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first_imgPune: The city police detained two persons on Tuesday for threatening Shrimant Kokate, a self-proclaimed historical researcher, and leader of the pro-Maratha, anti-Brahmin outfit Sambhaji Brigade.Santosh Shinde, a member of the outfit, told The Hindu that they suspect the accused of being Hindutva activists. “A WhatsApp group of around 80-90 persons had been regularly threatening Mr. Kokate since the past week, exhorting him to stop lecturing on King Shivaji and other aspects of Maharashtra’s history,” he said.He added that a case has been lodged in the Shivajinagar police station and two persons have been taken in police custody.According to sources in the police station, a case was lodged under Sections 501 (attempted defamation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Sections 67 and 67(a) of the IT Act, among others.Mr. Kokate is known for his provocative lectures and writings on the life of Maratha warrior King Chhatrapati Shivaji, besides other aspects of the State’s history, like the Battle of Panipat. He is also critical of Brahmanical narratives and his speeches have aroused the ire of Hindutva groups like the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS).In 2010, the Kolhapur district police police reportedly issued a restraining notice to Mr. Kokate under clause 149 of the IPC, following a complaint by the HJS.last_img read more


first_imgMeat traders in western Uttar Pradesh announced a strike on Thursday, hours after the State government sealed over 36 slaughterhouses and hundreds of retail meat shops across the State in its continued crackdown.Police said 43 persons had been arrested from various districts for alleged cattle smuggling, adding that 27 FIRs had been registered against 60 persons for the same. On the action against illegal slaughterhouses, Additional Superintendent of Police, DGP headquarters, Rahul Srivastav said eight FIRs had been lodged in Meerut, Varanasi and Bareilly, and two illegal slaughterhouses each clos-ed in Varanasi and Bareilly.Prices goes upThe strike move has led to panic buying, with mutton vanishing from shop shelves and the price of chicken rising sharply. Former Mayor of Meerut and meat exporter Shahid Akhlaq told The Hindu that the State administration was acting “under tremendous pressure from the BJP government to shut down all the slaughter houses — even those functioning with proper papers and records.”The BSP leader said that as a mark of protest on the illegal and illogical way of treating meat traders, the Association of Meat Traders had held a panchayat and decided to go on a complete strike till the administration repealed the “draconian approach of treating legal and illegal meat establishments with the same brush.”Highlighting that meat would not be available in the market as the State government has virtually declared every slaughter house to be “illegal”, Mr. Akhlaq said, “We will meet the District Magistrate (DM) and the Commissioner and ask them to provide livelihood to thousands of people. Then what kind of rule of law is this which looks more like an emergency?”Also Read  He said that the “prejudiced way in which BJP government was shutting down all meat establishments, it would not only affect a bulk of India’s meat export but it will also render several lakh people, who are associated with the meat trade directly or indirectly, unemployed. What kind of vikas (development) is this as this is going to cost the leather industry, which is one of the biggest exporting industries in India, very badly”.UP is the largest meat exporting State in India, accounting for annual export turnover of ₹11,351 crore. India’s total meat exports stand at ₹ 26,682 crore.Meanwhile the BJP Mayor of Meerut Harikant Ahluwalia doesn’t want meat to be sold in open market even legally. He and other BJP leaders on Thursday approached the DM against selling of meat in the open market, especially in places which also have temples in its vicinity.This comes a day after three meat shops were vandalised and burnt in Hathras.(With inputs from PTI) No takers for Tunday’s kebabs without beef last_img read more


first_imgSenior Aam Aadmi Party leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly H.S. Phoolka decided to step down from his position on Sunday after the Bar Council of Delhi disallowed his resuming his private practice, holding that he held an “office of profit.” “I have conveyed my decision to the party supremo Arvind Kejriwal… I want to represent and appear for my clients, victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. As my position as the Leader of the Opposition is being considered an office of profit, I’m giving it up,” Mr. Phoolka told The Hindu. Suggests three names“It’s for the party high command to choose a new leader for the AAP legislature party. I have suggested three names, Kanwar Sandhu, Sukhpal Khaira and Aman Arora,” he said.The Bar Council of Delhi had last week barred Advocate Phoolka from resuming practice, arguing that he held the rank of a Cabinet Minister with salary and perks.Suspended practiceMr. Phoolka had suspended his practice on March 30, 2017, after becoming the Leader of the Opposition. Recently, however, he had asked the BCD to permit him to fight the cases of 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims.Meanwhile, Haryana-based advocate Hemant Kumar has written to the Bar Council of India under the Right to Information Act, asking if the Advocate-General appointed in Punjab and Haryana, who enjoyed Cabinet rank with pay and perks, was entitled to practice.last_img read more


first_imgEleven militants used two cars and one motorbike to carry out the attack on a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims on July 10 last year in Kashmir and “the spot and the target was picked just days before the attack”, says the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that filed a chargesheet against the accused on Monday.Speaking to The Hindu, SIT head and Superintendent of Police (SP) Tahir Ashraf Bhatti said, “The Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, including locals, and its head Abu Ismail, picked the spot and the target just a few days before the attack. It was executed by four terrorists directly, with others being assigned their role to provide logistics and keep an eye on the movement of the yatri bus.”According to the 1,500-page SIT report, the bus got disconnected from its security cover first at Pantha Chowk, where the pilgrims picked up more associates, and “later developed a technical snag”, which was attended to at Awantipora.The movement of the bus was monitored “constantly by the militants before it reached Anantnag’s Batengo area”, where militants opened fire. The militants used code language on phones to convey the status of the bus, and if it had security cover.According to the charge sheet, Pakistan-based militants Abu Ismail alias Haroon, Maaviya and Furqan were part of the attack. All the three were killed in encounters in Srinagar and Qazigund last year.Of the 11 accused, four persons, including a juvenile, have been arrested. “Three are still absconding,” it said.last_img read more


first_imgThe Bombay High Court at Goa has refused to amend its March 28 order stopping ore transportation in Goa. However, the court advanced the date of the next hearing by a week. Three mining companies — affected by the high court order to ban transport of ore since the stoppage of mining activity in 88 Supreme Court-cancelled mining leases came into operation — and the Mormugao Port Trust(MPT) had filed a review petition against the order directing the government to stop the ore transportation until final notice.Simultaneously, the High Court also included mining firms which had filed review petition, as respondents in the original contempt petition filed by Goa Foundation, an environmental NGO. The mining companies which have filed the review petition are Fomento Resources, Vedanta, and V M Salgaoncar.The mining firms argued that the transportation was of ‘royalty paid’ ore, and that the Supreme Court order shutting down Goa mining operations did not say anything about transportation of this ore.Declining to accept the plea on the grounds that it could not revise its own order, the High Court said it would hear the affected parties at the next hearing on April 11 instead of April 18.The court asked the government to submit a report on the quantity of ore exported till March 15, and also since March 16.Late on Thursday evening, the Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association(GMOEA, body of iron ore miners and exporters, issued a press release saying the mining leaseholders will evaluate the High Court order in the light of the Supreme Court order, “as our principal order is the Supreme Court order”.Mining operations in Goa came to a grinding halt formally on March 16 after the February 7 order of Supreme Court quashing renewals of 88 mining leases came into effect and also its order to shut down all activities until the leases are renewed.last_img read more


first_imgThe Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan has introduced a 20% surcharge on liquor, the proceeds of which will be used for protection of cows in the State, an official said on Sunday. The State government notified that surcharge at the rate of 20% shall be levied and collected on the amount of tax or any sum in lieu of tax payable on the sale of foreign liquor, Indian made foreign liquor, country liquor and beer sold by dealers registered under the provisions of the Rajasthan Value Added Tax Act, 2003, with effect from July 23, 2018, an official order read. The surcharge imposed on liquor is meant for cow protection, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance and Taxation) Mukesh Kumar Sharma said. The State government had in April last year imposed a 10% surcharge on all non-judicial instruments for the protection of cows, thus making rent agreements, mortgage papers and lease agreements costlier. Official sources said the State government was also considering increasing the surcharge on non-judicial instruments to 20% from existing 10% for cow protection and propagation in addition to the liquor surcharge. Over 2,500 cow-shelters In the drought-affected areas of the State, there are 1,682 shelters with 5.86 lakh cows. There are a total 2,562 cow-shelters having nearly 8.58 lakh cows in Rajasthan. Officials said in the past two financial years, the Rajasthan government has earned approximately ₹895 crore from the 10% surcharge levied on stamp duty for conservation and propagation of cows and their progeny. Under the proposals for Cow Conservation and Propagation Fund Rules-2016, the State government provided ₹132.68 crore in the financial year 2016-17. The funds were provided for fodder and water to 1,160 cow-shelters. In 2017-2018, the State government spent Rs 123.07 crore on 1,603 cow-shelters. In 2015-16, before the surcharge was imposed, the State government spent ₹1.80 crore for nurturing 4,449 bovines.last_img read more


first_imgThe Amarnath Yatra from Jammu was suspended on Saturday owing to frequent disruptions caused by heavy rain since the beginning of the annual pilgrimage, while the over 2,000 pilgrims who were stranded in Udhampur, left for the Pahalgam base camp in the morning, a police officer said.“The yatra from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp has been suspended. No pilgrim was allowed from here but the stranded convoy, carrying 2,032 pilgrims, including 315 women, left for the Pahalgam base camp in south Kashmir in the morning,” he said.A majority of the pilgrims in the third batch who left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp on Friday were stranded in Udhampur district due to frequent disruption in the flow of traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.While 844 pilgrims, including 229 women, who opted for the 12-km Baltal route managed to reach their destination late last night, 2,032 pilgrims who chose the traditional 36-km Pahalgam track were stopped by the authorities at Tikri and other places in Udhampur as a precautionary measure.“After getting the road clearance, the pilgrims were allowed to start their journey towards their destination this morning,” the police officer said.There was an incident of shooting stones at Battery Chashma in Ramban district. Later, the highway was cleared for traffic.A flood alert was sounded in south and central Kashmir after many parts of the State were lashed by monsoon rains intermittently since June 27, leaving thousands of pilgrims who have reached the twin base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal district and Pahalgam in Anantnag district stranded.The rains also triggered landslips and shooting stones at several places along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on Friday, but timely action by the authorities concerned ensured that the 260-km all-weather road connecting the Valley with the rest of the country, remains open.Officials said over 5,000 pilgrims from various parts of the country had reached Jammu to participate in the yatra.“Adequate arrangements are in place for the pilgrims. Over 1,200 pilgrims are lodged at Bhagwati Nagar base camp, while the rest have been provided accommodation at other places,” they said.Despite incessant rain, the pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas commenced as per schedule on June 28 after several hours of delay. However, the pilgrimage faced frequent disruptions owing to continuous rainfall.The 60-day yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with the ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival.last_img read more


first_imgThe mastermind behind the alleged gang-rape of five women activists and the abduction of four policemen from a BJP MP’s residence in Jharkhand was arrested from East Singhbhum district on Sunday, along with another accused, a senior police officer said.The second person was arrested from Khunti district for his involvement in both the incidents, Zonal IG (Ranchi) Naveen Kumar Singh said. A total of seven persons have been nabbed in this connection.“The mastermind behind the Kochang gang-rape case and the June 26 kidnapping of four constables, deployed at the residence of BJP MP Karia Munda, has been arrested. He has been identified as John Johnsas Tidu,” Mr. Singh said.Another person, identified as Balram Samad, was also arrested, he added.last_img


first_imgWith the inauguration of the much-awaited Gurupriya bridge by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday, over 150 cut-off villages of Balimela reservoir in the Maoist-infested Malkangiri district got connected to the rest of the State after almost five decades.Mr. Patnaik termed the Gurupriya bridge a pride of the nation which symbolises peace, cooperation and progress. He also announced a Rs.100-crore package for development of the remote cut-off areas of Malkangiri district.According to the Chief Minister, through the package the cut-off areas would become regions of pride. The special package includes a fishery project in the reservoir, construction of two roads in the erstwhile cut-off areas, electrification, drinking water supply, provision of healthcare and a new bridge at Manyamkonda.‘Peace most important’The Chief Minister reached the Maoist-prone region around noon by helicopter. He paid homage to those who were martyred for the bridge and appealed to Maoists to renounce violence and join the mainstream of society. Through his Twitter handle, he said peace was of utmost importance for progress. He appealed to the left-wing extremists in the region to forsake violence and embrace progress that the bridge brings to the region. The bridge was a dream project of the State government. Over 30,000 tribals of these villages had got cut off from the mainland in 1972 because of the Balimela reservoir created due to a hydel project. Since then the villagers have had to cover distances of up to 60 km by boats or launches in waterways from Chitrakonda in the mainland to Jantri, the last ferry point inside the reservoir. Because of its extreme remoteness and only land link with Visakhapatnam district in adjoining Andhra Pradesh, the cut-off region became a safe haven for Maoists.In 1982, the State government had planned to construct a ‘hanging bridge’ on the Gurupriya river. But this as well as several subsequent attempts to provide road connection to the cut-off region never took off as Maoists, through their violent activities, always opposed construction of a bridge.Technical challenges The work order for the bridge was awarded to Gammon India in 2006 but it could not progress due to technical challenges and Maoist threats. Maoists ambushed a boat carrying Greyhound jawans from Andhra Pradesh in the reservoir in June 2008. At least 38 people, including 35 jawans, were killed in the attack. The Collector of Malkangiri, R. Vineel Krishna, was kidnapped by Maoists in 2011 during his attempt to electrify these cut-off villages.The construction of the bridge was also a technical challenge as it had to be erected in 70- to 90-foot-deep water. Six attempts by the State Works Department to get bidders for construction failed and at last in 2014 it was awarded to Royal Infraconstru Limited through competitive bidding.The bridge took around three and a half years to complete. The Border Security Force had to be deployed in the area for anti-Maoist operations and for providing security cover for the construction work.As Maoist threat still looms over the bridge, it is under round-the-clock vigil of security personnel and CCTV cameras.last_img read more


first_img He joined the Congress in the presence of its Madhya Pradesh unit president Kamal Nath and another senior state leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and said the state needs a leader like Nath not Chouhan.“Madhya Pradesh does not need Shivraj but Nath. We all know how Chhindwara has been developed and is identified with Kamal Nath. The state also needs to be identified with him,” Masani said. Kamal Nath represents Chhindwara in the Lok Sabha.While he lashed out at the BJP for ignoring “kaamdars” (those who toil) at the cost of “naamdars” (big names), he said he should not be projected as a family member of Chouhan but only as his relative.“My name is Sanjay Singh Masani. My family lineage and ‘gotra’ are different,” he said.Kamal Nath told reporters that all sections of society are affected by Chouhan’s misrule, and the decision of Masani to join the Congress is a reflection of people’s wish to chart a new course of development in the state, he said.The BJP has been in power in the state since 2003. Dispute between Digvijaya Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia reportedly delays Congress’ MP list Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chahuhan’s brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani joined the Congress Saturday, saying the state needs the party chief Kamal Nath not Chouhan as the CM.Masani is the brother of Chouhan’s wife Sadhna Singh.Also Readlast_img read more


first_imgIn the agriculturally-rich Hanumangarh district of northern Rajasthan, the seepage of water from the Indira Gandhi Canal into about 30 villages of Pilibanga and Rawatsar blocks is set to decide the depth of support to different political parties in the Assembly election. Two generations of farmers, facing the problem for 40 years, have felt betrayed by politicians here.Turned into wastelandOver 4,370 hectares of fertile land in the region has become wasteland with the canal waters flooding the agricultural land as well as houses. The water seeps into the fields, but is unable to go deep because of the underground gypsum layer. As a result, the salted water floods and destroys the land.Neither any compensation nor the assistance for rejuvenation of land has been given to the farmers, leading to resentment in the agricultural community. Farmers have now taken a pledge to support only that party which helps them raise their living standards. Many farmers, who were once rich, have been driven to penury with their land becoming infertile.Dhanna Ram Godara, bio-farming head of the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh in the district, who has led an agitation on the issue for more than a year, told The Hindu that the drainage of water through pipelines had turned out to be impractical. “Some farmers were relocated and allotted land elsewhere in 1992. The problem persists because of insensitivity of the successive governments. It has affected 26,000 families,” he said.After signing an agreement with the agitating farmers in October 2017, the BJP government pursued the matter with the Centre. A comprehensive plan with the Central allocation for a project to remove water from the fields was still awaited, Jakhdawali-based activist Bhajan Lal pointed out. However, lining of the Indira Gandhi Canal’s distributaries by adding an impermeable layer at the edges has been taken up at some places.State Water Resources Minister Ram Pratap, who was instrumental in making Hanumangarh a district in 1994, is contesting the election as a BJP candidate again from the constituency. As the farmers in the seepage-affected areas expect him to do something to help them out, he is facing anti-incumbency in his constituency.Elsewhere in the district, elections to the irrigation water utilisers’ associations — under the Bhakra irrigation system’s second division — have been delayed because of the model code of conduct being enforced for the Assembly polls. At present, the Irrigation Department’s officials are running the 49 canal distributaries in the system, supplying water to 277 villages in Ghaggar, Khara and Pilibanga blocks.Right to manage Farmers have been given the right to manage the affairs of canals under the Rajasthan Farmers’ Participation in Management of Irrigation Systems Act, 2000. The election of chairpersons of water utilisation associations enables them to control the works such as delineation of areas, fixing the turn of fields to get irrigation waters, sanctioning the construction of new heads and maintenance and cleanliness of the distributaries.With the ruling BJP having represented all the five Assembly constituencies in the district in 2013, the voters in the city, situated near Ghaggar river, as well as in the rural areas are still waiting for resolution of the issues of lack of agro-based industries, poor infrastructure for civic amenities and closure of the local spinning mill.CPI(M) candidate from Bhadra Balwan Singh Poonia, who had lost to the BJP’s Sanjeev Kumar in the 2013 election, expects to turn the tide this time and get farmers’ support while campaigning for more water for irrigation and better minimum support prices for agricultural produce.Interestingly, the district administration here has launched an intensive campaign to ensure a good turnout of voters during the December 7 polling. The initiatives for releasing posters of a “Votu” mascot and playing of jingles in the local dialect have attracted the people. A mobile app to enable the people to take a pledge to cast their votes, after which they get a signed certificate, had especially generated a “sense of participation” among the electorate, said Collector Dinesh Chandra Jain.last_img read more


first_imgEight people, including seven women, were killed and several injured in a pile-up caused by heavy fog in Haryana’s Jhajjar on Monday.Two of the injured are said to be in a critical condition and were referred to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak. The rest are under treatment at Jhjjar’s civil hospital.Inspector Seema, Station House Officer for City Jhajjar, told The Hindu that a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) carrying two dozen people, on their way to Najafgarh in Delhi, hit a trailer truck from behind near the Badli flyover on the Rohtak-Rewari highway at 9 a.m. due to poor visibility. Another trailer truck coming at the back hit the SUV, crushing the vehicle. It triggered a pile-up involving more than a dozen vehicles, including a school bus.Victims travelled in SUV“The deceased were all travelling in the SUV. They belonged to Kirdot village in Jhajjar and were going to the condole to death of a relative,” said Ms. Seema. The two critically injured were also travelling in the SUV.The accident led to a two-km long traffic jam on the road mostly frequented by the trucks.last_img read more


first_imgOdisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled a 19-foot-high statue of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, at Jirang in Gajapati district on Thursday.This 29 tonne stone statue is placed in the middle of ‘Padma Sarovar’, a large tank near Padmasambhava Mahavihara, the largest Buddhist monastery in eastern India. The Dalai Lama had inaugurated this monastery in 2010. Tibetan refugees settled in this region over six decades ago.Historians claim that Guru Padmasambhava, also known as second Buddha, was born and brought up in Odisha before he left for Tibet.A large gathering of Tibetan settlers along with their religious and administrative leaders were present at the function. The statue of Guru Padmasambhava has been sculpted by noted sculptor Padmashri Prabhakar Moharana.Addressing the gathering, Mr. Patnaik said Odisha was once a major centre of learning and practice of Buddhism. It is evident form Buddhist archaeological sites in the State. It is the land that transformed Emperor Ashoka to a benevolent king, said Mr. Patnaik. “Tibetan people of Jirang have become an integral part of Odisha’s socio-economic and cultural life,” he said.During his visit to Jirang, the Chief Minister also inaugurated and laid foundation stones for developmental projects worth ₹81 crore in Gajapati district.last_img read more


first_imgEmphasising on the relevance and topicality of the manuscripts Jayanta Sengupta, secretary and curator of the VHM said that though the language of the text is Sanskrit but the script is clearly a departure from Devanagari and is in Bengali. “Like many medieval texts Gita Govinda was translated for hundreds of years. These manuscripts were copied by hand in beautiful handwriting much before the technology of printing press arrived. This is the earliest Bengali manuscript we have in the collection of VMH and we found it historically most relevant to display to mark the International Mother Language Day,” Mr Sengupta said. The entire epic poem Gita Govinda comprising 76, folios, ink on paper, measuring 10.6 cm in width and 32.4 cm in length was purchased by Victoria Memorial Hall in 2005 by art collector Indranath Majumdar. The two folios, which have been put up on display, after being conserved by the paper conservation unit of the VMH, depict two different situations in the epic poem. While in one manuscript the image shows Krishna with another Gopi while an anguished Radha sits on the sidelines. In the other one, the Radha can be seen having a tiff with Krishna.Gita Govinda is 12-century text by Sanskrit poet Jaidev. The poem an important text in Bhakti Movement depicts the love of Krishna and his consort, Radha and can also be performed and rendered simultaneously. Mr Sengupta, highlighted the beautiful illustrations on these manuscripts and said that there has been tradition of illustrated manuscripts where illustrations go with the texts not only with Bhakti period texts but also some texts in Arabic, which are in the collections of VMH. “The form of imagery in the illustrated texts is very similar to what Bengal Pat Paintings and Bengal School of Art which evolved a century later after the text,” he added.The two manuscripts of Gita Govinda, at display at Victoria Memorial Hall. The manuscript dates back to 17 th and written in Bengali script.last_img read more


