Wolves: The Protectors of Rivers

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We Love Animals make a fascinating point that wolves (in this case Yellowstone National Park) help to contain the dispersion of water in rivers by regulating the population of deer and other familiar prey which feed on vegetation. In the headlines to their video, they prime you that 14 wolves were released in a park within Yellowstone in 1995 and were able to see how their return and presence in their natural environment sparked the means for the land and rivers to stabilize. Check out this video to see how important they are in the whole trophic cascade of life on our amazing planet.

Whilst wolves play a massive part in keeping the river clean and dispersed, it’s also important that other people get an honorable mention too. It’s not just the predators of the Yellowstone National Park that keep the river clean and flowing efficiently. Due to the ever-increasing population of animals that feed on the vegetation in the park, it’s essential that they are controlled and regulated with the help of hunters. Both hunters and wolves can control the population of these animals. For hunters, this can be for recreational sport. By using air rifles or crossbows during the hunting season, hunters can keep the vegetation growing steadily without being eaten by these animals. For any hunters interested in visiting the Yellowstone National Park, it’s advised that they bring their own hunting equipment. If they need to purchase one beforehand, there are rifle and crossbow reviews available on Outdoor Empire, for example. That can help hunters find the best hunting equipment to ensure the population of deer, and other similar animals, are regulated in this ecosystem.

Both wolves and hunters can help to control the dispersion of water by managing the population of deer and other animals that eat the vegetation. By reducing the number of animals that eat the vegetation, rainwater will get absorbed into the ground, instead of flowing straight into the river and disrupting the natural dispersion of the water.

Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

pioppino_mushroomsPaul Stamets of British Columbia is a mycologist who has discovered some fascinating results in his research on the fungi we call mushrooms!

Pioppino mushrooms have been shown to induce tumor regression, reversing cancer in lab mice. Oddly enough, this same species also controlled blood sugar in diabetic mice.

There are mushrooms which can clean up the oil from oil spills, beehive-like Agarikon dangles that can provide a defense against weaponized smallpox. It is amazing to think about what potential tools we can find to reverse the damage we’ve done to the planet and they are all naturally occurring in nature.

Some types of mushrooms can even be used to help people to manage mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Psilocybin, the active ingredient found in magic mushrooms, or shrooms, is a powerful psychedelic that is being investigated for its potential medical benefits. Psilocybin is a psychedelic tryptamine.

These types of chemicals have a structure very similar to the structure of serotonin, a chemical messenger with important roles in the brain and digestive system. Because of this similarity, psilocybin can bind to receptors in the brain that are meant for serotonin. This binding and activation of serotonin receptor sites therefore correlates with the manifestation of psychedelic effects.

Correspondingly, it is thought that psilocybin works by suppressing parts of the brain that filter out information from the senses. This causes more sensory information to reach conscious levels of thought, causing hallucinogenic effects and changes in perception. You can learn more about the potential health benefits of magic mushrooms by doing some research into shrooms online.

Stamets also has written a book, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. He believes that these particular mushrooms can serve as revolutionary tools in the fields of medicine, forestry, pesticides and pollution control. To find out more information check out this link to a full article with Stamets.

3 New SeaDrones: Explorer, Inspector & Developer

screenshot_20161118-030546(Above) The three types of SeaDrones developed by SeaDronePro. (Below) SeaDrone live in Baja, California.

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Aquaculture makes for a significant portion of the world’s diet. Fish farms have to be attended to however and up until this point it was a matter of diving to inspect, surface, take notes on paper (probably waterproof) and then those would be transcribed. All in all, a longer process with more resources than necessary expended. These drones are capable of inspecting nets, moorings and monitoring fish farms. There are 3 types each run from around $3000 to $4000 to purchase.

Check out SeaDronePro‘s website for in-depth videos on what they’ve got brewing!

Plastic-eating Worms

As it is Halloween, I thought this would be a suitable post to share on Clean Earth Future:

worms_news(Above) Plastic-eating mealworms which Stanford researchers have found to be a potential solution to the mounting of waste.

An ongoing study by Stanford engineers, in collaboration with researchers in China, shows that common mealworms can safely biodegrade various types of plastic.