DAILY DOSE: Doing drugs in Spain has been a “thing” for thousands of years, study; Experts expect a global spike in mosquito-borne diseases.

Expect mosquito-borne disease outbreaks to rise in the near future, the World Health Organization has warned. Per CNN Philippines

The World Health Organization (WHO) sounded the alarm over looming global outbreaks of dengue and other diseases caused by mosquito-borne arboviruses amid effects of climate change.

In a press conference, health experts from WHO warned of the surge in dengue and chikungunya cases in many parts of the world and said new epidemics of zika could also be expected.

All those diseases are caused by arboviruses carried by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which have spread to new places as temperature continues to rise.

“Climate change has played a key role in facilitating the spread of the vector mosquitoes,” said Raman Velayudhan, the coordinator for WHO's dengue and arbovirus initiative.

According to WHO, 129 nation's are at risk from dengue, including 100 countries where the disease is categorized as endemic.

As the Earth’s climate changes and warmer regions spread into historically more temperate areas, mosquito-friendly conditions will accompany the shifting conditions. Diseases like malaria and dengue will inevitably follow. http://bit.ly/3Ui5C9C

Urban development is threatening an important tree species in India and the implications can have global reverberations. Per the Associated Press,

Environmentalists are concerned over the loss and declining health of mangrove cover, which is particularly effective at sucking planet-warming carbon dioxide out of the air, can fend off scorching heat for nearby residents and sustains populations of local wildlife.

Officials and developers alike defend the need to house the state’s dense population and harness economic growth in the world’s soon-to-be most populous nation, but experts say this cannot come at the cost of green spaces.

Kerala has lost nearly 98% of its mangrove forests, shrinking from 700 square kilometers (270 square miles) to just 17 square kilometers (6.5 square miles) since 1975, according to figures from the Kerala Forest Research Institute. Mangrove cover across the country creeped up slightly between 2017 to 2019 at a rate of 0.5% per year thanks to concerted efforts by the government with restoration and maintenance projects springing up in Kerala and beyond.

Mangroves are critical ecosystems that provide a range of environmental benefits. They help to stabilize shorelines, protect against storm surges and erosion, filter pollutants, and support biodiversity. Additionally, they are highly effective at sequestering carbon, making them a valuable tool in mitigating the impacts of climate change. http://bit.ly/43d5NqQ

Data nearly a thousand years old is helping modern astronomers understand a modern scientific mystery. Per CNN,

Medieval observations of the moon are helping present-day researchers study a mysterious cluster of volcanic eruptions on Earth.

Monks, and other scribes from the era, made detailed descriptions of lunar eclipses, when the moon is fully in Earth’s shadow. At the time, the events were thought to foretell calamities.

Their writings often noted a reddish orb surrounding the eclipsed moon, as well as more unusual instances where the eclipsed moon seemed to disappear entirely from the sky.

“The old folk had never seen it like this time, with the location of the disk of the Moon not visible, just as if it had disappeared during the eclipse… It was truly something to fear,” wrote Japanese poet Fujiwara no Teika, of an unprecedented dark eclipse observed on December 2, 1229.

What the chroniclers could not have known was this: An exceptionally dark eclipse is associated with the presence of a large amount of volcanic dust in the atmosphere, according to Sébastien Guillet, a senior research associate at the Institute for Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva.

Good data stands the test of time, apparently. http://bit.ly/3ZREBea

NASA has observed a phenomenon straight out of a sci-fi-horror movie. A runaway black hole. Per NASA,

There's an invisible monster on the loose, barreling through intergalactic space so fast that if it were in our solar system, it could travel from Earth to the Moon in 14 minutes. This supermassive black hole, weighing as much as 20 million Suns, has left behind a never-before-seen 200,000-light-year-long "contrail" of newborn stars, twice the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy. It's likely the result of a rare, bizarre game of galactic billiards among three massive black holes.

Rather than gobbling up stars ahead of it, like a cosmic Pac-Man, the speedy black hole is plowing into gas in front of it to trigger new star formation along a narrow corridor. The black hole is streaking too fast to take time for a snack. Nothing like it has ever been seen before, but it was captured accidentally by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

"We think we're seeing a wake behind the black hole where the gas cools and is able to form stars. So, we're looking at star formation trailing the black hole," said Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. "What we're seeing is the aftermath. Like the wake behind a ship we're seeing the wake behind the black hole." The trail must have lots of new stars, given that it is almost half as bright as the host galaxy it is linked to.

This intergalactic skyrocket is likely the result of multiple collisions of supermassive black holes. http://bit.ly/4175vQy

In perhaps the least surprising but most amusing news of the day, a recent study discovered that people have been using psycho-active drugs in Spain since at least the Bronze Age. Per The Guardian,

Researchers have found evidence of drug use during bronze age ceremonies.

Analysis of strands of human hair from a burial site in Menorca, Spain, indicates ancient human civilisations used hallucinogenic drugs derived from plants.

The findings are the first direct evidence of ancient drug use in Europe, which may have been used as part of ritualistic ceremonies, researchers say.

Researchers detected scopolamine, ephedrine and atropine in three replicated hair samples. Atropine and scopolamine are naturally found in the nightshade plant family and can induce delirium, hallucinations and altered sensory perception. Ephedrine is a stimulant derived from certain species of shrubs and pines that can increase excitement, alertness and physical activity.

The study’s authors stressed that the drugs were not used to alleviate pain, leaving the most likely explanation that they used them with mind-altering intentions. http://bit.ly/417Fm3R

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

IMAGE CREDIT: Amnesia Ibiza.

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