Insight into the Latest Messinian (5.7-5.2 Ma) paleoclimatic events from two deep-sea Atlantic Ocean ODP sites

first_imgThe results of a multi-proxy study, including quantitative planktonic foraminifera faunal analysis, geochemistry of foraminifera tests, and lithogenic counts (IRD) are presented for two open marine sites. The sites are located in the eastern South Atlantic (ODP Leg 177 Site 1088) and the western tropical North Atlantic (ODP Leg 154 Site 925). Both sedimentary records span the interval 5.7-5.2 Ma (i.e. late Miocene to early Pliocene), which encompasses the time of deposition of the upper evaporites (UE) in the Mediterranean basin. The observations confirm a major oceanographic and climatologic event occurred during the Messinian at the transition between the glacial TG12 and the prominent TG11 warm interglacial at 5.5 Ma. However, some oceanographic changes also occurred at the Miocene-Pliocene (M-P) transition in the northern tropical Atlantic and in the Southern Ocean with the first input of IRD at ODP Site 1088. In contrast to the termination across the lower evaporites (LE) at 5.5 Ma, the M-P transition may not have involved a large change in ice volume. The potential causes behind the data across the major climatic transient are examined in the light of published information, including evidence from polar areas with focus on the climatic impact of fluctuating meridional oceanic circulation (MOC). A thermal seesaw mechanism in pre-Quaternary times is hypothesised as part of the large late Messinian deglaciation across the TG12-TG11 transition. An implication of the major Southern Atlantic warming before 5.5 Ma is that an abrupt event freshening the surface of the North Atlantic might be present in the sub-polar Northern Hemisphere, but this has yet to be verified. This deglaciation may have been reinforced by a freshening of the North Atlantic as a result of discontinuous connection of the Mediterranean Sea.last_img read more

Outrage over Union posters

first_imgBy Laura Pitel UNION President Luke Tryl has been forced to apologise for a “preposterous” publicity campaign that has been accused of discriminating against women.The series of posters, found in the entrance to the main Union building and put up in college JCRs, includes photographs of Jeremy Clarkson, Michael Howard, Trevor McDonald, Boris Johnson, Pierce Brosnan and Winston Churchill, but not a single female speaker.The posters have been condemned by women and womens’ groups across the University. Maegan Chadwick-Dobson, PR Officer for Oxford Women in Politics (Oxwip) said, “Oxwip are dissapointed that the Union has decided to advertise itself in this way.“As a society that was set up in 2004, partly in response to the Union’s lack of female speakers, we feel that these advertisements both neglect the women who have addressed the Union over the years and, furthermore, dissuade a new cohort of female talent from making their contribution to the Society.”OUSU Vice President (Women) Hannah Roe criticised one of the posters that advertised “world statesmen from only £99”. She said, “Benazir Bhutto (twice elected Prime Minister of Pakistan) was actually a Union President, so there should be more awareness that women are heads of state too.“Many organisations put special provisions in place to ensure that their diversity is part of their practices and old-fashioned cultures are changed, from the ‘Women’s networks’ of the ABC companies to the Ministers for Women in different governments. “At the very least, I imagine the Union will now write some kind of guidelines for their advertising,” she added.Third-year Wadham student Naomi Hirst tore down the poster she found in her JCR. “It’s a preposterous image, giving a false image of not only the Union but, by extension, the University. It’s irritating that this is the image of the University that freshers are presented with,” she said.Hirst is not a member of the Union herself and said that she felt “vindicated” after seeing the posters. “This justifies every reason why I didn’t join,” she said.Union President Luke Tryl described the incident as “a mishap and an oversight”. He said, “It certainly doesn’t represent any kind of institutional bias within the Union.“I apologise for the oversight: it was organised by a junior officer, not myself, and we will be putting it right in future poster campaigns. I’m very keen that the Union is open and accessible. Three of our officers are women and we have equal numbers of male and female members.”President Elect Emily Partington also defended the Union, saying, “These days people don’t have to worry about feeling subjugated. If you look at the termcard you can see that there are a lot of women involved in the Union.”She claimed that being a woman had not impeded her rise within the Society in any way. “I’ve had incredible support from of a lot the men and women involved in the Union,” she said. The Michaelmas termcard details 14 male and 14 female speakers due to speak.Prominent women who have spoken at the Union in the past include Mother Theresa, Cherie Booth and Judi Dench.last_img read more


first_imgCereform’s (Northampton) new “fruity” muffins include Rhubarb and Custard and Fruit Salad. They are made using natural flavours, while trans fats and hydrogenated fats have been eliminated.At the same time, Cereform has introduced another new muffin recipe at the opposite end of the spectrum, the Montana dark chocolate muffin. This can be spiced up with the addition of a small amount of chilli, suggests the company.last_img

In Short

first_imgAinsleys deal nearsAinsleys’ administrators are in “advanced” talks with some of the interested parties for all or part of the business. Joint administrator at Grant Thornton Joe McLean explained that he was in talks with 10 interested parties, and was looking at a variety of options for the business going forward. All 29 of the craft bakery chain’s shops are still trading.Borders woeFollowing the announcement that the Borders chain has gone into administration, a spokesperson for Starbucks has said until the situation becomes clear, “we’re unable to speculate on the future of the 36 Starbucks coffee houses located in Borders’ stores”.NAMB weekendThe National Association of Master Bakers hosted over 80 guests at its recent social/business weekend held at the Welcombe Menzies Spa and Golf Resort at Stratford-upon-Avon. It was the first mid-year catch-up for members for five years. During the weekend Mike Holling was voted in as chairman of the National Craft Bakers’ Week 2010, which takes place from 7-12 June.BB on your mobileYou can now access quickly and easily on your mobile thanks to a simpler interface for reading the latest news on handheld devices. We have optimised the website to iPhone, Blackberry and standard mobile browsers, with modifications made to the layout to make it more user friendly for smaller screens.Sustainable agendaAround 85% of manufacturers have either increased their investment in sustainability or kept it the same during the recession, according to new research from food and grocery experts IGD.last_img read more

The bounty of EDEN

first_imgCassandra Extavour wants scientists to move beyond the fruit fly. An associate professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard, Extavour heads up the Evo-Devo-Eco Network (EDEN), a collaborative group of researchers devoted to encouraging the study of nontraditional “model” organisms, ranging from sea anemones to crickets to moss.“In experimental research, we usually have to reduce complex problems to simpler ones by making some assumptions,” Extavour said. “The model-organism concept is based on the principle that what works in one organism works in the same way or in similar ways in other organisms. If one is trained to work only with one organism or with one set of tools to solve problems, then we can forget the assumptions that we started off with. Moving between systems keeps you fresh, and keeps you guessing, so that you’ll always be asking yourself ‘How do I know that that is really mutant?’ Or ‘How do I know that that is really normal?’ ”Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), EDEN provides researchers with funding for resources to allow the use of off-the-beaten-path animals in their labs. The challenge for researchers, Extavour said, is that projects using nontraditional model organisms are often turned down by funding agencies because of a perceived risk contained in working with creatures that aren’t often seen in the lab, and because there are fewer well-established techniques connected to them.This concern stems in part from the lack of a large knowledge base and experimental protocols for nontraditional model organisms. For traditional organisms such as fruit flies or mice, the experimental tool kit is extensive, the result of more than 100 years of work. Techniques to study other organisms, however, may have been developed in just the past decade (or in some cases may not yet exist).This is where EDEN comes in, Extavour said. By providing funding and support to researchers working on techniques and tools using nontraditional model organisms, the resulting data will allow researchers to access information about different evolutionary pathways than those followed by the lineages of the traditional model organisms.A number of deep evolutionary questions cannot be answered by examining only one organism, Extavour said. Her own research provides a clear example of why a comparative approach is important in preventing researchers from reaching incorrect conclusions. In a recent paper published in Current Biology, Extavour’s research found that studying germ cells in many different animals provided valuable insight into the origins and ancestral functions of the oskar gene, a finding that might have been impossible had she not studied nontraditional organisms such as crickets, as well as traditional insects such as fruit flies.EDEN also sponsors undergraduate fellowships to encourage work in unusual organisms, as well as cross-university visits involving graduate students, postdoctoral students, and professors who can develop and share new techniques.By encouraging visits between researchers, the EDEN program promotes new research techniques that can be shared and improved over time. Although EDEN is only two years old, Extavour said, the program has been well-received by the research community. EDEN receives many more applications than it can support. Researchers are excited to share experiences, develop new tools, and build on each other’s strengths.last_img read more

How do bacterial species coexist?

first_imgA team headed by Rowland Institute fellow Katja Taute, and the AMOLF Institute’s Sander Tans and Tom Shimizu have discovered a new mechanism that explains coexistence of bacterial species. In their Feb. 19 paper published in Nature, they describe how the competition between “movers” and “growers” leads to a balance in which both types can continue to exist alongside each other.Ecosystems are constantly subjected to perturbations ranging from climate change and forest fires on macroscopic scales to host feeding cycles and disease transmission on microscopic levels. But what makes ecosystems stable or fragile, and what prevents one species from outcompeting all others? Taute, who helped to guide the experiments at AMOLF and later oversaw the work at Rowland, said, “Bacteria offer an ideal model system for studying these questions experimentally — they replicate so fast that we can easily observe their population dynamics in the lab. “To understand how bacteria coexist, Ph.D. student Sebastian Gude grew mixtures of two E. coli strains that were isolated from the feces of the same animal. In stirred liquid culture, however, one strain would always outgrow the other and ultimately drive it to extinction. Yet when the bacteria were grown from a drop injected into a nutrient-rich gel in a Petri dish, both species were still present after growth had spread, indicating that there were mechanisms at work that boosted whichever strain started out rare.To resolve what rescued the previously weaker competitor from extinction, researchers turned to time-lapse fluorescence imaging. Movies revealed that, initially, a striking succession of events in how the bacteria spread through the gel. Initially, one strain would grow rapidly near the initial drop and slowly expand its territory around it. Then, its expansion would suddenly halt as the other strain appeared around the periphery of the first and began to rapidly capture the remaining outer territory. The result was a dot-and-donut pattern, with the two strains dividing up the territory between each other.How did the two strains arrive at this arrangement? Did they exchange chemical signals, or poison each other? Using a combination of experiments, genetic engineering, and simulations,  researchers showed that no interaction between the strains is required. At the heart of the mechanism is a trade-off between moving fast and growing quickly.“Like us, bacteria have different options for allocating their limited resources: One strain prioritized rapid growth, the other swimming fast — but they cannot excel at both,” Taute said. The “growers” always captured the territory around the initial drop. The “movers,” however, swam faster and eventually outran the first. Once they were far enough ahead that they consumed all local resources before the first strain caught up, the expansion of the latter was halted for lack of energy. The “movers” thus always captured the distant territory and the “growers” the nearby territory.The discovery opens up the possibility that motility could contribute to species diversity in a wide range of habitats — perhaps even the human gut.last_img read more

Winter nap

first_imgBy Terry KelleyUniversity of GeorgiaYou’ve harvested the last of the summer veggies, and you’re ready to hang up your hoe and spade until spring.But don’t abandon the garden spot before the job is finished. Gardens need to be put to bed for the winter. Some fall maintenance will help you avoid several problems next growing season.The end of the season is the best time to make note of the varieties that performed particularly well or not so well. Make a map of garden areas that had problem weeds or that stayed wet or didn’t produce well. Identify the weeds if you can.This is an ideal time to take a sample for nematodes, too. The highest populations are while the weather is still hot and plants are still growing. Mark your calendar to take a soil test within the next couple of months so you’ll have time to apply any needed lime well before spring planting.Remove any trellises you’ve put up. Store them in a dry place. This will help to preserve the life of the trellis materials. Remove any string or plant debris and knock off any excess soil.If you have an irrigation system in the garden, get it ready for winter, too. Remove hoses, sprinklers, drip tape, etc. Store these out of the elements for the winter, too, after removing any excess soil or plant debris. Be sure to repair, sharpen and lightly oil garden implements before storage as well.Once all the obstacles are out of the garden, run a rotary mower across the garden to chop up any plant debris that remains. This allows this debris to dry down faster and keeps weeds from going to seed before frost. Applying a burn-down herbicide after mowing is even better.During the fall, add organic matter such as composted grass clippings, manure and leaves to the garden. Bury the organic matter and debris by turning the land. Then plant a cover crop for the winter. This will help to prevent any soil erosion and can build up the soil when you turn the cover crop under in the spring. A grain such as rye or wheat works well for this.Finally, don’t forget to order your seed catalogs by the end of the year and begin planning next year’s garden. Getting your seed ordered early in the year will better your chances of getting the varieties you want.Do these things and your garden will have a cozy winter nap. And don’t fret. Spring will be here before you know it. And your garden will awake refreshed and ready for those summer veggies once again.last_img read more

Home sales down in Vermont, but prices increase

first_imgIn Vermont, the number of housing units sold declined by -3 percent, according to RE/MAX of New England, but a median price increase of 3 percent was the largest in New England. According to RE/MAX, the seasonal summer heat has contributed to a month-over-month slowdown in sales across New England. However, year-over-year sales experienced double digit increases in every state in the region.The July 2011 RE/MAX of New England Monthly Housing Report reveals that transactions in July were down -13.6 percent month-over-month, but up 14.5 percent versus July 2010. Prices were down -2.4 percent month-over-month and down -3.0 percent from July of 2010. Every New England state saw a decline in units sold.‘Seasonality can be attributed for the month-over-month sales drop, however, the market is still trending up from the same period last year,’ said RE/MAX of New England Executive Vice President, Jay Hummer. ‘I am hopeful that the fall season, coupled with continued low interest rates, will bring steady growth by the end of the year.’last_img read more

Investors target Southeast Asia coal financing loophole adopted by HSBC

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:A group of powerful HSBC shareholders have written to the bank’s CEO, John Flint, urging him to close a loophole in its energy policy that allows the lender to bankroll coal projects in certain emerging markets.Investment management firms Schroders, EdenTree and stewardship provider Hermes EOS have also called on HSBC to impose a ban on corporate loans, underwriting and advisory services to bank clients that are highly dependent on coal. The letter, which was coordinated by campaign group ShareAction, stresses that HSBC must adopt a “clear, timebound plan” to phase out its existing exposure to the dirty fuel.HSBC was commended by activist groups including Greenpeace last year after releasing an energy policy that aimed to phase out lending for new coal-fired power plants in high-income countries and cut its commitment to oil sands “over time”. But that policy also left a loophole that allows the bank to finance new coal-powered plants in three countries – Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia – until 2023.Flint defended the move at last year’s annual meeting, saying that it was a “short window” of time and covered areas where many people “don’t have access to any electricity” and there may not be a reasonable alternative. But the shareholder letter says that coal power has “received too much credit historically for poverty reduction” and that 84% of the world’s electricity-poor households live in rural areas out of reach of coal-powered electricity. That challenge needs to be solved by extending grid infrastructure or installing decentralised energy systems which may be best served by renewable technologies, the letter says.Roland Bosch, the Hermes EOS associate director, said: “We expect that financing new coal-fired power will prove to be highly risky, given the increasing competitiveness of renewables, and [it] is incompatible with the goals of the Paris agreement. Although HSBC has not financed any new coal-fired power plants since the release of its new energy policy, we want to see the bank evolve its policy to rule out all investment in coal and instead to focus on financing low-carbon energy across emerging markets.”ShareAction noted that HSBC is lagging behind peers, including Standard Chartered and Barclays, which now have blanket exclusion policies for coal power financing.More: Investors urge HSBC to close coal loophole in energy policy Investors target Southeast Asia coal financing loophole adopted by HSBClast_img read more

Outdoor Updates: Six Tennessee State Parks recognized for performance in environmental sustainability

first_imgAustralian man repeatedly punches great white shark to save his wife After weeks of sustained advocacy from the climbing community, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it has cancelled its plans to auction more than 85,000 acres of recreation-rich land around Moab, Utah for oil and gas leasing, the Access Fund announced. Some of Moab’s iconic climbing areas, such as Mineral Bottom Road, Hell Roaring Canyon, Spring Canyon and Lost World Butte, would have been impacted. The land was slated to go up for auction in September. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has recognized six of the 56 Tennessee State Parks with platinum level status for their performance in environmental sustainability in the state’s Go Green With Us program, the department said in a press release. The six parks achieving platinum status are Bicentennial Capitol Mall, Burgess Falls, Cumberland Trail, Cummins Falls, Johnsonville and Radnor Lake. Study shows using neck gaiter as a mask may be worse than not wearing one Looking for a way to fight outdoor pests like mosquitos and ticks without the use of synthetic repellents? Enter nootkatone, an oil found in cedar trees and grapefruits that was approved by the EPA last week to fight mosquitos, ticks, bedbugs and fleas. A man in Australia bravely fought a great white shark that attacked his wife. Mark Rapley and his wife Chantelle Doyle were surfing on Saturday when a great white shark attacked Doyle, biting her on her right calf and then her right thigh. The woman was able to jump back on her board, but Rapley paddled to her side and began punching the shark. Dr. Ben Beard, deputy director of the division of vector-borne diseases at the C.D.C. told The New York Times that nootkatone is not oily, lasts for hours and has a pleasant grapefruit-like scent. “If you drink Fresca or Squirt, you’ve drunk nootkatone,” he said.  “We’d like to thank all of the climbers around the country who responded to our call,” says Access Fund Executive Director, Chris Winter. “This is a big win for the climbing community and is proof that we’re a powerful force for protecting public lands.” So far this year, sightings of the insect have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania. The state Department of Agriculture received 33,015 reports through July 17, compared to 5,603 for the same period last year. A Penn State study found that the spotted lanternfly cost the Pennsylvania economy about $50 million, including $9 million in direct costs to growers and forest landowners. Registration is open for the Hendersonville Triathlon Athletes that don’t feel comfortable competing in an in-person environment can sign up to participate in the virtual event. Virtual participants can participate anytime starting August 11 through September 30. To learn more about the event or to register, visit  The pandemic has changed the way everyone operates, and outdoor mega-retailer REI is no exception. This summer, the company was supposed to move into their new eight-acre, state-of-the-art headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. But the pandemic forced the company to implement a remote work policy which CEO Eric Artz told employees has caused executives to rethink their strategy. “Our new experience of ‘headquarters’ will be very different than the one we imaged more than four years ago,” he said. With the new building up for sale, the company will now have smaller “headquarters” in multiple locations. “Our model for the future of the company is going to center on maximizing flexibility, allowing people to work the way they want,” chief customer office Ben Steele told SNEWS. “On that front, I think our employees can see the huge potential that we see.”  At current funding levels, it will take 50 years for the project to be complete, possibly longer. Organizers are seeking public comment on a draft of the Hellbender Regional Trail Plan. Comments will be accepted until August 21. To view the plan visit:  Once complete, the multi-purpose Hellbender Regional Trail will connect Western North Carolina’s Buncombe, Haywood, Madison, Henderson and Transylvania counties. The biking and pedestrian trail with stitch together dozens of local greenways, with only a few newly build additions necessary, The Laurel of Asheville reports. center_img Photo: Morning Sunshine at Radnor Lake courtesy of Getty Images by Heather M Bell Officials warn public to watch for the crop-devastating spotted lanternfly Many hikers, runners, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts prefer to use a neck gaiter as a mask while out on the trails but a new study shows that using a neck gaiter as a mask may spread more respiratory droplets than wearing no mask at all. A study out of Duke University that looked at the effectiveness of different masks found that neck gaiters allowed 10% more airborne droplets than un unmasked control subject. The reason, researchers believe, is the polyester-spandex “neck fleece” appeared to split larger droplets into many smaller droplets. “Considering that smaller particles are airborne longer than large droplets,” researchers said, “the use of such a mask might be counterproductive.”  Climbers in Utah pressure BLM to cancel auction of more than 85,000 acres surrounding Moab “Our state parks have implemented responsible practices in sustainability, and we are proud of their record in this important effort,” said Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC. “We hope Tennesseans will recognize their achievements and follow the parks’ lead.”  Not all events are cancelled this year. Case in point: the Hendersonville Triathlon will take place on Sunday, September 20 at Patton Park in Hendersonville, NC. The event consists of a 400m pool swim, 12.5-mile bike and 5k run and is taking a number of preventative measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Organizers of the Hellbender Regional Trail Plan seek public comment Officials in multiple states, including Pennsylvania, are warning the public to keep an eye out for the spotted lanternfly, an invasive species that can devastate agriculture. The spotted lanternfly feeds on more than 70 plant species, ABC News reports. REI puts its brand-new HQ campus up for sale just months after it is built Six Tennessee State Parks recognized for performance in environmental sustainability  After the attack, Rapley helped his wife to shore where emergency personnel were waiting. Doyle was airlifted to the hospital where she is in serious but stable condition. EPA approves naturally occurring nookatone to fight mosquitos and tickslast_img read more