Soil bacterial diversity is positively associated with air temperature in the maritime Antarctic

first_imgTerrestrial ecosystems in the maritime Antarctic experienced rapid warming during the latter half of the 20th century. While warming ceased at the turn of the millennium, significant increases in air temperature are expected later this century, with predicted positive effects on soil fungal diversity, plant growth and ecosystem productivity. Here, by sequencing 16S ribosomal RNA genes in 40 soils sampled from along a 1,650 km climatic gradient through the maritime Antarctic, we determine whether rising air temperatures might similarly influence the diversity of soil bacteria. Of 22 environmental factors, mean annual surface air temperature was the strongest and most consistent predictor of soil bacterial diversity. Significant, but weaker, associations between bacterial diversity and soil moisture content, C:N ratio, and Ca, Mg, PO43− and dissolved organic C concentrations were also detected. These findings indicate that further rises in air temperature in the maritime Antarctic may enhance terrestrial ecosystem productivity through positive effects on soil bacterial diversity.last_img read more

Neste and IKEA Finland to reduce the carbon footprint of home deliveries

first_imgIKEA is aiming towards emission-free deliveries by 2025 IKEA partners with Neste. (Credit: Neste) Neste and IKEA Finland are offering lower emission home deliveries for Finnish consumers. Since the fall of 2019, IKEA has gradually started using Neste MY Renewable Diesel in its home deliveries in the Helsinki capital region and around Raisio, a town in south-western Finland. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is already used annually for almost 25,000 home deliveries in the capital region and for 6,500 deliveries in the Turku region. With the use of Neste MY Renewable Diesel, IKEA Finland is able to reduce its carbon footprint by up to 90% over the fuel’s life cycle compared to fossil diesel.The adoption of Neste MY Renewable Diesel is part of IKEA’s sustainability strategy which, for example, includes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of home deliveries.“We want to lead the way of sustainability also in the field of logistics. In addition to renewable fuels, home deliveries with trucks that use biogas and electricity are part of our steps towards climate positivity. Consumers also want a lower carbon footprint from their home deliveries, as well as more environmentally friendly packaging materials ‒ we want to provide this service to our customers,” says Tiina Suvanto, Sustainability Manager of IKEA Finland.By 2025, IKEA aims to have completely emission-free home deliveries throughout the Group. IKEA has already adopted the use of electric vehicles for home deliveries in Tampere in October 2019. The use of Neste MY Renewable Diesel helps IKEA to reach its sustainability targets in Finland.All solutions are needed to combat climate change”In order to achieve Finland’s target for carbon neutrality by 2035, all solutions are needed. Reducing road transportation emissions is key for achieving the goal, and for example, logistics companies play an important role in reducing their own carbon footprint. By choosing Neste MY Renewable Diesel, produced from entirely renewable raw materials IKEA is able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The use of renewable diesel also demonstrates IKEA Finland being a forerunner in value-based choices”, says Joni Pihlström, Vice President, B2B Sales at Neste.Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a Finnish innovation developed by Neste. The fuel is already available in 53 light traffic stations and in 19 heavy traffic stations in Finland. Nationally, already one of five Finnish diesel drivers choose Neste MY Renewable Diesel at stations where it is available. In the capital region stations, almost 30% of diesel drivers choose this alternative. Source: Company Press Releaselast_img read more

