Up to Half of All Fish in the Ocean might get ‘Drunk’ on CO2 by 2100

fish intoxicated

CO2 interferes with neuroreceptors in the brain of fish, causing them to behave as if drunk. By 2100, fish in half of the world’s water might be intoxicated in this way.

France becomes the first country to ban foodwaste

Image in Creative Commons.

A few months after it was proposed, the law was approved in December and it’s now official.

We finally know what to make of these ‘purple sock’ creatures that litter the sea floor

Xenoturbella profunda. Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

These bizarre creatures are called Xenoturbella, and can be found at the bottom of the ocean. For years scientists have being trying to figure out which proverbial foot these fit in. Now, it seems like their place in the tree of life has been established. Not surprisingly, these are found near the base of the tree of bilaterally symmetrical animals. A fancy way of saying one half matches the other half. That’s at least one thing these deep-sea sock creatures have in common with humans.

This fern changed the world 50 million years ago, and it could help us again

Early_Eocene_Arctic_basin

Some 50 million years ago, the world was in dire straits. Atmospheric CO2 levels were at over 1000 ppm, with some putting the level at 3500 ppm. Turtles and palm trees were thriving at the poles and sea levels were much higher than they were now as there was virtually no snow to be seen. Future for all life seemed

Mid-altitude biodiversity most influenced by topography, but why is this important?

mountain fauna

It’s all about the topography of the terrain, and whether or not it allows for niches to become connected, researchers found when they tried to explain what drives the most biodiversity. The findings could prove extremely important in gauging the future impact of migrating species to higher elevation as a result of climate change.

German nuclear fusion machine starts running

This machine, called W7-X, cost approximately $1.1 billion, has a diameter of 52 feet (16 meters) and took 19 years to construct; the GIF above shows the layers of the machine.

German scientists have turned on a device called a stellerator, the largest of its kind. The machine could pave the way for nuclear fusion, a clean and safe type of nuclear power.

Ravens can tell if someone is watching even though they don’t see them

raven-1031350_1280

If you can see a person or an animal, then it is possible to be seen back. It’s a basic caveat they train in the military when discussing camouflage. What’s more, if you suspect you’re being seen, you must minimize your movements. This level of abstraction was thought to be unique to humans. It’s been recently shown that ravens too are capable of imagining someone is spying on them and take greater care hiding their food, as reported in Nature Communications.

Forever young: ants don’t seem to age

Left: some grumpy old men. Right: Pheidole dentata, a native of the southeastern U.S. The ant isn't immortal, but doesn't seem to age.

Most people don’t have that much of an issue with dying, like they do with being freaking old. Being old is a drag. You gain weight, the skin gets wrinkled, the mind and body weakens — and it all gets gradually worse until you expire. Ants don’t seem to share this human tragedy. By all accounts these particular ants don’t seem to age and die in youthful bodies.

Observing Alien Armageddon could be our first sign of advanced civilizations in space.

atom_bomb

It may be possible to observe the presence of an advanced alien civilization by the effects produced if that civilization were to self-destruct through nuclear war, biological warfare, nanotechnological annihilation, or stellar pollution. Each case would generate unique detectable signs that could be identified by earth-based telescopes.

France announces plans to pave 1,000 kilometers of road with solar panels

The Wattway panels.
Image via wattwaybycolas

The French government announced its plan to build a 1,000 kilometer (621 mile) long stretch of solar panel-paved roads over the next five years. The locations for deployments have yet to be revealed. The fossil fuel tax is expected to bring in between 200 to 300 million euros ($220 to 440 million) of funding for the project coined “Positive Energy” .