SeaSponge SmartPants

Dr Bernie Degnan and his team have been sequencing the genome of the simple sea sponge here at the University of Queensland and have made some pretty astonishing findings in regards to humans and stem cells:

CARLY LAIRD: For anyone who thought the cartoon character, SpongeBob SquarePants, was a bit far fetched, think again. Bernie Degnan is a professor of marine biology at the University of Queensland. He says although sea sponges certainly can’t talk and don’t have their own apartments under the sea, they are indeed clever marine animals.

BERNIE DEGNAN: Sponges just by their natural biology do things that we only wish we can engineer in a biomedical laboratory. Continue reading SeaSponge SmartPants

7000-year-old corals of Moreton Bay tell their story

The 7000-year-old coral communities of Moreton Bay are telling a curious tale, expanding when sea-levels rise or water quality improves, then declining when current circulation becomes more restricted. Intriguing new insights into the behaviour of corals and fish under changing climatic conditions will be presented by leading marine researchers at a public forum in Brisbane … Continue reading 7000-year-old corals of Moreton Bay tell their story

Mixing it up, jellyfish style

With the advent of overfishing of the worlds oceans and climate change, jellyfish are slowly beginning to dominate oceanic ‘deadzones’ (see the ‘never-ending jellyfish joyride‘ for more details). Now, researchers are coming around to the idea that in such high numbers, jellyfish might just be able to stir up the oceans in a similar way … Continue reading Mixing it up, jellyfish style

Short-term declines in global temperature predicted by GCMs

One of the most common climate change skeptic arguments against AGW is that short-term declines in globally averaged temperature completely refute arguments about the occurrence and causes of global warming.  A new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters (Easterling and Wehner  2009)  argues that short term periods of no-trend or even cooling (nested within longer term warming) are … Continue reading Short-term declines in global temperature predicted by GCMs

“National targets give virtually no chance of protecting coral reefs”

A study published in Nature Reports Climate Change on 11 June 2009 reports on the consequences of the emission targets being set by countries, including the US and Australia, in the lead-up to the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December. Joeri Rogelj and colleagues conclude, “National targets give virtually no chance of constraining warming … Continue reading “National targets give virtually no chance of protecting coral reefs”