Archive for October, 2007

405-Year-Old Clam Called Longest-Lived Animal

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 29, 2007   View Article

A clam dredged from icy Arctic waters is being hailed as the world’s longest-lived animal.

Climate researchers at Bangor University in the United Kingdom recently counted 405 annual growth rings in the shells of a quahog clam.

Group to Clone California Redwoods

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 29, 2007   View Article

The towering redwood trees that once dominated the coastal forests of the U.S. West Coast may soon be restored throughout their historic range.

A group of historic tree buffs will collect genetic samples Tuesday from the tops of several old-growth redwood trees in California—the first step in cloning the trees and regrowing lost forests.

World’s Largest Cat Species Boosted by Newfound Lynx

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 25, 2007   View Article

The world’s most endangered cat species may be slightly less endangered than previously thought.

A new population of Iberian lynx has been discovered in a remote area of Spain—raising the number of known populations from two to three—a conservation group reports.

Elephants Distinguish Human Friends From Foes by Smell

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 18, 2007   View Article

The mere whiff of a Maasai man’s clothing is enough to strike fear in African elephants and send them thundering to the safety of tall grasses, according to a new study.

Maasai men have been known to occasionally spear elephants, perhaps as a ritual to show virility.

Mussels’ Mighty Grip Inspires Dopamine-Based Glue

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 18, 2007   View Article

The uncanny stickiness of mussels has inspired a brainy new approach to creating a universal adhesive coating, researchers say.

Mussels secrete a complex cocktail of proteins to latch on to just about any surface, explained study co-author Phillip Messersmith, a biomedical engineer at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Gene Altered Plant, Tree Can Suck Up Toxins

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 15, 2007   View Article

Two types of genetically modified plants can remove toxic compounds from the environment, according to research by a pair of independent groups.

One group developed Arabidopsis plants—small plants related to cabbage and mustard—that can clean up soil contaminated with cyclonite, or RDX. The widely used explosive is highly toxic and carcinogenic.

Frog Inspired Tape Reusable, Doesn’t Lose Grip

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 11, 2007   View Article

The toe pads of tree frogs and crickets have inspired a new supersticky—yet reusable—adhesive, scientists report.

The material is the latest example of a boom in adhesives that take their cues from nature’s greatest clingers: frogs, lizards, and insects.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach