Good Germ, Bad Germ: The Mechanics Of Coral Death
Warming world, warming waters, coral reef die-off. You know the drill. But until recently, marine biologists knew relatively little about what exactly was going on, on the bacterial level, when coral reefs died off. Now, a group of scientists at Cornell have drawn up a mathematical model to pinpoint the fine line at which warming or water pollution manifest themselves as coral bleaching: the line at which pathogens take over a coral’s good bacteria.
Healthy corals depend on good bacteria to form a protective microbial mucus layer – a sort of skin – and fend off pathogen invasion. When waters warm to intolerable levels, the good bacteria die off, and the coral becomes vulnerable prey for pathogens. Even if waters cool at that point and return to tolerable temperatures, many corals will be damaged beyond natural repair. As a result, coral reefs are biting the dust faster than rainforests are, according to Vincent Pieribone, assistant professor of neurobiology at Yale School of Medicine.
From Laura Jones, Cornell senior research associate in ecology and evolutionary biology: “Before this study, we just had observations but little understanding of the mechanism [for death]. There’s a critical threshold where the system jumps to a pathogen-dominated state.”
But who except deep sea divers really needs to care, right? Well, no. According to the Coral Reef Alliance, “coral reefs provide economic goods and ecosystem services worth about $375 billion each year to millions of people.” Or is our planet's most fragile ecosystem priceless?
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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