NEW ANALYSIS LINKS TREE HEIGHT TO CLIMATE

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 14-Aug-2014   Citations Ecology Source Newsroom: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Newswise — MADISON, Wis. — What limits the height of trees? Is it the fraction of their photosynthetic energy they devote to productive new leaves? Or is it their ability to hoist water hundreds of feet into the air, supplying the green, solar-powered sugar factories in those leaves?

Both factors — resource allocation and hydraulic limitation — might play a role, and a scientific debate has arisen as to which factor (or what combination) actually sets maximum tree height, and how their relative importance varies in different parts of the world.

In research to be published in the journal Ecology — and currently posted online as a preprint — Thomas Givnish, a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attempts to resolve this debate by studying how tree height, resource allocation and physiology vary with climate in Victoria state, located in southeastern Australia. There, Eucalyptus species exhibit almost the entire global range in height among flowering trees, from 4 feet to more than 300 feet.

“Since Galileo’s time,” Givnish says, “people have wondered what determines maximum tree height: ‘Where are the tallest trees, and why are they so tall?’ Our study talks about the kind of constraints that could limit maximum tree height, and how those constraints and maximum height vary with climate.”

One of the species under study, Eucalyptus regnans — called mountain ash in Australia, but distinct from the smaller and unrelated mountain ash found in the U.S. — is the tallest flowering tree in the world. In Tasmania, an especially rainy part of southern Australia, the tallest living E. regnans is 330 feet tall. (The tallest tree in the world is a coastal redwood in northern California that soars 380 feet above the ground.)

Southern Victoria, Tasmania and northern California all share high rainfall, high humidity and low evaporation rates, underlining the importance of moisture supply to ultra-tall trees. But the new study by Givnish, Graham Farquhar of the Australian National University and others shows that rainfall alone cannot explain maximum tree height.

A second factor, evaporative demand, helps determine how far a given amount of rainfall will go toward meeting a tree’s demands. Warm, dry and sunny conditions cause faster evaporation from leaves, and Givnish and his colleagues found a tight relationship between maximum tree height in old stands in Australia and the ratio of annual rainfall to evaporation. As that ratio increased, so did maximum tree height.

Other factors — like soil fertility, the frequency of wildfires and length of the growing season — also affect tree height. Tall, fast-growing trees access more sunlight and can capture more energy through photosynthesis. They are more obvious to pollinators, and have potential to outcompete other species.

“Infrastructure” — things like wood and roots that are essential to growth but do not contribute to the production of energy through photosynthesis — affect resource allocation, and can explain the importance of the ratio of moisture supply to evaporative demand.

“In moist areas, trees can allocate less to building roots,” Givnish says. “Other things being equal, having lower overhead should allow them to achieve greater height.

“And plants in moist areas can achieve higher rates of photosynthesis, because they can open the stomata on their leaves that exchange gases with the atmosphere. When these trees intake more carbon dioxide, they can achieve greater height before their overhead exceeds their photosynthetic income.”

The constraints on tree height imposed by resource allocation and hydraulics should both increase in drier areas. But Givnish and his team wanted to know the importance of each constraint.

The scientists examined the issue by measuring the isotopic composition of carbon in the wood along the intense rainfall gradient in their study zone. If hydraulic limitation alone were to set maximum tree height, the carbon isotope composition should not vary because all trees should grow up to the point at which hydraulics retards photosynthesis. The isotopic composition should also remain stable if resource allocation alone sets maximum height, because resource allocation does not directly affect the stomata.

But if both factors limit tree height, the heavier carbon isotopes should accumulate in moister areas where faster photosynthesis (enhanced by wide-open stomata) can balance the costs of building more wood in taller trees. Givnish, Farquhar and their colleagues found exactly that, implying that hydraulic limitation more strongly constrains maximum tree height under drier conditions, while resource allocation more strongly constrains height under moist conditions.

Most studies of tree height have focused on finding the tallest trees and explaining why they live where they do, Givnish says.

“This study was the first to ask, ‘How does the maximum tree height vary with the environment, and why?’”

WIRELESS SENSORS AND FLYING ROBOTS: A WAY TO MONITOR DETERIORATING BRIDGES

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton  Released: 15-Aug-2014
Source Newsroom:
Tufts University

Newswise — MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – As a recent report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States needs significant repair or cannot handle automobile traffic, Tufts University engineers are employing wireless sensors and flying robots that could have the potential to help authorities monitor the condition of bridges in real time.

Today, bridges are inspected visually by teams of engineers who dangle beneath the bridge on cables or look up at the bridge from an elevated work platform. It is a slow, dangerous, expensive process and even the most experienced engineers can overlook cracks in the structure or other critical deficiencies.

A New Monitoring System for Bridges

In the detection system being developed by Babak Moaveni, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Tufts School of Engineering, smart sensors are attached permanently to bridge beams and joints. Each sensor can continuously record vibrations and process the recorded signal. Changes in the vibration response can signify damage, he says.

Moaveni, who received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his research, is collaborating with Tufts Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Usman Khan to develop a wireless system that would use autonomous flying robots (quad-copters) to hover near the sensors and collect data while taking visual images of bridge conditions. The drone-like robots would transmit data to a central collection point for analysis. Khan received a $400,000 Early Career Award from the NSF earlier this year to explore this technology, which requires addressing significant navigational and communications challenges before it could be a reliable inspection tool.

The recent Obama administration report that analyzed the condition of the transportation infrastructure, points across the country out that 25 percent of the approximately 600,000 bridges are in such a poor state that they are incapable of handling daily automobile traffic. In Massachusetts, more than 50 percent of the 5,136 bridges in use are deficient, the report says.

Moaveni and Khan’s work could help monitor bridges and identify those that are at risk more accurately than current methods. Once installed, the sensors would provide information about the condition of bridges that cannot be obtained by visual inspection alone and would allow authorities to identify and focus on bridges that need immediate attention.

Moaveni installed a network of 10 wired sensors in 2009 on a 145-foot long footbridge on Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus. In 2011, Moaveni added nearly 5,000 pounds of concrete weights on the bridge deck to simulate the effects of damage on the bridge—a load well within the bridge’s limits. Connected by cables, the sensors recorded readings on vibration levels as pedestrians walked across the span before and after installation of the concrete blocks. From the changes in vibration measurements, Moaveni and his research team could successfully identify the simulated damage on the bridge, validating his vibration-based monitoring framework.

A major goal of his research, Moaveni says, is to develop computer algorithms that can automatically detect damage in a bridge from the changes in its vibration measurements. His work is ongoing.

“Right now, if a bridge has severe damage, we are pretty confident we can detect that accurately. The challenge is building the system so it picks up small, less obvious anomalies.”

Tufts University School of Engineering Located on Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus, the School of Engineering offers a rigorous engineering education in a unique environment that blends the intellectual and technological resources of a world-class research university with the strengths of a top-ranked liberal arts college.

Close partnerships with Tufts’ excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, coupled with a long tradition of collaboration, provide a strong platform for interdisciplinary education and scholarship.

The School of Engineering’s mission is to educate engineers committed to the innovative and ethical application of science and technology in addressing the most pressing societal needs, to develop and nurture twenty-first century leadership qualities in its students, faculty, and alumni, and to create and disseminate transformational new knowledge and technologies that further the well-being and sustainability of society in such cross-cutting areas as human health, environmental sustainability, alternative energy, and the human-technology interface.

SALT CONTRIBUTES TO 1,650,000 DEATHS GLOBALLY EACH YEAR

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton  Posted on August 13, 2014                              By Stone Hearth News Eureka Alert

BOSTON — More than 1.6 million cardiovascular-related deaths per year can be attributed to sodium consumption above the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 2.0g (2,000mg) per day, researchers have found in a new analysis evaluating populations across 187 countries. The findings were published in the August 14 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

“High sodium intake is known to increase blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke,” said first and corresponding author Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D.,

Dr.P.H., dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, who led the research while at the Harvard School of Public Health. “However, the effects of excess sodium intake on cardiovascular diseases globally by age, sex, and nation had not been well established.”

The researchers collected and analyzed existing data from 205 surveys of sodium intake in countries representing nearly three-quarters of the world’s adult population, in combination with other global nutrition data, to calculate sodium intakes worldwide by country, age, and sex. Effects of sodium on blood pressure and of blood pressure on cardiovascular diseases were determined separately in new pooled meta-analyses, including differences by age and race. These findings were combined with current rates of cardiovascular diseases around the world to estimate the numbers of cardiovascular deaths attributable to sodium consumption above 2.0g per day.

The researchers found the average level of global sodium consumption in 2010 to be 3.95g per day, nearly double the 2.0g recommended by the World Health Organization. All regions of the world were above recommended levels, with regional averages ranging from 2.18g per day in sub-Saharan Africa to 5.51g per day in Central Asia. In their meta-analysis of controlled intervention studies, the researchers found that reduced sodium intake lowered blood pressure in all adults, with the largest effects identified among older individuals, blacks, and those with pre-existing high blood pressure.

“These 1.65 million deaths represent nearly one in 10 of all deaths from cardiovascular causes worldwide. No world region and few countries were spared,” added Mozaffarian, who chairs the Global Burden of Diseases, Nutrition, and Chronic Disease Expert Group, an international team of more than 100 scientists studying the effects of nutrition on health and who contributed to this effort.

“These new findings inform the need for strong policies to reduce dietary sodium in the United States and across the world.”

In the United States, average daily sodium intake was 3.6g, 80 percent higher than the amount recommended by the World Health Organization. [The federal government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting intake of sodium to no more than 2,300mg (2.3g) per day.] The researchers found that nearly 58,000 cardiovascular deaths each year in the United States could be attributed to daily sodium consumption greater than 2.0g. Sodium intake and corresponding health burdens were even higher in many developing countries.

“We found that four out of five global deaths attributable to higher than recommended sodium intakes occurred in middle- and low-income countries,” added John Powles, M.B., B.S., last author and honorary senior visiting fellow in the department of public health and primary care at the University of Cambridge.

“Programs to reduce sodium intake could provide a practical and cost effective means for reducing premature deaths in adults around the world.”

The authors acknowledge that their results utilize estimates based on urine samples, which may underestimate true sodium intakes. Additionally, some countries lacked data on sodium consumption, which was estimated based on other nutritional information; and, because the study focuses on cardiovascular deaths, the findings may not reflect the full health impact of sodium intake, which is also linked to higher risk of nonfatal cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease and stomach cancer, the second most-deadly cancer worldwide.

This research was supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mozaffarian, D; Fahimi, S; Singh, G; Micha, R; Khatibzadeh, S; Engell, R; Lim, S; Goodarz, D; Ezzati, M; and Powles, J. “Global sodium consumption and death from cardiovascular causes.” N Engl J Med 2014. 371:7, 624-634. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa130412

About the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University is the only independent school of nutrition in the United States. The school’s eight degree programs – which focus on questions relating to nutrition and chronic diseases, molecular nutrition, agriculture and sustainability, food security, humanitarian assistance, public health nutrition, and food policy and economics – are renowned for the application of scientific research to national and international policy.

Back tomorrow – Jeanne

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PATIENTS SELF-PRESCRIBE ‘CANCER-PREVENTING’ ASPIRIN AS PHARMACY SALES SOAR

PATIENTS SELF-PRESCRIBE ‘CANCER-PREVENTING’ ASPIRIN AS PHARMACY SALES SOAR

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton      3 August  2014  By Caroline Price Pulse Today

BREAKING NEWS

 

Exclusive Pharmacies have reported big hikes in aspirin sales in the past week after UK academics called for people in late-middle age to start taking daily doses of the drug to prevent stomach and bowel cancer, Pulse has learnt.

Health retailer Superdrug reported a doubling in the amount of low-dose aspirin sold last week in its stores, recording a 229% increase in sales on the preceding week.

The figures came as UK experts claimed the benefits of taking a low dose of aspirin daily to prevent stomach and bowel cancer outweigh any risks for most people aged 50-65.

The researchers had warned there were still some doubts regarding the evidence – in particular over what dose should be taken and for how long – and advised people to consult their GP before choosing to self-prescribe aspirin.

But one Superdrug store in Bolton last week reported a massive 500% increase in sales after the announcement, a finding reflected by a big jump in national sales of 75 mg aspirin across Superdrug stores nationally compared with the previous week – and a 400% increase in the London region.

A spokesperson for Superdrug told Pulse: ‘Aspirin sales were up 229% nationally week on week, on aspirin 75mg last week in comparison to the week before. In London sales were up 400% week-on-week.’

Elsewhere independent chain LloydsPharmacy told Pulse they had noticed a smaller but still marked increase in sales nationally, with a 27% increase in the volume of sales compared with the same week last year, and a 36% increase in volume compared with the preceding week.

Boots declined to share information on its aspirin sales while Day Lewis, Morrisons and Whitworth said they had not seen a big change in the overall pattern of sales.

GP leaders stressed there is still not enough evidence to recommend anyone takes aspirin routinely for cancer prevention – but said it was more appropriate for the public to consult their local pharmacist about the pros and cons, rather than visiting over-stretched GPs.

Dr Andrew Green, chair of the GPC clinical and prescribing subcommittee, said: ‘I would be encouraging people to have a chat with their pharmacist about it rather than their GP. Whether someone should be taking aspirin or not is well within the pharmacists’ competence.’

He added: ‘The advice from a GP I would suggest is at the moment is we don’t have enough evidence to recommend it for everybody. If a patient wants to disregard that and take it then they should still get some advice – but the pharmacist can advise them if there is anything in their past medical history or their current prescriptions that means they shouldn’t take aspirin.’

Dr Richard West agreed that while people should get advice before deciding to take aspirin, consulting a GP may not be necessary.

Dr West said: ‘It’s a difficult balance – there are undoubtedly some risks from taking it and therefore it is worth discussing it with an appropriate healthcare professional beforehand.

‘However, as we know general practice is under a lot of pressure at the moment and therefore if a pharmacist felt capable of giving that advice then I think that would be perfectly appropriate.’

A spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said: ‘Pharmacists are well practiced in dealing with requests for treatments following a big media story. The links between cancer prevention and aspirin are not new but as yet haven’t lead to a change in indication or licence of aspirin.

‘Although aspirin is often portrayed as a wonder drug, it can cause serious harms, especially in people with pre-existing conditions such as stomach ulcers.’

 

ASPIRIN FOR PRIMARY PREVENTION IN DIABETES ‘SHOULD BE RESTRICTED’

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton 9 May 2013             By Caroline Price Pulse Today

 

Daily low-dose aspirin treatment does not prevent cardiovascular events or death in people with type 2 diabetes and no previous cardiovascular disease (CVD), and may even increase the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in female patients, shows a large cohort study.

The study

Researchers analysed the outcomes of 18,646 men and women with type 2 diabetes and no CVD history, aged between 30 and 80 years, over an average of four years beginning in 2006, using data from the Swedish National Diabetes Registry. In all, 4,608 patients received low-dose (75 mg/day) aspirin treatment while 14,038 patients received no aspirin treatment, giving 69,743 aspirin person-years and 102,754 non-aspirin person-years of follow-up.

The findings

Aspirin treatment was not associated with any benefit in terms of cardiovascular outcomes or mortality, after propensity score and multivariable adjustment. Aspirin-treated and non-aspirin-treated groups had equivocal risks of the outcomes non-fatal or fatal CVD, fatal CVD, fatal CHD, non-fatal or fatal stroke, fatal stroke and total mortality.

Patients who received aspirin had a significant 19% increased risk of non-fatal or fatal CHD; further analysis stratifying the group by gender showed this was driven by a significant 41% increased risk in women, while there was no increased risk in men. Women also had a 28% increased risk of fatal or non-fatal CVD.

There was also a borderline significant 41% increase in risk of non-fatal or fatal total haemorrhage with aspirin, but this association became weaker when broken down by gender.

Risks of cerebral or ventricular bleeding did not differ between groups, but aspirin use was associated with a significant 64% increased risk of ventricular ulcer, driven by a 2.3-fold increased in women, while no increased risk was found in men.

Furthermore, the effects of aspirin on these endpoints were similar in patients with high estimated CV risk (five-year risk 15% or higher) and those with low estimated CV risk (five-year risk below 15%).

What this means for GPs.

The results support current guidance from the European Society of Cardiology and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes that do not recommend primary prevention with aspirin in patients with diabetes, but conflict with the NICE type 2 diabetes guidelines, which recommend primary prevention with 75 mg/day aspirin in patients aged 50 years or older if their blood pressure is below 145/90 mm/Hg and in patients younger than 50 who have another significant cardiovascular risk factor.

The authors conclude: ‘The present study shows no association between aspirin use and beneficial effects on risks of CVD or mortality in patients with diabetes and no previous CVD and supports the trend towards a more restrictive use of aspirin in these patients, also underlined by the increased risk of ventricular ulcer associated with aspirin.’

 

GPS TOLD TO REVIEW ASPIRIN USE IN PATIENTS WITH ATRIAL FIBRILLATION

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton 18 June 2014        By Caroline Price Pulse Today

 

GPs are to be tasked with reviewing all their patients with atrial fibrillation who are taking aspirin, under final NICE guidance published today that recommends anticoagulant therapy as the only option for stroke prevention in these patients.

The new guidance means GPs will need to start advising patients with atrial fibrillation who are on aspirin to stop taking it, and encourage them to take warfarin or one of the newer oral anticoagulants.

NICE said just over a fifth of the UK population with atrial fibrillation – around 200,000 patients – are currently on aspirin, many of whom should be able to be switched onto anticoagulation therapy of some sort.

GP leaders have warned that practices do not have the capacity to proactively call in patients, and suggested that changing management of this number of patients could only be achieved through incentive schemes such as enhanced services or the QOF.

But NICE advisors and CCG cardiology leads have claimed that GPs can do the reviews opportunistically over the coming year.

The final publication comes after it emerged the GPC had raised serious concerns over the complexity of the draft guidance – and warned CCGs would need to consider developing enhanced services to support GPs in delivering it.

Dr Andrew Green, chair of the GPC’s clinical and prescribing subcommittee, told Pulse GPs should feel they can refer patients on if they are not able to deal with all the changes as part of annual reviews.

Dr Green said: ‘I would expect GPs as part of their normal work to consider whether [atrial fibrillation] patients not on anticoagulation should be, in the light of the new guidance. If they should be, then the choice is between anticoagulation with warfarin or one of the newer agents, and if GPs do not feel they have the expertise or resources to do this properly, they have a duty to refer to someone who can.’

He added: ‘Commissioners need to predict this activity and may want to commission a service specifically for this which is more cost-effective than a traditional out-patient referral.’

Local GP leaders told Pulse practices would not take a systematic approach to reviewing and updating patients’ medications unless the work was specifically funded.

Dr Peter Scott, a GP in Solihull and chair of the GPC in West Midlands, said: ‘It’s not going to happen unless it’s resourced and incentivised as part of a DES or LES, or through the QOF – until then I don’t think a systematic approach to this will happen.’

But Dr Matthew Fay, a GP in Shipley, Yorkshire, and member of the NICE guidelines development group, acknowledged the workload concerns and said GPs should be advised to review patients opportunistically.

Dr Fay said: ‘I think it’s perfectly acceptable [to review patients opportunistically]. A lot of these patients who are at risk in this situation we will be reviewing because of their hypertension and other comorbidities, and those patients on aspirin should have that discussed at the next presentation.’

He added: ‘I think anticoagulation is an intimidating topic for clinicians – both in primary and secondary care. I would suggest one person in each practice one clinician is involved with the management of the anticoagulated patients – whether that’s keeping a check on them during the warfarin clinic or being the person who initiates the novel oral anticoagulants.

‘If GPs feel uncomfortable with [managing anticoagulation] then they should be approaching the CCG executive to say, “we need a service to provide expert support for this”. The CCG may choose to come up with an enhanced service – but then whoever is providing the service needs to make sure they are well versed in use of the latest anticoagulants.’

The new guidance says GPs must use the CHA2DS2-VASc score to assess patients’ stroke risk and advise any patients with a score of at least one (men) or two (women) to go onto anticoagulation therapy with warfarin, or another vitamin K antagonist, or with one of the novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) dabigatran, apixaban or rivaroxaban.

It adds that aspirin should no longer be prescribed solely for stroke prevention to patients with atrial fibrillation.

The HAS-BLED score should be used to assess patients’ risk of bleeding as part of the decision over which anticoagulant to choose.

In the only major revision to the draft guidance, aspirin is no longer to be considered even as part of dual antiplatelet therapy for patients at particularly high bleeding risk, as this combination has now also been ruled out.

 

BENEFITS OF ASPIRIN A DAY FOR CANCER PREVENTION IN MIDDLE-AGED PEOPLE ‘OUTWEIGH HARMS

This story was published a few days ago

 

 

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ALMA ACHIEVES NEW OBSERVING CAPABILITIES

From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 10-Sep-2014   Source Newsroom: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

ALMA PIC.coolblueuranus

 

NRAO/AUI/NSF; ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ) The Planet Uranus as seen with ALMA through its new “Band 10″ receivers.

Newswise — The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has reached a major milestone by extending its vision fully into the realm of the submillimeter, the wavelengths of cosmic light that hold intriguing information about the cold, dark, and distant Universe.

This achievement, which was marked by the completion of ALMA’s High Frequency Observing Campaign, opens an entirely new window on the Universe for ALMA and goes beyond its existing capabilities with the Band 9 receivers.

It also is a critical step in the telescope’s commissioning process, which brings its full capabilities to bear and makes them available to the international astronomical community.

As a demonstration of its new capabilities, the commissioning team released a stunning new image of planet Uranus as it appears in submillimeter wavelength light. The image — obtained with ALMA’s highest frequency (shortest wavelength), Band 10 receivers — reveals the icy glow from the planet’s atmosphere, which can reach temperatures as low as -224 degrees Celsius.

ALMA’s now broader range of capabilities will enable astronomers and planetary scientists to study and monitor temperature changes at different altitudes above the clouds of Uranus and other giant planets in our solar system.

“The overall goals of the High Frequency Observing Campaign were to help ALMA reach its full potential, enabling research at its highest frequencies and giving ALMA new sight at submillimeter wavelengths,” said astronomer Satoko Takahashi of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the lead of the High Frequency Observing Team.

“Before astronomers could take advantage of this, we first had to take the telescope through its paces and establish observing strategies that yield the best, most accurate results. That is why commissioning is so critical to our success.”

ALMA observes the cosmos by using a series of precisely tuned receivers that are installed on each of the array’s 66 antennas. Each receiver type is sensitive to a particular “band,” or range of wavelengths, of the electromagnetic spectrum. The highest frequency/shortest wavelength Band 10 receivers have already been installed and tested on a majority of the ALMA antennas and the remainder will be installed and integrated over the next several months.

To take full advantage of ALMA’s new high-frequency capabilities, the commissioning team is in the process of refining two new observing techniques. The first, “band to band transfer,” enables ALMA to observe at high frequencies in less than optimal weather conditions by first observing an object at lower frequencies, and then using that data to calibrate, or “tune,” the telescope for a particular observation.

“This technique will greatly expand the amount of time ALMA can effectively study the Universe at higher frequencies,” said Violette Impellizzeri,a Joint ALMA Office astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Another technique involves first observing at very broadband frequencies and then tuning-in to more narrowband, higher frequencies.

“This technique will soon be routine operating procedure, even though it’s unique to ALMA at these frequencies,” said North America ALMA Science Center astronomer Jennifer Donovan Meyer.

“Combined, these two techniques open up many more hours of observations at high frequencies than would otherwise be possible,” said Violette Impellizzeri, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Joint ALMA Office.

Teams from around the world are still on their way to ALMA to further verify these techniques and provide the optimal observing strategy for observing with ALMA at high frequencies.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

The international commissioning team for the High Frequency Observing Campaign was led by Satoko Takahashi of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, ALMA’s representative East Asia and Anthony Remijan of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the ALMA Program Scientist for Extension and Optimization of Capabilities.

Other members include Catherine Vlahakis, Neil Philips, Denis Barkets, Bill Dent (JAO/ESO), Ed Fomalont, Brian Mason, Jennifer Donovan Meyer (NRAO); Violette Impellizzeri, Paulo Cortes, Christian Lopez (JAO/NRAO); Christine Wilson (NRAO/McMaster University); Seiji Kameno, Tsyuoshi Sawada (JAO/NAOJ); Tim Van Kempen, Luke Maud & Remo Tilanus (Leiden); Robert Lucas (Grenoble); Richard Hills(Cambridge); James Chibueze, (NAOJ); Akihiko Hirota (JOA/NAOJ.

 

 

SCIENTIST UNCOVERS RED PLANET’S CLIMATE HISTORY IN UNIQUE METEORITE

From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 27-Aug-2014                  Source: Florida State University Citations Nature Geoscience

Newswise — TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Was Mars — now a cold, dry place — once a warm, wet planet that sustained life? And if so, how long has it been cold and dry?

Research underway at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory may one day answer those questions — and perhaps even help pave the way for future colonization of the Red Planet. By analyzing the chemical clues locked inside an ancient Martian meteorite known as Black Beauty, Florida State University Professor Munir Humayun and an international research team are revealing the story of Mars’ ancient, and sometimes startling, climate history.

The team’s most recent finding of a dramatic climate change appeared in Nature Geoscience, in the paper “Record of the ancient Martian hydrosphere and atmosphere preserved in zircon from a Martian meteorite.”

The scientists found evidence for the climate shift in minerals called zircons embedded inside the dark, glossy meteorite. Zircons, which are also abundant in the Earth’s crust, form when lava cools. Among their intriguing properties, Humayun says, is that “they stick around forever.”

“When you find a zircon, it is like finding a watch,” Humayun said. “A zircon begins keeping track of time from the moment it is born.”

Last year, Humayun’s team correctly determined that the zircons in its Black Beauty sample were an astonishing 4.4 billion years old. That means, Humayun says, it formed during the Red Planet’s infancy and during a time when the planet might have been able to sustain life.

“First we learned that, about 4.5 billion years ago, water was more abundant on Mars, and now we have learned that something dramatically changed that,” said Humayun, a professor of geochemistry.

“Now we can conclude that the conditions that we see today on Mars, this dry Martian desert, must have persisted for at least the past 1.7 billion years. We know now that Mars has been dry for a very long time.”

The secret to Mars’ climate lies in the fact that zircons (ZrSiO4) contain oxygen, an element with three isotopes. Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons — sort of like members of a family who share the same last name but have different first names.

On Mars, oxygen is distributed in the atmosphere (as carbon dioxide, molecular oxygen and ozone), in the hydrosphere (as water) and in rocks. In the thin, dry Martian atmosphere, the sun’s ultraviolet light causes unique shifts in the proportions in which the three isotopes of oxygen occur in the different atmospheric gases.

So when water vapor that has cycled through the Martian atmosphere condenses into the Martian soil, it can interact with and exchange oxygen isotopes with zircons in the soil, effectively writing a climate record into the rocks. A warm, wet Mars requires a dense atmosphere that filters out the ultraviolet light making the unique isotope shifts disappear.

In order to measure the proportions of the oxygen isotopes in the zircons, the team, led by scientist Alexander Nemchin, used a device called an ion microprobe. The instrument is in the NordSIMS facility at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, directed by team member Martin Whitehouse.

Because of these precise measurements, said Humayun, “We now have an isotopic record of how the atmosphere changed, with dates on it.”

The Black Beauty meteorite Humayun’s team is studying was discovered in the Sahara Desert in 2011. It is also known as NWA 7533, which stands for Northwest Africa, the location where it was found.

In all, more than five pieces of Black Beauty were found by Bedouin tribesmen, who make a living scouring the Sahara for meteorites and fossils that they can sell. The zircons analyzed by Humayun’s team were from Black Beauty samples kept in Paris.

Research underway at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory may one day answer those questions — and perhaps even help pave the way for future colonization of the Red Planet. By analyzing the chemical clues locked inside an ancient Martian meteorite known as Black Beauty, Florida State University Professor Munir Humayun and an international research team are revealing the story of Mars’ ancient, and sometimes startling, climate history.

The team’s most recent finding of a dramatic climate change appeared in Nature Geoscience, in the paper “Record of the ancient Martian hydrosphere and atmosphere preserved in zircon from a Martian meteorite.”

The scientists found evidence for the climate shift in minerals called zircons embedded inside the dark, glossy meteorite. Zircons, which are also abundant in the Earth’s crust, form when lava cools. Among their intriguing properties, Humayun says, is that “they stick around forever.”

“When you find a zircon, it’s like finding a watch,” Humayun said. “A zircon begins keeping track of time from the moment it’s born.”

Last year, Humayun’s team correctly determined that the zircons in its Black Beauty sample were an astonishing 4.4 billion years old. That means, Humayun says, it formed during the Red Planet’s infancy and during a time when the planet might have been able to sustain life.

“First we learned that, about 4.5 billion years ago, water was more abundant on Mars, and now we’ve learned that something dramatically changed that,” said Humayun, a professor of geochemistry.

“Now we can conclude that the conditions that we see today on Mars, this dry Martian desert, must have persisted for at least the past 1.7 billion years. We know now that Mars has been dry for a very long time.

The secret to Mars’ climate lies in the fact that zircons (ZrSiO4) contain oxygen, an element with three isotopes. Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons — sort of like members of a family who share the same last name but have different first names.

On Mars, oxygen is distributed in the atmosphere (as carbon dioxide, molecular oxygen and ozone), in the hydrosphere (as water) and in rocks. In the thin, dry Martian atmosphere, the sun’s ultraviolet light causes unique shifts in the proportions in which the three isotopes of oxygen occur in the different atmospheric gases.

So when water vapor that has cycled through the Martian atmosphere condenses into the Martian soil, it can interact with and exchange oxygen isotopes with zircons in the soil, effectively writing a climate record into the rocks. A warm, wet Mars requires a dense atmosphere that filters out the ultraviolet light making the unique isotope shifts disappear.

In order to measure the proportions of the oxygen isotopes in the zircons, the team, led by scientist Alexander Nemchin, used a device called an ion microprobe. The instrument is in the NordSIMS facility at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, directed by team member Martin Whitehouse.

Because of these precise measurements, said Humayun, “we now have an isotopic record of how the atmosphere changed, with dates on it.”

The Black Beauty meteorite Humayun’s team is studying was discovered in the Sahara Desert in 2011. It’s also known as NWA 7533, which stands for Northwest Africa, the location where it was found.

In all, more than five pieces of Black Beauty were found by Bedouin tribesmen, who make a living scouring the Sahara for meteorites and fossils that they can sell. The zircons analyzed by Humayun’s team were from Black Beauty samples kept in Paris.

CHEMISCOPE TO CATCH CHEMISTRY IN THE ACT

Center for Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit develops new tool that could revolutionize chemistry

From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Science Bation on line Magazine National Science Foundation Where Discoveries Begin
Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 21.41.42

 

 

 

 

 

What the microscope did to unlock the secrets of biology, the “chemiscope” is intended to do, to revolutionize chemistry. The ultimate goal is to observe chemistry in the act, to see the making and breaking of bonds in real-space and real-time.

The ability to see the world of molecules, atoms and bonds, in real space-time, would completely shift the paradigm in chemical inquiry. Seeing is the first step toward manipulating individual atoms and molecules, to atomistically engineer molecules and control chemistry. Such a capability will drive future innovations in chemistry, and in industries based on nanotechnology and molecular electronics. With support from the National Science Foundation, the Center for Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit is a nexus of the multidisciplinary expertise required to develop the enabling science and technology to make the chemiscope a reality.

The challenge is great. To see individual atoms, spatial resolution must be improved by a factor of 10,000 over the best optical microscope. To see molecules in motion, the images must be recorded at a frame rate of a thousand million million per second (a frame / femtosecond). The two capabilities must be combined to reach joint space-time resolution at angstrom-femtosecond (Å-fs) limit, to record moving pictures of elementary steps in chemistry.

The ability to see the world of molecules, atoms and bonds, in real space-time, would completely shift the paradigm in chemical inquiry.

Seeing is the first step toward manipulating individual atoms and molecules, to atomistically engineer molecules and control chemistry. Such a capability will drive future innovations in chemistry, and in industries based on nanotechnology and molecular electronics.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Center for Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL), is a nexus of the multidisciplinary expertise required to develop the enabling science and technology to make the chemiscope a reality. With University of California, Irvine (UCI), chemist Ara Apkarian as center director, a group of scientists with backgrounds in chemistry, physics and engineering, from multiple universities and industry, have joined forces on this mission. The video clip highlighted recent recordings of: the motion of one electron inside one molecule; the quantum mechanical motion of a single chemical bond in an ensemble and in solo; and the hula hoop-like orbiting of an orbital, breaking and making of designated single bonds on a single molecule. These measurements were made using instruments developed within the center, by groups led by Professors V. A. Apkarian, E. Potma and W. Ho of UCI. The animated clip of the breaking of a bond is a simulation contributed by Professor F. Furche.

CaSTL is one of the NSF-funded Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI)–research centers focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. CCIs that address these challenges will produce transformative research, lead to innovation, and attract broad scientific and public interest. The mission of CaSTL is to develop and apply the chemiscope to solve grand challenges in chemistry. Heterogeneous catalysis, photocatalysis and plasmonic chemistry are targeted examples where, to make credible progress, it is essential to “see” the workings of individual molecules and their reactive sites.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award, The Center for Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL).

Miles O’Brien, Science Nation Correspondent, Marsha Walton, Science Nation Producer.

Division of Chemistry (CHE)

The mission of the Division of Chemistry in NSF’s Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences is to promote the health of academic chemistry and to enable basic research and education in the chemical sciences. The Division supports research in all traditional areas of chemistry and in multidisciplinary fields that draw upon the chemical sciences.

 My  Comments

 Hope you enjoyed the launch if you watched it on NASA TV. A special thanks for the kind words from John of Storytime, who liked what he read  about NASA three different times on both blogs. That’s dedication man!  THANKS. I will be back tomorrow albeit close to being tomorrow already . Jeanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WE HAVE LIFT OFF……

LIFT OFF SEPT 21  PIC.spacexcrs4-7

 NASA Cargo Launches to Space Station aboard SpaceX Resupply Mission

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton September 21, 2014

About 5,000 pounds of NASA science investigations and cargo are on their way to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. The cargo ship launched on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:52 a.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 21.

The mission is the company’s fourth cargo delivery flight to the space station through a $1.6 billion NASA Commercial Resupply Services contract. Dragon’s cargo will support experiments to be conducted by the crews of space station Expeditions 41 and 42.

One of the new Earth science investigations heading to the orbital laboratory is the International Space Station-Rapid Scatterometer. ISS-RapidScat monitors ocean winds from the vantage point of the space station.

This space-based scatterometer is a remote sensing instrument that uses radar pulses reflected from the ocean’s surface from different angles to calculate surface wind speed and direction. This information will be useful for weather forecasting and hurricane monitoring.

Dragon also will deliver the first-ever 3-D printer in space. The technology enables parts to be manufactured quickly and cheaply in space, instead of waiting for the next cargo resupply vehicle delivery.

The research team also will gain valuable insight into improving 3-D printing technology on Earth by demonstrating it in microgravity.

New biomedical hardware launched aboard the spacecraft will help facilitate prolonged biological studies in microgravity.

The Rodent Research Hardware and Operations Validation (Rodent Research-1) investigation provides a platform for long-duration rodent experiments in space. These investigations examine how microgravity affects animals, providing information relevant to human spaceflight, discoveries in basic biology and knowledge that may have direct impact toward human health on Earth.

The Dragon spacecraft also will transport other biological research, including a new plant study. The Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) hardware has supported a variety of plant growth experiments aboard the space station.

The BRIC-19 investigation will focus on the growth and development in microgravity of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings, a small flowering plant related to cabbage.

Because plant development on Earth is impacted by mechanical forces such as wind or a plant’s own weight, researchers hope to improve understanding of how the growth responses of plants are altered by the absence of these forces when grown in microgravity.

Dragon is scheduled to be grappled at 7:04 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23, by Expedition 41 Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, using the space station’s robotic arm to take hold of the spacecraft.

NASA’s Reid Wiseman will support Gerst in a backup position. Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station in mid-October for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, west of Baja California, bringing from the space station almost 3,200 pounds of science, hardware and crew supplies.

The space station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth.

NASA recently awarded contracts to SpaceX and The Boeing Company to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station with the goal of certifying those transportation systems in 2017.

If you missed the launch NASA TV may be showing it again. Visit:

 http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv, or 

http://wwitv.com/tv_channels/b5337.htm

This last site claims to bring you Live stream from NASA.

NASA TV will provide live coverage Monday, Sept. 22, of the arrival of the Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station. Grapple and berthing coverage will begin at 5:30 a.m. with grapple at approximately 7:30 a.m. Berthing coverage begins at 9:30 a.m.EDT

Remember there is another launch on Thursday and any up dated information from NASA will be included on this site.

TWITTER   The NASA News Twitter feed should be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the NASA News Twitter feed, visit: http://www.twitter.com/NASAKennedy

FACEBOOK The NASA News Facebook feed should be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the NASA Facebook feed, visit: http://www.facebook.com/NASAKennedy

 

 

DATELINENEXT LAUNCH:

September 25, 2014 – 4:25 p.m. Eastern
Mission: Expedition 41 Launch to the International Space Station. 
Description: Soyuz 40 will take Barry Wilmore, Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev will launch on Soyuz 40 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan

For the full schedule of  launch and docking coverage, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Follow NASA astronauts via Twitter:                                             http://www.twitter.com/NASA_Astronauts

 

More other news later. Jeanne

 

 

 

 

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SPACE LAUNCH REMINDER

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton NASA.GOV.


DATELINE September  20, 2014 — 2:14 a.m. Eastern
 Mission: SpaceX 4 Commercial Resupply Services flight with ISS-RapidScat
. Description: Launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., SpaceX-4 will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. It will also carry the ISS-RapidScat instrument, a replacement for NASA’s QuikScat Earth satellite to monitor ocean winds for climate research, weather predictions, and hurricane monitoring.
   More ISS-RapidScat news below.
DATELINE:  September 25, 2014 – 4:25 p.m. Eastern
Mission: Expedition 41 Launch to the International Space Station. 
Description: Soyuz 40 will take Barry Wilmore, Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev will launch on Soyuz 40 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan

For the full schedule of  launch and docking coverage, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Follow NASA astronauts via Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/NASA_Astronauts

 

Expedition 42 Crew Portrait

The Crew are preparing for lift off later in the week.                     September 25, 2014 – 4:25 p.m

NASA CREW 42: PIC.

Expedition 42 crew members take a break from training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center to pose for a crew portrait. Pictured on the front row are NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore (left), commander; and Terry Virts, flight engineer. Pictured from the left (back row) are Russian cosmonauts Elena Serova, Alexander Samoukutyaev and Anton Shkaplerov and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, all flight engineers. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Stafford

MYSTERIOUS ‘MAGIC ISLAND’ APPEARS ON SATURN MOON

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Source: Cornell University                       By Blaine Friedlander June.2014.

Astronomers have discovered a bright, mysterious geologic object – where one never existed – on Cassini mission radar images of Ligeia Mare, the second-largest sea on Saturn’s moon Titan. Scientifically speaking, this spot is considered a “transient feature,” but the astronomers have playfully dubbed it “Magic Island.”

This may be the first observation of dynamic, geological processes in Titan’s northern hemisphere. “This discovery tells us that the liquids in Titan’s northern hemisphere are not simply stagnant and unchanging, but rather that changes do occur,” said Jason Hofgartner, a Cornell graduate student in the field of planetary sciences, and the paper’s lead author.  To see the video log on to  http://www.cornell.edu/video/mysterious-magic-island-appears-on-saturn-moon.

Now you see it now you don't PIC.1.Mysterious island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, you see it. Now you don’t

And now you don’t see it again. Astronomers have discovered a bright, mysterious geologic object – where one never existed – on Cassini mission radar images of Ligeia Mare, the second-largest sea on Saturn’s moon Titan. Scientifically speaking, this spot is considered a “transient feature,” but the astronomers have playfully dubbed it “Magic Island.”

Reporting in the journal Nature Geoscience June 22, the scientists say this may be the first observation of dynamic, geological processes in Titan’s northern hemisphere. “This discovery tells us that the liquids in Titan’s northern hemisphere are not simply stagnant and unchanging, but rather that changes do occur,” said Jason Hofgartner, a Cornell graduate student in the field of planetary sciences, and the paper’s lead author. “We don’t know precisely what caused this ‘magic island’ to appear, but we’d like to study it further.”

Titan, the largest of Saturn’s 62 known moons, is a world of lakes and seas. The moon – smaller than our own planet – bears close resemblance to watery Earth, with wind and rain driving the creation of strikingly familiar landscapes. Under its thick, hazy nitrogen-methane atmosphere, astronomers have found mountains, dunes and lakes. But in lieu of water, liquid methane and ethane flow through riverlike channels into seas the size of Earth’s Great Lakes.

To discover this geologic feature, the astronomers relied on an old technique – flipping. The Cassini spacecraft sent data on July 10, 2013, to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology for image processing. Within a few days, Hofgartner and his colleagues flipped between older Titan images and the newly processed pictures for any hint of change. This is a long-standing method used to discover asteroids, comets and other worlds. “With flipping, the human eye is pretty good at detecting change,” said Hofgartner.

Prior to the July 2013 observation, that region of Ligeia Mare had been completely devoid of features (including waves).

Titan’s seasons change on a longer time scale than Earth’s. The moon’s northern hemisphere is transitioning from the vernal equinox, or spring (August 2009), to summer solstice, or summer (May 2017). The astronomers think the strange feature may result from changing seasons

PIC 1 Myserious islandIn light of the changes, Hofgartner and the other authors speculate on four reasons for this phenomenon:

  • Northern hemisphere winds may be kicking up and forming waves on Ligeia Mare. The radar imaging system might see the waves as a kind of “ghost” island.
  • Gases may push out from the sea floor of Ligeia Mare, rising to the surface as bubbles.
  • Sunken solids formed by a wintry freeze could become buoyant with the onset of the late Titan spring warmer temperatures.
  • Ligeia Mare has suspended solids, which are neither sunken nor floating, but act like silt in a terrestrial delta.

“Likely, several different processes – such as wind, rain and tides – might affect the methane and ethane lakes on Titan. We want to see the similarities and differences from geological processes that occur here on Earth,” Hofgartner said. “Ultimately, it will help us to understand better our own liquid environments here on the Earth.”

In addition to Hofgartner, Cornell authors include: Alex Hayes, assistant professor of planetary sciences; Jonathan Lunine, the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences; and Phil Nicholson, professor of astronomy. A portion of the research was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, under a contract with NASA.

‘HOT JUPITERS’ PROVOKE THEIR OWN HOST SUNS TO WOBBLE

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Sept11.2014.                                        Source: Cornell University By Blaine Friedlander

HOT JU[ITER PIC 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hot Jupiters,” those large, gaseous planets outside our solar system, can make their suns wobble after they wend their way through their own solar systems.

 

These large, gaseous exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) can make their suns wobble after they wend their way through their own solar systems to snuggle up against their suns, according to new Cornell research published in Science, Sept. 12.

“Although the planet’s mass is only one-thousandth of the mass of the sun, the stars in these other solar systems are being affected by these planets and making the stars themselves act in a crazy way,” said Dong Lai, Cornell professor of astronomy and senior author on the research, “Chaotic Dynamics of Stellar Spin in Binaries and the Production of Misaligned Hot Jupiters.” Physics graduate student Natalia I. Storch (lead author) and astronomy graduate student Kassandra R. Anderson are co-authors.

In our solar system, the sun’s rotational axis is approximately aligned with the orbital axis of all the planets. The orbital axis is perpendicular to the flat plane in which the planets revolve around the sun. In solar systems with hot Jupiters, recent observations have revealed that the orbital axis of these planets is misaligned with the rotational axis of their host star. In the last few years, astronomers have been puzzled by spin-orbit misalignment between the star and the planets.

Roasting like marshmallows on an open fire, hot Jupiters – large gaseous planets found throughout the universe in other solar systems – wander from distant places to orbit extraordinarily close to their own suns. So far as astronomers know, this only happens in binary star systems. Partner binary stars, some as far away as hundreds of astronomical units (an astronomical unit is 93 million miles, the distance between Earth and the sun), influence the giant Jupiter-like planets through gravity and cause them to falter into uncommon orbits; that, in turn, causes them to migrate inward close to their sun, Lai said.

“When exoplanets were first found in the 1990s, it was large planets like Jupiter that were discovered. It was surprising that such giant planets can be so close to the parent star,” Lai said. “Our own planet Mercury is very close to our sun. But these hot Jupiters are much closer to their suns than Mercury.”

By simulating the dynamics of these exotic planetary systems, the Cornell astronomers showed that when the Jupiter-like planet approaches its host star, the planet can force the star’s spin axis to precess (that is, change the orientation of their rotational axis), much like a wobbling, spinning top.

“Also, it can make the star’s spin axis change direction in a rather complex – or even a chaotic – way,” said Lai. “This provides a possible explanation to the observed spin-orbit misalignments and will be helpful for understanding the origin of these enigmatic planets.”

Lai noted that the chaotic variation of the star’s spin axis resembles other chaotic phenomena found in nature, such as weather and climate.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and by NASA.

Hot jupiters PIC 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left, astronomy professor Dong Lai and graduate students Natalia Storch and Kassandra Anderson have examined “hot Jupiters” to learn why these exoplanets make their own suns wobble. Jason Koski/University Photography

 

 

 

 

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UPCOMING LAUNCHES AND LANDINGSMORE NASA NEWS

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton NASA.GOV.

  • DATELINE September  20, 2014 — 2:14 a.m. Eastern
 Mission: SpaceX 4 Commercial Resupply Services flight with ISS-RapidScat
. Description: Launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., SpaceX-4 will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. It will also carry the ISS-RapidScat instrument, a replacement for NASA’s QuikScat Earth satellite to monitor ocean winds for climate research, weather predictions, and hurricane monitoring.
   More ISS-RapidScat news below.
  • DATELINE:  September 25, 2014 – 4:25 p.m. Eastern
Mission: Expedition 41 Launch to the International Space Station. Description: Soyuz 40 will take Barry Wilmore, Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev will launch on Soyuz 40 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan

spaceX PICiss040e000416

 

SpaceX Dragon Release From Station ISS040-E-000416 (18 May 2014) — The SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft is pictured just prior to being released by the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm on May 18, 2014, to allow it to head toward a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

Commercial Resupply Launch

DATELINE: Sep. 20, 2014 — 2:14 a.m. Eastern
 Mission: SpaceX 4 Commercial Resupply Services flight with ISS-RapidScat. 
Description: Launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., SpaceX-4 will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. It will also carry the ISS-RapidScat instrument, a replacement for NASA’s QuikScat Earth satellite to monitor ocean winds for climate research, weather predictions, and hurricane monitoring.

 

NASA LAUNCHES NEW ERA OF EARTH SCIENCE FROM SPACE STATION

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton NASA.GOV. September 8, 2014. ISS RapidScat (2014)

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 20.41.37

 Image Credit  NASA

The launch of a NASA ocean winds sensor to the International Space Station (ISS) this month inaugurates a new era of Earth observation that will leverage the space station’s unique vantage point in space. Before the end of the decade, six NASA Earth science instruments will be mounted to the station to help scientists study our changing planet.

The first NASA Earth-observing instrument to be mounted on the exterior of the space station will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on the next SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services flight, currently targeted for no earlier than Sept. 19. ISS-RapidScat will monitor ocean winds for climate research, weather predictions and hurricane monitoring from the space station.

The second instrument is the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), a laser instrument that will measure clouds and the location and distribution of airborne particles such as pollution, mineral dust, smoke, and other particulates in the atmosphere. CATS will follow ISS-RapidScat on the fifth SpaceX space station resupply flight, targeted for December.

“We are seeing the space station come into its own as an Earth-observing platform,” said Julie Robinson, chief scientist for the International Space Station Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“It has a different orbit than other Earth remote sensing platforms. It is closer to Earth, and it sees Earth at different times of day with a different schedule. That offers opportunities that complement other Earth-sensing instruments in orbit today.”

The space station-based instruments join a fleet of 17 NASA Earth-observing missions currently providing data on the dynamic and complex Earth system. ISS-RapidScat and CATS follow the February launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory, a joint mission with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the July launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, making 2014 one of the busiest periods for new NASA Earth science missions in more than a decade.

Most of the agency’s free-flying, Earth-observing satellites orbit the planet over the poles at altitudes higher than 400 miles in order to gather data from all parts of the planet. Although the space station does not pass over Earth’s polar regions, its 240-mile-high orbit does offer logistical and scientific advantages.

“With the space station we do not have to build a spacecraft to gather new data — it is already there,” said Stephen Volz, associate director of flight programs in the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“The orbit enables rare, cross-disciplinary observations when the station flies under another sensor on a satellite. Designing instruments for the space station also gives us a chance to do high-risk, high-return instruments in a relatively economical way.”

The data provided by ISS-RapidScat will support weather and marine forecasting, including tracking storms and hurricanes. The station’s orbit will allow the instrument to make repeated, regular observations over the same locations at different times of day, providing the first near-global measurements of how winds change throughout the day. ISS-RapidScat was built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

CATS is a laser remote-sensing instrument, or lidar, that measures clouds and tiny aerosol particles in the atmosphere. These atmospheric components play a critical part in understanding how human activities such as pollution and fossil fuel burning contribute to climate change. CATS was built by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Two additional NASA Earth science instruments are scheduled to launch to the station in 2016. The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III (SAGE III), will measure aerosols, ozone, water vapor and other gases in the upper atmosphere to help scientists assess how the ozone layer is recovering and better understand global climate change. SAGE III was developed by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and built by Ball Aerospace of Boulder, Colorado.

The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) will detect and locate lightning over tropical and mid-latitude regions of the globe. The first LIS was launched in 1997 as part of NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission. The sensor will monitor lightning for Earth science studies and provide cross-sensor calibration and validation with other space-borne instruments and ground-based lightning networks. LIS was developed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

In July, NASA selected proposals for two new instruments that will observe changes in global vegetation from the space station, giving scientists new ways to observe how forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate and land use change. Both sensors will be completed before the end of the decade.

The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) will use a laser-based system to study forest canopy structure in a range of ecosystems, from the tropics to the high northern latitudes. The observations will help scientists better understand the changes in carbon storage within forests from both human activities and natural climate variations. GEDI is managed by scientists at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) is a high-resolution multiple wavelength thermal imaging spectrometer that will study water use and water stress in vegetation. Measurements of the loss of water from growing leaves and evaporation from the soil will help reveal how ecosystems change with climate and provide a critical link between the water cycle and plant health in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. ECOSTRESS is managed by JPL.

The space station provides several capabilities useful to both instruments. The space station orbit provides more observation time of forests and vegetation over temperate land masses than possible with the polar orbit commonly used for other types of Earth observations. The GEDI laser requires significant power resources, which the space station can provide.

NASA monitors Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing. The agency shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet.

 

NASA TELEVISION COVERAGE SET FOR NEXT SPACE STATION CREW LAUNCH FOR SEPTEMBER 25 (THURSDAY) LAUNCH

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton NASA.GOV. September 18 2014

NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of the Sept. 25 launch from Kazakhstan of three crew members of Expedition 41/42, as they begin their planned six-hour journey to the International Space Station. NASA Television coverage will start at 3:30 p.m. EDT and will include video of the pre-launch activities leading up to spacecraft boarding.

Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 4:25 p.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 25 (2:25 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26, in Baikonur).

Serova, a flight engineer, will become the fourth Russian woman to fly in space and the first Russian woman to live and work on the station.

Wilmore and Serova are flight engineers, and Samokutyaev commands the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft, which will rendezvous with the space station and dock after four orbits of the Earth. Docking to the Poisk module of the Russian segment of the station will take place at 10:16 p.m. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 9:45 p.m.

Around 11:55 p.m., hatches between the Soyuz and the station will be opened. Expedition 41 Commander Max Suraev of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, will greet Wilmore, Samokutyaev and Serova. Hatch opening coverage begins on NASA TV at 11:30 p.m.

Wilmore, Samokutyaev and Serova will remain aboard the station until mid-March 2015. Suraev, Wiseman and Gerst, who have been aboard since May 29, will return to Earth in early November, leaving Wilmore as the commander of Expedition 42.

For the full schedule of pre-launch, launch and docking coverage, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Follow NASA astronauts via Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/NASA_Astronauts

Enjoy. Back tomorrow.  I hope I might have more news. Would welcome your views on this coverage or am I boring you? Jeanne
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NASA COVERAGE SET FOR FOURTH SPACEX MISSION TO SPACE STATION SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 21

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton    NASA.GOV. SPACE X MISSION – Date line Saturday September 20 2014.

NASA Coverage Set for Fourth SpaceX Mission to Space Station. The fourth SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract is scheduled to launch  from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The one-day adjustment in the launch date was made to accommodate preparations of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and was coordinated with the station’s partners and managers.

The company’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying its Dragon cargo spacecraft loaded with more than 5,000 pounds of scientific experiments and supplies, will lift off at 2:16 a.m. EDT. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 1:15 a.m.

The mission, designated SpaceX CRS-4, is the fourth of 12 SpaceX flights NASA contracted with the company to resupply the space station. It will be the fifth trip by a Dragon spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory.

The spacecraft’s 2.5 tons of supplies, science experiments, and technology demonstrations include critical materials to support 255 science and research investigations that will occur during the station’s Expeditions 40 and 41.

Science payloads include the ISS-Rapid Scatterometer to monitor ocean surface wind speed and direction; new biomedical hardware that will help facilitate prolonged biological studies of rodents in microgravity; and a study of a small flowering plant related to cabbage that allows scientists to study plant growth and adaptations in space.

New technology demonstrations aboard the Dragon spacecraft include the Special Purpose Inexpensive Satellite, or SpinSat, to test how a small satellite moves and positions itself in space using new thruster technology and the 3-D Printing In Zero-G Technology Demonstration, the first 3-D printer in space.

During panel discussions  scientists and researchers will discuss the various science and research studies, including RapidScat, 3-D printing in Zero-G, technology to measure bone density, and model organism research using rodents, fruit flies and plants.

The Dragon will remain attached to the space station’s Harmony module for more than four weeks and then splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California with almost two tons of experiment samples and equipment returning from the station.

NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE

Sunday Sept. 21 (Launch day) as far as we know: NASA TV live coverage should begin at 1:15 a.m. EDT and conclude at approximately 3 a.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video.  Try  the NASA site  first http://www.nasa.gov/ntv  or http://wwitv.com/tv_channels/b5337.htm

IN-FLIGHT NASA TV COVERAGE

If launch occurs Sept. 21, NASA TV will provide live coverage  of the arrival of the Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station.

TWITTER

The NASA News Twitter feed should be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the NASA News Twitter feed, visit: http://www.twitter.com/NASAKennedy

FACEBOOK

The NASA News Facebook feed should be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the NASA Facebook feed, visit: http://www.facebook.com/NASAKennedy

 ANOTHER NASA TV SITE

I have just tuned into this website which claims to bring you Live stream from NASA. I had to smile about one noticeable public comment. This reader wrote, “CLEAN the bloody windows, after a burn!!” He obviously wanted to see the view: http://wwitv.com/tv_channels/b5337.htm

 

STOP PRESS – HOT NEWS

NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of the Sept. 25 ( Thursday ) launch from Kazakhstan of three crew members of Expedition 41/42, as they begin their planned six-hour journey to the International Space Station. NASA Television coverage will start at 3:30 p.m. EDT and will include video of the pre-launch activities leading up to spacecraft boarding.  Try http://www.nasa.gov/ntv or http://wwitv.com/tv_channels/b5337.htm. This one has a timetable http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#.VBsV3kuAfzY

 

HUBBLE HELPS FIND SMALLEST KNOWN GALAXY CONTAINING A SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE

From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton NASA.GOV. – September 17 2014.

BLACKHOLE NASA CHANDRA PIC. 14-251_0

 

Astronomers using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and ground observation have found an unlikely object in an improbable place — a monster black hole lurking inside one of the tiniest galaxies ever known.

The black hole is five times the mass of the one at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It is inside one of the densest galaxies known to date — the M60-UCD1 dwarf galaxy that crams 140 million stars within a diameter of about 300 light-years, which is only 1/500th of our galaxy’s diameter.

If you lived inside this dwarf galaxy, the night sky would dazzle with at least 1 million stars visible to the naked eye. Our nighttime sky as seen from Earth’s surface shows 4,000 stars.

The finding implies there are many other compact galaxies in the universe that contain supermassive black holes. The observation also suggests dwarf galaxies may actually be the stripped remnants of larger galaxies that were torn apart during collisions with other galaxies rather than small islands of stars born in isolation.

“We do not know of any other way you could make a black hole so big in an object this small,” said University of Utah astronomer Anil Seth, lead author of an international study of the dwarf galaxy published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.

Seth’s team of astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini North 8-meter optical and infrared telescope on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea to observe M60-UCD1 and measure the black hole’s mass. The sharp Hubble images provide information about the galaxy’s diameter and stellar density. Gemini measures the stellar motions as affected by the black hole’s pull. These data are used to calculate the mass of the black hole.

Black holes are gravitationally collapsed, ultra-compact objects that have a gravitational pull so strong that even light cannot escape. Supermassive black holes — those with the mass of at least one million stars like our sun — are thought to be at the centers of many galaxies.

The black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy has the mass of four million suns. As heavy as that is, it is less than 0.01 percent of the Milky Way’s total mass. By comparison, the supermassive black hole at the center of M60-UCD1, which has the mass of 21 million suns, is a stunning 15 percent of the small galaxy’s total mass.

“That is pretty amazing, given that the Milky Way is 500 times larger and more than 1,000 times heavier than the dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1,” Seth said.

One explanation is that M60-UCD1 was once a large galaxy containing 10 billion stars, but then it passed very close to the center of an even larger galaxy, M60, and in that process all the stars and dark matter in the outer part of the galaxy were torn away and became part of M60.

The team believes that M60-UCD1 may eventually be pulled to fully merge with M60, which has its own monster black hole that weighs a whopping 4.5 billion solar masses, or more than 1,000 times bigger than the black hole in our galaxy. When that happens, the black holes in both galaxies also likely will merge. Both galaxies are 50 million light-years away.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington.

 

NASA’S CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY FINDS PLANET THAT MAKES STAR ACT DECEPTIVELY OLD

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton NASA.GOV. WASP 18 September 16 2014.

WASP 18  PIC. 14-250_0

 A new study from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that a giant exoplanet, WASP-18b, is making the star that it orbits very closely act much older than it actually is. This artist’s illustration depicts WASP-18b and its star, which are about 330 light years away. Image Credit: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

 

According to new data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This discovery shows how a massive planet can affect the behavior of its parent star.

The star, WASP-18, and its planet, WASP-18b, are located about 330 light-years from Earth. WASP-18b has a mass about 10 times that of Jupiter and completes one orbit around its star in less than 23 hours, placing WASP-18b in the “hot Jupiter” category of exoplanets, or planets outside our solar system.

WASP-18b is the first known example of an orbiting planet that has apparently caused its star, which is roughly the mass of our sun, to display traits of an older star.

“WASP-18b is an extreme exoplanet,” said Ignazio Pillitteri of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo in Italy, who led the study.

“It is one of the most massive hot Jupiters known and one of the closest to its host star, and these characteristics lead to unexpected behavior. This planet is causing its host star to act old before its time.”

Pillitteri’s team determined WASP-18 is between 500 million and 2 billion years old, based on theoretical models and other data. While this may sound old, it is considered young by astronomical standards. By comparison, our sun is about 5 billion years old and thought to be about halfway through its lifetime.

Younger stars tend to be more active, exhibiting stronger magnetic fields, larger flares, and more intense X-ray emission than their older counterparts. Magnetic activity, flaring, and X-ray emission are linked to the star’s rotation, which generally declines with age. However, when astronomers took a long look with Chandra at WASP-18 they did not detect any X-rays. Using established relations between the magnetic activity and X-ray emission of stars, as well as its actual age, researchers determined WASP-18 is about 100 times less active than it should be.

“We think the planet is aging the star by wreaking havoc on its innards,” said co-author Scott Wolk of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The researchers argue that tidal forces created by the gravitational pull of the massive planet – similar to those the moon has on Earth’s tides, but on a much larger scale – may have disrupted the magnetic field of the star.

The strength of the magnetic field depends on the amount of convection in the star, or how intensely hot gas stirs the interior of the star.

“The planet’s gravity may cause motions of gas in the interior of the star that weaken the convection,” said co-author Salvatore Sciortino also of INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo in Italy.

“This has a domino effect that results in the magnetic field becoming weaker and the star to age prematurely.”

WASP-18 is particularly susceptible to this effect because its convection zone is narrower than most stars. This makes it more vulnerable to the impact of tidal forces that tug at it.

The effect of tidal forces from the planet may also explain an unusually high amount of lithium found in earlier optical studies of WASP-18. Lithium is usually abundant in younger stars, but over time convection carries lithium to the hot inner regions of a star, where it is destroyed by nuclear reactions. If there is less convection, the lithium does not circulate into the interior of the star as much, allowing more lithium to survive.

These results were published in the July issue of Astronomy and Astrophysics and are available online.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.

Enjoy the launches….Back Friday Jeanne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON SNACKS—BRAIN STIMULATION AFFECTS CRAVING AND CONSUMPTION

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 15-Sep-2014                                         Source  Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins Citations Psychosomatic Medicine

Newswise — Magnetic stimulation of a brain area involved in “executive function” affects cravings for and consumption of calorie-dense snack foods, reports a study in the September issue of Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

After stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), young women experience increased cravings for high-calorie snacks—and eat more of those foods when given the opportunity, according to the study by researchers at University of Waterloo, Ont., Canada.

“These findings shed a light on the role of the DLPFC in food cravings (specifically reward anticipation), the consumption of appealing high caloric foods, and the relation between self-control and food consumption,” the researchers write. The senior author was Peter Hall, PhD.

Brain Stimulation Affects Cravings and Consumption for ‘Appetitive’ Snacks
The study included 21 healthy young women, selected because they reported strong and frequent cravings for chocolate and potato chips. Such “appetitive,” calorie-dense snack foods are often implicated in the development of obesity.

The women were shown pictures of these foods to stimulate cravings. The researchers then applied a type of magnetic stimulation, called continuous theta-burst stimulation, to decrease activity in the DLPFC. Previous studies have suggested that DLPFC activity plays a role in regulating food cravings.

After theta-burst stimulation, the women reported stronger food cravings—specifically for “appetitive” milk chocolate and potato chips. During a subsequent “taste test,” they consumed more of these foods, rather than alternative, less-appetitive foods (dark chocolate and soda crackers).

Stimulation to weaken DLPFC activity was also associated with lower performance on a test of inhibitory control strength (the Stroop test). Decreased DLPFC activity appeared to be associated with increased “reward sensitivity”—it made the participants “more sensitive to the rewarding properties of palatable high caloric foods,” the researchers write.

Weak Executive Function May Contribute to Obesity Risk
The results highlight the role of executive function in governing “dietary self-restraint,” the researchers believe. Executive function, which involves the DLPFC, refers to a set of cognitive functions that enable “top-down” control of action, emotion, and thought.

At the “basic neurobiological level,” the study provides direct evidence that the DLPFC is involved in one specific aspect of food cravings: reward anticipation. People with weak executive function may lack the dietary self-control necessary to regulate snack food consumption in “the modern obesogenic environment.” Faced with constant cues and opportunities to consume energy-dense foods, such individuals may be more likely to become overweight or obese.

The results suggest that interventions aimed at enhancing or preserving DLPFC function may help to prevent obesity and related diseases. In conditions such as type 2 diabetes, where healthy dietary habits are essential for effective disease control, “Interventions focused on enhancing DLPFC activity, through aerobic exercise or other means, may result in increased dietary self-control and subsequently improve disease management,” Dr Hall and coauthors add.

About Psychosomatic Medicine
Psychosomatic Medicine, Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, founded in 1939, is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Psychosomatic Society. It publishes experimental and clinical studies dealing with various aspects of the relationships among social, psychological, and behavioral factors and bodily processes in humans and animals. Psychosomatic Medicine, Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine is an international, interdisciplinary journal devoted to experimental and clinical investigation in behavioral biology, psychiatry, psychology, physiology, anthropology, and clinical medicine. The print journal is published nine times a year; most articles are published online ahead of print.

About the American Psychosomatic Society
The mission of the
American Psychosomatic Society is to promote and advance the scientific understanding and multidisciplinary integration of biological, psychological, behavioral and social factors in human health and disease, and to foster the dissemination and application of this understanding in education and health care.

The American Psychosomatic Society is a worldwide community of scholars and clinicians dedicated to the scientific understanding of the interaction of mind, brain, body and social context in promoting health. The organization is devoted to biopsychosocial research and integrated clinical care, and to providing a forum via its website, Annual Meeting and journal, Psychosomatic Medicine, for sharing this research. Its members are from around the world, including specialists from all medical and health-related disciplines, the behavioral sciences, and the social sciences.

About Wolters Kluwer Health
Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading global provider of information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry. Serving more than 150 countries worldwide, clinicians rely on Wolters Kluwer Health’s market leading information-enabled tools and software solutions throughout their professional careers from training to research to practice. Major brands include Health Language®, Lexicomp®, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Medicom®, Medknow, Ovid®, Pharmacy OneSource®, ProVation® Medical and UpToDate®.

Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company. Wolters Kluwer had 2013 annual revenues of €3.6 billion ($4.7 billion), employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide, and maintains operations in over 40 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.maintains operations in over 40 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

 

OUR MICROBES ARE A RICH SOURCE OF DRUGS, UCSF RESEARCHERS DISCOVER

From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Embargoed: 11-Sep-2014 Mohamed Donia, UCSF Source  University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)   Citations Cell, September 11, 2014

Newswise — Bacteria that normally live in and upon us have genetic blueprints that enable them to make thousands of molecules that act like drugs, and some of these molecules might serve as the basis for new human therapeutics, according to UC San Francisco researchers who report their new discoveries in the September 11, 2014 issue of Cell.

The scientists purified and solved the structure of one of the molecules they identified, an antibiotic they named lactocillin, which is made by a common bacterial species, Lactobacillus gasseri, found in the microbial community within the vagina. The antibiotic is closely related to others already being tested clinically by pharmaceutical companies. Lactocillin kills several vaginal bacterial pathogens, but spares species known to harmlessly dwell in the vagina.

Graphical_abstract_v2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A scientific team led by UCSF microbiome expert Michael Fischbach, PhD, identified more than 3,000 clusters of bacterial genes at different body sites that contain the blueprints for cellular factories that make drug-like molecules. One of the molecules discovered based on gene-cluster identification, an antibiotic the researchers named lactocillin, is assembled by enzymes encoded by genes within the circular DNA plasmid of the bacterium, Lactobacillus gasseri, a common resident of the vagina. Lactocillin kills pathogenic bacteria that are found in the vagina, the researchers discovered.

This example suggests that there may be an important role for many naturally occurring drugs – made by our own microbes — in maintaining human health, said the senior author of the study, Michael Fischbach, PhD, an assistant professor of bioengineering with the UCSF School of Pharmacy, who has established a career discovering interesting molecules made by microbes.

“We used to think that drugs were developed by drug companies, approved by the FDA, and prescribed by physicians, but we now think there are many drugs of equal potency and specificity being produced by the human microbiota,” Fischbach said.

About a third of all medicines used in the clinic are derived from microbes and plants, Fischbach said. These include antibiotics like penicillin, numerous drugs used in cancer chemotherapy, and cholesterol-lowering drugs. Although those who prospect for drugs from microbes have been combing the depths of the oceans and probing exotic soils around the globe, only now have scientists begun to look within our own bodies.

There are hundreds of bacterial species associated with each of us, and thousands of distinct strains among them. We do not all harbor the same species, and different species are found at different body sites.

Through research funded by the National Institutes of Health’s Human Microbiome Project and other studies, scientists in recent years have begun to describe the microbiomes – ecosystems made up of many microbial species – found in the gut, skin, nasal passages, mouth and vagina.

They have started to identify microbiomes in which species diversity and abundance differ from the normal range in ways that are associated with disease risks. However, the identification of molecules that govern interactions between microbes and their human hosts has lagged; only a handful have been identified, Fischbach said.

By developing new data-analysis software and putting it to work on an extensive genetic database developed from human-associated bacterial samples collected as part of the ongoing Human Microbiome Project, Fischbach’s lab team identified clusters of bacterial genes that are switched-on in a coordinated way to guide the production of molecules that are biologically active in humans.

Like language-translation programs, the mathematical algorithm Fischbach’s team developed, called ClusterFinder, uses machine-learning principals to draw conclusions from new data, based on what is already known — in this case previously identified relationships between gene clusters in soil and marine bacterial species and the molecules they produce.

Using ClusterFinder, Fischbach’s team for the first time systematically analyzed genomes from microbiome species and data on gene activity from human samples to identify 3,118 distinct clusters of bacterial genes that are found in various human body sites. The gene clusters his team identified encode enzymes that serve as molecular factories to produce specific drug-like molecules that fit into known classes of pharmaceuticals.

The new study reveals that the genus-level analysis commonly used to identify bacteria within human microbiomes is not detailed enough to predict which drug-like molecules the bacteria make, Fischbach said. Individual species, and different strains within each species, differ in the molecules they produce.

“We need to learn what these molecules are and what they are doing,” Fischbach said. “This could represent a pool of molecules with many tantalizing candidates for drug therapy.

“It’s been clear for several years that variations and changes in the human microbiome have interesting effects on the human host, and now we can begin to determine why this is true on a molecular level.”

UCSF postdoctoral fellow Mohamed S. Donia, PhD, designed and conducted key experiments and took the lead in drafting the newly published study. Other co-authors include UCSF postdoctoral fellow Peter Cimermancic, PhD; postdoctoral fellow Christopher J. Schulze, PhD, from Stanford University; associate professor Roger G. Linington, PhD, from UC Santa Cruz; chemistry lecturer Laura C. Wieland Brown, PhD, from Indiana University; John Martin and Makedonka Mitreva, PhD, assistant professor, from Washington University, St. Louis; and Jon Clardy, PhD, professor at Harvard Medical School.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the W.M. Keck Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the UCSF Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research. Fischbach is on the scientific advisory boards of NGM Biopharmaceuticals and Warp Drive Bio.

UCSF is the nation’s leading university exclusively focused on health. Now celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding as a medical college, UCSF is dedicated to transforming health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with world-renowned programs in the biological sciences, a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-tier hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.

 

SCIENTISTS REPORT FIRST SEMIAQUATIC DINOSAUR, SPINOSAURUS

Massive predator was more than 9 feet longer than largest Tyrannosaurusrex

From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 11-Sep-2014  Source: University of Chicago

Newswise — Scientists are unveiling what appears to be the first truly semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. New fossils of the massive Cretaceous-era predator reveal it adapted to life in the water some 95 million years ago, providing the most compelling evidence to date of a dinosaur able to live and hunt in an aquatic environment. The fossils also indicate that Spinosaurus was the largest known predatory dinosaur to roam the Earth, measuring more than nine feet longer than the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus rex specimen.

These findings, to be published Sept. 11 in the journal Science online at the Science Express website, are also featured in the October National Geographic magazine cover story available online Sept. 11. In addition, Spinosaurus will be the subject of a new exhibition at the National Geographic Museum, opening Sept. 12, as well as a National Geographic/NOVA special airing on PBS Nov. 5 at 9 p.m.

An international research team — including paleontologists Nizar Ibrahim and Paul Sereno from the University of Chicago; Cristiano Dal Sasso and Simone Maganuco from the Natural History Museum in Milan, Italy; and Samir Zouhri from the Université Hassan II Casablanca in Morocco — found that Spinosaurus developed a variety of previously unknown aquatic adaptations.

The researchers came to their conclusions after analyzing new fossils uncovered in the Moroccan Sahara and a partial Spinosaurus skull and other remains housed in museum collections around the world as well as historical records and images from the first reported Spinosaurus discovery in Egypt more than 100 years ago. According to lead author Ibrahim, a 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, “Working on this animal was like studying an alien from outer space; it’s unlike any other dinosaur I have ever seen.”

The aquatic adaptations of Spinosaurus differ significantly from earlier members of the spinosaurid family that lived on land but were known to eat fish. These adaptations include:

  • Small nostrils located in the middle of the skull. The small size and placement of the nostrils farther back on the skull allowed Spinosaurus to breathe when part of its head was in water.
  • Neurovascular openings at the end of the snout. Similar openings on crocodile and alligator snouts contain pressure receptors that enable them to sense movement in water. It’s likely these openings served a comparable function in Spinosaurus.
  • Giant, slanted teeth that interlocked at the front of the snout. The conical shape and location of the teeth were well-suited for catching fish.
  • A long neck and trunk that shifted the dinosaur’s center of mass forward. This made walking on two legs on land nearly impossible, but facilitated movement in water.
  • Powerful forelimbs with curved, blade-like claws. These claws were ideal for hooking or slicing slippery prey.
  • A small pelvis and short hind legs with muscular thighs. As in the earliest whales, these adaptations were for paddling in water and differ markedly from other predatory dinosaurs that used two legs to move on land.
  • Particularly dense bones lacking the marrow cavities typical to predatory dinosaurs. Similar adaptations, which enable buoyancy control, are seen in modern aquatic animals like king penguins.
  • Strong, long-boned feet and long, flat claws. Unlike other predators, Spinosaurus had feet similar to some shorebirds that stand on or move across soft surfaces rather than perch. In fact, Spinosaurus may have had webbed feet for walking on soft mud or paddling.
  • Loosely connected bones in the dinosaur’s tail. These bones enabled its tail to bend in a wave-like fashion, similar to tails that help propel some bony fish.
  • Enormous dorsal spines covered in skin that created a gigantic “sail” on the dinosaur’s back. The tall, thin, blade-shaped spines were anchored by muscles and composed of dense bone with few blood vessels. This suggests the sail was meant for display and not to trap heat or store fat. The sail would have been visible even when the animal entered the water.

More than a century ago, German paleontologist Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbach first discovered evidence of Spinosaurus in the Egyptian Sahara. Sadly, all of Stromer’s fossils were destroyed during the April 1944 Allied bombing of Munich, Germany. Ibrahim, however, was able to track down Stromer’s surviving notes, sketches and photos in archives and at the Stromer family castle in Bavaria to supplement Stromer’s surviving publications.

The new Spinosaurus fossils were discovered in the Moroccan Sahara along desert cliffs known as the Kem Kem beds. This area was once a large river system, stretching from present-day Morocco to Egypt. At the time, a variety of aquatic life populated the system, including large sharks, coelacanths, lungfish and crocodile-like creatures, along with giant flying reptiles and predatory dinosaurs.

The most important of the new fossils, a partial skeleton uncovered by a local fossil hunter, was spirited out of the country. As a result, critical information about the context of the find was seemingly lost, and locating the local fossil hunter in Morocco was nearly impossible. Remarked Ibrahim, “It was like searching for a needle in a desert.” After an exhaustive search, Ibrahim finally found the man and confirmed the site of his original discovery.

To unlock the mysteries of Spinosaurus, the team created a digital model of the skeleton with funding provided by the National Geographic Society. The researchers CT scanned all of the new fossils, which will be repatriated to Morocco, complementing them with digital recreations of Stromer’s specimens. Missing bones were modeled based on known elements of related dinosaurs.

According to Maganuco, “We relied upon cutting-edge technology to examine, analyze and piece together a variety of fossils. For a project of this complexity, traditional methods would not have been nearly as accurate.”

The researchers then used the digital model to create an anatomically precise, life-size 3-D replica of the Spinosaurus skeleton. After it was mounted, the researchers measured Spinosaurus from head to tail, confirming their calculation that the new skeleton was longer than the largest documented Tyrannosaurus by more than 9 feet.

According to Sereno, head of the University of Chicago’s Fossil Lab, “What surprised us even more than the dinosaur’s size were its unusual proportions. We see limb proportions like this in early whales, not predatory dinosaurs.”

Added Dal Sasso, “In the last two decades, several finds demonstrated that certain dinosaurs gave origins to birds. Spinosaurus represents an equally bizarre evolutionary process, revealing that predatory dinosaurs adapted to a semiaquatic life and invaded river systems in Cretaceous North Africa.”

The life-size skeletal replica will be the centerpiece of a new exhibition at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., titled “Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous.” The exhibition, which runs from Sept. 12, 2014, to April 12, 2015, brings to life the story of Spinosaurus, from Stromer’s original discoveries to the dedicated effort of the international research team working to unlock its secrets.2 PIC.-Spinosaurus_fleshprofile2014_B

 

 

 

Flesh rendering of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, 50 feet in length.The average double decker bus is just over 36 feet in length, The Spinosaurus with two men lying top to toe in a straight line, should give you some idea of the size if the semi-acquatic dinosaur.

The global search to uncover the Spinosaurus skeleton and its mysteries will also be featured in a National Geographic/NOVA special, “Bigger Than T.rex,” airing on PBS Nov. 5, 2014, at 9 p.m.

Other authors of the Science paper are David Martill, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom; Matteo Fabbri, University of Bristol, United Kingdom; Nathan Myhrvold, Intellectual Ventures; and Dawid Iurino, Sapienza Università di Roma in Italy. Important contributors to the making of the digital Spinosaurus include Tyler Keillor, Lauren Conroy and Erin Fitzgerald of the Fossil Lab at the University of Chicago.

Spinosaurs swims over a sawfish.

Spinosaurs swims over a sawfish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OWLS PROVIDES CLUES ON HOW HUMANS FOCUS ATTENTION

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Embargoed: 11-Sep-2014 Source: Johns Hopkins University Citations Neuron, online-Sep-11-2014;

 

Newswise — Imagine a quarterback on the gridiron getting ready to pass the ball to a receiver. Suddenly, in charges a growling linebacker aiming to take him down. At what point does the quarterback abandon the throw and trigger evasive maneuvers?

A 1-pound owl might have some answers.

A Johns Hopkins University neuroscientist who works with barn owls is publishing his study about attention that reveals the rules and mechanisms for how the brain makes such decisions.

Shreesh Mysore, lead author of the paper to be published online Sept. 11 in the journal Neuron, and an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, said the scenarios represent two options: the “top-down” control of attention in which you choose what to focus on, and “bottom-up” control of attention in which physical stimuli in the world capture your attention by virtue of their properties.

It is competition among options – focus on the wide receiver or dodge the linebacker – that determines in a sliver of a second which situation requires immediate attention.

Mysore completed his research while he was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University. Eric Knudsen, a professor at the Stanford School of Medicine, is a senior author of the study. Mysore says the findings from this research provide insights into how the brain might choose what to focus on.

“The idea is that there is constant interplay and competition between these two kinds of influences,” said Mysore. “At any given moment, your brain has to pick from a vast variety of information, both top-down and bottom-up, and the brain runs a competition and picks a winner. To anthropomorphize this process, the brain basically says, ‘At this instant, I’m going to select this location in the world to direct my attention.’”

Learning more about how attention is controlled can help in the future treatment of such disorders as attention deficit disorder, autism and schizophrenia. 
As for barn owls, their acute hearing and laser-like gaze make them great test cases in research exploring spatial attention.

Using a visual projector and a pair of specialized earphones, the owls were presented with a series of computer-controlled images of dots and noise bursts. Electrodes just thicker than an average human hair were inserted into a portion of the owls’ brain called the optic tectum.

The tectum is a key hub in the midbrain of all vertebrate animals and is important for the control of spatial attention. Cells in different layers of the tectum have different jobs, with the surface layers being more vision-dominated, and the deeper layers processing information from multiple senses and driving body movement. All layers contain a map-like representation of the outside world.

After determining that brain cells in the tectum fired when the images and sounds appeared, the researchers then used two stimuli to measure which was more likely to dominate in the brain’s representation of the world.

“If you want to measure competition, you have to have things that are competing against each other,” said Mysore.

“So we used two stimuli, either two images or an image and a sound. Because objects with stronger physical properties tend to capture your attention behaviorally, we were looking for some signature of a ‘switch’ in the brain’s activity when one stimulus became just stronger than the other.”

This physical strength of a stimulus, called salience, was varied in their experiments by having visual dots loom at different speeds or by changing the loudness of sounds. An abrupt, switch-like change in the activity of tectal neurons is what they found when the owls were exposed to just these bottom-up or sensory stimuli, consistent with a previous study by Mysore.

“With these results as a basis, we went after the main goal of this study, which was to examine how top-down information influences competition and selection,” he said.

In an interesting twist, the study’s authors controlled where the owls intended to apply their focus. By delivering a tiny amount of current to a specific part of a region in the forebrain of owls called the gaze field, they essentially caused the animal to “want to” pay attention to a specific location in the world.

The authors found that this intention to pay attention to one particular stimulus had a powerful effect in that it nearly tripled the ability of the brain to determine which among all competing stimuli was the strongest. This ability could potentially make the animal that much better at correctly deciding which information is the most important at any instant.

In addition, using a computer model of the neurons in the tectum, they were able to provide an explanation for how top-down information may fine-tune the ability of the brain to make decisions about where to pay attention.

Mysore said that while much is known about how the brain processes sensory information, not as much is understood about how the brain performs stimulus 
competition to decide where to focus. This study provides important clues.

“One of my longstanding interests is to understand how specific circuits in the brain produce specific behaviors,” he said. “My hope is that by understanding neural computations and circuits underlying behavior in normal animals, we will be able to contribute meaningfully to the understanding of what has gone awry in disease states. This, to me, is one of the best approaches to developing effective therapeutics for psychiatric.”

 

CAN YOUR BLOOD TYPE AFFECT YOUR MEMORY?

From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Embargoed: 10-Sep-2014 Source: American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Citations Neurology

 

Newswise — MINNEAPOLIS – People with blood type AB may be more likely to develop memory loss in later years than people with other blood types, according to a study published in the September 10, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

AB is the least common blood type, found in about 4 percent of the U.S. population. The study found that people with AB blood were 82 percent more likely to develop the thinking and memory problems that can lead to dementia than people with other blood types.

Previous studies have shown that people with type O blood have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, factors that can increase the risk of memory loss and dementia.

The study was part of a larger study (the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke, or REGARDS Study) of more than 30,000 people followed for an average of 3.4 years. In those who had no memory or thinking problems at the beginning, the study identified 495 participants who developed thinking and memory problems, or cognitive impairment, during the study.

They were compared to 587 people with no cognitive problems.

People with AB blood type made up 6 percent of the group who developed cognitive impairment, which is higher than the 4 percent found in the population.

“Our study looks at blood type and risk of cognitive impairment, but several studies have shown that factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes increase the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia,” said study author Mary Cushman, MD, MSc, of the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington.

“Blood type is also related to other vascular conditions like stroke, so the findings highlight the connections between vascular issues and brain health. More research is needed to confirm these results.”

Researchers also looked at blood levels of factor VIII, a protein that helps blood to clot. High levels of factor VIII are related to higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. People in this study with higher levels of factor VIII were 24 percent more likely to develop thinking and memory problems than people with lower levels of the protein.

People with AB blood had a higher average level of factor VIII than people with other blood types.

The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of 28,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

 

YOGIC BREATHING SHOWS PROMISE IN REDUCING SYMPTOMS OF POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 11-Sep-2014
Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison Citations Journal of Traumatic Stress

 

Newswise — MADISON, Wis. — One of the greatest casualties of war is its lasting effect on the minds of soldiers. This presents a daunting public health problem: More than 20 percent of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a 2012 report by RAND Corp.

A new study from the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers hope for those suffering from the disorder. Researchers there have shown that a breathing-based meditation practice called Sudarshan Kriya Yoga can be an effective treatment for PTSD.

Individuals with PTSD suffer from intrusive memories, heightened anxiety, and personality changes. The hallmark of the disorder is hyperarousal, which can be defined as overreacting to innocuous stimuli, and is often described as feeling “jumpy,” or easily startled and constantly on guard.

Hyperarousal is one aspect of the autonomic nervous system, the system that controls the beating of the heart and other body functions, and governs one’s ability to respond to his or her environment. Scientists believe hyperarousal is at the core of PTSD and the driving force behind some of its symptoms.

Standard treatment interventions for PTSD offer mixed results. Some individuals are prescribed antidepressants and do well while others do not; others are treated with psychotherapy and still experience residual affects of the disorder.

Sudarshan Kriya Yoga is a practice of controlled breathing that directly affects the autonomic nervous system. While the practice has proven effective in balancing the autonomic nervous system and reducing symptoms of PTSD in tsunami survivors, it has not been well studied until now.

The CIHM team was interested in Sudarshan Yoga because of its focus on manipulating the breath, and how that in turn may have consequences for the autonomic nervous system and specifically, hyperarousal. Theirs is the first randomized, controlled, longitudinal study to show that the practice of controlled breathing can benefit people with PTSD.

“This was a preliminary attempt to begin to gather some information on whether this practice of yogic breathing actually reduces symptoms of PTSD,” says Richard J. Davidson, founder of CIHM and one of the authors of the study.

“Secondly, we wanted to find out whether the reduction in symptoms was associated with biological measures that may be important in hyperarousal.”

These tests included measuring eye-blink startle magnitude and respiration rates in response to stimuli such as a noise burst in the laboratory. Respiration is one of the functions controlled by the autonomic nervous system; the eye-blink startle rate is an involuntary response that can be used to measure one component of hyperarousal. These two measurements reflect aspects of mental health because they affect how an individual regulates emotion.

The CIHM study included 21 soldiers: an active group of 11 and a control group of 10. Those who received the one-week training in yogic breathing showed lower anxiety, reduced respiration rates and fewer PTSD symptoms.

Davidson would like to further the research by including more participants, with the end goal of enabling physicians to prescribe treatment based on the cognitive and emotional style of the individual patient.

“A clinician could use a ‘tool box’ of psychological assessments to determine the cognitive and emotional style of the patient, and thereby determine a treatment that would be most effective for that individual,” he says.

“Right now, a large fraction of individuals who are given any one type of therapy are not improving on that therapy. The only way we can improve that is if we determine which kinds of people will benefit most from different types of treatments.”

That assessment is critical. At least 22 veterans take their own lives every day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Because Sudarshan Kriya Yoga has already been shown to increase optimism in college students, and reduce stress and anxiety in people suffering from depression, it may be an effective way to decrease suffering and, quite possibly, the incidence of suicide among veterans.

The study, published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, was funded by a grant from the Disabled Veterans of America Charitable Service Trust and individual donors.

Back Wednesday. Jeanne

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