At least 15 species have gone extinct in the past 20 years
Slender loris (Loris tardigradus) from Sri Lanka is assessed as Endangered. Between 1956 and 1993, Sri Lanka lost more than 50% of forest cover to human activities, followed by a similar rate of decline in the remaining forest cover between 1994 and 2003. Photo © Anna Nekaris.
The pomegranate tree (Punica protopunica) is a close relative of the cultivated pomegranate and is endemic to Soqotra, Yemen. Although the population is apparently stable at present, it has evidently declined in the past, for reasons that are not certain. It has a severely fragmented distribution and over large areas the tree is absent except for small relict populations with no obvious regeneration. The tree is listed as Vulnerable. Photo © Anthony G. Miller
The worlds biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate, according to the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and a companion study of the data, the Global Species Assessment (GSA). The GSA is the most comprehensive evaluation ever undertaken of the status of the worlds biodiversity. Its findings include the following:
The Red List and the GSA were unveiled today at the opening of the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress. Halting the growing extinction crisis will be a major focus of the 3,500 delegates attending the worlds largest conservation gathering.
"This sobering new report should serve as a wake-up call to take immediate action to prevent further species loss," says Russell A. Mittermeier, president of Conservation International and chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commissions Primate Specialist Group. "It is not too late to act. But we cannot assume that any conservation activities will automatically prevent extinctions. We need better-funded efforts focused specifically on those animals and plants on the brink of extinction, and on those areas where such species are concentrated."
Luba Vangelova | EurekAlert!
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So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
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Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
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A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
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