“A rare, recently discovered microbe that survives on very little to eat has been found in two places on Earth: spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South America. Microbiologists often do thorough surveys of bacteria and other microbes in spacecraft clean rooms. Fewer microbes live there than in almost any other environment on Earth, but the surveys are important for knowing what might hitch a ride into space. If extraterrestrial life is ever found, it would be readily checked against the census of a few hundred types of microbes detected in spacecraft clean rooms.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
“Each year on Halloween, as children dress up and go door to door looking for treats and excitement, bats—the very animal we associate with the celebration—are in serious trouble and we need to “treat” them with the respect they deserve.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
“A marine science instructor snorkeling off the Southern California coast spotted something out of a fantasy novel: the silvery carcass of an 18-foot-long, serpent-like oarfish.” Quoted from the StarTribune.com
The lionfish is an extremely aggressive predator that has been changing marine life populations since it was accidentally introduced to the western Atlantic and Caribbean in the 1980s. Now, the fish is being targeted by the fishing industry, turning the predator into a source of income.
In 1987, Thailand built a dam on the Khlong Saeng river. As the reservoir filled it transformed over 100 forested hilltops into islands. Now each island, along with its plant and animal inhabitants, is an experiment to test what happens with a forest environment is fragmented.
“A University of Arizona-led research team has found that venom of spiders of the genus Loxosceles, which includes the brown recluse, produces a different chemical product than scientists believed. The discovery could lead to better understanding of how these spider bites can cause necrotic lesions or systemic reactions in humans and to new treatments for spider bites.” Quoted from the NSF press release.
Illegal marijuana plots hidden in the Santa Monica Mountains outside of Los Angeles are limiting the ability of the National Park Service to relocate endangered frog species to more sustainable habitats.
“A new computer simulation has revealed the epic, ocean-spanning journeys traveled by millimeter-sized coral larvae through the world’s seas. It is the first to recreate the oceanic paths along which corals disperse globally, and will eventually aid predictions of how coral reef distributions may shift with climate change.” Quoted from the University of Miami press release.
“What was surprising was the high biomass and diversity we found. This is the first time microbes have been identified living in the sediments of a subglacial Antarctic lake and indicates that life can exist and potentially thrive in environments we would consider too extreme.” Quoted from the British Antarctic Survey press release.
Krill are small crustaceans that occupy a low position on the food chain in all of Earth’s oceans. National Geographic has an article that describes some of the research being done to learn about the krill in the Antarctic.
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