Earth

From loaning pandas to welcoming tourists to hike to sacred monuments, to regulating the sale of wild animals for meat, policies across the world seek to forge clear paths to sustainability.

Below please find a summary and link(s) of new coronavirus-related content published today in Annals of Internal Medicine. The summary below is not intended to substitute for the full article as a source of information. A collection of coronavirus-related content is free to the public at http://go.annals.org/coronavirus.

1. Social distance proves key as respiratory route found to be the most common way to spread COVID-19

CALVERT ISLAND, British Columbia --- Researchers have identified an invasive blood-sucking parasite on mud shrimp in the waters of British Columbia's Calvert Island. The discovery represents the northern-most record of the parasite on the West Coast and is likely an indication of its ability to spread without human transport.

Fruit flies have the uncanny ability to wake up from a months-long hibernation right when their food of choice--say, the fruit from apple or Hawthorn trees--is at its peak. They're active for a couple of weeks, eating and mating, before going dormant for the rest of the year. How this synchronization and remarkable timing happens has long been a mystery. In a world where global climate change is shifting the growing seasons, somehow the fruit flies keep up.

New research by the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) has demonstrated a clear fluctuation in the trade of wildmeat in and around the High Niger National Park in Guinea, West Africa.

To understand the massive capabilities and complexities of the brain, neuroscientists segment it into regions based on what they appear to do--like processing what we sense or how to move. What's been lacking, however, is an ability to tie those functional maps precisely and consistently to matching distinctions of physical structure, especially in live animals while they are performing the functions of interest.

"All the roads of learning begin in the darkness and go out into the light."

Researchers at the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at the University of Guam have documented what biologists call a "host shift" of the coconut rhinoceros beetle in Guam. The beetle, first documented as an invasive species in Guam in 2007, has been devastating the island's ubiquitous coconut trees and is now also burrowing into Guam's endangered native cycad tree, Cycas micronesica. The results were published in June in Volume 13 of the Communicative & Integrative Biology journal.

Climatic conditions are changing at an unprecedented rate, affecting mainly fish, amphibians and reptiles, ectothermic animals that are unable to generate their own internal heat. With heat waves and rising temperatures, these organisms experience not only increased growth rates and heat stress, but also further ageing.

The flooding season had just ended in China. Persistent strong precipitation events in many regions of China resulted in severe flooding disasters in the just passed summer of 2020. It is of great significance to capture precursor signals of persistent strong precipitation events.

These results from studies in both experimental and theoretical physics may help to improve antibacterial surfaces. The research work was recently published in the journal 'Nanoscale'.

The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on the planet. As a result, permafrost that is thousands of years old is now being lost to erosion. As measurements gathered on the Lena River by AWI experts show, the scale of erosion is alarming: every year, roughly 15 metres of the riverbanks crumble away. In addition, the carbon stored in the permafrost could worsen the greenhouse effect.

NASA's Aqua satellite and the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite provided views of the strength, extent and rainfall potential as Hurricane Sally was making landfall during the morning hours of Sept. 16.

Watches and Warnings  

NOAA's National Hurricane Center has many warnings and watches in place today, Sept. 16. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Dauphin Island, Alabama to the Walton/Bay County Line, Florida. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Okaloosa/Walton County line, Florida.

Although Earth is uniquely situated in the solar system to support creatures that call it home, different forms of life could have once existed, or might still exist, on other planets. But finding traces of past or current lifeforms on other worlds is challenging. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Analytical Chemistry have developed a fully automated microchip electrophoresis analyzer that, when incorporated into a planetary rover, could someday detect organic biosignatures in extraterrestrial soil.

E-cigarette, or vaping, associated lung injury (EVALI) has sickened thousands of people, most under the age of 35. Studies have linked vitamin E acetate, an oily substance in some vaping liquids, to the disorder. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology have uncovered a possible mechanism: Vitamin E acetate could increase the fluidity of lung surfactant, causing the surfactant layer to collapse, contributing to symptoms such as shortness of breath and lung inflammation.