arizona State University (US) : “New possibilities for life at the bottom of Earth’s ocean and perhaps in oceans on other planets” 

    From The Arizona State University (US)

    November 22, 2021

    Karin Valentine
    Media Relations & Marketing manager
    School of Earth and Space Exploration
    480-965-9345
    Karin.Valentine@asu.edu

    In the strange dark world of the ocean floor underwater fissures-called hydrothermal vents-host complex communities of life. These vents belch scorching hot fluids into extremely cold seawater, creating the chemical forces necessary for the small organisms that inhabit this extreme environment to live.

    In a newly published study, biogeoscientists Jeffrey Dick and Everett Shock have determined that specific hydrothermal seafloor environments provide a unique habitat where certain organisms can thrive. In so doing, they have opened up new possibilities for life in the dark at the bottom of oceans on Earth as well as throughout the solar system. Their results have been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.

    1
    A chimney structure from the Sea Cliff hydrothermal vent field located more than 8,800 feet (2,700 meters) below the sea’s surface at the submarine boundary of the Pacific and Gorda tectonic plates. Photo by Ocean Exploration Trust.

    On land, when organisms get energy out of the food they eat, they do so through a process called cellular respiration, where there is an intake of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide. Biologically speaking, the molecules in our food are unstable in the presence of oxygen, and it is that instability that is harnessed by our cells to grow and reproduce, a process called biosynthesis.

    But for organisms living on the seafloor, the conditions for life are dramatically different.

    “On land, in the oxygen-rich atmosphere of Earth, it is familiar to many people that making the molecules of life requires energy,” said co-author Shock of Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and the School of Molecular Sciences. “In stunning contrast, around hydrothermal vents on the seafloor hot fluids mix with extremely cold seawater to produce conditions where making the molecules of life releases energy.”

    In deep-sea microbial ecosystems, organisms thrive near vents where hydrothermal fluid mixes with ambient seawater. Previous research [Geofluids] led by Shock found that the biosynthesis of basic cellular building blocks, like amino acids and sugars, is particularly favorable in areas where the vents are composed of ultramafic rock (igneous and meta-igneous rocks with very low silica content), because these rocks produce the most hydrogen.

    Besides basic building blocks like amino acids and sugars, cells need to form larger molecules, or polymers, also known as biomacromolecules. Proteins are the most abundant of these molecules in cells, and the polymerization reaction (where small molecules combine to produce a larger biomolecule) itself requires energy in almost all conceivable environments.

    “In other words, where there is life there is water but water needs to be driven out of the system for polymerization to become favorable,” said lead author Dick, who was a postdoctoral scholar at ASU when this research began and who is currently a geochemistry researcher in the School of Geosciences and Info-Physics at Central South University [中南大学(CN). “So there are two opposing energy flows: release of energy by biosynthesis of basic building blocks and the energy required for polymerization.”

    What Dick and Shock wanted to know is what happens when you add them up: Do you get proteins whose overall synthesis is actually favorable in the mixing zone?

    They approached this problem by using a unique combination of theory and data.

    From the theoretical side, they used a thermodynamic model for the proteins, called “group additivity,” which accounts for the specific amino acids in protein sequences as well as the polymerization energies. For the data, they used all the protein sequences in an entire genome of a well-studied vent organism called Methanocaldococcus jannaschii.

    By running the calculations, they were able to show that the overall synthesis of almost all the proteins in the genome releases energy in the mixing zone of an ultramafic-hosted vent at the temperature where this organism grows the fastest, at around 185 degrees Fahrenheit (85 Celsius). By contrast, in a different vent system that produces less hydrogen (a basalt-hosted system), the synthesis of proteins is not favorable.

    “This finding provides a new perspective on not only biochemistry but also ecology because it suggests that certain groups of organisms are inherently more favored in specific hydrothermal environments,” Dick said. “Microbial ecology studies have found that methanogens, of which Methanocaldococcus jannaschii is one representative, are more abundant in ultramafic-hosted vent systems than in basalt-hosted systems. The favorable energetics of protein synthesis in ultramafic-hosted systems are consistent with that distribution.”

    For next steps, Dick and Shock are looking at ways to use these energetic calculations across the tree of life, which they hope will provide a firmer link between geochemistry and genome evolution.

    “As we explore, we’re reminded time and again that we should never equate where we live as what is habitable to life,” Shock said.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Arizona State University (US) is a public research university in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Founded in 1885 by the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature, Arizona State University is one of the largest public universities by enrollment in the U.S.

    One of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State University is a member of the Universities Research Association (US) and classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity.” Arizona State University has nearly 150,000 students attending classes, with more than 38,000 students attending online, and 90,000 undergraduates and more nearly 20,000 postgraduates across its five campuses and four regional learning centers throughout Arizona. Arizona State University offers 350 degree options from its 17 colleges and more than 170 cross-discipline centers and institutes for undergraduates students, as well as more than 400 graduate degree and certificate programs. The Arizona State Sun Devils compete in 26 varsity-level sports in the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference and is home to over 1,100 registered student organizations.

    Arizona State University’s charter, approved by the board of regents in 2014, is based on the New American University model created by Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow upon his appointment as the institution’s 16th president in 2002. It defines Arizona State University as “a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but rather by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.” The model is widely credited with boosting Arizona State University’s acceptance rate and increasing class size.

    The university’s faculty of more than 4,700 scholars has included 5 Nobel laureates, 6 Pulitzer Prize winners, 4 MacArthur Fellows, and 19 National Academy of Sciences members. Additionally, among the faculty are 180 Fulbright Program American Scholars, 72 National Endowment for the Humanities fellows, 38 American Council of Learned Societies fellows, 36 members of the Guggenheim Fellowship, 21 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 3 members of National Academy of Inventors, 9 National Academy of Engineering members and 3 National Academy of Medicine members. The National Academies has bestowed “highly prestigious” recognition on 227 ASU faculty members.

    History

    Arizona State University was established as the Territorial Normal School at Tempe on March 12, 1885, when the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature passed an act to create a normal school to train teachers for the Arizona Territory. The campus consisted of a single, four-room schoolhouse on a 20-acre plot largely donated by Tempe residents George and Martha Wilson. Classes began with 33 students on February 8, 1886. The curriculum evolved over the years and the name was changed several times; the institution was also known as Tempe Normal School of Arizona (1889–1903), Tempe Normal School (1903–1925), Tempe State Teachers College (1925–1929), Arizona State Teachers College (1929–1945), Arizona State College (1945–1958) and, by a 2–1 margin of the state’s voters, Arizona State University in 1958.

    In 1923, the school stopped offering high school courses and added a high school diploma to the admissions requirements. In 1925, the school became the Tempe State Teachers College and offered four-year Bachelor of Education degrees as well as two-year teaching certificates. In 1929, the 9th Arizona State Legislature authorized Bachelor of Arts in Education degrees as well, and the school was renamed the Arizona State Teachers College. Under the 30-year tenure of president Arthur John Matthews (1900–1930), the school was given all-college student status. The first dormitories built in the state were constructed under his supervision in 1902. Of the 18 buildings constructed while Matthews was president, six are still in use. Matthews envisioned an “evergreen campus,” with many shrubs brought to the campus, and implemented the planting of 110 Mexican Fan Palms on what is now known as Palm Walk, a century-old landmark of the Tempe campus.

    During the Great Depression, Ralph Waldo Swetman was hired to succeed President Matthews, coming to Arizona State Teachers College in 1930 from Humboldt State Teachers College where he had served as president. He served a three-year term, during which he focused on improving teacher-training programs. During his tenure, enrollment at the college doubled, topping the 1,000 mark for the first time. Matthews also conceived of a self-supported summer session at the school at Arizona State Teachers College, a first for the school.

    1930–1989

    In 1933, Grady Gammage, then president of Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff, became president of Arizona State Teachers College at Tempe, beginning a tenure that would last for nearly 28 years, second only to Swetman’s 30 years at the college’s helm. Like President Arthur John Matthews before him, Gammage oversaw the construction of several buildings on the Tempe campus. He also guided the development of the university’s graduate programs; the first Master of Arts in Education was awarded in 1938, the first Doctor of Education degree in 1954 and 10 non-teaching master’s degrees were approved by the Arizona Board of Regents in 1956. During his presidency, the school’s name was changed to Arizona State College in 1945, and finally to Arizona State University in 1958. At the time, two other names were considered: Tempe University and State University at Tempe. Among Gammage’s greatest achievements in Tempe was the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed construction of what is Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium/ASU Gammage. One of the university’s hallmark buildings, Arizona State University Gammage was completed in 1964, five years after the president’s (and Wright’s) death.

    Gammage was succeeded by Harold D. Richardson, who had served the school earlier in a variety of roles beginning in 1939, including director of graduate studies, college registrar, dean of instruction, dean of the College of Education and academic vice president. Although filling the role of acting president of the university for just nine months (Dec. 1959 to Sept. 1960), Richardson laid the groundwork for the future recruitment and appointment of well-credentialed research science faculty.

    By the 1960s, under G. Homer Durham, the university’s 11th president, Arizona State University began to expand its curriculum by establishing several new colleges and, in 1961, the Arizona Board of Regents authorized doctoral degree programs in six fields, including Doctor of Philosophy. By the end of his nine-year tenure, Arizona State University had more than doubled enrollment, reporting 23,000 in 1969.

    The next three presidents—Harry K. Newburn (1969–71), John W. Schwada (1971–81) and J. Russell Nelson (1981–89), including and Interim President Richard Peck (1989), led the university to increased academic stature, the establishment of the Arizona State University West campus in 1984 and its subsequent construction in 1986, a focus on computer-assisted learning and research, and rising enrollment.

    1990–present

    Under the leadership of Lattie F. Coor, president from 1990 to 2002, Arizona State University grew through the creation of the Polytechnic campus and extended education sites. Increased commitment to diversity, quality in undergraduate education, research, and economic development occurred over his 12-year tenure. Part of Coor’s legacy to the university was a successful fundraising campaign: through private donations, more than $500 million was invested in areas that would significantly impact the future of ASU. Among the campaign’s achievements were the naming and endowing of Barrett, The Honors College, and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts; the creation of many new endowed faculty positions; and hundreds of new scholarships and fellowships.

    In 2002, Michael M. Crow became the university’s 16th president. At his inauguration, he outlined his vision for transforming Arizona State University into a “New American University”—one that would be open and inclusive, and set a goal for the university to meet Association of American Universities (US) criteria and to become a member. Crow initiated the idea of transforming Arizona State University into “One university in many places”—a single institution comprising several campuses, sharing students, faculty, staff and accreditation. Subsequent reorganizations combined academic departments, consolidated colleges and schools, and reduced staff and administration as the university expanded its West and Polytechnic campuses. Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus was also expanded, with several colleges and schools relocating there. The university established learning centers throughout the state, including the Arizona State University Colleges at Lake Havasu City and programs in Thatcher, Yuma, and Tucson. Students at these centers can choose from several Arizona State University degree and certificate programs.

    During Crow’s tenure, and aided by hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, Arizona State University began a years-long research facility capital building effort that led to the establishment of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and several large interdisciplinary research buildings. Along with the research facilities, the university faculty was expanded, including the addition of five Nobel Laureates. Since 2002, the university’s research expenditures have tripled and more than 1.5 million square feet of space has been added to the university’s research facilities.

    The economic downturn that began in 2008 took a particularly hard toll on Arizona, resulting in large cuts to Arizona State University’s budget. In response to these cuts, Arizona State University capped enrollment, closed some four dozen academic programs, combined academic departments, consolidated colleges and schools, and reduced university faculty, staff and administrators; however, with an economic recovery underway in 2011, the university continued its campaign to expand the West and Polytechnic Campuses, and establish a low-cost, teaching-focused extension campus in Lake Havasu City.

    As of 2011, an article in Slate reported that, “the bottom line looks good,” noting that:

    “Since Crow’s arrival, Arizona State University’s research funding has almost tripled to nearly $350 million. Degree production has increased by 45 percent. And thanks to an ambitious aid program, enrollment of students from Arizona families below poverty is up 647 percent.”

    In 2015, the Thunderbird School of Global Management became the fifth Arizona State University campus, as the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. Partnerships for education and research with Mayo Clinic established collaborative degree programs in health care and law, and shared administrator positions, laboratories and classes at the Mayo Clinic Arizona campus.

    The Beus Center for Law and Society, the new home of Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, opened in fall 2016 on the Downtown Phoenix campus, relocating faculty and students from the Tempe campus to the state capital.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:12 pm on November 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Outplanting" a diverse group of coral species together improves coral growth and survivorship., "Underwater Gardens Boost Coral Diversity to Stave Off ‘Biodiversity Meltdown’ ", , Corals are the foundation species of marine ecosystems-providing habitat and food for numerous other reef species., Corals should be competing with each other but in fact they do better together than they do on their own., Marine Biology, Negative effects on corals often have cascading impacts on other species that call coral reefs home., The Caribbean has lost 80 to 90 percent of its coral cover., The frequency of big bleaching and heating events that are killing off corals has increased fairly dramatically over the last 20 to 30 years., The Georgia Institute of Technology (US)   

    From The Georgia Institute of Technology (US) : “Underwater Gardens Boost Coral Diversity to Stave Off ‘Biodiversity Meltdown’ “ 

    From The Georgia Institute of Technology (US)

    Oct 13, 2021 [Just now in social media.]

    Renay San Miguel
    Communications Officer
    College of Sciences
    404-894-5209
    renay.san@cos.gatech.edu

    Media Contacts:
    Georgia Parmelee
    georgia.parmelee@gatech.edu
    404-281-7818

    Jess Hunt-Ralston
    jess@cos.gatech.edu
    404-385-5207

    1
    2
    [2]Corals are the foundation species of tropical reefs worldwide, but stresses ranging from overfishing to pollution to warming oceans are killing corals and degrading the critical ecosystem services they provide. Because corals build structures that make living space for many other species, scientists have known that losses of corals result in losses of other reef species. But the importance of coral species diversity for corals themselves was less understood.

    A new study from two researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology provides both hope and a potentially grim future for damaged coral reefs. In their research paper published October 13 in Science Advances, Cody Clements and Mark Hay found that increasing coral richness by “outplanting” a diverse group of coral species together improves coral growth and survivorship. This finding may be especially important in the early stages of reef recovery following large-scale coral loss — and in supporting healthy reefs that in turn support fisheries, tourism, and coastal protection from storm surges.

    The scientists also call for additional research to better understand and harness the mechanisms producing these positive species interactions, with dual aims to improve reef conservation and promote more rapid and efficient recovery of degraded reefs.

    But the ecological pendulum swings the other way, too. If more coral species are lost, the synergistic effects could threaten other species in what Clements and Hay term a “biodiversity meltdown.”

    “Yes, corals are the foundation species of these ecosystems — providing habitat and food for numerous other reef species,” says Clements, a Teasley Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences. “Negative effects on corals often have cascading impacts on other species that call coral reefs home. If biodiversity is important for coral performance and resilience, then a ‘biodiversity meltdown’ could exacerbate the decline of reef ecosystems that we’re observing worldwide.”

    Clements and Hay traveled to Mo’orea, French Polynesia, in the tropical Pacific Ocean, where they planted coral gardens differing in coral species diversity to evaluate the relative importance of mutualistic versus competitive interactions among corals as they grew and interacted through time.

    “We’ve done the manipulations, and the corals should be competing with each other but in fact they do better together than they do on their own,” says Hay, Regents Professor and Teasley Chair in the School of Biological Sciences. Hay is also co-director of the Ocean Science and Engineering graduate program at Georgia Tech. “We are still investigating the mechanisms causing this surprising result, but our experiments consistently demonstrate that the positive interactions are overwhelming negative interactions in the reef settings where we conduct these experiments. That means when you take species out of the system, you’re taking out some of those positive interactions, and if you take out critical ones, it may make a big difference.”

    Under the sea, in a coral-growing garden, in the shade

    Coral reefs are under threat worldwide. Hay notes that according to the EPA, the Caribbean has lost 80 to 90 percent of its coral cover. The Indo-Pacific region has lost half of all its corals over the last 30 years. During the bleaching event of 2015-2016 alone, nearly half of the remaining corals along the Great Barrier Reef bleached and died.

    “The frequency of these big bleaching and heating events that are killing off corals has increased fairly dramatically over the last 20 to 30 years,” he says. “There are hot spots here and there where coral reefs are still good, but they’re small and isolated in general.”

    In their coral gardens in French Polynesia, Hay and Clements manipulated the diversity of the coral species that they planted on platforms resembling underwater chess tables, to try and see if species richness and density affected coral productivity and survival.

    Hay notes that many previous, similar experiments involved bringing corals into a lab to “pit species against each other.” But he points out, “We do all of our experiments in the real world. We’re not as interested in whether it can happen, but whether it does happen.”

    An experimental setup suggested by Clements involving Coke bottles helped the scientists arrange their garden. The end tables “have Coca-Cola bottlecaps embedded in the top of them,” Hay says. “We can then cut off the necks of Coke bottles, glue corals into the upside-down necks of these things, and then screw them in and out of these plots. This allows us to not only arrange what species we want where, but every couple of months we can unscrew and weigh them so we can get accurate growth rates.”

    The researchers found that corals benefitted from increased biodiversity, “but only up to a point,” Clements notes. “Corals planted in gardens with an intermediate number of species — three to six species in most cases — performed better than gardens with low, or one, species, or high, as in nine, species. However, we still do not fully understand the processes that contributed to these observations.”

    Clements says their research demands more investigation. Why do corals perform better in mixed species communities than single-species communities? Why does this biodiversity effect diminish — rather than continue increasing — at the highest level of coral diversity?

    “We need a better mechanistic understanding of how diversity influences these processes to predict how biodiversity loss will impact corals, as well as how we may be able to harness biodiversity’s positive influence to protect corals,” says Clements.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    The Georgia Institute of Technology (US) , commonly referred to as Georgia Tech, is a public research university and institute of technology located in the Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. It is a part of the University System of Georgia and has satellite campuses in Savannah, Georgia; Metz, France; Athlone, Ireland; Shenzhen, China; and Singapore.

    The school was founded in 1885 as the Georgia School of Technology as part of Reconstruction plans to build an industrial economy in the post-Civil War Southern United States. Initially, it offered only a degree in mechanical engineering. By 1901, its curriculum had expanded to include electrical, civil, and chemical engineering. In 1948, the school changed its name to reflect its evolution from a trade school to a larger and more capable technical institute and research university.

    Today, Georgia Tech is organized into six colleges and contains about 31 departments/units, with emphasis on science and technology. It is well recognized for its degree programs in engineering, computing, industrial administration, the sciences and design. Georgia Tech is ranked 8th among all public national universities in the United States, 35th among all colleges and universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report rankings, and 34th among global universities in the world by Times Higher Education rankings. Georgia Tech has been ranked as the “smartest” public college in America (based on average standardized test scores).

    Student athletics, both organized and intramural, are a part of student and alumni life. The school’s intercollegiate competitive sports teams, the four-time football national champion Yellow Jackets, and the nationally recognized fight song “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech”, have helped keep Georgia Tech in the national spotlight. Georgia Tech fields eight men’s and seven women’s teams that compete in the NCAA Division I athletics and the Football Bowl Subdivision. Georgia Tech is a member of the Coastal Division in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:10 pm on November 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "URI researchers- Different kinds of marine phytoplankton respond differently to warming ocean temperatures", , , , Marine Biology, , Phytoplankton are the foundation of most food webs in the ocean., The University of Rhode Island (US)   

    From The University of Rhode Island (US): “URI researchers- Different kinds of marine phytoplankton respond differently to warming ocean temperatures” 

    From The University of Rhode Island (US)

    November 17, 2021
    Todd McLeish
    tmcleish@uri.edu
    401-874-2116

    1
    Marine phytoplankton. Photo: Stephanie Anderson.

    Tiny marine plants called phytoplankton are the foundation of most food webs in the ocean, and their productivity drives commercial fisheries, carbon sequestration, and healthy marine ecosystems. But little is known about how they will respond to increasing ocean temperatures resulting from the changing climate. Most climate models assume they will all respond in a similar way.

    But a team of researchers at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, led by former doctoral student Stephanie Anderson, has concluded that different types of phytoplankton will react differently. An examination of how four key groups of phytoplankton will respond to ocean temperatures forecast to occur between 2080 and 2100 suggests that their growth rates and distribution patterns will likely be dissimilar, resulting in significant implications for the future composition of marine communities around the globe.

    “Phytoplankton are some of the most diverse organisms on Earth, and they fix roughly as much carbon as all the land plants in the world combined,” said Anderson, now a postdoctoral researcher at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US). “Every other breath you take is generated by phytoplankton. And which ones are present affects which fish can be supported in a given region.”

    Anderson, URI Oceanography Professor Tatiana Rynearson and colleagues from MIT, The Scripps Institution of Oceanography (US) at University of California- San Diego(US) and Old Dominion University (US) published the results of their research in the Nov. 5 issue of the journal Nature Communications.

    “This study represents a key contribution to the understanding of how phytoplankton respond to ocean warming,” said Rynearson. “All climate change forecasts of marine ecosystems include a term that reflects how we think phytoplankton growth responds to temperature. In this study we’ve generated new, more accurate values for the temperature-growth response that better reflect the diversity of phytoplankton in the ocean. These new values can be used in future climate change forecasts, helping them to become more accurate. “

    The researchers compiled temperature-related growth measurements from more than 80 existing research studies on four types of phytoplankton – diatoms, which thrive in high-nutrient regions; cyanobacteria, which dominate in the open ocean where nutrients are low; coccolithophores, which are especially important in the uptake of carbon; and dinoflagellates, which migrate vertically in the water column. They also reviewed the heat tolerance for each group and conducted a simulation of projected temperatures to determine how phytoplankton distribution and growth rates would change in different parts of the world.

    They found that each group has a different tolerance for warming.

    “The coccolithophores will probably face the greatest proportional growth decreases near the equator, which could potentially alter community composition there,” Anderson said. “The cyanobacteria, on the other hand, are expected to face the greatest proportional growth increases at mid-latitudes, and they might expand their range poleward.”

