(Credit: Wikipedia) Almost all the wildly varied, colorful fish that populate coral reefs start life as tiny, colorless, tadpole-like larvae. Telling one from the other is nearly impossible - even for experts - and this presents a difficult challenge to those who study the ecology of the reefs. (From Phys.org) -- Prof. [...]
From isolated caves to ancient permafrost, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes for resistance have been showing up in unexpected places. As scientists puzzle over how genes for antibiotic resistance arise in various environments and what risks to human health they might pose, one team has identified a surprising way some of these genes are getting into ocean sediments: through food for marine fisheries. Their report appears in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology.
New genetic technologies are enabling scientists to identify traits that may help corals survive warming ocean temperatures that threaten the survival of coral reefs critical to marine ecosystems. Marine biologist Ruth Gates sat down in an oversized wooden rocking chair at an oceanside resort here last week to talk about the next frontier in coral science and a new hope for saving coral reefs reeling from climate change: genetic technology.
Marine scientists have discovered that two species of dolphin in the waters off Bangladesh are genetically distinct from those in other regions of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans, a finding that supports a growing body of evidence that the Bay of Bengal harbors conditions that drive the evolution of new life forms, according to a new study by the American Museum of Natural History(AMNH), WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), and the cE3c -- Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (Universidade de Lisboa).
Seahorses are the only known animal where the male gets pregnant and has babies. How they ended up with this unique trait has been a longstanding mystery – one which scientists have now solved by extensively analysing its genome.Male pregnancy is not the only thing that makes these little sea creatures unusual. They don't have teeth, they don't have a pelvic fin, instead of a ribcage their bodies are covered with bony plates and they swim vertically.
Graduate student Paul Gonzalez at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station recently became a hunter, breeder and farmer of a rare marine worm, all to fill in a considerable gap in our understanding of how animals develop. He knew that some animals go through a long larval stage, a developmental strategy known as indirect development, and this rare worm was his chance to better understand that process.
It’s evolution in action seen in unprecedented detail. Genome sequencing of hundreds of killifish in the eastern US has revealed dozens of the evolutionary changes that allow them to survive in extremely polluted waters that would normally kill such fish.
It's big, it's old and it lives under the sea -- and now an international research collaboration with The University of Western Australia's Ocean's Institute has confirmed that an ancient seagrass holds the secrets of the oldest living organism on Earth. Ancient giant Posidonia oceanica reproduces asexually, generating clones of itself. A single organism -- which has been found to span up to 15 kilometres in width and reach more than 6,000 metric tonnes in mass -- may well be more than 100,000 years old.
Coral genotypes can survive for thousands of years, possibly making them the longest-lived animals in the world, according to researchers at Penn State, the National Marine Fisheries Service and Dial Cordy & Associates. The team recently determined the ages of elkhorn corals—Acropora palmata—in Florida and the Caribbean and estimated the oldest genotypes to be over 5,000 years old. The results are useful for understanding how corals will respond to current and future environmental change.
Using only the DNA from sloughed-off cells floating in the ocean, scientists have been able to determine the population size and genetic properties of one of the world’s largest and most mysterious animals: the whale shark. The work marks the first time researchers have been able to use so-called environmental DNA (eDNA) to estimate the genetic characteristics of an aquatic species, and it could help scientists study the population and health of a wide range of marine animals without ever setting foot in the water.
Researchers from David Karl's laboratory at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM) and from Professor Jens Nielsen's laboratory at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, developed a computer model which takes into account hundreds of genes, chemical reactions, and compounds required for the survival of Prochlorococcus, the most abundant photosynthetic microbe on the planet. They found that Prochlorococcus has made extensive alterations to its metabolism as a way to reduce its dependence on phosphorus, an element that is essential and often growth-limiting in the ocean.
Two-headed sharks may sound like a figment of the big screen, but they exist—and more are turning up worldwide, scientists say.A few years ago off Florida, fishermen hauled in a bull shark whose uterus contained a two-headed fetus. In 2008, another fisherman discovered a two-headed blue shark embryo in the Indian Ocean.