A new initiative aims to build a comprehensive tree of life that brings together everything scientists know about how all species are related, from the tiniest bacteria to the tallest tree. Information about evolutionary relationships is fundamental to comparative biology research. It helps scientists identify promising new medicines; develop hardier, higher-yielding crops; and fight infectious diseases such as HIV, anthrax and influenza.
A record six fish populations were declared rebuilt to healthy levels in 2011, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish populations in the last 11 years to 27, according to a report to Congress out today from NOAA’s Fisheries Service. This report documents historic progress toward ending overfishing and rebuilding our nation’s fisheries, due to the commitment of fishermen, fishing communities, non-governmental organizations, scientists, and managers.
The oceans may be acidifying faster today than they did in the last 300 million years, according to scientists who published a paper in the March 2, 2012 issue of the journal Science. "These scientists have synthesized and evaluated evidence far back in Earth's history," said Candace Major, program officer in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Ocean Sciences, which funded the research. "The ocean acidification we're seeing today is unprecedented…a result of the very fast rates at which we're changing the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans."
The Pew Environment Group’s Global Ocean Legacy Program is working with the government of Bermuda, nongovernmental organizations, and scientists to establish the ‘Bermuda Blue Halo,’ a very large, no-take marine reserve to protect the Sargasso Sea within Bermuda's waters.
Results of study on prairie grasslands show differences across the months. Does it matter whether long periods of hot weather, such as last year's heat wave that gripped the U.S. Midwest, happen in June or July, August or September? Scientists studying the subtle effects of heat waves and droughts say that when such weather events happen makes a big difference.
Researchers working in Northern Myanmar captured the first photographs of the recently discovered Myanmar snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus strykeri. The images were reported by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) on 10 January 2012. A joint team from Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) and People Resources and Conservation Foundation (PRCF), caught pictures of the monkey on camera traps placed in the high, forested mountains of Kachin state, bordering China.
A new monkey, a self-cloning skink, five carnivorous plants, and a unique leaf warbler are among the 208 species newly described by science in the Greater Mekong region in 2010 and highlighted in a new WWF report, Wild Mekong.
Scientists Dennis Bazylinski and colleagues at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) sluice through every water body they can find in Nevada looking for new forms of microbial magnetism.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on 7 December 2011 announced it will provide up to $1.8 million for projects across the country to protect Americans’ health and help restore urban waters by improving water quality and supporting community revitalization. The funding is part of EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Urban waters are canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans.
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Stacey Combes, a biomechanist at Harvard University, and her team are studying how dragonflies pull off complicated aerial feats that include hunting and mating in mid-air.