1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20  |  21  |  22  |  23  |  24  |  25  |  26  |  27  |  28  |  29  |  30  |  31  |  32  |  33  |  34  |  35  |  36  |  37  |  38  |  39  |  40  |  41  |  42  |  43  |  44  |  45  |  46  |  47  |  48  |  49  |  50  |  51  |  52  |  53  |  54  |  55  |  56  |  57  |  58  |  59  |  60  |  61  |  62  |  63  |  64  |  65  |  66  |  67  |  68  |  69  |  70  |  71  |  72  |  73  |  74  |  75  |  76  |  77  |  78  |  79  |  80  |  81  |  82  |  83  |  84  |  85  |  86  |  87  |  88  |  89  |  90  |  91  |  92  |  93  |  94  |  95  |  96  |  97  |  98  |  99  |  100  |  101  |  102  |  103  |  104  |  105  |  106  |  107  |  108  |  109  |  110  |  111  |  112  |  113  |  114  |  115  |  116  |  117  |  118  |  119  |  120  |  121  |  122  |  123  |  124  |  125  |  126  |  127  |  128  |  129  |  130  |  131  |  132  |  133  |  134  |  135  |  136  |  137  |  138  |  139  |  140  |  141  |  142  |  143  |  144  |  145  |  146  |  147  |  148  |  149  |  150  |  151  |  152  |  153  |  154  |  155  |  156  |  157  |  158  |  159  |  160  |  161  |  162  |  163  |  164  |  165  |  166  |  167  |  168  |  169  |  170  |  171  |  172  |  173  |  174  |  175  |  176  |  177  |  178  |  179  |  180  |  181  |  182  |  183  |  184  |  185  |  186  |  187  |  188  |  189  |  190  |  191  |  192  |  193  |  194  |  195  |  196  |  197  |  198  |  199  |  200  |  201  |  202  |  203  |  204  |  205  |  206  |  207  |  208  |  209  |  210  |  211  |  212  |  213  |  214  |  215  |  216  |  217  |  218  |  219  |  220  |  221  |  222  |  223  |  224  |  225  |  226  |  227  |  228  |  229  |  230  |  231  |  232  |  233  |  234  |  235  |  236  |  237  |  238  |  239  |  240  |  241  |  242  |  243  |  244  |  245 

Great White vs. Giant Squid

Leviathans may battle in remote depths - latimes.com
In what could be the ultimate marine smack-down, great white sharks off the California coast may be migrating 1,600 miles west to do battle with creatures that rival their star power: giant squids. A series of studies tracking this mysterious migration has scientists rethinking not just what the big shark does with its time but also what sort of creature it is. Few sea denizens match great white sharks and giant squids in primitive mystique. Both are the subject of popular mania; both are inscrutable. That these two mythic sea monsters might convene for epic battles in the stark expanses of the Pacific is enough to make a documentarian salivate. For more reserved scientists, the possible link between sharks and squid, suggested by marine ecologist Michael Domeier of the Marine Conservation Science Institute in Fallbrook, is just one part of emerging research that has altered their understanding of the great whites.

March 03, 2010

Common pesticide found to dangerously mutate 85% of frogs

03.01.2010 - Pesticide atrazine can turn male frogs into females
BERKELEY —Atrazine, one of the world's most widely used pesticides, wreaks havoc with the sex lives of adult male frogs, emasculating three-quarters of them and turning one in 10 into females, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, biologists. The 75 percent that are chemically castrated are essentially "dead" because of their inability to reproduce in the wild, reports UC Berkeley's Tyrone B. Hayes, professor of integrative biology. "These male frogs are missing testosterone and all the things that testosterone controls, including sperm. So their fertility is as low as 10 percent in some cases, and that is only if we isolate those animals and pair them with females," he said. "In an environment where they are competing with unexposed animals, they have zero chance of reproducing." . . . "These kinds of problems, like sex-reversing animals skewing sex ratios, are much more dangerous than any chemical that would kill off a population of frogs," he said. "In exposed populations, it looks like there are frogs breeding but, in fact, the population is being very slowly degraded by the introduction of these altered animals." Some 80 million pounds of the herbicide atrazine are applied annually in the United States on corn and sorghum to control weeds and increase crop yield, but such widespread use also makes atrazine the most common pesticide contaminant of ground and surface water, according to various studies.

March 02, 2010

It's time to rethink our search for extra-terrestrial intelligence

The mystery of the silent aliens - CultureLab - New Scientist
In The Eerie Silence, Paul Davies - who makes a living tackling the biggest questions of life, the universe and everything - begins with the assumption that the universe should be full of life. There are more stars out there than there are grains of sand on all the Earth's beaches, and now that more than 400 planets have been found orbiting other stars, we can be almost certain that most stars have planets. Surely our Earth is not unique. But while the odds against life seem to be shortening, thanks to those exoplanets, it is now pretty clear that our part of the galaxy, at least, is not a hive of obvious alien activity. The cosmos may be buzzing with life, or even with intelligence, but it is not Star Trek out there. Perhaps we are looking in the wrong way, muses Davies. At the core of his rather wonderful book is a list of imaginative alternatives to the current focus on radio signals from nearby stars - a search that is, he claims, shackled by anthropocentric assumptions and innate conservatism, and ripe for a shake-up. Rather than expecting to stumble upon a high-power radio transmission aimed directly at Earth, we might look for ghostly neutrino signals or messages encoded in the otherwise clockwork light flashes from pulsars. We should also be on the lookout for alien life forms - or their probes - closer to home, and search for circumstantial evidence that aliens are here, or at least were here, perhaps millions of years ago. Beacons in the asteroid belt, perhaps, bits of ancient machinery left on the moon, or suspicious polygonal craters. Maybe ET will tune into the internet: the ieti.org website has been set up to allow them to do exactly that.

Ice-filled craters discovered on the moon

BBC News - Ice deposits found at Moon's pole The deposits are vast and are getting people all worked up about building a moon base.
A radar experiment aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar spacecraft has identified thick deposits of water-ice near the Moon's north pole. The US space agency's (Nasa) Mini-Sar experiment found more than 40 small craters containing water-ice. . . . The craters with ice range from 2km to 15km (one to nine miles) in diameter; how much there is depends on its thickness in each crater. But Nasa says the ice must be at least a couple of metres thick to give the signature seen by Chandrayaan-1. Dr Paul Spudis, from the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, estimated there was at least 600 million metric tonnes of water-ice held within these impact craters. . . . However, Dr Spudis said: "Now we can say with a fair degree of confidence that a sustainable human presence on the Moon is possible. It's possible using the resources we find there.