Thousands evacuated central California, wildfires burn across U.S. West

MARIPOSA, Calif. (Reuters) – A 25,000-acre wildfire in central California, one of three dozen major blazes burning across the U.S. West, threatened hundreds of homes and businesses on Wednesday after forcing the evacuation of about 5,000 residents.


Reuters: Environment

Ecologist Special Report: Animal Protection’s Surprising Role in Climate Change

On 20th May 2017, the Animal Legal Defense Fund hosted its third annual Animal Law Symposium in Los Angeles, California. It brought together legal professionals and animal advocates from all around the nation to focus on the latest answers to a very important question: How can we best protect wild animals when human activity increasingly runs counter to the interests of wildlife? One of those advocates, STEPHEN WELLS, says we can no longer afford to ignore the devastating impact of animal agriculture
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Wildlife charity backs EU court case against Poland for failing to protect forest

Białowieża Forest is the best preserved forest ecosystem and the best preserved old-growth lowland forest in Europe. But it is under threat, reports BRENDAN MONTAGUE
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Beijing aims to curb city’s use of coal by 2020

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s capital city Beijing is aiming to cut its coal consumption to below 5 million tonnes by 2020 and limit the use of coal in smog-prone areas, a document issued by the Beijing Municipal Government showed on Tuesday.


Reuters: Environment

Fire in Croatia prevented from reaching Split, Montenegro asks for help

SPLIT, Croatia (Reuters) – Montenegro has asked the European Union civil protection force to help it battle several forest fires, while a blaze in neighboring Croatia that had been threatening the city of Split has “normalized”, authorities said on Tuesday.


Reuters: Environment

People swim in streets of flooded Istanbul, heavy rain briefly shuts Bosphorus oil routes

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – People had to swim to safety in the flooded streets of Istanbul on Tuesday after heavy rain and storms brought chaos to Turkey’s largest city and caused shipping traffic on oil and grain routes through the Bosphorus Strait to be suspended for some hours.


Reuters: Environment

Windy, dry weather forecast in U.S. West, threatens to stoke wildfires

(Reuters) – More than 800,000 residents in the U.S. West were told to be ready to evacuate on Tuesday as windy, dry conditions threatened to stoke wildfires, forecasters said.


Reuters: Environment

Should teenagers give up on having children to save the planet?

Science textbooks aimed at teenagers simply ignore the most effective lifestyle changes to prevent climate change: go vegetarian, cycle, take the train overseas and have fewer kids. It is time parents sat down and explained the low carbon birds and the bees, asks BRENDAN MONTAGUE
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Researchers Revolutionize Vital Conservation Tool With Use Of Gold Nanotechnology And Lasers

Ocean Leadership ~

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute provide the first-ever reproducible evidence for the successful cryopreservation of zebrafish embryos.

(Click to enlarge) Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute provide the first-ever reproducible evidence for the successful cryopreservation of zebrafish embryos.

For more than 60 years, researchers have tried to successfully cryopreserve (or freeze) the embryo of zebrafish, a species that is an important medical model for human health.

(From Phys.org) — In a new study, researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) provide the first-ever reproducible evidence for the successful cryopreservation of zebrafish embryos.

The study uses new gold nanotechnology and lasers to warm the embryo—the stumbling block in previous studies. The results have profound implications for human health, wildlife conservation, and aquaculture.

The research is published today in ACS Nano, a leading scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society.

“There’s no doubt that the use of this technology, in this way, marks a paradigm shift for cryopreservation and the conservation of many wildlife species,” said Mary Hagedorn, an SCBI research scientist and paper co-author who has been working on cryopreserving zebrafish embryos since 1992.

“To get anything to work at such cold temperatures, you usually have to get creative. Here we take a unique approach by combining biology with an exciting engineering technology to do what has been impossible previously: to successfully freeze and thaw a fish embryo so that the embryo begins to develop, rather than falls apart,” Hagedorn added.

By freezing sperm, eggs and embryos, conservationists can safeguard at-risk species and their genetic diversity, making it possible to bolster the genetic pool and therefore health of wild populations years—or even centuries—later. Although scientists have successfully cryopreserved the embryos of many mammal species and the sperm of many species of fish, freezing fish embryos proved infinitely more complicated.

Successful cryopreservation of an embryo requires cooling the embryo to a cryogenically stable state, then warming it at a rate faster than it was cooled, and using an antifreeze (or cryoprotectant) to stop the growth of ice crystals, which are like pins in a balloon that pop the membrane and cause the embryo to fall apart. Fish embryos, however, are very large, making it difficult to thaw them quickly and avoid ice crystal development. In addition, because aquatic animals need to survive harsh environments, their embryonic membranes are mostly impenetrable, blocking the cryoprotectants out.

Enter laser gold nanotechnology, a rapidly growing technological field being developed for cryopreservation applications by University of Minnesota Mechanical Engineering John Bischof that was critical for the success of the study and has a wide variety of biomedical applications.

“Lasers have the exciting ability to act like a “light switch” that can turn biological activity on and off within gold nanoparticle laden biomaterials,” said Bischof, senior author of the study. “In this case, by careful engineering and deployment of gold nanoparticles within a cryogenically stored and biological inactive embryo, we can use a laser pulse to quickly warm the embryo back to ambient temperatures and switch biological activity, and therefore life, back on.”

Read the full story here: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-cryopreserve-fish-embryos-life.html

The post Researchers Revolutionize Vital Conservation Tool With Use Of Gold Nanotechnology And Lasers appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Magnitude 7.7 quake hits Alaska: USGS

(Reuters) – A powerful quake of magnitude 7.7 struck in the northern Pacific Ocean between the tip of the Aleutian Islands and Russia’s Kamchatka, the U.S. Geological Survey said.


Reuters: Environment