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Archive for Endless forms most beautiful

by Deirdre H

Several new species of coral have been discovered by scientist in Hawaii, thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface. One of the discoverers believes “the potential for more discoveries is high.” University of Hawaii Scientist, Christopher Kelley.

These are important discoveries because deep-sea corals support diverse sea floor ecosystems and their growth rings can provide views of how deep-ocean conditions change. Coral is one of the first organisms to be affected by ocean acidification. Acidification is a change in the oceans chemistry because of excess carbon dioxide.

“Studying these corals can help us understand how they survive for such long periods of time, as well as how they may respond to climate change in the future

Reflection Questions:
1. What else can coral tell us about changes in the ocean?
2. Are there any major positive/negative effects of ocean acidification?

3. Is there any way to reverse, slow, or fix ocean acidification?

Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29571835/

under: Endless forms most beautiful, Student Post

by Sandy V

Studies done by biologists from the University of California, Berkeley, are now showing that salamander populations have been significantly declining over the years.  Biologists compared Central America salamander populations between the years of 1969 through 1978 to populations existing now in present time, 2009, and the results have shown that the common salamander population has drastically plummeted.  The article states that two of the three most common salamander species existing near the Tajumulco volcano (West Coast of Guatemala) have completed vanished, while the third was hardly visible.  Study leader and professor, David Wake, says that this is the first time that there is solid evidence proving the extreme decline.  Wake also believes that global warming is the main reason behind this.  These salamanders are being forced to change their habitat to higher and less suitable elevations due to global warming.  High elevations are not the type of habitat salamanders can survive in.  This notable decline in the salamander population also demonstrates that global warming can and is affecting all types of species, even the little guys.

Source: Science Daily

under: Endless forms most beautiful, Environmental Biology, Student Post
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Fractal Geometry

Posted by: | November 2, 2008 | 22 Comments |

They’re odd-looking shapes you may never have heard of, but they’re everywhere around you—the jagged repeating forms called fractals. If you know what to look for, you can find them in the clouds, in mountains, even inside the human body. 

 Fractal patterns turn up everywhere in biology, from the irregular rhythm of the heart to basic eye function. The fractal nature of such physiological processes, which obey simple mathematical rules, offers hope of better diagnosis and treatment of problems as well as new insights into how such processes work. 

Fractal geometry in cauliflowers.



Watch an Episode of Nova Investigating Fractals by clicking here.

under: Endless forms most beautiful