Biology

How is climate change affecting fishes? There are clues inside their ears

Climate change affects all life on Earth, but it poses unique challenges for aquatic species. Karin Limburg The Conversation For example, as water warms it holds less dissolved oxygen than cooler water. As a result, the world’s oceans, coastal seas, estuaries, rivers and lakes are undergoing a process known as “deoxygenation.” When dissolved oxygen levels fall to about 2 milligrams per liter – compared to a normal range of roughly 5 to 10 mg/L – many aquatic organisms become severely ... Read More »

It took scientists seven days and a ‘global collaboration’ to figure out what fish this is

A rare hoodwinker sunfish that washed ashore at a Californian beach left scientists baffled when they could not identify it. Alexis Moran ABC An intern at the University of California had spotted the 2.1-metre fish at the Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve. Researchers turned to social media for help to identify the creature through a series of photos posted on the Coal Oil Point Facebook page in late February. It was there that the sunfish was identified by marine scientist ... Read More »

‘Pandora’s box has been opened’: Scientist’s baby gene-editing claim fuels backlash

Beijing: A Chinese scientist’s claim that he has created the world’s first genetically edited babies has provoked a strong backlash from China’s science community, with several institutions supposedly linked to the… Kirsty Needham The Canberra Times Hundreds of Chinese scientists signed a letter on social media on Monday which condemned direct human experimentation as “crazy”. He Jiankui, a researcher in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, said he altered the genes of a pair of twins while they were embryos to ... Read More »

Snailfish: how we found a new species in one of the ocean’s deepest places

From an unmanned submersible, protected by a casing of stainless steel almost an inch thick and a window made from super strong sapphire crystal, we can observe the life that thrives at our planet’s most extreme and… Authors: The Conversation Thanks to technology and sheer material strength, we can temporarily trespass into this high pressure environment. But in stark contrast to the robust deep sea imaging equipment we rely on, the creatures our camera records look extremely fragile. Four-and-a-half miles ... Read More »

Why the case of Jahi McMath is important for understanding the role of race for black patients

California teenager Jahi McMath, who suffered catastrophic brain injury as a result of a routine tonsil surgery, died on June 22, 2018. Yolonda Wilson The Conversation Her death came after four years of her family fighting in court to continue her care in California. Eventually, they moved her to a facility in New Jersey, a state that accommodates religious views that don’t recognize brain death. Much of the popular discussion in the case centered on the family’s refusal to accept ... Read More »

France has no reason to bar lesbians from IVF, top court advises

PARIS (Reuters) – There are no legal reasons not to give single women and lesbian couples access to medically-assisted reproduction, the top state advisory body on judicial matters will tell the French government, Le Figaro reported on… Reuters Staff President Emmanuel Macron’s government said last year it wanted to change the law which currently restricts to heterosexual couples treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) that are widely available to all women in countries such as Britain, Belgium and… France ... Read More »

Air pollution linked to poor sperm quality

Study finds ‘strong association’ between high levels of fine particulate matter and abnormal sperm shape – but impact on wider fertility remains unclear Matthew Taylor The Guardian High levels of air pollution are associated with poor sperm quality and could be partly responsible for the sharp drop in male fertility, according to a new study. A team of scientists, led by researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, studied the sperm of nearly 6,500 men and found a “strong ... Read More »

How a DNA revolution has decoded the origins of our humanity

Mapping the genomes of our ancestors has allowed scientists to uncover secrets and discover new mysteries in our evolution Robin McKie, Observer science editor The Guardian cientists made a remarkable discovery at Trou Al’Wesse in Belgium earlier this year. Inside a cave that overlooks the Hoyoux river they found clear evidence it had been occupied by Neanderthals tens of thousands of years ago. Yet the cave contained no skull fragments, no teeth – nor any other skeletal remains of this extinct species ... Read More »

Radical new approach to schizophrenia treatment begins trial

Exclusive: as evidence emerges that schizophrenia could be an immune system disease, two-year trial will use antibody drug currently used for MS Hannah Devlin The Guardian British scientists have begun testing a radically new approach to treating schizophrenia based on emerging evidence that it could be a disease of the immune system. The first patient, a 33-year old man who developed schizophrenia after moving to London from Cameroon a decade ago, was treated at King’s College Hospital in London on ... Read More »

Turkish schools to stop teaching evolution, official says

Board of education chairman says subject is debatable, controversial and too complicated for students Kareem Shaheen and Gözde Hatunoğlu in Istanbul The Guardian Evolution will no longer be taught in Turkish schools, a senior education official has said, in a move likely to raise the ire of the country’s secular opposition. Alpaslan Durmuş, who chairs the board of education, said evolution was debatable, controversial and too complicated for… Turkish schools to… Read More »

Utopian thinking: In my school I’d teach human values, not British Values

Rather Theresa May’s picture accompanied by a list of British values there’d be one of an ape – to remind us of who we really are and where we come from Jules Howard The Guardian It seemed slightly ghoulish seeing her hanging there, in a school. A framed portrait of Theresa May, looking down on the children in the school hall, watching over them Just About Managing not to shuffle their bottoms or pick their… Utopian thinking: In… Read More »

Hello, again, Dolly

Twenty years ago the world met the first adult clone, a sheep called Dolly. Her legacy lives on.. The Economist IN THE summer of 1996 Karen Mycock, a cell biologist, was attending a wedding in the Scottish highlands. Returning to her hotel to change her hat, she found a fax pushed under her door.. It said: “She’s been born and… Hello, again, Dolly… Read More »

It’s time to relax the rules on growing human embryos in the lab

Researchers can only study human embryos up to 14 days past fertilisation, but new techniques can go beyond that – a change in the law would benefit all of us New Scientist Sam Wong WHEN it comes to studying our earliest existence, how far are we willing to go? Growing human embryos in the lab beyond the seventh day after fertilisation – the moment when embryos normally implant in the wall of the uterus – has been a long-standing challenge ... Read More »

Cockroaches are not radiation-proof and most are not pests

Few animals have a worse reputation than the humble cockroach, but almost everything we think we know about them is an urban myth By Henry Nicholls Reputation: Yuck. Cockroaches are filthy, immortal scavengers that are unaffected by radiation. In a post-apocalyptic world, it will be these dirty little critters that survive. We would be better… Source: BBC – Earth – Cockroaches are not radiation-proof and most are not pests Read More »

Atauro Island: scientists discover the most biodiverse waters in the world

Conservation International finds 643 species around Timor-Leste island, some of which are believed to be entirely new A small island, a short boat trip from Timor-Leste’s capital, Dili, appears to have the most biodiverse waters anywhere in the world. There is a push for the site to… Source: Atauro Island: scientists discover the most biodiverse waters in the world | World news | The Guardian Read More »

Elephants are the end of a 60m-year lineage – last of the megaherbivores

Four-tuskers, hoe-tuskers, shovel-tuskers are all wiped out – now only a fragment of this keystone species remains Large ivory seizures in Singapore make it a smuggling hub of ‘primary concern’ If, just 800 generations ago, we took a summer holiday to Crete, Cyprus or Malta, we would have found familiar-looking islands, filled with the flowers and… Source: Elephants are the end of a 60m-year lineage – last of the megaherbivores | Environment | The Guardian Read More »