Climate Change Could Hit Point of No Return by 2035

London, Sep 1 (Prensa Latina) Earth could go through a point of no return by 2035 if governments do not act decisively when it comes to fighting climate change, warns a study published in the Earth System Dynamics magazine.

Scientists at the University of Oxford say it would be unlikely to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius by 2100 and consider that the deadline to reduce it to 1.5 degrees has already passed, unless radical climate action is taken.

The researchers wanted to find the last possible year to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions before it is too late.

In this regard, the concept of point of no return has the advantage of containing useful temporary information to report about the urgency of taking climate measures, says Matthias Aengenheyster, the study's lead author.

Through the use of information on climate models, the team determined the deadline to initiate actions, in order to keep global warming likely (with a probability of 67 percent) below two degrees Celsius by 2100.

This depends on how fast humanity can reduce emissions with the use of more renewable energy.

According to experts, the point of no return has already been exceeded for the most modest climate action scenario, where the proportion of renewable resources increases by two percent each year.

However, they consider that the elimination of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, through the use of negative emission technology, could give the Earth a little more time: between six and 10 years.

  • Published in World

Local Albahaca Herb for Health

The local Albahaca is a bush that can reach a meter high with many wide and aromatic leaves which are often used in the Italian cook and It has small flowers of lilac, white and read colors.

It is about medicinal plant, which is also locally known as Alhábega, Alfábega, Basílica and Hierba real. It is useful to make a homemade cure for cough and sort throat. Its scientific name is Ocimumbasilicum.

That plant usually gets the direct sunray and it can be planted in well-drained flowerpots which do not accumulate water, but it needs it could be watered regularly and planted in flowerpots and well-fertilized plots of lands. It does not usually stand excessive coldness or heat. It does not resist many related harvests; therefore, it is necessary to plant it again.

Its leaves have an intense green color with many medicinal and cooking properties and it has a smell that makes people to feel happy. These are some the reasons by which the Albahaca plant should not be absent from the ecological and urban garden.

Local Albahaca Herb for Health

It grows easily in courtyards and gardens and the treatment against cough, phlegm, wound-scar formation, stomach disorders, lack of appetite, gases, soar throat, tonsillitis, snore disorders while sleeping, as well as nauseas, colics, anxiety, migraine and the beat of insects, are among its properties.

Its properties include its antispasmodic, digestive, anti-bacteria, fungicidal, insecticide, astringent, cicatrizant, stimulating and inflammatory reactions.

The leaves and stalks of this plant are the parts used of it to season potato omelets, meat soups, fish, chickens, salads, stuffed dishes, as well as sauces, sweets and liquors.The Albahaca plant can be perfectly combined with dishes which include tomate, olive oil, lemon, read meats, pastry and cheeses.

It is plant for an annual harvest and it comes from India and it certainly combines well with many foods like the tomato, aromatic plants like oregano, garlic and onions.

That plant prefers the warm environments and it does not stad the extreme cold. Its ideal temperature ranges from 15 to 25 Centigrade graded and it requires a fertile and fresh soil, besides, it survives well in an illuminated environment. However, it tolerates a semi-shadow one.

Although its most fruitful sowing process takes place in seedbeds, it could also be carried out in soil or in a flowerpot by burying its seeds up to 2 centimeters deep.

Local Albahaca Herb for Health

The most proper time for it is from February to April in humid land, then it is convenient provide them a higher quantity of light after 15 days, approximately.

Its proximity to other plants will keep it far from insects and plagues, especially the tomatoes which are also favored by it because of it protect them from parasites and it increases their flavors. It is much better to plant the aforementioned plant in places sheltered from the wind, taking into account that its branches are easily broken when there is an intense wind.

It is convenient to prune them every two weeks to secure a strong plant and abundant foliage. It is much better to water the soil directly than its leaves, instead.


If we wanted it to grow much more, then it is convenient to take out its flowers, unless we wanted to collect its seeds. However, we could use its pruned leaves for a year period. The best occasion for collecting and preserving it is precisely, as we have seen up to here, before its flowering period. Once it was collected, it could be used by us.

Local Albahaca Herb for Health

To frozen it, it is the best way to preserve it to be used and it should be placed in small quantities in the freezer compartment. Once is collected, it is advisable to hung it up side down in a fresh place under a shadow. Once it was dried, it should be placed into a glassed container.

