SciCombinator

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

1919

Most estimates of global mean sea-level rise this century fall below 2 m. This quantity is comparable to the positive vertical bias of the principle digital elevation model (DEM) used to assess global and national population exposures to extreme coastal water levels, NASA’s SRTM. CoastalDEM is a new DEM utilizing neural networks to reduce SRTM error. Here we show - employing CoastalDEM-that 190 M people (150-250 M, 90% CI) currently occupy global land below projected high tide lines for 2100 under low carbon emissions, up from 110 M today, for a median increase of 80 M. These figures triple SRTM-based values. Under high emissions, CoastalDEM indicates up to 630 M people live on land below projected annual flood levels for 2100, and up to 340 M for mid-century, versus roughly 250 M at present. We estimate one billion people now occupy land less than 10 m above current high tide lines, including 250 M below 1 m.

513

Food choices are shifting globally in ways that are negatively affecting both human health and the environment. Here we consider how consuming an additional serving per day of each of 15 foods is associated with 5 health outcomes in adults and 5 aspects of agriculturally driven environmental degradation. We find that while there is substantial variation in the health outcomes of different foods, foods associated with a larger reduction in disease risk for one health outcome are often associated with larger reductions in disease risk for other health outcomes. Likewise, foods with lower impacts on one metric of environmental harm tend to have lower impacts on others. Additionally, of the foods associated with improved health (whole grain cereals, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and fish), all except fish have among the lowest environmental impacts, and fish has markedly lower impacts than red meats and processed meats. Foods associated with the largest negative environmental impacts-unprocessed and processed red meat-are consistently associated with the largest increases in disease risk. Thus, dietary transitions toward greater consumption of healthier foods would generally improve environmental sustainability, although processed foods high in sugars harm health but can have relatively low environmental impacts. These findings could help consumers, policy makers, and food companies to better understand the multiple health and environmental implications of food choices.

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443

Since 2000, many countries have achieved considerable success in improving child survival, but localized progress remains unclear. To inform efforts towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.2-to end preventable child deaths by 2030-we need consistently estimated data at the subnational level regarding child mortality rates and trends. Here we quantified, for the period 2000-2017, the subnational variation in mortality rates and number of deaths of neonates, infants and children under 5 years of age within 99 low- and middle-income countries using a geostatistical survival model. We estimated that 32% of children under 5 in these countries lived in districts that had attained rates of 25 or fewer child deaths per 1,000 live births by 2017, and that 58% of child deaths between 2000 and 2017 in these countries could have been averted in the absence of geographical inequality. This study enables the identification of high-mortality clusters, patterns of progress and geographical inequalities to inform appropriate investments and implementations that will help to improve the health of all populations.

423

Intact tropical forests, free from substantial anthropogenic influence, store and sequester large amounts of atmospheric carbon but are currently neglected in international climate policy. We show that between 2000 and 2013, direct clearance of intact tropical forest areas accounted for 3.2% of gross carbon emissions from all deforestation across the pantropics. However, full carbon accounting requires the consideration of forgone carbon sequestration, selective logging, edge effects, and defaunation. When these factors were considered, the net carbon impact resulting from intact tropical forest loss between 2000 and 2013 increased by a factor of 6 (626%), from 0.34 (0.37 to 0.21) to 2.12 (2.85 to 1.00) petagrams of carbon (equivalent to approximately 2 years of global land use change emissions). The climate mitigation value of conserving the 549 million ha of tropical forest that remains intact is therefore significant but will soon dwindle if their rate of loss continues to accelerate.

419

The human brain undergoes significant functional and structural changes in the first decades of life, as the foundations for human cognition are laid down. However, non-invasive imaging techniques to investigate brain function throughout neurodevelopment are limited due to growth in head-size with age and substantial head movement in young participants. Experimental designs to probe brain function are also limited by the unnatural environment typical brain imaging systems impose. However, developments in quantum technology allowed fabrication of a new generation of wearable magnetoencephalography (MEG) technology with the potential to revolutionise electrophysiological measures of brain activity. Here we demonstrate a lifespan-compliant MEG system, showing recordings of high fidelity data in toddlers, young children, teenagers and adults. We show how this system can support new types of experimental paradigm involving naturalistic learning. This work reveals a new approach to functional imaging, providing a robust platform for investigation of neurodevelopment in health and disease.

381

Using appropriate antipredatory responses is crucial for survival. While slowing down reduces the chances of being detected from distant predators, fleeing away is advantageous in front of an approaching predator. Whether appropriate responses depend on experience with moving objects is still an open question. To clarify whether adopting appropriate fleeing or freezing responses requires previous experience, we investigated responses of chicks naive to movement. When exposed to the moving cues mimicking an approaching predator (a rapidly expanding, looming stimulus), chicks displayed a fast escape response. In contrast, when presented with a distal threat (a small stimulus sweeping overhead) they decreased their speed, a maneuver useful to avoid detection. The fast expansion of the stimulus toward the subject, rather than its size per se or change in luminance, triggered the escape response. These results show that young animals, in the absence of previous experience, can use motion cues to select the appropriate responses to different threats. The adaptive needs of young preys are thus matched by spontaneous defensive mechanisms that do not require learning.

371

CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and public health and clinical partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with the use of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), or vaping, products. In late August, CDC released recommendations for health care providers regarding e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) based on limited data from the first reported cases (1,2). This report summarizes national surveillance data describing clinical features of more recently reported cases and interim recommendations based on these data for U.S. health care providers caring for patients with suspected or known EVALI. It provides interim guidance for 1) initial clinical evaluation; 2) suggested criteria for hospital admission and treatment; 3) patient follow-up; 4) special considerations for groups at high risk; and 5) clinical and public health recommendations. Health care providers evaluating patients suspected to have EVALI should ask about the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products in a nonjudgmental and thorough manner. Patients suspected to have EVALI should have a chest radiograph (CXR), and hospital admission is recommended for patients who have decreased blood oxygen (O2) saturation (<95%) on room air or who are in respiratory distress. Health care providers should consider empiric use of a combination of antibiotics, antivirals, or steroids based upon clinical context. Evidence-based tobacco product cessation strategies, including behavioral counseling, are recommended to help patients discontinue use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products. To reduce the risk of recurrence, patients who have been treated for EVALI should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products. CDC recommends that persons should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). At present, CDC recommends persons consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain nicotine. Irrespective of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette, or vaping, products should never be used by youths, young adults, or women who are pregnant. Persons who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.

306

Multiple organizations around the world have issued evidence-based exercise guidance for patients with cancer and cancer survivors. Recently, the American College of Sports Medicine has updated its exercise guidance for cancer prevention as well as for the prevention and treatment of a variety of cancer health-related outcomes (eg, fatigue, anxiety, depression, function, and quality of life). Despite these guidelines, the majority of people living with and beyond cancer are not regularly physically active. Among the reasons for this is a lack of clarity on the part of those who work in oncology clinical settings of their role in assessing, advising, and referring patients to exercise. The authors propose using the American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise Is Medicine initiative to address this practice gap. The simple proposal is for clinicians to assess, advise, and refer patients to either home-based or community-based exercise or for further evaluation and intervention in outpatient rehabilitation. To do this will require care coordination with appropriate professionals as well as change in the behaviors of clinicians, patients, and those who deliver the rehabilitation and exercise programming. Behavior change is one of many challenges to enacting the proposed practice changes. Other implementation challenges include capacity for triage and referral, the need for a program registry, costs and compensation, and workforce development. In conclusion, there is a call to action for key stakeholders to create the infrastructure and cultural adaptations needed so that all people living with and beyond cancer can be as active as is possible for them.

290

The main contributors to sea-level rise (oceans, glaciers, and ice sheets) respond to climate change on timescales ranging from decades to millennia. A focus on the 21st century thus fails to provide a complete picture of the consequences of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions on future sea-level rise and its long-term impacts. Here we identify the committed global mean sea-level rise until 2300 from historical emissions since 1750 and the currently pledged National Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement until 2030. Our results indicate that greenhouse gas emissions over this 280-y period result in about 1 m of committed global mean sea-level rise by 2300, with the NDC emissions from 2016 to 2030 corresponding to around 20 cm or 1/5 of that commitment. We also find that 26 cm (12 cm) of the projected sea-level-rise commitment in 2300 can be attributed to emissions from the top 5 emitting countries (China, United States of America, European Union, India, and Russia) over the 1991-2030 (2016-2030) period. Our findings demonstrate that global and individual country emissions over the first decades of the 21st century alone will cause substantial long-term sea-level rise.