An extensive study on the Indo-Pacific coral reefs, about to be published in the 2nd of March issue of the journal Nature challenges the present conservation protocols for these organism and calls for important changes in the way that protected areas are being established all over the world, in order to be able to stop the present (fast) rate of extinction observed in coral reefs.
A major ongoing discussion in ecology is what determines the biodiversity (which species and in what abundance) of a community. To the Darwinian theory of natural selection, in order to co-habit, different species have to occupy different living environments (also called ecological niches). Because, if they compete, for example, for space or food, inevitably only one of the species will survive – this is known as the “survival of the fittest”. However, some ecosystems, like coral reefs, have such an incredibly large biological diversity that is difficult to be explained by the “niche” model.
The Neutral Theory of Biodiversity is a controversial and exciting new ecological model that tries to explain how these high diversity ecosystems can occur, and which claims that co-habitation of different species in a particular environment is simply the result of a random migration into the same habitable region. According to this model, differences between similar groups of species living in an ecological community can be considered "neutral" or irrelevant to their success. This means that, if for example one species of bird seems to be better suited to a particular environment, this should not increase its odds to survive in that environment in comparison to another bird species. In this way, biodiversity results solely from random fluctuations in processes such as migration, birth rate, death, etc.
How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy