How Would Just 2 Degrees of Warming Change the Planet?

umThe Earth is home to a range of climates, from the scorching dunes of the Sahara to the freezing ridges of Antarctica. Given this diversity, why are climate scientists so alarmed about a worldwide temperature increase of just 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius)?

Changing the average temperature of an entire planet, even if it’s just by a few degrees, is a big deal, said Peter deMenocal, a paleoclimate scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York.

“A person living in any one location can experience huge changes in weather and even in climate, but those are often compensated by changes on opposite sides of the world,” deMenocal told Live Science. [Is Global Warming Melting Antarctica’s Ice?] Continue reading “How Would Just 2 Degrees of Warming Change the Planet?”

More Brain Differences Seen Between Girls, Boys With ADHD

Proposed_Symptoms_of_ADHD

Girls and boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder don’t just behave differently. Parts of their brains look different, too. Now, researchers can add the cerebellum to that mismatch.

For boys, symptoms of the disorder tend to include poor impulse control and disruptive behavior. Girls are more likely to have difficulty staying focused on one task. Studies show that those behavioral differences are reflected in brain structure.  Boys with ADHD, for example, are more likely than girls to display abnormalities in premotor and primary motor circuits, pediatric neurologist Stewart Mostofsky of Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore has reported previously.

Now, Mostofsky and colleagues have looked at the cerebellum, which plays a role in coordinating movement. He reported the new findings March 25 at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco.

Girls ages 8 to 12 with ADHD showed differences in the volume of various regions of their cerebellum compared with girls without the condition, MRI scans revealed. A similar comparison of boys showed abnormalities, too. But those differences didn’t match what’s seen between girls, preliminary analyses suggest. So far, researchers have looked at 18 subjects in each of the four groups, but plan to quintuple that number in the coming months.

Differences seem most prominent in areas of the cerebellum that control higher-order motor functions, Mostofsky said. Those circuits help regulate attention and plan out behavior, versus directing basics like hand-eye coordination. That could help explain why ADHD affects girls’ behavior differently than boys’.

Source : Sciencenews

Immune Cells Play Surprising Role In Steady Heartbeat

macrophages and heart cells

Immune system cells may help your heart keep the beat. These cells, called macrophages, usually protect the body from invading pathogens. But a new study published April 20 in Cell shows that in mice, the immune cells help electricity flow between muscle cells to keep the organ pumping.

Macrophages squeeze in between heart muscle cells, called cardiomyocytes. These muscle cells rhythmically contract in response to electrical signals, pumping blood through the heart. By “plugging in” to the cardiomyocytes, macrophages help the heart cells receive the signals and stay on beat.

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A War on Science

Why does society still reject science?

Science has done a lot for the world. And when we say a lot, we mean a whole lot. Cars, iPhones, electricity, medicine, Hubble – you can thank scientists for all those things. Not to mention its involvement in helping us explore the Universe, and understand our place in it. And yet we still see people reject science every day. As the latest episode of AsapSCIENCE explains, we’re in the middle of a war against science. And it’s been raging for a long time.

Since humans first evolved, science has consistently improved our lives, fuelling the enlightenment era, the industrial revolution, and now the digital age. But society has often been at odds with science. So much so, in fact, that Italian astronomer Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake in 1600 for suggesting that Earth wasn’t at the centre of the Universe. And Galileo was put under house arrest for supporting the theory.

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