The coral reefs of New Caledonia, a major focus of marine biodiversity, are exceptional as subjects for investigation by zoologists and ecologists. They harbour an extraordinary profusion of species, representing one of the most complex ecosystems in the world’s oceans. Exploration of a single bay, during the Lifou 2000 research campaign, found a treasure trove of discoveries highly stimulating for scientific imagination and debate.
The scientific survey LIFOU 2000, organized and led jointly by the French National Museum of Natural History (MNHN) and the Instituit de recherche pour le développement (IRD), was conducted at Lifou (Loyalty Islands Province) in October and November 2000. It brought together an international team of 35 scientists, with the logistical means of IRD and the support of the TotalFina Elf Foundation. Unlike the main island, Grande-Terre, surrounded by a lagoon, Lifou is a raised atoll, a large flat island with no rivers. Its reefs plunge straight down to the abyssal depths. The invertebrate fauna had not been studied there since the days of pioneering research by missionaries – over 100 years ago.
An array of collection approaches was used, including diving, drag-netting and harvesting specimens at low tide. This wide-ranging biological survey revealed a magnificent diversity of tropical fauna. It found at Lifou, over an area of barely 5000 ha, nearly 3000 species of mollusc living, which is 1.5 times as many as in the entire Mediterranean (3 million km_) ! Moreover, which is striking, most of the species are rare or even very rare. In fact 28% of them have been seen only once and 22% are represented only by single examples. The samples collected from Lifou 2000, which include several hundred unknown species, signify a world first : the survey is the only study to have available an exhaustive quantified inventory of the species richness of a whole site. An international network of 120 taxonomists is being coordinated by the MNHN to study this wealth of fauna. Many more years of investigation will be needed before these samples can yield all the information they hold.
Helene Deval | alphagalileo
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22.03.2018 | Universität Basel
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
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In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
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A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
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