Dogs are worse than ever with winter inside boredom:
Wednesday, March 25, 2015: I see 60-degree temps in the near future but all my mind’s eye can focus on is a weekend low dropping to near 20 at night. That’s a cold-ass trick on nature ... and my amphibians – of which I have the state’s largest collection. I keep them spread throughout the outback. Perhaps you've seen or heard them. Yep, those are part of my collection. Saves building a massive terrarium.
The upcoming cold night, after the now-arriving snap of warmth, will get frogs and salamanders out of hibernation, then crush them under a frozen boot. Brutal.
Considering how poorly the amphibians and reptiles of NJ are doing due to habitat loss and other human impacts, a low-blow like this is going to bomb them back to the K/T event, aka Cretaceous-Tertiary Mass Extinction event.
That’s paleo-talk for the un-Earthly sky annihilation that took place 65 million years ago, wiping out at least 70 percent of all life. Why “K” for Cretaceous? Hey, paleontologists have a lot more to worry about than stinkin’ spelling. And so should you. Per NatGeo, a review published on May 29 in the journal Science reported the current flora/fauna extinction rates are up to a thousand times higher than they would be if people weren't in the picture.
Yes, people like you are causing extinction … though not so much me because I, like, plant trees and stuff. I also cheer on the underdogs, like coyotes, wolves, foxes, pit bulls.
In case you're wondering exactly how many planetary species go permanently missing each year, the numbers speak for themselves – or, not so much. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) passes on, "Scientists were startled in 1980 by the discovery of a tremendous diversity of insects in tropical forests. In one study of just 19 trees in Panama, 80% of the 1,200 beetle species discovered were previously unknown to science... Surprisingly, scientists have a better understanding of how many stars there are in the galaxy than how many species there are on Earth."
Of course, you armchair math buffs will chime in, “Then, how in bloody hell could anyone know that the extinction rate is 1,000x higher because of man?” Hey:
What’s more, we all know humans kill things off as fast as we can find them. Therefore, when we go with the half-empty glass (of unknown size) draining 1000x faster because of humanity, we’ll be more inclined to be kinder to plants and wildlife. Maybe ...
As for you in the back row coyly asking, “Do new bacteria and viruses count as new species?” I can only say that nobody says that human-eating species aren’t cashing in on our overpopulating of the planet. It’s an odd form of survival of fittest, quite possibly leading to “Planet of the Viruses. In a billion years, what might highly-culture absurdly intelligent viruses look like?
Below: An actual virus. It sure looks poised for a take-over. It's via "Bacteriophage: The Weirdest Looking Virus You’ve Ever Seen."
Future president giving state of the virus-nation report ...
( Sam Lyon --- aka Jelly Gummies)
Rhode Island Researchers Testing Probiotics to Protect Young Oysters from Vibrio tubiashii
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Westerley Sun] By Cynthia Drummond - March 25, 2015 -
NARRAGANSETT, RI, Researchers at the University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams University are testing beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, to determine whether they can protect young oysters from a devastating disease. They are also hoping the same bacteria might also be effective in combating lobster shell disease. URI professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences David Rowley presented his findings on Monday at the university's Graduate School of Oceanography.
With oyster aquaculture now one of the state's fastest- growing industries, there is a lot at stake in keeping oysters healthy. New statistics due to be released in the coming days by the Coastal Resources Management Council show the economic value of the harvest of farmed oysters grew from $4.2 million in 2013 to $5.2 million in 2014, an increase of nearly 24 percent.
"Oysters surpassed the value of quahogs this year for the first time," said CRMC Aquaculture Coordinator, David Beutel.
Eastern Oysters are vulnerable to many pathogens, including a natural-occurring bacterium, Vibrio tubiashii, that kills them when they are still in the larval stage. Oyster larva swim for several weeks before attaching to a surface, and it is during that earliest stage when they are most vulnerable to vibrio tubiashii. After considering different ways to try to prevent the bacterium from killing oyster larva, Rowley tried probiotics because they were sustainable, easy to use and inexpensive.
"These are live bacteria that provide a beneficial effect to the host," he said. "These are the good bacteria, if you will. They're a green alternative to the use of antibiotics."
Rowley and his colleagues screened about 100 different bacteria before finding two, both from the Narrow River in Narragansett, that seemed to protect young oysters. After testing them in tanks at the Blount Shellfish Hatchery at Roger Williams University, the team developed a way to grow the probiotics and freeze-dry them so they could be stored for several weeks in a refrigerator. They can then be added to the tanks where oyster larva are growing.
"We had a freeze-dried formulation, it was viable, it was stable, it was very easy to use, and I would add, inexpensive. It appears to be very safe to use in a hatchery setting at least from the trails we have done so far and we hope that this is going to be useful in minimizing outbreaks of disease in shellfish larval culture."
Rowley hopes to begin testing probiotics on different shellfish species such as bay scallops. They are already being tested on lobsters to see if they might be effective in fighting lobster shell disease. URI fisheries scientist Kathleen Castro, who has been studying the disease for 20 years, said it had spread so rapidly that it now affects 30 percent of the state's inshore lobsters, most of them reproductive females.
"What we saw before 1996 was a different kind of shell disease," she said. "It was isolated spots, you didn't see anything like this. We saw an increase to 30 percent in a very short period of time. It was a very scary sight to see, when you see a disease take off that fast and that bad in this population, and basically, it has stayed very high."
Using lobsters donated by the RI Lobstermen's Association, Castro began testing Rowley's probiotics to see if they would reverse or slow the progress of shell disease.
"This was a very preliminary experiment. We just wanted to see what would happen. We weren't sure oyster probiotics were going to work on lobsters. We just had the three tanks, there were a lot of students involved, but we were very encouraged with the results," she said.
Rowley wants to expand his research to new locations and he hopes to work with private oyster hatcheries. He also plans to test the probiotic on other strains of vibrio bacteria.
"I think we will try it against other vibrios to make sure we do have broad spectrum coverage," he said. "I think it's also important for us at some point to consider having multiple different probiotics, because I don't think there's going to be a magic bullet here, one bacterium to rule them all."
Will this follow?:
Loss of All But One Bluefin Tuna at Tokyo Aquarium Shows How Tricky Breeding Technology Is
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Washington Post] By Lindsey Bever - March 25, 2015 -
The bluefin tuna is on the verge of extinction at a Tokyo aquarium known for a breeding program intended to save the species. Since late last year, the fish have been dying one by one, and researchers can't seem to determine why.
Another bluefin died on Tuesday, leaving only one lonely tuna in its habitat at the Tokyo Sea Life Park in Edogawa Ward near the Tokyo Bay. The diseased fish was found with broken bones, but the cause of death is not yet known.
"We have had the tuna tank since the aquarium opened in 1989 but never experienced this kind of mass-dying," a spokesman for the aquarium told Agence France-Presse early on Wednesday.
"The second last one that just died apparently crashed into the acrylic wall twice," he added. "It suffered a broken backbone, which was unfortunate but not very unusual for tuna kept in a tank."
In November, there were 69 bluefin tuna in the tank, a doughnut-shaped enclosure filled with 2,200 tons of water, Satoshi Tada, a spokesman for the government-run Tokyo Sea Life Park, told The Washington Post. The next month, the fish started dying at an alarming rate. In January, only 11 remained.
The aquarium has lost 68 bluefin tuna in four months, he said in an e-mail.
Keiichi Mushiake, director at the Research Center for Tuna Aquaculture at the Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, called the case "unprecedented." He told the Japan Timeshe had never heard of a mass death like this one.
Tokyo Sea Life Park opened more than two decades ago with a mission to reproduce "aquatic habitats in Tokyo and in the world," according to its Web site. It started a breeding program for the bluefin tuna, a finicky fish put on the endangered list several years ago largely due to overfishing in the Northern Pacific Ocean. The aquarium's exhibition, "Voyagers of the Pacific: Tuna," once featured nearly 160 fish: bluefin tuna, kawakawa (or mackerel tuna) and striped bonito. But keeping the bluefin in captivity can be tricky since it is extremely sensitive to changes in light and noise levels. A loud boom can cause its demise, the Japan Times reported.
As for the deaths, the aquarium has considered several possibilities. In November, it put 31 mackerel tuna into the tank, though such restocking is common, it said. In December, it started construction on another tank nearby, but Mushiake told the newspaper the construction wasn't likely the culprit. The fish continued to die even after the project was completed.
Though certain viruses were found in the tank, researchers doubt they would kill an entire clan.
"An earlier examination has found some sort of virus among some of the dead fish, but it wasn't the kind that is usually fatal in fish farms," a spokesman told AFP.
News reports earlier this year said the remaining fish seemed unusually nervous and wouldn't eat.
In the past few months, the aquarium has attempted to control the situation. It started switching off the lights at night to put the fish at ease. It used computers to monitor the water and the fish, but no abnormalities were found.
Researchers are considering numerous factors such as nutrition or changes in the physical environment including light, sound and vibration. They are monitoring water quality, oxygen levels and searching for possible poisonous substances such as heavy metal, Satoshi Tada said.
"We are studying what caused the fish deaths, but we haven't figured it out yet," a spokesman told the AFP." We suspect that it could be due to new factors that were not present before."
Plantable Coffee Cups Embedded With Seeds Grow Into Trees When Thrown Away EARTH PORM
It’s no secret that we have a HUGE trash problem around the world. One eco-friendly company from California is striving to make a difference with the coolest invention for caffeine lovers ever! Reduce. Reuse. Grow., a startup company based out of San Louis Obispo, invented the world’s first plantable coffee cup. When planted the seeds embedded within the cup grow in the ground, sprouting life out of what was once a worthless old coffee cup.
Reduce. Reuse. Grow. hopes to raise enough money to make these awesome coffee cups that grow into trees a reality at a coffee shop near you. The cups will be made based on location, so that each cup contains native seeds from the area it is served in. This ensures your coffee cup will grow and flourish in your own backyard.
It’s super easy to plant your coffee cup. You unravel the used cup and soak it in water for 5 minutes. Next, put on your gardening gloves and roll up your sleeves, it’s time to plant the soaked cup and watch it grow.
We are all consumers and as a result we produce so much waste. Just think about all of the trash you create in your own home, now multiply that by your street, neighborhood, and entire city. Part of this trash is coffee cups. Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee every single day, which adds up to over 146 billion cups annually.
You might feel good about recycling your coffee cups, but this doesn’t actually solve the problem, it just helps slow it down. Once a product has been broken down about three times it is no longer effective to recycle it because it doesn’t have enough fibers left. This is how billions of coffee cups end up in landfills, even if they were originally recycled.
The creators of plantable coffee cups wanted to create something that offered a better solution to recycling. The idea for creating a cup that can be planted as opposed to thrown away is the perfect solution. Simply drinking coffee could someday soon help landscape communities. The coffee cup can biodegrade within 180 days, transforming into native flowers and trees.
One cup will grow at least 1 tree, which will then work to better our planet by extracting 1 ton of CO2 over a 40-year period.
Cups can be planted in your own background, out in rural landscapes, community gardens, or anywhere else you see fit. If you don’t want to replant your own cup there will be bins in participating locations where you can toss the cups. Instead of cutting down trees and eliminating forests to make cups, this allows us to give back to mother nature. Over 140,000 containers have already been planted.
After raising money on KickStarter, Reduce. Reuse. Grow. plans to take their idea to San Francisco and Colorado where people will have the chance to purchase and plant these cups at participating locations. If all goes as planned, plantable coffee cups that turn into trees will be a reality by the summer of 2015.
Eventually, so many other products can be manufactured using the same exact process. Togo containers, shipping boxes, and paper products can all be transformed from pollutants that destroytrees, to biodegradable miracles that create trees!