How Can Caribbean Corals Cope with Climate Change? Animals Environment Oceanography 

How Can Caribbean Corals Cope with Climate Change?

By Justin Baumann @jbaumann3  The planet is warming. This is a fact we should all be comfortable with by now. As a result of this warming (and other human-caused stressors such as overfishing and nutrient pollution coupled with disease), coral reefs are in decline globally. Corals are animals that live in a symbiotic relationship with algae from the genus Symbiodinium. These symbionts are photosynthetic and transfer sugars to the coral host. While corals can also capture prey using their stinging cells and tentacles, most reef-building corals rely heavily on the…

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Ocean Floor Warming Affects Antarctic Seabed Life Biology Environment Oceanography 

Ocean Floor Warming Affects Antarctic Seabed Life

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore A rise in ocean temperatures by 1°C may not seem like a lot. But researchers were surprised to find nearly doubled growth of some species with just one-degree rise in ocean warming and varied growth responses of assemblages with two degrees of warming, in the most realistic marine warming study conducted in Antarctica to date. These drastic changes in community structure may have huge consequences for the entire ecosystem, as they affect the food chain. “I was not expecting such a visible difference,” said Gail Ashton,…

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Underwater Gardening: Coral Reefs and Aquaculture Animals Citizen Science Environment Oceanography 

Underwater Gardening: Coral Reefs and Aquaculture

By Shayna Keyles Twitter @shaynakeyles Instagram @shaynakeyles Our oceans are home to most of the world’s biodiversity, and 25 percent of its diversity thrives in coral reefs—that’s about two million species that call the reefs their home. But as reefs suffer the effects of climate change and globalization (several Caribbean reef-building species are now considered endangered), their ecosystems suffer, too. Fish colonies that provide food for coastal communities dry up, and the natural barriers that the reefs create become less effective, leading to more destruction in the wake of tropical…

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Shortfin Mako Shark under Threat Animals Oceanography 

Shortfin Mako Shark under Threat

By Kate Stone The shortfin mako shark is the fastest shark in the world. Its top cruising speed has been recorded at 40 kilometers per hour (kph), or 25 mph, with bursts of up to 74 kph, or 46 mph. Because shortfin makos are so fast, collecting accurate data about them has been especially difficult. Fortunately, new real-time satellite tracking technology has enabled researchers to gather much more accurate information about these amazing sharks. Unfortunately, the data is shockingly grim: shortfin mako sharks are being killed in fisheries at a…

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Coral Gardening Effectively Restores Staghorn Corals Biology Environment Oceanography 

Coral Gardening Effectively Restores Staghorn Corals

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis)—a threatened species that resembles deer antlers—are effectively restored by coral gardening, a process that involves cutting coral fragments from healthy, wild donor colonies, rearing the coral fragments in underwater nurseries, and outplanting or reattaching onto degraded reefs, finds a study conducted in the Caribbean. The study demonstrates that current restoration methods are very effective, that no excess damage is done to donor colonies, and that once outplanted, the corals behave like wild colonies. Stephanie Schopmeyer, a coral biologist at the University of…

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How Do Big Sharks Beat Cancer? Animals Biology Health Oceanography 

How Do Big Sharks Beat Cancer?

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg Wouldn’t it be great to have the power to rapidly heal from injuries or to resist cancer? A human with those coveted abilities might be viewed as the stuff of superhero fantasy. However, there are animals on earth that are known for rapid healing and cancer resistance—sharks. Could we possibly learn how sharks do it and copy them? Scientists from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) have unveiled the results of a new genomics study of shark DNA. The study of great white and great hammerhead shark DNA…

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photographing snowflakes Astronomy Book Reviews Environment Oceanography Paleontology 

GotScience Book Reviews for Holiday Season 2016

Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino One of the best books about human spaceflight that I’ve read in years. Mike doesn’t tell a tale of a superhuman—he comes from humble beginnings, fails multiple times, and through perseverance succeeds in becoming an astronaut. Mike inspires, communicates clearly, and above all teaches that nothing in life is a one-man show. Keep doing what you’re passionate about—it might take you to the stars! Read our full review here.       Secrets of the Seas:…

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Book Review: Secrets of the Seas: A Journey into the Heart of the Oceans Book Reviews Oceanography Photos 

Book Review: Secrets of the Seas

Title: Secrets of the Seas: A Journey into the Heart of the Ocean Reviewed by: Steven Spence for GotScience.org, a Science Connected publication Author: Callum Roberts Photographer: Alex Mustard Publisher: Bloomsbury Natural History Publication Date: September 22, 2016 Available: Bloomsbury UK; Amazon Rating: 5 out of 5 Secrets of the Seas: A Journey into the Heart of the Oceans is an extraordinary book. Visiting multiple ocean locations, the author and photographer offer glimpses of marine life diversity that few people ever see firsthand. Why I Enjoyed Secrets of the Seas As…

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Old Threats Cause New Harm to Endangered Right Whales Animals Environment Oceanography 

Old Threats Still Endangering Right Whales

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci After decades of recovery from the brink of extinction, the North Atlantic right whale is once again under serious threat from human activity. But this time the decline is not due to overhunting the animals (once prized for being the “right” whales because of their slow speed and tendency to float on the surface when killed). After a long struggle to recover, injury or death from entanglement in fishing gear and a dramatic decrease in whale births have turned this once hopeful success story into a…

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Desert Dust Increases Harmful Marine Bacteria Biology Environment Oceanography 

Desert Dust Increases Harmful Marine Bacteria

By Emily Rhode, @riseandsci A new study out of the University of Georgia could help predict blooms of a common but deadly type of marine bacteria and change the way we view some the planet’s most important environmental processes. The genus Vibrio includes the bacteria that cause cholera. It can also cause gastroenteritis from shellfish consumption and wound infections from seawater in humans, as well as diseases in marine organisms. Dubbed “opportunitrophs,” the bacteria are known for their ability to reproduce and adapt to changes quickly. “Part of what makes these…

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