Secondo lo studio Frogs, sentinels of DNA damage induced by pollution in Naples and the neighbouring Provinces, pubblicato su Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety e condotto dal team di ricerca del professore Domenico Fulgione, l’inquinamento ambientale in Campania causa alterazioni genetiche nelle rane.

Le rane sono considerate un organismo sentinella e la ricerca ruota intorno alla tecnica definita comet assay. In pratica glis cienziati analizzano il Dna delle rane: se questo appare integro e arrotondato è sano; se riscontrano frammenti che si staccano dal nucleo e formano una coda questo è danneggiato.

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The dazzling colours and patterns on their wings make butterflies and moths some of the most eye catching creatures in the animal kingdom, but a new book suggests these dramatic designs also help turn the insects into master illusionists capable of fooling potential predators. Professor Philip Howse, a retired entomologist from Southampton University, claims that many species of butterfly and moth are capable of using their wing patterns to trick predators into thinking they are much larger and even more dangerous animals.

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I can remember the first time I saw one, at the St. Louis Zoo, and the feeling that certain death was just on the other side of the glass. I could not get over the snake’s size — this one was about 12 feet long. I was used to looking at giant snakes in zoos (I always made a beeline for the reptile house), but pythons did not seem so scary to me because they rarely moved. This sleek, agile and very alert snake was a king cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world and an icon to all snake enthusiasts, including this writer.

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