ScienceDaily: Top Environment News: Three new species of tiny frogs from the remarkable region of Papua New Guinea

Jay Owen Nature/Biomimicry


Three new species of tiny frogs from the remarkable region of Papua New Guinea

Posted: 20 Sep 2013 08:14 AM PDT

Following the description of the world’s smallest frogs, biologists now offer three more species of tiny amphibians from the region of Papua New Guinea. Despite their minute size, around 20 mm, the three new frog species are still substantially larger than the prize holders, described in 2011. The new species represent a small part and attest for the remarkable anuran biodiversity of the Papuan region.

Tiger genome sequenced: Tiger, lion and leopard genomes compared

Posted: 20 Sep 2013 07:21 AM PDT

Scientists have unraveled the first whole genome of a nine-year-old male Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), and compared it with the genomes of other big cats including the white Bengal tiger, lions, and snow leopards. The genomic data from this study provides an invaluable resource for the future studies of big cats and their whole family’s conservation.

Songbirds may have ‘borrowed’ DNA to fuel migration

Posted: 20 Sep 2013 06:47 AM PDT

A common songbird may have acquired genes from fellow migrating birds in order to travel greater distances, according to a new study.

Climate change: Polar bears change to diet with higher contaminant loads

Posted: 20 Sep 2013 06:47 AM PDT

Over the past 30 years, polar bears have increasingly exchanged ringed seal with harp seal and hooded seal in their diet. This change exposes the polar bear to more contaminants, according to a recent international study.

New rat genus discovered in the birthplace of the theory of evolution

Posted: 20 Sep 2013 06:46 AM PDT

A prominent tuft of spiny hair on the back, a white tail tip and three pairs of teats represent the unique set of characteristics describing a new genus of rat which has been discovered in the Moluccan province of Indonesia. This region had a profound influence on the British Naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace who independently developed the theory of evolution alongside Charles Darwin.

Gap closed in the genetic map of fungi: Research team sequences genome of Pyronema confluens

Posted: 20 Sep 2013 06:44 AM PDT

An international research team has sequenced the genome of the ascomycete Pyronema confluens, thus closing a gap in the genetic map of fungi. For the first time, scientists have shown for fungi that, in the entire genome, those genes that are active during the sexual development evolve more rapidly than other genes. A similar effect was already described for animals and plants; for fungi, however, this question had hardly been addressed at all.

Why traumatized trees don’t ‘bleed’ to death

Posted: 20 Sep 2013 06:42 AM PDT

Researchers have used a special type of microscope to discover how “check valves” in wood cells control sap flow and protect trees when they are injured.

Antibacterial products fuel resistant bacteria in streams and rivers

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 12:44 PM PDT

Triclosan — a synthetic antibacterial widely used in personal care products — is fueling the development of resistant bacteria in streams and rivers. So reports a new paper that is the first to document triclosan resistance in a natural environment.

Are banana farms contaminating Costa Rica’s crocs?

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 05:58 AM PDT

Shoppers spend over £10 billion on bananas annually and now this demand is being linked to the contamination of Central America’s crocodilians. New research analyzes blood samples from spectacled caiman in Costa Rica and finds that intensive pesticide use in plantations leads to contaminated species in protected conservation areas.