After surviving for thousands of years in the lakes of Southeast Asia, the East Asian giant softshell turtle may finally be faced with extinction, as the last member of the species lingers on in Vietnams Hoan Kiem Lake. Reptile specialists from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society recently observed the reptile in its last known habitat and fear it may live out its final years without a mate.
"This individual could very well be the last of its kind," said John Behler, Curator of Herpetology at the Bronx Zoo, who confirmed that the turtle still exists in Hoan Kiem Lake. "We know next to nothing about this species or its habitat requirements, other than the fact that it is extremely rare and is presumably on the brink of extinction."
Freshwater turtles and tortoises across Asia have become increasingly endangered by a wide variety of threats, such as collection for local consumption, and collection for regional and international food and the pet trade. Of the approximately 90 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises that occur in South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia and New Guinea, more than a third are listed in the World Conservation Unions 1996 Red List of Threatened Species as Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered. Asian turtles did receive some good news in 2001, when China, a main market for the growing trade in turtles for both food and medicine, restricted the importation of all turtles and tortoises from Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
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For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
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