Brasenose say no to Page 3

first_imgCNB Comment with Harriet Smith Hughes (published 12.05.13)BRASENOSE COLLEGE JCR has voted unanimously to unsubscribe from The Sun and Daily Star newspapers. An amendment to the motion mandated their women’s welfare representative, Alex Sutton, to sign and circulate within the JCR the ‘No to Page 3’ petition, which reached 100,000 signatures nationally last week.The motion was proposed by Henry Zeffman and seconded by Ella Crine. The motion noted that “boobs are not news… If one wants to look at boobs, Gertie’s [Brasenose snack bar] and the JCR are probably not the most private places to do so.”Similar motions have been passed at Exeter and St Edmund Hall.Other points raised in the debate emphasised that the JCR did not want to censor the right to free speech by outright banning of the newspapers in question, but instead wanted to stop “endorsing the practice of objectifying women”. Other comments criticised the captions which accompany images and were said to “imply it is a ‘funny joke’ that topless women have views on politics”.Henry Zeffman observed that the motion was unusual for Brasenose, commenting, “I am delighted that Brasenose JCR has voted unanimously to stop buying The Sun and The Daily Star. It shows that even JCRs which are not ‘political’ are willing to strike a blow against these newspapers’ shoddy and degrading treatment of women.”James Blythe, JCR President, was mandated to “make sure that copies of The Sun and The Daily Star are no longer purchased for Gertie’s and the JCR.“It is wrong for there to be quasi-pornography in national newspapers and I am delighted that the JCR is joining the campaign to end this strange and misogynistic practice.”Blythe further commented, “Nonetheless, I was rather sorry not to hear more speeches in opposition, as a wider debate would have been interesting and informative.”However, when questioned about the lack of opposition, Blythe further commented, “Nonetheless, I was rather sorry not to hear more speeches in opposition, as a wider debate would have been interesting and informative.”last_img read more

In Short

first_imgAshers’ first exportsNorthern Irish bakery firm Ashers Baking Co has won its first export order, worth a potential £75,000. The firm has signed a deal with Dublin-based foodservice business VF Foods in Dublin, which will supply the bakery’s products to public sector organisations in the Republic of Ireland.Permission to growHayden’s Bakeries in Devizes, part of the Real Good Food Company, has applied for permission to expand its distribution centre, as its business with Waitrose increases, according to The Wiltshire Gazette & Herald. Subject to planning approval, distribution will be concentrated from the Options House site from February.Hovis’ Poppy actionAs part of the Hovis Milling & Baking Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, the marketing team at Rank Hovis joined volunteers to plant 80,000 Remembrance Crosses at the Field of Remembrance in the grounds of Westminster Abbey in the run-up to Armistice Day.Beauty breadFunctional breads that promote health and beauty could be on UK supermarket shelves soon, according to Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics. It said products such as Khlebnyi Dom kefir-based bread a functional bread launched in Russia, made with traditional Russian sour milk kefir, which claims to promote health, vitality and beauty are set to become more popular as the functional food market continues to grow.last_img read more

Sound and Vision

first_imgEven as a young child, growing up in Guanajuato, Mexico, Edgar Barroso remembers being fascinated by the possibility of creating something meaningful out of sound. Over the course of the years — having learned to play several instruments along the way — this gifted composer and Harvard PhD candidate in the Music Department has created a vast array of music, winning numerous prizes and awards in the process.Now he has drawn his widest — certainly most global — audience, as composer of the score for The Compass is Carried by the Dead Man, which premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 22, competing with 14 other films for the festival’s top prize. Barroso recorded the score at Harvard’s state-of-the-art Studio for Electroacoustic Composition, where he received support from his advisor, Professor Hans Tutschku, the director of the studio, and Ean White, the technical director.The Compass is Carried by the Dead Man was selected for competition by the Tokyo festival ????? one of the world’s most prestigious — out of almost a thousand entries. Directed by Arturo Pons, the film tells the story of a young boy who is lost in the desert somewhere along the US-Mexico border. The child meets a man in a mule-driven wagon who gives him a compass and instructs him to head north. The man soon dies, but the boy continues driving the wagon, encountering many new characters along the way. The result is a poetic piece that uses dark humor to depict an allegorical odyssey.last_img read more

Christopher Stubbs named dean of science

first_imgChristopher Stubbs, the Samuel C. Moncher Professor of Physics and of Astronomy and an accomplished experimental physicist whose work explores the intersection of cosmology, particle physics, and gravitation, has been appointed dean of science by Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay.Stubbs has been serving as the interim dean of science since June, when Jeremy Bloxham stepped down. He will begin his tenure immediately.Stubbs, who joined the faculty in 2003 as a professor of physics and astronomy, served as chair of the Physics Department from 2007 to 2010. In 2009, he was named a Harvard College Professor, an honor bestowed upon faculty members in recognition of excellence in their roles as educators.As a physicist, Stubbs was a member of one of the two teams that discovered dark energy by using supernovae to map out the history of cosmic expansion. He also founded the APOLLO collaboration, which is using lunar laser ranging and the Earth-Moon-Sun System to probe for novel gravitational effects that may result from physics beyond the standard model, and is heavily engaged in the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, for which he was the inaugural project scientist.Q&AChristopher StubbsGAZETTE: As you move into this new role, what are your priorities?stubbs: We have had a clear set of priorities for this particular academic year, and at the top of the list is implementing general education courses that meet our goals and aspirations as we roll that program out. We’ve been working over the past few months with department chairs and colleagues to make sure we can provide a slate of interesting courses that meet the pedagogical objectives of the program.Secondly, there are two intellectual initiatives that are in the early stages, one in quantitative biology and the other in quantum science and engineering. We are working in partnership with our colleagues at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) to make sure the faculty leaders in those initiatives have what they need to thrive, and to align our investments in terms of space and resources to make sure those programs succeed.This year we have also continued the strategic planning process for space in Cambridge as SEAS makes the transition to have part of their activities happen in Allston. As part of that process, we want to consider what kind of intellectual adjacencies we want to achieve and how to best use our space.The last major objective I want to mention is to strongly engage with the faculty in our division and try to strengthen the faculty voice in the decisions we make — about the allocation of faculty searches and space and investments. We want to make sure those discussions happen in a thoughtful way and that the faculty are fully engaged in those deliberations.GAZETTE: Can you describe the steps you’re taking to engage with the faculty in more detail and the form that’s taken?stubbs: Part of it is a charm offensive — I’ve tried to set up individual meetings with every single untenured faculty member in the division to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help them succeed at Harvard. I’ve also been going to departmental meetings to introduce myself to colleagues who may not know me as well as others, and I’ve been having many one-on-one conversations.I think my job here is to cultivate a conversation among colleagues so we can move forward in interesting directions. That will allow us to capitalize on our strengths, take advantage of the opportunities we have, and find a way to include faculty in those decisions.Part of that process is proactively sharing information. As an organization, we gather a great deal of information, but it’s quite scattered. We want to try to collate, summarize, and distribute information, so stakeholders have a lot more visibility into what’s going on in places that are beyond their immediate landscape or environment.As an example, in the context of general education, annual reports are delivered to the departments that describe how many courses were offered and how many students were taught, but there isn’t reciprocal visibility about what was happening in other departments. Our office pulled together a tabulation and distributed it to all department chairs, so we could say, “Here’s what’s happening in statistics and mathematics and physics.” That helps people understand how things look from the perspective of our office, and to better understand why search allocations were made the way they were. That strengthens us as an organization. What we hope to do in the future is use that as an example of how our office can draw together and distribute information so we can all be better-informed.That’s not to say we’re going to construct a figure of merit and rank things exclusively on quantitative information, but we have information that I would say is underutilized. Capturing that data and leveraging it helps us make better-informed choices … that seems a good direction for us to go.,GAZETTE: Let’s talk about students. There has been a great deal written and said in recent years about the “pipeline problem” of getting and keeping students in STEM fields. Are there steps you want to take to address those challenges?stubbs: Our broad objective is to make sure every undergraduate who comes to Harvard has a fulfilling and intellectually rewarding liberal arts experience. We do that in a variety of ways — by supporting the curricular goals of Harvard College through general education courses, first-year seminars, and courses students take regardless of their concentration.I don’t know that the metric of how many concentrators we have in individual departments should be a big driver. Having said that, however, there are examples where there is a great deal of student demand. In statistics, for example, the number of concentrators has gone up by a factor of 10 in the last decade. I think that’s been driven, rightfully, by students’ perception that data-driven science and data science writ large are a growing part of the economy and the way we do business in this country and worldwide.In terms of the pipeline issue — we certainly face a challenge of representation in many of the fields that are in this division. That’s true at Harvard, and nationwide. We embrace the idea of diverse excellence as an institutional goal … and I credit my predecessor, Jeremy Bloxham, and [former Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences] Mike Smith for having brought the division to 50 percent female junior faculty. The turnover in faculty is slow — it’s measured in decades. But the faculty we’re bringing in at the junior level are much more representative than was the case 10 years ago.I think it is sobering that, when you look at the national statistics of gender participation in STEM fields, the needle hasn’t budged much despite a great deal of effort and attempts to address the issue. Something isn’t working as much as we would like, and having us identify steps we can take to help address that problem is a real objective of ours.GAZETTE: How important do you believe it is for undergraduates to have the hands-on experience of doing science in the lab?stubbs: If you roll the clock forward 10 years and think about the huge amount of educational information that will be available online, the question becomes: Why would anyone come to Harvard for this four-year residential experience? I think we need to have a really good answer for that, and to me, part of the answer is that we offer learning experiences and opportunities you simply can’t get online.That means participatory learning, which has long been a strength here, but has been somewhat of an undercurrent. Many students get involved in projects, whether as senior projects or doing research in faculty research groups. That’s wonderful, but it’s not something we strongly incentivize for faculty. When a faculty member brings undergrads into their research group, we don’t particularly recognize that as being teaching, when in fact it most certainly is — one could argue it’s some of the most important teaching we do.I think we need to take a hard look at what our instructional paradigm is … especially in the context of thinking about how we allocate the space we have here on the north campus, and how to best configure those spaces for the instructional model of 20 years from now. We have a major organizational opportunity that is rare — we have a large amounts of space we can reallocate … and understanding what that learning model is going to be and configuring ourselves to get to that point is an important objective for us.GAZETTE: As SEAS prepares for the move to Allston, how do you begin to consider how best to reuse that space? Where do those discussions stand?stubbs: That’s actually fairly well underway. In partnership with our colleagues at SEAS, we have a group that meets regularly to look at that issue. There is an architectural study underway that will assess what the boundary conditions are in each of those buildings in terms of infrastructure for HVAC systems, electricity, floor load-bearing capacity, and more. That will help us understand what those spaces can be used for.Some of these are legacy buildings that date back centuries, and we have work to do to become compliant with disability-access requirements. So there are some investments we have to make, but from a technical side we want to understand what the opportunities are in these buildings and what is the most cost-effective way to use that resource.On a parallel path, we are looking at what we want to achieve intellectually. That process is less well-advanced, and how we engage the faculty in that conversation is something we’re actively talking about.Realistically, I think sometime next year we’ll bring those two threads together and present to the FAS and the University a slate of options and opportunities, along with estimates of the resources required to do that, and then we’ll go through a process of deciding how to move forward.GAZETTE: What does this new position mean for your research work?stubbs: For many reasons, I think it’s essential that the dean of science remain a strong scientist during their time in office. I think it’s important to continue to function as a scientist in this capacity.Of course, it does have an impact. My plan had been to take a sabbatical year and go to Chile to help commission a large telescope I’ve spent the last 10 years working to bring into operation. I don’t think I’m going to get a sabbatical year in Chile.Part of the evaluation about whether or not to do this job is to assess the opportunity costs on the research side in one’s own sub-discipline. But if my professional goal is to try to make the world a better place and help Harvard flourish and continue to evolve and do better … that is a compelling opportunity to me.GAZETTE: Your leadership style seems to dovetail well with that of Dean Gay. Are you looking forward to working more closely with her?stubbs: The relationships between the divisional deans and the dean of FAS and the faculty are essential to us as an organization. I’ve been extremely encouraged in every interaction I’ve had with Dean Gay. She has been thoughtful and decisive, and one of the reasons I’m eager to do this job is I feel she and I have an alignment both of values and style, and I think we will make good partners in working together to craft a good future for the sciences at Harvard.GAZETTE: Your appointment carries a five-year term. When you hand the reins over to your successor, what do you want the Division of Science to look like?stubbs: I would like the faculty to feel empowered because we will have put in place a divisional governance structure that gives faculty a strong voice in how we choose to move forward together, and that that will make us a more agile intellectual organization.Ideally, we can identify and move in directions of opportunity that enhance department-level strengths that we have in core disciplines as well as cross-cutting initiatives. We need to strike a thoughtful balance between those two ways of thinking about ourselves as an organization.I want us to have a group of students who, when they come here, feel like they get the best education in the world, and that we continue to attract the best minds here to Cambridge and that we support them in flourishing and reaching their full potential.Interview was edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Knoxville, Tenn.

