HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Changing global nitrogen cycle impacting human health, says Colorado University-led study

Despite greatly increasing food production for humans, the growing use of nitrogen as a nutrient is affecting people's health far beyond just the benefits of growing more crops, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder-led study.

Study leader Alan Townsend of CU-Boulder's Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research said changes in the global nitrogen cycle, while beneficial in increasing crop growth, appear to pose a growing health risk. Roughly half of the inorganic nitrogen ever used on the planet has occurred in the past 15 years.

An obvious, positive aspect of using nitrogen as a fertilizer has been a huge increase in food production in poor nations, reducing hunger and malnutrition, he said. Although nitrogen is the most abundant of Earth's atmospheric gases, it must be converted to chemically usable forms like nitrate or ammonium. In the absence of humans, this happens during lightning strikes or more commonly through microbes.

"The major global changes in the nitrogen cycle have occurred because humans now convert more nitrogen to such usable forms than all natural processes combined," he said. "The synthesis of nitrogen fertilizers accounts for most of this change. But the overuse of nitrogen fertilizers can lead to a number of problems, including air and water pollution."

So far, most nitrogen studies have focused on problems such as losses in biodiversity, increased acid rain and changes in coastal ocean ecology that include oxygen-poor "dead zones" like those seen in the Gulf of Mexico.

However, excess nitrogen also can be a health concern for humans in many ways, including respiratory ailments, heart disease and several cancers, said Townsend, who also is an assistant professor in CU-Boulder's ecology and evolutionary biology department.

"Ecological feedbacks to excess nitrogen can inhibit crop growth, increase allergenic pollen production and potentially affect the dynamics of several vec
'"/>


12-Jun-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Changing one gene launches new fly species
2. Changing the face of biology
3. Changing focus of traditional hospital rounds improves patient care
4. Changing fish body shapes give clues to environmental factors
5. Relationships in a Changing World -- call for papers
6. Changing colors in mice
7. Changing childrens diets today could reduce bone problems 70 years from now
8. If You Cant Stop Polluting, Try Changing The Weather Instead
9. USGS Finds Sea Otters At Risk From Killer Whales In A Changing Ocean
10. Corn Rootworm Changing Behavior, Posing New Threat To Crops
11. Changing Continental Runoff Patterns Could Change Ocean Circulation

Post Your Comments:
(Date:1/22/2015)... , Jan. 22, 2015 Research and Markets ... of the "Global Wearable Technologies Market and ... Overview, Trends and Forecast 2014-2020" report to ... are smart devices that can be worn on ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... CHARLOTTE, N.C. , Jan. 22, 2015 Infinisource has ... introduction of the G2 model. The G2 sets a higher ... company,s iSolved human capital management solution. With plug-and-play installation, touch ... G2 time clock provides a robust time collection solution for ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... 2014  NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD and NXTDW) ... the growing mobile commerce market, announces it has retained famous ... the 2015 International CES debut of the Wocket™ biometric smart ... at the NXT-ID booth January 6th and 7 th , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Global Wearable Technologies Market and Applications, Opportunities, Industry Analysis, Segmentation, Size, Growth, Share, Overview, Trends and Forecast 2014-2020 2Infinisource's NXG series sets new time clock standard 2NXT-ID Hires Master Pickpocket and Security Consultant Apollo Robbins for Wocket Smart Wallet CES 2015 Debut 2NXT-ID Hires Master Pickpocket and Security Consultant Apollo Robbins for Wocket Smart Wallet CES 2015 Debut 3NXT-ID Hires Master Pickpocket and Security Consultant Apollo Robbins for Wocket Smart Wallet CES 2015 Debut 4
(Date:1/23/2015)... Portal Solutions , a technology consulting ... Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint platforms , today announces its ... being one of the region’s fastest-growing mid-sized companies based on ... , “To be recognized a second year in a row ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... 22, 2015 Shimadzu Scientific Instruments ... multipurpose UV-visible spectrophotometer. Offering wavelength scanning from 190 ... ideal for applications in a variety of industries, ... The user-friendly UV-1280 enables intuitive operation, while the ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... NH (PRWEB) January 22, 2015 GEA ... a table top laboratory homogenizer, the PandaPLUS 2000, which ... nanodispersions, nanoemulsions , and cell disruption . This ... dairy products, fruit juices, liquid food, food additives and ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... Mass (PRWEB) January 21, 2015 Cambridge Semantics, ... Web technology, today announced that 2014 was a record-breaking year ... the capabilities of the Anzo Smart Data Platform and our ... and utilize insights from diverse data which led to record ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Washington SmartCEO Announces Portal Solutions as 2015 Future 50 Award Winner Second Year in a Row 2Washington SmartCEO Announces Portal Solutions as 2015 Future 50 Award Winner Second Year in a Row 3Shimadzu’s New Monitored Single-Beam UV-Vis Spectrophotometer Offers Comprehensive Measurement Options in a Compact Body 2GEA Niro Soavi Announces the PandaPLUS 2000 Homogenizer for Processing New Applications for Nanoemulsions and Cell Disruption 2Cambridge Semantics Announces Record Results for 2014 2
Cached News: