Connect with us

Science

To intervene or not to intervene? That is the future climate question – Science Daily

Published

 on


Nine of the hottest years in human history have occurred in the past decade. Without a major shift in this climate trajectory, the future of life on Earth is in question, which poses a new question: Should humans, whose fossil fueled society is driving climate change, use technology to put the brakes on global warming?

Michigan State University community ecologist Phoebe Zarnetske is co-lead of the Climate Intervention Biology Working Group, a team of internationally recognized experts in climate science and ecology that is bringing science to bear on the question and consequences of geoengineering a cooler Earth.

The group’s paper, “Potential ecological impacts of climate intervention by reflecting sunlight to cool Earth,” was published in the most recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS.

“There is a dearth of knowledge about the effects of climate intervention on ecology,” said Zarnetske, associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology in the MSU College of Natural Science and the paper’s lead author. “As scientists, we need to understand and predict the positive and negative effects it could have on the natural world, identify key knowledge gaps and begin to predict what impacts it may have on terrestrial, marine and freshwater species and ecosystems if it were adopted in the future.”

Conversations in 2018 between Jessica Gurevitch, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University and working group co-lead, and Alan Robock, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University, gave rise to the pioneering group, which is more aware than most that geoengineering Earth’s atmosphere is more than just a science fiction scenario.

The costs and technology needed to reflect the sun’s heat back into space are currently more attainable than other climate intervention ideas like absorbing carbon dioxide from the air. The working group anticipates its discussions and open access paper will encourage an explosion of scientific investigation into how a climate intervention strategy known as solar radiation modification, or SRM, in tandem with greenhouse gas emissions reduction, would affect the natural world.

The feasibility of planetary wide SRM efforts hinge on accurate predictions of its myriad outcomes provided by the well-established computer simulations of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project, or GeoMIP. The PNAS paper lays the foundation for expanding GeoMIP’s scope to include the incredible range and diversity of Earth’s ecosystems.

“While climate models have become quite advanced in predicting climate outcomes of various geoengineering scenarios, we have very little understanding of what the possible risks of these scenarios might be for species and natural systems,” Gurevitch said. “Are the risks for extinction, species community change and the need for organisms to migrate to survive under SRM greater than those of climate change, or does SRM reduce the risks caused by climate change?”

“Most of the GeoMIP models only simulate abiotic variables, but what about all of the living things that are affected by climate and rely on energy from the sun?” Zarnetske said, who is also a faculty member of MSU’s Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Program. “We need to better understand the possible impacts of SRM on everything from soil microorganisms to monarch butterfly migrations to marine systems.”

Zarnetske’s Spatial and Community Ecology Lab, or SpaCE Lab, specializes in predicting how ecological communities respond to climate change across scales from the microcosm to the global, making it uniquely poised to assist the working group in illuminating vital data for future SRM scenarios such as stratospheric aerosol intervention, or SAI, the focus of the paper.

SAI would reduce some of the sun’s incoming radiation by reflecting sunlight back into space, such as what happens after large volcanic eruptions. Theoretically, it would be possible to continuously replenish the cloud and control its thickness and location to achieve a desired target temperature.

But the paper reveals the under researched complexity of cascading relationships between ecosystem function and climate under different SAI scenarios. In fact, the scientists argue that climate change mitigation must continue regardless of whether SRM is adopted, and the question remains whether some or any SRM can be beneficial in addition to decarbonization efforts.

“Although SAI may cool Earth’s surface to a global temperature target, the cooling may be unevenly distributed, affecting many ecosystem functions and biodiversity,” Zarnetske said. “Rainfall and surface ultraviolet radiation would change, and SAI would increase acid rain and would not mitigate ocean acidification.”

In other words, SRM is not a magic bullet for solving climate change. Until the working group’s efforts inspire new research into the effects of different climate intervention scenarios, SRM is more akin to a shot in the dark.

“Participating in this working group has been quite eye-opening for me,” said Peter Groffman, ecosystem ecologist and professor at the Advanced Science Research Center at the CUNY Graduate Center and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. “I was unaware that modeling climate intervention was so advanced, and I think that climate modelers were unaware of the complexities of the ecological systems being affected. It is a strong reminder of the importance of the need for multidisciplinary analysis of complex problems in environmental science.”

“We hope that this paper will spark a lot more attention to this issue and greater cooperation between scientists in the fields of climate science and ecology,” Gurevitch said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

SpaceX launches amateur crew on private Earth-circling trip – Al Jazeera English

Published

 on


SpaceX’s first private flight has been launched into orbit with two contest winners, a healthcare worker and their rich sponsor on board, the most ambitious leap yet in space tourism.

The launch on Wednesday night was the first time a spacecraft circled Earth with an all-amateur crew and no professional astronauts.

“Punch it, SpaceX!” the flight’s billionaire leader, Jared Isaacman, urged moments before liftoff.

The Dragon capsule’s two men and two women are looking to spend three days circling the planet from an unusually high orbit – 160km (100 miles) higher than the International Space Station – before splashing down off the Florida coast this weekend.

It is SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s first entry in the competition for space tourism dollars.

Isaacman is the third billionaire to launch this summer, following the brief space-skimming flights by Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson and Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos in July. Only 38, Isaacman made his fortune from a payment-processing company he started in his teens.

Joining Isaacman on the trip dubbed Inspiration4 is Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a childhood bone cancer survivor who works as a physician assistant where she was treated – St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Isaacman has pledged $100m out of his own pocket to the hospital and is seeking another $100m in donations.

Arceneaux became the youngest American in space and the first person in space with a prosthesis, a titanium rod in her left leg.

Also along for the ride are sweepstakes winners Chris Sembroski, 42, a data engineer in Everett, Washington, and Sian Proctor, 51, a community college educator in Tempe, Arizona.

Once opposed to space tourism, NASA is now a supporter.

“Low-Earth orbit is now more accessible for more people to experience the wonders of space,” tweeted NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, who was a congressman when he hitched a ride on a space shuttle decades ago.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Researchers create a novel method of bioprinting neuron cells – Medical Xpress

Published

 on


Credit: Public Domain

A group of researchers including a Concordia Ph.D. student have developed a new method of bioprinting adult neuron cells. They’re using a new laser-assisted technology that maintains high levels of cell viability and functionality.

Ph.D. candidate and 2020-21 Public Scholar Hamid Orimi and his co-authors present the feasibility of a new bioprinting technology they developed in a recent paper published in the journal Micromachines. They demonstrate how the methodology they created, called Laser-Induced Side Transfer (LIST), improves on existing bioprinting techniques by using bioinks of differing viscosities, allowing for better 3D printing. Orimi, his Concordia co-supervisor Sivakumar Narayanswamy in the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, CRHMR co-supervisor Christos Boutopoulos and co-authors at the Université de Montréal first presented the method in the Nature journal Scientific Reports in 2020.

Orimi co-wrote the newer paper with lead author Katiane Roversi, Sebastien Talbot and Boutopoulos at UdeM and Marcelo Falchetti and Edroaldo da Rocha at Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil. In it, the researchers demonstrate that the technology can be used to successfully print sensory , a vital component of the peripheral nervous system. This, they say, is promising for the long-term development of bioprinting’s potential, including disease modeling, and implant fabrication.

Viable and functional

The researchers used dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons from the peripheral nervous system of mice to test their technology. The neurons were suspended in a bioink solution and loaded into a square capillary above a biocompatible substrate. Low-energy nanosecond laser pulses were focused on the middle of the capillary, generating microbubbles that expanded and ejected a cell-laden microjet onto the substrate below it. The samples were briefly incubated, then washed and re-incubated for 48 hours.

[embedded content]

Credit: University of Montreal

The team then ran several tests to measure the printed cells’ capacities. A viability assay found that 86 percent of the cells remained alive two days after printing. The researchers note that viability rates improved when the laser used lower energy. The thermomechanics associated with higher laser energy use was more likely to damage the cells.

Other tests measured neurite outgrowth (in which developing neurons produce new projections as they grow in response to guidance cues), neuropeptide release, calcium imaging and RNA sequencing. Overall, the results were generally encouraging, suggesting that the technique could be an important contribution to the field of bioprinting.

Good for people and animals

“In general, people often leap to conclusions when we talk about bioprinting,” Orimi says. “They think that we can now print things like for transplants. While this is a long-term objective, we are very far from that point. But there are still many ways to use this technology.”

Nearest at hand is drug discovery. The team hopes to get approval to continue their research into cell grafting, which can assist greatly in drug discovery, such as for nerve recovery medicines.

Another advantage to using this technology, Orimi says, is a decrease in animal testing. This not only has a humanitarian aspect—fewer animals will be euthanized to carry out experiments meant to benefit humans—but it will also produce more accurate results, since testing will be carried out on human, not animal, tissue.


Explore further

FRESH 3-D-printing platform paves way for tissues, organs


More information:
Hamid Ebrahimi Orimi et al, Drop-on-demand cell bioprinting via Laser Induced Side Transfer (LIST), Scientific Reports (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-66565-x

Citation:
Researchers create a novel method of bioprinting neuron cells (2021, September 15)
retrieved 15 September 2021
from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09-method-bioprinting-neuron-cells.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Josh Richards Is Bringing Back The Woolly Mammoth – Forbes

Published

 on


Influencers are everywhere. 

They are at the MET Gala. They are walking the red carpet at the VMAs and now they are part of a team creating de-extinction technology which will bring the woolly mammoth back to the Arctic tundra within the next six years. 

Yes, you read that right. Extinction could be a thing of the past thanks to a TikToker and his friends.  

Josh Richards may be known to the masses as a TikTok star with over 40 million followers across social media but he has consistently proven to be a lot more than that. 

He has developed himself into a serial entrepreneur with companies ranging from Ani Energy, his energy drink which is now in Walmart, to Cross Check Studios, his production company with Mark Wahlberg, to Animal Capital, an $18 million venture capital fund that he started with his business partner Michael Gruen and former Goldman Sachs investment banker Marshall Sandman. 

This week, Richards and his fund Animal Capital announced their investment and advisory position into Colossal. They are a company that is using recent breakthrough advances in CRISPR genetic engineering, a new wave of disruptive conservation and restorative biology, which will eventually make extinction a thing of the past. 

The company was founded by tech entrepreneur Ben Lamm and world-renowned geneticist and serial biotech entrepreneur George Church, Ph.D. In addition to being a founder of Colossal, Church also serves as a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and is a Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT. 

Lamm said, “Genetic engineering holds an endless amount of opportunity for the future of humanity: From eradicating diseases to improving our ability to survive in changing climates. It is a breakthrough technology. As an entrepreneur, I’ve routinely found myself on the cusp of breakthrough technologies because I believe they mark powerful nexus events in the future of our species. I am incredibly excited and grateful for great partners and investors like Josh Richards and Animal Capital who see our long-term vision and can help contribute to the advancement of science and genomics.”  

Richards has been involved in the Animal Capital since its inception a year ago and his stamp is felt throughout the company. He, Gruen and Sandman brought on billionaire movie and technology mogul, Thomas Tull, to lead the round of funding. They brought Paramount Pictures President, Michael Ireland, and Billboard president, Julian Holguin, on as advisors. They got the billionaire Winklevoss twins to invest, as well as others. They’ve also been heavily involved in the company’s rollout and media strategy. 

Josh Richards said, “It is mind boggling that a 19-year-old kid from a small town in Ontario could be a part of a team that will change the world. To be involved in a company like this, that will change the world for the better, and allow my kids’ kids to have a better life, is truly an honor. My generation is the generation tasked with combatting climate change and creating a better world as we are the generation set to inherit the Earth.”

Sandman, the managing partner of Animal Capital, said, “The opportunity to invest in Colossal really speaks to the reason we originally started Animal Capital. Ben, George and the entire team are on a path to change the world and we are proud to be along for the journey”

Animal Capital’s other investments, include: Mental health technology, Whoop, crypto startup, WonderFi, which went public on the NEO two weeks ago and calendar-based social media platform, Saturn.

So, who knows, maybe we’ll see Josh Richards making a TikTok on a wooly mammoth. soon. Stay tuned.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending