Category Archives: BIODIVERSITY

A TREE ALMOST OLDER THAN DIRT

A newly discovered Palmer’s oak (Quercus palmeri) that researchers estimate is over 13,000 years old, making it one of the oldest plants on Earth.Researchers, led by Michael May of the University of California, Davis, found the tree a decade ago … Continue reading

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When a bird is in danger, who does it call?

The answer depends on the bird and the location of any potential predators, according to a study published in the journalProceedings of the Royal Society .For some species, the alarm call goes out to neighboring birds, or conspecifics, to alert … Continue reading

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Starving Polar Bears Turn to Cannibalism

As a desperate measure Polar Bears are beginning to cannibalize each other as global warming destroys its hunting grounds. Polar bears usually subsist on seals, which they hunt from a platform of sea ice. But the melting of sea ice … Continue reading

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Bioengineers Succeed in Producing Plastics Without the Use of Fossil Fuels

A team of pioneering South Korean scientists have succeeded in producing the polymers used for everyday plastics through bioengineering, rather than through the use of fossil fuel based chemicals. This groundbreaking research, which may now allow for the production of … Continue reading

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Culture Drives Evolution

Culture, not just genes, can drive evolutionary outcomes, according to a study  that compares individualist and group-oriented societies across the globe.The study looks at the interplay across 29 countries of two sets of data, one genetic and the other cultural.It … Continue reading

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Protected Alaska Habitat for Polar Bears

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  proposes that 200,000 square miles (518,000 sq km) of coastline and shallow Arctic Ocean waters be designated as critical habitat for threatened polar bear. The area, which would be the largest ever designated for an … Continue reading

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Phytochemicals In Plant-based Foods Could Reduce your Fat

Eating more plant-based foods, which are rich in substances called phytochemicals, seems to prevent oxidative stress in the body, a process associated with obesity and the onset of disease, according to findings published online in  Journal of Human Nutrition and … Continue reading

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Humans ARE Still Evolving

Although advances in medical care have improved standards of living over time, humans aren’t entirely sheltered from the forces of natural selection, a new study shows.It was thought that because medicine has been so good at reducing mortality rates, that … Continue reading

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Dust Storm in Australia Leads to Life Explosion

The red dust storm that dumped thousands of tons of soil across eastern Australia  has caused an explosion in microscopic life in Sydney Harbor and beyond.Researchers  say that the  finding validates plans to increase fish stocks to feed some of … Continue reading

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‘Ardi,’ Oldest Human Ancestor, Unveiled

The world’s oldest and most complete skeleton of a potential human ancestor — named “Ardi,” short for Ardipithecus ramidus — has been unveiled by an international team of 47 researchers.Their unprecedented, 17-year investigation of Ardi is detailed in a special issue … Continue reading

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First Shark Sanctuary Created

The world’s first shark sanctuary will protect the declining fish in waters off the tiny island republic of Palau. Located roughly 500 miles (805 kilometers) east of the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean, Palau is made up of about 200 small … Continue reading

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Nobel-winning agricultural scientist Borlaug dies

Norman Borlaug, the U.S. agricultural scientist who received the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for developing high-yielding crops to prevent famine in the developing world, has died at age 95, Texas A&M University said.Borlaug, hailed as a central figure in the … Continue reading

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Global Warming Causes Outbreak Of Rare Algae Associated With Corals, Study Finds

A rare opportunity has allowed a team of biologists to evaluate corals and the essential, photosynthetic algae that live inside their cells before, during, and after a period in 2005 when global warming caused sea-surface temperatures in the Caribbean Ocean … Continue reading

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Oceans Could Absorb Much More CO2

Earth’s oceans are vast reservoirs of carbon dioxide (CO2) with the potential to control the pace of global warming. It all hinges on the fate of marine “snow” — a constant sprinkle of carbon-rich bits that flutter down from the … Continue reading

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Scientists look skyward to locate weeds

Queensland scientists are using satellite technology to pinpoint the locations of some of the most invasive weeds, including prickly acacia, cactus and rubber vine. Biosecurity Queensland and the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) are working together to map … Continue reading

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Kenya’s lions could vanish within 10 years

Kenya has been losing 100 lions a year for the past seven years, leaving the country with just 2000 of its famous big cats, says the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) — which concludes the country could have no wild lions … Continue reading

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Comet Holds Building Block for Life

An amino acid, one of the essential ingredients to life on Earth, has been found in a comet for the first time , NASA reports.Scientists concluded nearly two years of thorough research on comet samples returned by the Stardust probe … Continue reading

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Millions of salmon disappear from Canadian river

Reuters report that millions of sockeye salmon have disappeared mysteriously from a river on Canada’s Pacific Coast that was once known as the world’s most fertile spawning ground for sockeye. full story

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Flying Frog,a million-year old Gecko and Hundreds Of New Species Discovered In Eastern Himalayas

Flying frog (Rhacophorus suffry). The bright green, red-footed tree frog was described in 2007. It is a ‘flying frog’ because long webbed feet allow the species to glide when falling. (Credit: Copyright Totul Bortamuli / WWF Nepal) Over 350 new … Continue reading

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Humble sea sponge can advance stem cell research

The-Hindu reports that the humble sea sponge could potentially advance stem cell research, according to scientists. Led by Bernie Degnan, professor at the University of Queensland (UQ), the research team found sponges had stem cells remarkably similar to those currently … Continue reading

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Space technology to develop agro ecosystem in India

India has made significant progress in space technology which is also used in various fields such as like defense, medicine, agriculture, water conservation and weather forecasting. Satellite sensors provide valuable database to arrive at suitable decisions in maintaining productive capabilities … Continue reading

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NOAA developes first underwater detection system of harmful algae toxins

Researchers from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have carried out the first remote detection of a harmful algal species and its toxin. Harmful algae blooms (HABs) and marine biotoxins impact … Continue reading

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Great Barrier Reef will be gone in 20 years

Charlie Veron, former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, told The Times: “There is no way out, no loopholes. The Great Barrier Reef will be over within 20 years or so.” Once carbon dioxide had hit the … Continue reading

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Late Blight — Irish Potato Famine Fungus — Attacks U.S. Northeast Gardens And Farms Hard

Late blight — a destructive infectious disease that caused the Irish potato famine in the 1840s — is killing tomato and potato plants in gardens and on commercial farms in the eastern United States. In addition, basil downy mildew is … Continue reading

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Disappearing Seagrass Threatening Future Of Coastal Ecosystems Globally

An international team of scientists warns that accelerating losses of seagrasses across the globe threaten the immediate health and long-term sustainability of coastal ecosystems. The team has compiled and analyzed the first comprehensive global assessment of seagrass observations and found … Continue reading

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Myanmar fossil may shed light on evolution

Fossils recently discovered in Myanmar could prove that the common ancestors of humans, monkeys and apes evolved from primates in Asia, rather than Africa, researchers contend in a study released Wednesday… read on

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Castor-oil Plants Genetically Altered To Produce New Bio-lubricants

Almeria-based researchers, led by Federico García Maroto, have genetically altered the castor-oil plant so as to use it as a factory to produce bio lubricants.The team of scientists is also working on the introduction of genes into castor-oil plants with … Continue reading

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Dinosaurs May Have Been Smaller Than Previously Thought

The largest animals ever to have walked the face of the earth may not have been as big as previously thought, reveals a paper published  in the Zoological Society of London’s Journal of Zoology.Scientists have discovered that the original statistical … Continue reading

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Mekong dolphins almost Extinct

The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) population inhabits a 190km stretch of the Mekong River between Cambodia and Lao PDR. Since 2003, the population has suffered 88 deaths of which over 60 percent were calves under two weeks old. … Continue reading

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New Doubts About Dinosaur-bird Links

Researchers at Oregon State University have made a fundamental new discovery about how birds breathe and have a lung capacity that allows for flight – and the finding means it’s unlikely that birds descended from any known theropod dinosaurs.The conclusions … Continue reading

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Overfishing cause Proliferation of Giant Jellyfish

Giant jellyfish are taking over parts of the world’s oceans as overfishing and other human activities open windows of opportunity for them to prosper, say researchers. Jellyfish are normally kept in check by fish, which eat small jellyfish and compete … Continue reading

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Geography And History Shape Genetic Differences In Humans

New research indicates that natural selection may shape the human genome much more slowly than previously thought. Other factors — the movements of humans within and among continents, the expansions and contractions of populations, and the vagaries of genetic chance … Continue reading

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Satellite Detects Red Glow To Map Global Ocean Plant Health

Researchers from Oregon State University, NASA and other organizations said today that they have succeeded for the first time in measuring the physiology of marine phytoplankton through satellite measurements of its fluorescence – an accomplishment that had been elusive for … Continue reading

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Yosemite’s giant trees disappear

The oldest and largest trees within California’s world famous Yosemite National Park are disappearing.Climate change appears to be a major cause of the loss.The oldest and largest trees within California’s world famous Yosemite National Park are disappearing.Climate change appears to … Continue reading

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Shellfish reefs are ‘most imperilled sea habitat’

Globally, 85 per cent of reefs have been lost. Destructive fishing practices, disease and coastal development threaten many of the survivors. What sounds like an apocalyptic vision of the future for the world’s tropical corals is in fact a chilling … Continue reading

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Owls replace pesticides in Israel

Many farmers are installing nest boxes to encourage the birds, which hunt the crop-damaging rodents. In Israel, where there is a drive to reduce the use of toxic chemical pesticides, this has been turned into a government-funded national programme. Scientists … Continue reading

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In Chile, the birds are dying, and no one knows why

Chilean scientists are investigating three mysterious ecological disasters that have caused the deaths of hundreds of penguins, millions of sardines and about 2,000 baby flamingos in the past few months. The events started to unfold in March, when the remains … Continue reading

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Leaders vow to protect Coral Triangle and its people

Manado, Indonesia — Leaders of six Coral Triangle countries promised to take action to safeguard the world’s richest marine resource and some 100 million people depending on it. The announcement followed a recent WWF report which found that without action … Continue reading

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Half of Coral Reefs Could Be Destroyed

Nearly half of the world’s coral reefs may be lost in the next 40 years unless urgent measures are taken to protect them against the threat of climate change, according to a new report released  by the World Conservation Union. … Continue reading

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Soft tissue preserved in 80-million-year-old dino fossil

Molecular paleontologist Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University in Raleigh and colleagues presented evidence  in Science that they had successfully recovered and identified collagen, a type of protein, from the femur of an 80-million-year-old hadrosaur, a duck-billed dinosaur. read … Continue reading

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Erupting Undersea Volcano Near Island Of Guam Supports Unique Ecosystem

Scientists who have just returned from an expedition to an erupting undersea volcano near the Island of Guam report that the volcano appears to be continuously active, has grown considerably in size during the past three years, and its activity … Continue reading

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Ancient Ecosystem Discovered Beneath Antarctic Glacier

Scientists have found life in an ecosystem trapped underneath a glacier in Antarctica for nearly 2 million years. The microbes, they suggest, are surviving the dark, oxygen-free waters by drawing energy from sulfur and iron. The findings provide insight into … Continue reading

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Forests could become source of warming

  The world’s forests are at risk of becoming a source of planet-warming emissions instead of soaking them up like a sponge unless greenhouse gases are controlled, scientists said.   Deforestation emits 20 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide when … Continue reading

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Biomass energy ‘could be harmful’

Biomass power – such as burning wood for energy – could do more harm than good in the battle to reduce greenhouse gases, UK’s Environment Agency warns. Ploughing up pasture to plant energy crops could produce more CO2 by 2030 … Continue reading

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WWF Campaign: Deforestation and Lungs

World Wildlife fund (WWF) campaigns are always interesting.There was paper Panda campaign where cute paper Pandas were put in parts of cities to create awareness about the dwindling number of the species. The message was loud and clear.This time again … Continue reading

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6,000 Rare Dolphins Found in South Asia

A huge population of rare dolphins threatened by climate change and fishing nets has been discovered in South Asia. WCS researchers have discovered a stronghold for one of the world’s rarest freshwater dolphins, the Irrawaddy, deep in the waterlogged jungles … Continue reading

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