Current Degrees East News and Events

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Reimagined US-Middle East strategy would lean less on arms sales, more on dev't/governance
US policies in the Middle East need to be rethought, according to a new RAND Corporation report. If policymakers were to pursue an alternative strategy outlined by RAND researchers, they would rebalance America's support by prioritizing non-security investments in development and improved governance, which could enhance regional stability. (2021-02-23)

CDDEP report highlights tremendous burden from infectious diseases in SEAR countries
Washington, DC / New Delhi, India - Researchers at CDDEP, in collaboration with leading experts in the field, have produced the ''Infectious Diseases in the South-East Asia Region'' report, which examines cross-boundary challenges in communicable disease control in countries in the South-and South-East Asia region. The report emphasizes infectious diseases related to other sources of disease burden in the region and communicates overall trends in the health and economic burden they impose. (2021-02-23)

Dozens of new lichen species discovered in East African mountain forests
The species diversity and relationships of lichens in the genus Leptogium, which are often very difficult to identify to species, were assessed on the basis of DNA analyses using a large dataset collected during more than 10 years from East Africa. (2021-02-22)

Genomic insights into the origin of pre-historic populations in East Asia
East Asia today harbours more than a fifth of the world's population and some of the most deeply branching modern human lineages outside of Africa. However, its genetic diversity and deep population history remain poorly understood relative to many other parts of the world. In a new study, a team of international researchers analyzes genome-wide data for 166 ancient individuals spanning 8,000 years and 46 present-day groups, and provides insights into the formation of East Asian populations. (2021-02-22)

Northern Hemisphere cold surges result of Arctic and tropical Pacific synergistic effects
A case study on China's 2020-21 winter could help predict future extreme winter weather. (2021-02-19)

Increasing temperatures will hit meat and milk production in East Africa
Heat stress will detrimentally impact future livestock production in East Africa without urgent adaptation measures. (2021-02-18)

Poor swelter as urban areas of U.S. Southwest get hotter
As climate change accelerates, low-income districts in the Southwestern United States are 4 to 7 degrees hotter in Fahrenheit -- on average -- than wealthy neighborhoods in the same metro regions. (2021-02-18)

Scientists of Kemerovo State University have developed a technology for creating in vitro root
Scientists of Kemerovo State University have developed a technology for creating in vitro root cultures with a high content of biologically active substances. (2021-02-16)

Challenge of the summer rainfall forecast skill in China: A possible solution
The Mongolian Cyclone is a major meteorological driving force across southeast Asia. This cyclone is known for transporting aerosols, affecting where precipitation develops. Meteorologists are seeking ways to improve seasonal prediction of the relationship between the Mongolian cyclone and South Asia high. These features are major components of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and the corresponding heavy rain events. New research suggests that analyzing these phenomena in the upper-level atmosphere will enhance the summer rainfall forecast skill in China. (2021-02-16)

Limiting warming to 2 C requires emissions reductions 80% above Paris Agreement targets
Even if all countries meet their Paris Agreement goals for reducing emissions, Earth has only a 5% chance of staying below 2 C warming this century, a 2017 study showed. But reductions about 80% more ambitious, or an average of 1.8% drop in emissions per year rather than 1% per year, would be enough to meet the agreement's stated goal, analysis shows. (2021-02-09)

Rare blast's remains discovered in Milky Way's center
Astronomers may have found our Galaxy's first example of an unusual kind of stellar explosion. This discovery, made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, adds to the understanding of how some stars shatter and seed the universe with elements critical for life on Earth. (2021-02-08)

Radiative cooling and solar heating from one system, no electricity needed
A University at Buffalo-led study published Feb. 8 in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science describes a new technology that provides both radiative cooling and solar heating, all is one system and without using electricity or fuel. It could help impoverished communities, reduce cooling and heating costs, lower CO2 emissions (2021-02-08)

Huge methane emission rise follows extreme rainfall in East Africa
Recent heavy rainfall in East Africa has led to substantially larger seasonal emissions of a potent greenhouse gas, new research shows. (2021-02-03)

Latest review shows intensive care mortality from COVID-19 continued to fall in 2020, but improvement is slowing
A meta-analysis of global studies published in Anaesthesia (a journal of the Association of Anaesthetists) shows that intensive care morality from COVID-19 has continued to fall since the start of the pandemic, but the improvement is slowing and may have plateaued. (2021-02-01)

Growth of northern Tibet proved the key to East Asian biodiversity
In a recent study, a joint research team led by scientists from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Bristol (UK) and the Open University (UK) has revealed the first direct mechanism explaining how the growth of mountains in Northern Tibet drastically altered climate, vegetation and plant diversity in East Asia. (2021-01-27)

Tungsten-substituted vanadium oxide breathes fresh air into catalyst technology
Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have created a new tungsten-substituted vanadium oxide catalyst for breaking down harmful nitrogen oxides in industrial exhaust. Their new catalyst material works at lower temperatures and does not suffer major drops in performance when processing ''wet'' exhaust, resolving a major drawback in conventional vanadium oxide catalysts. They found that the unaggregated dispersal of atomic tungsten in the original crystal structure plays a key role in how it functions. (2021-01-26)

Genetic rewiring behind spectacular evolutionary explosion in East Africa
Genetic rewiring could have driven an evolutionary explosion in the shapes, sizes and adaptations of cichlid fish, in East Africa's answer to Darwin's Galapagos finches. (2021-01-19)

Intertropical Convergence Zone limits climate predictions in the tropical Atlantic
The strongest climate fluctuation on time scales of a few years is the so-called El NiƱo phenomenon, which originates in the Pacific. A similar circulation pattern exists in the Atlantic, which scientists under the leadership of GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel have studied in more detail. Their results, now published in the international journal Nature Communications, contribute to a better understanding of this climate fluctuation and pose a challenge for prediction models. (2021-01-15)

Earth to reach temperature tipping point in next 20 to 30 years, new NAU study finds
Postdoc Katharyn Duffy led an international team that looked at 20 years of data from throughout the world and found that record-breaking temperatures are contributing to a significant decrease in plants' ability to absorb human-caused carbon emissions. (2021-01-13)

BAME parliamentary candidates not picked to fight 'winnable seats' in areas with less tolerance towa
Political parties are increasingly likely to avoid selecting ethnic minority candidates for 'winnable' constituencies at General Elections in areas where there are less tolerant attitudes toward diversity, research suggests. (2021-01-11)

'Swiss Army knife' catalyst can make natural gas burn cleaner
'Swiss Army knife' catalyst can bring the combustion temperature of methane down by about half - from above 1400 degrees Kelvin down to 600 to 700 degrees Kelvin. (2021-01-11)

Insights into the Yellowstone hotspot
The Yellowstone hotspot is well known for generating supereruptions in the geologic past that are far more explosive than historic examples. The origin and sustained longevity of the hotspot is less understood but is focused on two competing models, where the ascent of hot mantle is derived from either a deep-seated mantle plume or a shallow mantle source. (2021-01-07)

Catalyst transforms plastic waste to valuable ingredients at low temperature
For the first time, researchers have used a novel catalyst process to recycle a type of plastic found in everything from grocery bags and food packaging to toys and electronics into liquid fuels and wax. (2021-01-05)

Heat treatment may make chemotherapy more effective
The study, published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry B, found that ''loading'' a chemotherapy drug on to tiny magnetic particles that can heat up the cancer cells at the same time as delivering the drug to them was up to 34% more effective at destroying the cancer cells than the chemotherapy drug without added heat. (2021-01-05)

Weedy Seadragon genomics reveal highly distinct populations
To describe weedy seadragons as unique is an understatement. With a fused, elongated jaw, body armour, leafy appendages and no pelvic fins, these fish are like no other. Found only along Australia's temperate coast, numbers have been declining. Now a landmark study using genomics reveals four distinct populations in south-eastern Australia. The research team recommends these populations be managed separately. (2020-12-23)

Deep, slow-slip action may direct largest earthquakes and their tsunamis
Megathrust earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis that originate in subduction zones like Cascadia -- Vancouver Island, Canada, to northern California -- are some of the most severe natural disasters in the world. Now a team of geoscientists thinks the key to understanding some of these destructive events may lie in the deep, gradual slow-slip behaviors beneath the subduction zones. This information might help in planning for future earthquakes in the area. (2020-12-21)

Infrastructure key to balancing climate and economic goals in developing countries
Developing nations have an opportunity to avoid long-term dependence on fossil fuel-burning infrastructure as they move toward economic stability, even if they are slow to cut carbon emissions, say the authors of a new paper. Countries with low per capita incomes can keep their contributions to global warming to 0.3 degrees Celsius with careful foresight and planning, urge Carnegie's Lei Duan and Ken Caldeira with Juan Moreno-Cruz of the University of Waterloo. (2020-12-16)

Secret of Australia's volcanoes revealed
New research from the University of Sydney proposes a theory that explains not only Australia's volcanic coast, but provides a framework for other incidences of intraplate volcanism in China, the US and the Caribbean. (2020-12-16)

Physicians say non-contact infrared thermometers fall short as COVID-19 screeners
While a fever is one of the most common symptoms for people who get sick with COVID-19, taking one's temperature is a poor means of screening who is infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease, and more importantly, who might be contagious. (2020-12-15)

Last Interglacial: warming amplified in mountain environments
Speleothems turned out to be a great stroke of luck: dripstones from two caves in the Swiss Alps provide for the first time a continuous reconstruction of temperatures during the Last Interglacial period. Paul Wilcox from the Department of Geology has now published a study showing that high alpine regions were affected by stronger temperature increases than lower altitudes. (2020-12-11)

The climate changed rapidly alongside sea ice decline in the north
Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen have, in collaboration with Norwegian researchers in the ERC Synergy project, ICE2ICE, shown that abrupt climate change occurred as a result of widespread decrease of sea ice. This scientific breakthrough concludes a long-lasting debate on the mechanisms causing abrupt climate change during the glacial period. It also documents that the cause of the swiftness and extent of sudden climate change must be found in the oceans. (2020-12-04)

Red Sea turtle hatchlings are feeling the heat
The balance of the sexes in marine turtle hatchlings may be disrupted by high sand temperatures at nesting sites around the Red Sea. (2020-12-03)

Climate change warms groundwater in Bavaria
Groundwater reservoirs in Bavaria have warmed considerably over the past few decades. A new study by researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) compares temperatures at 35 measuring stations, taken at different depths, with data from the 1990s. Water found at a depth of 20 metres was almost one degree warmer on average than 30 years ago. The findings were published in the journal 'Frontiers in Earth Science'. (2020-12-01)

How 'smell training' could help overcome post-viral smell distortions
Smell loss is a prominent symptom of Covid-19 and the pandemic is leaving many people with long-term smell loss or smell distortions such as parosmia. Parosmia happens when people experience strange and often unpleasant smell distortions. Instead of smelling lemon you may smell petrol. New research shows that parosmia is associated with a recovery of smell performance among patients who undergo 'smell training' (sniffing at least four different odours twice a day every day for several months). (2020-11-30)

Tipping point for the climate can already be a reality in East Asia
The climate in inner East Asia may already have reached a tipping point, where recent years' transition to abnormally hot and dry summers can be irreversible. This is the finding of a new international study by researchers at University of Gothenburg now published in Science. (2020-11-30)

How stable is the Antarctic ice sheet?
As temperatures rise due to climate change, the melting of polar ice sheets is accelerating. An international team of scientists led by researchers from Heidelberg University has now examined the dynamics of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet more closely using deep-sea sediments dating back approximately 2.5 million years. Their results indicate that, in a constantly warming climate, the ice masses of East Antarctica could be much less stable than previously thought. (2020-11-27)

Tree rings capture an abrupt irreversible shift in east Asia's climate
The abrupt shift to hotter and drier conditions over inner East Asia is unprecedented and may herald an irreversible shift to a new climate regime for the region, according to a new study. (2020-11-26)

Climate change presents new challenges for the drinking water supply
Rising temperatures in Germany's largest drinking water reservoir present new challenges for the drinking water supply. According to a group of UFZ researchers, the impacts of this increase can be alleviated by mitigating climate change and applying new management strategies. (2020-11-23)

Big cats and small dogs: solving the mystery of canine distemper in wild tigers
Canine distemper virus (CDV) causes a serious disease in domestic dogs, and also infects other carnivores, including threatened species like the Amur tiger. It is often assumed that domestic dogs are the primary source of CDV, but in a new Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study found that other local wildlife was the primary source of CDV transmission to tigers instead. (2020-11-23)

Extremely rare parasitic crustacean discovered in museum shark collection
Scientists have discovered an extremely rare species of cymothoid from the mouth of a museum specimen of a deep-sea shark caught from the East China Sea, suggesting its wide distribution around the globe. (2020-11-17)

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