Irony Rides With the Lone Star Tick #climate #tickbite #allergy

Here’s one weird circle:

  • Raising animals for meat, especially in the accelerated manner we use in America, contributes to climate change.
  • Warming temperatures expand the range of the Lone Star Tick.
  • The bite of this tick can lead to permanent allergy to red meat.
  • So will Americans raise less red meat in the future?

Rare cases of recurrent life-threatening allergic reactions to red meat have been linked to tick bites, according to researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). JAMA (pay wall)

The bite of the lone star tick can cause a person to develop a life-threatening allergic reaction characterized by constriction of airways and a drop in blood pressure. Wikipedia

The tick is named after the single white spot present on a female’s back, a “star” you don’t want to wish on. As temperatures rise in America, more ticks survive each winter and their range is spreading.

Initially, alpha-gal syndrome was hard to diagnose because the allergic reaction occurs many hours after meat is ingested. In addition, the allergy to red meat lasts a lifetime and can become worse over time. Washington Post

Not all tick bites lead to the allergy, though I haven’t found any hard numbers. The best news is offered by that JAMA article (above) that says the reaction is “rare.” But if you live or travel in the eastern half of the USA (I’ll be conservative since the tick is spreading and pick an easy-to-remember range) and have a sudden bad reaction a few hours after a meal… stop and think… was I outside in a wooded area? Thick underbrush or high grass? Did I eat red meat? Uh oh…

The irony of the situation strikes me. It might be karma if climate change has some self-correcting elements.


People Need Electricity – People Need to Stop Global Warming – Here’s a Surprising Possibility #GlobalWarming #ClimateChange #NuclearEnergy

If you’ve heard that nuclear energy is the low-carbon way out of the global warming‘s slow motion (and not-so-slow motion) disaster, you may wonder if the solution is worse than the problem. But wait. Today’s designs aren’t your parents’ nuclear reactors. Not even uranium powered.

I hope that catches your attention. Check out this video for more.

inFact You Tube Video sceen shot: Thorium Reactors

Thorium Reactors: Fact and Fiction

Blue Energy Future One Step Closer – this could be big #climate #energy #chemistry

New York City's Verazzano Narrows

The principal channel by which New York’s Hudson River empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Global warming and climate change are baked (haha) into our future, but we shouldn’t make it worse. What we need – for the climate, for economic equality – is lots of clean, cheap energy.

Where fresh water rivers meet salty oceans there’s the potential to generate lots of electricity. A large percentage of us humans live in coastal areas, often where rivers create trade routes to the ocean, so generating power there would be handy.

Just pump positive ions from salt water across a membrane into fresh water, pop in electrodes, and bingo! You’ve got electricity. But creating the necessary membrane cell has been elusive. Whatever scientists tried has been too expensive… until now.

Researchers recently made a huge step forward. If the membrane is made of carbon nanotubes that are magnetically aligned, the ions willingly jump right through them, self-separating into the two needed solutions. Getting carbon nanotubes is easy, but aligning them is very hard. This team figured it out, making a 4X improvement on the previous state of the art. Brian Dunning writing about this discovery.

Semih Cetindag, a Ph.D. student in the lab of mechanical engineer Jerry Wei-Jen Shan at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, reported that their team has “cracked the code.” They use nanotubes. The trick was coaxing the tubes into magnetic alignment. That took a couple steps, and they need to make improvements, but… this could work.

Yee ha. I try not to get too worked up over lab studies, but this one’s hard to ignore. Let’s keep our fingers crossed (unless you’re working on this problem – then, get your tail into the lab!)

Methane Dragon Sleeps in the Deep #poem #poetry #methane #oceans

deep ocean tube worms

Tube worms – one of the larger deep ocean critters

Microbial mats
Set the table
With poisonous sulfides
For those that are able.

Beyond sandy shores,
More hitchhiking beasts
Find methane gas
A sumptuous feast.

How odd to discover
These gases are forming
In deep ocean cold
To drive global warming.

The dragon sleeps,
Its bubbling snores
Provide the incentive
To learn something more.

by Kate Rauner

Thanks to