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Bioécologie

Le monde de la forêt

29 Août 2012,

Publié par JMB

Un superbe site Web interactif pour découvrir le monde de la forêt ! 

Partez en ballade et faites connaissance avec cet écosystème  : champignons, plantes, insectes, oiseaux, etc.

Cliquez ici

2012-05-02-Ariege-Pyrenees-Montagne-photo-Jean-Marc-Bonz.jpg

"Toxic Somalia : l’autre piraterie"

29 Août 2012,

Publié par JMB

Dans le documentaire "Toxic Somalia : l’autre piraterie", le journaliste d’investigation Paul Moreira lève le voile sur un trafic de déchets toxiques en Somalie.

Voir le film ci-dessous :

 

 

Date de première diffusion : 24 mai 2011.
Date de rediffusion, sur la chaîne ARTE (France) : Dimanche, 2 septembre 2012, 05h00

Technicolor ants!

24 Août 2012,

Publié par JMB

ant-colour-photo-Mohammed-Babu.jpgIndian scientist Dr. Mohamed Babu created technicolor ants by feeding colored sugar water to ants with translucent abdomens. Dr. Babu conducted the experiment in his backyard after his wife noticed the ants turning white as they drank spilled milk.

More information here, and here

 

 

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Japon: niveau de radioactivité record sur des poissons au large de Fukushima

23 Août 2012,

Publié par JMB

Un article de Philippe Pons, correspondant à  Tokyo pour le journal Le Monde - 23/08/2012.

"Le niveau record de radioactivité détectée dans des poissons – du type de la rascasse – pêchés au large de la centrale accidentée de Fukushima pourrait affecter  la reprise, depuis le 1er août, de la vente des pieuvres de cette région sur le grand marché de gros de poissons et de fruits de mer de Tsukiji, à Tokyo.

L'opérateur de la centrale, Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) a annoncé, mardi 21 août, que des rascasses pêchées dans l'océan Pacifique à l'intérieur de la zone circulaire des 20 kilomètres autour de la centrale, fermée à toute activité humaine, présentaient un niveau de 25 800 becquerels (Bq) de césium par kilogramme. Ce chiffre – 258 fois supérieur au seuil fixé par le gouvernement – est le plus élevé depuis que sont effectués des examens sur les poissons et les coquillages après l'accident nucléaire du 11 mars 2011."

La suite de l'article ici

Remarque : le mot rascasse en français désigne plusieurs espèces différentes de poissons dans plusieurs genres, principalement de la famille des scorpaenidés. Ce sont dans l'ensemble surtout des poissons de fond rocheux.

Dans le cas qui nous intéresse, il semblerait que le poisson incriminé soit un Hexagrammos otakii (greenling en anglais).

Plus d'informations ici (en anglais), et également ce reportage (en allemand) :

 

BBC News: 'Severe abnormalities' found in Fukushima butterflies

21 Août 2012,

Publié par JMB

Exposure to radioactive material released into the environment has caused mutations in butterflies found in Japan, a study suggests.

pale-grass-blue-butterfly-fukushima-japan-papillon-malforma.jpgScientists found an increase in leg, antennae and wing shape mutations among butterflies collected following the 2011 Fukushima accident.

The link between the mutations and the radioactive material was shown by laboratory experiments, they report.

The next here

The scientific publication here, and a video here

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: A healthy adult pale grass blue butterfly (top) and a mutated variety (bottom) with shriveled wings.

Le goût de sciences

18 Août 2012,

Publié par JMB

Quatrième édition du prix "Le goût des sciences". Laboratoires publics, privés, équipes de recherche, chercheurs, candidatez à la 3e catégorie du prix intitulée les scientifiques communiquent. Clôture des inscriptions reportée au 3 septembre minuit.

le-gout-des-sciences-2012-copie-1.jpgCréé en 2009, le prix "Le goût de sciences" valorise la communauté scientifique et met en lumière les initiatives de vulgarisation scientifiques et les produits culturels qui visent à faire comprendre au plus grand nombre l'enjeu des travaux menés au sein des laboratoires. Avec ce prix, le ministère met en avant les chercheurs qui, tout au long de l'année, s'efforcent de relever un défi essentiel : réconcilier la science et la société. Il s'agit également d'encourager le goût pour les savoirs et les vocations scientifiques.

Plus d'informations ici

The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly

18 Août 2012,

Publié par JMB

      Authors: A.  Hiyama, C. Nohara, S. Kinjo, W. Taira, S. Gima, A. Tanahara, J.M. Otaki

Scientific Reports 2, N°570, 09 August 2012

Fukushima Abnormalities Butterfly Japan 2012Abstract: The collapse of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant caused a massive release of radioactive materials to the environment. A prompt and reliable system for evaluating the biological impacts of this accident on animals has not been available. Here the autors show that the accident caused physiological and genetic damage to the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, a common lycaenid butterfly in Japan. They collected the first-voltine adults in the Fukushima area in May 2011, some of which showed relatively mild abnormalities. The F1 offspring from the first-voltine females showed more severe abnormalities, which were inherited by the F2 generation. Adult butterflies collected in September 2011 showed more severe abnormalities than those collected in May. Similar abnormalities were experimentally reproduced in individuals from a non-contaminated area by external and internal low-dose exposures. The authors conclude that artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused physiological and genetic damage to this species.

Read more here, and a video here

First evidence for photosynthesis in insects

18 Août 2012,

Publié par JMB

Aphids may have a rudimentary sunlight-harvesting system.

Author: Kathryn Lougheed, 17 August 2012, Nature News 

SIMON-FRASER-SCIENCE-PHOTO-LIBRARY-Aphids.jpgThe biology of aphids is bizarre: they can be born pregnant and males sometimes lack mouths, causing them to die not long after mating. In an addition to their list of anomalies, work published this week indicates that they may also capture sunlight and use the energy for metabolic purposes.

Aphids (photo: Simon Fraser/Science photo library) are unique among animals in their ability to synthesize pigments called carotenoids. Many creatures rely on these pigments for a variety of functions, such as maintaining a healthy immune system and making certain vitamins, but all other animals must obtain them through their diet. Entomologist Alain Robichon at the Sophia Agrobiotech Institute in Sophia Antipolis, France, and his colleagues suggest that, in aphids, these pigments can absorb energy from the Sun and transfer it to the cellular machinery involved in energy production.

Although unprecedented in animals, this capability is common in other kingdoms. Plants and algae, aswell as certain fungi and bacteria, also synthesize carotenoids, and in all of these organisms the pigments form part of the photosynthetic machinery.

Read more here

PhD position: Epigenetics in microbial adaptation

1 Août 2012,

Publié par JMB

This project will address the role of epigenetics in adaptive processes in microbes experiencing environmental change. There are currently no unambiguous experimental data demonstrating a role of epigenetics in the response to changes in the biotic and abiotic environment. The successful applicant will investigate the phenotypic, genetic, and epigenetic changes that occur during experimental selection under specific ecological pressures, such as predation and resource limitation. This project will address the following questions: What are the phenotypic responses to environmental change? Are these phenotypic changes heritable? Do they have a genetic or epigenetic basis? What epigenetic mechanisms underlie these phenotypic responses? The experimental organism will initially be Tetrahymena, due to its status as a model organism, its fast growth, and ease of manipulation.

The successful applicant will be based in Zurich and supervised by Owen Petchey and Bernhard Schmid (main supervisors, faculty members).

The groups of Petchey and Schmid research the causes and consequences of biological diversity, and responses of organisms to environmental change. Project collaborators include Paul Hurd (Queen Mary University London) and Jessica Stapley (STRI).

Upon start, applicants must have a completed master’s degree in ecology or any related science field, preferably with a certain degree of specialization in microbiology. Applicants must be able to pursue experimental studies of microbial communities, data analysis, and communication of findings. A good standard of written and spoken English is required. The position will start as of January 1, 2013 and is limited to 3+1 years. Salaries correspond to the UZH regulations of PhD salaries.
We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent person with a passion for science to join our team. We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, and an excellent supporting environment.

Please send your application as one single PDF file (motivation letter, complete CV, and names of 2 references) to Owen.Petchey@ieu.uzh.ch no later than September 14, 2012. For further questions, please contact Owen.Petchey@ieu.uzh.ch