Belgium announces measures for bird flu outbreak

Belgium has detected an outbreak of bird flu, leading authorities to order all poultry farmers and individual bird owners to keep the animals confined, the country’s food safety agency AFSCA said Saturday. Avian influenza has recently spread to western Europe after outbreaks in Russia and Kazakhstan this summer. “Three wild birds that stayed in a Read more about Belgium announces measures for bird flu outbreak[…]

Germany plans to dim lights at night to save insects

In a draft law seen by AFP, the country’s environment ministry has drawn up a number of new measures to protect insects, ranging from partially outlawing spotlights to increased protection of natural habitats. “Insects play an important role in the ecosystem…but in Germany, their numbers and their diversity has severely declined in recent years,” reads Read more about Germany plans to dim lights at night to save insects[…]

A mathematical approach for understanding intra-plant communication

A team of researchers at the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) and Istituto Italiano di Technologia (IIT) have devised a mathematical approach for understanding intra-plant communication. In their paper, pre-published on bioRxiv, they propose a fully coupled system of non-linear, non-autonomous discontinuous and ordinary differential equations that can accurately describe the adapting behavior and growth Read more about A mathematical approach for understanding intra-plant communication[…]

Once considered outlandish, the idea that plants help their relatives is taking root

For people, and many other animals, family matters. Consider how many jobs go to relatives. Or how an ant will ruthlessly attack intruder ants but rescue injured, closely related nestmates. There are good evolutionary reasons to aid relatives, after all. Now, it seems, family feelings may stir in plants as well. A Canadian biologist planted Read more about Once considered outlandish, the idea that plants help their relatives is taking root[…]

Pando, One of the world’s largest organisms is shrinking

The Pando aspen grove, located in central Utah, is the largest organism on the planet by weight. From the surface, it may look like a forest that spans more than 100 U.S. football fields, but each tree shares the exact same DNA and is connected to its clonal brethren through an elaborate underground root system. Read more about Pando, One of the world’s largest organisms is shrinking[…]

Wide-eyed glare scares raptors: From laboratory evidence to applied management

Raptors are one of the most important causes of fatalities due to their collisions with aircrafts as well as being the main victims of collisions with constructions. They are difficult to deter because they are not influenced by other airspace users or ground predators. Because vision is the primary sensory mode of many diurnal raptors, Read more about Wide-eyed glare scares raptors: From laboratory evidence to applied management[…]

Plants communicate distress using their own kind of nervous system

Plants may lack brains, but they have a nervous system, of sorts. And now, plant biologists have discovered that when a leaf gets eaten, it warns other leaves by using some of the same signals as animals. The new work is starting to unravel a long-standing mystery about how different parts of a plant communicate Read more about Plants communicate distress using their own kind of nervous system[…]

No more rats: New Zealand to exterminate all introduced predators

The New Zealand government has announced a “world-first” project to make the nation predator free by 2050. The prime minister, John Key, said on Monday it would undertake a radical pest extermination programme – which if successful would be a global first – aiming to wipe out the introduced species of rats, stoats and possums Read more about No more rats: New Zealand to exterminate all introduced predators[…]

Blamed for dwindeling amount of bees, Monsanto Buys Leading Bee Research Firm

Monsanto, the massive biotechnology company being blamed for contributing to the dwindling bee population, has bought up one of the leading bee collapse research organizations. Recently banned from Poland with one of the primary reasons being that the company’s genetically modified corn may be devastating the dying bee population, it is evident that Monsanto is Read more about Blamed for dwindeling amount of bees, Monsanto Buys Leading Bee Research Firm[…]

Sharks in your nightclub

Of course, the ignoramusses at PETA – who kill animals to make you pay them – are against this (and very special care indeed is being taken with the sharks) but I think it’s a totally awesome idea: Sharks under you as you dance.