Another of its benefits is the fact about being a sedative as if it was consumed at night, then it would help enjoying a pleasant dream. It is also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory one, thus, being a proper allied to face influenza.

It regulates the nerve system and it is recommended in cases of stress. It is a good and natural painkiller, especially in feverish conditions or general weakness sensation. It is a very digestive plant that helps correcting the gastrointestinal disorders.

By Teresa Valenzuela

Drug could aid recovery after a heart attack

Drugs currently undergoing development to treat anemia could be repurposed to help prevent people with Type 2 diabetes from developing heart failure, according to new research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Diabetes UK.

In the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers found that, after a heart attack, a protein called HIF acts to help heart cells survive.

In people with diabetes, fats accumulate within the heart muscle and stop the HIF protein from becoming active. This means that a person is more likely to suffer lasting heart muscle damage, and develop heart failure after a heart attack.

Researchers from the University of Oxford treated diabetic rats with a drug known to activate the HIF protein, and were able to encourage the heart to recover after a heart attack. Further work is needed to see whether the same process can be replicated in people.

However, these initial results suggest that several drugs known to activate HIF -- and currently undergoing phase III clinical trials to treat people with anemia -- could potentially be given to people with diabetes immediately after a heart attack in the future.

Nearly 3.7 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with diabetes, with 90% living with Type 2 diabetes. If people don't receive a swift diagnosis and the right care, it can put people at much higher risk of developing heart and circulatory disease. In the UK there are nearly 200,000 hospital visits each year due to heart attacks. It is estimated that nearly a fifth (18.6%) of people who have a heart attack in the UK, also have diabetes (1).

Dr Lisa Heather, a BHF research fellow at the University of Oxford who led the research, said: "After a heart attack, people with Type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop heart failure more quickly, but we have not fully understood the reasons why that is the case.

"What we have shown with this research is that the metabolism of people with Type 2 diabetes means they have higher levels of fatty acids in the heart. This prevents signals going to the heart protective protein telling it to 'kick-in' after a heart attack.

"But what is perhaps most exciting, is that existing drugs -- currently being trialled for people with blood disorders -- can reverse that effect and allow the protein to be activated after a heart attack.

"This opens the possibility that, in the near future, we could also use these drugs to help treat heart attacks in people with Type 2 diabetes."

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, which part-funded the research, said: "This research in rats has not only identified the mechanism that could explain why people with Type 2 diabetes to have poorer outcomes after a heart attack, but also a practical way this might be prevented.

"Further studies will be needed to confirm if we see the same benefits in humans. But if we can reactivate the body's own defence system we may be able to reduce the damage caused by a heart attack and improve people's quality of life."

Anna Morris, Assistant Director of Research Strategy and Partnerships at Diabetes UK, who part-funded the research, said: "It's vital that we find ways to reduce the harm caused by diabetes. It's still early days, but this research is helping us to understand how to improve recovery after a heart attack, and we're looking forward to seeing how this could help people with Type 2 diabetes in the future.

"For now, the best way to reduce your risk of a heart attack is to keep your blood glucose, blood pressure and blood fat at healthy levels, seek help to stop smoking, and by being active and eating a healthy, balanced diet."

Massive pyramid unearthed in ancient Chinese city that hosted human sacrifices

An enormous ancient Chinese pyramid has been discovered in an 4,300-year-old lost city, which regularly hosted human sacrifices and was once one of the largest settlements in the world.

The astonishing find was documented in the latest issue of the journal ‘Antiquity,’ in which researchers revealed that the newly excavated step pyramid is at least 230ft high and covers a staggering 24 acres at its base.

The article, written by a team of professors at universities in China and California, says the city, now named “Shimao,” flourished for five centuries across a 988-acre region surrounding the pyramid, making it one of the largest cities in the world. 

READ MORE: Here's who was inside the 'cursed' Egyptian sarcophagus (PHOTOS)

The pyramid is decorated with eye symbols and part-human, part-animal figures which, the researchers say, could have given the pyramid religious power in the eyes of the Shimao citizens of the day.Both the city and pyramid were surrounded by a series of sophisticated defensive stone walls, ramparts and gates, which the team says indicates highly restricted access to the complex. Decapitated human heads were also discovered, suggesting human sacrifice was a popular tradition at the time.

In the outer gateway of the eastern gate on the outer rampart alone, six pits containing decapitated human heads have been found,” the researchers wrote.

READ MORE: Rare 10-million-year-old whale dug up in Crimea (PHOTOS)

The pyramid contains 11 steps, each of which are lined with stone. One of the steps was adorned with “extensive palaces.” The archaeologists say the palaces were built of “rammed earth, with wooden pillars and roofing tiles.” A gigantic water reservoir and domestic remains related to daily life were also found by the team.

The pyramid wasn’t just a residential space for ruling Shimao elites, the researchers said. They also found evidence of ancient art and craft work, suggesting that the pyramid was used for artisanal or industrial craft production.

Bringing salvaged wooden ships and artifacts back to life with 'smart' nanotech

Thousands of shipwrecks litter the seafloor all over the world, preserved in sediments and cold water. But when one of these ships is brought up from the depths, the wood quickly starts deteriorating. Today, scientists report a new way to use "smart" nanocomposites to conserve a 16th-century British warship, the Mary Rose, and its artifacts. The new approach could help preserve other salvaged ships by eliminating harmful acids without damaging the wooden structures themselves.

The researchers are presenting their results today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

"This project began over a glass of wine with Eleanor Schofield, Ph.D., who is head of conservation at the Mary Rose Trust," recalls Serena Corr, Ph.D., the project's principal investigator. "She was working on techniques to preserve the wood hull and assorted artifacts and needed a way to direct the treatment into the wood. We had been working with functional magnetic nanomaterials for applications in imaging, and we thought we might be able to apply this technology to the Mary Rose."

The Mary Rose sank in 1545 off the south coast of England and remained under the seabed until she was salvaged in 1982, along with over 19,000 artifacts and pieces of timber. About 40 percent of the original structure survived. The ship and its artifacts give unique insights into Tudor seafaring and what it was like to live during that period. A state-of-the-art museum in Portsmouth, England, displays the ship's hull and artifacts.

While buried in the seabed, sulfur-reducing marine bacteria migrated into the wood of the Mary Rose and produced hydrogen sulfide. This gas reacted with iron ions from corroded fixtures like cannons to form iron sulfides. Although stable in low-oxygen environments, sulfur rapidly oxidizes in regular air in the presence of iron to form destructive acids. Corr's goal was to avoid acid production by removing the free iron ions.

Once raised from the seabed, the ship was sprayed with cold water, which stopped it from drying out and prevented further microbial activity. The conservation team then sprayed the hull with different types of polyethylene glycol (PEG), a common polymer with a wide range of applications, to replace the water in the cellular structure of the wood and strengthen its outer layer.

Corr and her postdoctoral fellow Esther Rani Aluri, Ph.D., and Ph.D. candidate Enrique Sanchez at the University of Glasgow are devising a new family of tiny magnetic nanoparticles to aid in this process, in collaboration with Schofield and Rachel O'Reilly, Ph.D., at the University of Warwick. In their initial step, the team, led by Schofield, used synchrotron techniques to probe the nature of the sulfur species before turning the PEG sprays off, and then periodically as the ship dried. This was the first real-time experiment to closely examine the evolution of oxidized sulfur and iron species. This accomplishment has informed efforts to design new targeted treatments for the removal of these harmful species from the Mary Rose wood.

The next step will be to use a nanocomposite based on core magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles that include agents on their surfaces that can remove the ions. The nanoparticles can be directly applied to the porous wood structure and guided to particular areas of the wood using external magnetic fields, a technique previously demonstrated for drug delivery. The nanocomposite will be encompassed in a heat-responsive polymer that protects the nanoparticles and provides a way to safely deliver them to and from the wood surface. A major advantage of this approach is that it allows for the complete removal of free iron and sulfate ions from the wood, and these nanocomposites can be tuned by tweaking their surfaces.

With this understanding, Corr notes, "Conservators will have, for the first time, a state-of-the-art quantitative and restorative method for the safe and rapid treatment of wooden artifacts. We plan to then transfer this technology to other materials recovered from the Mary Rose, such as textiles and leather."

Domino-effect of climate events could move Earth into a ‘hothouse’ state

A domino-like cascade of melting ice, warming seas, shifting currents and dying forests could tilt the Earth into a “hothouse” state beyond which human efforts to reduce emissions will be increasingly futile, a group of leading climate scientists has warned.

This grim prospect is sketched out in a journal paper that considers the combined consequences of 10 climate change processes, including the release of methane trapped in Siberian permafrost and the impact of melting ice in Greenland on the Antarctic.

The authors of the essay, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, stress their analysis is not conclusive, but warn the Paris commitment to keep warming at 2C above pre-industrial levels may not be enough to “park” the planet’s climate at a stable temperature.

They warn that the hothouse trajectory “would almost certainly flood deltaic environments, increase the risk of damage from coastal storms, and eliminate coral reefs (and all of the benefits that they provide for societies) by the end of this century or earlier.”

“I do hope we are wrong, but as scientists we have a responsibility to explore whether this is real,” said Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. “We need to know now. It’s so urgent. This is one of the most existential questions in science.”

Rockström and his co-authors are among the world’s leading authorities on positive feedback loops, by which warming temperatures release new sources of greenhouse gases or destroy the Earth’s ability to absorb carbon or reflect heat.

Their new paper asks whether the planet’s temperature can stabilise at 2C or whether it will gravitate towards a more extreme state. The authors attempt to assess whether warming can be halted or whether it will tip towards a “hothouse” world that is 4C warmer than pre-industrial times and far less supportive of human life.

Katherine Richardson from the University of Copenhagen, one of the authors, said the paper showed that climate action was not just a case of turning the knob on emissions, but of understanding how various factors interact at a global level.

“We note that the Earth has never in its history had a quasi-stable state that is around 2C warmer than the preindustrial and suggest that there is substantial risk that the system, itself, will ‘want’ to continue warming because of all of these other processes – even if we stop emissions,” she said. “This implies not only reducing emissions but much more.”

New feedback loops are still being discovered. A separate paper published in PNAS reveals that increased rainfall – a symptom of climate change in some regions - is making it harder for forest soils to trap greenhouse gases such as methane.

Previous studies have shown that weakening carbon sinks will add 0.25C, forest dieback will add 0.11C, permafrost thaw will add 0.9C and increased bacterial respiration will add 0.02C. The authors of the new paper also look at the loss of methane hydrates from the ocean floor and the reduction of snow and ice cover at the poles.

Rockström says there are huge gaps in data and knowledge about how one process might amplify another. Contrary to the Gaia theory, which suggests the Earth has a self-righting tendency, he says the feedbacks could push the planet to a more extreme state.

As an example, the authors say the loss of Greenland ice could disrupt the Gulf Stream ocean current, which would raise sea levels and accumulate heat in the Southern Ocean, which would in turn accelerate ice loss from the east Antarctic. Concerns about this possibility were heightened earlier this year by reports that the Gulf Stream was at its weakest level in 1,600 years.

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Currently, global average temperatures are just over 1C above pre-industrial levels and rising at 0.17C per decade. The Paris climate agreement set actions to keep warming limited to 1.5C-2C by the end of the century, but the authors warn more drastic action may be necessary.

“The heatwave we now have in Europe is not something that was expected with just 1C of warming,” Rockström said. “Several positive feedback loops are already in operation, but they are still weak. We need studies to show when they might cause a runaway effect.

Another climate scientist – who was not involved in the paper – emphasised the document aimed to raise questions rather than prove a theory. “It’s rather selective, but not outlandish,” said Prof Martin Siegert, co-director of the Grantham Institute. “Threshold and tipping points have been discussed previously, but to state that 2C is a threshold we can’t pull back from is new, I think. I’m not sure what ‘evidence’ there is for this – or indeed whether there can be until we experience it.”

Rockström said the question needed asking. “We could end up delivering the Paris agreement and keep to 2C of warming, but then face an ugly surprise if the system starts to slip away,” he said. “We don’t say this will definitely happen. We just list all the disruptive events and come up with plausible occurrences … 50 years ago, this would be dismissed as alarmist, but now scientists have become really worried.”

“In the context of the summer of 2018, this is definitely not a case of crying wolf, raising a false alarm: the wolves are now in sight,” said Dr Phil Williamson, a climate researcher at the University of East Anglia. “The authors argue that we need to be much more proactive in that regard, not just ending greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible, but also building resilience in the context of complex Earth system processes that we might not fully understand until it is too late.”

Can seagrass help fight ocean acidification?

Seagrass meadows could play a limited, localized role in alleviating ocean acidification in coastal ecosystems, according to new work led by Carnegie's David Koweek and including Carnegie's Ken Caldeira and published in Ecological Applications.

When coal, oil, or gas is burned, the resulting carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere where it is the driving force behind global climate change. But this atmospheric carbon dioxide is also absorbed into the ocean where chemical reactions with the seawater produce carbonic acid, which is corrosive to marine life, particularly to organisms like mussels and oysters that construct their shells and exoskeletons out of calcium carbonate.

Seagrasses provide an important source of food and shelter for marine animals, help fight erosion of the sediments that form the sea bed, and filter bacterial pathogens from the water. They also take up carbon dioxide as part of their daytime photosynthetic activity.

Research has already demonstrated that the estuaries and bays of California's coastline are experiencing ocean acidification. So, the team set out to test the theory that carbon dioxide uptake by seagrass meadows could buffer the pH of the ocean water in their immediate surroundings and help to fight off the effects of acidification in the short term.

They combined data from seagrass meadows in Tomales Bay, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean in California's Marin County, with sophisticated modeling tools that accounted for a variety of factors including, the amount of seagrass within the meadow, seasonal variation in photosynthetic activity and nighttime respiration, water depth, and tidal currents.

"Local stakeholders, such as California's shellfish industry, want to know whether seagrass meadows may help to counteract ocean acidification," Koweek said. "Our results suggest that seagrass meadows along the California coast will likely offer only limited ability to counteract ocean acidification over long periods of time."

On average, the computer simulations predicted that the seagrass meadows would turn back the clock on ocean acidification a few decades, a small offset to the more than 150 years of acidification -- a process that is now happening more quickly than ever with increasing fossil fuel emissions.

However, there were small time windows where their models show that seagrass meadows were able to offer much greater buffering. These occurred during periods when low tides occurred during the daytime when photosynthesis occurs. Koweek and Caldeira say that these offer important opportunities.

This level of buffering could make an impact in aquaculture endeavors or even in natural shellfish communities where marine organisms are able to align their calcification activity with the seagrass buffering periods.

"We are starting to understand that some marine organisms, such as blue mussels, are actually able to shift the time of day in which they do most of their calcification. If other organisms are able to do the same, then even brief windows of significant ocean acidification buffering by seagrass meadows may bring substantial benefits to the organisms that live in them," Koweek said.

Koweek and Caldeira are grounded in their optimism for solutions to stop ocean acidification around the world.

"Of course, the only way to truly fight ocean acidification is to rapidly and permanently reduce the rate at which we are spewing carbon dioxide emissions into the sky," Caldeira noted.

"However," added Koweek, "seagrass meadows are a critical part of California's coastline. Although our results indicate that seagrass meadows along the California coast are not likely to offer long-term buffering to fight ocean acidification, their enduring role as habitat for marine organisms, protectors against sea level rise, and magnets of biodiversity should be more than enough reason to restore and protect these iconic ecosystems."

New Drug for Treatment of Myocardial Infarction Now in Cuba

Havana, Jul 25 (Prensa Latina) A medication for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction, developed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), will be available in Cuba next year, the Granma newspaper announced today.

The product, called CIGB-500, is made up of six amino acids and will help to extend the quality and duration of life of people with this disease, considered one of the most serious conditions of ischemic heart disease, the statement points out.

It also expands the cellular mechanisms of cytoprotection during hepatic or cardiac ischemia and the episodes of reperfusion which occur when significant times are used during surgery, Jose Brito, CIGB's director of national promotion and distribution, explained to the newspaper.

The biotechnological compound completed its preclinical and developmental stage. In 2008, a clinical study phase I on healthy volunteers was completed, and phase II on affected patients began in November 2013, Brito added.

After the studies carried out, it was concluded that CIGB-500 is not incompatible with the most commonly used drugs approved for the treatment of this condition, said Yunia Delgado, a specialist of the Communication Group of the center.

With the development of this synthetic peptide, it is expected to satisfy national demand and join the National Health and Export System, Delgado continued.

According to the report Biomedical Projects of the CIGB Business Portfolio, this project is the first medication applied for the treatment of this disease.

Also, the text adds, it will reduce the extent of the infarction, protect the body's epithelial organs from damage caused by ischemia-reperfusion events, treat liver damage and control and reduce the progression of hepatic fibrosis.

According to the Public Health Statistical Directory, severe myocardial infarction is the third cause of death from heart disease in Cuba, responsible for 7,177 deaths in 2017.

Cardiac reperfusion is a medical procedure which may save a person's life after a heart attack.

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