Ecology & Zoology
Mounting levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide reduce the medicinal properties of milkweed plants that protect monarch butterflies from disease, according to a recent experiment.
If a study has 229 trials and there are only 12 false positives, that is a good result.
The mix of bacteria (microbiome) of bee bread, the long-term food supply stored within a hive for young bees, is now at risk, according to a new estimate.
The scholars are blaming modern monoculture farming, commercial forestry and gardeners could be making it harder for honeybees to store food and fight off diseases, a new study suggests. Human changes to the landscape, such as large areas of monoculture grassland for livestock grazing, and coniferous forests for timber production, is affecting the diversity of the ‘microbiome’ associated with honeybees’ long-term food supply, the authors claim.
More competitive animal species, with males that compete intensively for mates, might be more resilient to the effects of climate change, according to a paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Sexual selection can provide a buffer against climate change and increase adaptation rates within a changing environment, the authors believe.
Moths exposed to increasing temperatures were produced more eggs and had better offspring survival when the population had more males competing for mating opportunities, three males for every female.
A geriatric semi-captive rhino died in Kenya recently. “Sudan”, a 45-year-old northern white rhino was put to sleep as vets decided, after months of ill health, that his condition had deteriorated to the point where the levels of pain and quality of life were unacceptable.
From a conservation perspective, this does not sound like a big deal. Sudan was one old rhino. He was well past breeding age. So why did his death make headlines?
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is clearly on the campaign trail for his next job, because even in a state that is lawsuit happy like New York he is setting records for most pointless emails about investigations and lawsuits.
But now he says the science is on his side, not just his political interpretation of the law, and that will get a response where the usual politics won't. So let's see if this is about science or greed.
USDA has reported that honeybees are down 4 percent for 2017, which set off another flurry of Beepocalypse claims by corporate journalists who desperately want to believe that modern science is killing us.
What gets left out of the story is that the 4 percent is down from a 22 year high.
There is no Beepocalypse, no Colony Collapse Disorder, no anything. It is just a statistical blip, as has happened in bees since even casual record-keeping began over a thousand years ago.
Claims of secret meetings and manipulation of the policy agenda. A split in government ranks, and threats to withdraw from a national review. It’s all just part and parcel of the latest round in the development of Australian animal welfare standards and guidelines, in this case proposed new standards for the poultry and egg industries.
Just as many people are trying to eat less processed food to improve their health, some dog owners are turning away from conventional pet food. Instead they’re trying to get back to what they see as a more traditional “butcher’s dog” diet of raw meat, albeit with pre-prepared products that can be served easily and frozen for convenience.
A recent study has raised concerns about the health risks of these raw meat based diet products as possible sources of some bacterial and parasitic diseases. But just how big a problem is this, and who is really at risk?
Plants somehow respond to environmental cues and dangers, especially virulent pathogens, despite a lack of eyes or ears.
How is that possible? It's thanks to hundreds of membrane proteins that can sense microbes or other stresses, but only a small portion of these sensing proteins have been studied through classical genetics, and knowledge on how these sensors function by forming complexes with one another is scarce.