1,001 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2018
    1. took this as evidence of the misleading signal in individual genes resulting from the nonindependence of nucleotides within genes.

      In this previous study, the authors had come to the inaccurate conclusion that single genes provide misleading phylogenetic signals because the results they gave varied widely when compared to random genes and also had low confidence levels.

    2. Rokas et al. (2003) analyzed these genes separately, and in combination, showing that individual genes sometimes support conflicting

      One of the biggest problems in the field of phylogenetics is the incompatibility of data that is obtained when single genes are used. In order to solve the problem of incompatibility, Rockas used "106 widely distributed orthologous genes for phylogenetic analyses, singly and by concatenation." The results that were given by this experiment showed that a chain of genes delivered a fully resolved "specie tree" with support. This was also seen by using a small quantity of 20 genes.This is extremely important as it can be a revealing answer and a way to figure out the different branches of the tree of life.

    3. When processes are stationary over lineages and time, relatively straightforward models can be designed to yield accurate inferences, even from short sequences (Steel and Penny, 2000)

      In this study, scientists were able to conclude that under certain circumstances (when processes are stationary over lineages and time) short genetic sequences can be used to construct a large phylogenetic tree with very high accuracy, therefore reducing the cost and time spent in creating a tree.

    4. Deviations from this stationary condition at any codon position can result in systematic error (Saccone et al., 1989).

      Scientist were able to conclude how stationary genes evolve through the same velocity at the third codon position. In comparison, non-stationary genes were seen to be involved in severely higher conditions. Such differences could therefore lead to drastic results, including systematic error.

    5. They concluded that a minimum of 20 randomly concatenated genes was required to infer relationships confidently and that “It is only through the analyses of larger amounts of sequence data that confidence in the proposed phylogenetic reconstruction can be obtained” and further “that analyses based on a single or a small number of genes provide insufficient evidence for establishing or refuting phylogenetic relationships.”

      Rokas et. al came to the conclusion that one needs a minimum of 20 genes in order to compose an accurate phylogenetic tree, and that those phylogenies created from examination of a few genes are unreliable due to the low amount of sequencing data used.

    1. following the U.S. Open Source Indicator (OSI) project (14–16)

      The goal of (14,15) was to help build a "Gold Standard Report" (GSR) reliable database of civil unrest events across countries in Latin America.

  2. Jan 2018
    1. Combining their electrophysiological and behavioral data, Ditzen et al.15 concluded that DEET acts in the vapor phase to inhibit the detection of attractive odors.

      Utilizing DEET perfumed traps, the behavior of flies was observed. Flies with the Orco gene responded differently to food-baited traps than flies with the gene knocked out. Low concentrations of DEET cannot repel flies in the absence of food. Electrophysiological studies showed that DEET can influence signaling molecules (or ligands) and their respective olfactory receptors.

    2. Evidence for gustatory receptors specifically detecting DEET was obtained from studies in Drosophila.

      Three taste receptor neurons were characterized in female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The neuron with the smallest amplitude spike responded to the feeding deterrent, quinine, and other insect repellents. Two other neurons with differing spikes responded to salt and sucrose. This was the first report of a taste receptor neuron specific for insect repellents in mosquitoes.

    3. Similarly, other studies have shown that the mosquitoes do not feed on blood that contains a very small amount of DEET (0.065%), even though some of them penetrated their proboscis into a membrane feeder.

      Female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes fed through a membrane on citrated blood containing DEET. When 0.5% concentration of DEET was present in the blood, the mosquitoes barely touched the membrane and did not insert the proboscis into the blood. When the concentration was lowered to 0.065%, mosquitoes touched the membrane for a longer time period, and/or inserted the proboscis. It was concluded that vapor action was the main cause of repellency, but contact chemoreceptors on the lobes of the proboscis may have been involved during the 0.065% concentration experiment.

    4. Kain et al.54 showed that DEET activates Ir40a-expressing neurons in the Drosophila sacculus, a 3-chambered pit beneath the antenna's surface.

      This article has been retracted as of 2016 by the request of all authors except Pinky Kain. The authors identified background effects that were originally missed and, as a result, do not have confidence in the data supporting that Ir40a is a DEET receptor. The authors remain confident of the analyses used to identify new repellents which have been replicated in the laboratory.

    5. Recent electrophysiology studies with a Culex OR, CquiOR136, showed that it could be activated by DEET, as well as other insect repellents, such as PMD, Picaridin, and IR3535.

      The CquiIR40a receptor in the Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito was cloned and then expressed in the Xenopus ovary cell along with another co-receptor. The Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito uses an odorant receptor, CquiOR136, to detect insect repellents, such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and PMD. The dose-dependent responses elicited by these repellents were analyzed.

    6. The smell and avoid hypothesis proposes that DEET is perceived as a noxious odor by the insect.

      When applied to human skin, DEET altered the chemical product by a fixative effect, which may have contributed to repellency. The electrophysiological responses of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) were observed in Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes. The same ORN responded with higher sensitivity to terpenoid compounds, which are found in essential oils. The studies support the smell and avoid hypothesis.

    7. In early electrophysiological studies of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, DEET increased the firing rate of olfactory receptor neurons in trichoid short and long A2 sensilla, but inhibited the spontaneous activity of medium-length sensilla.

      As the stimulus intensity increases, the firing rate of neurons increases. The firing rate is the rate of action potentials that carry an electrical impulse down a nerve. DEET increased the firing rate of olfactory receptor neurons in A2 sensilla, but inhibited the firing rate in A3 and A4 sensilla. It was concluded that DEET plays multiple roles in olfaction control because it affected OR-expressing and IR-expressing neurons in differing ways. This supports the confusant hypothesis.

    8. Aedes orco mutants did not respond to host odor alone, but were still able to host-seek in the presence of carbon dioxide, demonstrating that redundant mechanisms exist for mosquitoes to sense hosts

      Mosquitoes use redundant mechanisms to sense their hosts. This mechanism requires that mosquitoes receive multiple cues for a host to seem attractive. The disruption of one pathway is unlikely to eliminate mosquito host-seeking, however. Stimulating multiple sensory pathways may increase the chance of a mosquito successfully targeting a host.

    9. Aedes aegypti allowed for the genetic analysis of the OR pathway in a mosquito

      Zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) were used to generate mutations in the Orco gene of Aedes aegypti. ZFNs are a class of engineered DNA-binding proteins that facilitate targeted editing of the genome by creating double-strand breaks in DNA. These breaks stimulate the cell’s DNA repair processes, which in turn generates precisely targeted genomic edits.

    10. Behavioral assays in a repellometer confirmed that DEET inhibited the attraction of Aedes aegypti to lactic acid, but both compounds were also attractive to the mosquito.

      DEET was concluded to be a compound that reduced the attraction of mosquitoes to lactic acid (a behavioral inhibitor) rather than a compound that caused mosquitoes to display complete avoidance. It is important to note that both DEET and lactic acid were attractive to mosquitoes in the studies.

    11. Electrophysiological studies showed that DEET reduces the sensitivity of olfactory receptor neurons to odors by decreasing the responses of lactic acid-excited neurons and increasing the inhibition of lactic acid-inhibited neurons.

      Studies that observed heart rhythms were used to observe the sensitivity of olfactory sensory neurons (ORs). DEET reduces the sensitivity of ORs by enhancing the expression of lactic acid-inhibited neurons and decreasing the expression of lactic acid-excited neurons. This supports the inhibition hypothesis of host odor detection.

    12. In 1942, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with the US military

      The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes aided in the discovery of DEET, which is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. The behavior of the mosquitoes was observed in response to several compounds, but N,N - diethylbenzamide was found to be the most effective. Because this compound is irritating to the skin, the DEET found in repellents today is comprised of derivatives of N,N - diethylbenzamide.

    1. based on reconstructions from pollen data (4)

      Prior work from author Guiot developed a reconstruction of the Mediterranean region's climate over the past 10,000 years. The reconstruction used the BIOME4 model, with pollen core data as the input. The reconstruction found that the past climate variations were dominated by changes in precipitation (droughts and wet periods). However, unlike in the present, the drought periods were linked to cool temperatures. They also found that the pattern of warming was different in the past than it is currently.

      Using this information, they concluded that the reconstruction indicates that recent warming in the region is unlike what was seen during any other time in the Holocene.

    2. To relate the past variability of climate and ecosystems with possible future conditions, we use the process-based ecosystem model BIOME4 (6), which, when compared with correlation techniques, allows a more reliable reconstruction of past climate-vegetation equilibria

      BIOME4 was developed by Kaplan and colleagues. The model uses input data about water, climate, and soil to simulate the ecosystem and plant processes that drive the distribution of vegetation types. Using this information, the model identifies key variables and uses these to rank the likelihood of different groupings of plants for the given time and location. The rankings then help identify the biome type present.

      This model predicts plant distribution based on underlying processes that are expected to be consistent for the entire Holocene time period–for example, net assimilation of CO<sub>2</sub> (the flux of CO<sub>2</sub> between a leaf and the atmosphere) or the water balance in an ecosystem. The authors contrast that method to other models that are tuned based on how well the results correlate with, or reproduce, current vegetation patterns.

    3. A recent study (14) has attributed important crop failures in Syria to two strong drought episodes—characterized by a lack of precipitation (reduced by up to 30% in the 6-month winter season) and high temperatures (warming of 0.5° to 1.0°C in the annual mean relative to the 20th-century average)—in the eastern Mediterranean between 1998 and 2010.

      Kelly and colleagues examined the 3-year drought in Syria that began in Winter 2006/2007 to understand what contributed to the severity of the drought, which was the worst in human record.

      The researchers found that though multiyear droughts do occur naturally in the region, the reduced precipitation and increased surface temperature of the past century that is consistent with models of human-driven climate impacts contributed to the extreme nature of the drought.

      The impacts of the drought were also amplified by previous droughts, the reduction of groundwater supply (which had previously acted as a buffer), and population increases in recent years.

    4. During the Holocene (especially in the second half of this epoch), periods of precipitation deficits have occurred, but in contrast to the 21st-century situation, temperatures did not rise above the present average (Fig. 1) (4)

      The current period is experiencing both reduced precipitation and high temperatures, unlike during the earlier Holocene, when times of low precipitation were generally cooler.

    5. Even if past variations in precipitation and their projections for the future are spatially more heterogeneous than temperature fields (7), for most scenarios, the changes in both fields will combine to reduce water availability and trigger losses of Mediterranean ecosystems and their biodiversity during the coming decades (8–10).

      Precipitation and temperatures vary across the Mediterranean region, and the precipitation patterns are more variable than the temperature patterns. In general, the changes of these two climate variables in the next few decades are expected to lead to a reduction in the amount of water available as well as the loss of some ecosystems and biodiversity.

    6. the Holocene reconstruction of spatiotemporal ecosystem dynamics from pollen allows the development of reliable scenarios of climate-driven change in land ecosystems (4)

      Guilot, one of the authors of the current paper, and his collaborator used pollen core data and vegetation modeling to develop reconstructions of the Mediterranean Basin climate over the past 10,000 years. To do this, they ran BIOME4, a vegetation model, in "inverse" mode.

      BIOME4 is typically used to predict vegetation by inputting climate information. In an "inverse" mode, researchers input the vegetation information from the pollen cores and then used a computer algorithm to calculate what climate would have produced the mix of plants that was observed.

      This reconstruction method is the basis of the current paper.

    7. For many regions of the world, achieving the global 2°C target would still imply substantially higher average temperatures, with daily maxima reaching extreme values (1)

      The targets are for global temperatures, based on averages across the entire surface of the planet. Because of climate variations, this does not mean that each location would experience the same degree of local climate impacts.

      For example, researchers examined the impact of the global 2°C increase scenario on regional changes to temperature extremes and their analysis found regions that would have a bigger response. For the Mediterranean region, they predicted a 3°C increase in hot temperature extremes.

    1. Both models assume that the development of an anatomical placode and of a dermal papilla occurred, at a minimum, twice (once in birds and once in mammals) through the independent parallel co-option of the same set of signaling pathways (WNTs, β-catenin, EDAR, BMPs, and SHH).

      Previous models have tried to explain the apparent lack of homology by suggesting that anatomical placodes and dermal papillae developed at least twice (once in birds and once in mammals).

      Further, the models suggest that, although the anatomical placodes and dermal papillae in mammals and birds would have evolved independently, they would have came about through the co-option of the same set of signaling pathways.

    2. material cracking

      Crocodilian scales are formed through exertion of force: Scale tissues are physically cracked by living materials, leading to unique patterns on each reptile's face.

    3. Conversely, other authors argue that the similarities in molecular signaling observed among all skin appendages suffice to support their homology (9). Note that such placodal signaling centers have been recently evidenced as underlying the development of Chelonia shell scutes

      Some other models reject the idea that the placode and the dermal papilla evolved independently, suggesting that the similarities in the molecular signaling involved in development are sufficient to show that they are homologous (meaning the pathway evolved once, in a common ancestor).

      It is also suggested that this is true for turtles, which have been found to need the placode for the development of their shell.

    4. indicate that early scale morphogenesis in reptiles consists of regular dermoepidermal elevations that typically further develop into oriented asymmetrical scales with various levels of overlap, depending on the species and body area

      As was found in previous studies, scale development begins with the formation of risen areas on the skin. The symmetry and degree of overlap of the final scales depends on the species and location on the body.

    1. This estimate is broadly consistent with an estimated 1.3 billion MT of waste generated by 3 billion people in urban centers globally

      Other authors have estimated similar amounts of waste generated by humans.

  3. Dec 2017
    1. feathers are organized into discrete tracts associated to different body areas

      In chickens, feathers develop in 10 distinct areas (tracts) which correspond to different parts of the body. These tracts develop at different rates and have their own patterning.

    2. that is, they are difficult to identify on any specific embryo because they establish multiple tracts whose developmental timing and locations vary across the body

      The authors believe that previous studies have overlooked anatomical placodes in reptiles because they are difficult to see during development.

    3. similarities in signaling are due to independent co-option of these molecular pathways

      Although some scientists think that the similarities in development of hair, feathers, and scales are evidence that they are homologous, others believe that they evolved independently.

      They propose that these pathways served a different function in the common ancestor of mammals, reptiles, and birds, and that they were only later co-opted for the development of hair, feathers, and scales.

    4. Several studies (9, 18–23) have shown that conserved signaling pathways, evidenced by the expression of the Sonic hedgehog (Shh), β-catenin (Ctnnb1), ectodysplasin A receptor (Edar), and/or bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) genes, are involved in skin patterning and early morphogenesis of all amniote skin appendages

      Several signaling pathways involved in skin development and patterning are conserved across species. Different authors have reached different conclusions about whether these pathways are homologous or whether they evolved independently.

    5. discrete developmental units through reaction-diffusion

      Morphogens (chemicals which direct the development of different structures) interact to form gradients or concentrate in different parts of an organism. This leads to patterns in the placement and arrangement of appendages.

    1. diminished Hb levels found in Tibetans offset complications associated with sustained high Hb levels

      People who are used to low-altitude environment experience several health complications, sometimes even fatal ones. Low levels of oxygen at high-altitude environment also decrease reproductive rates. One common disease seen in people that live in high-altitude environment is Monge's disease. Monge's disease is characterized by overproduction of red blood cells. Interestingly, Tibetan highland population is resistant to Monge's disease because of the decreased level of hemoglobin concentration.

    2. The putatively advantageous haplotypes of EGLN1 and PPARA both show significant negative correlations with Hb concentration

      EGLN1 and PPARA are correlated with hemoglobin concentration. EGLN1 encodes PHD2, prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing protein 2, which is a negative regulator of HIF-1α. PPARA encodes for PPARα, peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha. PPARα is regulated by HIF protein, and is essential for fatty acid metabolism. Since PPARA induces fat metabolism, it is unfavorable in hypoxic conditions because fatty acid metabolism needs more oxygen for energy production compared to glycolysis. PPARA is therefore negatively correlated with the concentration of HIF-1α. The positive selection seen in EGLN1 and PPARA, which are negatively correlated with the concentration of hemoglobin, indicates that Tibetans have a unique adaptation.

    3. adaptation in Tibetans has resulted from local positive selection on several distinct genes

      The Tibetan plateau is distinct for its extremely high elevation. Compared to other high-altitude populations, Tibetans are better adapted to the high elevations. Advantageous mutations and positive selection have resulted in genes that can adapt to high-altitude environments in Tibetan highlands. Tibetans have unique characteristics such as elevated resting ventilation and low hemoglobin count. In addition, since the Tibetan population has bee living in the area for approximately 1,110 generations, beneficial mutations have had enough time to become fixed. Tibetan population has also shown a positive selection in genes such as EGLN1, PHD2 and PPARA, all which are negative regulators of HIF-1α.

    4. EGLN1 targets two HIFα proteins for degradation under normoxic conditions

      Under normal oxygen levels, HIF proteins are degraded due to hydroxylation by a family of hydroxylases known as EGL- nine homologs (EGLN). As HIF is hydroxlyated, HIF is targeted by VHL proteins for degradation. Hydroxylation is the addition of a hydroxyl group. With HIF being degraded, transcription of genes needed for angiogenesis does not occur.

    5. Although PPARA has not previously been considered as a candidate gene for high-altitude adaptation, it interacts with components of the HIF pathway

      Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-mediated inhibition of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha expression during hypoxia (2002).

      It was found that PPARA is (under hypoxic condition) inhibited by HIF1-alpha. In Tibetan highlanders the PPARA gene is adapted so that it can function in the presence of HIF, though this mechanism is unknown.

    6. elevated circulating NO levels increase vasodilation and blood flow

      Researchers have found that Tibetans have increased nitric oxide (NO) levels, which leads to an increase in vasodilation and blood flow. With higher NO levels causing an increase in blood flow, Tibetans have adapted to higher altitude levels.

    7. increased Hb concentration to compensate for the hypoxic high-altitude environmen

      When people have lived 2,500 meters above sea level, they experience hypoxia or lack of oxygen. In extreme cases of hypoxia people can experience altitude sickness. However, people who have lived at high altitudes for thousands of years have adapted to such extreme conditions. These people have an increased in hemoglobin concentration which compensates for hypoxia. With an increase in hemoglobin, oxygen is able to be transported through the body more efficiently.

    1. revealed three consensus binding sites in the 3′UTR for the highly conserved Musashi family of RNA-binding proteins, Musashi-1 (MSI1) and Musashi-2 (MSI2), both important translational regulators in stem cells

      Imai and colleagues (2001) used in vivo RNA that possesses Msi1 binding sites to determine the specific RNA-binding sequences for Msi1. Results demonstrated that Msi1 can regulate expression of its target gene at the translational level.

    2. Notably, defective chromosome condensation has been recently found to cause MCPH

      C. A. Martin and colleagues (2016) researched mutations in genes encoding condensin subunits (which usually enable chromosomes to condense) and sister chromatids to de-tangle and stabilize chromosome structure. The team of researchers found that mutations caused microcephaly in mice as well as reduced brain size and DNA bridges in neural progenitors and condensin-deficient cells during neurogenesis.

    3. The PCC phenotype seen in MSI1A184V-patient cells has been previously described in cells deficient of the MCPH-associated protein microcephalin (MCPH1)

      Jackson and peers (2002) relate the microcephalin gene to molecular defects that can cause microcephaly. Microcephalin was found in developing ventricles of the forebrain, indicating that the microcephalin protein can regulate sizes of the cerebral cortex. Mutations in the microcephalin gene can result in disruption of the regulation of the cell cycle and development of neurons in the brain.

    4. We hypothesized that the single-stranded RNA flavivirus ZIKV may hijack RNA-binding factors present in the developing central nervous system (11). Host RNA-binding proteins are known to interact with untranslated regions (UTRs) to regulate replication, translation, and stabilization of viral genomes

      Li and Nagy (2011) studied plus-stranded RNA viruses.

      RNA-binding proteins are found to determine virus-cell interactions with host untranslated regions to regulate cellular processes. Understanding the functions of host RNA-binding proteins in viral replications can lead to antiviral therapies, such as for Zika virus.

    5. Zika virus (ZIKV) recently emerged as a major public health risk because of its devastating effect on fetal neurodevelopment

      Mlakar and peers (2016) associated Zika virus with microcephaly.

      An increase in microcephaly cases was found to be observed in children who were born to mothers that were infected with Zika virus.One expectant mother, who contracted Zika virus, was studied. After 29 weeks of gestation, the fetus was recognized to express microcephaly with brain calcifications. The mother decided to terminate the pregnancy, an a fetal autopsy revealed the complete genome of Zika virus in the fetal brain. 
      
    6. Intriguingly, MSI1 is also highly expressed in the retina and testis, other tissues deemed vulnerable to ZIKV infection

      Lazear, Govero, Smith, Platt, Fernandez, Miner, Diamond (2016) studied the disease development of zika virus in different types of knockout mice. The knockout mice that had no functioning interferon pathways were the mice that picked up the disease. It was also observed that zik virus was found in the highest viral load in the testes of affected male mice.

    7. Brazilian ZIKV belongs to the Asian lineage which affected New Caledonia and French Polynesia, where cases of microcephaly were reported retrospectively

      Cauchemez and colleagues (2016) found that infection of Zika virus during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with newborns with microcephaly. The study provides a quantitative estimate of microcephaly risk in newborns of mothers who are infected by Zika. 95 cases per 10,000 infected woman within the first trimester was associated with microcephaly risk.

    1. when targeted to coding regions of genes can create frame shift insertion/deletion (indel) mutations that result in a loss-of-function allele

      Using a CRISPR RNA (crRNA) that is base-paired to a trans-activating crRNA (tracrRNA) will allow the scientists to direct the Cas9 to a specified area of the DNA and cause a double-strand break at the target location.

    2. The RNA-guided CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindrome repeats)–associated nuclease Cas9 provides an effective means of introducing targeted loss-of-function mutations at specific sites in the genome

      The CRISPR-Cas9 system can be used to target and remove specific sequences from DNA. This is done by using a guide RNA that directs the CRISPR/Cas9 system to the correct location in the DNA sequence.

    3. predominant method for genome-wide loss-of-function screening

      RNAi is triggered by double stranded RNAs, which are processed into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). siRNAs target complementary RNAs for destruction, which inhibits gene expression and allows for creation of knockouts.

      Human and Drosophila RNAi libraries have been made to map out the effectiveness of RNAi and the knockout ability in particular genes. Vector-based short hairpin RNAs are artificial molecules that can be used to selectively target genes. Libraries of these molecules can be used for genetic screens in both short-term and long-term assays.

      Although RNAi is a very effective tool, there are sometimes problems with completely turning off specific genes or targeting the correct gene.

  4. Nov 2017
    1. Turkish family in which two siblings displayed clinical features suggestive of autosomal primary microcephaly (MCPH),

      Chavali, Putz, and Gergely (2014) researched the genetics behind microcephaly.

          Microcephaly can be caused by abnormal development of neurons, recessive mutations, and centrosome abnormality. Microcephaly may be classified as a centrosome disorder. Although centrosomes are recognized to have importance in cellular processes, more evidence needs to be conducted to further understand the significance of microcephaly and disease, specifically diseases that affect brain development. 
      
    2. Intrauterine infections can impair neurodevelopment

      Adams Waldorf and McAdams researched the side effects of infections on the fetus during pregnancy.

      Depending on the type of pathogen, the fetus may die, acquire organ injury, or obtain abnormal bone growth. Pathogens that disturb fetal development are the pathogens that seem to be the most detrimental to the fetus in utero. Understanding the mechanisms the pathogens use to disrupt development may lead to the development of therapies that can be used to help fetal development and survival

    3. fetal neurodevelopment

      Cugola et al., (2016) found that ZIKV infects fetuses, causes intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and causes signs of microcephaly in mice.

      Data demonstrated that the infection of ZIKV into human brain organoids (a miniature organ in vitro) reduced proliferation and disrupted cortical layers. This indicates that ZIKV is able to cross the placenta and cause microcephaly by inducing apoptosis in cortical progenitor cells.

    1. up-regulation of nicotinic a4b2 AChRs receptors

      Neonicotinoids (and nicotine) work by [insert info about Ach]

    2. the most widely used class

      There are two major reasons for the popularity of neonicotinoids. First, neonicotinoids bind more specifically to insect (vs. vertebrate) neuron receptors, which makes them relatively safer than other types of pesticides for birds and mammals. Second, neonicotinoids are water-soluble, which allows the chemicals to be applied to soil and taken up by growing plants instead of sprayed onto them. This prevents chemicals from being blown away by wind and, in theory, means beneficial insects won't be affected because they are not feeding directly on the plant..

    1. we believe that the differences in defense strategy we find agree with a growing consensus that plant defense traits are involved in diversification

      In this study from 2009, the results of diversification, when subpopulations with independent genetic modifications emerge, were concluded not to be homogenous in their relation to performance. This concept is further analyzed through this experiment in the speciation and the variation of defense strategies.

      • Carolina Jimenez-Pinilla
    2. promote very different defense allocation strategies for different plant species depending on the type of defense employed (i.e., their elemental constituents and biosynthetic pathways), as well as the nature of resource limitation across habitats (i.e., light, nutrients, or water) (Bryant et al. 1983, Herms and Mattson 1992).

      This statement addresses the variables that must be acknowledged when trying to analyze different plants and their different defense strategies. The "resource limitation across habitats" that the author is referring to is what in the environment can the plant use to defend itself in its habitat from threats such as herbivorous insects.

      • Carolina Jimenez-Pinilla
    3. Herbivores play an important role in habitat specialization because they can magnify the differences in resource availability across habitats

      The sources mention, that in a habitat with a low amount of productivity there is a good amount of strong plants/ plants that are "rich in chemical defenses". In a habitat with lower productivity, the plants are thought to do this in order to increase its life span. Therefore, as the productivity and the amount of herbivores changes the strength and and amount of the resources changes.

      For more information check out: Tropical Blackwater Rivers, Animals, and Mast Fruiting by the Dipterocarpaceae

      Angela Mujica

    1. However, existing studies can be divided into those demonstrating that reef sharks reside inside reserves and those showing differences in reef shark relative abundance between reserves and fished sites.

      The statement reinforces the hypothesis due to the fact that there has been peer reviewed data that can be compared to the research that has been conducted.- Alejandro

    2. A recent survey of recreational SCUBA divers in the Caribbean found that shark sightings are quite rare, except for some places that have shark conservation regulations or large marine reserves in place

      Shark conservation regulations entail the prohibition of shark fin trade actions such as the removal cutting of shark fins or the pursuit of hunting sharks for any other purpose. -Sindy

    3. site-fidelity is high enough to drive the observations of increased shark abundance in these areas, even though large juveniles and adults are vulnerable to fishing as they move between management zones

      Site fidelity is the idea that an organism is primed for a certain place or spatial area and that this place is a reoccurring habitat to which that organism returns to or permanently lives in. This section of the passage states that increased levels of site fidelity correlate to increased levels of shark abundance in these areas despite the fact that risks pursue the movement of the sharks between the site to which fidelity is displayed. -Sindy

    4. Sharks are currently experiencing intense fishing pressure worldwide, largely due to the Asian shark fin trade

      In Asia, shark fins are a delicacy and showcase ones wealth. The Asian shark fin trade accounts for the biggest percentage of shark deaths. -Emily

    1. The global molecular clock hypothesis was tested in each sex-determining protein by using likelihood ratio tests based on the models of evolution defined

      First proposed in the 1960s, the molecular clock hypothesis has become universally used in evolutionary biology, especially genetics. The hypothesis states that DNA evolves at a rate that is directly proportional with time, which allows scientists to determine direct relationships and differences between organisms (Ho, S. 2008). Learn More at https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/the-molecular-clock-and-estimating-species-divergence-41971 -Eri-Ray

  5. Oct 2017
    1. which may be alleviated using an offset nicking approach

      Cas9 nickase creates a break in one strand of the double-stranded helix. These nicks are repaired with a very high fidelity.

      Using Cas9 with off-set sgRNA simultaneously nicks both strands, and may lead to a reduction of off-target modifications.

    2. they can be easily titrated to control transgene copy number and are stably maintained as genomic integrants during subsequent cell replication

      Lentiviral vectors are commonly used for gene insertion because of their stability. It is easy to control the number of vectors, and once integrated into the gene the inserted DNA segment is likely to stay there.

    1. The interstitial concentration of Aβ is higher in awake than in sleeping rodents and humans, possibly indicating that wakefulness is associated with increased Aβ production (15, 16).

      Scientists previously discovered that Aβ levels vary in a daily cycle, and that Aβ levels in the interstitial fluid rise as humans and mice spend more time awake.

      This surprising finding could add to our understanding of diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and insomnia.

      However, this result says nothing about the mechanism — that is, increased Aβ during wakefulness could be owing to increased production, decreased degradation, reduced clearance, or processes like synaptic function that are related to both sleep and Aβ.

      The current article addresses this ambiguity directly.

    2. the brain lacks a conventional lymphatic system

      The lymphatic system does not extend to the brain. The brain has it's own system for clearing waste.

    3. lymph vessels return excess interstitial proteins to the general circulation for degradation in the liver

      In the rest of the body, the lymphatic system "cleans" up waste and moves it to the liver where it is destroyed.

    4. Sleep deprivation reduces learning, impairs performance in cognitive tests, prolongs reaction time, and is a common cause of seizures

      Years of scientific research has already discovered this about sleep.

    1. the species composition and relative abundance of herbivore communities may turn over among habitats because herbivores are affected by habitat quality, structure, and interactions with predators

      The idea in place here is the observation of evolution in herbivorous in correlation to the environment and all its factors.

      The study provides proof of evolution in herbivorous in respect to the environment by analyzing adaptive radiation. It includes the third trophic level, omnivores and carnivorous that eat these herbivorous. This is an important factor that is part of the ecological niche of these herbivorous. It includes the third trophic level, omnivores and carnivorous that eat these herbivorous. This is an important factor that is part of the ecological niche of these herbivorous.

      To further understand adaptive radiation watch [(https://www.brightstorm.com/science/biology/evolution/adaptive-raditaion/)

      -Luisa Bermeo

    1. geographically discrete nursery areas

      A nursery area is a location in which a large subset of the species is populated. For example, a swamp is a nursery area for many types of mosquitoes. The idea that reef sharks do not have a "geographically discrete nursery area" simply means that one can spot a population of reef sharks rather easily in this habitat. -Sindy

    2. Acoustic monitoring of several individuals revealed year round residency to small home ranges within the reserve, indicating that this protected area reduced the exposure of these individuals to fisheries

      Acoustic monitoring is the use of hydrophones (much like a microphone or recorder) to detect the presence of marine animals via sound waves produced by the noises they make. In this case, it was noted that several marine animals continued to inhabit marine reserves for year round periods thus reducing their exposure to fisheries and their potential dangers. -Sindy

    1. A key weakness of this method is that it treats the 0.05 threshold as a bright-line criterion between replication success and failure (28)

      Braver, Thoemmes, and Rosenthal (28) argue that judging the success of a replication only by whether it shows a significant effect (in the current study, at the 0.05 threshold) would be inappropriate.

      They argue that replication success depends a lot on the statistical power and therefore on the sample size used in the replication study. The replication study must have sufficiently many subjects so that it is probable enough that the effect in question, should it really exist in the population, can be found in this sample. If a replication study had low power, for example because the size of the original effect was overestimated and the replication sample size was consequently too small, this makes it less likely that the replication attempt will be successful and show a result that is statistically significant at the 0.05 threshold.

      For each individual replication study, the replication success therefore depends on the sample size. If you assess several replication attempts individually, the replication success rate could therefore be distorted to underestimate how reproducible an effect really is.

      To circumvent this problem, the authors suggest using a different technique than counting if individual replications were significant at the 0.05 threshold. They analysis is called “continuously cumulating meta-analysis”. The data of several replication attempts are combined, so that conclusions on whether the data of all the replication attempts supports the effect of interest.

      After a new replication attempt is conducted, its data is added to the pool of data from previous replication attempts. This data is then taken together, and on the combined data, a test is run to estimate the effect of interest.

    2. and 25%

      Prinz and colleagues (11) comment on their experience as employees of a pharmaceutical company, which relies on preclinical research to decide whether to invest into the exploration and development of new drugs. Because companies find many preclinical research findings unreliable, they now often conduct their own research to reproduce the original findings before they decide to move on and invest large sums of money into the actual drug development.

      Only in about 20% to 25% of the cases did the company scientists report finding results of the reproduction that were in line with the originally reported findings.

    3. in only 11

      Begley and Ellis (10) are cancer researchers, who propose ways for research methods, publication practices and incentives for researchers to change so that research would yield more reliable results, such as more effective drugs and treatments. They argue that often new drugs and treatments enter clinical trials, which test their effectiveness to treat cancer in humans, before they reach sufficient standards in preclinical testing, leading to non-reproducible findings. To achieve more reliable preclinical results, they argue that more focus should be placed on reproducing promising findings in the preclinical phase.

    4. A key weakness of this method is that it treats the 0.05 threshold as a bright-line criterion between replication success and failure (28).

      Braver, Thoemmes, and Rosenthal (28) argue that judging the success of a replication only by whether it shows a significant effect (in the current study, at the 0.05 threshold) would be inappropriate. They argue that replication success depends a lot on the statistical power and therefore on the sample size used in the replication study. The replication study must have sufficientl subjects so that it is probable enough that the effect in question, should it really exist in the population, can be found in this sample. If a replication study had low power, for example because the size of the original effect was overestimated and the replication sample size was consequently too small, this makes it less likely that the replication attempt will be successful and show a result that is statistically significant at the 0.05 threshold. For each individual replication study, the replication success therefore depends on the sample size. If you assess several replication attempts individually, the replication success rate could therefore be distorted to underestimate how reproducible an effect really is.

      To circumvent this problem, the authors suggest using a different technique than counting if individual replications were significant at the 0.05 threshold. Their analysis is called “continuously accumulatingmeta-analysis.” The data of several replication attempts are combined, so that conclusions on whether the data of all the replication attempts supports the effect of interest.[[this sentence doesn't make sense to me]] After a new replication attempt is conducted, its data is added to the pool of data from previous replication attempts. This data is then taken together, and on the combined data, a test is run to estimate the effect of interest.

    5. likely that more than half of research results are false and therefore irreproducible (9)

      Ioannidis conducted computer simulations to show that for most studies, it is more likely for a finding to be a false positive than a true identification of an effect.

      Among the factors that make it more likely for research findings to be false are small sample size or the underlying effect, and when designs, definitions, and analyses are more flexible rather than rigorously objective.

    1. cause progressive shifts in community composition, and "recovery" to prestorm states thus may not occur

      In many ecological systems, there can be more than one "stable, final state" for a community, depending on the history of the community. In a more extreme example, a single, barren part of the ocean floor could end up either a coral-dominated or algae-dominated system depending on a variety of factors including fishing pressure and the first organisms to colonize it.

      Rare disturbances like hurricanes could create patches of coral reef that are dominated by different species.

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1890/10-0378.1/full

    2. damselfishes Eupomacentrus planifrons (threespot) and Microspathodon chrysurus (yellowtail)

      Some species of damselfish cultivate and defend lawns of algae—which serve as a source of food—on dead coral. Damselfish are known for being fiercely territorial and will fight off other species that enter their home territory.

    1. Most part of the molecular evolutionary analyses was carried out using the program MEGA version 6 (Tamura et al. 2013)

      MEGA which stands for: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis is a software in which the user can create DNA sequence alignments, look at phylogenetic histories, and conduct molecular evolutionary analysis (tamura et al. 2013). The MEGA can estimate the divergences of the phylogenetic tree as well as building a phylogenetic tree with time as a scale. -Elder Learn more at: MEGA6: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis Version 6.0

    1. Although it is likely that early work overestimated swimming speeds, speeds higher than those predicted based on the twitch contraction methods might theoretically be possible if fish were able to change their mode of swimming to accommodate for the otherwise lack of increase in tail beat frequency

      The maximum frequency at which a fish can oscillate its tail is limited by the twitch contraction time of the white lateral muscle. The maximum swimming speed is then predictable if the distance moved forwards on completion of each oscillation (the stride) is known. -Mikaela

    1. Contrary to previous findings, our results highlight that sharks may overcome low local energy availability by feeding on fish spawning aggregations, which concentrate energy from other local trophic pyramids. Fish spawning aggregations are known to be targeted by sharks, but they were previously believed to play a minor role representing occasional opportunistic supplements.

      An increase from the standard amount of fish in the area for reproduction purposes was believed to have an insignificant role in providing a reef shark's energy needs. Originally, sharks feeding on the greater amount of fish was thought of as an infrequent addition. -ASR

    2. Previous research [9] reported that the slope of biomass by mass class cannot be steeper than 0.25 unless the food web system is subsidized; the slope we computed from Fakarava is 0.51

      Describes the initial observation leading to the purpose of the study. --CGG

  6. Sep 2017
    1. Consequent differing opportunities for sexual and asexual colonization may result in differing successional communities

      Many corals sexually reproduce by releasing large numbers of eggs and sperm into the water at once. This requires synchronized timing between multiple colonies and may only happen once a year. Some other corals retain the egg in the parent colony where it is fertilized and then later released.

      Corals can also form colonies by asexual reproduction—coral fragments that break off of a parent colony can survive and grow into a new colony. New colonies are also sometimes formed by budding off of existing colonies.

    2. these herbivores are known to have considerable influence on Discovery Bay coral reef communities

      Corals compete for space and light with each other as well as other organisms such as algae. Algae have the ability to grow much faster than coral and can quickly overgrow and shade coral if given the chance. Reef herbivores such as the sea urchin Diadema antillarum play an important role in keeping algae at bay, maintaining coral reefs.

    3. While hurricanes can cause violent disturbance to coral reefs with extreme short- (5) and long-term (3, 4, 6-9) effects, very little is known of their' immediate consequences for previously investigated populations (10)

      Various studies describe the aftermath of tropical cyclones on coral reefs. Effects of storms seem to vary depending on the structure, form, and composition of the affected reef.

      None of the studies cited had intimate knowledge of the impacted reefs immediately before the disturbance.

    4. First, Jamaican coral reefs are among the best known in the world as a result, in particular, of the studies of T. F. Goreau, his associates, and subsequent researchers at the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory of the University of the West Indies

      Making robust ecological conclusions about the effects on an ecosystem of a natural event, such as a hurricane, requires thorough knowledge of that ecosystem both before and after the event.

      Because Jamaican coral reefs were well-studied before, during, and after Hurricane Allen, this study is different from previous studies of the effects of hurricanes on coral reef organisms.

    5. The relative importance of environmental processes that affect the distribution of organisms varies with the intensity and frequency of the processes

      Disturbances in the environment, such as storms and fires, can affect the state of an ecological community.

      For example, traditional ecological knowledge dictates that when disturbances are frequent or intense, all species in the affected area may become locally extinct. But when disturbances are rare, the community may become dominated by only the most competitive species.

      Counterintuitively, an intermediate level of disturbance may maintain the highest level of biodiversity.

    1. Adaptation to local environments has been observed experimentally in many organisms (1) and may critically limit a given species’ capacity to evolve in the face of rapid environmental change (2–4).

      Local adaptation increases species survival in the local environment but can reduce survival in foreign environments. Unfortunately, if the climate in the local environment rapidly changes then local adaptations may no longer be beneficial.

      The threat of rapidly changing environments to species has been reviewed in these papers. Jump and Penuelas discuss that as climates rapidly change migration may no longer be a solution for species survival. Therefore, the ability of species to adapt to the changes is even more important.

      The worrying consequences of rapidly changing environments have stimulated research such as this paper to better understand adaptation.

    2. the molecular basis of local adaptation remains largely unexplored (5, 6)

      Ehrenreich and Purugganan reviewed research on the molecular basis of plant adaptation in 2006 and concluded that not enough is known. For instance it is not well understood how many genes are responsible per adaptation. Neither is it understood whether certain types of mutations are more likely to be responsible for adaptation.

    3. recent observations of candidate loci associated with climate (10).

      Eckert et al., used a genome wide data set of small variations in Pinus taeda (loblolly pine) to identify changes in the genome that were correlated with variations in the climate. By doing this they identified a set of genes that may have been necessary in local adaptation of the loblolly pine.

    4. candidate loci showing high levels of environmental differentiation (9,

      Local adaptation has been clear in Arabidopsis plants growing in salty soil by the coast. Alleles of the sodium transporter, HKT1, that enhance salt tolerance have been found to be much more common in populations living by the coast.

    1. This work is similar to a companion manuscript by Wu et al.

      This paper is in the same issue of Science and describes a different way to visualize translation in the cell using fluorescent markers.

