Organisation With A Difference-IYSN

India…the country of great legends…we have been the lands of brilliant minds…But recent years have seen the downfall and what we can call the export of Indian minds to countries abroad….We have become so blind in our quest of prosperity that we forget that it is our responsibility to give back something to this land which has made us capable enough to stand on our feet and speak our mind!!!

I have always felt that some day, the people of this country will give up on their selffishness and strive hard to make this nation-DEVELOPED!!!….This is exact reason why I felt proud when I came across the organization- INDIAN  YOUNG SCIENTISTS NETWORK (iysn.org)…This organisation is what I can call as-“by the students,for the students and towards the bright future of the students”…IYSN was is result of the brain work of young minds like Parth Upadhyay, Devang Agarwal, Utkarsh Singh and Nishi Anand….the most surprising fact being that all of them are 12th students….Brilliance at its best and that too at young age!!!

The guideline of the organisation “If we don’t have a platform, we create one.” itself describes their ideology.IYSN strives to work for those young scientists,scholars and exceptional students who are denied the proper platform to display their skills and ideas to the world.The organization guides these gifted students by supporting them with financial aid through scholarships.The main purpose of the organization is to call for new ideas which is sent forward to Mentors.By doing this,the site provides a way of interaction between the mentor and the student.The mentor if impressed paves way for that ultimate break through for your ideas.

The efforts of these young blood have made me aware of one thing…that not just in near the future but also in the many more generations to come INDIA is surely in safe hands….Please do be a part of this movement and make a difference to the bright future of our country!!!

Genetic Engineering Makes Fish Glow!!!!

A genetically engineered fish that glows green from the inside out is helping illuminate what pollutants do inside the body.

Image

Zebrafish glow green under the microscope!!!

Endocrine disruptors are substances found in a wide range of industrial products, including plastics, as well as in many female contraceptives.

The chemicals mimic the actions of sexual hormones, resulting in various reproductive problems in both people and animals. Previous research has shown the chemicals that cause the fish to change gender and in people, endocrine disruptors have been associated with lower sperm counts and breast and testicular cancers.

Yet scientists have had difficulty tracking what endocrine disruptors do inside a person or an animal’s body. So a team genetically engineered zebrafish to glow in places where an endocrine-disrupting chemical is present—and thus show where it may be harming the body.

“We’ve essentially put genetic elements within the fish [embryos that], over time, that are specifically designed to identify where the chemicals penetrate and act within the body,” said study leader Charles Tylerat the U.K.’s University of Exeter.

“This genetic machinery produces proteins which don’t interfere with the way these chemicals act in the body, but they fluoresce green under a fluorescent microscope, providing a reporting system to identify which body tissues are being affected.

“This, in turn provides a more ‘intelligent’ way of identifying where the [pollutants’] potential health impacts might be” in people.

Glowing Fish Confirm Past Findings

Tyler and team exposed the zebrafish to varying levels of chemicals known to affect the hormone estrogen, including ethinyloestradiol, found in contraceptive pills; nonylphenol, present in paints and industrial detergents; and bisphenol A, a component of many plastics.

All of these substances have become common freshwater pollutants that are connected to problems such as gender changes in fish and decreased fertility and increased cases of cancer in people.

The researchers exposed the fish to different endrocrine disruptors at varying concentrations, and then used a microscope to see which of the small fish’s organs glowed—and thus responded—to the chemicals.

The data should help identify the thresholds at which the chemicals affect various tissues and organs in the body.

For instance, observing the glowing fish confirmed previous findings, such as a link between bisphenol A and heartproblems.

“We do see in this fish that the heart glows particularly in response to bisphenol A,” Tyler said. “So we can target the heart and try to look at the mechanics of what is happening.”

Tyler and colleagues also watched the chemicals light up other parts of the fish’s anatomy, including its eyes and skeletal muscles. Endocrine disruptors’ impacts to these parts of the body are unknown.

“It’s often been assumed that these chemicals impact the liver or testes or ovaries, but in these fish we’ve identified them in many different tissues, including parts of the brain,” he said.

For now, the fluorescent technology is limited to fish younger than six days old, because their skin has yet to develop pigmentation that would interfere with observing the fluorescence.

“The next phase is breeding these fish with a strain that lacks pigment in the skin,” which would allow the team to observe the fluorescent reactions in adult fish as well, Tyler said.

Courtesy-National Geographic

Heart Attack-Stems Cells to The Rescue!!!!

Stem cells have been used to regrow cardiac muscle in heart attack patients for the first time, researchers have reported.

A new study published this week in The Lancet has described how patients’ own cardiac stem cells have been used to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue and reduce the scarring caused by heart attacks.

“When someone has a heart attack, up to 40% of the heart dies, and dead muscle is replaced by scar, not newly-formed muscle. The scar can’t contract and it predisposes [people] to arrhythmias, heart failure and death,” said co-author Konstantinos Malliaras from the Cedar-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles.

“Up until our study, the existing dogma was that the scar, once formed, is permanent; there was no way to shrink the scar tissue and regrow healthy muscle.”

Cardiac stem cells harvested and infused back into the patient reduces scar damage and initiates healthy tissue growth.

Move away from bone marrow

Stem cells are a coup for this type of regenerative medicine because of their ability to produce and differentiate into different cells in the human body. When a heart attack occurs, the cardiac stem cells die and there are too few remaining stem cells to repair all the damaged tissue. Scientists thought that by infusing the heart with a large number of stem cells, this would kick-start the healing process.

Until recently, the preferred source of these stem cells was bone marrow, because of the bone marrow stem cells’ ability to produce a number of different tissues. Despite research showing that this method was safe, the effectiveness has been inconsistent across studies.

Cardiac stem cells are a more recent option and results have been positive. Malliaras and his colleagues have previously shown that cardiac stem cells are three to five times more effective than bone marrow in animals. A separate research group also used cardiac stem cells, publishing their results in the Lancet late last year. These researchers found an increased ability of the heart to pump blood and also showed reduced scar size, though they did not see new growth of healthy tissue.

Scar decreased by nearly 50%

In the current study, patients had suffered a heart attack in the four weeks prior to joining the study and were randomly split into two groups – eight patients received routine care while 17 underwent stem cell treatment. The stem cell treatment involved inserting a catheter in the neck to take a small biopsy of the heart – about the size of a course grain of sand.

“Biopsy procurement is a minimally invasive procedure that is usually performed in patients who get a heart transplant,” said Malliaras. “For the patient, biopsy procurement is entirely painless.”

Cells taken from the biopsy were harvested for 60 days on average, until a population of 25 million cells had been grown. These were then infused back into the patient’s heart. According to the researchers, MRI scans indicated remarkable results for the patients who received the stem cell treatment. “The scar was reduced by 47% and healthy cardiac tissue regrew in the place where once scar was. It is the first instance in medical history of true therapeutic regeneration in any organ,” said Malliaris.

Courtesy-Cosmos  Magazine

Why Pandas Love Bamboo???

A new analysis of panda poop has finally answered an age-old question: How do giant pandas survive on a diet that’s 99 percent bamboo when they have the guts of carnivores?

Plant-eating animals tend to have longer intestines to aid in digesting fibrous material, a trait the black-and-white bears lack.

What’s more, when the giant panda’s genome was sequenced in 2009, scientists found that the creature lacks the genes for any known enzymes that would help break down cellulose, the plant fibers found in bamboo and other grasses.

This led researchers to speculate that panda intestines must have cellulose-munching bacteria that play a role in digestion. But previous attempts to find such bacteria in panda guts had failed.

The new study looked at gene sequences in the droppings from seven wild and eight captive giant pandas—a much bigger sample than what was used in previous panda-poop studies, said study leader Fuwan Wei, of the Chinese Academy of Science’s Institute of Zoology in Beijing.

Wei and colleagues found that pandas’ digestive tracts do in fact contain bacteria similar to those in the intestines of herbivores.

Thirteen of the bacteria species that the team identified are from a family known to break down cellulose, but seven of those species are unique to pandas.

“We think this may be caused by different diet, the unique inner habitat of the gut, or the unique phylogenetic position of their host,” since pandas are on a different branch of the tree of life than most herbivores, Wei said.

Humans Drove Pandas to Bamboo?

Even with help from gut bugs, pandas don’t derive much nutrition from bamboo—a panda digests just 17 percent of the 20 to 30 pounds (9 to 14 kilograms) of dry food it eats each day. This explains why pandas also evolved a sluggish, energy-conserving lifestyle.

So how and why did pandas became plant-eaters in the first place?

Some scientists theorize that, as the ancient human population increased, pandas were pushed into higher altitudes. The animals then adopted a bamboo diet so they wouldn’t compete for prey with other meat-eaters, such as Asiatic black bears, in their new homes, said Nicole MacCorkle, a panda keeper at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Pandas will eat meat if it’s offered to them, MacCorkle added, but they won’t actively hunt for it.

The panda-bacteria research appears in the October 17 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of  Sciences.

Courtesy-National Geographic

A Perfect Example Of Cloning Gone WRONG????

Are males necessary?

Maybe not for long, at least in an insect species whose females have begun to develop sperm-producing clones of their fathers—inside their bodies.

In the cottony cushion scale—a common agricultural pest that grows to about a fifth of an inch (half a centimeter) long—a new phenomenon has arisen: When some females develop in fertilized eggs, excess sperm grows into tissue within the daughters.

This parasitic tissue, genetically identical to the female’s father, lives inside the female and fertilizes her eggs internally—rendering the female a hermaphrodite and making her father both the grandfather and father of her offspring, genetically speaking.

Though this new form of reproduction hasn’t replaced cottony cushion scale sex, “this parasitic male has taken off like an epidemic in population,” said study leader Andy Gardner, an evolutionary theorist at the University of Oxford.

“Once [this trend] gets started, it’s going to sweep through the population so all the females carry it. So there’s no point for regular males to exist,” Gardner added.

If the females begin passing on the parasitic male to their offspring, there may eventually be no more need for “baby boy” cushion scales that grow up and produce sperm and fertilize females, Gardner said.

Gardner and the University of Massachusetts’s Laura Ross created a population model that predicted how females would respond to this infectious tissue living within their bodies. The results, published in the August issue of  The American Naturalist , suggest that the females would benefit from the infection, negating the need for males.

A cottony cushion scale mother and offspring.

Insect Sex Still a Mystery

Though the exact time line of male decline for the species is unknown, Gardner said, in the “long run, I’d expect the [insect species] to suffer because of asexuality.”

For instance, though 30 percent of animal species are asexual, in the “vast majority of cases, when we look at species that are asexual, they’re relatively recent [evolutionary] events … [and they] seem to go extinct quite rapidly.

“If you mate with yourself, that doesn’t generate the sort of adaptive variation that regular sex does.”

There are “obvious benefits” of straight-up sex, he said—the offspring get new combinations of genes that can make species overall more robust, he said.

Overall, it’s a mystery why there are so few insect hermaphrodites—only three species are known, all cushion scales. In general, insects are very sexually variable, reproducing in almost every way known to nature—including, in some species, males that can develop from unfertilized eggs.

Confusing matters, cushion scales are “not really hermaphroditic in the usual sense—it’s actually two ‘individuals’ in one body, [which] makes it more intriguing,” he said.

“We’re sort of groping around in the dark just now.”

Courtesy-National Geographic

Related Article-

Is It Extinction Time For This Antelope???

For the first time in 75 years, an entire genus of mammal may go the way of the dodo—unless a new conservation effort shepherded by Somalian herders succeeds.

The hirola, a large African antelope known for its striking, goggle-like eye markings, is the only remaining species in the genus Beatragus—and its numbers are dwindling fast, conservationists say.

