Navigation Links
Stem Cells to Solve the Blood Shortage Problem?

Accounts of the tsunami that killed over a quarter of a million people in Southeast Asia on the 26th of December, 2004, slowly disappear from the media, but the event is nevertheless heavily burned into the memories of those who are directly involved. In the aftermath of the disaster, academics and politicians alike are trying to investigate how the number of casualties could have been reduced and, more important, how such severe damage can be avoided if a tsunami ever strikes again. In an essay published this week in the June 21 issue of Current Biology, a group of researchers recount the first findings arising from their recent assessment of how mangrove ecosystems might have influenced the tsunami's impacts on coastal communities.

The research represents a collaborative effort, with participants from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium; the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka; the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute; and the Institut Français de Pondichéry, India.

Mangrove greenbelts were known to offer some protection against destructive ocean events, such as tsunamis and (far more frequently) tropical cyclones, but they have not always been valued for that function. Economic and political interference, driven by short-term benefit, has been responsible for the destruction of thousands of hectares of mangrove forest (e.g., in East Africa, on the Indian subcontinent, and in Banda Aceh, Indonesia), resulting in the loss of the natural, protective "dyke" function of mangroves in addition to the loss of other services that mangroves provide to local economies and ecosystems. Although many politicians, journalists, and scientists have made post-tsunami statements about the barrier function of mangroves, most have failed to recognize that this function has never actually been investigated in detail.

In their essay, the authors present an account of the first post-tsunami field assessment they've undertaken, in Sri Lanka. The researcher s investigated the impact of the tsunami at 24 different mangrove sites, comparing the event's effects to the size, history, and quality of the local mangroves. The researchers found that where mangroves occur, they did in fact offer protection from the tsunami. Mangrove fringes near the water's edge appeared to take most of the energy from the tsunami waves, and they showed evidence of damage in some cases, but the researchers found few examples of mangrove trees actually being uprooted.

However, mangroves at numerous sites had experienced pre-tsunami degradation. This disruption, resulting from human impact, included "cryptic ecological degradation" (see also Current Biology, March 29, 2005), which involves subtle changes in species composition. From their assessments of the 24 coastal sites, the researchers concluded that even these seemingly minor alterations, which do not necessarily involve a reduction in mangrove area, have had a profound impact on the damage that the 2004 tsunami inflicted on the coastal zone. This puts the drastic clearing of mangroves, and the conversion of mangrove habitats to shrimp farms in other areas, into even starker perspective.

The authors highlight the urgent need for a union between management-driven research (research that specifically focuses on environmental aspects that need to be managed) and research-driven management (management that is based on facts from scientific research). The team emphasizes that an early-warning system for mangrove degradation should be seen as being as important for future protection as are early-warning systems for tsunami arrivals; the authors contend that if put in place, such ecological warning systems, along with the restoration of mangroves and other natural defenses, could be more effective in saving human lives and property.



Related biology news :

1. Jump-starting T Cells In Skin Cancer
2. Emory Study Tests Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Improve Circulation in Legs
3. Transplantation Of Monkey Embryonic Stem Cells Reverses Parkinson Disease In Primates
4. Fundamental Finding Yields Insight into Stem Cells, Cancer; Opens Door to Drug Discovery
5. Weill Cornell Research Reveals Secrets Of Trafficking Within Cells
6. First-ever Compounds To Target Only Metastatic Cells Are Highly Effective Against Breast, Prostate, And Colon Cancers
7. Placenta Is A Rich Source Of Blood Stem Cells
8. UCSD Discovery Shows How Embryonic Stem Cells Perform Quality Control Inspections
9. Estrogen-like Component of Plastic Stimulates Growth of Certain Prostate Cancer Cells
10. Protein That Promotes Survival Of Stem Cells Might Be Key To Poor Leukemia Prognosis
11. Infants With Rare Genetic Disease Saved by Cord Blood Stem Cells
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/27/2015)... NEW YORK , Oct. 27, 2015 ... the major issues of concern for various industry verticals ... This is due to the growing demand for secure ... practices in various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank ... concerns for electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announced that Google has adopted the Synaptics ® ... solutions to power its newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus ... --> --> ... to provide strategic collaboration in the joint development of ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... PALO ALTO, Calif. and LAS ... – Nok Nok Labs , an innovator in ... FIDO Alliance , today announced the launch of its ... the first unified platform enabling organizations to use standards-based ... authentication. The Nok Nok S3 Authentication Suite is ideal ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Jessica Richman and Zachary Apte, ... their initial angel funding process. Now, they are paying it forward to other ... stage investments in the microbiome space. In this, they join other successful ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ... today reported financial results for the quarter ended ... expressed in Canadian dollars and presented under International ... United States ," said Andrew Rae ... advancements regarding iCo-008 are not only value enriching ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 --> ... "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product & Services (Primer, Probe, ... DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & Biotech, Diagnostic Labs) ... market is expected to reach USD 1,918.6 Million by ... CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Israel , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) ... on December 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel ... Electra Tower, 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, ... of Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to the ... Rami Skaliter as external directors; , approval of an amendment to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: