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Americans drill deeper and deeper to find fresh water

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A new study, produced by researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara, emphasizes once again the importance of freshwater reserves and how these can be a problem in the future.

The study, published in Nature Sustainability, analyzed the data of nearly 12 million wells throughout the United States, data dating back even decades. The results clearly show that Americans are digging deeper and deeper into the soil in search of drinking water. The researchers examined various factors, including the location of the wells, the main purpose of the latter (there may be wells for domestic, industrial, agricultural, etc.) and the depth of the same wells.

To collect the numerous data the researchers took four years, as reported by Scott Jasechko, one of the authors of the research together with Debra Perrone.

According to the results they obtained, the wells are becoming deeper between 1.4 and 9.2 times every time they are drilled in-depth, and this surprised the researchers themselves. The trend mainly concerns some areas, including the Central Valley of California, the High Plains of southwestern Kansas and the Atlantic coastal plain.

Furthermore, the data showed that it was not only the exhaustion of the water reserves that pushed to make deeper and deeper perforations but also the fear of the pollution of the same strata, a fear that is evidently becoming more and more nagging which leads to digging lower and lower.

Of course, with extractions carried out at ever greater depth, costs also increase and therefore people who can afford efficient wells decrease. This affects especially rural communities for which groundwater has always been a crucial resource.

Katherine Turner

I am a Psychology major and have held a long career in journalism, having worked as an editor for a number of publications in Delaware including Beach Paper and Middletown Transcript. I am a volunteer contributor to Turtle Island News and am responsible for proofreading, editing, writing stories and also helping out with WordPress issues from time to time.

Landline contact number: 302-929-6701
Mobile contact number: 302-463-6124
Email contact: [email protected]
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Malaria forms resistant to any drug are spreading in Southeast Asia

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According to the results of a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the most resistant forms of human malaria, those of the Plasmodium falciparum parasites, are gaining even more resistance against drugs in Southeast Asia.

These forms have spread quickly since 2015 in various regions of Southeast Asia, from Laos to Cambodia to end with Thailand and Vietnam. Treatment failures are causing alarm among doctors and experts. These forms of malaria seem to be resistant to artemisinin and piperaquine, which is undermining efforts to eradicate the disease in these regions.

According to Olivo Miotto of the Wellcome Sanger Institute and of the University of Oxford, UK, one of the authors of the studies, these results indicate that the resistance of Plasmodium falciparum is becoming a very large epidemiological problem also because this strain seems to spread geographically very quickly invading new territories and acquiring ever more profitable genetic properties that increase resistance even more.

According to Mallika Imwong of the University of Mahidol in Thailand, “to stay one step ahead, continuous surveillance, including genetic surveillance, is needed to map the spread of resistance in real-time, so that other countries can act quickly and change drugs if necessary.”

The Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for nine deaths out of 10 for the case of malaria, a disease which at present infects more than 200 million people around the world.

Katherine Turner

I am a Psychology major and have held a long career in journalism, having worked as an editor for a number of publications in Delaware including Beach Paper and Middletown Transcript. I am a volunteer contributor to Turtle Island News and am responsible for proofreading, editing, writing stories and also helping out with WordPress issues from time to time.

Landline contact number: 302-929-6701
Mobile contact number: 302-463-6124
Email contact: [email protected]
Katherine Turner
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New species of bioluminescent beetle discovered in China

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A new species of bioluminescent beetle has been discovered in subtropical hardwood forests in the southwestern regions of China.

The new identification, carried out by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences as well as by researchers from other institutes, is related to a new member of the family of elaterids (Elateridae), a family of beetles that is characterized by an unusual behavior: they produce a shot with their own body thanks to which they manage to make jumps to escape predators. They are also called “click beetles” because they produce, by performing this move, an unusual “click.”

The family of elaterids contains about 10,000 species that live around the world but only 200 of them are able to emit light. These species live mainly in Latin America and Oceania and therefore the discovery of a new “luminous” exponent in China bodes well for new species of bioluminescent beetles also in this continent.

As stated by Wen-Xuan Bi, one of the researchers involved in the discovery, the latter occurred in 2017 during an expedition to western Yunnan.

The researchers had noticed a bioluminescent beetle with a single luminous organ on the abdomen. Also, this characteristic is to be underlined: most of the bioluminescent beetles boast the luminous organs on the first of the three thoracic segments of the body or both on the prothorax and on the abdomen. There are very few species that boast these luminous organs only on the abdomen.

The morphological investigation by which researchers also analyzed the genes shows that it is not only a new species but also a new subfamily belonging to the elaterids.

The new subfamily was called Sinopyrophorinae, the new genus was named Sinopyrophorus while the species was named Sinopyrophorinae Schimmel.

Katherine Turner

I am a Psychology major and have held a long career in journalism, having worked as an editor for a number of publications in Delaware including Beach Paper and Middletown Transcript. I am a volunteer contributor to Turtle Island News and am responsible for proofreading, editing, writing stories and also helping out with WordPress issues from time to time.

Landline contact number: 302-929-6701
Mobile contact number: 302-463-6124
Email contact: [email protected]
Katherine Turner
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Sex change in anemone fish first begins in the brain

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Anemonefish (Amphiprioninae), also called clown fish, are fish of the Pomacentridae family characterized by very vivid colors, usually tending to orange or red with black and white streaks. These fish survive thanks to a highly symbiotic relationship with sea anemones: they always live close to them and feed on the waste they leave.

These fish represent a wonder of creation especially for another reason: they can change sex if there is need. For example, if the last female of a group disappears, a male can become female to continue the reproduction level.

A new study, conducted by Justin Rhodes, a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois, has discovered that this sex change occurs first in the brain and only subsequently involves the gonads and sexual organs, sometimes even after months or years.

The researchers also found that when this change occurs a particular process is triggered in the brain in an area that controls the same gonads. In the study, which appeared in Hormones and Behavior, it is described what appears to be the first case of animals in which the sex change takes place first in the brain and then in the organs.

The change is triggered when, for any reason, the female of the group that lives in the anemone disappears. At this point, the main male companion begins to take on female behaviors and among other things, begins to aggressively defend the “nest,” just like the female did. In this process which then leads to a final sex change, the next larger male becomes his partner.

By performing laboratory experiments, the researchers followed the behavioral development of 17 pairs of male anemone fish. After a few minutes from the moment they were placed in the tank, one of the males emerged as dominant and began to behave as a female but the gonads remained masculine.

By analyzing the brain of the fish, the researchers realized that, among the changes, there was an increase in the pre-optic area, something that made her brain look more and more like that of a female.

After six months the brain became completely feminine and only after the end of this brain process did the sex change of the organs begin.

Katherine Turner

I am a Psychology major and have held a long career in journalism, having worked as an editor for a number of publications in Delaware including Beach Paper and Middletown Transcript. I am a volunteer contributor to Turtle Island News and am responsible for proofreading, editing, writing stories and also helping out with WordPress issues from time to time.

Landline contact number: 302-929-6701
Mobile contact number: 302-463-6124
Email contact: [email protected]
Katherine Turner
Continue Reading

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