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Letter to the Editor: Vote ‘yes’ to protected Maine environment

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Maine is a beautiful state full of many great people and natural wonders. We all know and recognize that. However, two foreign corporations continue to fail to recognize that. Central Maine Power Company, the most disliked public utility in the country, is one of those corporations, and it is attempting to construct a new electrical transmission line to deliver power to Massachusetts, and doing so will put all of Maine’s iconic wilderness at risk.

Flagstaff was established in 1775 it became a vibrant town in the early years of Maine. However, in 1940 people were ripped from their homes so the town could be burned down and flooded for the construction of a hydroelectric dam.

By Allowing CMP to construct a transmission line through the North Woods for Massachusetts’ use, will be just the beginning to use Maine for profit. We simply cannot allow foreign companies to put profits before Maine like what happened to Flagstaff.

This November, Maine voters will have the power to reject CMP’s transmission line and protect our natural environment by voting YES.

Marianne Ayotte
Moxie Gore Township

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NGT directs Delhi, Haryana to prepare environment plan for Najafgarh lake

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New Delhi, Sep 18 (PTI) The controversy over declaration of Najafgarh Jheel (lake) as a water body, falling both in Delhi and Gurgaon in Haryana, led the National Green Tribunal Friday to direct both the governments to prepare an environment plan to prevent encroachments and construction in the area.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to steer the proceedings for preparation of Environment Management Plan with the assistance of Central Pollution Control Board.

“CPCB may coordinate as a nodal agency. Such plan may be prepared within three months. Action taken report may be filed before the next date by e-mail,” the bench said.

The matter has been posted for next hearing on January 27, 2021.

The tribunal noted that according to a report received from the District Magistrate, Gurgaon, is to the effect that there is no entry of water body in the revenue record and the area is partly government land partly private. 

Counsel for Haryana stated however that there is a large water body in existence and a management plan is under the state”s consideration.

“In view of the fact that there is a large trans-boundary water body which partly falls in Delhi and partly in Haryana, it will be appropriate that an Environment Management Plan is prepared jointly by the State of Haryana and NCT of Delhi,” the NGT said.

The order came on a plea by NGO Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) seeking execution of NGT”s 2017 order to expeditiously decide the issue.

The plea alleged that the NCT of Delhi and the Haryana have failed to take necessary action.

It claimed that even though three years have passed since the Haryana government assured the tribunal to declare the lake as water body, further steps have not been taken so as to check encroachments and constructions.

The NGO, in its plea through advocate Aakash Vashishtha, had sought direction to the Delhi and Haryana governments to declare Najafgarh lake as a water body/wetland.

According to the applicant, there is serious threat to the water body because of continuous encroachment and constructions in the submergence zone of the lake.

After claiming there was no natural lake in the Najafgarh area, the Haryana government had earlier taken a U-turn by telling the NGT that it had been accepted as a water body.

INTACH had alleged that the large-scale construction work done in the floodplain of the Najafgarh nallah and the lake had drained the area. PTI PKS SA


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI


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Brazil President says his governement should be congratulated for protecting the environment

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Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has said that Brazil ‘should be congratulated for the way it preserves its environment.’ The comments come as major fires continue to rage in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest and Pantanal wetlands. Amazon deforestation has also surged 34.5 per cent in the 12 months through July, compared to the same period a year ago, according to data from government space research agency Inpe.

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How environmental cues can affect behavior

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How environmental cues can affect behavior
Hydra in control media before contraction (left) and during contraction (right). Credit: Wataru Yamamoto

Although it may seem counterintuitive, researchers are turning to an animal without a brain to crack the neural code underlying behavior.

Hydra vulgaris, a tiny, tentacled, freshwater organism, uses “nets” of neurons dispersed throughout its tube-like body to coordinate stretching, contracting, somersaulting, and feeding movements. This simple nervous system is one reason that Hydra is well suited for studying how translates into motion.

In a study published in eNeuro, a duo from Columbia University and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has begun to crack the behind Hydra’s simplest behavior, called contraction bursts (when the torso shrinks down and expands outward, over and over again). The scientists found that the concentration of dissolved particles in the surrounding water—a property known as osmolarity—affects the activity of a neural circuit in one of Hydra’s nerve nets, which can trigger a specific set of muscle cells to contract the torso.

“One by one, we want to decipher the neural and muscular activity behind each of Hydra’s behaviors,” says senior author and MBL Whitman Center Fellow, Rafael Yuste of Columbia University. “This paper is the beginning of our journey.”

Five Hydra freely behaving in 50mM sucrose (high osmolarity) solution. This video is sped up 300-fold. Credit: Wataru Yamamoto

Yuste and first author Wataru Yamamoto conducted their experiments in Woods Hole during the summers of 2017 and 2018, in consultation with their MBL Hydra Lab research consortium. They used whole-body calcium imaging to visualize Hydra’s neurons and muscles, and tested whether tweaking various environmental conditions such as , body size, nutritional state, and osmolarity would affect contractions. They were surprised to find that just one of those parameters, osmolarity, had an impact.

Boosting the concentration of sugar particles in the water triggered fewer contractions and decreased activity in the “contraction burst” (CB) neural circuit as well as in one set of muscles. Lowering particle concentration had the opposite effect, increasing cellular activity and contractions. Although additional experiments are needed to confirm their theory, the researchers propose that CB neurons respond to changes in osmolarity by altering muscle activity, which in turn influences frequency.

Hydra ectoderm muscle activity during contraction in control media. The animal was allowed to move between coverslips in the mounted configuration. This video is sped up 20-fold. Credit: Wataru Yamamoto

Reacting to changes in particle concentration could mean the difference between life and death for Hydra—especially if salt is involved. As freshwater dwellers lacking advanced excretory systems, Hydra are not well-equipped to maintain the proper balance of salinity inside and outside their bodies. Water is constantly flowing in and out of their gastrovascular cavities, and too much internal salty solution causes them to balloon and literally explode. The researchers surmise that Hydra contract in response to high osmolarity to “wring” themselves out and expel excess water.

The acrobatic hydra shows off: How environmental cues can affect behavior
Freely-behaving Hydra vulgaris exhibiting different motor behaviors (elongation, contraction, somersaulting). Credit: Wataru Yamamoto

In addition to affecting contractions, osmolarity also influenced how often Hydra detached and repositioned its tube foot, likely preparing to move to a new location. Yamamoto plans to continue to investigate how and why this happens. He hopes his line of inquiry will eventually help decode a more complex behavior: somersaulting, when Hydra flips tentacles-over-tube foot, like a circus acrobat.


How does the nervous system create behavior? Muscle activity map in Hydra gives insight


More information:
Wataru Yamamoto et al, Whole-Body Imaging of Neural and Muscle Activity during Behavior in Hydra vulgaris: Effect of Osmolarity on Contraction Bursts, eneuro (2020). DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0539-19.2020

Citation:
How environmental cues can affect behavior (2020, September 17)
retrieved 17 September 2020
from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-environmental-cues-affect-behavior.html

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