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Agnosticsherbet

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: San Diego/Ca/Nuevo Pacifica
Home country: U.S. of A.
Current location: Planet Earth
Member since: Mon Aug 20, 2012, 03:39 PM
Number of posts: 11,619

Journal Archives

Genetic Study Shows How Honey Bees Evolved In Response To Deadly Parasite

Genetic Study Shows How Honey Bees Evolved In Response To Deadly Parasite
A new genetic study of wild honey bees living in forests near Ithaca, New York, sheds light on how they rapidly evolved resistance in response to the deadly parasitic mite Varroa destructor. The mite, originally from Asia, has been implicated in causing the deaths of millions of bee colonies across North America and Europe, and yet the population in Ithaca is still going strong, despite being infected with the parasite in the mid-1990s.

“They took a hit, but they recovered,” explains Alexander Mikheyev, a professor at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan and lead author of the paper published in Nature Communications. “The population appears to have developed genetic resistance.”

The researchers were able to track genetic changes that occurred in the population because samples of bees from the same forest were collected in 1977. This allowed the team to compare the DNA of the 1977 bees to some collected in 2010, covering the period during which the population became infected with the Varroa mites. An opportunity to do such an analysis – especially with bees – is incredibly rare, because few people collect the insects and fewer still preserve them in ways in which DNA can then be extracted. In fact, the scientists had to develop a new DNA analysis tool that can work using degraded DNA from museum specimens.

Marvelous thing, evolution. No help, of course, to people, but species given sufficient time can overcome the real difficulties in long term survival.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Sep 17, 2015, 01:47 PM (0 replies)

California EPA Moves to Label Monsanto's Roundup 'Carcinogenic'

California EPA Moves to Label Monsanto's Roundup 'Carcinogenic'
The California Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it plans to label glyphosate — the most widely used herbicide and main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup — as a chemical "known to cause cancer." The World Health Organization's research arm also recently found that the chemical is probably carcinogenic to humans, and research has also linked glyphosate to the steep decline of monarch butterflies. And as we reported this week, scientists have increasingly raised new alarms about potential negative health impacts tied to Roundup, including a recent study suggesting that long-term exposure to tiny amounts of the chemical (thousands of times lower than what is allowed in drinking water in the US) could lead to liver and kidney problems.

Today's announcement from the EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is officially a "notice of intent" to list this pesticide as carcinogenic, giving the public an opportunity to comment on the proposal through October 5. The action falls under Proposition 65, a measure voters approved in 1986 that requires the state to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harms. The state regularly updates the list, which now includes hundreds of chemicals. Under Prop 65, businesses must provide a "clear and reasonable" warning before exposing people to a chemical on the list. The warning could be labels on a consumer product, workplace postings, distributed notices at apartment buildings, or a notice published in a newspaper.

Environmental activists celebrated the state EPA's announcement today, noting that it could be a first step in eventually restricting the use of the chemical. (The listing does not lead to a restriction or ban on sales of the product).


Now that is good news.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Fri Sep 11, 2015, 03:01 PM (0 replies)

For the seventh time this morning between 8:30 and 8:48

Norton has blocked Democratic Underground for "Suspicious Webpage Activity."
Most of them were when going to http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=latest_threads
One was when going to http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027149421


I see this on occasion, but today the site is unreadable.

I assume it is one of your ads.

I will drop buy to check on this message.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Tue Sep 8, 2015, 10:52 AM (2 replies)

Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization (whitehouse.gov)

Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization
If we want to want to create a robust civilization in our solar system, more of the energy, raw materials, and equipment that we use in space has to come from space. Launching everything we need from Earth is too expensive. It would also be too expensive to send all of the factories required to manufacture everything necessary to support a solar system civilization.

Ultimately what we need to do is to evolve a complete supply chain in space, utilizing the energy and resources of space along the way. We are calling this approach “bootstrapping” because of the old saying that you have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Industry in space can start small then pull itself up to more advanced levels through its own productivity, minimizing the cost of launching things from Earth in the meantime. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen overnight, but I think that it is the right long-term goal.

This 2014 article from whitehouse.gov shows forward thinking by Obama and his administration.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Fri Sep 4, 2015, 12:49 PM (2 replies)
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