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Showing posts with label Biology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biology. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Scientists find the world's oldest color

Scientists have found what they say is the oldest color in the world, namely bright pink. The facts about the history of the pigment were discovered after researchers destroyed 1.1 billion years old rocks in flakes of marine deposits found in the rocky layers of the Sahara Desert, in the Taoudeni basin of Mauritania (western Africa).
Biogeochemistry lab manager Janet Hope from the ANU research school of earth sciences holds a vial of coloured porphyrins (pink coloured liquid), believed to be some of the oldest pigments in the world. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2wjcSHB)
"Of course you might say that everything (rocks) has several colors," said Prof. Jochen Brocks, senior researcher leader from the Australian National University. "What we found was the oldest biological color," he continued as quoted by The Guardian on Wednesday, June 11, 2018.

Then, Prof. Brocks compared it to the discovery of a 100 million-year-old T-Rex bone. "It (the T-Rex bone fossil) also has color, but tends to have a gray pigment base, or brown. But that won't tell you what T-Rex's skin is like," Prof Brocks continued.
The oldest color pigments in the world are found from marine animals fossils of hundreds of millions of years old. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2PtUkx4)
He explained that the newest pigment molecules found by his team did not come from large creatures, but microscopic organisms that lived in the early era of the formation of the Earth.

The oldest color, was first discovered by a doctoral student named Nur Gueneli, who destroyed fossil rocks into powder. Then, she extracts and analyzes the molecules of ancient organisms from the chemicals they contain.

Gueneli said the pigment was half a billion years older than the discovery of the previous fossil pigment. "Bright pink pigments are molecular fossils of chlorophyll produced by ancient photosynthetic organisms, which inhabit ancient oceans," she said in a statement. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | THE GUARDIAN]
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

The scientists recorded the sightings of a mysterious Ghost shark

In a rare sighting, scientists recorded the image of a scary shark with a bluish color and gray that was swimming in the waters of the northern hemisphere. "The ghost sharks" recorded was actually not a shark, but chimaera, or relatives who split from the evolutionary cousin sharks approximately 300 million years ago.

These water crature is only known to live near New Zealand and Australia. However, the marine biologists say that this video footage could show a greater range of locations than they previously realized.
Is this Hydrolagus Trolli or the pointy-nosed blue chimaera? (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1gtEsm)
"Usually, people probably would not have seen them around this area, so it is a little bit lucky this discovery," said Program Director for Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Dave Ebert, as quoted from National Geographic on Monday, December 19, 2016.

Researchers did not set out to find Hydrolagus Trolli or pointy-nosed blue chimaera when they sent a remotely operated underwater vehicle to explore the waters off of California and Hawaii in 2009. Instead, the scientists involved in this project is a geologist but they studied motherlode marine biology also.

Chimaera which is also known as baronang, ratfish, ghost sharks or chimaeras were prefer cold water from the deep sea. Physically, chimaeras have a bit of their sea dinosaur-like ancestors with scary stripes along the head and body.
Footage of the divers was finally released this week by Monteray Bay Aquarium Research Institute. If the creatures featured in the video confirmed was true the pointy-nosed blue chimaera, it would be the first time for scientists to see one of them is in the northern hemisphere. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC]
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Friday, December 16, 2016

Monkeys are actually able to speak, but...

It is a fairly surprising news; monkeys may have more sophisticated vocal ability than we had expected all along. Allegedly, their vocal tract anatomy is theoretically capable of producing five basic vowel sounds which become the basis for human language. The voices that can be used to form sentences that can be understood.
Monkey's vocal tract anatomy is theoretically able to produce five basic vowel sounds which become the basis for human language. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1gjMnH)
These findings add to the set of the available evidence, namely that some monkeys and apes can mimic or produce roughly votes required to communicate like they are speaking. As quoted from NewScientist on Wednesday, December 14, 2016, Asif Ghazanfar of Princeton University said, "No one can say now that there is a vocal anatomy problem in the talks of monkeys."

"They have a vocal anatomy, that are ready to speak, but their brain was the one who was not ready for it. We need to find out why the human brain (not the monkey brain) which is then able to produce the languages."

Several previous experiments to find out if the monkey has a vocal device needed to speak depends on the plaster mold of the vocal tract type of macaque monkeys.
Monkey's vocal tract anatomy is theoretically able to produce five basic vowel sounds which become the basis for human language. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1gjMnH)
Now, Ghazanfar and his colleagues used movies and still images of X-rays of the vocal tract of male long-tailed macaque named Emiliano. With the help of barium-based contrast agents, the scientists created the whole visual profile of Emiliano vocal tract when the monkey was issued various types of sounds and calls.

Through the imaging of the channel when the monkeys were eating and swallowing food, scientists can measure the limits of Emiliano's vocal tract stretching. Of the 99 basic configuration of the channel as their observations, the researchers calculated the sound and frequency of which could theoretically can be produced by the monkeys, then compare it with the sounds produced by the humans vocal tract.

By doing this, they managed to reconstruct the sound if Emiliano say a sentence, such as "Will you marry me?" Here comes a greeting from Emiliano the monkey appropriate computer simulations based on its vocal tract scan:
They also showed that Emiliano has anatomical ability to form five basic sounds that underlie human language. When they project the sound simulation to 10 human volunteers in a row, the volunteers correctly identify the sound simulation, within up to 90-98 percent. Thus, there is a suspicion that if the monkeys were able to make a sound that humans can be recognize it. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | NEW SCIENTIST]
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mutations make Killifish becoming a super fish

The mutations process make killifish can live in waters full of poison. Scientists reveal that the fish was 8,000 times more resistant to toxins than ordinary fish. This fascinating fact was revealed in a publication in the journal Science on Friday, December 9, 2016.

To reveal the fact, Andrew Whitehead of the University of California, Davis, has collected more than 4,000 Atlantic Killifish that live on the east coast of the United States. These waters are known to contain dioxins, polychloronated biphenyls (PCB), and heavy metals 8,000 times higher than the other waters in general.
Scientists discover mutated Killifish that have become 8,000 times more resistant to toxic waste. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ghFg1)
Then, Whitehead perform genetic analysis. And, strangeness is revealed. Killifish genes mutate so that a molecular pathway that serves to damage cells deliver signals that exposure to toxins deactivated.

Not only resistant to the toxin, the animals commonly used as ornamental fish also help cleanse toxins from the environment by accumulating in its body. Whitehead said furthermore, that the presence of animals are able to survive in the toxic environment is not always good news.

"Unfortunately, most of the species we preserve may not be able to adapt to the rapid changes because they do not have a genetic variation that allows it to evolve quickly," said Whitehead.

As quoted from Science Alert on Friday, December 8, 2016, Whitehead said that the great genetic variation that allows a species can survive well in line with the process of mutation. Killifish might survive, but not necessarily with the predators. Thus, the survival of killifish just not good news for the environment.. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCE ALERT]
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Monday, December 5, 2016

Watch out, these ant species can rule the world

Do not underestimate its size. Who would have thought if the ant species that live in the forests of Ethiopia is capable of being a threat to humans. Lepisiota Canescens ant species can be buit super colonies that will spread rapidly in many regions, disrupting the ecosystem and even become a threat to humans.
Lepisiota ants killing a termite. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1gPXYN)
This finding was revealed from a study by a group of American and Ethiopian researchers which have been published in the journal Insectes sociaux. The team included scientists from several institutions in Ethiopia and the United States, including North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, University of Tulsa, Bahir Dar University, California Academy of Sciences, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Researchers observed that the ant genus Lepisiota has mastered the Kruger National Park in South Africa. These ant species colonies were spread in a large area. It is a sign that these species become invasive. They also say that the ant species is the largest super colony ever observed in their natural habitat. They noted this super colony stretching up to 38 km.

"The species that we found in Ethiopia has the potential to become an invasive species," said D. Magdalena Sorger, a researcher from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences was quoted as saying on CNBC on Friday, November 25, 2016.

"Invasive species spread by humans, along with tourism, and trade in Ethiopia are increasing. And only with one queen, the colonies can be formed," he added.
This is a Lepisiota dispatching Pheidole ant. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1gPXs6)
Typically, the ants form the colonies consisting of one nest and ruled by a queen. But there are 20 different species of ants. They form what is called super colonies consisting of many hives and queens. Super colonies can contain billions of ants who had gathered and were able to remove other ant colonies.

For example, the Argentine ants, these ants have a super colony that covers a large part of California and is now expanding to Mexico. Even, the Argentine ants drive out the native ant populations.

These ants attack also cause declines in predators that prey on native ants. And the Argentine ants have also become a 'part' of the Californian society. People reported if they are rampant in the house, out of the pipe, and even in the bags.

Another case that occurred was in Australia, where a port was forced to close when the super ant colonies are found in the cargo hold. Researchers hope that this research will be to understand how the life of ants whose living in their natural habitat. Including preventing before species become invasive. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCE DAILY | CNBC]
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Friday, December 2, 2016

Is it true that NASA conceals the signs of life on Mars?

Scientists have been reviewing the images taken by Spirit rover nearly a decade ago. They also concluded that the United States Space Agency (NASA) may previously ignored evidence of the earliest forms of life on other planets.

As reported Express on Sunday, November 27, 2016, a new evidence published in Nature Communications showed outcrop rocks and regoliths formed of opaline silica photographed by Spirit Rover in Gusev Crater in 2007 could potentially have biosignatures, the nature trails current or past.
Spot the difference: Silica deposits on Mars, inset, compared to on Earth. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1gGAh9)
Two experts from Arizona State University (ASU), Steve Ruff and Jack Farmer looked at data from the visits of Spirit Rover to Home Plate, a plateau of layered rock in the crater region of Columbia Hills. It is an ancient region of volcanic ash eroded, believed to still contain active hot water, which has formed silica outcrops, including finger-like formations which were photographed.

In addition, they also occur in less obvious forms, including organic molecules remaining trapped in rocks and compacted mat of microbes known as stromatolites, which is an early form of life on Earth, and are found in Western Australia, and El Tatio in Chile.

Stromatolites are formed when microbial colonies gathered in a humid environment, before trapping sediment in a sticky surface. Sediment reacts with the calcium carbonate in the water, creating a buildup of lime.
Proof of life? The silica deposits on Mars, left, are remarkably similar to on Earth, right. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1gGAh9)
Stromatolites in El Tatio, which has conditions similar to Mars also formed by hot springs, said to resemble images taken in the Spirit Rover in the Mars crater. Deposits of silica in the structure in EI Tatio discovered by a team almost identical to that found in Gusev Crater.

"Our results indicate that the condition is more like Mars than El Tatio produce unique deposit, including biomediated silica structure, with characteristics that are favorable compared with the silica outcrops of Home Plate. This similarity raises the possibility that Mars silica structure is formed in a way that is comparable," as the team wrote in the report.

On a separate report last month by a different team of scientists concluded evidence of life on Mars may have been discovered in 1976, but scientists suggest it then do not believe it. A review study called Viking Labeled Release, see the two probes land on the Red Planet, brings interesting claims that the soil collected from Mars indicate microbial life.

The spacecrafts landed 4,000 miles of each other on Mars in the 1970s, but both produce the same surprising results after the Martian soil analysis. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | EXPRESS]
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