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Ancient resistance - ice age bacteria that could fight off antibiotics

Antibiotic resistance is often seen as a modern phenomenon - an ability generated by bacteria in order to defend against the challenges of modern medicine. This is supported by the fact that bacteria from before the era of antibiotics are often more susceptible to their use. Which is why I found it intriguing that recent studies (ref below) have unearthed bacteria from 30 000-year old permafrost sediment and have found evidence of genes that provide resistance against three of the most common types of antibiotics used in hospitals: β-lactam, tetracycline and glycopeptide antibiotics.

As every microbiologist knows, a good way to get bacteria to stay in an unchanged state is to freeze them. Digging down beneath the surface in areas such as Dawson City in Yukon, Canada reveals layers that have remained frozen since the ice-age and contain, among all the mammoths and toothy-tigers, frozen and uncontamined samples of bacteria.

The researchers focused on Actinobacteria; a soil bacteria with many strains still around in modern times. As a soil bacteria, modern Actinobacteria carries a whole arsenal of antibiotic and antifungal agents in order to protect itself in the cut-throat world of soil microbiotica. The researchers were looking to see what kind of antibiotic substances this ancient bacteria would have.

Igloo

Unusual cold weather wiped out two of Morocco's primary crop exports

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Snow in Morocco earlier this year
An unprecedented cold spell that struck Morocco in February and continued to linger well into March has raised serious questions about the country's national agricultural development programme, which will fail to achieve its desired results if climate change continues to be mismanaged.

The 'Green Morocco Plan' was launched last year with the aim of remedying major obstacles that still hinder development of the agricultural sector, tackling everything from ensuring food security for 32 million Moroccans, to meeting the requirements of European markets, the biggest consumers of Moroccan produce.

However, the Plan does not do a thorough job of diagnosing climate factors, citing only drought, which it considers 'periodical', as an impediment to successful farming. The report does not address the sudden and unexpected arrival of cold weather, whose damages have been no less than disastrous.

Last February, more than 8,200 of the country's 8,700 hectares of potatoes, were ravaged. A further 14,000 of about 21,000 hectares reserved for sugarcane were also blighted by the cold. This is particularly significant since potatoes and sugar are two of Morocco's primary export commodities.

Igloo

Last Ice Age took just SIX months to arrive

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It took just six months for a warm and sunny Europe to be engulfed in ice, according to new research.

Previous studies have suggested the arrival of the last Ice Age nearly 13,000 years ago took about a decade - but now scientists believe the process was up to 20 times as fast.

In scenes reminiscent of the Hollywood blockbuster The day After Tomorrow, the Northern Hemisphere was frozen by a sudden slowdown of the Gulf Stream, which allowed ice to spread hundreds of miles southwards from the Arctic.

Geological sciences professor William Patterson, who led the research, said: 'It would have been very sudden for those alive at the time. It would be the equivalent of taking Britain and moving it to the Arctic over the space of a few months.'

Igloo

Global Cooling on the Way? Lake Sediment Proves Sun Cooled Earth 2,800 Years Ago and Could Happen Again Soon!

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Scientists at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences analysed lake sediment in Lake Meerfelder Maar, and found direct evidence of a sudden cooling caused by a 'solar minimum'
  • Lake sediment proves 'solar minimum' caused 200 years of cooling 2,800 years ago
  • New minimum due soon - after this year's increased sunspot activity
  • Sun's activity CAN cause changes in Earth's climate, claim scientists
  • May throw predictions of global warming out of whack
When the Greek poet Homer was writing The Odyssey around 2,800 years ago, the Earth went through an abrupt period of cooling, caused by the sun - and the same could happen again soon.

Scientists at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences analysed lake sediment in Lake Meerfelder Maar, and found direct evidence of a sudden cooling caused by a 'solar minimum'.

Some scientists suspect that the current period of high solar activity - including increased sunspots and solar storms thsi year - will be followed by a 'minimum' period, which could even cause an Ice Age.

If the GFZ research is correct, a new 'solar minimum' could have a direct impact on Earth's climate - cooling our planet drastically, and knocking the predictions of global-warming alarmists out of whack.

Comment: Interesting that the main stream media is slowly letting the news out. Quite a number of real scientists are in agreement that the earth has actually been cooling and that we are due for another ice age in the very near future (among other things!):

Ice Ages Start and End So Suddenly, "It's Like a Button Was Pressed," Say Scientists
Reflections on the Coming Ice Age
'Forget global warming, prepare for Ice Age'
Scientist predicts 'mini Ice Age'


Igloo

Scotland colder than the ARCTIC as country hit by snow and freezing weather

Scotland snow scene
Scotland was colder than the Arctic at the weekend with freezing temperatures and snow.

It was - 7.4C on Saturday morning on Cairngorm mountain, near Aviemore, and - 6.2C at Saughall, Ayrshire.

But in the Arctic at the most northerly village in Europe - Honningsvag in Norway - it was only 0C.

Yesterday morning was just as bad with temperatures below freezing in many parts.

Igloo

Bering Sea Sees Surprising Record Ice Cover

Bering Sea Ice Covered
© NASA
On April 11, sea ice still covered the Bering Sea.

Arctic sea ice has persistently dwindled over the last three decades, yet sea ice set record highs in waters around Alaska this past winter.

Ice in the Bering Sea not only covered more area than usual, it also stuck around longer, bucking the downward trend in sea ice cover observed since 1979, when satellite records for the region began.

The Arctic as a whole had below-average sea ice cover during the 2011 to 2012 winter season. At its maximum, reached in mid-March, sea ice covered 5.88 million square miles (15.24 million square kilometers), the ninth lowest in the satellite record.

Yet Alaskan waters were choked with ice.

Sea ice cover in the Bering Sea was well above normal for much of the season, and reached a record-high extent in March 2012. In addition, ice surrounded the Pribilof Islands, tiny volcanic islands in the middle of the Bering Sea, for a record number of days this winter.

Arrow Up

The Ice Age Cometh: Thickening Of Karakoram Glaciers In Himalayas Confirmed; Scientists Baffled By Satellite Images

At a time when most of the world's glaciers are thinning at a double rate, a few Himalayan glaciers have been growing thicker for over a decade now.

New satellite images and data have proved that some glaciers on the Karakoram mountain range, a part of the Himalayas, have gained ice mass, according to a report published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

"Assessments of the state of health of Hindu-Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya glaciers and their contribution to regional hydrology and global sea-level rise suffer from a severe lack of observations. An anomalous gain of mass has been suggested for the Karakoram glaciers, but was not confirmed by recent estimates of mass balance," the scientists at France's National Centre for Scientific Research and the University of Grenoble noted in the report, titled "Slight mass gain of Karakoram glaciers in the early twenty-first century."

Based on the images acquired from LANDSAT TM, which provides higher resolution and highly accurate images of the Earth's surface, scientists found that a few glaciers in the region surged and advanced between 1998 and 2008.

The team found that out of the total glacier area of 5,615 sq km, about 1,460 sq km of area showed a surge in ice.

Igloo

Ice Age Cometh? Forecasters predict the "Coldest May in 100 years"

Britain could be facing the coldest May for 100 years, with snow, bit
snow
© Tim Ireland/PA
A family walk in the snow in the Brecon Beacons, south Wales
ter winds and freezing temperatures putting summer on hold.


The winter weather follows a wet start to April, with the threat of floods and storms to come over the next few days.

The Met Office has issued weather warnings for the South West, London, South East, Wales and the West of England due to flooding on roads and 60mph winds.

Hail storms are expected across the country and it is feared windows could be broken by giant hail, up to 1cm thick. In the north and Scotland temperatures could fall to -2C.

Despite the ongoing drought, heavy downpours could cause localised flooding, even in areas where there is hosepipe ban in place.

Independent forecaster WeatherAction has also predicted the next month will be the "coldest or near coldest for 100 years" in the East of England, with cold northwesterly winds.

Snowflake

Top Scientists, Government Agencies and Publications Have - For Over 100 Years - Been Terrified of a New Ice Age

ice age London
© Twentieth Century Fox
Fear of the Big Freeze

There has been an intense debate among leading scientists, government agencies and publications over whether the bigger threat is global warming or a new ice age. As we've previously noted, top researchers have feared an ice age - off and on - for more than 100 years. (This post does not weigh in one way or the other. It merely presents a historical record.)

On February 24, 1895, the New York Times published an article entitled "PROSPECTS OF ANOTHER GLACIAL PERIOD; Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again", which starts with the following paragraph:
The question is again being discussed whether recent and long-continued observations do not point to the advent of a second glacial period, when the countries now basking in the fostering warmth of a tropical sun will ultimately give way to the perennial frost and snow of the polar regions.
In September 1958, Harper's wrote an article called "The Coming Ice Age".

On January 11, 1970, the Washington Post wrote an article entitled "Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age - Scientists See Ice Age In the Future" which stated:
Get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters - the worst may be yet to come. That's the long-long-range weather forecast being given out by "climatologists." the people who study very long-term world weather trends.

MIB

Obama Secret Service Agents Sent Home from Colombia Over Alleged Misconduct

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© Enrique Marcarian/Reuters
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and his wife Maria Clemencia Rodriguez receive U.S. President Barack Obama as they arrive at the San Felipe Castle for a state dinner before the start of the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena April 13, 2012.
A dozen Secret Service agents sent to Colombia to provide security for President Barack Obama at an international summit have been relieved of duty over alleged misconduct.

A caller who said he had knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press the misconduct involved prostitutes in Cartagena, site of the Summit of the Americas. A Secret Service spokesman did not dispute that.

A U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity, put the number of agents sent home at 12. Secret Service was not releasing the number of personnel involved.

The incident threatened to overshadow Mr. Obama's economic and trade agenda at the summit and embarrass the U.S. The White House had no comment, but also did not dispute the allegations.