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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/23/2017)... N.Y. , Aug. 23, 2017  The general public,s help is ... human microbiome—the bacteria that live in and on the human body –and ... The ... in the human microbiome, starting with the gut. The project's goal is ... disease. Photo credit: IBM ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ITHACA, N.Y. , June 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... leader in dairy research, today announced a new collaboration ... reduce the chances that the global milk supply is ... dairy project, Cornell University has become the newest academic ... Supply Chain, a food safety initiative that includes IBM ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , an ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical record ... have established a partnership to build an interface ... GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM Life Sciences ... the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu Viswanathan and ... presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a revolutionary approach ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ARCS® Foundation President ... and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame ... Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe, ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... WA (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... industry leader in Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution ... ProxiMeta Hi-C kit and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... , ... October 05, 2017 , ... LabRoots , ... scientists from around the world, is giving back to cancer research with a month-long ... , Now through October 31, shoppers can use promo code PinkRibbon to get ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: