Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Mexico probes mass fish death in Lake Cajititlan

1 September 2014 Last updated at 10:40


Hundreds of thousands of fish have been washed up on the shores of Lake Cajititlan in the Mexican state of Jalisco over the past week.

Almost 50 tonnes of dead popoche chub freshwater fish have been removed from the lake.

The local authorities said it was part of a "natural cycle" but state officials said it was due to the lake's "poor management".

More fish are expected to wash up over the next days.
Jalisco's secretary for the environment, Maria Magdalena Ruiz Mejia, denied "categorically that this is a natural and cyclical phenomenon".

"We have no evidence to support that it is natural and cyclical, to the contrary, we have a series of variables which lead us to believe this phenomenon is not only recurrent and becoming more frequent and severe, but also that it is caused by the poor management of the body of water," she said.

Ms Ruiz Mejia said mud from local wastewater treatment plants could be to blame for the mortality.

Charlie Sheen says Danish authorities are complicit in pilot whale ‘slaughter’

Actor had donated boat used by activists who were arrested after trying to save pod of 33 pilot whales in Denmark’s Faroe Islands

theguardian.com, Monday 1 September 2014 03.58 BST

Hollywood star Charlie Sheen has criticised Danish authorities over the arrests of 14 anti-whaling activists in the North Atlantic.

Sheen donated one of three inflatable boats used by Sea Shepherd members to try to save a pod of 33 pilot whales being driven toward hunters on the Faroe island of Sandoy.

Eight activists on the water and six more on land were arrested and detained by Danish officials.

The boats were seized by the Danish navy.

Sheen accused the Danish authorities of being complicit in the “brutal slaughter”.

“I am proud that a vessel bearing my name was there and did all it could to try to stop this atrocity,” the Anger Management star said.

“The 40-foot Zodiac called the BS SHEEN that I donated to Mr [Sea Shepherd leader Paul] Watson’s tireless and heroic efforts, has been shamefully seized. This level of insidious and vicious corruption must be dealt with swiftly and harshly.”

Sea Shepherd claims one of the activists, Spaniard Sergio Toribio, was pulled from a car and assaulted while monitoring the hunt from land, suffering a broken finger.

Northern Kimberley sub-region reveals unexpected species

"New" populations of endangered northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus) and threatened golden-backed tree rats (Mesembriomys macrurus) have been found on the offshore Kimberley island Buckle Head.

Scientists also detected a bandicoot via infra-red camera.

Survey zoologist Dr Lesley Gibson says it appeared to be either a northern brown bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus) or a threatened golden bandicoot (Isoodon auratus).

"We're not quite sure which species it is because we didn't trap it," she says.

A team of two Balanggarra Rangers and four Department of Parks and Wildlife scientists conducted an 18-day wildlife survey at three locations.

These were Buckle Head near the mouth of the Berkeley River, a mainland site just opposite, and Lacrosse Island at the mouth of the Cambridge Gulf.


Mouse memories 'flipped' from fearful to cheerful

27 August 2014 Last updated at 20:09

By Jonathan WebbScience reporter, BBC News

By artificially activating circuits in the brain, scientists have turned negative memories into positive ones.

They gave mice bad memories of a place, then made them good - or vice versa - without ever returning to that place.

Neurons storing the "place" memory were re-activated in a different emotional context, modifying the association.

Applying this technique to traumatic human memories appears unlikely, but the work sheds new light on precisely how emotional memories form and change.


Incremental progress
"Emotion is intimately associated with memories of past events and episodes, and yet the 'valence' - the emotional value of the memories - is malleable," said the study's senior author Prof Susumu Tonegawa, from the Riken-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics in Massachusetts, US.

Can Octopuses be Cultivated for Food?

By José Iglesias Estévez, Spanish Institute of Oceanography | August 31, 2014 09:21pm ET

This article was originally published at The Conversation.The publication contributed the article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Octopuses grow quickly, have lots of tasty flesh and are found all over the world. As the world’s supply of fish diminishes while the number of humans keeps increasing, it seems these creatures would make an ideal mass-produced food for our hungry mouths.

So where are all the octopus farms?

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