scientists at the University of Puerto Rico have developed a system to monitor wildlife in tropical rainforests, using captured audio in real time to remotely record the sounds made by animals. Using hardware that includes iPods, solar panels, and car batteries, the scientists created a network of radio-connected listening posts around the world that allows them to collect data 24 hours a day over long periods of time. The sound will help them track the effects of environmental changes—such as deforestation and climate change—on endangered species.
a pair of studies were published in Science that suggest that sublethal exposure to a family of common pesticides called neonicotinoids might play a contributing role in the great bee die-off.
when native ladybugs munched on harlequin eggs, the insects ended up dead within a couple of weeks. In an attempt to find out why, researchers injected the harlequin's hemolymph (the insect equivalent of blood) into the natives and found that it was lethal. Suspicion fell on a specific chemical compound in the hemolymph called harmonine (named after the genus name, Harmonia). But the new paper does the obvious next step and rules this idea out. They synthesized harmonine, injected it into a native species, and found it had no effect.
August 13 – collide•scope at Urban ReThink