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:10/29/2014)... Online registration is open for the ... Scientific Meeting. SIR 2015 is the one ... trainees and related health care professionals can ... image-guided science and technologies being presented, discussed ... community in minimally invasive, image-guided medicine, SIR ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... sunlight to make their food, but they also need protection ... discovered a group of molecules in plants that shields them ... Journal of the American Chemical Society , one team reports ... , Timothy Zwier and colleagues at Purdue University note that ... cause serious damage to plant DNA and, as a result, ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... the rage. Thousands of scientists worldwide are conducting research ... dioxide nanoparticles from sun creams can get through the ... electronic products are as hazardous for the lungs as ... can get into the blood via the intestinal flora, ... flowing – and the number of scientific projects is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):SIR 2015: Interventional radiology shapes tomorrow's medicine 2Nanosafety research: The quest for the gold standard 2Nanosafety research: The quest for the gold standard 3
(Date:10/31/2014)... The report "Offshore Support Vessel Market ... Supply Vessels, Multi-Purpose Service Vessel, Crew Boats, Standby & ... Trends & Forecast to 2018", defines and segments the ... the global revenue. , Offshore support vessel market is ... to $ 91,228.8 Million by 2018, with a CAGR ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... IL (PRWEB) October 30, 2014 ... Insight Product Developmentā€™s decades-long heritage in successful medical ... world context for what it takes to successfully ... space. As part of a two-hour on-site class, ... Kellogg school of business, McCormick School of Engineering, ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... 31, 2014 This is a ... China Biocides industry. The report provides basic biocides ... chain structure as well as industry overview. This ... domestic market as well as Global industry analysis ... report on the Chinese biocides industry ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... (PRWEB) October 31, 2014 Stronger ... healthcare, construction, finance and consumer electronics will help ... reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a ... its growing industry report collection. , The Biometrics ... for biometric technologies such as fingerprint, iris, retina ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Offshore Support Vessel Market Projected to Reach $91,228.8 Million by 2018 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Offshore Support Vessel Market Projected to Reach $91,228.8 Million by 2018 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Offshore Support Vessel Market Projected to Reach $91,228.8 Million by 2018 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Insight Product Development Gives Northwestern University Students Foundation for Innovation Success 2Insight Product Development Gives Northwestern University Students Foundation for Innovation Success 3Biocides Market for International & Chinese Regional Development Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 2Biocides Market for International & Chinese Regional Development Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 3Biometrics Scan Software in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld 2Biometrics Scan Software in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld 3
Cached News: