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Scientists expect desertification of the forests of the Mediterranean basin

Geologists at the German University of Heidelberg expect an increase in the risk of desertification of the forests of the Mediterranean basin in the future due to climate changes.

By News CorrectPublished 5 months ago 7 min read

Nature Communications reports that the researchers studied and analyzed fossil pollen grains discovered in cores taken from the Tenagi-Philippo sediments in northeastern Greece and reconstructed the state of ecosystems in the region over the past 500,000 years.

It became clear to the researchers that in the conditions of prolonged drought, which already occurred in the past and which climate models predict, desertification of the forests of the Mediterranean basin is not excluded in the near future.

The results showed that in the past, the forests of the Mediterranean basin turned into plains within a few decades, once a certain precipitation threshold was reached. For example, a decrease in humidity by 40-50 percent was sufficient to turn forests into plains. The environmental models also allowed the researchers to take into account possible factors that caused the change in precipitation. For example, the change in the percentage of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere was related to the amount of rain that fell in the region.

It should be noted that the forests of the Mediterranean basin are not only an important area for biodiversity, but also regulate the climate and hydrological conditions in the region, and provide the inhabitants of the region with foodstuffs and timber. Source: Linta. ru

“Adding salt to your morning coffee” is spreading all over the Internet for a rather strange reason! Will you try it?

Most people, if they want to add anything to their coffee, would probably want to choose sugar, cream, or perhaps other sweeteners.

But a "hack" circulating on social media suggests adding a pinch of salt, rather than a spoonful of sugar, to your morning cup. This trick seems to remove some of the bitterness and bring out other flavors that might otherwise be lost.

And if the idea seems strange to you, rest assured that it is not what you think it is. There's even a scientific basis for this type of coffee that's been known for decades: Sodium chloride is highly effective in suppressing bitterness in coffee and all kinds of food.

The scientists attributed the ability of sodium chloride - ordinary table salt - to suppress bitterness to salt's popularity as a cooking ingredient around the world, throughout human history. By crushing the feeling of bitterness, salt allows other flavors, such as sweetness, to really shine.

The tongue map theory of human taste has long been debunked, but different receptors are sensitive to certain types of flavours. The salt receptor is known as the epithelial sodium channel, or ENaC. Bitter taste receptors belong to a family known as TAS2Rs.

Research published in 1995 showed that salt is effective in masking bitterness. When the scientists mixed the sweet and bitter compounds, adding salt made the mixture sweeter and less bitter. But the repression did not go both ways. The bitter compounds did not suppress the flavor of the salt.

It's still not entirely clear how the inhibition works, but research in mice in 2013 found that while ENaC tastes low levels of sodium chloride, at high concentrations, salt stimulates sour and bitter receptors as well. This is because this combination is believed to be an unpleasant taste, and consuming too much salt at once is extremely dangerous.

The bitterness of coffee appears when roasting in preparation for brewing. This process forms compounds called chlorogenic acid lactones and, in dark roasts, phenylindanes, which result from the decomposition of chlorogenic acid.

Places around the world where salt is commonly added to coffee to enhance its taste include Vietnam, where salty coffee is enhanced with condensed milk for a delicious caramel-like beverage. And the Swedish arctic coffee tradition adds some salted meat or cheese. Even the US Navy personnel used to drink coffee with salt during and after World War II because desalination equipment was not entirely effective.

So if you don't like your coffee sweet or milky, it might be worth trying a pinch of salt. Since not everyone tastes the same, you may need to experiment. Source: ScienceAlert

For some unknown reason piles of noodles are dumped near a creek in New Jersey

Residents of a city in the US state of New Jersey were surprised to find 230 kilograms of pasta near a stream in the woods last week, under mysterious circumstances.

The incident captured the attention of the local authorities, and spectators rushed to document the photos on social media platforms.

According to the New York Times, Himanshu Shah, a town official, said in an email that the local public works department found "what appears to be 15 loads of noodles dumped illegally along a creek in a residential neighborhood."

Nina Guschnowitz, who previously ran for council membership in the town and posted pictures of piles of noodles dumped by the water table, said that the place was often intended for those who wanted to dump old furniture and building materials, but this time someone thought it was a suitable place to leave approximately 300 to 500 pounds. A pound of pasta. Source: "The New York Times"

Scientists discover how nightmares can be "silenced" with a single piano string!

A study of 36 patients diagnosed with nightmare disorder showed that a combination of two simple treatments reduced the frequency of their bad dreams.

The scientists asked volunteers to rewrite their most common nightmares in a positive light and then play audio associated with positive experiences while they slept.

Psychiatrist Lambros Perogamvros, of the University Hospitals of Geneva in Switzerland, explained: 'There is a relationship between the types of feelings we experience in dreams and our emotional well-being. Based on this observation, we had the idea that we could help people by manipulating the emotions in their dreams.' In this study, We showed that we can reduce the number of very strong and very emotionally negative dreams in patients who suffer from nightmares."

He suffers a lot of nightmares, and it's not always a simple case of some bad dreams. Nightmares are also linked to poor quality sleep, which in turn is linked to a myriad of other health issues.

Lack of sleep can also lead to increased anxiety, which in turn can lead to insomnia and nightmares. Recent studies have shown that nightmares and sleep disturbances have seen a slight rise during the ongoing global pandemic.

Because we don't really understand why, or even how, our brain creates dreams while we sleep, treating chronic nightmares is challenging. One non-invasive method is experimental imagery therapy, in which patients rewrite their most horrific, recurring nightmares to give a happy ending.

They then "practice" telling themselves that rewritten story, trying to get past the nightmare.

This method can reduce the frequency and severity of nightmares, but the treatment is not effective for all patients.

And in 2010, scientists found that playing sounds that people had been trained to associate with a specific stimulus while they were sleeping helped to consolidate memory of that stimulus. Called this targeted memory reactivation (TMR), Pyrogamvros and his colleagues wanted to see if it could improve the effectiveness of image training therapy (IRT).

After the study participants completed a two-week dream and sleep diary, all volunteers were given one IRT session. At this point, half of the group underwent a TMR session, creating a link between a positive version of their nightmares and the sound.

The other half acted as a control group, where they imagined a less terrifying version of the nightmare without exposure to positive voices.

Both groups received a sleep headband that would play a sound - a C69 piano chord - while they slept, every 10 seconds during REM sleep when nightmares were most likely to occur.

The groups were assessed after two weeks of additional notes, and then again after three months without any type of treatment.

At the start of the study, the control group had, on average, 2.58 nightmares per week, and the TMR group had an average of 2.94 nightmares per week. By the end of the study, the control group had dropped to 1.02 nightmares per week, while the TMR group had dropped to just 0.19. Even more, the TMR group reported an increase in pleasant dreams.

At the three-month follow-up, nightmares increased slightly in both groups, to 1.48 and 0.33 per week, respectively. However, the researchers said this still represented an impressive reduction in the frequency of nightmares, suggesting that using TMR to support IRT leads to a more effective treatment.

"We were positively surprised at how well the participants respected and tolerated the study procedures, for example carrying out the image training therapy every day," said Perogamvros. "We noticed a rapid decrease in nightmares, along with dreams that became more emotionally positive. For us, the researchers and clinicians, these are The results are very promising for the study of emotional processing during sleep and for the development of new therapies."

The team's research has been published in the journal Current Biology. Source: ScienceAlert

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