Header Summits

Scientists Discover That Bacteria Have a Collective Memory

17th April 2016

By Josh Richardson

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Collective motion can be observed in biological systems over a wide range of length scales, from large animals to fish to bacteria, because collective systems always work better for adaptation than those which are singular.

Individual bacterial cells have short memories. But groups of bacteria can develop a collective memory that can increase their tolerance to stress. This has been demonstrated experimentally for the first time in a study by Eawag and ETH Zurich scientists published in PNAS.

A central question in the study of biological collective motion is how the traits of individuals give rise to the emergent behavior at population level. This question is relevant to the dynamics of general self-propelled particle systems, biological self-organization, and active fluids. Bacteria provide a tractable system to address this question, because bacteria are simple and their behavior is relatively easy to control.

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Plastic Waste in the Ocean Will Outnumber Fish by 2050

11th April 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

A dump truck full of plastic is unloaded into the sea every minute, and experts say the situation is growing worse, with plastic debris expected to outnumber fish by 2050.

With plastic production currently at a twentyfold increase since 1964, generating 311m tonnes in 2014, a new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has revealed we are rapidly approaching an environmental catastrophe — especially where the world’s oceans are concerned. This number is expected to double in the next 20 years and almost quadruple by 2050.

New plastics will use 20% of all oil within 35 years, which stands at around 7% today. And, despite the increasing demand, a mere 5% of all plastics are recycled successfully — with 40% ending up in landfills and a third in delicate ecosystems like the ocean. The remainder tends to be burned to generate energy, which has its own environmental impact not only in the pollution this practice generates, but also because it causes more fossil fuels to be used in order to make new plastic products like bags, cups, tubs and consumer devices.

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When I Dream of a Planet in Recovery…

29th March 2016

By Derrick Jensen B.Sc

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

In the time after, the buffalo come home. At first only a few, shaking snow off their shoulders as they pass from mountain to plain. Big bulls sweep away snowpack from the soft grass beneath; big cows attend to and protect their young. The young themselves delight, like the young everywhere, in the newness of everything they see, smell, taste, touch, and feel.

In the time after, wolves follow the buffalo, as do mallards, gadwalls, blue-winged teal, northern shovelers, northern pintails, redheads, canvasbacks, and tundra swans. Prairie dogs come home, bringing with them the rain, and bringing with them ferrets, foxes, hawks, eagles, snakes, and badgers. With all of these come meadowlarks and red-winged blackbirds. With all of these come the tall and short grasses. With these come the prairies.

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Environmental Research Reveals Seattle Salmon are on Drugs — Thanks, Humans!

26th March 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

“From Prozac to caffeine to cholesterol medicine, from ibuprofen to bug spray, researchers found an alphabet soup of drugs and other personal-care products in sewage-treatment wastewater and in the tissue of juvenile chinook in Puget Sound.” ~ Seattle Times

Tainted Wastewater Poisons Salmon

A paper published in the journal Environmental Pollution has given a fresh meaning to the phrase “you are what you eat” — but this time, it’s in reference to the polluted diet of Pacific Northwest chinook salmon. Once hailed as an exceptionally healthy food, salmon has come under scrutiny as the ecosystem has become increasingly toxic from industrial waste, plastics, microbeads, general pollution and now, sewage treatment plants.

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Seed Bombs: A Creative (and Fun) Mission to Save the Bees and Butterflies

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

By now most are aware of the dire situation of the honeybee: dwindling numbers, collapsed colonies and dying hives — which endangers not only honey production, but also the food supply. We face a stark reality if bee numbers continue to decline, some foods will become downright impossible to grow — such as almonds, certain berries and apples. Not to mention bees contribute approximately $15 billion to U.S. crop production. If they all but disappear, the economy will be hard hit.

And it’s not just honeybees at risk. Wild pollinators — thousands of breeds of bees, butterflies, moths and birds — are in trouble as well. Some speculate GMOs are the cause of the shrinking numbers, others claim pesticides — especially those of the neonicotinoid and glyphosate class — are at the root of the problem. Many believe it’s a combination of both. While environmental advocacy groups and corporate chemical companies battle it out, grassroots efforts have taken the matter in hand and have cultivated an innovative solution to the issue. One such organization is the Great Seed Bomb.

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Animal Communicators Prove It’s Possible to Hear an Animal’s Thoughts

By Makia Freeman

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Animal communicators are people who can fully communicate with an animal just as they would with a normal human person. The communication is telepathic and 2-way; the animal communicators can both “speak” (by sending thought out towards the animal) and “hear” (by receiving thought in from the animal).

Animal communicators have most likely existed for a long time, probably in every single culture in the world. It is only in our modern Western materialistic culture, which has been influenced by mainstream institutions of religion and science based on perceiving a reality of separateness, that such a possibility seems so outlandish. However, as the following examples show, animal communication, also known as interspecies communication, is a very real phenomenon. These animal communicators are able to access knowledge from and about these animals that they could not possibly have otherwise known.

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Conscious Connection – Bridging Species Through Love

By Michael J. Roads

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Some months ago I had a book recommended to me, The Elephant Whisperer, by Lawrence Anthony. And as the author quickly states, the whisperer is the elephant! It is a very well written and truly inspiring book. Why I am mentioning this is that the book is actually about consciousness … although the (now sadly deceased) author might not have realised this at the time of writing.

Obviously enough, it is the true story of the relationship between a dominant female African elephant and the author. Just briefly, a small, displaced herd of elephants had become very aggressive and dangerous to the local native villagers, and the herd was to be shot. Lawrence, who was blessed to own 5000 acres of game reserve called Thula Thula, set in pristine bush in Zululand, South Africa, is told about this and asked if he can take the whole herd to save their lives. Although this represents a multitude of staggering problems for him, Lawrence instantly agrees.

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Groundbreaking Study Maps the Decline of Wild Bee Communities in the United States

By Christina Lavers

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

By now most of us are aware that the humble bee is not only responsible for creating one of the most natural, health giving, and divinely sweet substances — honey — but also for managing one of the most vital steps in the production of our food crops — pollination. Unfortunately what has contributed to this newfound awareness about bees and the crucial role they play in our food chain, and by extension, their relevance to our survival as a species, is their rapid and initially mysterious decline.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, bees (wild and farmed) play a key role in the production of about 1/3 of all the food we eat, and add 15 billion dollars to the annual value of the country’s food crops. Because the animals we consume are generally fed fodder that comes from crops dependent on honey-bee fertilization, and since even plant based fibres like cotton rely on bees for pollination, the implications are massive.

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The Pink Elephant – Help Halt the Hunting Madness

28th September 2015

By Carmen Allgood

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

As the world turns and social media churns out the dirge of human activity all over the world, it becomes increasingly clear that most of the devastating situations on the planet share one underlying cause: Our refusal to love one another. Perhaps we outsmarted ourselves with the industrial revolution and new technology, which landed us at the top of our own “endangered species” list. As a result, it could be argued that the only way forward is to turn around and go the other way.

Call it what you will, but without millions of people being driven to vocalize their refusal to look the other way and not speak out loudly and clearly to defend the rights of our non-human companions — who share their journey with us — we would all be doomed. Fortunately, activists get the ball rolling and supporters chime in to declare a permanent moratorium that could simply be called: Stop the madness.

Pink Is The New Green

Some brilliant soul decided to take matters into their own hands and seeded an idea that is trending on social media right now: Dye the tusks of elephants pink. In the dream, the dye does not harm the pachyderm, cannot be washed off, and poachers move on because they can only sell the ivory if it is pure.

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Plastic In The Ocean: How Does It Affect You?

By Audrey Lefebvre

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The world was first introduced to what is now known as plastic in 1907, and has used it ever since. Today, plastic is discarded throughout our oceans, catastrophically changed our world. The ocean is becoming a “plastic soup” due to the astonishing level of plastic debris and toxicity it causes.

The Chemicals in Plastic

Plastic, by chemical composition, contains bisphenol A and styrene trimer. Bisphenol A is a polycarbonate, or a hard, clear plastic often used in water bottles and food packaging. BPA can seep into food and water causing a risk of health effects on our nervous system, unborn fetuses, and children.

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Humanity is Waking Up to the Intelligence of Nature

By Paul Lenda

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

There’s a heightening level of awareness within the human race with regards to nature and all that it contained within it. Everything from the discoveries of the rudiments of language in monkeys, metacognition in dolphins, self-awareness of elephants, the ability for animals to tell “right” from “wrong”, to the creation and extension of bills of rights for animals and plants by countries such as Switzerland and Ecuador as well as the acknowledgment of dolphins as being non-human persons.

There’s a growing awareness within humanity that nature and its inhabitants are not as primitive and simple as we once believed them to be. With this growing awareness comes growing understanding of the unity that humanity has with the environment within which it exists. This sense of unity with nature is not something new and indeed has been the primary position of awareness for many societies in existence before their industrialization.

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The Lesson of Cecil The Lion – Trophy Hunting and The Evolution of Consciousness

17th August 2015

By Steve Bromberg (with Michaella Scott)

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

It’s a fact; we humans have it within us to be hunters. Hunting and gathering food is part of our human heritage, and there are still indigenous cultures alive today that survive this way, living from the land in harmonious accord with ancient tradition — ‘the old ways’.

However most of us are no longer living ‘the old ways’. Our humble tribal lives have been thoroughly modernized by the agricultural, commercial and industrial practices of western post-industrial culture. Many of us live in cities, so we don’t have to hunt for our food. Instead we have people producing and transporting our food for us; we simply go and gather it up from corporate food outlets and pay for it as we need it.

During the times of ‘the old ways’, while the men went out and hunted prey, the women and children would gather whatever wild foods and other useful things they could find growing in their area, and take them home to make things and add to the family food supplies.

Continue Reading – The Lesson of Cecil The Lion – Trophy Hunting and The Evolution of Consciousness