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Today, 17 September,marks the 133rd birth anniversary of Michiyo Tsujimura, who was a Japanese scientist, and worked extensively on decoding the nutritional value of green tea.
Tsujimura spent her early career as a science teacher. And, in 1920, she chased her dream of becoming a scientific researcher at the Hokkaido Imperial University, where she began to analyse the nutritional properties of Japanese silkworms, in which she was very much interested.
After a few years, Tsujimura transferred to the Tokyo Imperial University, and began researching the biochemistry of green tea alongside Dr. Umetaro Suzuki, who is well known for his discovery of vitamin B1.
In their joint research in this area, it was revealed that green tea contained significant amount of vitamin C, which is the first of many, yet unknown molecular compounds in green tea.
Later on, in 1929, Tsujimura isolated catechin, which is bitter ingredient of tea. Then, the next year, she isolated tannin, which is an even more bitter compound. All these findings formed the foundation for her doctoral thesis– "On the Chemical Components of Green Tea", and through all this hard work, she graduated as Japan's first woman doctor of agriculture in the year 1932.
Moreover, Tsujimura also made history as an educator when she became the first ever Dean of the Faculty of Home Economics at the Tokyo Women's Higher Normal School in the year 1950.
Even today, a stone memorial in honor of Dr. Michiyo Tsujimura’s achievements can be found in her birthplace of Okegawa City.
Children's publishing house Karadi Tales has brought out an illustrated book to raise awareness about the oldest group of reptiles, turtles through a story happening on the ecologically fragile Andaman & Nicobar Islands (A&NI). Authored by Pankaj Sekhsaria, a long time researcher of the A&NI, the book also enlightens readers about the Islands and the various environmental issues surrounding turtles through its informative back matter, a release from Karadi Tales said.
The story is illustrated exquisitely by Vipin Sketchplore, it said.
'Waiting for Turtles' is Sekhsaria's first book for children. An environmental researcher, he has earlier written 'The Last Wave' and 'Islands in the Flux' among others. The story unfolds on the small island of Tarmugli in the Mahatma Gandhi National Park in the Andamans. Protagonist Samrat is accompanying Seema, his turtle researcher mother, in the hope of seeing his first nesting Green sea turtle that nests on the beaches here. There is disappointment for Samrat but there is also a surprise...," the release said.
Through the story, the book sets out to raise awareness about the oldest group of reptiles, turtles. It also enlightens readers about the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the various environmental issues surrounding turtles through the informative back matter, the release said.
Through the story, the book sets out to raise awareness about the oldest group of reptiles, turtles. Photo by David Troeger on Unsplash
"The book beautifully captures Samrat's excitement about the magic of turtle nesting and will inspire children to think of studying and working in this field of science. The illustrations on every page take you to the shores of Tarmugli Island, where you can almost see the stars and feel the breeze. This is experiencing nature vicariously. A must-read for every child!" said Director, Environment Education, WWF-India, Radhika Suri. It has also been published in translation in Hindi by Karadi Tales with support of the Dakshin Foundation and in Telugu by Manchi Pustakam. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Turtles, kids, book, science, reptiles, Tarmugli Island, Andaman Islands
The U.S. Department of Energy on Tuesday announced a new kind of climate observatory near the headwaters of the Colorado River that will help scientists better predict rain and snowfall in the U.S. West and determine how much of it will flow through the region.
The multimillion-dollar effort led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory launches next week. The team has set up radar systems, balloons, cameras and other equipment in an area of Colorado where much of the water in the river originates as snow. More than 40 million people depend on the Colorado River.
Alejandro Flores, an associate professor of hydrology at Boise State University, said the weather in mountainous areas is notoriously difficult to model and the observatory will be a "game changer."
"We have to think about the land and the atmosphere as a linked system that interact with each other," he said in a call with reporters. "Up until now, there have been a lack of observations that help us understand this critical interface."
The West is in the midst of a more than 20-year megadrought that studies link to human-caused climate change. That, along with increased demand on the Colorado River led to the first-ever shortage declaration in August, and there is an increasing threat of deeper, more widespread water cuts. Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will not get their full allocations of river water next year.
Scientists will use the observatory to gather data on precipitation, wind, clouds, tiny particles, humidity, soil moisture and other things. Along with a better understanding of the hydrology, they hope to learn more about how wildfires, forest management, drought and tree-killing bugs, for example, play a part in water availability.
A big issue in predicting water supply in the West centers on soil moisture and content, said Ken Williams, the lead on-site researcher and Berkeley Lab scientist. The monsoon season largely was a dud across the Southwest for the past two years, which means more melting snow soaks into the ground before reaching streams and rivers when it does rain, he said.
Climate experts said during a separate briefing Tuesday that southern Arizona and parts of New Mexico have seen impressive rainfall totals so far this monsoon season, with Tucson marking its wettest July on record. Mike Crimmins, a professor at the University of Arizona, called it an "amazing reversal" for the desert city.
Some parts of the Southwest have seen as much as four times their normal precipitation levels. But Crimmins noted other spots like Albuquerque, New Mexico, are either at average levels or still lagging.
"We have both really wet conditions for the short term, but we also have longer-term drought still hanging out there because we have these longer-term deficits that we cannot solve with just one or two or even three months of precipitation," he said.
To reverse the longer-term trends, the region would need to see back-to-back wet winters and summers that are hard to come by, Crimmins said.
The new climate observatory, called the Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory, brings together federal scientists, university researchers and others to build on a previous effort to study part of the upper Gunnison River basin in Colorado that shares characteristics with the Rocky Mountains.
For the Rio Grande basin, the data could help water managers as they juggle longstanding water sharing agreements among Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico, Williams said. It also could help improve weather forecasting and experiments to modify the weather, such as cloud seeding to produce more precipitation.
The data will be available to other researchers and provide a benchmark for any collection beyond the two-year project, scientists said. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Climate, Precipitation, US West, Water Collection, Science
The judge overseeing Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy said Monday that some members of the Sackler family who own the OxyContin maker face a "substantial risk" of liability and could be on the hook for "huge amounts of money" over claims the company fueled the opioid epidemic.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, made the remark during closing arguments in a trial over Purdue's proposed reorganization plan.
Drain said he believes some Sacklers face liability, but that "the question is where you draw the line."
Under the deal, which Purdue said is worth more than $10 billion, the Sacklers would contribute approximately $4.5 billion and would receive legal protections against future opioid-related litigation.
Drain did not explicitly state how he would rule but suggested he finds the deal sufficient.
The judge is expected to issue a formal ruling on the deal later this week.
The money would go toward various entities and private individuals with opioid claims, as well as state and local opioid abatement programs.
Critics of the settlement argue that the liability releases are too broad.
An attorney representing the states of Washington and Oregon, which oppose the plan, told Drain on Monday that approving the deal would be a "historic mistake."
The judge also stated that appeals courts generally support the types of releases the Sacklers would receive if they meet certain standards.
At the outset of Monday's hearing, a lawyer for the Sacklers said they had agreed to narrow the litigation releases to exclude protections for the family against non-opioid-related claims.
But the crux of the releases, shielding the Sacklers against opioid-related litigation, remains intact.
During testimony last week, members of the Sackler family said they would not contribute if they do not receive the releases. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Pharma, Purdue, Sackler family, Bankruptcy