Human impacts on the environment have reduced populations of wild species to dangerously low levels.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in worldwide fisheries, where thanks to overfishing and habitat destruction, countless species and populations of fish are on the brink of disappearing forever. To attempt to mitigate the dire situation, captive breeding, the controlled breeding of organisms in protected environments, is regularly initiated.
Despite its popularity, does captive breeding actually work? In the current issue of Evolutionary Applications (1:4), Dr. Dylan Fraser of Dalhousie University provides a candid look at whether these breeding programs are fulfilling their mandates.
Using salmonids (the economically crucial group of fish that include salmon and trout) to illustrate his point, Fraser questions whether captive breeding is doing more harm than good. In his comprehensive review of over 300 papers, Fraser concludes that fish reared in captivity can rapidly lose the genetic diversity needed to adapt and survive in the wild, and that the rate of loss of diversity can both vary across breeding programs and be species specific. To complicate matters further, Fraser points out that that we simply do not know how captive-bred fish will perform once released back into the wild.
Unfortunately, without captive breeding to bolster their numbers, we may soon have too few individuals from which to repopulate disappearing fish populations, leaving us essentially in a fisheries catch-22.
Fraser concludes that not only do more data on the effects of captive breeding on the genetic diversity of fishes need to be collected, but also that alternatives to captive breeding, such as the live freezing of fish sperm of diverse genetic backgrounds, or the physical relocation of fish populations from one site to another, need more serious consideration.
Finbar Galligan | alfa
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Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...
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The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.
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With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
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For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.
Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...
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