The last mammal genus to blink out was Thylacinus, in 1936, with the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger. A genus is a taxonomic ranking between species and family.

Considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation Of Nature,the hirola has seen its numbers fall by as much as 90 percent since 1980. The latest survey, in February, found about 245 animals in fragmented pockets of northeastern Kenyaand southwestern Somalia, according to the Nature Conservancy.

In all, conservationists estimate there are fewer than 400 hirolas scattered throughout the species’ historic range of East Africa.

A range of factors, including climate change-related drought; unregulated hunting; habitat destruction; and more recently, predation have slashed populations.

Now the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, a network of predominantly Somalian clans, is building a a new predator-free sanctuary for the species, according to Omar Tawane Dagane, the conservancy’s Kenya-based manager.

Most of the herders living along the Kenya-Somalia border “are friendly to wildlife,” Dagane said.

The locals also like hirolas because they don’t harm livestock, he said.

“That is why [it] was easy for us to advocate for construction of a predator-proof … hirola sanctuary in such a pastoralist setup.”

Conservation Gone “Viral”

Somalian clans formed the Ishaqbini conservancy in 1996 after seeing the benefits of self-organized conservancies in northeastern Kenya, an often lawless region prone to cattle raiding and general unrest, said Tim Tear , science director for the Nature Conservancy’s Africa Program, an Ishaqbini partner.

These conservancies, while setting aside land for protection of species such as elephants and buffalo, also provided exclusive rights to tourism companies. The majority of the tourism proceeds fund community needs, for example special operations for local children. The remaining percentage—about 40 percent—goes to fund conservation practices and employ game scouts to patrol and prevent poaching.

“This is one of the big reasons people are supportive—direct benefits to the communities and conservation and security value as well,” Tear said.

There are now 17 conservancies within the  Northern Rangelands Trust, a Kenya-based membership organization that helps coordinate and support the local initiatives, including Ishaqbini.

“This is the idea of conservation going viral,” he said.

Hirola to Thrive in Predator-Free Sanctuary?

A few years ago the Ishaqbini clans created an 8,000-acre (3,200-hectare) conservation area to protect hirolas, mainly by monitoring poaching and restricting livestock grazing.

With grazing curtailed, the grasslands bounced back—and so did predators such as African Lions and African Wild dogs, which have been increasingly preying on hirolas.

Now, with predation cutting hirola numbers by as much as 15 percent in the past year, the Ishaqbini conservancy is constructing what they say is a predator-proof fence around the new 6,000-acre (2,400-hectare) sub-sanctuary within the original conservation area.

Ideally, the new sanctuary will give the antelope a safe haven in which to breed and rebound, Ishaqbini’s Dagane said.

“People have a perception there’s no peace around here because of neighboring Somalia,” he said, “but Ishaqbini is very peaceful compared with other communities in the interior of Kenya.”

The Nature Conservancy’s Tear added that the Ishaqbini clans have “really identified with this animal.”

“They’ve made some really heroic decisions about saving land for the purposes of saving this species.”

Conserving Hirola Not Easy

Conservationists and government agencies have been working to save the hirola since the 1960s.

Because all attempts to breed hirolas in captivity have failed, conservation plans have mostly involved relocating the animals.

In 1963, for instance, the Kenya Wildlife Service captured 10 to 20 hirolas from northeastern Kenya and released them into Tsavo East National Park

In 1996, about 30 more hirolas from the Arawale National Reserve in northeastern Kenya were added to this “founding population,” according to the wildlife service’s website. There is now a stable, though isolated, population of about a hundred hirolas living in Tsavo.

Community Involvement Important

The Nature Conservancy’s Tear noted that for conservation for work long-term, “local people have to be engaged, involved, and supportive of conservation.”

Philipp Goeltenboth discovered just that in 1996. Now the director of WWF-Germany’s Forest Program, Goeltenboth at the time was working with the Kenya Wildlife Service to relocate the hirola as part of his master’s degree research.

In a controversial move, the government took the animals from an impoverished area where residents believed the animal was “one of last hopes in this area for tourism,” he said.

A court injunction initiated by the communities temporarily halted the translocation. According to a Kenyan court document dated August 29, 1996, locals brought the injunction on “the grounds that [the hirola] was a gift to the people of the area and should be left there.”

Overall, local communities had not been involved in the government’s initial relocation plan—”a big mistake,” Goeltenboth said.

“The Kenya Wildlife Service was a study in how not to do conservation,” he said. “They basically moved into the area with full force.”

The Kenya Wildlife Service did not respond to requests for comment.

Hirola Sanctuary Can’t Save the Species?

Yakub Dahiye, a scientist at the National museum of Kenya in Nairobi, has studied hirolas for several years and published research on the species.

He called the Ishaqbini conservancy “a noble community initiative” that can “partly contribute to wildlife conservation and tourism development.”

However, “I don’t think this conservancy alone can save the hirola,” Dahiye emphasized by email.

“Just like the local nomadic pastoralist, the hirola has a highly mobile habit.

“Given the small size of this conservancy and its limited/seasonal pastures, free-ranging hirola may not be permanently resident in the conservancy.”

What’s more, hirolas face threats other than predation. For one, growing human settlements have displaced the antelope from its dry-season habitat along Kenya’s Tana River, Dahiye said.

Hirolas are also forced to compete with cattle and sheep for food and water. Futhermore, traveling herders and their livestock can trample hirola grazing lands.

And despite the conservancy’s creation, modernization and changing lifestyles mean that some of the pastoralists’ conservation traditions are disappearing, Dahiye noted.

High Hopes for Hirola

Ultimately the Ishaqbini Conservancy’s Dagane envisions this slice of Africa as a regional hub for tourism and research.

“I’d like to see community conservation spread to neighboring communities, increase the number of wildlife, and get conservation into the minds of the younger generations for wise use of their natural resources in the future,” he said.

The Nature Conservancy’s Tear also has high expectations for Ishaqbini and its hirolas.

“People hear a lot about things in crisis, especially in Africa,” Tear said.

But “there are many reasons for there to be hope.”

Courtesy-National Geographic

Oldest Living Fossil Of Antarctic Whale Found

 Ancient jawbone suggests whales evolved more rapidly than thought.

The oldest known whale to ply the Antarctic has been found, scientists say.

A 24-inch-long (60-centimeter-long) jawbone was recently discovered amid a rich deposit of fossils on the Antarctic Peninsula.  

The creature, which may have reached lengths of up to 20 feet (6 meters), had a mouthful of teeth and likely feasted on giant penguins, sharks, and big bony fish, whose remains were also discovered with the jawbone.

The early whale swam polar waters during the Eocene period, some 49 million years ago. Its age suggests fully aquatic whales evolved from their mammalian ancestors more rapidly than previously thought, said researcher Thomas Mors, paleozoologist at the Swedish Museum of Natural History.

Based on 53-million-year-old fossils of whale-like, semi-aquatic mammals, scientists had thought mammals gave rise to whales in a process that took 15 million years. The new find suggests it took just 4 million years.

What’s more, “as soon as they became fully marine animals, they dispersed all over the world, showing the great success of the whale construction,” Mörs said in an email.

Whale Lived in Warm Antarctic

Not even cold waters were obstacles for early whales, he said—though Antarctica during the Eocene was much warmer than it is today.

The continent was green, carpeted in forests that housed marsupials and mammalian survivors from the dinosaur age, said Mörs, who is preparing a paper on the whale for publication in a journal.

“The shores were inhabited by colonies of penguins, among them giant ones. And the marine waters were still warm enough for leatherback turtles and a diverse shark fauna,” he added.

And ancient whales, too.

An abstract of the findings was published for the 11th International Symposium On Antarctic Earth Science held in July in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Courtesy-National Geographic

 

The List Of Disasters Introduced By Humans!!!

It has been Human tendency that we usually try things without thinking of the consequences….This is not limited to recreational activities….Now a days,with the advancements in science Human has become so reckless that He has started comparing himself to the greatness of God and enigma of Mother Nature….Ecological webs as designed by Nature was with due respect to the fact that harmony had to be maintained between the species….Some co-existing….some are predators….others are prey…..But a major balance was ALWAYS maintained!!!!…..But since we humans have this rebellious attitude to change things…..we went ahead and played with delicate web balance by some rather disastrous introductions….which have not just caused irreversible ecological damage but also caused major extinctions….Here is complete list of such measly mistakes done by Humans-

 10) Blackbird-

No…This is not Jungle Crow….It is not even native of India… Blackbirds are native to Europe…. They were released into New York City between 1890 and 1891, supposedly in an effort to introduce all of the birds of Shakespeare into the United States….This is called hitting the hammer on your own feet….The numbers of these birds grew in huge numbers….When 3,000 of them try to sit on a telephone wire, it collapses…. When the birds  grazing on cattle feed, they eat enough to hurt dairy cows’ milk production and cost the farmer significantly in replacement grain….. When poisoned, they die in huge numbers…. thousands of carcasses fell from tree branches and landed around the city…..

Black Bird

9) Kudzu Vine-

The best example of weed which will grow from the ashes like pheonix is Kudzu vine….A hearty vine sat amongst the gladiolas and orange trees at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, the first big World’s Fair in the U.S…. The exhibit was some North Americans’ first look at kudzu, an Asian plant….This is where everything started going worse….Soon sellers started buying this vine….This weed soon spread to all parts of the U.S…..As farmers and families moved to cities, the land was left to whatever grew the fastest….Growing unchecked from a backyard garden, it will climb over a house…. From the edge of a field, it will carpet an orchard or smother a forest….

Kudzu Vine

8 ) Brown Tree Snake -

When we normally see a snake….we fear of our safety solely for the reason that it might bite us and we will dead within no time….Wish even the people in Guam had this fear….Because then they would not have allowed the Brown Tree Snake which reached there accidentally to survive …The people in that region let these cold blooded snakes roam thinking that they would get rid of snakes….But people were unknown to the fact that these snakes feast on the bird species in that region….Slowly these snakes grew to such large numbers that now they outnumber people in Guam….Almost 10 species of birds have become extinct….Now these snakes are busy finishing off the remaining two species….

Brown Tree Snake

7) Rabbit-

Can you think that even rabbits can cause destruction….Romans were the first who domesticated rabbits….Rome collapsed….But they left behind rabbits….Once farmers started planting vegetables, which happened at an untimely moment — when the rabbits’ natural predators declined — it was unclear who was in control….The most amount of destruction is caused by wild rabbits…three of them can eat as much as sheep eats….Enough to cause a huge dent for agriculture and a hole in the pockets for farmers!!!

Wild Rabbit

6) Water Hyacinth-

This is what I called beautiful disaster….They are pretty and purple….But they are prolific weeds that double their population in 12 days….These plants pose a huge nuisance to processes that move water…. They clog irrigation systems and drainage canals, causing flooding, and shut down hydroelectric power plants…. They also block water travel, which in places like Papua New Guinea, where the water is the road, stops life…. By lowering the amount of light and oxygen in the water, they transform water ecosystems, choking out fish and other plants and eventually turning open water into marshes….

Water Hyacinth

5) Nutria-

These species are look so much alike the beavers….that no one would believe these cute looking species could cause so much destruction….They slipped into lakes and marshes, where they munch the tender shoots, water lilies and reeds….They pull the grass out…this actually robs many animals of their mating places,including the  endangered dragonfly in Japan….For people, the nuisance stemmed from the flooding that happened when marshes were no longer there to soak up water….Nutria have become great crop destroyers, ravaging Italian rice farms, sugarcane and sugarbeet fields, as well as alfalfa patches…..