first_imgEver send a bottle of wine back at a restaurant? If you weren’t just being a pretentious snob, then it was probably because the wine seemed “corked”—had a musty odor and didn’t taste quite right. Most likely, the wine was contaminated with a molecule called 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), the main cause of cork taint. But a new study by Japanese researchers concludes that you do not smell TCA directly; rather, TCA blocks up your sense of smell and distorts your ability to detect odors. The findings could help the food and beverage industry improve its products and lead to less embarrassment for both you and your waiter.Wine tasters are well aware that TCA can ruin a bottle of wine. “More experienced tasters can recognize TCA taint at the first sniff of an affected wine,” says Thomas Matthews, executive editor of Wine Spectator magazine. “However, some of our tasters are much more sensitive than others to the flaw and pick it up at much lower levels.” In some cases, wines that tasters said were OK to drink but that reviewers rated as inferior turned out to have small but detectable concentrations of TCA when subjected to laboratory analysis, Matthews adds.Researchers had long assumed that contaminants like TCA activate nerve cells involved in smell called olfactory receptor cells (ORCs), although they have not been able to explain how even extremely low concentrations of the molecule produce the corked odor. So Hiroko Takeuchi, a biophysicist at Osaka University in Japan, and colleagues set out to see what’s really going on when ORCs are exposed to TCA and similar contaminants. First, the team isolated ORCs from newts, whose ORCs are the largest among vertebrates and about three times as large as those of humans. The cells’ size made it easier to measure electrical currents across an ORC’s outer membrane by puncturing it with a thin glass tube called a micropipette. 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Instead, it stopped the flow by blocking passages through the membrane, called cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels. TCA was up to 1000 times more effective in blocking CNG channels than other odor blockers sometimes used in making perfume, the researchers report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Turning to human subjects, the researchers recruited 20 volunteers from the Daiwa Can Co. in Tokyo, which manufactures packaging for foods and beverages. The volunteers were experienced at tasting for “off” flavors and odors but were not experts in wine tasting. The subjects tasted glasses of both red and white wines to which the researchers had added minute amounts of TCA. In double-blind tastings, the subjects recognized cork taint from TCA at concentrations as low as 10 parts per trillion. (They also detected similar levels of two other common wine contaminants.)TCA and other contaminants don’t activate your sense of smell directly but distort it, giving the sensation of a musty odor, the researchers say. They suspect that TCA inhibits only a subset of CNG channels and thus mixes up the signals sent to the brain. TCA is also found in apples, raisins, chicken, shrimps, peanuts, cashews, sake, green tea, beer, and whiskey, as well as in packaging for these products. So the food and beverage industry “has to pay attention to TCA contamination,” Takeuchi says.The study still doesn’t reveal how such small concentrations of TCA create the effect. The molecules cannot stopper the channels directly because the typical ORC has about 100,000 CNG channels but the lowest concentrations of TCA applied to the newt cells would supply only about 600 molecules to a cell. So one TCA molecule must be affecting a number of CNG channels simultaneously. Takeuchi and her colleagues hypothesize that TCA-like contaminants are probably absorbed into the fat layers that make up the cell membrane to cause widespread disruption of the channels.The findings are “not totally surprising,” says Barry Ache, director of the Center for Smell and Taste at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Many other chemicals are capable of blocking ion channels, he says, and “there is reasonable, if not compelling, evidence that a reduction in excitation is as much a part of the olfactory [sense] as excitation itself.” He agrees that TCA might be able to exert its powerful effect by dissolving into the cell membrane.So, the next time you send back a bottle of wine, tell the waiter that you have detected unacceptable levels of TCA. That—and a decent tip—might persuade him that you’re not just being pretentious.*Correction, 16 September, 6:18 p.m.: The last sentence of the seventh paragraph initially began, “Takeuchi and his colleagues,” when it should have read, “Takeuchi and her colleagues,” as Hiroko Takeuchi is a woman. This has now been corrected, and we apologize for the error.last_img read more


