Ecology & Zoology
This is the first of a series of articles on Huanglongbing (Citrus Greening Disease) that is devastating Florida. Subsequent articles will explore its causes, effects and potential cures.
The line between deliberately manipulating a story and poorly reporting the facts is perilously thin.
During Sunday’s Oscars, what is colloquially called the United States’ ‘paper of record’, the New York Times, launched an advertising blitz positioning itself as the highbrow ethical responder to the spate of so-called ‘fake news.’
“The truth is hard…to find…to know,” the ad, widely circulated now on YouTube, proclaimed somberly.
Its not a great idea to use surveys, but sometimes those are all we have. After environmental groups drummed up publicity about a colony collapse disorder in honeybees, for example, concerned amateurs began taking up beekeeping. Since nature is not a perfect system, and the new folks didn't know what they were doing, these amateurs killed off a lot of bees, but there is no checkbox on the survey for that, so they blamed pesticides.
Declaring things endangered, even species that were only just discovered, is good for business, and a species of hummingbird has been added to conservation watchlists and global warming has been blamed - except it isn't endangered, it's instead migratory.
In Insectivorous Plants, Sir Charles Darwin pondered carnivorous plants. They live in habitats poor in nutrients, mostly on nitrogen and phosphorous, and have compensated this lack with the ability to digest animals such as insects and other arthropods.
Adapting and surviving with a carnivorous diet in nutrient-poor soils is an evolutionary process that some evolutionary unrelated species have been going through, repeatedly and independently, from the same set of genes and proteins, according to a new study in Nature Ecology&Evolution.
A new test with molluscs - freshwater mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) - may enable manufacturers of chemicals and drugs to check their products for harmful effects on reproduction, and avoid the hype and scaremongering of environmental groups.
With the aid of a new immunosuppressive agent known as PIF (preimplantation factor), researchers at the World Health Organisation (WHO) Institute of Primate Research in Nairobi, Kenya, have successfully transplanted an ovary from one individual to another, even managing to restore a monthly cycle.
Approximately 11 percent of women worldwide suffer from premature ovarian failure. This can have many different causes: chemotherapy administered for a malignant disease might irreversibly damage the ovaries and, because of the advances in modern cancer therapy, the number of young women surviving cancer is on the increase. The women, some of whom are still very young, prematurely enter menopause. Genetic diseases can also trigger early menopause.
Shrubs are more widespread than trees in nature and on Earth. A new study explains their global success. It turns out that the multiple stems of shrubs are of key importance. This feature contributes to both better growth and better survival than in trees of similar size, according to the research team behind the study.
Shrubs with flowers and berries are popular in parks and gardens, and in nature they are far more widespread than trees: shrubs grow on at least 40 per cent of the world’s land surface while for trees the figure is only 28 per cent. Still, relatively few efforts have been made to fully understand them.
A study by animal welfare specialists has provided new evidence that using electronic containment systems to restrict where pet cats venture does not result in long-term wellbeing problems.
The use of hand-held shock collars on dogs has previously led to concerns over the welfare of animals trained using so-called 'e-collars'. However, other forms of electronic training devices for pets have received relatively little attention from researchers. These include invisible or virtual fences which deliver a static electric pulse to deter animals from crossing a boundary, such as a garden perimeter.
Are bees in peril or not? It's difficult to know, because the moment science declares one thing not an issue (example: neonicotinoid targeted pesticides), environmental groups move the goalposts and declare something else is the problem. When honey bees were shown to be unaffected, groups proposed that wild bees were the big concern, and if amateur record-keeping and a Bayesian estimate agrees
, they declare the science settled. If a world-class entomologist does a good, controlled study
of bees, it is ignored.
In history, 941 A.D. was unspectacular. Small local politics happened, a temple was built, Kievian Rus and the Byzantine Empire had another outbreak of hostilities - but in modern times, it has an interesting distinction. It was the year Europe's oldest living inhabitant was born.