Scientists discover parasite that eats and replaces fish tongues

October 25, 2021 by  
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Officials at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have discovered a strange parasite that eats a fish’s tongue and takes its place. In a first-of-its-kind discovery, the officials found that the parasite not only eats a fish’s tongue, but it replaces the organ and starts feasting on the mucus in its mouth. Referred to as both a snapper-choking isopod and tongue-eating louse, the strange creature resembles a pill bug, according to the experts who witnessed it firsthand. A picture of the parasite inside a fish’s mouth has been making rounds on social media, leaving many bewildered. The fish containing the parasite was found at Galveston Island State Park, according to officials.  Related: What causes zombie plants? This is the first time scientists have seen a parasite replacing an entire organ in the host’s body. HuffPost supports this claim, saying this is “the only known example of a parasite replacing an organ of its host.” In essence, the parasite becomes part of the fish to survive on the mucus excreted in the fish’s mouth. It is not clear what the long-term effects of having that parasite inside the fish mouth would be. Scientists are currently unable to explain how this could be possible, but officials say that the parasite “does not kill the fish or affect humans.” Still, the news of a monitor parasite in the mouth of a fish has raised questions about human health and safety regarding the parasite. Though the parasite might sound as scary as something out of the movies, it is not fatal, officials say. In a Facebook post, they clarified that the creature does not kill fish or humans. Despite reassurances, many social media users found the news alarming. “Thanks for the new nightmare material. The old monsters were getting kind of boring,” said one commenter. Via HuffPost Lead image via Galveston Island State Park – Texas Parks and Wildlife

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Scientists discover parasite that eats and replaces fish tongues

Flow Pollinator House is a limited-edition honey bee home

October 25, 2021 by  
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Buzz into a healthier bee population with the addition of a limited-release shelter option, available only in the United States. The Flow Pollinator House not only benefits bee populations in your yard, but the proceeds also support advocacy groups across the country. The Flow Pollinator House is offered by the father/son duo who brought us Flow Hive, which started in 2015 with the help of a crowdfunding campaign to aid in the launch. Flow Hive is an innovative approach to honey harvesting that is less stressful to the bees and their keeper. It features a mechanism that simply releases the honey straight into jars without the hassles typically associated with the harvest.  Related: Flow Hive takes the hassle out of honey harvesting The process of making the Flow Hive results in cutoff waste, so the company decided it was time to make use of it. Upcycling the sustainably sourced bamboo and salvaged Araucaria timber from the production of the Flow Hive models resulted in the development of the Flow Pollinator House. The house offers protection for hard-working native solitary nesting bees. It encourages them to work nearby, pollinating gardens , flowers and other plants in the vicinity. The Flow Pollinator House comes flat-packed as a DIY kit, complete with everything you’ll need to build it. You can create a custom format by choosing how to arrange the wood tubes and design the exterior to your liking with stain or paint.  Because the house kits originate from leftover  wood  materials, there are a limited number of Flow Pollinator Houses for the season. They can make a great gift for the gardener, nature lover or advocate in your life. Plus, the product line is a benefit program with the company committing to donate 100% of all proceeds to U.S.-based pollinator advocacy, education, and protection groups.  “The honey bee is one of 19,000 bee species in the world that are essential to pollination and life on this planet as we know it,” said Cedar Anderson, CEO and founder of Flow Hive. “We created this upcycled pollinator home to provide a safe place for solitary bees to raise their young, while offering our customers a fun, family-friendly project to build together. By creating this habitat in your backyard, together we are building the stepping stones across the urban landscape which may just help save some of these important species from the brink of extinction.” + Honey Flow   Images via Honey Flow 

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Flow Pollinator House is a limited-edition honey bee home

