Archive for August, 2001

Group of Microbes Change Dissolved Gold to Solid

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 30, 2001   View Article

Breathing is a rich experience for a group of unusual microbes that typically live deep beneath the sea.

A microbiologist has found that microscopic organisms known as extremophiles breathe in dissolved gold and out comes the stuff of gold rings, necklaces, and earrings. The finding may explain how some gold ore deposits formed.

Brittle Star Found Covered With Optically Advanced “Eyes”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 22, 2001   View Article

In a clever twist of nature, the sea has eyes in its stars.

Scientists have discovered a species of brittle star whose outer skeleton is covered with crystalline lenses that appear to work collectively as an all-seeing eye.

Study of Wasps Imported to Hawaii Show Risks of “Biocontrol”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 21, 2001   View Article

Bugs don’t pay much attention to human-drawn battle lines.

That’s the lesson scientists learned when they went to Hawaii to look at what happens when farmers import specialized insects to combat invasive weeds and pests—a practice known as biocontrol.

Study Calls Into Question Quotas on Bluefin Tuna

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 17, 2001   View Article

Not all Atlantic bluefin tuna are homebodies, scientists have learned.

That means officials will have to rethink present management plans designed to prevent overfishing of the species, say the authors of a study that provides the best knowledge so far about the Atlantic bluefin’s migratory and spawning patterns.

Certain Female Lizards Choose Sex of Offspring

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 15, 2001   View Article

Male lizards of a species known as southern water skinks, which live high in the mountains of southeastern Australia, better hope the threat of global warming is a farce. If Earth does warm up, they may find themselves left with no females to mate with, and the species pushed to extinction.

The concern arises because scientists have found that females of the lizard species Eulamprus tympanum control the sex of offspring by controlling their own adult body temperature.

Delphic Oracle’s Lips May Have Been Loosened by Gas Vapors

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 14, 2001   View Article

The oracle of Delphi in Greece was the telephone psychic of ancient times: People came from all over Europe to call on the Pythia at Mount Parnassus to have their questions about the future answered. Her answers could determine when farmers planted their fields or when an empire declared war.

The Pythia, a role filled by different women from about 1400 B.C. to A.D. 381, was the medium through which the god Apollo spoke.

Cloud Forest Fading in the Mist, Their Treasures Little Known

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 13, 2001   View Article

They are nature’s “water towers,” providing billions of gallons of fresh, clean, filtered water. They are home to thousands of indigenous peoples, and storehouses of biodiversity, at least 80 percent of which has not yet been catalogued.

Yet in as little as ten years’ time, biologists warn, the world’s cloud forests—evergreen mountain forests that are almost permanently shrouded in mist and clouds—may be all but gone.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach