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:12/15/2016)... Dec. 15, 2016 Advancements in ... health wellness and wellbeing (HWW), and security ... three new passenger vehicles begin to feature ... recognition, heart beat monitoring, brain wave monitoring, ... monitoring, and pulse detection. These will be ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 14, 2016 "Increase in ... biometrics market" The mobile biometrics market is expected to ... 49.33 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 29.3% ... factors such as the growing demand for smart devices, ... transactions. "Software component is expected to grow ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Research Future published a half cooked research report on Mobile Biometric ... Market is expected to grow over the CAGR of ~35% during ... ... Mobile Biometric Security and Service Market is increasing at a ... security from unwanted cyber threats. The increasing use of mobile device ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... According to a new market research report "In situ ... & End User (Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories, Academic and Research Institutions) - Global Forecast ... Million by 2021 from USD 557.1 Million in 2016, growing at a CAGR ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:1/18/2017)...   Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) , a ... muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) , today announced a $600,000 grant ... Technology (NJIT) and Talem Technologies (Talem) as part of ... to assist people living with Duchenne. PPMD is funding ... embedded computer, software, a force sensor and a motor ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... more E&L expertise. Within Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI), the scientific staff dedicated ... year and is planned for further growth in 2017. Extractable & Leachable evaluations ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Researchers from a new study are stating ... low enough after prostate cancer treatment, this indicates there is still remaining prostate cancer cells ... , “ The PSA test has always been an indicator of whether a man’s prostate ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: