The SCIENCE behind FRAGMENT

MAY, 24 2013

"For decades, we have averaged 18,000 species discoveries per year which seemed reasonable before the biodiversity crisis. Now, knowing that millions of species may not survive the 21st century, it is time to pick up the pace," Quentin Wheeler, founding director of the International Institute for Species Exploration at ASU, said in a statement. "We are calling for a NASA-like mission to discover 10 million species in the next 50 years," Wheeler added.

MAY, 15 2013

One and a half miles beneath the surface of Earth in a Canadian mine, researchers have found pockets of water in rocks that have been isolated from the surface for some two billion years. The chemistry of the water could support life, the team reports today in the journal Nature -- a tantalizing discovery that raises the possibility that life-supporting water might also lie in similar kinds of rocks deep beneath the surface of Mars.

DECEMBER, 26 2012

Thousands of species were described for the first time by scientists in 2012. Some of these were 'cryptic species' that were identified after genetic analysis distinguished them from closely related species, while others were totally novel. Either way, here are some of the "new species" highlights from 2012.

A single-celled organism in Norway has been called "mankind's furthest relative." It is so far removed from the organisms we know that researchers claim it belongs to a new base group, called a kingdom, on the tree of life. "We have found an unknown branch of the tree of life that lives in this lake. It is unique! So far we know of no other group of organisms that descend from closer to the roots of the tree of life than this species," study researcher Shalchian-Tabrizi, of the University of Oslo, in Norway, said in a statement.

ISLAND OF MONTECRISTO TO BE BOMBED WITH RAT POISON AFTER RAT INFESTATION

JANUARY 15, 2012

Authorities are planning to use aircraft to bombard the island with poison pellets in a bid to tackle the infestation. Biologists estimate that there is one rat for every square yard of the island and say they pose  a grave threat to the ecology of the nature reserve, which is part of a scattered archipelago of islands off Tuscany.

OCTOBER 3, 2011

It sounds like a horror movie: Biting ants invade by the millions. A camper's metal walls bulge from the pressure of ants nesting behind them. A circle of poison stops them for only a day, and then a fresh horde shows up, bringing babies. Stand in the yard, and in seconds ants cover your shoes. It's an extreme example of what can happen when the ants — which also can disable huge industrial plants — go unchecked. Controlling them can cost thousands of dollars. But the story is real, told by someone who's been studying ants for a decade.

DECEMBER 12, 2011

Just four-tenths of an inch long, it can jump up to 50 body lengths in a single jump. The cockroach has large hind legs that make up 20 percent of its body weight. Its bulging eyes provide a broad field of vision that is useful while landing, said one of the study’s authors, Mike Picker, an entomologist at the University of Cape Town. “The knee of the hind legs contains the elastic protein resilin,” he said. “This probably restores the shape of the leg, which is bent during the forces of jumping.” The leaproach “out competes locusts, which can only manage to jump 20 times body length,” Dr. Picker said.

OCTOBER 11, 2010

"Our findings, which revealed diverse and abundant species at depths previously thought to be void of fish, will prompt a rethink into marine populations at extreme depths,” said Jamieson, who led researchers from Japan and New Zealand in the project.

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A new species of carnivore has been discovered in Madagascar.  The cat-sized, speckled brown mammal belongs to a family of mongoose-like animals found only on the Indian Ocean island, conservationists said.  

It is probably one of the most threatened carnivores in the world.
 

DECEMBER 9, 2010

As part of the landmark Census of Marine Life(COML), a $650 million, worldwide, decade-long effort to catalogue the creatures that live in the planet's oceans, 19 different voyages collected samples from more than 2,000 locations around Antarctica. In the process, researchers inventoried 16,000 Antarctic species that are new to science.

OCTOBER 6, 2010

The project's 500-plus expeditions have amassed a visual legacy as unique as the organisms uncovered.

OCTOBER 6,2010

The rugged, mountainous and largely inaccessible terrain meant biologists had not even been able to enter some regions and there were large areas of New Guinea that are unexplored biologically. Sample animals were taken of a number of species and genetic testing had confirmed that they were not related to any known creature.

MAY 13, 2004

In parts of London bedbug infestations have risen tenfold since 1996, Boase says. In the U.S. the National Pest Management Association reports a 500 percent increase in bedbug numbers in the last few years.

INVASIVE SPECIES STINK BUG THREATENS US FOOD CROPS

OCTOBER 6, 2010

What's this item about? What makes it interThere is a very real possibility for millions of dollars in damage to the United States’ food supply, a large percentage of which is grown in California’s central valley. Unless effective monitoring methods, preventive measures and controls are developed soon, this infestation could result in serious shortages, higher prices, and more dependence on foreign imports.esting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

CANADA TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST INVASIVE FISH

OCTOBER 6, 2010

The carp have been making their way north since the 1970s and are now within 25 miles of Lake Michigan. Two electrical force fields are in place to stave them off, but scientists fear that once a few carp breach the blocks, the population will rapidly multiply.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2010

"It tends to aggressively pursue its prey, often leaving it dead but uneaten. It is known to have caused the extinction of several other species in other areas."

APRIL 28, 2010

There's no question that discovering a new species is very cool. But how about discovering a new phylum?

GENE RESEARCH REVEALS FOURTH HUMAN SPECIES

MARCH 24, 2010

A fourth type of hominid, besides Neanderthals, modern humans and the tiny “hobbit”, was living as recently as 40,000 years ago, according to research published in the journal Nature. The discovery by Svante Pääbo and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is based on DNA sequences from a finger bone fragment discovered in a Siberian cave.

SCIENTISTS GO 'GAGA' TO FIND CREATURES BENEATH 600 FEET OF ICE

MARCH 15, 2010

In a surprising discovery about where higher life can thrive, scientists for the first time found a shrimp-like creature and a jellyfish frolicking beneath a massive Antarctic ice sheet. Six hundred feet below the ice where no light shines, scientists had figured nothing much more than a few microbes could exist.

MARCH 2, 2010

It’s always surprising when an entirely alien ecosystem is found on Earth. It makes me hopeful that when we start to explore other planets, we’ll find life in splendid and incredible varieties. Nature is clever, vast, and has had a long long time in the lab to experiment. If we can find things so alien in a place so familiar, what will happen when we explore a truly alien world?

60 NEW SPECIES DISCOVERED ISOLATED INSIDE 2-MILE WIDE VOLCANIC CRATER IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

SEPTEMBER 7, 2009

A lost world populated by fanged frogs, grunting fish and tiny bear-like creatures has been discovered in a remote volcanic crater on the Pacific island of Papua New Guinea. A team of scientists from Britain, the United States and Papua New Guinea found more than 40 previously unidentified species when they climbed into the kilometre-deep crater of Mount Bosavi and explored a pristine jungle habitat teeming with life that has evolved in isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago.

DECEMBER 15, 2008

“Who knows what else is out there waiting to be discovered, but what is clear is that there is plenty more where this came from,” said Chapman.

JANUARY 26, 2010

Invasive alien species have been measured for the first time in a large scale study that included 57 countries across the globe. The Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) has released a report showing that, on average, each country has 50 non-native species that are harming the biodiversity in that country. From invasive rats causing the extinction of bird species, to the spread of chytridiomycosis - a pathogenic fungus, the results of the study are illuminating, and worrisome.

JANUARY 15, 2010

One look at a newly discovered species of gecko, small enough at its full-grown size to rest comfortably on the eraser of a pencil, and it's difficult not to be mesmerized by the seemingly boundless forms of biological diversity—while simultaneously reminded of its fragility.

JANUARY 19, 201

"The new discovery shows how much we still have to investigate, and that there are likely to be many more species that are unknown to us," said Shanas.

JANUARY 22, 2010

"This shows that although we are winning some battles in the fight against invasive species, current evidence suggests that we are losing the war."

SNAILS MOVE SLOW BUT EVOLVE FAST IN ISOLATION

JANUARY 26, 2010

...snails and similar slow-movers may split into new species more rapidly because they are more likely to love those close by, rather than go the distance for a long-distance relationship.

JANUARY 27, 2010

"Our analysis, together with studies of brain size in island populations of living primates, suggests we should perhaps not be surprised by the evolution of a small brained, small bodied early human species."

JANUARY 21, 2010

"Invasive plants and animals are a major threat to food and fiber production, costing U.S. producers between $7 billion and $27 billion per year, but by doing research on controlling and managing weedy and invasive species we help protect the productivity of America's farmers and ranchers," said Merrigan.

THE VEXING BUGS IN THE GLOBAL TRADING SYSTEM

JANUARY 15, 2010

The yearly economic impact of invasive species in the U.S. is estimated at $133.6 billion, according to a study in Agricultural and Resource Economics Review in 2006.

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