Tuesday, April 17, 2012


A satellite view of penguin colonies in Cape Colbeck, Antarctica.

Some fun papers of relevance to this class I missed out on posting whilst I was visiting the old homeland:

Metaproteomics of a gutless marine worm and its symbiotic microbial community reveal unusual pathways for carbon and energy use. 
In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen and Greifswald University, together with colleagues from Freiburg, Italy and the USA, have revealed that a small marine worm, faced with a scarce food supply in the sandy sediments it lives in off the coast of Elba, must deal with a highly poisonous menu: this worm lives on carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide.

The Sex Determination Gene Shows No Founder Effect in the Giant Honey Bee, Apis dorsata.
By mating with nearly 100 males, queen bees on isolated islands avoid inbreeding and keep colonies healthy. The results, published in the current issue of PLoS ONE, focused on giant honey bee colonies on Hainan Island, off the coast of China. Since these bees have long been separated from their continental cousins, it was thought that the island bees would be prime candidates for inbreeding as well as having very different genes, said Zachary Huang, Michigan State University entomologist.

and from National Geographic (this is relevant to our next class):
Emperor Penguins Counted From Space—A First

Talk about a bird's-eye view—scientists have taken the first-ever penguin census from space.
What's more, the high-resolution satellite images reveal that there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica than previously thought, a new study says.Scientists have snapped penguin pictures from space before. But the new work used a technique called pansharpening, which offers high enough resolution for the scientists to differentiate between penguin poop, ice, and the birds themselves.

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