Kalk anti-poaching e-bikes join the battle in the African bush

October 25, 2021 by  
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Transportation in the African bush requires some very specific features. Vehicles need to be durable, reliable and able to handle the diverse terrain. For park rangers responsible for catching and stopping animal poachers, the stakes are even higher. They need transportation that’s also quiet and environmentally friendly. CAKE, a Swedish electric bike company, has delivered on all accounts. The Kalk AP (anti-poaching) project is a collaboration between CAKE, Goal Zero and the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) to find a more efficient and Earth-friendly way to track down poachers in Africa’s National Parks. In the past, rangers used gas-powered motorbikes on the job because they were the fastest and most agile option available. This was not an ideal situation since poachers could easily hear the motorcycles as they approached. Plus, the bikes required refueling, which was provided via helicopter or truck. The entire system was damaging to the very  animal  habitat the team was working to protect.  Related: Bamboo electric bike is designed for Kathmandu locals and tourists The new electric bikes were delivered to South Africa and are currently being tested in the bush by rangers who provide feedback to the SAWC research department. They are comparing the bikes to the existing combustion-engine option and evaluating them on durability and practicality of use.   “The petrol bikes we’ve used previously have all been loud, heavy and expensive to keep running in these areas. The CAKE bikes are quiet, which makes it easier for us to approach poachers undetected. We hope this collaboration will result in more effective anti-poaching in our region and we are really excited to start using the bikes in the wild,” said Mfana Xaba, Anti-poaching Team Leader at SAWC. Kalk AP off-road bikes are recharged in the field with charging stations designed and produced by Goal Zero and placed nearby. Powered by  solar panels , the charging stations are always at the ready, without the need to haul in polluting gasoline.  CAKE custom-made the bikes to respond to the challenges of the African bush. They are equipped with off-road features like oversized tires, a lightweight frame, a cargo rack and a heavy-duty suspension. CAKE plans to use the real-world feedback and make required improvements before sending another batch of bikes to the area.  “It’s great to see that the first batch of Kalk APs has made it to Africa, ready to change the game when it comes to fighting poaching in the most threatened wildlife areas. With fast, quiet and solar-powered driven bikes, we increase our chances of countering poaching and can truly make an impact in the region. This is only the beginning, we will continue to ship bikes to the SAWC in collaboration with the partners they work with to strengthen their anti-poaching work,” said CAKE’s founder and CEO Stefan Ytterborn. To raise money for the project, CAKE is offering a buy-one-give-one Limited-Edition Charity Bundle, which offers the first 50 customers the option to buy one Kalk AP at a charity price, while donating another Kalk AP to SAWC. The bundle also comes with a solar-powered charging station and solar cells from Goal Zero. Plus, CAKE and Goal Zero have committed to donating their profits on the bikes and equipment to SAWC and its partners. + CAKE  Via Southern African Wildlife College   Images via CAKE 

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Kalk anti-poaching e-bikes join the battle in the African bush

Scientists warn new "super malaria" in SE Asia poses alarming global threat

September 25, 2017 by  
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If you’re planning a trip to South East Asia , take note. An evolved form of malaria which is resistant to anti-malaria medication is spreading at an “alarming global rate,” according to scientists. The parasite was first documented in Cambodia but quickly migrated to other regions. Researchers predict mass casualties should the “super malaria” spread to Africa , where over 90 percent of cases occur. This “super malaria” is more dangerous than the original malaria parasite , as it cannot be killed with the main anti-malaria drugs. According to the BBC , it was first reported in Cambodia, but quickly spread throughout parts of Thailand , Laos and later, Vietnam. The team at the Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Bangkok said there is a real concern the new malaria may be “untreatable.” Professor Arjen Dondorp, who heads the unit, said, “We think it is a serious threat. It is alarming that this strain is spreading so quickly through the whole region and we fear it can spread further [and eventually] jump to Africa .” Related: FDA approves genetically modified mosquitos to fight Zika Each year, approximately 212 million people are affected with the parasite that is spread via blood-sucking mosquitos . Malaria is a major killer of children, especially in poverty-stricken locations. When one begins to notice symptoms of the sickness, the first line of treatment is artemisinin in combination with piperaquine. However, artemisinin is becoming less and less effective, as a letter, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases , points out. The “super malaria” is now resistant to piperaquine, as well. The letter notes an “alarming rate of failure” with both treatments. Dondorp said about one-third of the time, the treatment failed in Vietnam . In some areas of Cambodia, the failure rate was closer to 60 percent. In Africa, where 92 percent of malaria cases occur, the “super malaria” is expected to be disastrous. It’s now a race against the clock to prevent the blood-transmitted bug from reaching Africa. Said Dondorp, “We have to eliminate it before malaria becomes untreatable again and we see a lot of deaths. If I’m honest, I’m quite worried.” “The spread of this malaria ‘superbug’ strain, resistant to the most effective drug we have, is alarming and has major implications for public health globally,” said Michel Chew, from the Welcome Trust medical research charity. “Around 700,000 people a year die from drug-resistant infections, including malaria. If nothing is done, this could increase to millions of people every year by 2050.” Via BBC Images via Pixabay

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Scientists warn new "super malaria" in SE Asia poses alarming global threat

Viagra could be key to preventing the spread of malaria

June 8, 2015 by  
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Originally developed as a treatment for high blood pressure, the world’s favorite “little blue pill” has an array of uses outside the bedroom—it can treat prostate cancer, address pulmonary hypertension and even keep your cut flowers pert . Now, a new study has found that Viagra can also help prevent the spread of malaria. The collaborative research by French and English scientists found that Viagra can alter red blood cells to prevent the parasite carrying the disease from being transmitted from humans to mosquitoes. Read the rest of Viagra could be key to preventing the spread of malaria Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: malaria cure , malaria mosquito , malaria spread , malaria transmission , malaria treatment , mosquito disease , pfizer , viagra malaria , viagra uses

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Viagra could be key to preventing the spread of malaria

Tiny prefab Sleeping Pod doubles as a guesthouse and office

June 8, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Tiny prefab Sleeping Pod doubles as a guesthouse and office Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: CannonDesign , compact living , green design , Lassonde Studios , Prefab , prefab architecture , sleeping pod , student dorm , student housing , tiny home , tiny house , university of utah , wooden architecture , Yazdani Studio

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Tiny prefab Sleeping Pod doubles as a guesthouse and office

Hanging Parasite Office Makes the Most of Unused Urban Space in Moscow

June 16, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Hanging Parasite Office Makes the Most of Unused Urban Space in Moscow Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ARCH Moscow architectural biennale , innovative office building , Moscow , Parasite Building , Repurposed Space , russia , Za Bor Architects

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Hanging Parasite Office Makes the Most of Unused Urban Space in Moscow

Tiny 240-sq-ft Studio Boasts a Crawl-In Library

June 16, 2014 by  
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Anyone who feels that fitting a library into a 240-sq-ft apartment would be impossible needs to check out this ambitious Manhattan studio . Designed by architect Tim Seggerman, the tiny space makes up for its size with sophisticated wooden finishes and a super-efficient layout . READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: brownstone studio , George nakashima , loft style apartment , micro loft , Micro loft apartment , new york city apartment , papyrus panels , space-saving , tim seggerman , tiny living , tiny studio , upper west site , woodworking

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Tiny 240-sq-ft Studio Boasts a Crawl-In Library

Plasma Studio Builds Parasite Home on Top of a 60s House in Italy

May 27, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Plasma Studio Builds Parasite Home on Top of a 60s House in Italy Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Esker Haus , italy , local wood , parasite house , PLASMA Studio , prefab composite walls , San Candido , wooden frames        

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Plasma Studio Builds Parasite Home on Top of a 60s House in Italy

How Fast and Furious 6 Tried to Reduce its Enormous Carbon Footprint

May 27, 2013 by  
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This weekend, the sixth installment of the ever-popular Fast and Furious franchise roared into US cinemas with its box office-winning combination of fast cars, big biceps and simmering homo-eroticism. However despite being a film based around gas-guzzling cars, large explosions and globe-trotting antics, the production actually tried to reduce their footprint (despite trashing over 300 cars! ) where they could as part of Universal Studios’ ‘Green Is Universal’ policy. Read the rest of How Fast and Furious 6 Tried to Reduce its Enormous Carbon Footprint Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon footprint , Fast and Furious , Fast and Furious 6 , Fast and Furious 6 carbon footprint , films , Green is Universal , London , movies , Paul Walker , recycling , THe Rock , Universal Studios , Vin Diesel        

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