Jesse reflects on decarbonization, dematerialization, land-sparing, industrial ecology, industrialization of the oceans, biological traces of fishes and of Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Seven Deadly Sins in an 83″ podcast with Robert Bryce, author of Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: and A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations.
The Podcast is also on YouTube where you get to see who sings Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
We post the book chapter by Alan Curry and Jesse H. Ausubel, Biological information for the new blue economy and the emerging role of eDNA, in the comprehensive new book by Liesl Hotaling and Richard W. Spinrad (eds), Preparing a Workforce for the New Blue Economy: People, Products, and Policies Elsevier, 2021. Rick is now the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A short version of the chapter appeared on 1 March in the magazine Maritime Executive as Biological information for the new blue economy and the emerging role of eDNA.
PHE Guest Investigator David Thaler and RU colleague Tom Sakmar publish open access in BMC Infectious Diseases 21, Article #601 (2021) ‘Archiving time series sewage samples as biological records of built environments.” The idea for the article arose during our 2020 twice-weekly PHE Zooms. It is rooted in part in Paula Olsiewski’s completed Sloan Foundation program on the Microbiology of the Built Environment, to which David contributed. It also links to the Leonardo Da Vinci DNA Project, to which both David and Tom belong, and which searches for biological relics from times past and also explores how better to preserve recent traces of DNA and RNA.
This commentary encourages the regular archiving of nucleic-acid-stabilized serial samples of wastewaters and/or sewage. Stabilized samples would facilitate retrospective reconstitution of built environments’ biological fluids. Biological time capsules would allow retrospective searches for nucleic acids from viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Current resources for testing need not be diverted if samples are saved in case they become important in the future. Systematic storage would facilitate investigation into the origin and prevalence of viruses and other agents. Comparison of prevalence data from individual and clinical samplings with community wastewater would allow valuable comparison, contrast and correlation among different testing modalities. Current interest is focused on SARS-CoV-2, but archived samples could become valuable in many contexts including surveys for other infectious and chemical agents whose identity is not currently known. Archived time series of wastewater will take their place alongside other biological repositories and records including those from medical facilities, museums, eDNA, living cell and tissue collections. Together these will prove invaluable records of the evolving Anthropocene.
Ossining NY high school sophomore Samara Davis, with guidance from PHE’s Mark Stoeckle, earned 1st place in the Somers/Westlake Science Fair for her project Environmental DNA Analysis to Determine Population Characteristics of Elusive Ephemeral Pool-Breeding Mole Salamanders, in Relation to the Effects of Climate Change. Congratulations to Samara! Thanks, Mark!
The Great Global Fish Count, a Potential Project of the UN Ocean Decade by Jesse Ausubel and Mark Stoeckle appears in the Marine Technology Society Journal, Volume 55, Number 3, May/June 2021, pp. 116-117(2). DOI: https://doi.org/10.4031/MTSJ.55.3.4
An article about the 7th annual Martha’s Vineyard Environmental Film Festival (May 27-30) recaps the history, which began with Jesse Ausubel + Jacques Perrin. Jesse will host a set of short films about the oceans on Sunday 30 May at 1pm.
PHE Guest Investigator and microbiologist David Thaler has published the paper, “Is global microbial biodiversity increasing, decreasing, or staying the same?” in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. The answer is, we do not know.
The paper arose from Zoom discussions PHE began holding every Tuesday and Thursday noon during COVID lockdown of our NYC group members with colleagues in California, Israel, Switzerland, and elsewhere. Bravo to David for asking a bold question and putting it onto the research agenda. Thanks to Gary Borisy (Forsyth Institute) and Jessica Mark Welch (Marine Biological Laboratory) for sharing images. A Press Release from the journal summarize the paper.
The Guardian, Microbes are ‘unknown unknowns’ despite being vital to all life, says study (another excellent article from Guardian science reporters!)
Agencia EFE, Spain, Un estudio resalta la “profunda ignorancia” de la biodiversidad de microbiosAargauer Zeitung, Switzerland, Biologie – Gilt das Artensterben auch für die Mikroben?
IndoAsian News Service, India Is microbial life, including viruses, changing too?
COSMOS Magazine, Australia The great unknown of global microbial diversity
Mongabay, ‘Profound ignorance’: Microbes, a missing piece in the biodiversity puzzle by Ian Morse on 26 April 2021