Environment

Panda poop might help biofuel production take a turn for the better

Biofuels are very ‘hot’ at the moment, as they’ve started to gain traction. Production as increased about 400% since 2000, and that’s a good thing. Right? After all, anything that can replace fossil fuels is a better option. Well, not necessarily. A while ago, I wrote a piece for ZME Science in which listed some […]

Animal files: the Dhole

Though at a first glance it may look like a fox, it doesn’t take much to see that it isn’t. This cutesy animal is a dhole (Cuon alpinus) – also called the Asiatic wild dog or Indian wild dog. Interestingly enough, this animal is not a dog – it is the last existing member of […]

Navy admits training exercises will likely kill dolphins and whales in large numbers

According to a post in the Navy Times, training and testing will likely “inadvertently” kill hundreds of whales and dolphins and wound thousands in the next five years. Most of the damage will be done by explosives, though some might come from testing sonar or animals being hit by ships. Rear Adm. Kevin Slates, the […]

Growing the World’s Tallest Vertical Garden in Sydney

Patrick Blanc is a French botanist, typically wrongly credited as the inventor of the vertical garden (aka. Green Wall, Botanical Brick), a title which belongs to Professor Stanley Hart White at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (1938). Still, Patrick Blanc is certainly modern innovator of the green wall – a wall, either free-standing or part […]

Illegal Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found in 98 Well Known Shampoo brands [with full list]

You might think that the worst thing shampoo can do to you is sting your eyes or make your hair look bad, but as it turns out, a study has shown that some 100 well known shampoo brands include a carcinogen known as cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA). “Most people believe that products sold in major […]

Squids-protein modified bacteria used to develop camouflage coating

Loliginidae, also known as pencil squids, are formidable animals that can change their colour matching their surroundings really fast and effortlessly. For centuries the only thing man has learned from them is how tasty they are. Now, researchers at University of California, Irvine, found there’s much more to them then a simple calamari dish. The scientists […]

Farmer ants draft parasite ants as mercenaries

Ants are absolutely fascinating creatures. Not only have they discovered farming and animal husbandry thousands of years before us (sometimes even using bacteria to grow gardens), they also conduct executions for the good of the colony, follow Fermat’s principle of least time, and as it has been shown now, draft parasite ants as mercenaries. Just […]

Ecosystems still feel the pain of ancient extinctions

The more researchers study ecosystems, the more we learn that an ecosystem behaves, in many ways, just like a living organism: thousands of years after human hunters wiped out big land animals like giant ground sloths, the ecosystems they lived in are still suffering from the effects, much like a body suffers from past trauma. […]

Buddhist Monks step in to protect Snow Leopards

It’s currently estimated that only 4,510 to 7,350 snow leopards remain in the wild – though estimates rely on outdated information and are pretty rough. Given the development of the local environment, the numbers are probably optimistic. Numerous agencies are working to conserve the snow leopard and its threatened mountain ecosystems which range across Asia, […]

Convergent evolution in bats and dolphins driven by same genes

It’s amazing how two different animals from two completely different environments evolve some identical physical features. Take bats and dolphins for instance. Both of them use a complex system that produces, receives and process ultrasonic sound waves in order to identify visually hidden objects, track down prey or navigate through obstacles better – typically this […]

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