first_imgKnoxville is situated on the winding banks of the Tennessee River. It’s the gateway city to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which offers 900 miles of hiking and backpacking. The Appalachian Trail runs through the heart of the Smokies, and the highest point on the A.T.—Clingmans Dome—is a must-see for any mountain enthusiast.Surrounding Knoxville and the Smokies is Cherokee National Forest, which boasts an impressive array of outdoor opportunities, including whitewater rafting on the Pigeon River and hiking in the Bald River Gorge—the newest proposed wilderness area.But you don’t have to venture beyond city limits to enjoy Knoxville’s outdoor offerings. The city itself is home to dozens of urban parks, greenways, and gardens, many of which are linked together by Knoxville’s unique Urban Wilderness, a wild corridor and trail network running through town. One of the first of its kind in the Southeast, the Knoxville Urban Wilderness is home to 1,000 acres of hiking trails, mountain bike paths, civil war historic sites, and diverse ecological features, all just three miles from the heart of downtown.Cudas_IB_0814_2DID YOU KNOW? Most people think of the Smokies when they visit Knoxville, but another national park unit is just north of Knoxville. The Big South Fork National Recreation Area offers an oasis of scenic river gorges, remote wilderness, steep cliffs with incredible climbing routes, and some of the biggest arches in the East—without the crowds of the Smokies.Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!last_img read more

Wyandanch Shooting Wounds 2 Men

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Two men were shot and wounded while playing basketball in Wyandanch on Sunday evening, Suffolk County police said.Officers responded to a call of shots fired at the basketball courts in Wyandanch Park where they found two men struck by bullets and suffering non-life threatening injuries to the head at 7 p.m., police said.The victims, 27-year-old Irvin Noak of Bellport and 33-year-old Davone Knight of West Babylon, were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip.First Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone who may have any information about this shooting to contact them at 631-852-8152 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.last_img read more

Goldman gets bullish about property stocks

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Merkel in quarantine after meeting virus-infected doctor

first_imgGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel will quarantine herself at home after being treated by a doctor who has since tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a government spokesman said Sunday.”The Chancellor has decided to quarantine herself immediately at home. She will be tested regularly in the coming days… [and] fulfill her official business from home,” Steffen Seibert said in a statement.The doctor had visited Merkel Friday to vaccinate her against the pneumococcus bacteria. It could take some time to determine whether the chancellor is herself infected as “a test would not yet be fully conclusive,” Seibert said.During her 15-year term in office Merkel has largely enjoyed robust health, although she suffered repeated shaking spells in public appearances during a summer 2019 heatwave that were never fully explained.In response to the tremors, she chose to sit on a chair when receiving guests with military honors outside the chancellor’s office in Berlin.Previously the veteran leader broke her pelvis in a cross-country skiing accident in 2014. Topics :last_img read more