first_imgPresident Vladimir Putin last week signed a clutch of decrees that could have a profound effect on science in Russia. One stipulates that all state research funding should be distributed via a competitive grants system. Previously, research institutes received government support to cover things such as upkeep of buildings and utility bills, but that could now stop, as will the government’s so-called state targeted programs, which single out certain areas for direct financial support.It remains unclear, however, how the new system will work as the decrees don’t describe an organizational scheme. “One can only welcome the introduction of a competitive funding system,” says Valery Rubakov of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ (RAS’s) Institute for Nuclear Research. “But only on one condition: if the competition is absolutely transparent. In this case it may do much good. Otherwise, it will be deadly for many laboratories and not only for the ones that are ineffective.”Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science has been trying to introduce such a system since the fall of the Soviet Union but has been hampered by RAS, which has controlled most basic research in Russia. RAS supports competitive funding publicly, but has worked to maintain a system that evolved in the former Soviet Union, in which it controlled the distribution of funds within the academy. But a recent reorganization of Russia’s research system reduced RAS’s influence and the ministry is taking the opportunity to implement a competitive funding system. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)At a meeting of the Council for Science and Education, which advises the president, Putin said that supporting science “by apportioning budget for state targeted programs” should be stopped; that position was confirmed by one of last week’s decrees. Observers expect the authority to finance research programs to be assigned to the Russian Science Foundation, a new agency established last November.“Today we cannot say how the foundation will work,” Yevgeny Onishchenko of the RAS Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow, tells ScienceInsider. “Researchers who have already started to participate in the competition for this funding will face serious problems. They risk either being left without the money they were counting on, or getting it with a substantial delay, much later than they actually need it.”“If basic funding becomes a matter of competition—an unclear competition—as it is seen at the moment, for many institutes it will mean a catastrophe,” Rubakov says. “Today, basic funding in Russian institutes is meager, it is hardly sufficient to cover public utility charges. If this funding is put out for tender it would mean bankruptcy for many institutes.” Putin also decreed a yearlong moratorium on anything being done with RAS property, which was transferred last year to the jurisdiction of the newly created Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations. Putin had stated his intention to do this last fall.  In general, Onishchenko says, the government has again plunged the research community into a state of uncertainty. “Everything that is happening now and to which researchers are trying to somehow adapt, can radically change any minute. And it is unclear if that change will be for better or for worse.”Photo caption: Change agent. Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with students at the National Research Nuclear University in Moscow earlier this week. (Credit: Presidential Press and Information Office/Government of Russia)last_img read more


first_imgIn an earthquake, the ground doesn’t always just shudder and roll. In some places, solid earth turns liquid and can swallow cars and roads, or even topple buildings that may be resting on top of the weakening soil. This “liquefaction” can be the most destructive part of the disaster. Scientists have long tried to study the phenomenon, but now researchers say that many of these experiments are flawed and fail to accurately represent real-world conditions.In sediments like sand, the grains stack on top of one another and create a skeletal network. The energy of an earthquake jostles and squeezes the sediment grains together and the skeleton collapses. This collapse forces all the grains closer together, closing in the walls around ground water in between grains. The water molecules push back against the sand, raising the water pressure so it’s strong enough to force the grains out of contact with one another, while the shaking allows grains to readily move. These two things make it so every bone in the skeleton has been rattled and pushed apart, and the ground becomes like a slurry and liquefies.But not all sediments are equal. Scientists and engineers have devised methods and models to test different sediments and predict where liquefaction is most likely to occur. That would help city planners avoid liquefaction-susceptible areas when placing important infrastructure like dams or gas pipelines that can burst and start fires in an earthquake. Such knowledge could also help scientists devise methods to mitigate liquefaction risks.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But geotechnical engineer Amy Rechenmacher, an associate professor at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, says that in these tests “the understanding of the physics was not complete.” People weren’t thinking about liquefaction correctly, adds Rechenmacher’s colleague, Daniel Lakeland, a Ph.D. graduate in civil engineering at USC. “Historically, people considered this to be an undrained process,” meaning the water inside sediment pore spaces doesn’t flow away. Scientists knew that water would flow through sediments during earthquakes, but Lakeland says “the assumption was that flow was not important.” The idea was that pressure from the earthquake builds up far faster than water can flow away to relieve it, almost 10 times faster, so it didn’t matter if water was moving.To understand which sediments liquefy, scientists could use a test where they shake a waterlogged sediment wrapped in a watertight skin to prevent flow and measure the pressure when the sediment liquefies. But Rechenmacher says that this approach makes the incorrect assumption that liquefaction would occur locally in some part of a sediment deposit. If water and pressure never migrated, then soils would liquefy all at once right where they were.To get a better sense of how liquefaction works, the team built a model that more accurately replicated what happens in the real world. The model showed that once water pressure ratchets up in sands, water can begin draining almost as quickly as the pressure builds, so pressure actually diffuses through the sediment pores, the researchers report in the May issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society A. This movement creates a wave of pressure that travels through the sediment until it eventually piles up on itself, and liquefaction initiates somewhere else, possibly somewhere unexpected.“This flow is placing where liquefaction will occur,” Lakeland says. If you ignore the flow, then all that matters is how hard the earthquake is squeezing the sediment “and you won’t see a difference in the location from one place to another as to what the pressure looks like.” Rechenmacher says not capturing this part of the physics led to “a lot of inability of those lab tests to predict liquefaction.” Using these tests, scientists weren’t able to accurately pinpoint what areas would be the safest or the most dangerous during an earthquake, creating difficulties when trying to mitigate earthquake damages.There are other possibilities, too. If the water is moving through the ground, it could load up against some more impermeable material, like silt or clay, and cause liquefaction against that boundary, too. If the clay or silt is on a slope, that would result in catastrophic landslides.Geotechnical engineer Ross Boulanger, a professor at the University of California, Davis, says the authors make a good point. “I think their model is doing a good job of capturing this important part of the physics.” Because the lab tests can’t account for fluid flow at all, Boulanger says the tests can’t reflect liquefaction behavior in the real world, and a lot of people ignore that. But he also says there were some people who did know fluid flow is important and had tried to account for it in the past.Lakeland admits that people had seen the effects of fluid flow in some specialized experiments, but he says that “nobody had come up with an explanation for it.” He says now we can “be confident that we’ve made a model that captures all the physical phenomena.”Rechenmacher hopes their new model will help engineers and city planners improve analysis of liquefaction risks and identify places “that previously weren’t thought to be a problem.” Lakeland thinks the work could one day help “prevent enormous potential damages” by aiding planners in designing safer cities and softening the blow from a powerful earthquake.*Correction, 24 March, 8:29 a.m.: This article previously stated that Daniel Lakeland is a civil engineer at USC, and that Amy Rechenmacher felt the research would help identify where liquefaction is most likely to occur. This has been corrected to a Ph.D. graduate in civil engineering at USC, and that Rechenmacher hopes the model will help improve analysis of liquefaction risks.last_img read more


first_imgWe know a lot about how birds navigate over long distances, yet little about how they steer through small-scale, cluttered environments like forests and city streets. How, for example, do they decide on a course that won’t lead to a nasty crash? To address this question, researchers constructed randomized obstacle courses of vertical poles, through which four pigeons—trained to fly between two perches—could traverse. A series of ceiling-mounted, high-speed cameras were used to monitor the animals, which wore pairs of LED markers—on the head (pictured) and on the body—so they could be tracked. From these, the scientists constructed 3D maps of the birds’ flight paths. Pigeons seem to use a reactive approach to navigating obstacles, the researchers report online today in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, with the birds first adjusting their flight path when only 1.5 meters from the entry to the artificial forest—rather than planning out their path in advance. By combining data on each run of the course with the respective layout of obstacles, the team was then able to reconstruct a literal bird’s-eye view along the flight, breaking down the journey into sections to determine, at each point, how the pigeons might decide on a path to take based on the obstacles they encounter. Rather than solely attempting to minimize the extent of their course corrections (by aiming for the nearest gaps between obstacles lying in their path), pigeons seem to prefer steering toward larger gaps, if available, when making rapid steering decisions: a behavior that the researchers call “a surprisingly simple strategy for such sophisticated behavior,” and one that might inform the development of controllers for guiding flying robots in the future.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more


first_imgBetween adults and hatchlings Between hatchlings Once per dry season in Brazil, based on some unseen cue, female giant South American river turtles decide that it’s time to leave the Amazon River to lay their eggs. Clambering ashore in single file, with impressive coordination they spread out across the beach to dig their sandy nests. The apparent secret to the threatened species’ teamwork: good communication. After analyzing 220 hours of audio recordings of turtles in the wild, researchers found six different types of vocalization, all audible to the human ear, which were correlated with specific behaviors, such as gathering together, or waiting for hatchlings to enter the Amazon. Baby turtles also seem to talk to each other while hatching, possibly coordinating their first migration to the river, the research team reports in the latest issue of the quarterly journal Herpetologica. The study provides the first evidence that turtles use vocalizations to synchronize group activities and rear their young, the group says.To hear samples of the turtle vocalizations, click below:Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Between adultslast_img read more


first_imgRising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are acidifying the world’s oceans and threatening the survival of shell-forming organisms like clams, oysters, crabs (pictured), and lobsters. As pH drops, the shells and skeletons of some marine life can literally dissolve away. However, results from a new study suggest that marine ecosystems, such as seagrass meadows, may help shell-forming organisms overcome the effects of future ocean acidification. The finding, published online ahead of print in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, is among the first to study the effects of acidifying waters on a natural marine community made up of a diverse assemblage of multiple species. Researchers compared the number and diversity of shell-forming organisms at two seagrass sites—one with normal ocean water pH (pH 8.1) and one exposed to acidified waters (pH 7.8) from natural underwater carbon dioxide vents—over the course of 1 year. The results were unexpected; the number of shell-forming organisms collected at the acidified site was almost double that of the site with normal ocean conditions. Moreover, shell-building organisms that were previously noted to be susceptible to acidified waters in laboratory experiments appeared to thrive. Seagrass density increased in response to a lower pH, so it’s possible that the plant is providing more food and protection from predators. Seagrasses also undergo a high rate of photosynthesis that may serve to buffer changes in ocean chemistry that affect shell-building organisms. Such ecosystems may therefore provide a unique refuge to protect shell-forming organisms from ocean acidification and prevent the collapse of these fragile marine communities, the authors say.last_img read more