Nutria

4) Bush Currant-

Absolutely yummy looking berries….But this bush is major invasive species….Hawaiians call it the purple plague, and Tahitians dub it green cancer….This plant was mainly imported for its green and purple leaves….But slowly it starting taking over entire forests when forest gaps opened because of fires or landslides….Bush currant uses sunlight better than other rainforest trees, and it grows fast. The tree shades out any seedlings that try to colonize the gap…Once it forms dense stands, it prevents water from soaking into the ground….The shallow roots also encourage erosion and landslides, so if the invaded patch is on a slope, it eventually falls off the hillside…. At that point, the land isn’t even suited to agriculture, since erosion strips nutrients….Bush currant threatens about half of the native plants on Tahiti with extinction….This proves that all good looking things may not be GOOD!!!

Bush Currant

3) Indian Mongoose-

We Indians have grown up listening to the story of Mangoose who saved his owners kid’s life from snake….and died instead…. It has e become a problem on islands, from Puerto Rico to Hawaii….mongoose was introduced to eat rats….But instead they started feasting on  local birds and reptiles, especially species that laid eggs on the ground….Their appetite for threatened and endangered species has driven a bird, the Fijian bar-winged rail, and a snake, the Hispaniola racer, to extinction. In fact, name an island, and the mongoose is likely eating the eggs of a threatened species there, from the pink pigeons on Mauritius to the Garman’s ground lizards on Grenada. And the rats are still eating the sugarcane….

Indian Mongoose

2) Mute Swan-

These are lovely invasive species….But they hog resources and exclude other birds…. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Americans and Canadians imported these natives of Europe and Asia to decorate zoos and parks…. After being let out or flying away, the birds landed in lakes, ponds and wetlands…. Swans proved to be bad neighbors….Extremely territorial, they claimed entire lakes, driving off and killing other birds that encroached…. They’ll even attack children who get too close…. After claiming a body of water, they overgraze underwater plants, further excluding other birds… In winter, they eat the roots of plants meant to sprout in the spring, again robbing other birds of food….They’ve gorged enough to drive water plants locally extinct…. It’s not only birds and plants that suffer; swans change the water community enough to threaten the fish….

Mute Swan

1) CANE TOAD-

Cane toads are native to Mexico, Central America and South America, where they hide in wet areas of the forest…. When introduced throughout the world, cane toads were intended to be a farmer’s friend….. They eat insects, and farmers released them to attack beetles in fields of sugarcane, banana and other crops…. Now cane toads are hopping around Egypt, Hawaii and more. As toads do, they’ve found wet places to live: drain pipes, which they clog, and drinking water tanks, which they foul….They sit under houses and belt out their mating call, which sounds like a telephone dial tone….As predators, they’re little poison bombs…. When a death adder, one of the world’s most poisonous snakes, swallows a cane toad, the death adder dies…. Certainly if pet dogs and cats eat the toad, they’re in danger…. The toad can also squirt its toxic secretions several feet, so to kill a pet, the animal needs only to paw. The toad has helped to poison Guam’s monitor lizards into decline, and it kills way more than its fair share of extremely deadly snakes in Australia….

Cane Toad

This list is exhaustive….The only way out is that we stop acting God….and let Mother Nature do her job well….Any more additions will be more destructive!!!!

The Mystery Of The Origin of Child Birth????

THE mystery of what separated mammals that nurture their young ones for nine months from the marsupials and egg layers has finally been uncovered.

A study has found that many of the genes behind the development of modern mammalian pregnancy are controlled by genetic elements called transposons, long referred to as “junk DNA.” The research team from university of Yale in the US looked at the DNA of uterine cells from the possum, a marsupial that gives birth two weeks after conception and shelters its developing young in a pouch, and compared them with cells from armadillos and humans, which both carry their children to term in a womb. The uterine cells of armadillos and humans shared more than 1,500 genes that possums lacked.

The team also found about 13 per cent of these genes were near to a particular kind of transposon specific to placental mammals. These transposons made uterine cells sensitive to the hormone progesterone, encouraged cells’ development into the placenta and influenced a variety of other changes central to modern placental pregnancy.

The paper was published in Nature Genetics on September 25.