Category Archives: environment

Clues in forest food web help predict Lyme risk | CIDRAP

Source: Clues in forest food web help predict Lyme risk | CIDRAP

To see if small mammalian predators influence tick infection rates, researchers placed camera traps at dozens of sites throughout Dutchess County in the summers of 2012 and 2013. Trap visitors included coyote, fox, bobcat, fisher, raccoon, and opossum. Then the investigators surveyed and tested ticks at the camera trap sites.

Locations with high predator diversity had lower infection prevalence of nymphal ticks than sites dominated by coyotes. Numbers of nymphal ticks were lowest where forest cover was higher, and bobcats, foxes, and opossums were associated with a reduction in tick infection.

Chicken safety fear as chlorine washing fails bacteria tests | World news | The Guardian Major Oops!

The chlorine washing of food, the controversial “cleaning” technique used by many US poultry producers who want access to the British market post-Brexit, does not remove contaminants, a new study has found. The investigation, by a team of microbiologists from Southampton University and published in the US journal mBio, found that bacilli such as listeria and salmonella remain completely active after chlorine washing. The process merely makes it impossible to culture them in the lab, giving the false impression that the chlorine washing has been effective. Apart from a few voluntary codes, the American poultry industry is unregulated compared with that in the EU, allowing for flocks to be kept in far greater densities and leading to a much higher incidence of infection. While chicken farmers in the EU manage contamination through higher welfare standards, smaller flock densities and inoculation, chlorine washing is routinely used in the US right at the end of the process, after slaughter, to clean carcasses. This latest study indicates it simply doesn’t work.

Source: Chicken safety fear as chlorine washing fails bacteria tests | World news | The Guardian

Not all trees sleep the same – High temporal resolution terrestrial laser scanning shows differences in nocturnal plant movement – Research – Aarhus University – Trees Sleep! and have equivalent of heartbeat!

We confirm the existence of overnight “sleep” movement for some trees, but conclude that circadian movement is a variable phenomenon in plants, probably controlled by a complex combination of anatomical, physiological, and morphological factors.

Source: Not all trees sleep the same – High temporal resolution terrestrial laser scanning shows differences in nocturnal plant movement – Research – Aarhus University

Management and control of communicable diseases in schools and other child care settings: systematic review on the incubation period and period of infectiousness | BMC Infectious Diseases | Full Text

Source: Management and control of communicable diseases in schools and other child care settings: systematic review on the incubation period and period of infectiousness | BMC Infectious Diseases | Full Text

Invasive fist-sized Cuban treefrogs discovered in New Orleans | Environment | The Guardian

The captured frogs probably arrived on palm trees from Florida that were planted in the zoo in 2016, USGS research ecologist Brad Glorioso wrote in a study published in the April issue of the journal Biological Invasions. “They have noxious skin secretions, lay their eggs in bird baths and fish ponds, and they can clog plumbing and cause power outages by short-circuiting utility switches where they seek refuge,” he said in a news release. They could easily cross the river on vehicles, boats, barges or debris and prey on smaller frogs, he wrote in the article. Local treefrogs are considerably smaller than Cuban treefrogs, said Jeff Boundy, a herpetologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Natural Heritage Program. “The natives are about a quarter- to half-dollar-size on your kitchen window at night. These guys get up to five and a half inches (14cm) in body length. You’re talking about a fist-sized frog now,” Boundy said in a phone interview.

Source: Invasive fist-sized Cuban treefrogs discovered in New Orleans | Environment | The Guardian

 

Frogs not the enemy – people are – they transplanted trees that were ferries for the frogs – duh –

E.P.A. Officials Sidelined After Questioning Scott Pruitt – The New York Times

Mr. Pruitt bristled when the officials — four career E.P.A. employees and one Trump administration political appointee — confronted him, the people said.

The political appointee, Kevin Chmielewski, was placed on administrative leave without pay, according to two of the people with knowledge of the situation. Mr. Chmielewski was among the first employees of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, serving as a senior advance official. The two people, who are administration officials, said that Mr. Chmielewski flagged some of his concerns about Mr. Pruitt directly to the White House’s presidential personnel office.

Two of the career officials, Reginald E. Allen and Eric Weese, were moved to jobs where they had less say in spending decisions and less interaction with Mr. Pruitt, the people said. A third career official, John E. Reeder, joined American University as a temporary “executive in residence” after being told by the E.P.A. to find a new job. And a John C. Martin, who served on the security detail, was also removed from the team and had his gun and badge taken away after raising concerns about how Mr. Pruitt’s security was being handled.

“Oops!” Price to pay: Antibiotic-resistant infections cost $2 billion a year | CIDRAP

Source: Price to pay: Antibiotic-resistant infections cost $2 billion a year | CIDRAP

Antibiotic resistance adds nearly $1,400 to the bill for treating a bacterial infection and costs the nation more than $2 billion annually, according to a study yesterday in Health Affairs.

The study, which is the first national estimate of the incremental costs for treating antibiotic-resistant infections, also found that the share of bacterial infections in the United States that were antibiotic resistant more than doubled over 13 years, rising from 5.2% in 2002 to 11% in 2014.