Hey, we mostly all know by now that trees are pretty nifty things. But, did you know that some scientists are using the migration patterns of glowing geckos to prove just how important trees are in the protection of both flora and fauna on your farm?
What better way to show that climate change is adversely affecting the environment than to find a really cute reptiles, dust them with glowing powder and watch them move around at night.
The research found the geckos can identify habitat at 40 metres away, but not 80 metres away, suggesting that the loss of trees would reduce the amount of habitat for many species and reduce connectivity of already fragmented landscapes for some migrating species.
Yep, yep, if you were thinking of dropping a few acorns in the ground, or perhaps planting a hedge next to that old field next spring, know that the geckos (among others) around the country will rejoice.
Check out the article here
Last August we shared a New York Times piece on a new and growing body of research that suggests that the bacteria living in the human digestive track plays an intricate role in the production of hormones and regulation of mood. Research featured in that article found a correlation between certain strains of bacteria and psychological woes such as depression and anxiety. One study fed mice a strand of bacteria that made the mice act as “though they were on prozac.” It was awesome and kind of earth-shaking, and if you haven’t read it yet, you probably should.
That all being said, our sweet farming fermentation fanatics, are you ready for this stuff to get even more bananas? Check out this article out of an October edition of the Scientific American. Research explored here showed that fecal transplants between mice were able to dramatically change a mouse’s character. For instance, a bold mouse, when given a transplant from a shy mouse, become shy. A normal mouse, when given a transplant from an anxious human, becomes more neurotic. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
By all accounts, our micro biome is shaped by many factors– from our mother’s experience during pregnancy to whether or not we were breastfed to what kinds of bacteria we encounter in our every day life. We can imagine that research on bacteria might have the potential to explain all kinds of public health phenomena, from chronic depression to the obesity epidemic.
In the meantime, we’re hedging our bets by increasing our kimchi consumption.
A VALUABLE REPUTATION
After Tyrone Hayes said that a chemical was harmful, its maker pursued him.
By Rachel Aviv for The New Yorker; February 10, 2014
In 2001, seven years after joining the biology faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, Tyrone Hayes stopped talking about his research with people he didn’t trust. He instructed the students in his lab, where he was raising three thousand frogs, to hang up the phone if they heard a click, a signal that a third party might be on the line. Other scientists seemed to remember events differently, he noticed, so he started carrying an audio recorder to meetings. “The secret to a happy, successful life of paranoia,” he liked to say, “is to keep careful track of your persecutors.”
read the full text HERE