    “We were surprised that our simulations predicted the greatest range shift for the cyanobacteria in the Gulf of Alaska and northeast Pacific Ocean, regions that support rich and abundant fisheries,” Rynearson added. “Importantly, cyanobacteria are not known to be very good fish food.”

    The researchers said that all four phytoplankton groups are expected to increase their growth rates in cooler regions, but the degree of increase varies by group.

    “With all the groups, we expect their growth rates to decrease closer to the equator,” Anderson said. “The equator is already the warmest region, so increasing temperatures there might push them to their limits. The temperatures there will exceed the levels they’re comfortable at, which will hinder their growth.”

    Most species can tolerate temperatures greater than those they typically face, the researchers said, but the margin between what they typically face and the level at which they cannot survive decreases the closer they get to the equator.

    “There’s a lot of capacity to handle warming towards the poles, but that capacity drops at the equator,” Anderson said.

    The research team also found that the dinoflagellates had the smallest change in growth rate in response to increasing temperature of all of the groups examined, and they tolerated the widest range of temperatures.

    “Their metabolic rates are not as likely to be affected by temperature changes as the other groups,” said Anderson. “We hypothesize that it could be due to the fact that they are vertical migrants. Their ability to swim up and down exposes them to more temperatures, potentially enabling them to handle more temperature change.”

    The implications of these results are significant. At the equator, where phytoplankton growth rates are projected to decrease as temperatures increase, the reduced biomass of phytoplankton may support fewer fish and other marine organisms.

    “If you’re a fish and you’re dependent on one type of food and that’s no longer present, you might have to move with your prey to survive,” Anderson said. “This could lead to shifts in food webs regionally.”

    At higher latitudes where growth rates are predicted to increase, the higher biomass of phytoplankton may be able to support a greater number of fish, providing a boost to commercial fisheries.

    The study did not consider other factors that might affect phytoplankton growth rates, like nutrient or light availability, so Anderson said the implications of the study are somewhat speculative. She is now incorporating those additional factors into a new model to see how the results may change.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Rhode Island (US) is a diverse and dynamic community whose members are connected by a common quest for knowledge.

    As a major research university defined by innovation and big thinking, URI offers its undergraduate, graduate, and professional students distinctive educational opportunities designed to meet the global challenges of today’s world and the rapidly evolving needs of tomorrow. That’s why we’re here.

    The University of Rhode Island, commonly referred to as URI, is the flagship public research as well as the land grant and sea grant university for the state of Rhode Island. Its main campus is located in the village of Kingston in southern Rhode Island. Additionally, smaller campuses include the Feinstein Campus in Providence, the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center in Providence, the Narragansett Bay Campus in Narragansett, and the W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich.

    The university offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in 80 undergraduate and 49 graduate areas of study through eight academic colleges. These colleges include Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education and Professional Studies, Engineering, Health Sciences, Environment and Life Sciences, Nursing and Pharmacy. Another college, University College for Academic Success, serves primarily as an advising college for all incoming undergraduates and follows them through their first two years of enrollment at URI.

    The University enrolled about 13,600 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students in Fall 2015. U.S. News & World Report classifies URI as a tier 1 national university, ranking it tied for 161st in the U.S.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:13 am on November 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Finding Bright Spots in the Global Coral Reef Catastrophe", , , , , , Marine Biology,   

    From Yale University (US) : “Finding Bright Spots in the Global Coral Reef Catastrophe” 

    From Yale University (US)

    1

    October 21, 2021
    Nicola Jones

    2
    A diver examines bleached coral in French Polynesia in 2019. Credit: Alexis Rosenfeld / Getty Images.

    The first-ever report on the world’s coral reefs presents a grim picture, as losses mount due to global warming. But there are signs of hope — some regions are having coral growth, and researchers found that corals can recover if given a decade of reprieve from hot water.

    When ecological genomicist Christian Voolstra started work on corals in Saudi Arabia in 2009, one of the biggest bonuses to his job was scuba diving on the gorgeous reefs. Things have changed. “I was just back in September and I was shocked,” says Voolstra, now at The University of Konstanz [Universität Konstanz](DE). “There’s a lot of rubble. The fish are missing. The colors are missing.”

    It’s a sad but now familiar story. Earlier this month, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network released the first-ever report collating global statistics on corals, documenting the status of reefs across 12,000 sites in 73 countries over 40 years. Overall, they report, the world has lost 14 percent of its corals from 2009 to 2018 — that’s about 11,700 square kilometers of coral wiped out.

    “If this had happened to the Amazon, if overnight it had turned white or black, it would be in the news everywhere,” says Voolstra. “Because it’s underwater, no one notices.”

    Corals are facing tough times from global warming: Prolonged marine heat waves, which are on the rise, cause corals to expel their symbiotic algae (called zooxanthellae), leaving the bleached corals weak and vulnerable. Local pollution continues to be a problem for corals, but global warming is emerging as the predominant threat. In 2018, the International Panel on Climate Change reported that 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming would cause global coral reefs to decline by 70-90 percent (warming currently stands at 1.2 degrees C). A 2-degree C warmer world would lose more than 99 percent of its corals.

    There are some hints of hope. The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network report shows that corals can recover globally if given about a decade of reprieve from hot waters. Some spots — particularly the Coral Triangle in East Asia, which hosts nearly a third of global corals — have bucked the trend and seen coral growth. There are hints that corals might be adapting to warmer conditions. And research is burgeoning on creative ways to improve coral restoration, from selectively breeding super corals to spreading probiotics on stressed reefs.

    “I’m hopeful,” says Voolstra. But it’s going to take a lot of quick action, he says, and even then we won’t be able to save all reefs. “That’s impossible. The point is you save some reefs so they can go through the dark ages of climate change.”

    From 1978, when the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network’s data collection began, hard coral on the world’s reefs held relatively steady for decades. That changed dramatically in 1998 with the first global mass bleaching event. Warm waters around the world caused in large part by a powerful El Niño wiped out about 8 percent of living coral globally, equivalent to a grand total of 6,500 square kilometers. “All the drama started in 1998,” says David Souter, coordinator of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and a researcher at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville. “Corals are actually pretty good at sustaining short, sharp temperature increases, but when it starts to last months, we see real issues.”

    Astonishingly, however, by 2010 global coral coverage was roughly back to pre-1998 levels. “That’s good news,” says Souter. “Even though reefs got knocked down, they got back up again.” When “old growth” corals are wiped out, the new ones that move in are often faster-growing, weedier species (just as with trees after a forest fire), says Souter. It’s great to have this growth, he says, but these opportunistic corals are often more vulnerable to disease, heat, and storms.

    3
    These graphs detail the change in hard coral cover in 10 regions over the last 40 years. After a heatwave killed about 8 percent of living coral in 1998, affected regions made a recovery; now, as temperatures rise, reefs globally are in decline. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Australian Institute of Marine Science.

    A global decline has largely been the trend since 2010, plunging corals back below 1998 levels. That’s due in large part to two more global bleaching events, in 2010 and 2015-2017, from which corals haven’t been given enough reprieve. There has been a tiny, 2 percent uptick in live coral since 2019, though it’s too soon to say if that might continue. “If you were a really optimistic person you might say that this occurred even while temperatures are high, so maybe we’re seeing adaptation,” says Souter.

    During the long, relatively stable and healthy period for corals in the 1990s and early 2000s, the average reef was about 30 percent live hard coral and 15 percent macroalgae like seaweeds and turf. That’s twice as much coral as algae. Since 2009, that ratio has slipped to about 1.5 as reef macroalgae has boomed by 20 percent. While seaweed also makes for a productive ecosystem, it’s not the same as the complex architecture made by reefs, and it supports different fish.

    Encouragingly, the so-called Coral Triangle of the East Asian Seas stands out as a bold exception. This region holds almost a third of the world’s coral reefs — and it anomalously hosts more live hard coral and less macroalgae today than in the early 1980s, despite rising water temperatures. That’s thought to be thanks to genetic diversity among the region’s 600 species of coral, which is allowing corals to adapt to warm waters. “Perhaps diversity has provided some protection,” says Souter, while a healthy population of herbivorous fish and urchins are keeping seaweeds down.

    The other three main global regions for coral — the Pacific, holding more than a quarter of the global total; Australia, with 16 percent; and the Caribbean, with 10 percent — all host less coral today than when measurements started. “The Caribbean is a really tragic and desperate case,” says Voolstra, with only 50 or so species of coral and a new disease wiping them out.

    It could all be worse, notes Souter. “Reefs are probably, on average, better off than I thought,” he says. “The fact that the reefs retain the ability to bounce back, that’s amazing.”

    In the face of punishing conditions, coral conservationists globally are working to protect corals from pollution and actively restore them. One recent study, led by Lisa Boström-Einarsson of James Cook University in Australia, trawled through the literature and found more than 360 coral restoration projects across 56 countries. Most are focused on transplanting bits of coral from a flourishing spot to a struggling one, or “gardening” baby corals in nurseries and planting them out. They also include innovative efforts like using electricity to prompt calcification on artificial reefs (an old but still-controversial idea), and using a diamond blade saw to slice tiny, fast-growing microfragments off slow-growing corals.

    Other researchers are piloting projects to spray coral larvae onto reefs that need it most — this should be faster and easier than hand-planting corals, but it’s unclear yet how many of the larvae survive. “If it works, it will produce much greater gains more rapidly,” says Souter.

    4
    Ecologist Christian Voolstra (left) and a colleague collect fragments of coral for a rapid stress test to determine their resilience. Credit: Pete West.

    Boström-Einarsson and colleagues found an encouragingly high average survival rate of 66 percent for the restored corals in these 362 projects. But these happy numbers mask more sobering facts. Almost half of the projects were in just a handful of countries; most lasted less than 18 months; and the median size was a tiny 100 square meters. Worse, the coral gains were often temporary. In one case in Indonesia, a three-year project dramatically increased coral cover and fish — which were then decimated by a heat wave six months after the project ended.

    Such efforts are still worthwhile and raise awareness about corals, says Voolstra. But there are some techniques that could make them far more effective and far bigger in scale.

    One bold strategy is to selectively breed corals to create super-strains best adapted to a warmer world — but this work is still very preliminary. “Corals take longer to breed and raise up than cows, so we have been betting more on finding heat-resistant individuals that are already out there than on making new ones in the lab,” says Stephen Palumbi at Stanford University (US), a marine biologist who focuses on corals around the Pacific Island nation of Palau. Palumbi has developed a tank that runs small samples of coral through a heat test on site, and is now working to make it cheaper — in part, he says, by borrowing components from the home brewing industry. Voolstra, too, has developed a tool for on-site stress testing; he was this summer granted $4 million from the Paul Allen Foundation to take his effort global.

    Heat tolerance, though, isn’t the only thing that corals need. Selecting the ones that can survive the heat might also inadvertently select ones that are less resistant to disease, for example, or slower growing. “We need to understand this better,” says Voolstra.

    A different strategy is to tweak the organisms that live in and around corals and help them to grow, including the symbiotic zooxanthellae and bacteria. Getting corals to adopt heat-tolerant zooxanthellae is a great idea that could theoretically have a huge impact, says Voolstra, but it’s hard to do. The union is like an intimate marriage, and it’s difficult to shift. Changing corals’ bacteria, which tend to live on a mucous layer on the outside of the corals, is easier, and seems to boost overall coral health. “They bleach the same way but recover better,” says Voolstra. One recent study led by microbiologist Raquel Peixoto from King Abdulla University showed that lathering corals in probiotics could improve coral survival after a heat wave by 40 percent. “It’s still experimental and proof of concept,” says Peixoto, who is experimenting with robotic submarines that could drop slow-release probiotic pills onto reefs to release bacteria slowly over weeks.

    A further-flung option being toyed with in Australia is the idea of brightening clouds over a reef in an attempt to shield them from extreme heat. “It’s totally left field,” laughs Souter, but should work the same way as cloud seeding for agriculture: A sprayed mist of seawater encourages clouds to form and shields the ground from direct light. This year researchers trialed the idea; they haven’t yet published their results. If it works, scaling up would be a massive project: they anticipate they would need a thousand stations with hundreds of sprayers each to lower solar radiation by about 6.5 percent over the Great Barrier Reef during a heat wave. Questions remain about whether the effort would be worth the energy cost, and what the net effects would be on ecosystems throughout the region.

    6
    Researchers grow corals on cinder blocks in a nursery in Ko Phi Phi, Thailand. Once reaching a certain size, the corals will be transplanted to a reef targeted for restoration. Credit: Anna Roik.

    A lot more work needs to be done on the real-world utility of these strategies, says Voolstra, to see what actually works. “Then you put truckloads of money into whatever really makes a difference,” he says. Different reefs will require different solutions, making all these strategies important says Peixoto. “It’s all hands on deck.:

    In the meantime, Voolstra supports the idea of investing heavily in sanctuaries: spots, like the Northern Red Sea, where corals are already adapted to handling hot waters but are threatened by other factors, like sewage, pollution, construction, and fish farms. Local efforts to tackle non-climate-related hazards for corals can be very effective. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was taken off the list of World Heritage sites in danger in 2018, for example, after a push to protect that ecosystem and ban oil development.

    If protecting a handful of refugia from humans doesn’t seem like a big enough effort, last year researchers also launched a project to build an emergency “Noah’s Ark” for corals across global aquaria, keeping their genetic diversity alive in tanks on land.

    When the IPCC declared in 2018 that 99 percent of corals would be lost in a 2-degree C warmer world, says Voolstra, that was really shocking. The goal now is to whittle that 99 percent down to 90 percent or less, he says, so that reefs have at least a chance of bouncing back. “Whatever we do, it gets much worse before it gets better.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University (US) is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.

    Research

    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) (US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation (US), Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences (US), 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering (US) and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (US). The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton,

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health (US) director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:31 pm on November 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Movement of plankton between tropical marine ecosystems drives 'sweet spots' for fishing", , Analysis revealed that plankton-eating fish do indeed play a major widespread role as vectors of spatial subsidies to tropical coral reefs., In "sweet spots" plankton-eating fish are responsible for more than 50 percent of the total fish production., James Cook University Australia (AU), Marine Biology, Mobile resources enable ecosystems to surpass the limits of their intrinsic capabilities for biological productivity resulting in more abundant life., Mobile resources like plankton can serve as vectors that transfer energy and nutrients from offshore ecosystems to coral reef ecosystems., Sweet spots of tropical biomass production emerge where favourable ocean conditions concentrate resources., The extent to which the movement of plankton and plankton-eating fish boost abundance in tropical marine ecosystems has been unclear.   

    From James Cook University Australia (AU) via phys.org : “Movement of plankton between tropical marine ecosystems drives ‘sweet spots’ for fishing” 

    From James Cook University Australia (AU)

    via

    phys.org

    1
    Sweet spots of tropical biomass production emerge where favourable ocean conditions concentrate resources, and also their consumers. Here, schools of sweetlips, snappers, fusiliers and unicornfishes congregate at a coral reef in Kri, Raja Ampat (Indonesia). Credit: Emry Oxford, CC BY 4.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

    A new analysis suggests that the movement of plankton and plankton-eating fish play a central role in driving local spikes of extreme biological productivity in tropical coral reefs, creating “sweet spots” of abundant fish. Renato Morais of James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, and colleagues present these findings in a study publishing November 2nd in the open-access journal PLOS Biology.

    Although some ecosystems are limited by their intrinsic productivity (from photosynthesis, for example), previous research has shown that mobile resources like plankton can serve as vectors that transfer energy and nutrients from offshore ecosystems to coral reef ecosystems. Such transfers of resources between ecosystems are known as spatial subsidies, and they enable ecosystems to surpass the limits of their intrinsic capabilities for biological productivity resulting in more abundant life. However, the extent to which the movement of plankton and plankton-eating fish boost abundance in tropical marine ecosystems has been unclear.

    To help clarify and quantify this role, Morais and colleagues integrated and analyzed extensive data from visual fish counts. One dataset covered the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean and much of the Pacific, while the other fish count data came from three specific tropical locations that were representative of the diversity of coral reef ecosystems found in the larger dataset.

    The analysis revealed that plankton-eating fish do indeed play a major widespread role as vectors of spatial subsidies to tropical coral reefs. By feeding on offshore plankton, they deliver extra resources to reef ecosystems and thereby drive local periods of extreme biological productivity—including for their own predators. In these “sweet spots” plankton-eating fish are responsible for more than 50 percent of the total fish production, and people might find conditions there optimal for bountiful fishing.

    The researchers note that their findings hold particular significance for the future of tropical reef fisheries. Coral reefs continue to degrade, and offshore productivity is expected to decline, so sweet spots that concentrate these dwindling resources may increase in importance for fishers.

    Morais adds, “How do tropical oceans sustain high production and intense coastal fisheries despite occurring in nutrient-poor oceans? Spatial subsidies vectored by planktivorous fishes dramatically increase local reef fish biomass production, creating ‘sweet spots’ of fish concentration. By harvesting oceanic productivity, planktivorous fishes bypass spatial constraints imposed by local primary productivity, creating ‘oases’ of tropical marine biomass production.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    James Cook University(AU) is a public university in North Queensland, Australia. The second oldest university in Queensland, James Cook University is a teaching and research institution. The University’s main campuses are located in the tropical cities of Cairns, Singapore and Townsville. James Cook University also has study centres in Mount Isa, Mackay and Thursday Island. A Brisbane campus, operated by Russo Higher Education, delivers undergraduate and postgraduate courses to international students. The University’s main fields of research include marine sciences, biodiversity, sustainable management of tropical ecosystems, genetics and genomics, tropical health care, tourism and engineering.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:48 pm on October 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Seagrass restoration study shows rapid recovery of ecosystem functions", Marine Biology,   

    From The University of California-Santa Cruz (US) : “Seagrass restoration study shows rapid recovery of ecosystem functions” 

    From The University of California-Santa Cruz (US)

    October 25, 2021
    Tim Stephens
    stephens@ucsc.edu

    1
    Eelgrass meadows sustain critical ecosystem functions ranging from coastal protection and sediment stabilization to providing food and shelter for many species of fish and invertebrates. Credit: Melissa Ward.

    As the dominant seagrass species on the U.S. West Coast, eelgrass supports a wide range of ecosystem services and functions, making its preservation and restoration a top priority for the region. Eelgrass restoration has a spotty record of success, however, and studies of restoration sites have rarely assessed the full range of ecosystem functions.

    In a new study published October 6 in Ecological Applications, researchers demonstrated that eelgrass restoration efforts can lead to rapid expansion of restored plots and recovery of ecosystem functions.

    2
    Assessments of seagrass restoration efforts have identified site conditions as the primary driver of success. Photo by Kat Beheshti.

    The study involved small-scale experimental seagrass restoration efforts in Elkhorn Slough on the Central Coast of California. Researchers transplanted 2,340 shoots of eelgrass from healthy meadows into 117 small plots, and evaluated their success relative to areas without vegetation and natural eelgrass meadows.

    “Within a few years, most of the ecosystem functions were near or at the level seen in natural eelgrass meadows, suggesting that these habitats can recover pretty quickly if the conditions are right,” said first author Kathryn Beheshti, who earned her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz in 2021 and is currently a California Sea Grant Fellow at the Ocean Protection Council’s Climate Change Program.

    The restored plots expanded dramatically, resulting in eelgrass beds covering an area 85 times larger than the initial plots. The restored beds began to resemble the natural meadows in structural features such as canopy height and shoot density, in the richness and abundance of species using the restored habitat, and in water quality. The study assessed a suite of seven ecosystem functions, and the researchers also developed a multifunctionality index to assess the overall functional performance of the restored beds.

    “We found that overall the restored plots are performing higher than unvegetated plots and just slightly below the natural meadows,” Beheshti said.

    The benefits of eelgrass meadows range from coastal protection and sediment stabilization to providing food and shelter for many species of fish and invertebrates. Eelgrass meadows provide crucial nursery habitat for many commercially important species, such as Dungeness crab, California halibut, and Pacific herring, whose juveniles find protection within the dense canopy. By slowing water flow and attenuating waves, eelgrass can act as a storm buffer and can protect developed coastlines from storm surges. Eelgrass meadows also counteract ocean acidification by absorbing carbon dioxide from seawater.

    “Seagrass provides a whole suite of ecosystem services that we rely on, including all the recreational uses by folks like birders, kayakers, fishers, and others,” Beheshti said.

    She noted that the California Ocean Protection Council’s Strategic Plan to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean includes a target to preserve the existing, known 15,000 acres of seagrass beds and create an additional 1,000 acres by 2025. In addition, she said, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service is updating its California Eelgrass Mitigation Policy, which currently calls for “no net loss of eelgrass habitat function” but does not require mitigation projects to assess habitat function.

    “This study will be a valuable resource for these ongoing efforts,” Beheshti said.

    In June, Beheshti and Melissa Ward, an environmental scientist at The San Diego State University (US), published a report on eelgrass restoration for the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (“Eelgrass Restoration on the U.S. West Coast: A Comprehensive Assessment of Restoration Techniques and Their Outcomes”).

    In addition, Beheshti, Ward, and Brent Hughes at Sonoma State University (US), a coauthor of the new paper, are working on a tutorial video about seagrass restoration techniques funded by the Anthropocene Institute. Beheshti said their assessments of past restoration efforts have identified site conditions as the primary driver of success.

    “If the site has poor water quality or is prone to erosion or sediment deposition, those are the main predictors of success or failure,” she said. “At Elkhorn Slough, the natural eelgrass meadows were also expanding at the same time as our restoration project, so the conditions were primed for success. At this point we can only speculate, but we’d like to explore in a more quantitative way why the restoration was so successful.”

    In addition to Beheshti and Hughes, the coauthors of the paper include Susan Williams at The University of California-Davis (US), Katharyn Boyer at San Francisco State University (US) , Charlie Endris at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Annakate Clemons at UC Santa Cruz, Tracy Grimes at San Diego State University, and Kerstin Wasson at UCSC and the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. This work was supported in part by grants from the Ocean Foundation and the Anthropocene Institute.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    UC Santa Cruz (US) campus.

    The University of California-Santa Cruz (US) , opened in 1965 and grew, one college at a time, to its current (2008-09) enrollment of more than 16,000 students. Undergraduates pursue more than 60 majors supervised by divisional deans of humanities, physical & biological sciences, social sciences, and arts. Graduate students work toward graduate certificates, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees in more than 30 academic fields under the supervision of the divisional and graduate deans. The dean of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering oversees the campus’s undergraduate and graduate engineering programs.

