Solar heating versus greenhouse gas
Solar Heating versus greenhouse gas
Global warming, caused by natural variations in the Sun's intensity, has been shown to affect patterns and distribution of rainfall in a way that is different from that caused by greenhouse gases. This could have implications for climate models based on past, natural solar forcing data. And could explain why some climate change predictions are so chaotic.
(Photo credit: Thunderclouds © Paul Donald)
Human Brain Project
This week the European Commission has officially announced the selection of the Human Brain Project (HBP) as one of its Flagship science projects. The project is planned to last 10 years and cost over $1.5 billion. For that money we are promised a whole new way to study the brain, how diseases and drugs affect it, and how this mysterious organ works.
Microbes in the gut affect the incidence of severe malnutrition
A form of severe acute malnutrition - Kwashiorkor - affects many children in the developing world. It's characterised by wasting and a swollen belly, and is thought to be caused by, not just not enough food, but not enough protein. Kwashiorkor affects many children in Malawi in Africa. A study of twins, both identical and fraternal show that feeding supplemental protein-rich food only has a long-lasting positive effect on some of the children. It turns out that the ones who fail to recover properly have underdeveloped gut microbes. It could mean that a treatment including a probiotic of good gut microbes could help.