  7. Aug 2017
    1. microdeletions of chromosome 17q21 encompassing the tau gene are associated with learning disabilities in humans

      It might be difficult to recreate this mouse model in humans because previous research has shown that removing the gene that encodes tau in humans leads to serious learning impairments.

    2. Our findings raise the possibility that tau reduction could protect against AD and other neurological conditions associated with excitotoxicity.

      This work was covered by AlzForum, a leading advocacy group for Alzheimer’s research and patients.

      Read more at AlzForum:

      http://www.alzforum.org/news/research-news/app-mice-losing-tau-solves-their-memory-problems

    3. Excitotoxicity is implicated in the pathogenesis of AD

      During the course of Alzheimer’s disease, excess stimulation can occur in neurons, causing problems in the brain (including seizures).

      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/813029

    4. Generation of neurotoxic tau fragments has also been implicated as a mechanism of Aβ toxicity (21). Tau-deficient primary neurons are resistant to Aβ-induced degeneration (3,22), apparently because Aβ toxicity in vitro involves production of a 17-kD tau fragment (21).

      Previous research has shown that fragments of abnormal tau are toxic and may also play a role in how toxic amyloid-β is to neurons. In fact, neurons lacking tau seem immune to damage by amyloid-β.

      This may be the reason why, in this study, the researchers found that the reduction of tau had improved memory, even though amyloid-β or plaque levels remained unchanged.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15930385

    5. Major AD-related phosphorylation sites in human tau are conserved in murine tau, including those phosphorylated by proline-directed kinases, such as glycon synthase kinase (GSK)–3β and cdk5, or by microtubule affinity–regulating kinase (MARK).

      Phosphorylation adds a phosphate group to a molecule. When proteins (like enzymes) are phophorylated, their function and activity changes.

      Abnormal tau that is more phosphorylated than normal is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

      In mice, tau is phosphorylated similarly to tau in humans, which makes comparisons feasible and simple.

    6. Increased exploratory locomotor activity is seen after entorhinal cortex lesions and may reflect deficits in spatial information processing (16); hAPP mice show similar hyperactivity

      Previous research has shown that damaging an area of the brain (the entorhinal cortex) that sits next to the hippocampus can make an animal hyperactive.

      Damage to the entorhinal cortex is common in Alzheimer’s disease. Using the same methodology as in previous studies, the authors therefore tested their mice for increased hyperactivity to see whether there was any evidence of damage to this brain area.

    7. interest in tau as a target has been muted, partly because tau pathology seems to occur downstream of Aβ

      Although the sequence of molecular events that causes Alzheimer's disease was and still is unclear, it is generally believed that, as a first step, amyloid-β proteins build up into plaques; then, abnormal tau proteins kill neurons and build up into tangles.

      Targeting plaques as a treatment therefore made sense, because, if successful, it would affect the disease earlier in the process of neural destruction.

    8. Treatments aimed at Aβ production, clearance, or aggregation are all in clinical trials

      When this paper was published in 2007, virtually all experimental treatments for Alzheimer’s disease targeted the amyloid-β proteins, either to stop their production, to help the brain get rid of them better, or to stop them from building up into plaques.

      The plaques formed from built-up amyloid-β were easy to see in tissue samples from Alzheimer’s patients and it seemed like an obvious target.

    1. consistent with our previous CTE case studies (20, 21) and could be readily differentiated from neuropathology associated with Alzheimer’s disease,

      Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a known risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia, and neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer's) later in life.

      However, the diagnosis of CTE in teenagers and young adults is important because they do not have some of the indicators of Alzheimer's disease. This suggests a different disease mechanism.

    1. southern range limits should have remained stable with increasing temperatures along species’ warm thermal limits

      As mentioned in the previous paragraph, most species have not experienced range declines in the southern parts of their ranges.

  8. Jul 2017
    1. The 1998 Act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier.[1] Copyright protection for works published before January 1, 1978, was increased by 20 years to a total of 95 years from their publication date.

      Confirms 1:25-1:47: "In 1998, Mickey Mouse was about enter the public domain. To stop that from happening, Disney and other companies lobbied Congress to extend the term of copyright by decades, just so they could retain ownership of him and other characters."

    2. The 1998 Act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier.[1] Copyright protection for works published before January 1, 1978, was increased by 20 years to a total of 95 years from their publication date.

      Sort of confirms 0:10-0:14 - "Back in the 20s, our copyright system worked the way it was supposed to. An artist who created a new work could claim the exclusive right to it for 56 years." The claims are off by 50 years.

    3. Under this Act, works made in 1923 or afterwards that were still protected by copyright in 1998 will not enter the public domain until 2019

      Confirms 2:00-2:13 - "Because of these laws, nothing has entered the public domain in years. In fact, nothing went into the public domain until 2019."

    4. Since 1990, The Walt Disney Company had lobbied for copyright extension.[9][10] The legalisation delayed the entry into the public domain of the earliest Mickey Mouse movies, leading detractors to the nickname "The Mickey Mouse Protection Act".[2]

      Confirms 1:25-1:47: "In 1998, Mickey Mouse was about enter the public domain. To stop that from happening, Disney and other companies lobbied Congress to extend the term of copyright by decades, just so they could retain ownership of him and other characters."

  9. Jun 2017
    1. C-fibers, unmyelinated afferents, are putatively involved in pleasurable touch in rodents (22)

      C-fibers are a subgroup of touch receptors that respond to gentle pleasant touch.

    2. because human imaging studies suggested this candidate region (9, 10)

      Scientists have previously used fMRI brain scans to determine which parts of the human brain showed increased activity during tickling.

  10. May 2017
    1. Many Labs replication projects

      Many Labs replication projects are studies in which multiple labs attempt to replicate the same effect. In this example, 36 teams of researchers from different countries attempted to replicate the same 13 effects, with more than 6000 participants.

      The data revealed that 10 effects could consistently be replicated, while one effect showed only weak support for replication and two effects could not be replicated successfully.

    2. There is plenty of concern (9–13) about the rate and predictors of reproducibility but limited evidence.

      Prahler and Wagenmakers (13) argue that doubts about the reproducibility of findings in psychology became increasingly critical after events such as the fraud case of Stapel in 2011, where fabricated and manipulated data resulted in numerous retractions of journal articles, or the debate around findings published by Bem in 2011, where claims that people had an ability to forsee the future were shown not to be replicable.

      The suspicion that researchers engaged in "questionable research practices"(QRPs) turned out to be more justified than the field had expected.

    3. Direct replication provides the opportunity to assess and improve reproducibility.

      Nosek and Lakens (7) argue in this editorial that registered reports are a partial solution to the problem of few incentives for researchers to conduct replications. A registered report is an article format, where a proposal for replication is peer-reviewed before data is collected, and the pre-registered report of the replication will be published no matter what the data shows.

    4. Direct replication

      Schmidt (8) argues that, although replication is critical for scientific progress, little systematic thought had been applied to how to go about replications.

      He suggests to differentiate direct replication (the repetition of an experimental procedure) and conceptual replication (the repeated test of a hypothesis or result using different methods).

      Moreover, he summarizes five main functions that replications serve: to control for sampling error, artifacts or fraud, to extend results to a larger or different populations and to check the assumptions earlier experiments made.

      Schmidt concludes that, although a scientific necessity, replications can be practically difficult to conduct, in particular because this type of work is not always easy to publish or highly regarded. Instead, he recommends that studies which include novel research questions could also include elements of replication of previous findings.

    5. Reproducibility is a core principle of scientific progress

      There are a number of scientists who argue for reproducibility from the perspective of philosophy of science, arguing that scientific theory and explanation require reproducibility to enable scientific progress.

    1. differences between reefs on Jamaica's north and south coasts were due to differences in hurricane frequency

      Hurricanes hit the southern coast of Jamaica more often than the northern coast, and scientists have previously thought that this may be the reason for the observed differences in coral communities.

      Differences include larger areas of dead coral and lower population densities of corals in certain reef zones on the southern coast.

    1. ZIKV-infected cells in neurospheres presented smooth membrane structures (SMS) (Fig. 3, B and F), similarly to those previously described in other cell types infected with dengue virus (17)

      Using in situ hybridization (labeling nucleic acids with probes) on sections of dengue-2 infected mosquito cells, Grief showed that in dengue-2 infected mosquito cells, the smooth membrane structures contained both viral RNA and virus particles.

      This suggests that the smooth membrane structures are important sites for the concentration of viral RNA and possibly for formation of the viral envelope.

    2. there is direct evidence that ZIKV is able to infect and cause death of neural stem cells

      Tang et al. obtained human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) from stem cells. They used a particular ZIKV strain that successfully infected hNPCs, and found that the infected cells released ZIKV particles.

      The growth of hNPCs was stunted, and an analysis of DNA content suggested that this attenuation might have been due to a disturbance in the cell cycle.

    3. ZIKV had also been detected within the brain of a microcephalic fetus

      Zika virus has also been detected in microcephalic fetuses.

      The Brazilian strain of the virus has been traced to an Asian strain.

    4. ZIKV has been described

      In several case studies of pregnant women diagnosed with fetal microcephaly, the women suffered from symptoms of infection with Zika virus.

      After miscarrying, ZIKAV RNA and antigens were detected in the placental tissues and the amniotic fluid of the microcephalic fetuses. The sequencing analysis of the virus genotype revealed a genotype of Asian origin.

      Read more case studies that made headlines:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3451984/Zika-cross-placenta-infect-unborn-babies-Traces-virus-amniotic-fluid-surrounding-two-fetuses-diagnosed-microcephaly.html

    5. Microcephaly is associated with decreased neuronal production as a consequence of proliferative defects and death of cortical progenitor cells

      The cerebral cortex (the outer layer of the brain) shows the most severe reduction in microcephaly. This might be explained by reduced division in the cells that neurons come from, resulting in fewer neurons. This, in turn, leads to a smaller cerebral cortex.

    1. Whereas previous work has studied the impact of receiving NIH funds on the productivity of awardees

      These articles show that receiving a grant for postdoctoral research leads to an increase in productivity.

    2. Existing research in this area has focused on understanding whether there is a correlation between good peer-review scores and successful research outcomes and yields mixed results

      In these articles, the authors found out that there was no link between higher ratings from the peer-review committee and the number of citations the article eventually got.

