Russian scientists’ efforts targeted to recover European bison (Bison bonasus) which are exterminated everywhere have succeeded. According to the results of the all-Russian accounting of the bison quantity, their population has grown by 20% within the last five years. Herds of these relic ungulates living at large is a dream that has good chances to come true.
The last wild bison were exterminated by 1927, only 48 animals remained scattered all over the Zoos of different countries, although in former times they used to reign in the forest expanses of Europe. It took about seventy years of rearing – first in the zoological gardens, then in the breeding nurseries in the natural environment to recover the species. Thanks to the scientists’ effort, by the end of the 20th century bison all over the world numbered almost three thousand, out of which 1,738 bison lived in free populations in Poland and the former USSR. The international community of researchers involved in the species recovery has won the victory: no longer is there a threat of extinction to the bison.
Nevertheless, it is premature to rest on our laurels as the species can not exist without assistance from people. The major problem the species faces is the deficiency of genetic diversity. All contemporary bison originate from only twelve bulls, this number being too small. Forced to interbreed with near relations, bison produce weakened posterity. Thoroughbred bison in Russia are now 350 in number– these are the counting results published at the research-and-practical conference in the Prioksko- terraced preserve. However, the rescue of bison can be ensured only by establishment of large free populations containing a thousand of animals or even more.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
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...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
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!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy