Pioneering work by a collaboration of leading scientists from twelve universities across Australia, Singapore, Denmark and the USA publishing in the open access journal PLOS Biology on September 9 demonstrates how the rise of citizen oceanography will help dramatically advance global ocean health and will aid in gaining a better understanding of the world’s valuable marine resources.
While much attention is placed on macro-fauna in our seas (mammals and fish, for example), it is the tiny, marine microbes that underpin the nutrient cycle and form the foundation of the food web. Collectively known as the marine microbiome, they are the most abundant organisms in the oceans, and they are perhaps the most vulnerable in a changing global ocean.
Because the ocean is a dynamic and tremendously large eco-system, millions of observation points are required. However, traditional oceanographic research vessels are unable to cover this vast space. “By using what’s known as ‘citizen science’, Indigo V Expeditions set out to prove that the concept of crowdsourcing oceanography can solve the great data collection bottleneck” said Professor Federico Lauro, Director of Indigo V Expeditions, the not-for-profit organisation behind the S/Y Indigo V concept cruise. Read more…
Fingertips can perform calculations (Credit: K.Muncie/Flickr)
Nerve endings on our fingertips have the same ability of performing complex neural computations as we can find in our brain. Read more…
Yan Wei Lim, SDSU graduate student and author on the paper, exploring corals in the southern Line (Photo Credit: Rob Edwards)
Scientists overcame equipment failure, space constraints and shark-infested waters to do real-time DNA sequencing in a remote field location.
Daylight was breaking over the central Pacific and coffee brewing aboard the MY Hanse Explorer. Between sips, about a dozen scientists strategized for the day ahead. Some would don wetsuits and slip below the surface to collect water samples around the southern Line Islands’ numerous coral reefs. Others would tinker with the whirring gizmos and delicate machinery strewn throughout the 158-foot research vessel. All shared a single goal: Be the first research group to bring a DNA sequencer out into the field to do remote sequencing in real time. Against an ocean of odds, they succeeded.
This three-week, five-island expedition took place last year with a research crew including San Diego State University computer scientist Rob Edwards, biologist Forest Rohwer, postdoctoral scholar Andreas Haas and graduate student Yan Wei Lim. They were accompanied by several other researchers from the San Diego region and around the world. The researchers published an account of their trip and methods today in the journal PeerJ. Read more…
This image of the galaxy Messier 82 is a composite of data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The intermediate-mass black hole M82 X-1 is the brightest object in the inset, at approximately 2 o’clock near the galaxy’s center. (Credit: NASA/H. Feng et al.)
UMD and NASA astronomers track an intermediate-mass black hole from syncopated flares of light.
The universe has so many black holes that it’s impossible to count them all. There may be 100 million of these intriguing astral objects in our galaxy alone. Nearly all black holes fall into one of two classes: big, and colossal. Astronomers know that black holes ranging from about 10 times to 100 times the mass of our Sun are the remnants of dying stars, and that supermassive black holes, more than a million times the mass of the Sun, inhabit the centers of most galaxies. Read more…
Decision aids are underutilized for advanced care planning and their effectiveness is not well documented.
Annals of Internal Medicine
An advanced care plan is a directive that explains a patient’s goals and preferences for future care in the event of serious illness or injury. Currently, less than 50 percent of severely or terminally ill patients have an advance directive in their medical record and physicians are only about 65 percent accurate in predicting patient preferences for intensive care. Decision aids are intended to help patients consider options in health care so that they may develop an advanced care plan, but little is known about their effectiveness. Read more…