Plants

Blue Leaves of Begonia Help it Survive in Lower Forest Regions with Low Light

Blue Leaves of Begonia Help it Survive in Lower Forest Regions with Low Light

Blue Leaves of Peacock Begonia (or Begonia pavonina) help the plant to get additional light and survive in darker regions of the forest. The leaves of the plant with iridescent azure helps it adapt with lower level of sunlight in thick rain forests in Southeast Asia. The research paper published in journal Nature Plants informed that like chloroplasts, these structures provide the cellular machinery for photosynthesis.

Wilderness area twice the size of Alaska lost in last 20 years: Study

Wilderness area twice the size of Alaska lost in last 20 years: Study

An alarming revelation has been made in a research paper that since the 1990s around a tenth of earth’s wilderness has been lost. Human activity and disturbance have been reducing these natural spots on an annual basis and this will impact habitat of many wild species.

Scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society have reached the conclusion after assessing satellite and survey data dating back to the 1990s. From the assessment, the researchers have come to know that across the globe, area twice the size of Alaska has been lost in the last two decades.

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Alarming decline in wilderness areas, immediate international attention needed

Alarming decline in wilderness areas, immediate international attention needed

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) today unveiled about shocking reduction in the wilderness areas across the world over the last two decades. Humans have been held responsible for destroying a tenth of earth’s wilderness in the above mentioned time period. If the same trend continues, researchers fear there would be no such area left within a century. The researchers were shocked to find out that a vast area around the size of two-times Alaska has been completely destroyed between 1993 and today by human activities.

Florida farmers eyeing hops as new niche crop

Florida farmers eyeing hops as new niche crop

With declining profits in the citrus industry, some farmers in Florida are turning attention to hops, a new niche crop that can tap into the state's growing beer-brewing business. Hops' pungent flowers or buds are used by brewers as the building blocks of flavor and aroma of beer. Acids found in hops produce bitterness, while the plant's oils give beer a floral/citrus aroma, depending on the type of plant.

Mostly hops are grown in areas with cooler climates, such as Germany in Europe and Washington in the U.S. Florida was traditionally considered too warm and humid to grow hops.

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Young sunflowers follow the sun with help of circadian rhythm: Study

Young sunflowers follow the sun with help of circadian rhythm: Study

It is a well known fact that young sunflowers follow the sun. They move their buds from east to west during the day and every night, they move back to east from west to be the first ones to see the sun.

Researchers have found out as to how young sunflowers do so. The research paper published in the journal Science has unveiled that sunflowers have a circadian rhythm, an internal clock that could be set to the external world.

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Nautilus team starts assessing strange purple ball found by it off California Coast

Nautilus team starts assessing strange purple ball found by it off California Coast

This week, Ocean Exploration Trust's vessel, Nautilus, has spotted a strange purple blob in the Pacific Ocean off California’s southern coast. For now, it has not been confirmed what exactly it is. It could be an earlier unknown type of egg sac or a new species.

Last universal common ancestor evolved in hydrothermal environment: Study

Last universal common ancestor evolved in hydrothermal environment: Study

Many scientists believe that all life-forms have evolved from a common, primitive ancestor, possibly a micro organism. A new study has shed light on this early organism and the environment in which it could have evolved.

The research paper published in Nature Microbiology has unveiled that the ‘last universal common ancestor’ is a hypothetical, very early single cell from which all life on earth could have started. DNA sequencing has provided a highly quantitative measure of genetic relatedness.

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New fungus found in lichen: Study

New fungus found in lichen: Study

Lichens have always held a special place in biology. They are composite organisms comprising of a fungi that live in partnership with microscopic algae. Now, a new genetic analysis of lichen has unveiled of the presence of a third symbiotic organism.

It is another fungus, basidiomycete yeast, which has been found in 52 genera of lichen in six continents. From the molecular dating, it has been found that the fungus is present since the beginning. Study’s lead researcher Toby Spribille has been studying lichens for quite a long time now.

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Human activities have severely impacted global biodiversity: Study

Human activities have severely impacted global biodiversity: Study

A new study carried out to know the level of biodiversity on earth has found that around 58% of land on the planet has dropped below the biodiversity limits. The drop is mainly due to human land use practices and population growth which needs additional land.

Biodiversity as per study’s lead researcher Tim Newbold from the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London does not only impacts ecology, but also leads to changes in food production and personal well being.

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Benthic Underwater Microscope can study marine subjects at micron resolution

Benthic Underwater Microscope can study marine subjects at micron resolution

This new diver-operated underwater microscope is helping researchers to view never-before-seen events of the underwater world. It is the brainchild of the researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.

Using this microscopic imaging system known as the Benthic Underwater Microscope (BUM) the researchers were able to see the processes that naturally take place on the seafloor, especially corals. The researchers have witnessed coral turf war, coral polyp kissing and many other exciting things.

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