Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Acceleration


Global mean sea level rise estimated from satellite altimetry provides a strong constraint on climate variability and change and is expected to accelerate as the rates of both ocean warming and cryospheric mass loss increase over time. In stark contrast to this expectation however, current altimeter products show the rate of sea level rise to have decreased from the first to second decades of the altimeter era. Here, a combined analysis of altimeter data and specially designed climate model simulations shows the 1991 eruption of Mt Pinatubo to likely have masked the acceleration that would have otherwise occurred. This masking arose largely from a recovery in ocean heat content through the mid to late 1990 s subsequent to major heat content reductions in the years following the eruption. A consequence of this finding is that barring another major volcanic eruption, a detectable acceleration is likely to emerge from the noise of internal climate variability in the coming decade.

Concepts: Sea level, Oceanography, Climate change, Atmospheric pressure, Acceleration, Ocean, Altimeter, TOPEX/Poseidon


A modified smoothed particle hydrodynamic (MSPH) computational technique was utilized to simulate molten particle motion and infiltration speed on multi-scale analysis levels. The radial velocity and velocity gradient of molten alumina, iron infiltration in the TiC product and solidification rate, were predicted during centrifugal self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) simulation, which assisted the coating process by MSPH. The effects of particle size and temperature on infiltration and solidification of iron and alumina were mainly investigated. The obtained results were validated with experimental microstructure evidence. The simulation model successfully describes the magnitude of iron and alumina diffusion in a centrifugal thermite SHS and Ti + C hybrid reaction under centrifugal acceleration.

Concepts: Oxygen, Chemical reaction, Liquid, Acceleration, Velocity, Computational sociology, Chemical engineering, Reactive centrifugal force


This study aimed to determine the intra- and inter-device accuracy and reliability of wearable athletic tracking devices, under controlled laboratory conditions. A total of nineteen portable accelerometers (Catapult OptimEye S5) were mounted to an aluminum bracket, bolted directly to an Unholtz Dickie 20K electrodynamic shaker table, and subjected to a series of oscillations in each of three orthogonal directions (front-back, side to side, and up-down), at four levels of peak acceleration (0.1g, 0.5g, 1.0g, and 3.0g), each repeated five times resulting in a total of 60 tests per unit, for a total of 1140 records. Data from each accelerometer was recorded at a sampling frequency of 100Hz. Peak accelerations recorded by the devices, Catapult PlayerLoad™, and calculated player load (using Catapult’s Cartesian formula) were used for the analysis. The devices demonstrated excellent intradevice reliability and mixed interdevice reliability. Differences were found between devices for mean peak accelerations and PlayerLoad™ for each direction and level of acceleration. Interdevice effect sizes ranged from a mean of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.34-0.74) (small) to 1.20 (95% CI: 1.08-1.30) (large) and ICCs ranged from 0.77 (95% CI: 0.62-0.89) (very large) to 1.0 (95% CI: 0.99-1.0) (nearly perfect) depending upon the magnitude and direction of the applied motion. When compared to the player load determined using the Cartesian formula, the Catapult reported PlayerLoad™ was consistently lower by approximately 15%. These results emphasize the need for industry wide standards in reporting validity, reliability and the magnitude of measurement errors. It is recommended that device reliability and accuracy are periodically quantified.

Concepts: Measurement, Shock, Psychometrics, Device, Reliability, Acceleration, Tracking system, Dimensional analysis


To solve the problem that MEMS vector hydrophones are greatly interfered with by the vibration of the platform and flow noise in applications, this paper describes a differential MEMS vector hydrophone that could simultaneously receive acoustic signals and reject acceleration signals. Theoretical and simulation analyses have been carried out. Lastly, a prototype of the differential MEMS vector hydrophone has been created and tested using a standing wave tube and a vibration platform. The results of the test show that this hydrophone has a high sensitivity, Mv = -185 dB (@ 500 Hz, 0 dB reference 1 V/μPa), which is almost the same as the previous MEMS vector hydrophones, and has a low acceleration sensitivity, Mv = -58 dB (0 dB reference 1 V/g), which has decreased by 17 dB compared with the previous MEMS vector hydrophone. The differential MEMS vector hydrophone basically meets the requirements of acoustic vector detection when it is rigidly fixed to a working platform, which lays the foundation for engineering applications of MEMS vector hydrophones.

Concepts: Wave, Acceleration, Problem solving, Microphone, Sonar, Platform game, Acoustic signature, Hydrophone


Current predictions of extinction risks from climate change vary widely depending on the specific assumptions and geographic and taxonomic focus of each study. I synthesized published studies in order to estimate a global mean extinction rate and determine which factors contribute the greatest uncertainty to climate change-induced extinction risks. Results suggest that extinction risks will accelerate with future global temperatures, threatening up to one in six species under current policies. Extinction risks were highest in South America, Australia, and New Zealand, and risks did not vary by taxonomic group. Realistic assumptions about extinction debt and dispersal capacity substantially increased extinction risks. We urgently need to adopt strategies that limit further climate change if we are to avoid an acceleration of global extinctions.

Concepts: Risk, Climate, Classical mechanics, Acceleration, Rate, Global warming, Biogeography, Specific force


Psychological stress is suggested to accelerate the rate of biological aging. We investigated whether work-related exhaustion, an indicator of prolonged work stress, is associated with accelerated biological aging, as indicated by shorter leukocyte telomeres, that is, the DNA-protein complexes that cap chromosomal ends in cells.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Senescence, Cell division, Telomerase, Telomere, Acceleration, Immortality


Multi-decadal increase in shell removal by tourists, a process that may accelerate degradation of natural habitats, was quantified via two series of monthly surveys, conducted thirty years apart (1978-1981 and 2008-2010) in one small embayment on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Over the last three decades, the local tourist arrivals have increased almost three-fold (2.74), while the area has remained unaffected by urban encroachment and commercial fisheries. During the same time interval the abundance of mollusk shells along the shoreline decreased by a comparable factor (2.62) and was significantly and negatively correlated with tourist arrivals (r = -0.52). The strength of the correlation increased when data were restricted to months with high tourist arrivals (r = -0.72). In contrast, the maximum monthly wave energy (an indirect proxy for changes in rate of onshore shell transport) was not significantly correlated with shell abundance (r = 0.10). Similarly, rank dominance of common species, drilling predation intensity, and body size-frequency distribution patterns have all remained stable over recent decades. A four-fold increase in global tourist arrivals over the last 30 years may have induced a comparable worldwide acceleration in shell removal from marine shorelines, resulting in multiple, currently unquantifiable, habitat changes such as increased beach erosion, changes in calcium carbonate recycling, and declines in diversity and abundance of organisms, which are dependent on shell availability.

Concepts: Mediterranean Sea, Portugal, Iberian Peninsula, Classical mechanics, Spain, Acceleration, Tourism, Coastal geography


The growing human population and a changing environment have raised significant concern for global food security, with the current improvement rate of several important crops inadequate to meet future demand 1 . This slow improvement rate is attributed partly to the long generation times of crop plants. Here, we present a method called ‘speed breeding’, which greatly shortens generation time and accelerates breeding and research programmes. Speed breeding can be used to achieve up to 6 generations per year for spring wheat (Triticum aestivum), durum wheat (T. durum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and pea (Pisum sativum), and 4 generations for canola (Brassica napus), instead of 2-3 under normal glasshouse conditions. We demonstrate that speed breeding in fully enclosed, controlled-environment growth chambers can accelerate plant development for research purposes, including phenotyping of adult plant traits, mutant studies and transformation. The use of supplemental lighting in a glasshouse environment allows rapid generation cycling through single seed descent (SSD) and potential for adaptation to larger-scale crop improvement programs. Cost saving through light-emitting diode (LED) supplemental lighting is also outlined. We envisage great potential for integrating speed breeding with other modern crop breeding technologies, including high-throughput genotyping, genome editing and genomic selection, accelerating the rate of crop improvement.

Concepts: Wheat, Light-emitting diode, Acceleration, Food security, Bread, Durum, Faboideae, Triticeae


Forest ecosystems have been exposed to climate change for more than 100 years, whereas the consequences on forest growth remain elusive. Based on the oldest existing experimental forest plots in Central Europe, we show that, currently, the dominant tree species Norway spruce and European beech exhibit significantly faster tree growth (+32 to 77%), stand volume growth (+10 to 30%) and standing stock accumulation (+6 to 7%) than in 1960. Stands still follow similar general allometric rules, but proceed more rapidly through usual trajectories. As forest stands develop faster, tree numbers are currently 17-20% lower than in past same-aged stands. Self-thinning lines remain constant, while growth rates increase indicating the stock of resources have not changed, while growth velocity and turnover have altered. Statistical analyses of the experimental plots, and application of an ecophysiological model, suggest that mainly the rise in temperature and extended growing seasons contribute to increased growth acceleration, particularly on fertile sites.

Concepts: Statistics, Europe, Germany, Acceleration, Velocity, Kinematics, Central Europe, Beech


Aging is the greatest risk factor for neurodegeneration, but the connection between the two processes remains opaque. This is in part for want of a rigorous way to define physiological age, as opposed to chronological age. Here we develop a comprehensive metric for physiological age inDrosophila,based on genome-wide expression profiling. We applied this metric to a model of adult-onset neurodegeneration, increased or decreased expression of the activating subunit of the Cdk5 protein kinase, encoded by the geneCdk5α, the ortholog of mammalian p35.Cdk5α-mediated degeneration was associated with a 27-150% acceleration of the intrinsic rate of aging, depending on the tissue and genetic manipulation. Gene ontology analysis and direct experimental tests revealed that affected, age-associated processes included numerous core phenotypes of neurodegeneration, including enhanced oxidative stress and impaired proteostasis. Taken together, our results suggest thatCdk5α-mediated neurodegeneration results from accelerated aging, in combination with cell-autonomous neuronal insults. These data fundamentally recast our picture of the relationship between neurodegeneration and its most prominent risk factor, natural aging.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Signal transduction, Classical mechanics, Acceleration, Kinematics, Euclidean vector, Rate