Watching nature on TV can boost wellbeing — ScienceDaily

Watching high quality nature programmes on TV can uplift people’s moods, reduce negative emotions, and help alleviate the kind of boredom associated with being isolated indoors, according to a new study published today in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

The research has also shown that experiencing nature in virtual reality could have even larger benefits, boosting positive feelings and increasing people’s connection to the natural world.

Under laboratory conditions, researchers from the University of Exeter first induced feelings of boredom in 96 participants by asking them to watch a video in which a person describes their work at an office supply company. They then experienced scenes of an underwater coral reef in one of three different ways: on TV; in a VR headset using 360o video; and in a VR headset using computer generated interactive graphics.

The team found that all viewing methods minimised negative feelings such as sadness,

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Research has helped underpin the formation of a nature reserve in Vietnam

Research has helped underpin the formation of a nature reserve in vietnam
An endangered red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus) photographed in Khe Nuoc Trong. Credit: Bjornolesen.com/Viet Nature

Research by the University of Leeds and Utrecht University has helped secure the highest government protection for internationally-important Vietnamese forests. Over the past five years, conservation organization Viet Nature, and its partners World Land Trust, IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN NL), Birdlife International and researchers from the University of Leeds and Utrecht University have been working to protect the Khe Nuoc Trong forests—the last substantial area of lowland forest in Vietnam.


In August, the Vietnamese government agreed to formally protect Khe Nuoc Trong’s 22,132-hectare tract of Annamite lowland evergreen forests as a Nature Reserve, the country’s highest standard of protection.

The move delivers a safer home for 40 globally threatened species brought to brink of extinction by loggers and poachers. This includes singing gibbons, the spectacular peacock-like crested argus birds and the critically

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Most nations failing to protect nature in COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans

Most nations failing to protect nature in COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans
The financial district of New York City as seen from Liberty State Park in New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: Pamela McElwee

The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the global economy and reverse decades of ecosystem and species losses, but most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments, according to a Rutgers-led paper.


Indeed, some countries, including the United States, Brazil and Australia, are back-tracking on existing laws and relaxing regulations and enforcement actions aimed at protecting nature, according to lead author Pamela McElwee, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

“Just last week at the United Nations, more than 60 heads of state spoke at a virtual summit and pledged their support to tackle the biodiversity crisis. But when we look at what countries are doing, either in

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Importance of crabs should be considered when looking at increasing human pressure on Barr Al Hikman nature reserve — ScienceDaily

The intertidal mudflats of Barr Al Hikman, a nature reserve at the south-east coast of the Sultanate Oman, are crucial nursery grounds for numerous crab species. In return, these crabs are a vital element of the ecology, as well as the regional economy, a new publication in the scientific journal Hydrobiologia shows. ‘These important functions of the crabs should be considered when looking at the increasing human pressure on this nature reserve’, first author and NIOZ-researcher Roeland Bom says.

Blue swimming crab

The mudflats of Barr Al Hikman are home to almost thirty crab species. For his research, Bom, together with colleagues in The Netherlands and at the Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, looked at the ecology of the two most abundant species. Bom: ‘Barr Al Hikman is also home to the blue swimming crab Portunus segnis. That is the species caught by local fishermen. This crab uses the mudflats

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We Can Partner With Nature To Feed Everybody

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin is transforming the food system from the ground up by introducing poultry-powered, planet-cooling, regenerative agriculture. He talks about the need to rebalance humanity’s relationship with nature with Pip Wheaton, Ashoka’s co-lead of Planet & Climate.

Pip Wheaton: Why do you do this work?

Regionaldo Haslett-Marroquin: I came into this because of people’s suffering. I’m an agronomist; I’m passionate about nature. I believe I understand how nature operates, and how we can be partners with nature to feed everybody. The current system isn’t doing that. As a consequence, the way people live, the quality of people’s lives because of the food they eat, is impacted. Consumers are sick from conventional foods; diet related diseases, diabetes, heart disease. Minorities are more severely affected because of the way food reaches minority communities all around the world. Whether it is indigenous communities in Guatemala

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Tropical nature reserves to be particularly affected — ScienceDaily

The Earth’s nature reserves are the basis for the preservation of global biodiversity. They are set to be affected by future climate change in very different ways. Detailed local knowledge of climate change impacts can therefore make a significant contribution to the management of protected areas and the preservation of their ecological function. A biogeographic study by the University of Bayreuth in the journal “Diversity and Distributions” draws attention to this fact. It is based on climate forecasts for more than 130,000 nature reserves worldwide.

For their new study, Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein and Dr. Samuel Hoffmann of the Biogeography research group examined a total of 137,735 nature reserves on six continents. Their focus was on the question of what deviations from current climate conditions these areas will be exposed to over the next five decades, and how this will impact local plant and animal species. “Blanket forecasts

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Nurture trumps nature in determining severity of PTSD symptoms — ScienceDaily

Researchers at Yale and elsewhere previously identified a host of genetic risk factors that help explain why some veterans are especially susceptible to the debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A new Yale-led study published Oct. 1 in the journal Biological Psychiatry has now identified a social factor that can mitigate these genetic risks: the ability to form loving and trusting relationships with others.

The study is one of the first to explore the role of nurture as well as nature in its investigation of the biological basis of PTSD.

“We exist in a context. We are more than our genes,” said Yale’s Robert H. Pietrzak, associate professor of psychiatry and public health, and senior author of the study.

Pietrzak is also director of the Translational Psychiatric Epidemiology Laboratory of the Clinical Neurosciences Division of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD.

Like many genetic studies

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Biodiversity: Why the nature crisis matters, in five graphics

Butterfly exhibition, LondonImage copyright
Getty Images

Human activities are destroying the natural world, leading to the extinction of animal and plant species at an alarming rate. Now, world leaders are promising action to tackle the problem. But will it be enough?

What is biodiversity and why does it matter?

Biodiversity is the variety of all living things on Earth, and how they fit together in the web of life, bringing oxygen, water, food and countless other benefits.

Recent reports and studies have produced alarming news about the state of nature.

Last year, an intergovernmental panel of scientists said one million animal and plant species were now threatened with extinction.

And this month, a report found global populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles plunged by 68%, on average, between 1970 and 2016.

Are we living in an age of extinction?

Scientists have warned that we are entering the sixth mass extinction,

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Study investigates the nature of X-ray binary IGR J18214-1318

Study investigates the nature of X-ray binary IGR J18214-1318
Swift’s XRT and BAT broadband spectrum of IGR J18214-1318. Top panel: data and best-fit model tbabs*pcfabs*(nthComp). Bottom panel: residuals in units of standard deviations. Credit: Cusumano et al., 2020.

Using various space observatories, Italian astronomers have investigated an X-ray binary source known as IGR J18214-1318. Results of the study, detailed in a paper published September 14 on the arXiv pre-print server, provide important information about the properties of this system, shedding more light into its nature.


X-ray binaries consist of a normal star or a white dwarf transferring mass onto a compact neutron star or a black hole. Based on the mass of the companion star, astronomers divide them into low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs).

IGR J18214-1318 is an HMXB detected with the INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) satellite in 2006. The object is associated to USNO-B1.0 0766-0475700—most likely a star of spectral type O9I.

In

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