Deep sea habitat with centuries-old marine life found off Ireland
Researchers from National University of Ireland, Galway, have discovered a new deep-sea habitat off the southwest tip of Ireland, full of corals and “unusually large and long-living” oysters. The researchers estimate the bivalve colonies, including yellow-brown large deep-sea oysters (Neopycnodonte zibrowii) and orange-red-fleshed limid bivalves (Acesta excavata), may be up to 200 years old. Life in the deep sea is often limited and scientists are puzzled as to how the bivalves and corals are thriving at such depths, as they are filter feeders that rely on particles from the surface.
Genome Scale View of Great White Shark Uncovers Unexpected and Distinctive Features
The first large-scale study of the great white shark’s genome resulted in some unexpected findings. Researchers compared the transcriptome (the set of all RNA molecules, reflects the genes that are actively being expressed at any given time) from the white shark’s heart to the transcriptome of the zebrafish (the most studied fish research model) and humans to look for similarities and differences that would explain the ‘distinctiveness’ of the white shark. Surprisingly, they found that the white shark transcriptome showed more similarity to humans than zebrafish. Researchers also found that the white shark transcriptome revealed a much lower abundance of a certain type of DNA sequence than in other vertebrates. In human genes, that DNA sequence can result in a variety of neurological disorders when found in high numbers. It is not known if white sharks are immune to neurological disorders, but with such low abundance of this particular DNA sequence, they have a reduced chance of similar disorders.
Tsunami-Blocking Mangroves Lure Carbon Investors: Southeast Asia
Mangroves, coastal trees that have learned to cope with salt water, have twisted webs of roots that begin above the ground and water that absorb carbon dioxide and help protect coasts from storms that result in tidal surges. Replanted mangroves in Southeast Asia are credited for protecting against tsunamis and typhoons, in addition to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. In Northern Samar, about 100 miles north of Tacloban, the worst-hit city by super typhoon Haiyan, mangrove regeneration helped minimize damage from the storm. This article is long, but it’s worth a read because it discusses the possibility of restoring mangrove forests and using them as a way to offset carbon dioxide emissions.
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.