The first-ever Census of Marine Life was announced today, the result of ten years, more than 540 expeditions, 2,700 researchers, and 120,000 species documented (of which around 6,000 are new discoveries). And yes, before you ask: There is indeed a jellyfish that looks like Darth Vader's helmet.
Call it a new form of rapture of the deep. Chemicals from sea snail saliva can be made into pain pills that work as well as morphine, but without the risk of addiction, a new study says.
Researchers have already used the saliva of marine cone snails as a potent painkiller, but it has to be injected into the spinal cord with a special implanted pump, which limits its use. Researchers led by David J. Craik of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland in Australia figured out how to make the peptide orally active, so patients could simply pop snail-saliva pills.
This monstrosity surfaced on the Web this week, after first surfacing attached to a remotely operated undersea survey sub. While this 2.5-foot specimen is indeed more monstrous than most of its species, it's really just a harmless, friendly giant isopod, a sea scavenger that dwells in the deep, cold waters of the oceans.
Great white whales. Schools of fish so thick they slowed boats. Sea monsters that could swallow a sailor whole. The last one may still be the stuff of lore, but scientists are using a curious series of census tools to gather evidence of an ocean that, as recently as decades ago, fairly teemed with marine life, far bigger and more plentiful that what's found in today's oceans.
The president sets in motion the largest ocean preserve ever—but will industry kill it?
By Sharon GuynupPosted 11.26.2008 at 11:57 am 5 Comments
Bush's proposal would preserve up to 700,000 square miles of the central Pacific, including the Mariana Trench, and protect sea life, such as leatherback turtles and coral reefs.
Georgette Douwma/Getty Images
In his eight years as president, George W. Bush has done little to win the hearts of conservationists. Opponents criticize his backing of widespread drilling and mining projects, lax oversight of industrial pollution, and recent attempts to dismantle the 36-year-old Endangered Species Act.
But now, as he's leaving office, the 43rd president is attempting to "blue" his legacy by granting national-monument status to a string of pristine islands, atolls and coral reefs in the center of the Pacific Ocean.
A team of international scientists discover that one-third of the world's coral-building reefs face extinction
By Jaya JiwatramPosted 07.17.2008 at 2:37 pm 0 Comments
Time and time again we hear news about the danger the world's coral reefs are in. Now, the first-ever comprehensive international assessment of their conservation status reveals that the fate of coral is worse even than scientists previously believed.