Pasteurella multocida is a bacterium often called Avian cholera (though it is a different organims than the disease that affects humans). It is estimated that about 15,000 birds have died over the last few weeks in the Great Salt Lake, in Utah. A similar epidemic occurred in 1994, killing 10,000 birds.There are writeups here at the New York Times and here at the USGS.
Accepting his 2007 TED Prize, photojournalist James Nachtwey talks about his decades as a war photographer. A slideshow of his photos, beginning in 1981 in Northern Ireland, reveal two parallel themes in his work. First, as he says: “The frontlines of contemporary wars are right where people live.” Street violence, famine, disease: he has photographed all these modern WMDs. Second, when a photo catches the world’s attention, it can truly drive action and change. In his TED wish, he asks for help gaining access to a story that needs to be told, and developing a new, digital way to show these photos to the world.
A hopeful monster is a mutant born with a genetically determined and large novel trait (compared to its parents) which confers enhanced fitness on that individual. This enhanced fitness increases the likelihood that the new mutant gene that determines this trait will be passed on and spread throughout the evolving population, so in a single generation a rapid process of speciation is initiated. For example, a fish with a mutation that causes both its eyes to grow on one side of its head could become the flounder of a new generation of flatfish. Well, just for the halibut, it might be fun to further examine this notion. Continue reading Hopeful Monsters and Hopeful Models
… #67: Let’s all go on a birding holiday is here.
The amount of ice lost to the sea from Antarctica has increased by 75 percent in the last 10 years. This is the result of an increase in glacial flow. It had previously been thought, and perhas was the case, that Greenland ice loss outpaced the Antarctica. This is no longer the case. Continue reading New Study of Antarctic Ice Loss