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Plants manipulate roundworms using their own pheromones

These tomato roots were infected with southern nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita). In the places where they feed, microscopic roundworms form galls, which prevent plants from developing normally and bearing fruit / © B TI / Murli Manohar

It turned out that plants use a chemical “tongue” to drive nematodes away from themselves by tricking these worms, who planned to trick the plants themselves.

Tiny nematode roundworms are recognized pests. Based on the roots of various cultures, they get a hotel with full board there, and are responsible for billions in losses at farms around the world. However, scientists have discovered a superpower in plants, which may be the key to new methods of dealing with these parasites. The authors published an article about their research in Nature Communications .

What to do if you are attacked, and you are chained to a place and cannot escape or destroy the enemy? Convince him to get out of the next-best. Scientists from the Boyce Thompson Institute have found that plants do not just perceive and mimic the “smell” of nematodes. According to lead author Frank Schroeder, they recognize the nematode communication system and are introduced into it by studying the signaling system, the same way we learn a foreign language. After this, the plant develops a kind of propaganda activity, convincing the nematodes that “there is a bad place here.”

Worms produce and secrete a group of chemicals called ascarosides to communicate with each other. For their defensive purposes, plants metabolize ascarosides and release metabolites back into the soil.

Earlier work showed that ascar # 18 ascaroside, secreted by nematodes, causes plants to enhance protection. Moreover, the substance eventually disappeared from the soil. Scientists compared these data with the fact that plants can modify the metabolites of pests, and suggested: it is possible that plants and nematodes interact through the transmission of signals by small molecules and change each other’s messages.

To check, the team processed ascr # 18 with three types of plants – carapace, wheat and tomato. Then, scientists compared the compounds of these plants and plants of the same species from the controled, untreated group. They identified three ascr # 18 metabolites, the most common of which was ascr # 9. These three metabolites, the processed tomatoes and the carapace, were isolated back into the soil. Moreover, the “blend”, consisting of 90% ascr # 9 and 10% ascr # 18, getting into the soil, is associated with the massive departure of nematodes from the roots of the plant and a decrease in the scale of parasite invasion.

The team hypothesized that nematodes in the soil perceive this mixture as a signal sent by plants already infected with nematodes: once the plant is already inhabited, it is worth looking for another place so as not to overpopulate the former. Worms could evolve to use plant metabolism and make them send this signal to help their enemies. Plants, in turn, could evolve to fake the signal, to appear as badly infected as possible, thereby tricking potential invaders.

Scientists note that plants can have similar types of chemical bonds with other pests. This opens up prospects for creating an environmentally friendly method of combating various agricultural parasites. Future studies may find the most suitable option for the substances used. The authors note that there should be no harm to crops, their productivity or nutritional properties, since ascarosides, for example ascr # 18, mainly stimulate the plant to respond faster and stronger to the pathogen, rather than provoke a broad-profile protective response that could, say, inhibit their growth.

Researchers emphasized that plants metabolize ascr # 18 via the peroxisomal β-oxidation pathway, a system that persists in many plant species.

“This article reveals an ancient interaction,” Schroeder explains. “All nematodes produce ascarosides, and plants have had millions of years to learn how to manipulate these molecules.” Plants are not passive green objects. They are active participants in an interactive dialogue with the environment, and we will continue to decipher this dialogue.”

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Planet Earth

M6.5 earthquake in Idaho. Is Yellowstone or Rainier next?

On the night of March 31 to April 1 (2020-03-31 23:52:31 (UTC)) in the USA, in Idaho,a M6.5 earthquake occurred. The epicenter of the seismic event lies at a depth of 10 km:

This seismic event has become the second strongest in the history of the state. The first place is occupied by an earthquake in the same area, on October 28, 1983, the magnitude of which was 6.9 points.

At the moment, information about the victims and damages is only being collected, but all this is not the main thing. The main thing here is different:

The Roller City of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada is is more than 700 km from the epicenter in the north direction, more precisely – a little to the north-west, or more precisely – along the line of the so-called Challis Arc:

The Challis Arc is a volcanic field with a length of about 1,500 kilometers, the origin of which is not very clear. It is assumed that the field appeared as a result of subduction of the ancient Kula / Farallon plate under North America:

The ancient plate partly sank, displacing magma, which, in turn, climbed out of volcanoes. The partly remains of Kula / Farallon were absorbed into the base of North America. All together, this led to the appearance of corrugated belts along the west coast. One of these belts is called the Challis Arc:

Thus, the epicenter was somewhere in a zone of very deep subduction and the earthquake mechanism there looks something like this:

That is why the earthquake was felt in Canada, that is, along the Challis Arc, but it did not spread a thousand kilometers to the West, East and South.

The mechanism of the earthquake is known, the earthquake is not very unusual, and the topic could be closed. However, the problem is that Utah and Idaho appear in a series of prophecies that promise a series of cataclysms to the United States. if we talk about earthquakes, we explained the mechanism above: the cause of the earthquake in Idaho and the previous earthquake in Utah are the ancient pieces of the lithosphere floating under the continent.

For some reason, fragments of these plates intensified: maybe they started to sink again, maybe they decided to float – we don’t know this. But we know that according to one theory, Yellowstone was the result of flooding / melting of fragments of the Farallon plate. The same goes for the Cascade Mountains. Therefore, if the Farallon plate suddenly became active – now we need to wait for major news from the Rainier volcano or even from the world-famous caldera!

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Planet Earth

The sun affects the emergence of large-scale epidemics on Earth

A Serbian scientist saw a correlation between weak ultraviolet radiation and the emergence of large-scale epidemics of infectious diseases. Images from American satellites confirm that the ultraviolet radiation of the sun or the disinfection of the atmosphere at the time when COVID-19 appeared was even weaker than during the period of H1N1 propagation.

Let’s recall the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. It spread, despite all the efforts of the World Health Organization. Of course, nothing could be done with this epidemic, since it erupted during the period of the weakest solar radiation. After all, just as after surgery, the surgical room is sterilized with ultraviolet lamps, the atmosphere of the earth naturally sterilizes ultraviolet solar radiation.

Low radiation and epidemics

The founder of heliocentric electromagnetic meteorology Milan Stevanchevich saw a correlation between weak ultraviolet radiation and the emergence of large-scale epidemics of infectious diseases. Although NASA has not yet linked these phenomena, images from American satellites confirm that the ultraviolet radiation of the sun at the time the coronavirus appeared was even weaker than during the period of H1N1 propagation. In 2009, the level of ultraviolet radiation of the sun was eight units, and in 2019 – only five units. The lack of ultraviolet radiation, that is, disinfection of the atmosphere, in both cases led to the unhindered spread of the virus in the northern hemisphere.

Seasonal character

The Belgrade School of Meteorology believes that the level of ultraviolet radiation is also seasonal. In winter, the level is much lower than in summer. During maximum solar activity, ultraviolet radiation reaches 35 units. But in the period between two cycles of solar activity, ultraviolet radiation reaches the lowest levels or disappears.

Milan Stevanchevich explains:

​​“On March 11, the outbreak of AP 2758 on the Sun caused an increase in ultraviolet radiation. In the geoeffective position, one x-ray emission was recorded, which became the first after more than 300 days of inactivity of the Sun.”

When a flash on the Sun occurs on a side not visible from Earth, the level of ultraviolet radiation decreases. Its next growth is expected in early April 2020, and entry into a geoeffective position is expected on April 7, when the radiation will be sent directly to the Earth.

The level of ultraviolet radiation at the surface of the earth depends on the radiated power and density of the clouds over a particular place. Although ultraviolet radiation has a diffuse nature, the influence of clouds is great, since they reduce the level of ultraviolet radiation above the surface of the earth. Water in the atmosphere is an element that creates the effect of a greenhouse, so exposure to ultraviolet radiation also depends on cloud cover. Clouds weaken all types of energy emanating from the sun.

An increase in temperature does not play any role in the disinfection of the atmosphere, so flu can appear even when the daytime temperature is high.

Ultraviolet radiation is a natural phenomenon that makes possible the existence of man on planet Earth. But strong ultraviolet radiation is very dangerous for human health. Fortunately, nature has provided for everything. When activity on the Sun grows, cloudiness intensifies, as clouds are formed by the combination of hydrogen and oxygen, which are emitted by the Sun, and therefore the level of ultraviolet radiation decreases.

It is expected that weak X-ray radiation will reach a maximum on April 7, when the AP 2758 volcano appears on the visible side of the Sun, which disinfects the atmosphere more. No matter how weak the effect of x-rays, it plays a large role in the total radiation of the sun.

Studies show that pandemics can occur only between periods of two activity cycles, when the activity of the Sun is minimal, that is, when the level of ultraviolet radiation in winter is the lowest. Epidemics occur only at the beginning and at the end of the solar cycle. Seasonal influenza with variable variability depends on the current activity of the Sun. The weakest viruses in the period of maximum activity of the Sun.

For the disinfection of the atmosphere, the angle of incidence of ultraviolet and x-ray radiation plays a large role, since the level of radiation per unit area during the day depends on it.

It must be said that the transition period between the 24th and 25th cycles of solar activity is exceptionally long. The activity of the Sun reached an extraordinary minimum. The level of activity of the Sun in 2019 – 2020 is the lowest since 1810. Temperature has no effect on COVID-19.

If NASA’s forecast comes true, then in ten years we should expect another mutation of the virus.

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Planet Earth

Michigan nurse shares details of what is happening in hospitals

One of Michigan’s nurses shot a terrifying video of her workday so people would be more careful about their health and especially with coronavirus. The woman added that she felt as if she was in a battlefield.  During her story, she was constantly in tears.

During her last shift, the duration of which was 13 hours, she was separately from her colleagues and was involved in the treatment of two seriously ill patients. She supported them with an assisted breathing apparatus. The nurse encourages people to be more careful and take this problem as seriously as possible.

The nurse plead for hospitals to make every effort possible to eliminate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, which has only recently intensified. To date, Michigan is in fifth place in case numbers, in which more than two thousand are infected with coronavirus and at least 43 deaths were recorded.

Just a few days ago, two hospitals already announced that they were completely full and they did not have the opportunity to accept new patients. The state expects that over the next three weeks the number of patients may increase to 16 thousand. The government, in turn, said that at the moment there are only 25 thousand beds, 80% of which are already occupied.

The number of cremated people in Wuhan significantly exceeded the death toll from coronavirus

On March 23, Chinese authorities allowed relatives of coronavirus victims in Wuhan to receive the urns with the ashes of their relatives. According to Liu Ping (pseudonym), a local resident who was in front of the Hankou funeral home, there were huge queues of people lined up. Liu Ping arrived in the morning to pick up her father’s ashes, and was only able to pick up the ashes at 14:00.

After leaving the bureau, Liu Ping saw a truck that was transporting bins. She found out from the driver that an order had been placed for 2500 boxes, the same quantity had been delivered the day before. A total of 5 thousand deaths from coronavirus is against the 2531 official cases. This information is from only one funeral home. There are eight in total in Wuhan.

According to Sun Jiatong, deputy director of the Wuhan City Civil Affairs Bureau, 21,703 corpses were cremated in a month and a half, eight times the official statistics.

At first, all the bodies were planned to be taken to the Hankou crematorium, but there were no available spaces there. As a result, other local institutions accepted and shared the dead between them. It is scary to imagine the real number of deaths in the whole of China.

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