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IBM steps up efforts in fight against Zika

International Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday it would provide its technology and resources to help track the spread of the Zika virus.

The key to stopping Ebola? Using machine learning to track infected bats

Over the course of the past year or so, there have been a number of incredible tech projects aimed at stopping the spread of Ebola. One approach that we’ve never come across before, however, involves plotting the possible spread of Ebola and other “filoviruses” of the same family by predicting which bat species they’re most likely to be carried by

Soil acidity mitigation study takes surprise turn

As an investigation by scientists at Duke University and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies shows, the value of long-term studies can't be understated. In it, investigators looking at the impacts of acid rain on the soil acidity of a New Hampshire forest found that everything behaved as expected for about a decade. But after that, the system went haywire.

Brazil's Amazon conservation in peril

Amid political turmoil in Brazil, there is a threat to abolish the country's environmental licensing process, derailing decades of conservation efforts in the Amazon. Cary Institute Graduate Student Fellow Rafael Almeida, Visiting Scientist Fabio Roland, and Trustee Tom Lovejoy discuss all we stand to lose in a letter published in the July 15 issue of Science.

Artificial intelligence reveals undiscovered bat carriers of Ebola and other filoviruses

A team of scientists has developed a model that can predict bat species most likely to transmit Ebola and other filoviruses. Findings highlight new potential hosts and geographic hotspots worthy of surveillance. So reports a new paper in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

David Strayer testifies before Congress on the damaging effects of invasive species

Testimony of David L. Strayer before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans. 23 June 2016

Adirondack Forest Pest Summit

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) are co-hosting an Adirondack Forest Pest Summit, a free conference meant to help raise awareness about invasive insects negatively affecting New York forests. The event will take place at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, July 11th.

Neutralizing acidic forest soils boosts tree growth, causes spike in nitrogen export

A legacy of acid rain has acidified forest soils throughout the northeastern US, lowering the growth rate of trees. In an attempt to mitigate this trend, in 1999 scientists added calcium to an experimental forest in New Hampshire. Tree growth recovered, but a decade later there was a major increase in the nitrogen content of stream water draining the site. 

First maps of diseases which spread from animals to humans

There are many infections in humans which originate from animals. Diseases which spread in this way are called zoonoses. Zika is one example and was first discovered in a monkey with a mild fever in the Zika forest in Uganda in the 1940s. Another is Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or MERS – which originates in camels.

Deadly diseases can jump from animals to humans. These maps show where that might happen next.

Of all the ailments that plague people, the majority began like these three: with a bacteria, virus, parasite or other pathogen that jumped from an innocuous animal host to the human population. But there's no global database documenting where these kinds of infections — called zoonoses — might be lying in wait.

credit: Andrea_44 via flickr

These maps could help predict the next big animal-to-human disease outbreak

When it comes to emerging diseases, the Zika virus is just the tip of the iceberg. New research has revealed several hot spots around the world where diseases are most likely to move from wildlife—wild mammals, specifically—into the human population. 

These maps reveal where rats, monkeys, and other mammals may pass diseases on to humans

The majority of infectious diseases currently emerging as human epidemics originated in mammals. Yet we still know very little about the global patterns of mammal-to-human pathogen transmission. As a first step, researchers at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and the University of Georgia have assembled summative world maps of what’s on record about mammal-to-human diseases.

Tree-smart trade is critical

In the Adirondacks and the Catskills, beech bark disease is taking out the largest beeches. Emerald ash borer, a little beetle that has killed over 100 million ash trees in the Midwest, is now active throughout the state, including the Capital Region.

A global early warning system for infectious diseases

In the recent issue of EMBO reportsBarbara Han of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and John Drake of the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology call for the creation of a global early warning system for infectious diseases.

Hubbard Brook: Lessons from the Forest

HUBBARD BROOK: The Story of a Forest Ecosystem captures the rich history of research at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, including how it has transformed environmental policy, resource management, and forestry practices – locally, regionally, and nationally.

Cary Institute scientist says SE NY Is prime target of forest pests

A forest ecologist from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Dutchess County is the lead author of a paper about imported forest pests. Cary Institute and Harvard Forest led a team of scientists for the research. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Cary Institute Senior Scientist Dr. Gary Lovett about the report’s findings.

More forest pests than ever are entering the U.S., and it’s costing the public a fortune

In the 20th century, chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease decimated billions of U.S. trees, in forests and along urban and suburban streets. The tree diseases, caused by invasive pests, effectively changed the face of one American city landscape after another—chestnut trees were virtually wiped out and elms diminished to but a few locations—and cost local governments and homeowners a fortune.

What it would take to stop invasive pests from destroying millions of U.S. trees

When cheap consumer goods arrive on American shores, they sometimes bring invasive parasites that go on to decimate forests and urban trees. A new study, out Tuesday in the journal Ecological Applications, synthesizes the information available on the true costs of these species and lays out the best available policy responses.

U.S. must step-up forest pest prevention, new study says

Imported forest pests cause billions of dollars in damages each year, and U.S. property owners and municipalities foot most of the bill. Efforts to prevent new pests are not keeping pace with escalating trade and must be strengthened if we are to slow the loss of our nation’s trees. So reports a team of 16 scientists in a new paper published online today in the journal Ecological Applications.

The ‘slow motion crisis’ that’s facing U.S. forests

Last week, a group of researchers published saddening news about "sudden oak death," spread by an invasive water mold, that has killed over a million trees in coastal California. The pathogen, they found, simply cannot be stopped — though it can still be contained, and the harm mitigated. But it is too extensively established now in California to eradicate.

An interview with the 300-year-old clam

I just read that some of the clams (freshwater mussels, technically) in Scandinavian creeks are thought to live for 280 years. This means that animals alive today were around when Johann Sebastian Bach was still playing the organ in Leipzig, mature adults when shots were fired at Lexington, old enough retire (if clams retired like people) when Napoleon’s armies marched across Europe, and more than 125 years old when Lincoln freed the slaves.

Cary Institute, Bard receive grant for large-scale tick control study

Two institutions in the Hudson Valley have received a $5 million grant for a large-scale study aimed at reducing tick populations and Lyme disease. The five-year project is the first to explore Lyme disease management for entire communities.

tick studies

Cary Institute receives $5 million from Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation for large-scale study aimed at reducing ticks and Lyme disease

The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation has awarded a $5 million dollar leadership grant to the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies to support a scientific study, being done in partnership with Bard College, that seeks to reduce Lyme disease in neighborhoods. 

Winter’s silence broken with signs of spring

Spring officially arrived on March 20. I caution myself from likening it to flipping on a light switch. This simplistic idea is born from too many winter days wishing for better weather. Realistically, spring is a transitional period when nature first takes halting, then cascading, steps from the scarcity of winter into the riotous surplus of summer.

Cary-led Lake Observer recognized at White House Water Summit

At today’s White House Water Summit, the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) and the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) were acknowledged for empowering citizen scientists with tools and resources essential to effective water quality monitoring. 

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