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Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Horton et al. | Sep 27, 2018

Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Although the United States maintains millions of square kilometers of nature reserves to protect the biodiversity of the specimens living there, little is known about how confining these species within designated protected lands influences the genetic variation required for a healthy population. In this study, the authors sequenced genetic barcodes of insects from a recently established nature reserve, the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve (SWRCMSR), and a non-protected area, the Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) Menifee campus, to compare the genetic variation between the two populations. Their results demonstrated that the midge fly population from the SWRCMSR had fewer unique DNA barcode sequence changes than the MSJC population, indicating that the comparatively younger nature reserve's population had likely not yet established its own unique genetic drift changes.

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Artificial Intelligence Networks Towards Learning Without Forgetting

Kreiman et al. | Oct 26, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Networks Towards Learning Without Forgetting

In their paper, Kreiman et al. examined what it takes for an artificial neural network to be able to perform well on a new task without forgetting its previous knowledge. By comparing methods that stop task forgetting, they found that longer training times and maintenance of the most important connections in a particular task while training on a new one helped the neural network maintain its performance on both tasks. The authors hope that this proof-of-principle research will someday contribute to artificial intelligence that better mimics natural human intelligence.

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Is Cloud Cover One of the Effects of Climate Change?

Crair et al. | Mar 27, 2014

Is Cloud Cover One of the Effects of Climate Change?

Climate change is one of the most controversial challenges humans face. Here the authors investigate the dual role of clouds - to reflect incoming light away from the Earth and to reflect heat energy back toward the Earth's surface. They find that the amount of incident light energy and surface temperature decreases as the sky becomes cloudier. These results will inform longer-term studies that may compare against the amount of energy clouds reflect back toward the Earth.

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Temperature and Precipitation Responses to a Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering Experiment Using the Community Climate System Model 4

Anderson et al. | Aug 19, 2014

Temperature and Precipitation Responses to a Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering Experiment Using the Community Climate System Model 4

We are changing our environment with steadily increasing carbon dioxide emissions, but we might be able to help. The authors here use a computer program called Community Climate System Model 4 to predict the effects of spraying small particles into the atmosphere to reflect away some of the sun's rays. The software predicts that this could reduce the amount of energy the Earth's atmosphere absorbs and may limit but will not completely counteract our carbon dioxide production.

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Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Acton et al. | Apr 02, 2018

Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Ecological corridors are geographic features designated to allow the movement of wildlife populations between habitats that have been fragmented by human landscapes. Corridors can be a pivotal aspect in wildlife conservation because they preserve a suitable habitat for isolated populations to live and intermingle. Here, two students simulate the effect of introducing a safety corridor for cheetahs, based on real tracking data on cheetahs in Namibia.

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The Protective Effects of Panax notoginseng Saponin on the Blood-Brain Barrier via the Nrf2/ARE Pathway in bEnd3 Cells

Yang et al. | Apr 06, 2016

The Protective Effects of <i>Panax notoginseng</i> Saponin on the Blood-Brain Barrier via the Nrf2/ARE Pathway in bEnd3 Cells

Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is related to many neurological disorders, and can be caused by oxidative stress to cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs) composing the BBB. The authors of the paper investigated the protective effects of the total saponins in the leaves of Panax notoginseng (LPNS) on oxidative-stress-induced damage in a mouse cerebral microvascular endothelial cell line.

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The Effect of the Stomatal Index on the Net Rate of Photosynthesis in the Leaves of Spinacia oleracea, Vinca minor, Rhododendron spp, Epipremnum aureum, and Hedera spp

Segev et al. | Nov 15, 2015

The Effect of the Stomatal Index on the Net Rate of Photosynthesis in the Leaves of <i>Spinacia oleracea</i>, <i>Vinca minor</i>, <i>Rhododendron spp</i>, <i>Epipremnum aureum</i>, and <i>Hedera spp</i>

The density of stomata, or stomatal index, in plant leaves is correlated with the plant's rate of photosynthesis, and affected by the plant's climate. In this paper, authors measure the stomatal index of five plant species to derive their rates of photosynthesis. These results could help track changes in plants' photosynthetic rates with changing climate.

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