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Modeling Disease Outcomes to Help Meet Challenges of Infectious Diseases and Climate Change

Climate change is already affecting the spread of infectious diseases--and human health and biodiversity worldwide--according to disease ecologists reporting research results in the August 2, 2013 issue of the journal Science. Modeling disease outcomes from host and parasite responses to climate variables, they say, could help public health officials and environmental managers address the challenges posed by the changing landscape of infectious disease.


Haiti to Bolster Protection of One of Its Largest Natural Reserves

Support for a sustainable management program at Macaya National Park: A $9 million grant will help Haiti carry out a sustainable land management program at the Macaya National Park, home to one of the country’s largest remaining forests, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced on 1 August 2013.


Geckos Adhere to Surfaces Submerged Underwater: Study May Help Inform Future Bio-Inspired Gecko-Like Adhesives

“The geckos stuck just as well under water as they did on a dry surface, as long as the surface was hydrophobic [water-loving],” Stark explains. “We believe this is how geckos stick to wet leaves and tree trunks in their natural environment.”

The study has implications for the design of a synthetic gecko-inspired adhesive. Geckos' ability to stick to trees and leaves during rainforest downpours has fascinated scientists for decades, leading a group of University of Akron researchers to solve the mystery.


Underwater Camera Rig Built by Students and Teacher Deployed to Observe Antarctic Fish

The icy Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica is about as cold, stormy and inhospitable a body of water as can be imagined. But thanks to the ingenuity of a group of high-school students, their teacher and a miniature video camera on a cable, it has also become a real-life classroom for budding marine engineers.


Peruvian Ocean Conservationist Wins WWF International President’s Award 2013

Kerstin Forsberg, a 28-year-old marine conservation biologist and campaigner based in Peru, has been awarded the WWF International President’s Award 2013 at a special ceremony during global conservation organization WWF’s Annual Conference on June 11, 2013.


Mexico Approves Measure to Save World's Rarest Marine Mammal: the Vaquita

The government of Mexico has taken a decisive step to save the vaquita - a porpoise threatened by extinction - and to promote sustainable fisheries in the upper Gulf of California for the benefit of fishers and their families, says WWF-Mexico.


Pandas in the Wild Filmed by WWF Camera Traps Offer Rare Glimpse of Habitat and Species Conservation in China

On 22 May 2013 the WWF released dozens of photographs and video footage of endangered species captured by camera traps in the mountainous giant panda reserves in China, marking this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity. With the footage, taken since 2011, WWF conservation officers have gained a better understanding of the identification of animal traces and areas of their activities, the study of the impact of human activities on the species and management of nature reserves, according to Jiang.


Human Disease Leptospirosis Identified in the Banded Mongoose in Africa

 Scientists find widespread but neglected disease is significant health threat in Botswana

The newest public health threat in Africa, scientists have found, is coming from a previously unknown source: the banded mongoose. Leptospirosis, the disease is called. And the banded mongoose carries it. Leptospirosis is the world's most common illness transmitted to humans by animals. It's a two-phase disease that begins with flu-like symptoms. If untreated, it can cause meningitis, liver damage, pulmonary hemorrhage, renal failure and death.

 


Study on Fungi Evolution Answers Questions About Ancient Coal Formation and May Help Advance Future Biofuels Production

 

Study Reveals the Potentially Large Influences of Fungi, One of the Most Biologically Diverse Classes of Organisms, On Our Energy Supplies

A new study which includes the first large-scale comparison of fungi that cause rot decay suggests that the evolution of a type of fungi known as white rot may have brought an end to a 60-million-year-long period of coal deposition known as the Carboniferous period. Coal deposits that accumulated during the Carboniferous, which ended about 300 million years ago, have historically fueled about 50 percent of U.S. electric power generation.

 


Venezuela Ends Shark Finning, Creates Protected Area

Venezuela set forth a series of measures this week to protect sharks within its waters. Most significantly, commercial shark fishing is now prohibited throughout the 3,730 square kilometers (1,440 square miles) of the Caribbean Sea that make up the popular Los Roques and Las Aves archipelagos, whose pristine beaches and coral reefs make it a diving and fishing attraction.

 


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