Acequias have been the backbone of inhospitable climates for centuries. Pronounced ah-SEH-kee-ahs, the word means “one that gives water.” A network of gravity-fed irrigation ditches provides water to areas of the world where drought is common.
Rural New Mexico learned early on how to copy this method from the Middle East and North Africa. History has proven that nature and humans can help each other in times of unusual distress. The existence of freshwater is a necessity that has been made possible in New Mexico communities by following the methods of ancestors.
Technology vs Human Interaction
Technology has aided communities in tracing possible leaks in the underground system, but not to the degree of replacing human abilities. Community-owned and operated, there are between 600 and 700 acequias throughout New Mexico. Everyone works together to maintain and watch for the upcoming drought. Sharing with neighbors in time of need has definitely been the key to the successful program.
Decrease in Snow Melts
The biggest problem in the past two years has been the decrease of water that flows from the mountain snow melts. This is the primary source of water for landowners to keep crops hydrated. While the increasing droughts cause an inconvenience, those within the acequias communities have learned to cope.
Politics of Acequias
In 1923, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) was formed to aid in keeping the watershed of Albuquerque from the limitations of development. Although not a part of the federal or state government, the creation was necessary for watching the upstream flow of snow melts some 1,200 miles away.
The New Mexico Acequia Association was formed 10 years ago to provide training to young people that are just coming onboard to land ownership in New Mexico. The importance of acequias and the traditional way of life are instilled in their minds to avoid any types of changes in the future. Many other programs have been formed to keep the acequia in place and operating smoothly.
Today, outsiders are confused as to the definition of Acequias. The word has taken on the description of a group of people within a community that works for a common cause. There have been years when water shortages have prevented healthy fruit trees and limits in freshwater supply. However, communities are united and always accept and share the bounty and less than bounty with neighbors in a concerted effort to keep the water flowing.
Unlike many programs and advances in technology, acequias have proven that learning from history can be an asset to the future. In other words, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
New Evidence Emerges Regarding Music’s Positive Effect on Alzheimers
A recent study out of Unity Health Toronto collaboration with the University of Toronto shows that individuals with cognitive decline or initial Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from relaxing music valuable to them.
Customized, music-based therapies for Alzheimer’s patients could benefit from modifications in the brain’s neural connections linked to enhanced memory on cognitive tests.
The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease released the findings of this multiple-level research just this week.
According to senior author and University of Toronto Professor Michael Thaut, “We have new evidence based on the brain that melody that carries personal significance for an individual, like their wedding dance music, enables neural connectivity in ways that assist with maintaining elevated degrees of functioning.”
“Dementia individuals frequently have a hard time showing improvements in their brains.” Early findings show that the authenticity of the brain has improved, allowing for more studies into the clinical uses of melodies for dementia patients – musicians as well as non-musicians,” says Thaut.
The prefrontal cortex, the mind’s control center for deep thought functions, was found to have undergone modifications in the test subjects. Exposure to autobiographically pertinent music stimulated a specific neural network – a musical network – comes from the different brain areas that displayed distinctions in stimulation after a timespan of everyday music playback, according to neuroscientists.
The scientists found additional proof of neuroplasticity in the brain’s links and white matter.
According to the study’s lead author Corinne Fischer, a medicinal associate professor at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, therapies based on music may be a workable, affordable, and easily obtainable treatment for someone in the early stages of cognitive decline.
According to her, therapeutic approaches for Alzheimer’s disease have been ineffective thus far. More extensive studies are needed to clarify clinical benefits. Still, the results indicate that a personal and home-based technique to streaming music might also be advantageous and have a durable impact on the mind for many years to come.
All test subjects (eight non-musicians and six musicians) participated in the research by listening for one hour each day for three weeks to a catalog of music that was both personal and relatable. For this study, patients underwent systemic and mission functional MRI ahead of and following the listening duration.
They listened to recordings of traditional and contemporary music while doing these scans. The modern music, which they heard just an hour before the scan, was comparable but had no sentimental value for the hearers.
The auditory cortex was the most active area of the brain once subjects paid attention to the new releases. When listening to familiar music, they activated deep-encoded connections to the prefrontal cortex, a clear indicator of executive cognitive activity.
Subcortical regions of the brain, which are less affected by Alzheimer’s disease pathology, were also strongly involved in the study.
Although further study is necessary to confirm these observations, the researchers found that musicians had brain structure and function adjustment distinct from non-musicians. Those participants, regardless of their level of musicianship, benefited from repeated exposure to autobiographically relevant music.
Music is an “entry key to your remembrance, the prefrontal cortex,” suggests Thaut, regardless of whether you’ve ever played an instrument. Continue listening tong the music you’ve loved your entire life, and you’ll find your way.” Those pieces of music hold a special place in your heart. Put that to good use as a mental gym.”
Building on previous research that recognized the brain tools that encode and protect musical recollections in individuals with early cognitive deterioration, the U of T-Unity Health research manufactures on this project with the same participants.
The researchers can utilize a bigger sample size and a robust control circumstance to analyze the function of music in adjusting brain reactions and if it’s the melody or the autobiographical quantity that elicits modifications in the brain plasticity.
18-year-old Pursuing Chemo Alternative Gets $10K Grant to Find His Research
The search for cancer cures has been ongoing for decades; however, that has not dissuaded many researchers from jumping on board.
Since cancer shows no preference for age or race, it’s no surprise that young researchers now desire to help fight against this disease that comes in various forms.
Most recently, a young man, still in his teens who has been working hard to come up with a cancer breakthrough, got rewarded for his efforts. Encouragement sweetens labor, and this has pushed him to delve even further to come up with alternative treatments that will not make the patient sicker or weaken them.
Twenty students get awarded the Davidson Fellows Scholarship in the United States per year, and an East Rutherford, New Jersey resident, became a recipient this year.
Patryk Dabek, 18, has been granted $10,000 for a four-year research program designed to find another solution to chemotherapy in cancer treatment.
New Jersey native Dabek, who graduated from Bergen County Academies, says that his studies have been underscored on the national stage, allowing it to reach a much broader audience.
Using novel approaches, he hopes to overcome some of the current limitations of current therapeutic approaches.
According to Dabek, his research has shown that “tumor cells could be discriminately targeted [by therapies] without injuring healthy cells, which opens up the possibility of an efficient therapy for cancer patients.”
If you’re under the age of 18, you’re eligible for the academic scholarships offered to students who are working on projects that could have a positive impact on the world.
Dabek said he became interested in cancer research after voluntary work with the borough’s ambulance service and dealing with patients with cancer.
His high school teachers helped boost his dreams by doing what they could to help him. Under the guidance of his school and with the assistance of Dr. David Reeves and Mrs. Alyssa Waldron, Dabek was able to explore his intense desire for scientific research.
He utilized the facilities at the Nano Structural Imaging Lab, where he was free to use whatever resources he needed.
His classmates were impressed by his focus on his studies.
According to fellow student Jessica Lee, “I have vivid images of Patryk strolling into class, holding on tightly to his lab notepad, and beaming with pride due to a major new advancement in his research work.”
With his mind focused on the cells in the lab rather than himself, Dabek would skip lunch on occasion, according to her.
Dabek stands tall among the top 100 students across the United States in the Regeneron Science Talent Search for 2021. It is a highly-recognized annual math and science competition focusing on high school talents.
Dabek is pursuing undergraduate studies at Yale University. He hopes to combine his love of science with his desire to work with patients to improve people’s lives worldwide.
Plant Based, Sustainable Makeup is Now a Reality
As more companies in a range of industries look to make their operations environmentally friendly, some have to reconsider the traditional ways they have used for decades with great success. Cosmetics is one of these industries that uses an old formula to create the products and is now looking for a new, more green friendly way to bring the industry into the future.
Consumers may not be aware of it, but much of the long wear makeup on the market is made using fossil fuels, which is not good for the earth. Collection and use of fossil fuels creates byproducts that are harmful to the earth. One of the key ingredients in many cosmetics, isododecane, is made using crude oil. While plants can be used instead, many cosmetics makers have been reluctant to try any new methods to make eyeshadow, lipstick and other makeup products because they don’t want to deal with the increased cost. In fact, using plants in place of oils can increase the cost of making them by 100 times, making it cost prohibitive for manufacturers.
Last, a new makeup line developed by Marc Delcourt, uses plant synthesis to make isododecane instead of the traditional oil. Combining this with vegetable waxes and olive oil, the products are made to be just as long-lasting as the competitors on the market, and have the same long wear times as conventionally made makeup. The Last products also incorporate recycled products into the packaging to make them even more green friendly. The idea is to give the consumer a choice to support green initiatives while still getting the same quality product they need.
The future plans for this new formulation of cosmetics go far beyond just the Last line and stand to change the entire cosmetics industry in time. Delcourt has future plans to expand on the methods that have made the Last products possible. Producing more of the plant based alternatives to fossil fuel ingredients, the company plans to sell it to other cosmetics manufacturers. These companies can then use the plant based isododecane to make the cosmetics they sell.
Stopping climate change and being more environmentally friendly is a mandate that more companies are embracing, and consumers are eager to support. By taking steps to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used, the cosmetics industry can be an example for others who want to do better.
Massive Increase in Sea Turtles on Cape Verde, But Scientists are Still Concerned by Threats
During the sea turtle nesting season, about 100 residents patrol the beaches of Maio to collect data and protect the turtles from poachers.
Scientists believe sea turtle nesting has increased five-fold on Cape Verde’s three main loggerhead turtle nesting islands of Sal, Maio, and Boa Vista over the last decade.
Compared to 2015, the Cape Verdean Environment Ministry projects nearly 200,000 nests on the country’s ten islands by 2020, up from 10,725.
However, the number of nests in Cape Verde has increased so rapidly in recent decades that several researchers theorize it may be the second- or perhaps even third-largest in the world.
Scientists credit conservation efforts with increasing nesting success, according to experts.
Albert Taxonera, the founder of Project Biodiversity, a Cape Verdean nature reserve, says conservation programs in Cape Verde started two decades ago.
Throughout the nesting season, Cape Verdean NGOs inspect hundreds of kilometers of sandy coastline. For many years, people relied on sluggish reptiles as a free and readily available food source. As a result of increased economic opportunity and public awareness campaigns about the plight of sea turtles, other protein sources have become more affordable.
As a result, in 2018, Cape Verde enacted new legislation to make it a crime to kill, trade, or consume sea turtles. Offenders can face fines or get ordered to perform community service, including beach guard duty with the NGO that captured them in the act.
Not only are Cape Verde’s sea turtles thriving, but so are the country’s fisheries. Similar variables could work on beaches worldwide, from India to the United States, where nesting has increased exponentially.
Rod Mast, the co-chair of the IUCN’s marine turtle specialist group and chief editor of the State of the World’s Sea Turtles report, explains, “If you consider the number of sea turtle initiatives that are there today, especially in comparison to what you had three decades ago, there are hundreds.” “We’re doing a great job of safeguarding them,” says the official.
In addition to conservation programs, several scientists believe that the number of nesting birds is related to the ocean’s health. Turtles, for example, will have sufficient energy to lay their eggs if the ocean’s nutrient density is high during a particular year.
Another factor to consider is the worldwide decrease in shark species that prey on sea turtles. The fishery has resulted in a 70% decline in shark and ray species since 1970.
Even with recent growth, sea turtles continue to face numerous threats. For instance, the IUCN classifies multiple leatherback turtle subpopulations as threatened with extinction, and hawksbill turtles seem to be on the brink of extinction.
Fishing nets, according to researchers, are the primary cause of sea turtle deaths. Also to blame is the overuse of plastics. Turtles eat jellyfish so that people can mistake floating bags for them. Microplastics are also common in the ocean.
Mast believes that protecting beaches alone will not be sufficient – we must also pay attention to protecting sea turtles. He adds that to save the turtles, people must alter their habits regarding seafood consumption, carbon output, and plastic usage.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia, is home to these pink table Acropora coral-throwing damselfish.
Global warming may be the greatest danger in the long term.
A turtle’s sex depends on the temperature of the sand in which the turtle buries its egg, so rising temperatures distort the gender ratios. On the island of Maio, for example, scientists estimate that nearly all of the hatchlings born in 2019-2020 were female.
Fertility is affected, but so is genetic variation, and this can impede a species’ capabilities to react to climate changes. Juan Patio-Martinez, of Maio Biodiversity Foundation believes conservation efforts to protect nesting females exacerbate the problem.
Development of the coast, primarily in the form of resort areas adjacent to coastal habitats, is also a significant issue to be addressed.
According to Patio-Martinez, “we are ruining their nesting sites and contributing to global warming, but we’re still instituting compelling conservation programs.”. “As a result, it is dependent on the actions of humans. We have the option of causing their extinction or saving them.”
Talks Underway For Large-scale Production of Stylish Wind Harnessing Device to Power Homes
Technology knows no bounds, and one of the latest developments will have you powering your entire home with a simple gadget. Many entities, both government and private, utilize wind energy which saves on power costs.
However, hearing that many homes may be going the same route is one of the best news householders could receive. Already, many people are bracing to get their hands on the device. However, let’s delve into what it is and who created this wind harnessing device to power homes.
An architect and innovator have developed a tool that uses wind energy to generate electricity for your residence, and it sits within a wall-sized kinetic piece of art.
Hundreds of beige rotating blades are queued up in a power system of 25 axes, turning and producing power as they draw a breeze, resembling a contemporary interpretation of a sequence of Buddhist worship rollers.
The precise measurements of the blades are unknown, but their designer, Joe Doucet, thinks the wind wall is adjustable to any dimensions, either on the side of a building or a warehouse.
He has a working model that is 8 feet in height and 25 feet in length, which he tried and found to be sufficient to meet the yearly energy requirements of a typical American residence.
Wind energy currently gets harnessed through huge towers and fan blades positioned in windy regions such as plains, hillsides, or offshore in the sea.
It isn’t to say that winds can’t blow with enough force to generate electricity within a city or that engineers can’t construct wind turbines beside traffic signals or recreational spaces.
Wind walls might do the job nicely, with the extra advantage that as the blades turn, they create a mesmerizing visual effect, especially when viewed from an angle.
The changing silhouettes and illumination in configurations make it difficult to understand what’s going on—which many people would find more appealing aesthetically than a windmill tower.
Furthermore, what an excellent canvas for visual artists to color on the wind walls display, or it might be a typeface of divinity. Religious people could engrave slogans on the blades themselves, as they do at a monastery.
You might primarily find wind power anywhere there is a free wall. Doucet provides a list of state route retaining structures.
“Instead of the usual retaining structure along roadways and highway, you’d have a slew of these,” Doucet explained. “With the extra wind increase from tractor-trailers, our highways could meet all of our energy requirements.”
In a recent media interview, Doucet acknowledged that, while the notion isn’t yet in manufacturing, he is currently in talks with industry players in anticipation of doing so.
There are some differences in the mass of a wind wall if it is large enough, but Doucet thinks that if the block comprises aluminum, there is no drawback in terms of size.
With the pilot project’s success, it’s not a matter of if, but rather when wind energy devices for homes will face large-scale production.
After all, there are intense talks underway, and many significant entities ha e begun showing interest.
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