    UCSC is the home base for the Lick Observatory.

    UCO Lick Observatory’s 36-inch Great Refractor telescope housed in the South (large) Dome of main building.

    UC Santa Cruz (US) Lick Observatory Since 1888 Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California, Altitude 1,283 m (4,209 ft)

    UC Observatories Lick Automated Planet Finder fully robotic 2.4-meter optical telescope at Lick Observatory, situated on the summit of Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California, USA.

    The UCO Lick C. Donald Shane telescope is a 120-inch (3.0-meter) reflecting telescope located at the Lick Observatory, Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California, Altitude 1,283 m (4,209 ft).

    Search for extraterrestrial intelligence expands at Lick Observatory
    New instrument scans the sky for pulses of infrared light
    March 23, 2015
    By Hilary Lebow
    The NIROSETI instrument saw first light on the Nickel 1-meter Telescope at Lick Observatory on March 15, 2015. (Photo by Laurie Hatch.)
    Astronomers are expanding the search for extraterrestrial intelligence into a new realm with detectors tuned to infrared light at UC’s Lick Observatory. A new instrument, called NIROSETI, will soon scour the sky for messages from other worlds.

    Alumna Shelley Wright, now an assistant professor of physics at UC San Diego (US), discusses the dichroic filter of the NIROSETI instrument, developed at the U Toronto Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (CA) and brought to UCSD and installed at the UC Santa Cruz (US) Lick Observatory Nickel Telescope (Photo by Laurie Hatch). “Infrared light would be an excellent means of interstellar communication,” said Shelley Wright, an assistant professor of physics at The University of California-San Diego (US) who led the development of the new instrument while at the U Toronto Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (CA).

    Shelley Wright of UC San Diego with (US) NIROSETI, developed at U Toronto Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (CA) at the 1-meter Nickel Telescope at Lick Observatory at UC Santa Cruz
    NIROSETI team from left to right Rem Stone UCO Lick Observatory Dan Werthimer, UC Berkeley; Jérôme Maire, U Toronto; Shelley Wright, UCSD; Patrick Dorval, U Toronto; Richard Treffers, Starman Systems. (Image by Laurie Hatch).

    Wright worked on an earlier SETI project at Lick Observatory as a UC Santa Cruz undergraduate, when she built an optical instrument designed by University of California-Berkeley (US) researchers. The infrared project takes advantage of new technology not available for that first optical search.

    Infrared light would be a good way for extraterrestrials to get our attention here on Earth, since pulses from a powerful infrared laser could outshine a star, if only for a billionth of a second. Interstellar gas and dust is almost transparent to near infrared, so these signals can be seen from great distances. It also takes less energy to send information using infrared signals than with visible light.

    Frank Drake, professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz and director emeritus of the SETI Institute, said there are several additional advantages to a search in the infrared realm.

    Frank Drake with his Drake Equation. Credit Frank Drake.

    Drake Equation, Frank Drake, Seti Institute (US).

    “The signals are so strong that we only need a small telescope to receive them. Smaller telescopes can offer more observational time, and that is good because we need to search many stars for a chance of success,” said Drake.

    The only downside is that extraterrestrials would need to be transmitting their signals in our direction, Drake said, though he sees this as a positive side to that limitation. “If we get a signal from someone who’s aiming for us, it could mean there’s altruism in the universe. I like that idea. If they want to be friendly, that’s who we will find.”

    Scientists have searched the skies for radio signals for more than 50 years and expanded their search into the optical realm more than a decade ago. The idea of searching in the infrared is not a new one, but instruments capable of capturing pulses of infrared light only recently became available.

    “We had to wait,” Wright said. “I spent eight years waiting and watching as new technology emerged.”

    Now that technology has caught up, the search will extend to stars thousands of light years away, rather than just hundreds. NIROSETI, or Near-Infrared Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, could also uncover new information about the physical universe.

    “This is the first time Earthlings have looked at the universe at infrared wavelengths with nanosecond time scales,” said Dan Werthimer, UC Berkeley SETI Project Director. “The instrument could discover new astrophysical phenomena, or perhaps answer the question of whether we are alone.”

    NIROSETI will also gather more information than previous optical detectors by recording levels of light over time so that patterns can be analyzed for potential signs of other civilizations.

    “Searching for intelligent life in the universe is both thrilling and somewhat unorthodox,” said Claire Max, director of UC Observatories and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. “Lick Observatory has already been the site of several previous SETI searches, so this is a very exciting addition to the current research taking place.”

    NIROSETI will scan the skies several times a week on the Nickel 1-meter telescope at Lick Observatory, located on Mt. Hamilton east of San Jose.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:03 am on October 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists publish first large-scale census of coral heat tolerance", , , Coral restoration, Marine Biology,   

    From The University of Miami (FL) (US) : “Scientists publish first large-scale census of coral heat tolerance” 

    From The University of Miami (FL) (US)

    10-20-2021
    Diana Udel

    Findings provide immediate actions to benefit the world’s largest coral restoration program.

    1
    Liv Williamson, Ph.D. candidate cleans staghorn coral fragments in underwater nursery. Photo: Hayley Jo-Carr.

    In a first-of-its-kind study, Florida’s critically endangered staghorn corals were surveyed to discover which ones can better withstand future heatwaves in the ocean. Insights from the study, led by scientists at Shedd Aquarium and The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science – University of Miami (US), help organizations working to restore climate-resilient reefs in Florida and provide a blueprint for the success of restoration projects globally.

    “While this study was performed in Florida, there is growing interest among scientists and managers in surveying heat tolerance in other coral populations around the world,” said Andrew Baker, professor in the Department of Marine Biology and Ecology at the UM Rosenstiel School, and a co-author of the study. “Our study provides a template for other efforts to identify heat-tolerant corals and comes at a time when this knowledge can help transform approaches to stem the decline of corals due to climate change. Population censuses of heat tolerance are not only useful for scientists seeking to understand how and why corals vary in their thermal tolerance, but also to managers and policy makers guiding the future of reef restoration.”

    The new study, published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, can help optimize the human interventions necessary to help corals survive the impacts of climate change.

    The study was conducted over two research expeditions that took place in 2020, where Shedd’s research vessel, the R/V Coral Reef II, enabled a team to test the heat tolerance of 229 different strains of staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) that are being actively propagated by South Florida’s coral restoration programs, ranging from Broward County to the lower Florida Keys, and operated by Nova Southeastern University (US), Mote’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration (US), The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (US), Reef Renewal, The Coral Restoration Foundation (US), and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Miami (US) is a private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. As of 2020, the university enrolled approximately 18,000 students in 12 separate colleges and schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami’s Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.

    The university offers 132 undergraduate, 148 master’s, and 67 doctoral degree programs, of which 63 are research/scholarship and 4 are professional areas of study. Over the years, the university’s students have represented all 50 states and close to 150 foreign countries. With more than 16,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, UM is a top 10 employer in Miami-Dade County. The University of Miami’s main campus in Coral Gables has 239 acres and over 5.7 million square feet of buildings.

    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. The University of Miami research expenditure in FY 2019 was $358.9 million. The University of Miami offers a large library system with over 3.9 million volumes and exceptional holdings in Cuban heritage and music.

    The University of Miami also offers a wide range of student activities, including fraternities and sororities, and hundreds of student organizations. The Miami Hurricane, the student newspaper, and WVUM, the student-run radio station, have won multiple collegiate awards. The University of Miami’s intercollegiate athletic teams, collectively known as the Miami Hurricanes, compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The University of Miami’s football team has won five national championships since 1983 and its baseball team has won four national championships since 1982.