    3. Disagreement about what constitutes important research may introduce randomness into the process

      In this article, the authors showed that getting a research grant partially depends on chance. They reviewed the same proposals with different committees, who each gave different results.

    4. Peer-review committees

      The aim of the peer-review committees is to ensure research is high-quality and to encourage innovation. However, it has been shown that peer review committees can be undermined by various factors.

  11. Apr 2017
    1. To investigate possible thoracic contributions to blast-induced ICP transients,

      A common hypothesis for the way blast waves cause traumatic brain injury is that the pressure from the blast compresses the thorax (chest region) and part of the circulatory system. It is thought that this creates vascular pressure, which forces blood into the brain and increases intracranial pressure. This is known as the "water hammer effect."

    2. allowed free movement of the head and cervical spine to model typical conditions associated with military blast exposure

      The majority of previous studies did not allow free movement of the head during blast exposure in shock tubes. Because of this, these studies showed minimal or no brain injury from blast exposure, contributing to the long-held belief that blast exposure is not linked to brain injury.

      By allowing free movement of the head, the authors obtained results that proved otherwise, i.e., blast exposure can cause brain injury and have long-term neurological consequences.

    3. inferior frontal, dorsolateral frontal, parietal, and temporal cortices with predilection for sulcal depths

      The unique neuropathological lesion of CTE is an irregular accumulation of NFTs and glial tangles around the small blood vessels deep in the sulci (grooves) of the cortex.

    4. repetitive concussive injury

      Repetitive concussive injury means that the athlete had multiple reported concussions. Recent research suggests that repeated impacts to the head (but not necessarily concussions) are related to an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases including CTE.

      Thus, the number of head impacts, regardless of how many resulted in concussion, is a more accurate measure of risk of long-term neurological consequences, including CTE.

    1. decreased among those with a conservative worldview

      Between 2001 and 2016 in the United States, Republican concern about climate change decreased, while Democrats' concern increased. In 2001 there was a 29% gap between the two parties' concern; this gap increased to 44% by 2016.

    2. echo natural forms and patterns (ie., nonhuman animal and plant) in built environments

      Biophilic design of buildings includes facilitating actual contact with nature (for instance, access to natural light), using natural materials (such as wood), and representing nature through artwork. Like nature itself, biophilic design tends to be complex and dynamic, imitating elements such as water and vegetation. It provides natural patterns that humans have evolved to prefer, such as "prospect and refuge" or the ability to see others without being seen.

      Biophilic designs tend to support human health and well-being, productivity, and our sense of connection to nature.

    3. reconnecting with nature so that humans actually experience and develop a dynamic understanding of the world’s systems and human-environment interdependence

      It may take a lifetime, or longer, to develop Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), but it is possible to quite quickly reconnect oneself with surrounding natural systems. All that is required is time spent outside with some amount of intentional observation and appreciation for the nonhuman world.

    4. leaders who possess the prevailing modern-industrial worldview may only make their processes or products “less bad”

      Creating efficient systems is a critical goal of companies as it creates a larger margin of profit. Through this lens, an organizational leader might conclude that sustainability is about using resources like petroleum more efficiently. Though using less petroleum is better than the status quo, the efficiency mindset does not guide us to ask questions like "Is there a way to avoid using petroleum altogether?" This outside-of-the-box thinking facilitates the radical changes we need to make to our systems.

    5. requires nothing short of heroic effort

      Social pressure, whether real or perceived, keeps people from acting or speaking up even if they believe that something is terribly wrong. Social pressure can result from the rules—both written policies and unwritten norms—we develop as groups and pressure to conform to them.

      Diverging from group rules means potential rejection from the group. This means that people who act must be willing to experience the strong negative emotions associated with potential rejection (e.g., fear, embarrassment).

    6. empower their members to innovate, take risks, and take the long-term view together

      Van Velsor and Quinn identify three tasks of organizational leaders: communicate vision, or the direction the organization should go; align all of the different organizational activities toward the vision; and build member commitment to the vision.

      When a leader's vision includes sustainability, then it expands decision-making to include future generations and whole systems. Further, when leaders understand how drastically organizations have to change, and how complex and interdependent systems really are, they are likely to support innovations and new, untested ideas.

    7. organizations are currently significant contributors to worldwide environmental degradation

      Two examples of impacts created by business organizations:

      Industries ranging from construction to dry cleaning create significant amounts of toxic waste.

      In 2014, the United States Envrionmental Protection Agency estimated that the industrial sector of the economy contributes about 29% of greenhouse gasses. This means that the direct (e.g., chemical reactions during production) and indirect (e.g., using electricity, transporting goods) emissions linked to making the material goods that we use every day are the largest contributor to our carbon footprint.

    8. Organizational culture, by way of norms, values, policy, and leadership, powerfully influences individual members

      Organizational culture consists of the values, norms, stories, and symbols that help people understand "how things work around here" in any given organization.

      The fact that norms and values are linked to pro-environmental employee behavior is not surprising. What is surprising is that so little research is being done to replicate these findings to create a more robust literature on employee pro-environmental behavior.

      Inoue and Alfaro-Barrantes summarize 17 research articles in their review. Note: This is not very many articles for such an important topic. Ten of the articles focused on the impact of social norms. Fewer articles addressed values, organizations' work policies, and leadership. Yet, the findings for these cultural attributes do indicate that they affect employee pro-environmental behaviors.

    9. individuals need not only a sense of urgency about the issue, but also confidence that solutions are possible

      Very little research has been done specifically about the motivation to take political action about climate change. However, the few studies that have find results that are consistent with general motivation theories.

      Specifically, people have to believe the outcome is important—in this case, a climate that supports human life.

      The problem also has to seem solvable. If something can be done to improve the situation—in this case, if reducing greenhouse gasses will reduce climate change and its impacts—then people will be more likely to expend effort to do it.

    10. Alignment with social identity is critical

      Much of a person's identity, or sense of who she or he is, consists of their social connections (e.g., sibling) and roles (e.g., student). If a particular behavior threatens someone's identity as a member of a particular group, then she or he is likely to avoid it.

      For instance, if someone identifies with a group of friends that likes to keep up with fashion and regularly shops together to buy the latest styles, it may be hard to speak out publicly about or lead efforts to reduce material consumption.

    11. It takes even greater courage and perseverance to openly question the dominant worldview that forms the bedrock of cultural norms

      This statement has two important pieces. First, it refers to the dominant worldview, which is the way most people in developed nations think about how the world works: The world has plenty of resources, we as individuals can use resources as we please, and science and technology can fix things if we mess them up.

      Second, this statement refers to how difficult it is for people to say and do things that are different from what everyone else thinks and does. Recall that it was evolutionarily more adaptive to stick with the group than to venture out on one's own. Therefore, even when we learn that resources are limited and that technology often has unintended consequences for the planet, it is very hard to for us to speak up and challenge what other people are saying and doing.

    12. most people gravitate toward private, individual behavior and avoid potentially uncomfortable public advocacy and action

      Governments are not likely to take action on climate change unless citizens create public pressure to do so. Yet, public action about climate change has been relatively rare. Even when people know a lot about climate change and value a future free of negative consequences of a changing climate, they do not take public action. This inaction is often due to a belief that public actions won't make a difference.

    13. transforming systems requires individuals to participate in public dialogue and activism

      Many systems we rely on are inefficient or lead to consumptive behavior. For instance, most roads in the United States are designed exclusively for cars. To change road design so that it prioritizes buses, trains, bikes, and pedestrians requires that people show up and speak out at public hearings, city council meetings, and even demonstrations and protests that draw attention to issues.

    14. inspiring them to participate in collective efforts to change the larger systems and infrastructure

      Most of the psychological research on pro-environmental behavior focuses on personal-sphere behaviors such as recycling, composting, and whether you choose to take a bus or bike rather than drive a car to run errands. These are important individual choices, however, it means that individuals are constantly fighting against systems that make it easier to waste.

      Instead, individuals must work with groups, businesses, and governments to change the systems themselves to make it easy to recycle, compost, and bike to run errands. More research needs to be conducted to understand the difference between motivation to change personal-sphere and public-sphere behaviors.

    15. one study estimated that just 90 businesses have generated 63% of the cumulative, global greenhouse gas emissions

      Chevron and ExxonMobil, both United States–based companies, led the pack; each was responsible for over 3% of the global emissions between 1751–2010. The author of the study concluded that the largest emitters should take the lead in responding to climate change, including paying the costs for the poorest nations to adapt to the impacts.

    16. few resources exist to guide practitioners about when and how to apply specific psychological tools

      Quite a variety of tools can be employed to increase sustainable behavior. These include: education about the problem; prompts to help people remember; feedback about the effect of behavior changes; incentives to motivate people; creating social norms; and obtaining public commitments.

      Which tools will prove most useful depends on how high or low the relative barriers and benefits are.

      With a handful of exceptions (including this grid developed by Paul Wesley Schultz) there are few resources to help nonpsychologists decide which intervention matches their needs.

    17. effectiveness of a particular tool varies widely depending on what, and whose, behavior is at stake

      For instance, whether an activity such as taking public transit is considered challenging depends on if cost, comfort, and time are perceived as barriers or benefits. Two individuals with different thoughts—“I’ve already invested in a car and the bus ride takes too much time” versus “A bus pass is cheaper than owning a car and I gain time to read on the bus”—will respond differently to attempted interventions. Incentives such as a discounted bus pass and free wifi may entice people in the first case, whereas prompts may help people break old habits and build new ones in the second case.

    18. evolution favored cognitive efficiency

      It is a myth that the human brain has unlimited capacity. Though our brains are amazing and powerful, they are also specialized and limited.

      The world around us is filled with vast amounts of ever-changing data: colors, scents, movements, sizes, speeds—even the most powerful computer would have trouble keeping track of it all. The brain solves the problem of information overload by being very selective in how it allocates its mental resources. One channel of the brain, called "slow thinking" by Kahneman, is conscious and careful. The other channel, called "fast thinking," is very quick, efficient, and easy, but outside of conscious awareness and control. The fast channel gave early humans many advantages for survival because it responds so quickly and moves away from danger.

    19. human brains privilege that which supports their pre-existing worldview

      Political party has emerged as one of the most important determinants of worldview. All human beings have a tendency to seek out and prefer information that agrees with their worldview. Research shows that this contributes to the continuing partisan divide on climate change.

      Carmichael, Brulle and Huxster found tentative support for the idea that the media functions like an echo chamber, reinforcing already-existing beliefs. When people listen to something about climate change that they disagree with, it doesn't seem to change their minds. But if they hear something about climate change that aligns with what they already think, their beliefs become strengthened.

    20. Which norm exerts greater influence depends on their relative salience in a given situation

      One study investigated littering in a parking garage. Flyers were placed on the car windshields, and researchers observed whether participants threw their flyer on the ground. One group of participants was observed when the garage floor was already littered with flyers; a second group encountered a clean floor when they returned to their car. Overall, people littered more in an already littered garage, especially if they saw someone else litter.

      However, when the garage floor was clean, seeing someone else litter resulted in the least amount of littering—presumably because the litterer's behavior was more obviously wrong in a clean environment.

    21. acceptance by the group meant access to shared resources and protection

      Human ancestors lived in small groups and had few protections against risks such as predators and starvation. Working with group members who each contributed unique skills and knowledge made it possible to fight off aggressors and develop more reliable access to food. Being rejected by a group meant being on one's own, which substantially decreased chances of survival. The most successful ancestral humans learned strategies to help maintain group membership.

    22. creates a conflict with these deep-seated needs as it implies that all is not well with the status quo

      "System Justification Theory" is related to the "Just World Hypothesis" and helps explain why people avoid change. According to the theory, many people want to see our current social, economic, and political system as being fair and just. These systems provide our way of life; they are familiar and provide a sense of stability, certainty, and a measure of safety. Unfortunately, the way of life provided by the status quo also encourages a great deal of waste and environmental destruction. We unconsciously recognize this conflict, and so may be motivated to deny environmental problems because it is uncomfortable to face the idea that things need to change

    23. need for safety and security

      In the 1940s, psychologist Abraham Maslow suggested that people are motivated to do things that will fulfill a variety of human needs. The most basic needs are physiological, such as the need to eat and sleep. We also have a need to feel safe, be loved, to feel competent, and to become our best selves (e.g., a good parent, a kind neighbor).

      Though contemporary psychologists don't use Maslow's specific theory anymore, the idea that we engage in activities that fulfill basic needs is still a solid principle used to predict human motivation.

    24. human well-being depends on feeling competent, socially connected, and free to make choices

      Extensive research has identified why we are drawn to some activities and avoid others. We tend to demonstrate persistence, or "intrinsic motivation," when a task fulfills three needs: autonomy, which is the freedom to make choices; relatedness, which is a sense of being socially connected and accepted by others; and competence, which is the need to accomplish an action with grace and to achieve the desired outcome.

      When the situation gives us freedom to engage in pro-environmental behaviors of our own choosing—behaviors that take advantage of our specific skills and abilities and provide a platform for engaging with others—we are likely to maintain long-term, intrinsic motivation.

    25. a new behavior threatens psychological needs

      Trying a new activity may threaten our sense of competence, if it is extremely difficult and requires us to step outside of our comfort zone. Because of the unique and complicated challenges associated with solving climate change and other complex environmental problems, it is imperative that people have opportunities to learn and practice new tasks and activities in order to develop competence.

    26. opportunities for face-to-face communication

      Direct dialogue with others can increase our sense of connection—and thus responsibility to—others. And though you may not automatically think about it, communicating can happen with other species when we pause to listen to the song of the birds, the wind rustling the leaves of a tree, or the skittle of squirrels along the fenceline.

    27. strong social connections among community members

      Garett Hardin's description of The Tragedy of the Commons focused on a group of farmers sharing a common grazing area. If the farmers care about each other's well-being, they're less likely to exploit the resource and thus harm their friends and neighbors.

      Similarly, if humans felt more connected to each other, to other species, to people in other parts of the world, and to future generations, we might be less likely to keep acting from self-interest, and consider our responsibility to others' well-being.

    28. contradiction between self-interested behavior and what is ultimately best for the larger group

      In 1968, ecologist Garrett Hardin described The Tragedy of the Commons: A group of farmers graze their cows on a limited piece of common land. Each farmer will try to graze as many cows as possible, to maximize personal dairy and meat production. However, too many cows results in overgrazing, destroying the resource for the whole community—including each self-interested farmer.

      Solving this "commons dilemma" requires cooperation between the farmers, and a sense of personal responsibility to the group's future.

    29. long-term consequences are less motivating than consequences in the here and now

      Most people are aware that burning fossil fuels for virtually all of our daily conveniences (driving our cars, heating and air-conditioning our homes, and using our computers) is causing climate change. We're also aware that this will likely cause serious problems. But those problems seem far off; we tell ourselves, "It's not going to affect me—or at least, it won't any time soon." Consequently, these long-term problems don't motivate us to give up the more immediate pleasures and conveniences we enjoy.

    30. Humans evolved in a world where dangers were sudden and obvious, and thus our senses are ill-equipped to detect largely invisible and gradually worsening ecological problems such as climate change or species extinction.

      Our ancestors mostly had to worry about being eaten by a larger animal or invading tribes looking to take over one's land. Such clear and present dangers could mostly be dealt with by fleeing (running away) or fighting—perhaps you've heard of the "fight or flight" response to stress.

      When threats don't activate the alarm bells associated with visible, tangible, and personal threats, we have a harder time mobilizing a response.

    31. humans are poorly equipped to coordinate behavior for common benefit

      Our evolutionary heritage has caused human beings to put self-interest above the collective good. Van Vugt, Griskevicius, and Schulz say that this tendency to prioritize personal interest is part of a set of "stone age biases" in the human mind.

      Under certain circumstances, human beings are able to overcome this bias and work together to preserve a resource for the common good. For large-scale, global problems like climate change or loss of biodiversity, it is much more difficult to get many individuals to cooperate and coordinate for problem-solving and resource conservation that benefits the collective.

      A review by Dietz, Ostrom, and Stern summarizes adaptive tools that can be (and are being) employed for effective governance of global resources like oceans, clean freshwater, and the climate.

    32. change their behavior even under the most compelling of circumstances

      Many people will not change behavior until they experience a personal crisis, commonly known as "hitting bottom"—and even then, change is very difficult. Even smokers diagnosed with cancers and other serious diseases find it difficult to quit (see http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/01/23/10201507-many-keep-smoking-after-cancer-diagnosis?lite )

    33. increase anti-environmental behavior

      A review of prior work leads to a new way to frame research questions in Dickinson (2009). Within this proposed framework, the author points out that many people manage their anxiety about climate change by consuming; this could include going shopping, eating junk food, or gaming (i.e., using technology as a distraction). Though these activities may make us feel better in the short term, such actions don't help our situation—in fact, they make things worse.

    34. routinely fly to vacation destinations, drive solo, and keep their homes at a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22° Celsius)

      These behaviors burn a lot of fossil fuel. Researchers put together a list of the most effective changes a household can make to reduce their fossil fuel consumption. Topping the list of high–fossil fuel consuming behaviors was driving solo and space heating in the home.

      To read about the most effective changes a household can make, see the article in Environment Magazine: http://www.environmentmagazine.org/Archives/Back%20Issues/September-October%202008/gardner-stern-full.html

    35. nearly half of Americans are “concerned” or “alarmed” about global warming

      A group of researchers at the Yale Center for Climate Communication found that 45% of Americans are "alarmed" or "concerned" about climate change; these are the individuals most likely to join actions such as contacting elected officials on the issue.

      About a third of the survey respondents were in the middle of the scale, "cautious" or "disengaged;" these people haven't thought much about the issue or don't see it as having personal relevance.

      The remaining 21% were labelled "doubtful" and "dismissive," as they are skeptical and tend to oppose acting on climate change.

    36. human behavior is the root cause

      Particularly in the United States and other industrialized countries, people tend to overconsume and waste resources. For example, although less than 5% of the world's population lives in the United States, its citizens use more than 20% of the world's oil supply. Scientists have developed the "ecological footprint" to measure the rate at which people use resources compared to how rapidly nature can replenish the resources.

      You can calculate your "ecological footprint" at www.footprintnetwork.org

    37. Human beings in industrialized nations are so disconnected from the natural systems they depend on

      By some estimates, people in industrialized nations spend as much as 90% of their time indoors. This is also true for children, who tend to spend much more of their time using electronics than doing outdoor activities. In earlier times, people had to be outside and interacting with natural systems in order to meet their daily needs.

      These daily interactions with nature and ecosystems gave human beings a much deeper knowledge of them. Today, it is possible in industrialized nations to meet all needs without ever stepping a foot outdoors; food comes from the grocery store, water comes from the tap, and energy comes from the flick of a switch. It is difficult to truly understand how nature works, and how it provides for human needs, if one never interacts with it.

    38. Research affirms that engaging with nature improves both mental and physical well-being

      A substantial amount of recent research has examined how people react after being exposed to nature. Exposure ranges from seeing pictures of nature, the presence of plants and fresh air, to walking in nature. In some experimental projects participants are randomly assigned to walk along an urban path or a nature path. Results tend to show positive benefits such as being better able to pay attention or stress reduction.

    39. Valuable nature experiences do not require trips to “wild” nature

      Valuable nature experiences are those that help people understand that nature is integral to their lives. This helps people understand nature as something near and important rather than something far away that we might want to save if we have time and money.

      Experiencing nature with others such as friends and family, can be valuable for building shared values for it, and for strengthening social bonds.

    40. inspires efforts to protect and preserve landscapes and their inhabitants

      Having a deep understanding of nature, and feeling a connection to it, leads to a sense of responsibility toward the natural world. We humans protect the things we know and care about.

      Human beings have a huge capacity for empathy, and our efforts to protect nature often arise from feelings of empathy toward the animals that inhabit natural spaces. Zoos provide an important opportunity for people to learn about and feel a connection to wild animals.

    41. relies heavily on experiential information

      Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) is developed over long periods of time and passed along from generation to generation through oral teachings, demonstrations, stories, and rituals. People in indigenous cultures attend carefully to current weather, land, and water conditions and compare them to what is known about the long history of the local environment.

      TEK tends to be based on qualitative observations and attention to complexity and change, instead of quantitative measurements and experimentation.

      TEK has been related to effective environmental management strategies (e.g., controlling deforestation and maintaining biodiversity of ecosystems) and is increasingly being used to inform how environmental policy is developed.

    42. they do not know what they do not know

      Each generation of humans thinks that the natural environment they experience as children is normal. Over time, however, humans have degraded our environment so that what is now perceived as normal is not as rich and healthy as it used to be. This is called "environmental generational amnesia."

      For instance, children who live in polluted cities may understand the problem of pollution in general, yet don't think their own air or water was polluted since they don't have any other experience for comparison.

    43. educate the public about negative social influence and provide individuals with the psychological tools to act with moral courage

      If people are aware of the power of social influence, they are better able to resist its negative influence. It can take a great deal of courage to resist social pressure; the first step in achieving that courage is to be able to identify situations where social influence, such as conformity, the bystander effect, or obedience, could lead to unethical or immoral consequences.

    44. people in leadership roles are arguably best positioned to activate a major shift toward sustainability

      Leaders draw power from being an expert, being liked, and being able to dole out rewards and punishments. The more power a person holds, the more able they are to "get away" with behavior that falls outside the norm. Therefore, leaders are better positioned to speak up about changing how an organization does things.

      Learn more at National Public Radio's TED Radio Hour: http://www.npr.org/2017/04/07/522857511/adam-galinksy-what-drives-us-to-speak-up

    45. Psychologists do not yet know why some are willing or able to take a bold stand for change in the same situations that drive others to support the status quo or to simply withdraw

      One of the most consistent themes in research and theory about motivation is that we're more motivated to act when behavior is consistent with group norms and we think others will approve. So, what does it take to override this strong motivator?

      Philip Zimbardo has spent his whole career studying people who are willing to strike out against what everyone else is doing. He has yet to discover an easy answer.

      However, he has developed training programs to help people, especially kids, practice doing good things even when it is not what everyone else is doing. The point is to build a "thick skin" and not be afraid of rejection.

    46. many religions elevate the value of humans over other beings

      This observation was made in a 1967 Science article written by Lynn White, Jr. He specifically criticized Christianity for placing humans above ecosystems and encouraging environmental destruction.

    47. A “green” organizational culture effectively relieves individuals from the effortful thinking required to recognize and respond in sustainable ways

      Once people become familiar with the organization's values that define "how we do things around here," many everyday behaviors become automatic.

      When people do not have to fight against cultural norms, they can freely share ideas without fear of rejection or losing others' respect.

      When policies reflect "green" or sustainable values, then individuals do not have to decide between following the rules and following what they believe.

    48. Evidence suggests that political activism about conservation, like many behaviors, requires the belief that political action is necessary, influences others, and can actually change environmental outcomes

      Psychologists have been studying motivation for many decades. The theories they develop can be very helpful for diagnosing why people are not motivated in some situations, but are motivated in others.

      Common characteristics of motivation theories are:

      1. Valued outcomes. People have to desire the outcomes that are at stake.
      2. Self-efficacy. People have to believe they are able to accomplish the behavior at hand.
      3. Connection between actions and outcomes. People need to believe that the work they do will actually lead to the desired outcome.
    49. people understand just how many others acknowledge its reality and are concerned about it

      Most work on this topic is correlational, meaning we can't make conclusions about which variable is the cause and which is the effect. Geiger and Swim's research is some of the first experimental evidence that manipulating peoples' notions about the opinion of others changes their willingness to speak up about a controversial but important issue.

    50. People tend to underestimate how many others share their opinion, which hampers willingness to be vocal

      Psychologists call this "pluralistic ignorance." Research has found this same pattern of misunderstanding when it comes to many different kinds of opinions and attitudes. For instance, it occurs when people are asked about drinking on college campuses and about racial segregation. Although the vast majority reject excessive drinking and segregation, individuals underestimate how many others share those beliefs.

    51. belief that others disagree about the issue

      Social approval is a key feature to most theories about human motivation. Prior research shows that people keep from speaking up because they don't want to be disliked. Other studies have found that self-silencing is explained by the desire not to lose people's respect.

      One study experimentally compared these two explanations, discovering that people seem to self-silence because they do not want to appear incompetent and lose the respect of others. Thus, in situations when others are likely to agree with us, this risk is reduced.

    52. provide important insights for facilitating involvement in such systems-level change

      New work attempts to synthesize ideas from a variety of social sciences including political science, psychology, and sociology, that converge on why people participate in collective action to make political change. Each social science has its own theories, assumptions, terminology, and methods for collecting data.

      Four themes have been identified from these diverse disciplines that predict getting politically involved:

      1. individuals' identities, especially their group affiliations
      2. agency, or the belief that oneself or one's group will be able to make a difference through their activism
      3. anger
      4. values, and the desire to protect those values

      These themes now need to be scientifically tested.

    53. much broader impacts than will individual efforts

      Individuals can make a difference by adjusting their lifestyles and their household behaviors; however, the impact of these changes tends to be small because they are limited to the options available through the systems around us. These systems, such as the way we grow food, the way we produce energy and goods, and our transportation system, tightly constrain and shape individual actions.

    54. five-step community-level approach that matches appropriate tools of change to the exact barriers, both physical and psychological, that inhibit a specific sustainable action

      The five-step process of Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM):

      1. Identify and select environmentally high-impact behaviors to promote.
      2. Identify the perceived benefits of, and barriers to, action.
      3. Design interventions that effectively decrease barriers to the target behavior and/or increase the benefits of it.
      4. Try out the intervention on a small group first.
      5. Launch the program within the broader target community and evaluate its effectiveness.
    55. climate science data have accumulated

      Climate change is no longer a distant, abstract threat. Scientists have clear and growing evidence that the earth is warming, and that it is caused by human behavior such as the burning of fossil fuels. Individuals all over the planet are also noticing the effects of climate change in the form of extreme storms and rainfall, floods, sea level rise, drought, heatwaves, and warmer winter temperatures.

      Climate change is not only causing strange weather. Scientists have recorded alterations in different organisms that they trace to climate change. For example, some plants are budding and flowering earlier in the spring, and some animals have changed in average size.

      Explore more of this accumulated evidence in Science: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6313/aaf7671.full

    56. followers of conservative parties showing far lower concern for the issue than supporters of liberal parties

      A survey conducted in 2015 found that, in the United States, 68% of Democrats but only 20% of Republicans agreed that climate change "is a very serious problem."

      A similar pattern was found in Germany, Australia, and Canada. In each of these countries, members of left-of-center parties were more likely to agree that "climate change will harm me personally" than members of right-of-center (or conservative) parties.

    57. evident in the anger and antipathy between those who embrace the scientific consensus on climate change and its skeptics

      Researchers looked at the differences between groups of climate change "believers" and climate change "skeptics." They suggest that opinion on climate change has become a strong group affiliation marker, such that individuals think of others as part of their in-group if they hold the same opinion of climate change. In addition, part of the in-group identity of climate change skeptics is anger toward climate change believers.

    58. Whether particular social norms are relevant to an individual depends on that person’s group affiliations

      Social norms only exist if they are shared with others, and they are most easily shared and communicated among groups of individuals who hold a common identity. This means that if you consider yourself an environmentalist, you will pay attention to what other environmentalists do and approve of. On the other hand, those who absolutely do not consider themselves environmentalists are unlikely to behave according to environmentalist-specific norms, even if those norms are obvious and clear.

    59. intense feelings of discomfort, embarrassment, or shame

      People generally like to fit in with their social groups. Doing something out of the norm, or that we think respected others will disapprove of, is very uncomfortable.

    60. Concerns about social inclusion are undoubtedly rooted in the evolutionary past

      When we hear about evolution by natural selection, we tend to think of morphological features (such as opposable thumbs). But in a similar vein, psychological tendencies (such as the desire to be part of a group) have often passed from generation to generation because they have allowed us to successfully adapt to our environment. Because of their deep roots in our brain development, these psychological traits are very hard for us to modify.

    61. individuals greatly underestimate the extent to which their behavior is subject to social influence

      Many of the actions we take and the decisions we make are heavily influenced by social norms and social signals from others around us, but we rarely recognize this. Instead, we believe that we are independent-minded and not susceptible to what other people approve of and do. If you think about it, however, you probably recognize times you have done something because you felt social pressure. Social influence often leads us to do things we later regret.

      In his book Influence, Cialdini describes scenarios where people fall prey to social influence without realizing it.

    62. especially if they have little hope that action will make a difference

      The most impactful messages about climate change present realistic information about the threat combined with suggestions for what individuals can do to effectively combat it.

    63. a desire to see the world as a stable and just place

      "You get what you deserve" is an example of a belief associated with the "Just-World Hypothesis" (sometimes known as the Just-World Theory). People want to believe that there is an underlying morality or fairness in the universe; information that contradicts that belief can cause discomfort or denial.

    64. effectively missing in large-scale environmental commons dilemmas such as global climate change

      The "social dilemma" of global climate change results from millions of people acting from self-interest: driving cars, flying to vacation destinations, and eating meat (the production of which creates methane, a very potent greenhouse gas). It is hard for people to give up such luxuries, especially when it isn't clear that doing so would solve the problem, or benefit them and their loved ones in the long run.

      Can you think of ways to encourage people to feel more personally responsible for longer-term, group benefit?

    65. Without a tangible sensory signal and attendant emotional jolt, these problems feel psychologically distant and do little to move us to action

      Just like the fable of the frog who will jump out of a pot of very hot water if suddenly thrown in, but who will allow itself to be boiled to death if placed in a very slowly heating pot, people are not built to notice slowly developing problems like a changing climate.

    66. significant positive correlation between feeling connected to nature and ecologically responsible behavior

      In one study of undergraduates in Eugene, Oregon, differences in "environmental attitude" and "connectedness to nature" accounted for 36% of the variance in students' "environmental behavior," and these two factors were significantly positively correlated with sustainable behavior. Interestingly, personality differences accounted for very little of the differences in the student behavior.

      When people have positive feelings and thoughts toward the natural world (e.g., other animals, forests, coastlines), they typically also have a sense of moral obligation to protect these beloved creatures and places. Such people are less likely to litter, more likely to recycle, and typically use fewer resources.

    67. evolutionary origins of human behavior

      Evolutionary psychology focuses on how the human brain and behavior have adapted to environmental conditions. The benefit of this approach to psychology is setting up logical predictions based on what would be most adaptive for humans. Researchers can then test these predictions.

      Read more at Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/in-defense-of-evolutionary-psycholo-09-08-26/

    68. kind of urgency that motivates individuals to act

      Humans are predisposed to respond to threats that are intentional, personal, and happening here and now.