Hexbyte Glen Cove Research finds nasal problem plagued long-nosed crocodile relatives

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An overhead view of louise’s septum, which produced high shearing stresses along the nasal walls and may have caused the animal to experience nosebleeds. Credit: Jason Bourke, Ph.D.

Research published in the journal Anatomical Record finds that humans have more in common with endangered crocodiles than we think—namely, a deviated septum.

Gharials are some of the rarest crocodylians on Earth and members of a group of animals that once roamed the planet with the dinosaurs. Native to India, gharials resemble American alligators and crocodiles, but with bulging eyes and an extremely long and thin snout that allows them to cut through water when hunting prey. In males, this snout houses an even longer nose that ends in an enlarged bulb.

At first glance, these unusual animals appear to have little in common with humans. However, a new study led by Jason Bourke, Ph.D., assistant professor of basic sciences at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University (NYITCOM-Arkansas), reports that—just like humans—gharials suffer from nasal septal deviation.

The Cleveland Clinic estimates that up to 80 percent of people have a deviated , a condition in which the nasal cartilage is “off-center.” While the condition is mild in most individuals, larger deviations can restrict nasal breathing and require .

Bourke and his colleagues are the first to document deviated nasal septa in crocodylians. Using medical imaging technology, they analyzed the heads of multiple gharial specimens, including that of a large female from the Fort Worth Zoo nicknamed “Louise,” which fueled their curiosity.

“This weird nasal septum was an unexpected discovery,” said study co-author Casey Holliday, Ph.D., associate professor of pathology and anatomical sciences at the University of Missouri, who initially scanned the specimen for a separate project on gharial anatomy. “I saw this roller coaster of a septum and wondered what this might mean for respiration.”

Holliday shared Louise’s extreme anatomy with Bourke, a vertebrate paleontologist whose lab specializes in modeling in animal noses using sophisticated computer software that simulates air movement.

Gharial “Louise” shown with multiple axial cross-sections to illustrate the degree of nasal septal deviation witnessed in the animal. Credit: Jason Bourke, Ph.D.

“We know remarkably little about normal gharial anatomy, much less their pathology. I couldn’t pass up such a unique opportunity,” said Bourke, who has also studied nasal airflow and thermoregulation in dinosaurs.

Intrigued, Bourke and the team began collecting samples from other gharial specimens housed in zoos around the country. While some specimens showed minor septal deviations, Louise had the most extreme case.

Like humans who experience severe nasal septum deviation, Louise had to work harder to achieve the same breathing rate as her peers. This produced high shearing stresses along the nasal walls, which may have made the animal more prone to nosebleeds. Despite the physiological challenges produced from this nasal pathology, Louise successfully made it to adulthood and lived to the ripe old age of 50.

“It’s a testament to crocodylian resiliency,” said Bourke. “A human with this pathology would need surgery to fix it, but these critters just keep on going.”

In contrast to humans, the researchers found that gharial septal deviation comes with a unique twist. “When the septum deviates in humans, a part or all of the septum bows into one of the airways,” said Nicole Fontenot, fourth-year NYITCOM student, and study co-author. “In our gharials, the septum is so long that it wiggles back and forth along the snout, creating a wavy pattern.”

While this pathology is not found in other modern crocodylians, in the distant past, many other animals showed similarly stretched-out noses, including crested, duck-billed dinosaurs like Parasaurolophus and strange crocodile-mimicking reptiles known as champsosaurs. Bourke suspects that at least a few of them would have also suffered from nasal septum deviations. As for why other crocodylians don’t seem to be as prone to these deviated noses, Bourke explains:

“Other crocodylians have wider snouts with much thicker nasal septa. Thinning out the snout places a premium on space inside the nose. Gharials’ long and very thin nasal septa probably don’t need much to make them start wobbling.

Next, the researchers will continue their investigation by examining the sound-producing abilities of gharials’ unique noses.



More information:
Jason M. Bourke et al, Septal deviation in the nose of the longest faced crocodylian: A description of nasal anatomy and airflow in the Indian gharial ( Gavialis gangeticus ) with comments on acoustics, The Anatomical Record (2021). DOI: 10.1002/ar.24831

Citation:
Research finds nasal problem plagued long-nosed crocodile relatives (2021, December 3)
retrieved 4 December 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-12-nasal-problem-plagued-long-nosed-crocodile.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Hubble finds flame Nebula’s searing stars may halt planet formation

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Credit: Main Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and K. Stapelfeldt (Jet Propulsion Laboratory);Image Processed in November 2021 by Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

The Flame Nebula or NGC 2024 is a large star-forming region in the constellation Orion that lies about 1,400 light-years from Earth. Hubble studied this nebula to look for protoplanetary disks, or “proplyds”—disks of gas and dust around stars that may one day form new solar systems.

Hubble found four confirmed proplyds and four possible proplyds in the nebula, but the proplyds are being worn away by the intense radiation of nearby stars and may never have the chance to form planets as a result.

Hubble also located three “globulettes” in the nebula—small, dark dust clouds that can be seen against the background of bright nebulae.

These dust clouds are thought to form —warm objects too big to be planets but without enough mass to become stars—and other free-floating, planetary-mass objects in our galaxy

The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, which includes such famous nebulae as the Horsehead Nebula and Orion Nebula.



Citation:
Hubble finds flame Nebula’s searing stars may halt planet formation (2021, November 23)
retrieved 24 November 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-11-hubble-flame-nebula-searing-stars.html

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part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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Hexbyte Glen Cove New tool finds the best opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle across industrial sectors thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove New tool finds the best opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle across industrial sectors

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new tool finds hidden connections across industrial sectors and identifies opportunities to reduce waste and lower carbon emissions by mapping the physical economy for a region.

“The climate and the economy are too important for us to make mistakes,” said Shweta Singh, the interdisciplinary scientist at Purdue University who developed the tool. “This tool provides a big-picture view and allows policymakers and industry to plug in a potential change and see the results. Those involved can virtually test different options before making a decision.”

Past zero-waste and low-carbon efforts focused on one portion of industrial flow, for example, reducing energy use in a single production process. However, a view of the whole system is needed to make the best choices and most effective investments in emerging technology for overall improvement, she said.

“The approach is like the human genome project, but for the physical economy—mapping the relationship between industry and the environment,” said Singh, who holds appointments as an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering in the College of Agriculture and environmental and ecological engineering in the College of Engineering. “It allows us to find and understand connections within the whole system. We needed the human genome project—the complete map—to begin to identify the genes key to disease or health, and we need a complete map of the physical economy to identify what changes are key to achieving sustainability.”

The theory behind the model is detailed in a paper in the journal Energy & Environmental Science of The Royal Society of Chemistry. A paper focused on the cloud platform tool will be published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.

The tool uses physical principles and mechanistic models from physics, engineering and biological sciences to automate mapping of the physical economy, and it is much faster than the standard methods, Singh said.

“With this modeling tool, we can do in one day what would have taken 100 days,” she said. “The existing mapping methods were tedious and time-consuming. By looking at each economic sector as a process—taking resources through physical changes to create a product—we can use existing mechanistic models to map a multiscale view of the physical economy. With that in place we can make changes and see the cascade of events from the process to sector to whole economy.”

Singh used the tool to map the physical economy of Illinois for 10 agro-based sectors from farming to downstream processing of products. The model found connections and highlighted opportunities for large-scale recycling to reduce waste. The results showed that the adoption of technologies for industrial wastewater and hog manure recycling would have the highest impact by reducing more than 62% of hog waste outputs, 96% of dry corn milling waste, and 99% of soybean hull waste.






Fast, automated modeling of the physical economy gives users a test-run of steps to sustainability

“We also found indirect connections, for example recycling hog farm waste led to reduced emissions down the line in manufacturing,” Singh said. “In the supply chain, experts talk about first, second- and third-order impacts. Third-order impacts may not be obvious, but they can really have an impact. Here it becomes transparent, and we can identify that third-order impact very quickly.”

Singh credits a diverse academic background in sparking the idea for the model.

“I always had an interest in various disciplines,” she said. “My friends joked I had taken a class in every building on campus. I actually began my studies in chemical engineering, which takes a very close look at the flow of a chemical reaction and the byproducts created. Then, while studying assessment for industrial systems, I broadened my scope to macroeconomic framework. It led me to wonder why there wasn’t more communication and crossover between the disciplines. In this model, I try to bring all of these things together, connecting process engineering with economic modeling.”

Singh also credits the interdisciplinary background of Venkata Sai Gargeya Vunnava, the graduate student who collaborated on the project.

“Thinking about the challenge without being mentally stuck in a single academic discipline led to this innovation,” Singh said. “We must be open to learning anything from anywhere.”

Singh disclosed the modeling tool to the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, which has applied for patent protection on the intellectual property.



More information:
Venkata Sai Gargeya Vunnava et al, Integrated mechanistic engineering models and macroeconomic input–output approach to model physical economy for evaluating the impact of transition to a circular economy, Energy & Environmental Science (2021). DOI: 10.1039/D1EE00544H

Citation:
New tool finds the best opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle across industrial sectors (2021, September 27)
retrieved 28 September 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-tool-opportunities-reuse-recycle-industrial.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove NASA finds 2021 Arctic summer sea ice 12th-lowest on record thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove NASA finds 2021 Arctic summer sea ice 12th-lowest on record

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A still image visualizing Arctic sea ice on Sept. 16, 2021, when the ice appeared to reach its yearly minimum extent. On this date, the extent of the ice was 4.72 million square miles (1.82 million square kilometers). Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Sea ice in the Arctic appears to have hit its annual minimum extent on Sept. 16, after waning in the 2021 Northern Hemisphere spring and summer. The summertime extent is the 12th-lowest in the satellite record, according to scientists at the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center and NASA.

This year, the minimum extent of Arctic sea ice dropped to 4.72 million square kilometers (1.82 million square miles). Sea ice extent is defined as the total area in which ice concentration is at least 15%.

The average September minimum extent record shows significant declines since satellites began measuring consistently in 1978. The last 15 years (2007 to 2021) are the lowest 15 minimum extents in the 43-year record.






On Sept. 16, 2021, Arctic sea ice reached its minimum summertime extent. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scientific Visualization Studio

This visualization, created at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, shows data provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), acquired by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) instrument aboard JAXA’s Global Change Observation Mission 1st-Water “SHIZUKU” (GCOM-W1) satellite.



Citation:
NASA finds 2021 Arctic summer sea ice 12th-lowest on record (2021, September 22)
retrieved 23 September 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-nasa-arctic-summer-sea-ice.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Survey finds bullying and harassment systemic in astronomy and geophysics thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Survey finds bullying and harassment systemic in astronomy and geophysics

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Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Results from a new survey of astronomers and geophysicists show that these sciences have a systemic bullying problem; one that is disproportionately worse for women and those from minority groups. In a survey carried out by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) last year of over 650 people in the field, 44% of respondents had suffered bullying and harassment in the workplace within the preceding 12 months. Aine O’Brien, RAS Diversity Officer, will present the key results in a talk at the virtual National Astronomy Meeting on Thursday 22 July.

Key initial findings show:

  • Disabled, and Black and minority ethnic astronomers and geophysicists are 40% more likely to be bullied than their non-disabled and white colleagues respectively.
  • Women and non-binary people in the field are 50% more likely than men to be bullied and harassed.
  • 50% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer astronomers and geophysicists were bullied in the last 12 months, and 12% of bisexual astronomers reported being bullied at least once a week.

The RAS Committee on Diversity in Astronomy and Geophysics commissioned the survey, and O’Brien and Dr. Sheila Kanani, the Royal Astronomical Society Education, Outreach and Diversity Officer, carried out the survey for the Society and analyzed its findings.

O’Brien said, “This is the first time data like these have been collected in our field. It’s bleak, sadly somewhat unsurprising, but is unequivocal evidence to show we need to improve the workplace culture in academia. We have a well-reported problem in STEM and this does nothing to help. Women and minorities are feeling pushed out.”

Professor Emma Bunce, RAS President, said, “The results from the survey are very concerning indeed, and we must act to change this unacceptable situation. The RAS is doing important work to uncover these facts, and we are committed to working alongside the community to urgently improve the environment in astronomy and geophysics.”

Dr. Natasha Stephen, Chair of the RAS Committee for Diversity in Astronomy & Geophysics (CDAG), said, “Our RAS community is increasingly diverse, yet far from equitable. This survey highlights the disparity in lived experience across our global community, and paints a worrying picture of the way in which those from marginalized communities are often treated. We acknowledge that these largely intersectional issues cannot be solved overnight, but CDAG will work with RAS fellows and the wider field to understand and tackle these systemic problems.”

The data were collected as part of a wider survey covering experiences of suffering and witnessing bullying and harassment, as well as workplace culture, in and geophysics. The full survey results will be published by the RAS later this summer.



Citation:
Survey finds bullying and harassment systemic in astronomy and geophysics (2021, July 21)
retrieved 22 July 2021
from h

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