    Research

    UM is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. In fiscal year 2016, The University of Miami received $195 million in federal research funding, including $131.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (US) and $14.1 million from the National Science Foundation (US). Of the $8.2 billion appropriated by Congress in 2009 as a part of the stimulus bill for research priorities of the National Institutes of Health, the Miller School received $40.5 million. In addition to research conducted in the individual academic schools and departments, Miami has the following university-wide research centers:

    The Center for Computational Science
    The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS)
    Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy
    The Miami European Union Center: This group is a consortium with Florida International University (FIU) established in fall 2001 with a grant from the European Commission through its delegation in Washington, D.C., intended to research economic, social, and political issues of interest to the European Union.
    The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies
    John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics – studies possible causes of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.
    Center on Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE)
    Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research

    The Miller School of Medicine receives more than $200 million per year in external grants and contracts to fund 1,500 ongoing projects. The medical campus includes more than 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m^2) of research space and the The University of Miami Life Science Park, which has an additional 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m^2) of space adjacent to the medical campus.The University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute seeks to understand the biology of stem cells and translate basic research into new regenerative therapies.

    As of 2008, the Rosenstiel School receives $50 million in annual external research funding. Their laboratories include a salt-water wave tank, a five-tank Conditioning and Spawning System, multi-tank Aplysia Culture Laboratory, Controlled Corals Climate Tanks, and DNA analysis equipment. The campus also houses an invertebrate museum with 400,000 specimens and operates the Bimini Biological Field Station, an array of oceanographic high-frequency radar along the US east coast, and the Bermuda aerosol observatory. The University of Miami also owns the Little Salt Spring, a site on the National Register of Historic Places, in North Port, Florida, where RSMAS performs archaeological and paleontological research.

    The University of Miami built a brain imaging annex to the James M. Cox Jr. Science Center within the College of Arts and Sciences. The building includes a human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) laboratory, where scientists, clinicians, and engineers can study fundamental aspects of brain function. Construction of the lab was funded in part by a $14.8 million in stimulus money grant from the National Institutes of Health (US).

    In 2016 the university received $161 million in science and engineering funding from the U.S. federal government, the largest Hispanic-serving recipient and 56th overall. $117 million of the funding was through the Department of Health and Human Services and was used largely for the medical campus.

    The University of Miami maintains one of the largest centralized academic cyber infrastructures in the country with numerous assets. The Center for Computational Science High Performance Computing group has been in continuous operation since 2007. Over that time the core has grown from a zero HPC cyberinfrastructure to a regional high-performance computing environment that currently supports more than 1,200 users, 220 TFlops of computational power, and more than 3 Petabytes of disk storage.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:13 am on October 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Plankton Is Undergoing a Global Migration With Dire Consequences For The Food Web", , Marine Biology, ,   

    From Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) via Science Alert (US) : “Plankton Is Undergoing a Global Migration With Dire Consequences For The Food Web” 

    From Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert (US)

    18 OCTOBER 2021
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    A chain of salps, a type of plankton. Credit: Gerard Soury/The Image Bank/Getty Images.

    If Earth’s temperature rises by a significant enough margin, we could see a major restructuring of the plankton species living in our oceans.

    Not only would the diversity of species radically change, but warming oceans could see plankton migrating from the tropics towards the poles, away from waters growing too warm for habitability.

    In fact, we may already be observing this shift in the last few decades, with some species documented farther north than we’ve ever seen them.

    This restructuring would have a major impact on oceanic ecosystems, as planktons form a vital component of both the oceanic carbon cycle and the food web.

    Plankton are mostly microscopic organisms that drift wheresoe’er the ocean currents take them, with insufficient propulsion abilities to control their journeys. They are the second-most abundant life form on Earth, beaten out only by bacteria; without plankton, life as we know it would not exist in our oceans.

    Two types that are of particular interest are phytoplankton (plants) and zooplankton (animals). Phytoplankton’s photosynthesis plays a major role in the carbon cycle, and the production of Earth’s oxygen, and the organisms constitute a vital part of the food web on which other, larger organisms rely. Zooplankton, too, is a vital part of the food web and carbon cycle.

    Changes in the distribution of plankton are expected as global temperatures continue to trend upwards. What those changes might be and where plankton might end up is the subject of a new study led by environmental physicist Fabio Benedetti of ETH Zürich in Switzerland.

    He and colleagues developed global distribution maps for more than 860 species of phytoplankton and zooplankton, and then used statistical algorithms and climate models to predict the changes these communities would undergo under future climate change.

    Initially, they found an increase in both kinds of plankton; but if mean sea surface temperatures were to reach greater than 25 degrees Celsius (the long-term average is currently 16.1 degrees Celsius), zooplankton would decline in the tropics, and all species would shift towards cooler waters at higher latitudes.

    In these polar communities, up to 40 percent of phytoplankton species would be replaced by subtropical interlopers, which means it’s not only the equatorial oceans that would be affected.

    “In some areas of the ocean, we will see a rise in species numbers that may, on the face of it, seem positive,” Benedetti explains. “But this boost in diversity could actually pose a serious threat to the existence and functioning of well-​established marine ecosystems at higher latitudes.”

    Although many plankton species are tiny, they are not all the same size, and this size variation matters. In the mid- and high latitudes, the ecosystems contain relatively few species, and these plankton communities consist of larger species that are efficient at exporting organic carbon, and are an important food source for fish.

    The team’s simulations showed that rising temperatures make the habitats less hospitable for larger plankton, but better for smaller ones. This would result in a boom of small plankton diversity, and a decline in the larger species at these latitudes. In turn, this would impact fish populations.

    It would affect the carbon cycle, too. Larger plankton species often have shells that smaller species do not, and heavier excretions. For these species, dead plankton and their waste sink faster, which means that the decomposition process that transforms the carbon in their bodies and poop to carbon dioxide happens at greater depths.

    This means the carbon dioxide gets trapped for long periods, prevented from reaching the atmosphere.

    Replacing these species with smaller species would result in decreasing efficiency of the ocean carbon sink, although it’s a little harder to quantify the effect, the researchers said.

    “The only thing we can determine right now is how important certain areas of the ocean are today in terms of different ecosystem services and whether this provision of services will change in the future,” Benedetti says.

    And it really does seem to be a matter of when, not if. We’ve already seen marine life leaving equatorial regions as the waters become too hot for survival, and we’ve already seen large copepods start to be displaced by smaller species. Jellyfish have also been observed moving north and south away from the equator.

    These results and observations imply “that future climate change threatens the plankton-mediated ecosystem services provided by the ocean in these regions,” the researchers write in their paper.

    The research has been published in Nature Communications.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH) , it is part of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain)) , part of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research [EAER][Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung] [Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche] (CH).

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische Schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische Schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas the University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ] (CH) is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form the Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Stanford University(US) and University of Cambridge(UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Stanford University(US), California Institute of Technology(US), Princeton University(US), University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and University of Oxford(UK) .

    In a comparison of Swiss universities by swissUP Ranking and in rankings published by CHE comparing the universities of German-speaking countries, ETH Zürich traditionally is ranked first in natural sciences, computer science and engineering sciences.

    In the survey CHE ExcellenceRanking on the quality of Western European graduate school programs in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, ETH Zürich was assessed as one of the three institutions to have excellent programs in all the considered fields, the other two being Imperial College London(UK) and the University of Cambridge(UK), respectively.

     
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