Scientists from the University of Cambridge have identified a molecule that may govern how the circadian clock in plants responds to environmental changes. The researchers have discovered that a signalling molecule, known to be important for environmental stress signalling in plants, also regulates their circadian clock. They believe that the molecule may therefore incorporate information about environmental changes into the biological clock that regulates the physiology of plants. The research dramatically changes our current understanding of the circadian clock and may have important implications for the agricultural community.
The penguin population of Antarctica is under pressure from global warming, according to a WWF report. The report, Antarctic Penguins and Climate Change, shows that the four populations of penguins that breed on the Antarctic continent — Adélie, Emperor, Chinstrap and Gentoo — are under escalating pressure. For some, global warming is taking away precious ground on which penguins raise their young. For others, food has become increasingly scarce because of warming in conjunction with overfishing.
Michigan State University’s panda habitat research team has spent years collecting mountains of data aimed at understanding and saving giant pandas. Now a graduate student is working to catch crucial data that’s black, white and furry. Vanessa Hull, 25, a Ph.D. candidate, is in the snowy, remote mountains of the Sichuan Province of China — which also is the heart of panda habitat. She’s hoping to capture, collar and track up to four wild pandas using advanced global positioning systems.
Scientists exploring one of the largest remaining blocks of tropical forest in Western Africa discovered significant populations of new, rare and threatened species underscoring the area’s high biological diversity and value.
Long-lived, wild animals harbor genetic differences that influence how quickly they begin to show their age, according to the results of a long-term study. Evidence for the existence of such genetic variation for aging rates–a central tenet in the evolutionary theory that explains why animals would show physiological declines as they grow older–had largely been lacking in natural populations until now, the researchers said.