nature

'Charitable Donations' from Bacteria?

In studying antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, researchers from Boston University and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard have discovered that charitable behavior exists in one of the most microscopic forms of life.

Read more...
Bacterial Resistance

Smithsonian Scientists Help Create First Frozen Repository for Hawaiian Coral

Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have created the first frozen bank for Hawaiian corals in an attempt to protect them from extinction and to preserve their diversity in Hawaii. Mary Hagedorn, an adjunct faculty member at HIMB and a research scientist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, leads the laboratory at the HIMB research facilities on Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, that is banking the frozen coral cells.

"Because frozen banked cells are viable, the frozen material can be thawed one, 50 or, in theory, even 1,000 years from now to restore a species or population," said Hagedorn. "In fact, some of the frozen sperm samples have already been thawed and used to fertilize coral eggs to produce developing coral larvae."

Read more...
Smithsonian Scientists Help Create First Frozen Repository for Hawaiian Coral

This Spider is a Mosquito Hunter

On the pest chart not many insects out rank the mosquito. Throw in that they carry and spread disease throughout the globe and you have a pretty solid case for making them a public enemy. Enter Evarcha culicvora, a small spider that has specialized on dining on those flying phlebotomist's. Interestingly the spider is dining on the blood the mosquito holds, and does it for mate attraction as much as nutrition according the paper "Mosquito-specialist spiders".

Read more...
An adult male of Evarcha culicivora feeding on a blood-carrying Anopheles gambia

Age Old Mystery Finally "Laid" to Rest

Which came first .... the chicken, or the egg? The philosophical mystery that has perplexed generations has finally been "cracked" by scientists from Sheffield University and the University of Warick. The researchers have discovered that a protein required for the formation of the chicken egg shells is found in only one place - inside the ovaries of the chicken.

Read more...
Chicken or the Egg?

The Insect Mind is Mini yet Mighty

Insects may have tiny brains the size of a pinhead, but the latest research from the University of Adelaide shows just how clever they really are.

For the first time, researchers from the University's Discipline of Physiology have worked out how insects judge the speed of moving objects.

Read more...
A male hoverfly, Eristalis, attempting to woo a female (feeding from the flower)

Clean up plan for Chesapeake Bay Represents Slow Progress

On May 12th the EPA released a new clean up plan for the Chesapeake Bay. This comes 38 years after the original clean water act was signed into law. How has 38 years of the clean water act faired? Well according to the lawsuit that was just settled out of court between the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the EPA it has been unsuccessful.

Read more...
ntractors working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District use high

Scientists Examine Gulf Spill, Estimate it Will Hit Florida in 6 Days

The European Space Agency and NASA have been diligently monitoring the gulf oil spill via satellite since it began. Today the ESA released new images with the statement that it has extended into current flow and will be carried towards Florida over the coming week.

From the European Space Agency Release on May 19th

Read more...
Scientists Examine Gulf Spill, Estimate it Will Hit Florida in 6 Days

Gulf Coast Oil Spill Being Monitored Closely, From Space

The images below come from the European Space Agency, and the NASA Earth Observatory. In order to observe the clean-up efforts, the US Geological Survey, on behalf of the US Coast Guard, requested satellite maps of the area from the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.

Read more...
Satellite Image of Gulf Coast Oil Spill, April 2010, Image Courtesy of European
Oil Leak from Damaged Well in Gulf of Mexico, Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory
Oil Leak from Damaged Well in Gulf of Mexico, Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory

African Dust, Coral Reefs and Human Health a New Mini-Documentary

This latest video documentary from the USGS discusses the rapid decline in the health of Coral reefs and reports on the latest findings.

Read more...
African Dust, Coral Reefs and Human Health a New Mini-Documentary

First Scientifically Confirmed Poisonous Bird - Variable Pitohui

The opening of this video is great, as Dr. Jack Dumbacher, Curator of Birds and Mammals at the California Academy of Sciences, talks about his field expeditions to Papua New Guinea. His hunch after being bitten while releasing a bird from a net is that it may be poisonous. He checks with locals and they all confirm "those birds are poisonous and you shouldn't be touching them."

Read more...
First Scientifically Confirmed Poisonous Bird - Variable Pitohui