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My picks from ScienceDaily

Overfishing Large Sharks Impacts Entire Marine Ecosystem, Shrinks Shellfish Supply:

Fewer big sharks in the oceans mean that bay scallops and other shellfish may be harder to find at the market, according to an article in the March 30 issue of the journal Science, tying two unlikely links in the food web to the same fate.

Dinosaur Extinction Didn’t Cause The Rise Of Present-day Mammals, Claim Researchers:

A new, complete ‘tree of life’ tracing the history of all 4,500 mammals on Earth shows that they did not diversify as a result of the death of the dinosaurs, says new research published in Nature.

Nanoparticles Can Track Cells Deep Within Living Organisms:

To the delight of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, living cells gobbled up fluorine-laced nanoparticles without needing any coaxing. Then, because of the unusual meal, the cells were easily located with MRI scanning after being injected into mice.

Scientists Reveal Structure Of Gateways To Gene Control:

Scientists at Penn State University will reveal in the 29 March 2007 issue of the journal Nature the first complete high-resolution map of important structures that control how genes are packaged and regulated throughout an entire genome. “For the first time, we are seeing in very high resolution on a genome-wide scale how nucleosomes control the expression of an organism’s genes,” said B. Franklin Pugh, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and the study’s lead investigator.


  1. #1 Melusine
    March 30, 2007

    Thanks for the shark article. It reminds me of how a few years ago in Hawaii they determined that part of the reason the sharks were coming in close and biting people was because of the overfishing of those sharks’ baitfish. Fishermen went on a shark-killing rampage, which upset the native Hawaiians, and that was bound to screw up things even more. Can’t break the chain without some consequence.

  2. #2 Melusine
    March 30, 2007

    Do you moderate and hold all your comments? Mine are not being posted and I posted them some hours ago. If there’s a problem with my ISP, I’d like to know.


  3. #3 Michael
    March 30, 2007

    A Fishing Story
    Have you tried fishing? Not your common or gardening angling, but “reel fishing”! Not with worms or artificial flies, but with “real meat”, like horses or donkeys. We used to do it every summer…well! It was your summer & our winter. You’ve probably gathered, that I used to live in Australia.

    We’d hire this boat, quite a big one it was, Ethel & the kids, John 14 & Sandra…she’d be 17 by now. We’d do a picnic basket – lovely it was, ham, salad, cold turkey, a couple of bottles of wine & a case of Fosters. And off we’d sail over the reef. The sun would beat down, often the sea would be as calm…no calmer than a mill pond & we’d just drift. We’d put our lines over then & just wait – play cards, gossip & sing carols. Wonderful it was. Mind you, Ethel, didn’t care for the bait, it was the smell you see & the sight of this dead horse cluttering up the deck. “Michael”, she’d say! “That horse is putting me off my dinner”! Well, it didn’t bother me or the kids, it wasn’t like that, the abattoirs delivered it quite fresh but Ethel used to say that it “sneered” at her & made noises, offensive noises, when the gases escaped from its gut. The kids loved that “Mum”! They’d say when it did it – “The horse is playing, God Save the Queen”! Well she didn’t like that, not Ethel, strict monarchist, she was, thought it was very disrespectful. She would go into one of her sulks & it would last for “bloody hours”.

    Mind you, she did get a bit more excited when we got a shark interested. Well she had to with the thing thrashing the water & banging against the side of the boat. And then there would be more…dozens of the bastards, tearing chunks out of the horse, blood everywhere, snapping at each other. But I don’t think she really approved, not Ethel. She said it was senseless slaughter. Well I suppose it was if you look at it that way! But there are lots of sharks aren’t, there?

    It went wrong when we got the “great white”! Huge it was, more like a submarine, really. Again & again it tore great hunks of flesh from the carcass, but it wouldn’t take the hook. Clever “bugger”! It had learned you see. Well I was determined that it wasn’t going to get away. I threw the Fosters, all the picnic stuff in the water. Ethel went mad; I’d never seen her so upset. She tore the rod out of its restraints & hurled it in the water. I didn’t stop to think, that’s always been my problem, “being impetuous” – Ethel followed the rod! Well! She was gone in “two bites” & I didn’t catch the shark. It seemed to know, it sort of “grinned” at me & then just made off. The kids weren’t too pleased either…they’d missed their PICNIC!!

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