Tag Archives: University

South Africa: Low Levels of Genetic Diversity Are Putting Great White Sharks At Risk

By Sara Andreotti, Stellenbosch University | 29 November 2015 Despite international protection, great white sharks face several threats. These include reduction of their food supply, pollution, baited hooks and lethal gill nets used as beach protection measures. The cryptic nature of white sharks makes them challenging to study. And it is difficult to protect a species we don’t know much about. But new research has now added another piece of the puzzle towards understanding these …

Discovery of long-sought biological compass claimed

… sense magnetism. It might also become an invaluable tool for using magnetic fields to control cells, report researchers led by biophysicist Xie Can at Peking University in Beijing, in a paper published on 16 November in Nature Materials (S. Qin et al. Nature Mater., 2015). “It’s an extraordinary paper,” says Peter Hore, a biochemist at the University of Oxford, UK. But Xie’s team has not shown that the complex actually behaves as a biocompass inside living cells, nor explained exactly …

Earth’s magnetic fields headed towards switch: Rare event believed to have caused extinction of Neanderthal species

By Andre Mitchell | November 8, 2015 Do not be surprised if one day, compasses will point to the south by default instead of the north. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirmed that the Earth’s magnetic fields are headed towards a complete reversal—a rare event believed to have once caused the wiping out of the Neanderthal species. Principal investigator Bruce Jakosky from the University of Colorado made this announcement recently while discussing how NASA …

Extinction Means Less Mammal Poop To Fertilize The Earth

By Rebekah Marcarelli | October 26, 2015 New research suggests the loss of mammal poop could mean a more barren Earth. The world relies on the nutrient transfer from animal feces to remain fertile, but new research suggest major species declines and extinctions have put this planetary nutrient recycling system in jeopardy. The weakening of this vital system could have a negative impact on ecosystem health, fisheries, and agriculture, the University of Vermont reported. The researchers calculated …