San Diego Zoo successfully clones an endangered Przewalskis horse

October 16, 2020 by  
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Kurt, a baby Przewalski’s horse, looks and plays like any other baby horse. But the now two-month-old colt is unique in that he is a clone. The endangered Przewalski’s horse colt was created from stallion cells that had been frozen at the San Diego Zoo in 1980. The frozen cells were recently collected and fused with an egg from a domestic horse to create the world’s first cloned Przewalski’s horse. The process of cloning started several decades ago. In 1980, cells from a 5-year-old stallion were collected and stored at the San Diego Frozen Zoo facility. According to officials at the San Diego Zoo, the cells were merged with an egg after removing the nucleus. The egg was then implanted in a mare, who became the mother to Kurt two months ago. Related: Scientists in China have successfully cloned monkeys The San Diego Zoo now sees the birth of the cloned horse as a huge step forward in the efforts to restore the population of Przewalski’s horses. Also known as the Asiatic Wild Horse or Mongolian Wild Horse, this species was formerly extinct in the wild and only about 2,000 are left, mostly residing in zoos. Intensive breeding programs have aided in conservation efforts but have also limited the gene pool. Zoo officials say that it is necessary to take measures that will help repopulate the endangered species. Cloning, depending on cells available in the Frozen Zoo, can help prevent genetic diversity losses. “This colt is expected to be one of the most genetically important individuals of his species,” Bob Wiese, chief life sciences officer at San Diego Zoo Global, said in a statement. “We are hopeful that he will bring back genetic variation important for the future of the Przewalski’s horse population.” The baby horse has been named after Kurt Benirschke, who was instrumental in founding the Frozen Zoo facility. “A central tenet of the Frozen Zoo, when it was established by Dr. Benirschke, was that it would be used for purposes not possible at the time,” said Oliver Ryder of San Diego Zoo Global. The cloning was made possible through a partnership among the San Diego Zoo, conservation organization Revive & Restore and genetic preservation company ViaGen Equine. Przewalski’s horses are said to be the only truly wild horses in the world today. Although there are some horses in the wild in the U.S. and Australia, most are actually the ancestors of escaped domesticated horses. This species is named for Nikolai Przewalski, a Russian geographer who came across a horse skull and hide, then donated his findings to a museum. + San Diego Zoo Via Huffington Post Photography by Scott Stine via San Diego Zoo

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How hobbyists are saving endangered killifish from extinction

February 12, 2020 by  
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Killifish biology has long intrigued fish enthusiasts and scientists. But human encroachment, habitat loss and climate change are dwindling killifish populations in the wild. Thankfully, collection efforts by conservationists are saving these creatures. The conservationists distribute specimens and their eggs to academic and hobbyist circles for captive breeding and stewardship. To date, at least 1,270 killifish species are known worldwide, according to Portland State University’s Podrabsky Laboratory . Every continent, save Antarctica and Australia, has killifish. Related: San Diego Tropical Fish Society’s Annual Show celebrates natural, eco-minded aquascaping The BBC and Smithsonian Magazine rank killifish among Earth’s “most extreme” fish. They live in small bodies of water that dry up quickly. Through evolution, they’ve adapted to grow and develop rapidly before their watery homes evaporate. Some killifish species even mature in just a couple weeks. To illustrate, the arrival of rain spurs the tiny fish embryos, dormant in the sediment, to rapidly develop and hatch. The fry next attain sexual maturity, complete the mating cycle, and deposit new batches of embryos — all before the puddle evaporates, sometimes within 14 days. Other adaptations, described by Science magazine, are that killifish can handle intense pollution , fluctuating salinity and unpredictable pH. Superfast maturation, highly evolved versatility and extreme coping strategies toward harsh water conditions have inspired many scientific studies on killifish to determine their secrets on aging and adaptability. Moreover, some species’ embryos, reported by Ecology Journal of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), are hardy enough to survive birds’ digestive tracts. In other words, these killifish embryos hatch even after ingestion by waterfowl. Birds can consume these resilient floating embryos from one body of water then deposit them in a different body of water, miles away, therefore ensuring species dispersion to counteract inbreeding risks. Inhabitat caught up with David Huie and John Pitcairn, avid killifish hobbyists who helped found the San Diego Killifish Group (SDKG) , a Southern California satellite of the American Killifish Association (AKA) . From 1980 to the early 2000s, both Huie and Pitcairn participated in several conservationist collection teams, traveling to Mexico to save endemic killifish. Inhabitat: What anecdotes can you share that show how killifish have become endangered? Huie: There was a time — the early ‘90s — when a professor and his grad students collected desert killifish to breed in the laboratory but lost them. They returned to collect more in the wild, but the fish were eradicated. Sometime before year 2000, the Mexican government, to grow more corn in the desert, pumped the water down 70 meters, drying up streams. Almost everywhere we collected were signs fish weren’t going to be there much longer. Many have gone extinct . But some species are just extirpated in the wild. You can’t find them out there anymore. But we have them in the hobby, the Cyprinodon alvarezi , for example. Ceciliae — they were named after the researcher’s daughter — they went extinct before we got there. I think veronicae was extirpated, but might still be in the hobby, and one type of fontinalis is still in the hobby. The hobby’s the only thing keeping them from extinction. Pitcairn: Actually, there’s still new killifish being found all the time, even during collections. In a way, we stop them from going extinct before they’re discovered [scientifically recognized and named]. Inhabitat: What fascinates you about killifish? Pitcairn: They’re neat fish because they aren’t common in stores. Lately, I’m getting into nothobranchius . There are fewer and fewer people who have nothos , making them hard to get. So somebody needs to start breeding them to keep them around. Inhabitat: Killifish can be tough to breed. That can make them rare in pet stores, making them highly prized. Huie: If you really want a variety of killifish, you just won’t see them unless you’re in the hobby, for no store will carry them by choice, since few customers buy them. Pitcairn: I went by a local fish store the other day and, surprisingly, they had a half-dozen pair of gardneri . Usually you don’t even see those. Killifish aren’t often in stores, mainly because they’re not easy to mass produce. Something like swordtails, you throw half a dozen pairs in a pond — you can go back and harvest a couple hundred fish. Huie: Same with cichlids — you spawn a pair, you’ll get a thousand. To get a thousand killifish, you’d have to work at it. You’ll maybe get just 20 to 30 per spawn. Pitcairn: Depends. With nothos , you can get 50, but then you can also get three, which is frustrating. It’s not so much difficult [to breed killifish] as it is labor-intensive. Inhabitat: How else are hobbyists protecting killifish species from extinction? Pitcairn: It’s more important to try and keep the species we’ve got, so hybridizing is frowned upon. Huie: Before 1960s, European killifish hobbyists crossbred killifish — it wasn’t about making a better-looking killifish — but just to find out which ones were related, by getting viable fry. In fact, a lot of books then were full of hybrids. But in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when they started finding different types of killifish, it became a real problem because you wanted to have the killifish name — hybrids just muddled that. So from the ‘70s to ‘80s, it became anathema to have hybrids. Inhabitat: What can you share about the hobby’s history in the U.S.? Huie: The reason the AKA started, and killifish became a hobby, was because at that time it was expensive to get killifish, but relatively economical to send eggs. For peat spawners, you’ve a couple of months where you can send eggs through the mail without a problem. Then for egg-layers, you’ve about a week or two where you can just mail eggs. That’s so much cheaper and easier than sending fish — it’s a smaller package, without worrying about water . Plus, eggs are more temperature-tolerant. The best eco tourism spots in San Diego The first time I really saw killifish as a group was when our friend Monty Lehmann became active as a killifish breeder. He contacted killifish people all over because, generally, there were only a few species available in pet stores back in the ‘70s. Even now, depending on availability, there’s not that many. So in the late ‘70s, I made Monty’s acquaintance, and he tried to get our group going in San Diego . That was a baby brother group to this group [SDKG]. That group kind of dissipated when Monty moved. Inhabitat: How did the current SDKG group start? Huie: We had board game meetings on Fridays and Saturdays. While we played Risk, we’d talk about fish. So our original name was San Diego Fish & Game. Pitcairn: San Diego Killifish and Games — that’s how we got San Diego Killifish Group now, because of the same initials, SDKG. Huie: Our group realized if we wanted to see killifish we didn’t have, we needed to host a show. To get the fish and egg listings, the group had to be part of the AKA. The AKA still supports the show because they run a Killifish Hobbyist of the Year award, where you receive points for entering fish in different sanctioned shows. It’s great for the hobby and killifish as a whole because you’re sending fish across the U.S. + San Diego Killifish Group Photography by Mariecor Agravante / Inhabitat

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The best eco tourism spots in San Diego

January 8, 2020 by  
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With 70 miles of coastline and average high temperatures ranging from 66 degrees in January to 77 in August, San Diego is a city where people like to spend time outside. This city of over 1.42 million between Los Angeles and Mexico has endless beaches, parks and cultural opportunities to explore. Its history combines native Kumeyaay people, Mexicans and European explorers, who first landed in San Diego Bay in 1542. Nowadays it’s home to people from around the world and welcomes nearly 36 million visitors per year. San Diego outdoors San Diego’s mild temperatures and beautiful topography make it ideal for biking, hiking and, of course, water sports. La Jolla Sea Kayak will take you on a tour of this beach town’s seven sea caves, where you might see sea lions, leopard sharks and dolphins. If you prefer a more placid paddle, the SUP Connection at Liberty Station offers a sheltered area to practice your SUP and kayak maneuvers. Some of San Diego’s best views are from Cabrillo National Monument at the end of the Point Loma peninsula. An excellent historic lighthouse welcomes lighthouse lovers, the ocean views stun bicyclists and hikers, and this national park unit has some of the best tide pools in the area. In springtime, the wildflowers are awesome. If you’re visiting San Diego with your canine friend, don’t miss the dog-friendly beaches. Dog Beach is a spacious section of Ocean Beach where dogs can run off-leash 24/7. Most of Fiesta Island in Mission Bay is also open to dogs. The SUP Connection offers SUP Pups — private lessons for if you want help training your dog to join you paddle boarding. If you can tear yourself away from the ocean, Balboa Park is an enduring San Diego attraction for museums, gardens , a miniature railroad, the zoo and just walking around. Much of the park was built for the 1935-36 California-Pacific International Exposition. The botanical building and lily pond are much beloved photographic backdrops. On the park’s eastern edge, the less-trafficked historic cactus garden features succulents and African protea. The Spanish Village Art Center houses 35 working art studios for those who like to shop and meet makers. Some of the area’s best beaches are on Coronado Island. For a varied outing, take the ferry from downtown San Diego to Coronado, rent a bike and explore. Don’t miss the famous Hotel Del Coronado. Built in 1888, the wooden Victorian beach resort provided the setting for many movies, including Marilyn Monroe’s “Some Like it Hot.” The beach in front of the Hotel Del has calm water and family-friendly swimming. San Diego wellness Not only does San Diego have a bazillion yoga studios, but many classes are also held outside. Whether you want to do yin yoga in Ocean Beach or vinyasa at Bird Rock in La Jolla, yogis dot every major beach. Mission Bay Aquatic Center will help you take your practice onto a stand-up paddleboard. Or go a little inland and join a Hatha class beside a koi pond at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. Just a little bit up the coast in San Diego’s North County, you can visit the Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas. Founded by Paramahansa Yogananda, the SRF offers lectures, meditations, kirtans and other events. Or just stroll through the beautiful meditation gardens. Also in North County, the Chopra Center is part of Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad. It hosts varied multi-day meditation and wellness retreats from an Ayurvedic medicine perspective. Dining out in San Diego San Diego has a high veg IQ, with plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. For old-school veg food, try Jyoti-Bihanga in Normal Heights. Run by devotees of spiritual master Sri Chinmoy, this vegetarian restaurant has been serving Neatloaf sandwiches and other hearty meals for more than thirty years. For modern fast-casual wraps, bowls, tacos and burgers, try one of Native Foods’ three vegan outlets in San Diego County. In Ocean Beach, Peace Pies has all your raw vegan needs covered, from mango curry wraps to coconut cream pie. Veganic Thai Café in Hillcrest and Plumeria in University Heights and Encinitas allow you to enjoy your pad thai without worries of fish sauce contamination. Heartwork Coffee Bar in Hillcrest offers a case full of delicious vegan croissants, scones and other treats. Public transit Southern California is known for its car-centered ways, but many San Diego neighborhoods are extremely walkable. Since the city is large and spread out, you might need to take a bus, trolley or Uber to get between neighborhoods. San Diego Metropolitan Transit System runs the county’s extensive bus and trolley system. If you’re visiting Tijuana , the easiest way is to take the trolley to the border and walk across. For those with limited time who are firmly on the tourist track, buying a day-pass on the Old Town Trolley will take you directly to San Diego’s most-visited spots. You can hop on and off as much as you like. Guides will clue you in on the city’s history and lore between stops. Amtrak is a good way to get to other southern California cities, such as Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, without braving the hectic highways. For those needing to cross water, ferries run to Coronado Island, or you can call a water taxi. Since San Diego’s airport is downtown, it’s one of the few American cities where you can easily walk to many hotels. A shared-use bike/pedestrian path connects the airport to Liberty Station and Point Loma to the west, and downtown San Diego to the east. Eco hotels Many San Diego hotels are getting greener, but the city has a few real standouts. Hotel Indigo is the city’s only LEED-certified and Platinum Level GreenLeader, featuring rooftop composting and an eco-roof. It’s also central to all kinds of public transit. The Lafayette Hotel , Sheraton Hotel & Marina , Bahia Resort Hotel , and La Jolla’s Estancia Hotel & Spa are Gold Level GreenLeaders. The Bahia’s long list of eco measures includes subsidizing public transit for employees, converting cooking oil to biodiesel , participating in beach cleanups, and composting 100 percent of food waste. The Lafayette combines eco-consciousness with 1940s Hollywood style glamour. One warning: Avoid the many hotels located in the area called Hotel Circle, as you’ll find yourself walled in by unsightly freeways and a total lack of charm. Images via Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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LEED-seeking illumina i3 campus lets workers work anywhere

August 17, 2017 by  
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San Diego’s new BioMed Realty i3 campus is raising the bar for corporate research parks everywhere. Perkins+Will recently designed the iconic science and research campus that’s on track for LEED Platinum certification and exemplifies the “work anywhere” culture. Filled with natural light and topped with green roofs, this environmentally progressive design features a wide variety of energy saving measures and reduces energy and water use by 30 and 20 percent. Located off Interstate 805, the Biotech Hub is the new home of leading genomics research and life sciences company illumina . The campus comprises three trapezoidal, all-white concrete buildings punctuated with landscaped gathering spaces, as well as a 33,500-square-foot outdoor courtyard at the campus heart that includes a performance stage, bocce ball court, herb garden, fitness area, restaurant, and cafe. Parking is hidden underground. Connectivity and collaboration are major themes of the campus design—i3 is 100 percent wireless—and employees are encouraged to work anywhere on campus they feel most comfortable at any time of the day. “The campus turns the stereotypical concept of a suburban research park right on its head, and makes it infinitely better,” said Ryan Bussard, principal at Perkins+Will. “Instead of a trove of uninviting office buildings surrounding a sea of asphalt parking lots, the i3 campus empowers people to connect, engage, collaborate, innovate, and—perhaps most important—be inspired.” Floor-to-ceiling glass lets in ample natural light and frames views of the surrounding mountains. Collaborative areas, such as the lounges and conference rooms, are connected directly to outdoor terraces . A variety of workspaces can accommodate different work styles and preferences. Related: World’s greenest and healthiest office crowned in Washington, D.C. The i3 campus is on track to earn LEED Platinum certification for the core and shell, while LEED Gold is expected for the interiors. The campus’ on-site fuel cells generate clean energy, while energy usage is minimized thanks to access to natural light, motorized and fixed sunshades, and energy-efficient fixtures. Responsible water management is a big part of the campus design. Recycled water sourced from a local utility irrigates the site and is used for cooling towers. Green roofs planted with heat- and drought-tolerated native plants filter and reduce stormwater runoff in conjunction with the on-site bio-filtration system and permeable pavers. Site-water mitigation tucked beneath the courtyard also helps reduce burden on the city’s local infrastructure. + Perkins+Will

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LEED-seeking illumina i3 campus lets workers work anywhere

San Diegans could get $20,000 off price of electric car

August 15, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk might have just ushered in the era of affordable electric vehicles with the first Tesla Model 3 cars rolling off the production line, but south of the Fremont factory in San Diego there is another great deal going on. Starting this month and running through the end of September, San Diego Gas & Electric customers can take advantage of a $10,000 discount off the purchase of a 2017 Nissan Leaf or a 2017 BMW i3. When the state of California’s $2,500 EV rebate and the $7,500 federal tax credit are added, SDG&E customers could potentially get $20,000 off the price of an electric car. The utility also offers an annual bill credit of up to $200 for driving an electric vehicle. Related: New lithium-ion battery from Japan could double electric vehicle range “All-electric cars have fewer parts which result in no oil changes and less maintenance costs,” the SDG&E website states. “Electric cars on freeways and neighborhood streets in the San Diego region reduces greenhouse gases and improves air quality. Moreover, when EVs plug into SDG&E’s grid they receive 43% renewable energy and no coal.” According to SDG&E, there are more than 1,100 public charging stations in the utility’s territory with plans to reach 3,500 charging stations. Charging infrastructure is increasing across the state — the California Energy Commission has awarded nearly $65 million to pay for more than 7,800 electric vehicle charging stations. + SDG&E Via The Verge Images via BMW and Nissan

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Tiny nano motors could scrub our oceans clean of CO2 pollution

October 1, 2015 by  
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Tiny nanomotors could help scrub oceans clean of carbon dioxide pollution. Scientists at the University of California in San Diego have developed a system of nano machines that remove CO2 as they pass through water. If successful, the nano machines could slow down climate change while promoting greater ocean health at the same time. Read the rest of Tiny nano motors could scrub our oceans clean of CO2 pollution

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Glowing gold theater fans out a palm-inspired canopy in China

October 1, 2015 by  
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Livin Out is brilliantly-colored, flexible furniture that fits in any space

April 23, 2015 by  
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Brazilian designer Diego Waltrick wanted to create furniture that could serve any function in any living area. By looking at design in a new way, he decided that furniture doesn’t have to be tied to any particular room or style, but to the experience that it can provide.  The result is Livin Out, a collection of pieces inspired by the colors and joy of Brazil. The collection includes five pieces: a chaise longue called Holly, a chaise named Serena, Up the rocking chair, Anakin the stool and a side table/ottoman called Bill. Each piece has seductive, elegant lines and is ergonomically-shaped. They can fit into any space and are durable enough to stand up to the elements while being flexible enough to suit a variety of uses. + Livin Out The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chaise longue , Diego Waltrick , Livin Out , Livin Out Furniture , modern furniture , modern furniture design , modular furniture , reader submission

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Kreoo’s whimsical, sculptural seating draws inspiration from rivers and streams

April 23, 2015 by  
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Made of marble, larch wood , and cork, KREOO ‘s “River and Stream” series of seating pieces evokes the soft beauty found in river stones. Ideal for either indoor or outdoor use, these pieces are fluid and elegant, and bring a touch of the natural world into any environment. The cool intensity of marble juxtaposes beautiful against the warmth and softness of the wood, complementing one another while creating a unique, whimsical seating arrangement. The larch wood comes in bleached, brushed, or tinted finishes, and the entire collection will be revealed at ICFF New York (May 16th to 19th – Booth 0832). + KREOO The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: brushed larch wood , ICFF New York , KREOO , larch wood , marble and larch , marble and wood , marble and wood furniture , marble furniture , river stone , river stone furniture , river stones , Rivers and Streams , stone-like furniture , wooden furniture

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Kreoo’s whimsical, sculptural seating draws inspiration from rivers and streams

Baby Gorilla Born by Rare Emergency C-Section Fights for Life at the San Diego Zoo

March 19, 2014 by  
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As our closest genetic relatives, it’s no wonder that humans are fascinated by gorillas . Last week, we were captivated by the news that a baby girl gorilla was born at the San Diego Zoo. The infant gorilla, which does not yet have a name, was delivered by a rare animal Caesarean section at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. At the time, she appeared well and healthy, but updates indicate that the baby gorilla has contracted pneumonia and is receiving round-the-clock care. Read the rest of Baby Gorilla Born by Rare Emergency C-Section Fights for Life at the San Diego Zoo Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: baby gorilla at san diego zoo , baby gorilla c-section , baby gorilla fighting for life , baby gorilla pneumonia , baby gorilla san diego , San Diego Zoo        

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