Toucan Play That Game
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Until recently, the Bactrian Camel (Camelus bactrianus bactrianus) was considered to be a domesticated form of the critically endangered Wild Bactrian Camel (Camelus bactrianus ferus). Taxonomists now describe it as a separate species because the DNA of C. ferus differs significantly from C. bactrianus. Herds of C. ferus in the Gashun Gobi are completely isolated from their domesticated cousins. This lack of an opportunity to hybridize is what makes the Wild Bactrian Camel’s survival in the wild so crucial.
As someone who lived in Miami Florida for nine years and visits my family there multiple times in a normal year, it’s not uncommon to walk down the street and see peacocks or even iguanas occasionally. These animals however are invasive and not supposed to be there. The peacocks in Miami spread due to escaping captivity in hurricanes and as a result, have bred and multiplied rapidly. For an invasive species, they don’t cause large harm to the ecosystem but instead are a nuisance to humans. The peacocks poop all over, attack citizens, and even screech in the early morning causing many to wake up. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all invasive species in the area. Due to the exotic pet trade and illegal release of non-native animals, many are fighting to control them before the ecosystems are destroyed.
Tomorrow is “Save The Frogs Day,” the world’s largest day of amphibian education and conservation action. The goal is to make the amphibian extinction crisis common knowledge. Many of the species that have been featured on Frog Fridays throughout the year are listed by the IUCN as endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild, or extinct. Please consider doing what you can to contribute to this important cause.
As clear-cut as class curriculums can seem to be, with science classes being no exception, biology seems to be an example that stands out given that it takes many of its own principles from chemistry and physics. It is quite common for the disciplines of science to cross over in different ways, but it is interesting when there are times where the areas have influence in ways beyond that of science. Today the relationship of biology and how it affected the development of a variety of aspects in early human societies will be the focus of today’s bio blog. Among some of the most influential and interesting developments by early human society were developments of language, progress in food production, and cultural mythos.
Image from Wikimedia Commons
All mammals have proteins called that are naturally manufactured, but in rarer cases, those proteins can turn deadly. Prion diseases are a family of rare progressive neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans and animals. This happens when a normal prion protein becomes abnormal and clumps in the brain, which leads to brain damage and is completely fatal. They are specified by long incubation periods, characteristic spongiform changes associated with neuronal loss, and a failure to start inflammatory response. About 1-2 humans out of a million die from prion diseases each year. Some examples of prion diseases that affect humans are Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Syndrome, Fatal Familial Insomnia, and Kuru.
On a typical night, you find yourself waiting to crawl into bed and be warm under the comforters. What are you about to do? The answer should be fairly simple, you are about to sleep! One-third of your day is taken up with this process known as sleep. Sleep provides many key factors and roles for our bodies such as removing toxins in the brain and benefiting our overall well-being. People assume that our body just rests during sleep however, our body goes through many functions and processes while we take a rest. Our brains contain neurotransmitters, which are nerve-signaling chemicals that help parts of the brain stay awake. This process controls our bodies and affects almost every tissue and system. Sleep is quite complex and scientists have a whole realm to explore!