Extinct baby horse unearthed in Siberia

❝ Dug out from the permafrost in Siberia’s Batagaika crater – AKA the “Doorway to the Underworld” – the tiny colt is so beautifully preserved, it looks like it could be sleeping. But the equine died a long time ago – between 30,000 and 40,000 years, during the Upper Palaeolithic.

Discovered by local residents, the foal was excavated by scientists from Japan and Russia, and taken to the Mammoth Museum at the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk.

Way cool! [no pun intended]

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Over 34,000 cases of measles in last two months in Eastern Europe

❝ More than 34,000 people across Europe caught measles in the first two months of 2019, with the vast majority of cases in Ukraine, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday as it urged authorities to ensure vulnerable people get vaccinated.

❝ The death toll among 34,300 cases reported across 42 countries in the WHO’s European region reached 13, with the virus killing people in Ukraine – which is suffering a measles epidemic – as well as in Romania and Albania. The risk is that outbreaks may continue to spread, the WHO warned.

❝ Measles is a highly contagious disease that can kill and cause blindness, deafness or brain damage. It can be prevented with two doses of an effective vaccine, but – in part due to pockets of unvaccinated people – it is currently spreading in outbreaks in many parts of the world including in the United States, the Philippines and Thailand…

There is no specific antiviral treatment for measles, and vaccination is the only way to prevent it, the WHO said. Most cases are in unvaccinated or under-vaccinated people.

And if the anti-vaxxers get their political way, we will return to the days of my childhood. Every spring my fellow students would gather in the schoolyard first warm day – look around to see who died or was unable to resume school from one or another disease.

And then we waited for polio in the summer.

Half of World Heritage Glacier Sites May Be Gone by 2100


Click to enlargeJungfrauMartin Price

❝ Glaciers are set to disappear completely from almost half of World Heritage sites if business-as-usual emissions continue, according to the first-ever global study of World Heritage glaciers.

The sites are home to some of the world’s most iconic glaciers, such as Grosser Aletschgletscher in the Swiss Alps, Khumbu Glacier in the Himalayas, and Greenland’s Jakobshavn Isbrae…

❝ The study in the AGU journal Earth’s Future…combines data from a global glacier inventory, a review of existing literature and sophisticated computer modeling to analyze the current state of World Heritage glaciers, their recent evolution, and their projected mass change over the 21st century.

I spent some truly enjoyable time camped on the climbing approaches to the Jungfrau decades ago. Now, I wish I’d kept the photos I took. I never thought I’d be witnessing the early stages of the death of so much natural beauty at the hands of corporate carbon profiteers and their political pimps.

Oceans are becoming stormier


Shutterstock

❝ Earth’s oceans have become stormier since 1985, according to a study published Thursday in Science. In the most extreme places, wind speed and wave height rose by about 5 to 8 percent.

If this trend continues, it could exacerbate the effects of sea level rise, including floods that damage coastal communities and natural ecosystems…

❝ The authors said the precise role that climate change is playing in this trend is still unclear, because interactions between the oceans, the atmosphere, and global climate are so complex. It’s possible that the seas are becoming stormier due to warming temperatures, and that stormier conditions in turn contribute to extreme weather events.

Of course, the creeps at the top of the chain of command governing reactionary politics aren’t about to risk their butts working at any tough, dangerous job. If they work for a living at all.

Arctic temperatures warmest in over 10,000 years


Clement Sabourin/AFP

Arctic temperatures are the warmest in more than 10,000 years, speeding the thaw of permafrost in Canada’s North, shows climate research out of the University of Alberta.

“We’ve known that the last few decades have been very warm. But we’ve found that temperatures are on the order of two degrees Celsius warmer than any time in the last 10,000 years — that was a surprise,” Duane Froese, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, and Canada Research Chair in Northern Environmental Change…

❝ The study found that previous record highs occurred during the early Holocene period — around 9,900 and 6,400 years ago. But even without the unique circumstances of that period, when the Earth’s axis was more strongly directed toward the sun, current Arctic temperatures have exceeded those records.

“All indications from this new study are that temperatures and the impacts of recent warming are only picking up and getting stronger,” said Froese. “We are moving into uncharted waters with respect to climate change in the North.”

Gee, I hope this doesn’t upset the Trump supporters who are dedicated to searching for “science” that backs the fantasies of their Great Leader.

Candida auris

❝ Candida auris is an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat. CDC is concerned about C. auris for three main reasons:

❝ It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.

It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.

It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.

Useful commentary follows this CDC notice. Check it out!

Bacteria that can conduct electricity

❝ Scientists have made a surprising discovery about how strange bacteria that live in soil and sediment can conduct electricity. The bacteria do so, the researchers determined, through a seamless biological structure never before seen in nature – a structure scientists can co-opt to miniaturize electronics, create powerful-yet-tiny batteries, build pacemakers without wires and develop a host of other medical advances.

❝ Scientists had believed Geobacter sulfurreducens conducted electricity through common, hair-like appendages called pili. Instead, a researcher at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and his collaborators have determined that the bacteria transmit electricity through immaculately ordered fibers made of an entirely different protein. These proteins surround a core of metal-containing molecules, much like an electric cord contains metal wires. This “nanowire,” however, is 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

❝ This tiny-but-tidy structure, the researchers believe, could be tremendously useful for everything from harnessing the power of bioenergy to cleaning up pollution to creating biological sensors. It could actually serve as the bridge between electronics and living cells.

Cripes. I wish I could be around long enough to see so many interesting things [like this] come to pass into common useful devices.

Climate Crisis Could Expose Half a Billion More People to Tropical Mosquito-Borne Diseases by 2050


Yellow Fever Mosquito gets a full mealJames Gathany/CDC

❝ Rising global temperatures could put half a billion more people at risk for tropical mosquito-borne diseases like chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, and Zika by 2050, according to a new study.

❝ While a growing body of recent research warns the human-caused climate crisis will cause general worldwide “environmental breakdown,” a study published…in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases focuses specifically on a related public health threat: how a hotter world will enable disease-carrying mosquitoes to reach more people…

❝ “Plain and simple, climate change is going to kill a lot of people,” coauthor Colin Carlson of Georgetown told Nexus Media News. “Mosquito-borne diseases are going to be a big way that happens, especially as they spread from the tropics to temperate countries.”

Lead author Ryan emphasized that public health experts should be preparing now for the outbreaks predicted to occur in new places over the next few decades.

Or we could leave responsibility in the hands of Trump-chumps, anti-vaxxers and the Republican Party. They’ll blame it all on weak walls, furriners and G_D’s WILL.