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Flowers regenerated from 30,000-year-old frozen fruits, buried by ancient squirrels

February 21, 2012 Comments off

discovermagazine

Fruits in my fruit bowl tend to rot into a mulchy mess after a couple of weeks. Fruits that are chilled in permanent Siberian ice fare rather better. After more than 30,000 years, and some care from Russian scientists, some ancient fruits have produced this delicate white flower.

These regenerated plants, rising like wintry Phoenixes from the Russian ice, are still viable. They produce their own seeds and, after a 30,000-year hiatus, can continue their family line.

The plant owes its miraculous resurrection to a team of scientists led by David Gilichinsky, and an enterprising ground squirrel. Back in the Upper Pleistocene, the squirrel buried the plant’s fruit in the banks of the Kolyma River. They froze.

Over millennia, the squirrel’s burrow fossilised and was buried under increasing layers of ice. The plants within were kept at a nippy -7 degrees Celsius, surrounded by

Read more…

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Birds vanishing in the Philippines

January 28, 2011 Comments off

By Cecil Morella (AFP)

CANDABA, Philippines — The number of birds flying south to important wintering grounds in the Philippines has fallen sharply this year, with experts saying the dramatic demise of wetlands and hunting are to blame.

Despite some harsh, cold weather across the Eurasian landmass, some waterbirds that usually migrate in huge flocks to the tropical islands have been completely absent, said Philippine-based Danish ornithologist Arne Jensen.

“The flyway populations of several waterbird species are in constant and dramatic decline,” Jensen, who advises the Philippine government on species conservation, told AFP.

“Hence the urgent need to establish real and well-managed, hunting-free waterbird sanctuaries along the migratory flyways.”

Candaba, a swamp two hours’ drive north of Manila that has long been used as a pit stop by hundreds of species as they fly staggering distances between the Arctic Circle and Australia, appears emblematic of the downfall.

Jensen said that bird watchers routinely counted 100,000 ducks at Candaba in the 1980s as they stopped there for a rest while traversing the East Asian-Australasian flyway.

But volunteers recorded just Read more…

Mount Etna blasts lava, ash into the sky

January 13, 2011 Comments off

Mount Etna, the famous Sicilian volcano, turned on the fireworks Wednesday as it shot lava hundreds of feet into the air.

Volcanic tremors at Mount Etna, on the Italian island, were detected around 4 p.m. EST on Tuesday. The tremors peaked the next morning and lava began erupting at the Southeast Crater, about 4,500 feet high. The crater pit overflowed with lava and ash plumes spewed into the air, which forced a local airport to halt service. The ash plumes had stopped after nearly 12 hours today, according to the Italian Institute of Vocanology, citing surveillance cameras observing Etna.

But more eruptions could be on the way.

“This eruption is very similar to more than 200 episodes of lava fountaining at the summit craters of Mount Etna — including 66 from the Southeast Crater in the year 2000,” said Boris Behncke, a volcanologist and expert on Mount Etna. “The same vent that erupted last night already produced nearly identical — though longer-lasting — episodes in September and November 2007 and most recently on May 10, 2008.”

Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and one of the world’s most well-known. While 2010 was an exceptionally calm year for Etna, it is nearly constantly active and there is rarely a full year that passes without some eruptive activity on Etna, Behncke told OurAmazingPlanet.

“We expected Etna to return to activity in this period,” Behncke said. “There had been lots of premonitory signals.” Read more…

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Bumblebee Species Decline 96 Percent

January 8, 2011 1 comment

New research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that another vitally important pollinator, the bumblebee, is in serious decline. According to the figures, there has been a shocking 96 percent decline in four major species of the bumblebee, and an up to 87 percent decrease in their overall geographic coverage.

“We provide incontrovertible evidence that multiple Bombus species have experienced sharp population declines at the national level,” explained researchers in their report. And in a phone interview with Reuters, study author Sydney Cameron from the University of Illinois, Urbana, explained that these bumblebee species are “one of the most important pollinators of native plants.”

Over the course of three years, the research team evaluated 382 different sites in 40 states, and mulled data from over 73,000 museum records. They determined that bumblebees are needed to pollinate various fruits and vegetables, and that they accomplish this task in a very unique way.

“The 50 species (of bumblebees) in the United States are traditionally associated with prairies and with high alpine vegetations,” said Cameron. “Just as important — they land on a flower and they have this behavior called buzz pollination that enables them to cause pollen to fly off the flower.”

In other words, without bumblebees and the special way in which they pollinate, entire segments of agriculture are threatened with extinction. Like honeybees and bats, bumblebees are vital in order to grow food. Without them, humanity will starve to death.

Misleadingly, many experts largely blame various pathogens, fungi and viruses for the die-offs of these pollinators, while giving only a brief mention — if any at all — to the toxic pesticides and herbicides that are increasingly being linked to things like colony collapse disorder (CCD), the name given to the mass bee die-off phenomenon. A recently leaked report, for instance, has revealed that a popular Bayer herbicide is responsible for killing off bees.

The 10 Leading Theories For Dead Birds And Fish

January 7, 2011 Comments off

Nicholas West and Zen Gardner

As the mainstream media attempts to downplay the latest die-off event, which has now gone global, it is worthwhile to keep track of the story lines.

Mainstream Explanations:Lightning, hail, mid-air collision, power lines, and New Year fireworks for the birds . . . but disease for the fish.  This is even rolling eyes in the mainstream media.  Birds are incredibly sensitive to their environment (think Canary in the coal mine), and the thought that they were caught by surprise, or that they “fowled” up their flight pattern is patently ridiculous.  And where are the roasted birds from this lightning strike?  And what about fish dying in the same region?  Just a “disease” coincidence.  One mainstream headline has to be enshrined as the saddest attempt at sensationalism, while revealing an obvious natural conclusion Falling Birds Likely Died From Massive Trauma.  Really?


Meteor showers: We are in a period of intense seasonal meteor showers, and several perennial YouTubers reported hearing sonic booms in the area that could have indicated a local shock wave.  This would be one non-conspiratorial, natural cause that actually makes sense, but it is hard to connect to both birds and fish, unless it produced a disabling frequency.  There were indeed other sound anomalies according to the report highlighted above.

New Madrid Fault Line: An excellent article by The American Dream collated data about the recent earthquake activity along this fault line that runs along the mid-eastern section of the U.S.  Combined with gas fracking, the immense geological activity in the region, and the BP oil drilling disaster, which off-gassed the dispersant, Corexit, into the atmosphere, and we should be wondering about any mass deaths in the region.  Nevertheless, this has turned into a global event, so the above could be a side effect of something larger, or a direct contributing factor.

Government testing: The long history of government testing has been exposed by manyresearchers.  The strange component to this die-off is that only certain species have been affected, but within the entire region.  And some reports have indicated that the organs of these birds were liquefied, which could indicate a possible virus. Could this implicate species-specific bio-weapons? It is on record that discussions have taken place about race-specific bio-weapons; perhaps this is a test of delivery capability?

GMO mutation: Mike Adams of Natural News sets forth an interesting theory: this latest event is local, but the die-offs are happening across species as bee populations and bats are also declining.  Adams points out that Monsanto has a corporate office in Arkansas.  Just wondering. Read more…