This week brings another amazing episode of Science Faction, our collaborators in Montreal. They’ll discuss research into changing memory—using only the most common words in the English language. Before that, the University of Alberta’s Nicholas Ashbolt talks about the coming water crisis, something we’re already seeing unfold in California.
California is currently in the fourth year of a drought that’s said to be the worst in a thousand years. Below average precipitation and above average temperatures have depleted reservoirs, destroyed crops, and caused wildfires. The state has just announced a 25% consumption reduction mandate, the first ever in California. The situation is a high profile catastrophe that is drawing attention to just how delicate our water systems can be.
But such a scenario may hit a little closer to home in the near future. Due to climate change and a rapidly increasing population, Calgary is expected to have a severe water shortage within the next 50 years. The city is predicted to have to reduce its water consumption per capita to less than half of what it is now. Fifty years may sound like a long time, but these types of large scale problems require many years to solve. And it only takes one exceptionally dry winter for a water crisis to surface unexpectedly.
Have you ever had a bad memory that you wanted to change into something better? This once impossibility is now possible, at least for mice, thanks to research led by Nobel laureate Dr. Susumu Tonegawa of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics.