Rising temperatures and increasing droughts have scientists looking for ways to better predict how plants will react to stress. Every study offers a little more information. Now, scientists have discovered a way to yield a wealth of insights in a single study. Combining three advanced research techniques that are rarely used together, they found they could pinpoint how different types of plants protect themselves from harsh conditions. Even more surprising? Plants try various strategies to assure their survival.
When used together, the three techniques reveal a surprising amount of information about the chemical processes inside plants. Scientists can also look for patterns across plant communities. The results can help identify when plants require more water or more nutrients to keep growing during times of stress, even in diverse environments.
How plants respond to drought can also have profound impacts on the movement of carbon through the environment, which ultimately influences climate.
Working under the Facilities Integrating Collaborations for User Science (FICUS) program, scientists examined the effects of drought on chemical processes inside the roots of three tropical rainforest species. The team included researchers from the University of Arizona, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the University of Freiburg.
To understand the plant's chemical functioning, including how it utilized carbon, the team combined cutting-edge metabolomic and imaging technologies at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a Department of Energy (DOE) user facility.
They used powerful nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to identify the type and structure of molecules in the plant roots. They then created detailed images of tissues using mass spectrometry (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry) and took nanoscale measurements of elements and isotopes (nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry).
This combination of techniques yielded insights into different defense mechanisms plants use to survive drought. One species added woody lignin to thicken its roots. The second secreted antioxidants and fatty acids as a biochemical defense. The third appeared less affected by drought conditions, but the soil around it had a higher level of carbon.
This indicates that the plant and the microbes in the soil were working together to protect the plant. Overall, this study demonstrates how multiple techniques can be combined to identify different drought-tolerance strategies and ways to keep plants thriving.
The research is published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
More information: Linnea K. Honeker et al, Elucidating Drought-Tolerance Mechanisms in Plant Roots through 1H NMR Metabolomics in Parallel with MALDI-MS, and NanoSIMS Imaging Techniques, Environmental Science & Technology (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c06772
Citation: Three techniques, three species, three different ways to fight drought (2022, December 9) retrieved 14 December 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-12-techniques-species-ways-drought.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.
Controlling LEDs is really quite simple. As you know, they need to be current limited which is as easy as applying Ohm’s law to your given set of values. To make things even more even there’s a slew of constant current LED driver chips out there that can be had for a song. But do you have any idea how those constant current circuits work? If not, then [Giorgos Lazaridis’] guide on LED driving and controlling methods will bring you up to speed in no time.
He starts out with the most basic concept, how to light an LED using proper current limiting resistors. But from there he moves on to the juicy bits. He builds a transistor-based constant current driver, then adds voltage regulation for the circuit as seen in the schematic on the left. He moves on to the more robust and efficient method on the right which pairs a MOSFET with that transistor circuit. This is the technique found on each pin of many of those constant current drivers and functions well regardless of the voltage input level.
He’s been producing videos to go along with these articles. After the break you can watch the episode that accompanies the schematic on the left.
Increasing work demands and workplace stress levels can take a toll on your mental health. Employees may be unable to perform to their full potential and realise their life goals if they are experiencing such negative effects on their bodies and brains. Practising meditation at the workplace has many proven benefits like reduced stress and improved focus. Increased creativity, productivity and improved relationships with colleagues are some of the great results of meditation one can attain at work. According to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, mindfulness and meditation are the most effective ways in reducing work stress and poor mental health symptoms while creating a positive impact on employees’ mental well-being. (Also read: Tips to handle stress at workplace)
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Raman Mittal, Co-founder and meditation expert, Idanim, shared five effective meditation techniques that you can practice at work.
1. Mantra Meditation: Creating a positive aura around you in a difficult situation may work wonders. Think of a mantra or a motivating phrase and keep repeating it in your mind. It will act as a tool to help release tension in your mind and boost awareness. It can make a lot of difference, especially if you are having trouble concentrating or getting in the right frame of mind. Mantra chanting (or any conscious affirmations) also unblocks our energy flow and rejuvenates our mind and body.
2. Breathing Meditation: Do you feel anxious before a presentation or before meetings? Try deep breathing for five minutes. Deep breathing is one of the most effective methods to keep calm. Taking a deep breath enables more airflow in your body, which calms down your nerves, reducing stress and anxiety. So, next time you are in a stressful situation, start taking deep and conscious breaths and you will notice an immediate sense of relaxation.
3. Walking Meditation: There are times when you are in a stressful situation at work and you feel like running away from it. It is obvious that you cannot run away from work or leave it. However, taking a refreshing walk with awareness enables the human mind to observe things better. This help the mind and body to relax. I’m sure, this technique will definitely help you take a break from stressful working hours.
4. Body Scan: Have you been feeling unproductive lately or your mind keeps on wandering? Body scan meditation will help manage your physical and emotional feelings when you are overwhelmed, sad, or anxious. Pay attention to your whole body and how it feels, scanning from your feet to the top of your head in a slow and deliberate progression. This will help you relieve tension and return back to work mindfully. This the technique is a great health meditation way to relax your body and mind both at the same time.
5. Visualization Meditation: If you feel you need a little escape, a visualization exercise might be ideal. Think about where you’d go if you could be anywhere right now. It could be a bench in a peaceful garden or a sandy shore on a summer day. You might prefer a rock overlooking a waterfall in a forest. Now, set a timer for 5-10 minutes and enjoy the tranquillity of your place. Picture every detail - the sights, sounds, and smells. Enjoy the scenery. Let your mind wander to your happy place whenever you need to relax your mind during work.
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Scientists from the University of Ghent say they have developed new techniques for assessing antibody stability during drug development to select formulations that minimize degradation during long-term storage. The methods aim to quickly predict which antibody formulations are likely to degrade over time due to aggregation.
“During formulation development, it’s helpful to predict which formulations are stable, without having to wait one or two years for real-time stability studies to find out,” explains Hristo Svilenov, PhD, an associate professor from the University of Ghent. “Our approach evaluates how the formulation conditions affect the aggregation of partially unfolded antibodies at temperatures relevant for long-term storage.”
When native antibodies unfold, the aggregation-prone parts of the protein are exposed and can form aggregates. These aggregates can increase the risk of immune reactions in patients or, if they become large enough to form visible particles, they can lead to the drug batch being discarded, Svilenov explains, adding that the team has developed new methods for predicting the aggregation of antibodies during storage in a faster manner.
These methods can be used during drug development to find, for example, the optimum formulations for storage, including the optimal buffer or other excipients. According to Svilenov, the techniques use common chemical denaturants, such as urea and guanidinium salts. These can be added to the antibodies to induce the formation of partially unfolded proteins and accelerate the aggregation to allow comparisons to be made on short timescales.
“We aim to develop predictive techniques that are simple so you don’t need special equipment—you can perform them with devices in every lab and our goal is that they can be used by anyone,” he says.
The techniques can also be used during biomanufacturing to compare production batches and ensure that the drug product has the same degradation profile. Svilenov says the team is now following up on this research by developing quantitative prediction tools to rank formulations and drug candidates by aggregation risk. They also aim to automate these methods and apply them to other biotherapeutics beyond antibodies.
One of the best ways to go green is to travel in an electric vehicle. But while EVs are more popular than ever, most people still can't afford the hefty price tag.
For those who still drive combustion-engine cars, there are still ways to maximize your mileage for less money.
This technique is called hypermiling, a strategy to get every last mile out of a gallon of fuel. It is a prime example of eco-friendly driving in action.
Here are four hypermiling strategies you can use right now.
Related: The 5 Most Luxurious Electric Cars on the Market That Will Make You Want To Skip On Gas
The first step to hypermiling is getting your car set up for maximum efficiency. Using driving techniques will certainly help save fuel, but you're only halfway there if your vehicle is not maintained well.
First, have the car tuned up. This involves changing the sparkplugs, so this is an excellent opportunity to go with iridium-tipped "performance" ones that will be very efficient as creating the combustion. The result is more power while using less fuel for it and contributing fewer emissions.
You should also have an oil change done and switch to using synthetic motor oil if you aren't already. Synthetic oil is long-lasting so it will cost less over time, but, more importantly, it will increase the motor's efficiency and use less fuel as a result. Also, look for lightweight motor oil as it is easier for the engine to pump it, making for greater efficiency.
One of the most critical aspects of hypermiling is the condition of your tires. The key is how much of the rubber is in contact with the road.
They should be aligned properly so they wear evenly and have the proper contact with the road. Next, they should be properly inflated. You can Improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
When they are underinflated, too much contact with the road and friction will reduce fuel efficiency. On the other hand, overinflated tires cause a lot of drag and are dangerous when driving, in addition to reduced efficiency.
Constantly slowing down and speeding up is one of the worst ways to drive from fuel efficiency. Instead, try to use a steady speed without much variation. If you have cruise control, then using it when it makes sense will help.
You should also try to use your brakes less and just coast when you need to slow down. When you accelerate from a slow speed rather than a full stop, then you increase your efficiency. Keep your distance between other cars so you can roll at a slow pace rather than stop altogether.
Keep unnecessary items out of your vehicle, especially the heavy stuff that can weigh you down. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent, says the U.S. Department of Energy.
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King Solomon may have gained some of his famed wisdom from an unlikely source—ants.
According to a Jewish legend, Solomon conversed with a clever ant queen that confronted his pride, making quite an impression on the Israelite king. In the biblical book of Proverbs (6:6-8), Solomon shares this advice with his son: "Look to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise. Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest."
While I can't claim any familial connection to King Solomon, despite sharing his name, I've long admired the wisdom of ants and have spent over 20 years studying their ecology, evolution and behaviors. While the notion that ants may offer lessons for humans has certainly been around for a while, there may be new wisdom to gain from what scientists have learned about their biology.
Lessons from ant agriculture
As a researcher, I'm especially intrigued by fungus-growing ants, a group of 248 species that cultivate fungi as their main source of food. They include 79 species of leafcutter ants, which grow their fungal gardens with freshly cut leaves they carry into their enormous underground nests. I've excavated hundreds of leafcutter ant nests from Texas to Argentina as part of the scientific effort to understand how these ants coevolved with their fungal crops.
Much like human farmers, each species of fungus-growing ant is very particular about the type of crops they cultivate. Most varieties descend from a type of fungus that the ancestors of fungus-growing ants began growing some 55 million to 65 million years ago. Some of these fungi became domesticated and are now unable to survive on their own without their insect farmers, much like some human crops such as maize.
Ant farmers face many of the same challenges human farmers do, including the threat of pests. A parasite called Escovopsis can devastate ant gardens, causing the ants to starve. Likewise in human agriculture, pest outbreaks have contributed to disasters like the Irish Potato Famine, the 1970 corn blight and the current threat to bananas.
Since the 1950s, human agriculture has become industrialized and relies on monoculture, or growing large amounts of the same variety of crop in a single place. Yet monoculture makes crops more vulnerable to pests because it is easier to destroy an entire field of genetically identical plants than a more diverse one.
Industrial agriculture has looked to chemical pesticides as a partial solution, turning agricultural pest management into a billion-dollar industry. The trouble with this approach is that pests can evolve new ways to get around pesticides faster than researchers can develop more effective chemicals. It's an arms race—and the pests have the upper hand.
Ants also grow their crops in monoculture and at a similar scale—after all, a leafcutter ant nest can be home to 5 million ants, all of which feed on the fungi in their underground gardens. They, too, use a pesticide to control Escovopsis and other pests.
Yet, their approach to pesticide use differs from humans' in one important way. Ant pesticides are produced by bacteria they allow to grow in their nests, and in some cases even on their bodies. Keeping bacteria as a living culture allows the microbes to adapt in real time to evolutionary changes in the pests. In the arms race between pests and farmers, farming ants have discovered that live bacteria can serve as pharmaceutical factories that can keep up with ever-changing pests.
Whereas exact developments in agricultural pest management have focused on genetically engineering crop plants to produce their own pesticides, the lesson from 55 million years of ant agriculture is to leverage living microorganisms to make useful products. Researchers are currently experimenting with applying live bacteria to crop plants to determine if they are effective at producing pesticides that can evolve in real time along with pests.
Ants can also offer practical lessons in the realm of transportation.
Ants are notoriously good at quickly locating food, whether it's a dead insect on a forest floor or some crumbs in your kitchen. They do this by leaving a trail of pheromones—chemicals with a distinctive smell ants use to guide their nest mates to food. The shortest route to a destination will accumulate the most pheromone because more ants will have traveled back and forth along it in a given amount of time.
In the 1990s, computer scientists developed a class of algorithms modeled after ant behavior that are very effective at finding the shortest path between two or more locations. Like with real ants, the shortest route to a destination will accumulate the most virtual pheromone because more virtual ants will have traveled along it in a given amount of time. Engineers have used this simple but effective approach to design telecommunication networks and map delivery routes.
Not only are ants good at finding the shortest route from their nests to a source of food, thousands of ants are capable of traveling along these routes without causing traffic jams. I recently began collaborating with physicist Oscar Andrey Herrera-Sancho to study how leafcutter ants maintain such a steady flow along their foraging paths without the slowdowns typical of crowded human sidewalks and highways.
We are using cameras to track how each individual ant responds to artificial obstacles placed on their foraging trails. Our hope is that by getting a better understanding of the rules ants use to respond to both obstacles and the movement of other ants, we can develop algorithms that can eventually help program self-driving cars that never get stuck in traffic.
Look to the ant
To be fair, there are plenty of ways ants are far from perfect role models. After all, some ant species are known for indiscriminate killing, and others for enslaving babies.
But the fact is that ants remind us of ourselves—or the way we might like to imagine ourselves—in many ways. They live in complex societies with division of labor. They cooperate to raise their young. And they accomplish remarkable engineering feats—like building structures with air funnels that can house millions—all without blueprints or a leader. Did I mention their societies are run entirely by females?
There is still a lot to learn about ants. For example, researchers still don't fully understand how an ant larva develops into either a queen—a female with wings that can live for 20 years and lay millions of eggs—or a worker—a wingless, often sterile female that lives for less than a year and performs all the other jobs in the colony. What's more, scientists are constantly discovering new species—167 new ant species were described in 2021 alone, bringing the total to more than 15,980.
By considering ants and their many fascinating ways, there's plenty of wisdom to be gained.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Citation: Ants' farming practices and efficient navigation techniques could inspire solutions for human problems (2022, November 15) retrieved 14 December 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-ants-farming-efficient-techniques-solutions.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.
Death metal fans might just have a new animal mascot.Related video above: Bat Moms Use ‘Baby Talk’ to Speak to Their Pups Like HumansSome bats use the same vocal structures as death metal singers to make their unique vocalizations, a new study has found.Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark investigated the noise-making techniques of Daubenton's bat, a small species of the winged mammal found across Europe and Asia. The study, published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology, focuses on the different structures of the larynx — also known as the voice box — that bats use to expand their vocal range.Vocal communication is essential for bats: They famously use sound to navigate their surroundings and locate their prey in a process known as echolocation. The flying critters also use sounds to communicate socially.And bats that use echolocation have an impressive, seven-octave vocal range to match their sound needs, the researchers said. By comparison, most mammals, including humans, have a vocal range of three to four octaves. Bats use extremely high-pitched sounds to echolocate, but employ low-pitched growls to communicate with each other.The scientists set out to understand exactly how Daubenton's bats maximize their vocal range.The research team extracted the larynxes of five bats who had been euthanized and filmed the organs while applying air flow to mimic natural breathing. This allowed the scientists to directly observe the vocal membranes and ventricular folds, also called "false vocal folds," vibrating at different frequencies. These are "the first direct observations" of these vocal structures in Daubenton's bats, the researchers said."We identified for the first time what physical structures within the larynx oscillate to make their different vocalizations. For example, bats can make low frequency calls, using their so called 'false vocal folds' — like human death metal singers do," said Coen Elemans, the lead study author and a professor of biology at the University of Southern Denmark, in a news release.Ventricular folds, or false vocal folds, are located on top of the true vocal cords. Historically, these folds were thought to have no role in normal human speech — hence the term "false."Low-frequency growlsBut studies have revealed that these folds are crucial for a few unique forms of vocalization, like the distinctive "growling" death metal singers use or the throat singing from vocalists in Mongolia and Siberia.The folds are likely also the source of bats' low-frequency growls, the researchers found. They didn't directly observe the vocal cords vibrating or oscillating. However, the researchers wrote, "We venture to speculate that in bats, the ventricular folds have taken on the role of lower frequency vibrations."Scientists still don't know what exactly the bats are communicating when they use their death metal growls. "Some seem aggressive, some may be an expression of annoyance, and some may have a very different function," said study coauthor and University of Southern Denmark biologist Lasse Jakobsen in the news release.Brock Fenton, professor emeritus of biology at Western University in London, Ontario, told CNN that the study is an interesting first step into understanding bat vocalization. But there are over 1,400 known species of bats in the world — so a study focusing on just one species is limited in its application. He was not involved in the study."For vocal cords, this is interesting and new," he said, but "there is a huge diversity of larynges in bats, that has hardly been described (in the paper)."Fenton especially called for future research on bats that make long sounds, in contrast to the Daubenton's bat's high-pitched but short-length calls, saying that was necessary context to understand the breadth of bat vocalizations.
Death metal fans might just have a new animal mascot.
Related video above: Bat Moms Use ‘Baby Talk’ to Speak to Their Pups Like Humans
Some bats use the same vocal structures as death metal singers to make their unique vocalizations, a new study has found.
Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark investigated the noise-making techniques of Daubenton's bat, a small species of the winged mammal found across Europe and Asia. The study, published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology, focuses on the different structures of the larynx — also known as the voice box — that bats use to expand their vocal range.
Vocal communication is essential for bats: They famously use sound to navigate their surroundings and locate their prey in a process known as echolocation. The flying critters also use sounds to communicate socially.
And bats that use echolocation have an impressive, seven-octave vocal range to match their sound needs, the researchers said. By comparison, most mammals, including humans, have a vocal range of three to four octaves. Bats use extremely high-pitched sounds to echolocate, but employ low-pitched growls to communicate with each other.
The scientists set out to understand exactly how Daubenton's bats maximize their vocal range.
The research team extracted the larynxes of five bats who had been euthanized and filmed the organs while applying air flow to mimic natural breathing. This allowed the scientists to directly observe the vocal membranes and ventricular folds, also called "false vocal folds," vibrating at different frequencies. These are "the first direct observations" of these vocal structures in Daubenton's bats, the researchers said.
"We identified for the first time what physical structures within the larynx oscillate to make their different vocalizations. For example, bats can make low frequency calls, using their so called 'false vocal folds' — like human death metal singers do," said Coen Elemans, the lead study author and a professor of biology at the University of Southern Denmark, in a news release.
Ventricular folds, or false vocal folds, are located on top of the true vocal cords. Historically, these folds were thought to have no role in normal human speech — hence the term "false."
But studies have revealed that these folds are crucial for a few unique forms of vocalization, like the distinctive "growling" death metal singers use or the throat singing from vocalists in Mongolia and Siberia.
The folds are likely also the source of bats' low-frequency growls, the researchers found. They didn't directly observe the vocal cords vibrating or oscillating. However, the researchers wrote, "We venture to speculate that in bats, the ventricular folds have taken on the role of lower frequency vibrations."
Scientists still don't know what exactly the bats are communicating when they use their death metal growls. "Some seem aggressive, some may be an expression of annoyance, and some may have a very different function," said study coauthor and University of Southern Denmark biologist Lasse Jakobsen in the news release.
Brock Fenton, professor emeritus of biology at Western University in London, Ontario, told CNN that the study is an interesting first step into understanding bat vocalization. But there are over 1,400 known species of bats in the world — so a study focusing on just one species is limited in its application. He was not involved in the study.
"For vocal cords, this is interesting and new," he said, but "there is a huge diversity of larynges in bats, that has hardly been described (in the paper)."
Fenton especially called for future research on bats that make long sounds, in contrast to the Daubenton's bat's high-pitched but short-length calls, saying that was necessary context to understand the breadth of bat vocalizations.
BRITAIN'S most common showering techniques have been revealed.
What shower style do you have?
Do you love to lather or are you more of a scrubber?
Do you like the temperature hot or is a cold shower more your thing?
Take this quiz to find out what your bathing habits say about you.
It comes after research of 2,000 adults found 41 per cent described themselves as ‘latherers’ when it comes to their washing routine.
But amidst the current economic climate, 53 per cent have made changes to the way they shower in a bid to save money and reduce household bills.
More than three in 10 (31 per cent) are showering less regularly, while 29 per cent are now even sharing the cubicle with their other half.
In addition, 20 per cent of those who have children are washing them all together as opposed to individually.
Ashley Cooper at Triton Showers, which commissioned the survey, said: “It’s been interesting to find out about the nation’s showering habits, although it’s not been a surprise to see that there has been a marked changed due to the current cost-of-living crisis.
“We are all doing things differently to help keep costs down and our home habits have become a big part of that – particularly when it comes to our water and energy usage.
"For example, showering for just one minute less can save up to £88 per year.”
With the average adult spending a swift six minutes getting clean, more than half (56 per cent) switch the water flow off completely while they wash their hair or body.
A third are even using their phone timers to make sure they don't keep the water running too long.
Despite 53 per cent admitting they have changed the way they shower in a bid to reduce household bills, 69 per cent were already conscious about the impact of their bathing habits before the cost-of-living crisis arose.
A third would consider switching to a more efficient shower type, but 69 per cent say they don’t know enough about them to commit.
Although the average time people spend in the shower has reduced, 48 per cent still prefer longer showers as opposed to shorter ones – with one in 10 getting nagged every time they take one.
When it comes to who does this the most, two thirds are regularly reminded by their partners but, surprisingly, 39 per cent get called out by their children.
The average household will argue three times a week about how long each member spends in the cubicle, as 35 per cent often lose track of time and forget when they first got in.
‘Relaxing’ and ‘refreshing’ are among the top reasons why people enjoy having a shower, with nearly a fifth (18 per cent) preferring a colder water temperature.
More than three in 10 (32 per cent) typically have a shower to warm up, while 27 per cent use the opportunity to reflect on their day.
The study, conducted via OnePoll, found that 29 per cent will step into the shower to simply enjoy some peace and quiet away from the kids.
Ashley Cooper added: “The bathroom acts as a sanctuary for many; a place to relax, gather your thoughts and take time out of the day for yourself.
"It doesn’t come as a surprise that 48 per cent of people still prefer a longer shower, despite the current climate.
Most read in The Irish Sun
“Those who don’t want to alter their showering habits, but want to save money, should consider swapping to a more energy and water efficient option, like an electric shower.
"An electric unit can save up to 48,000 litres of water and knock £133 off your household bills when compared to alternatives.”
In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, brutal and inhuman torture techniques employed by Indian forces have left thousands of Kashmiris disabled for life, including over 200 losing eyesight.
On the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, APHC leaders including Zamruda Habib, Yasmeen Raja, Fahrida Bahenji and Dr Musaib in their separate statements in Srinagar said, the Indian forces arrest innocent youth and children and subject them to torture, rendering them physically disabled.