Thursday, 27 October 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/oct/27/david-attenborough-frozen-planet?newsfeed=true). This is still considerably less than 'Strictly Come Dancing's' 9.4 million but, hey, the dancing abilities of a group of 'celebrities' is clearly more important than what is happening on a planetary basis! There is no doubt that the photography in 'Frozen Planet' was generally stunning and the animal 'mini-dramas' appeared broadly accurate and compelling (if the outcomes appeared occasionally 'cosmetic') but I found the flicking for examples between the north and south poles somewhat confusing (and this is someone who knows something about the two regions already). Like some others, I am a bit ambivalent about the associated music. I am not certain that Attenborough's claim that we might be seeing some of the animals for the last time is true but it is worth thinking about.
- October 27, 2011
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/25/germans-detained-cacti-mexico-airport?INTCMP=SRCH). These included several endangered species. This just goes to confirm my belief that gardeners are a major menace to conservation!
Sunday, 23 October 2011
http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d6832.extract). This is the first time that a vaccine has been developed to a protozoan parasite and this, along with the distribution of bed nets and effective mosquito control, could transform human population dynamics in the sub-Saharan region, especially if vaccine use is encouraged by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This 'technofix' will not, however, come without some associated problems. The malarial agent is very variable and it might well prove difficult for vaccine development to stay 'ahead of the game'. A second problem is that, without a rapid change in reproductive behaviour, the increased survival might well lead to later economic development problems in the region. Finally, there has been some recent predictions that the world population for humans will reach around 10 billion by 2050 (http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6038). If this occurs, it might well prove to be catastrophic for the planet and its inhabitants. Child death and morbidity is not a good way to curtail population increases (by no means limited to Africa) but I would argue that vaccine application should be accompanied by dissemination of contraceptive advice and technology.
- October 23, 2011
Thursday, 20 October 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/19/ohio-dangerous-animals-breakout?INTCMP=SRCH). Rather predictably, the lions, tigers, bears, wolves etc also ended up being shot by the local police force (last I heard was that one 'monkey' was still 'on the run') who took the view that doing any less was imperilling the public. It is difficult to guess at the motivation of the Farm owner but it is rather sad that many endangered animals ended up being slaughtered for no good reason. Perhaps the Ohio laws on keeping exotic species need strengthening?
Saturday, 15 October 2011
Monday, 3 October 2011
A team at MIT have reported success in using machine learning (AI) to screen a variety of pharmaceutical molecules for their potential to...
A combination of night rain and day-time sun has resulted in more Bynea blooms. The Southern marsh orchid ( Dactylorhiza praetermissa...
The fuss about allegedly suspect data emanating from the East Anglia University Climatic Research Unit and the 'theft' of emails fr...
Workers in Montreal have shown that adding boiling water to a single plastic tea-bag releases almost 15 billion micro and nano particles ...