Featuring image: Cress can grow nearly everywhere, but can it also survive on the Moon? Bastet78, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Paper: Plants grown in Apollo lunar regolith present stress-associated transcriptomes that inform prospects for lunar exploration
Authors: A.-L. Paul, S. M. Elardo and R. Ferl
Plants surround us everywhere and dominate our planet. We feed from them, we build our homes from them and we need them as a source for oxygen. We couldn’t imagine a world without them. But can we take them with us, when we visit other worlds?
In space science, plants have already played an important role. They are often used as model organisms for experiments and in future space missions they might even be used as important additions to the astronauts’ food and life supply. Thus, they already made their way up to the International Space Station. Now for the first time, Paul and colleagues have tried to grow plants in original lunar soil, finding that we may be able to take our green companions with us to the Moon.
Continue reading “Dreaming of a green Moon – farming lunar fields”
Featured Image: A salmon in a stream on the Oregon coast. Photo credit: Conrad Gowell
Paper: Thiaminase activity of gastrointestinal contents of salmon and herring from the Baltic Sea
Authors: S. Wistbacka, A. Heinonen, and G. Bylund
Flintstones vitamins are generally marketed for children, but should fish be taking them too? Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency in fish, especially species of salmon, is a widespread issue with serious implications, as this vitamin is an integral compound required by virtually all living organisms. Vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to an array of negative health outcomes for salmon, which collectively manifest as the condition known as thiamine deficiency complex. This condition inhibits many salmon and other anadromous fish (those that migrate from the oceans to rivers to spawn) from spawning, posing a major problem for their long-term survival.
Continue reading “A Historical Link Between Thiamine Deficiency in Salmon and the Presence of Thiaminase in their Prey”
Featured Image: Yellowstone National Park attracts millions of people a year and has been a major focal point for discussions about supervolcanoes in recent decades. Public domain image via pixabay.
Paper: Capturing the Extreme in Volcanology: The Case for the Term “Supervolcano”
Authors: S. De Silva & S. Self
The earth sciences can be challenging to communicate. Definitions change over time and, in some cases, become widely reported in the media and often without a formal definition. A recent paper by Shanaka de Silva and Stephen Self addresses these issues surrounding the popular word “supervolcano.” The authors discuss the variables used to distinguish between these extreme events and regular eruptions. They then suggest a new working definition for researchers to use moving forward, clearing up much confusion that surrounds the word. The concept of supereruptions exploded in popularity after the 2005 Discovery TV/BBC documentary Supervolcano, promoted with the by-line “Is Yellowstone Overdue?“
Continue reading “What Makes a Supervolcano “Super”?”