May 11, 2009
New Caledonia, a French territory in the South Pacific, is the hottest spot on Earth for biodiversity, says a study in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. That island boasts a rich array of unique plant and animal species, which are increasingly under threat from humans.
In the study, ecologist Holger Kreft of the University of California, San Diego and his colleagues looked at what they termed "endemism richness," or the number of unique species combined with the overall number of species around the world.
Dec 9, 2008 | 1
Naming your kid after you is one thing. But imagine if an entire species were named for you.
This week, Purdue University is auctioning off the rights to name seven newly discovered bats and two turtles, the Associated Press is reporting. The winners — who will shell out a minimum of $250,000 for at least one of the bats, a Purdue spokesman told ScientificAmerican.com — can link their own name or that of a pal to the animal’s scientific name.
"Unlike naming a building or something like that, this is much more permanent. This will last as long as we have our society," John Bickham, who co-discovered the nine species, told the AP.
The practice of binomial nomenclature dates back to the 18th century, when Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus began classifying organisms with their genus name and species — sometimes dubbing plants or animals with the names of scientists he disliked. But buying the name is a recent development that’s occurred only in the past three years, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Oct 23, 2008 | 3
There's a little bit of know-it-all Cheers postman Cliff Claven in all of us. So we were intrigued to learn of a little-known fact: Half of the planet's 7,000 languages are headed for extinction over the next century.
That phenomenon, the result of aging populations in regions made remote by terrain or migration, will be put on display on a small scale today, when speakers of 100 or more languages race to translate a speech by linguist K. David Harrison within 72 hours. He'll describe the endangered language problem at PopTech, a three-day conference of leaders in science, business, technology and the arts in Camden, Maine.
Deadline: Jan 11 2014
Reward: $20,000 USD
Conventional washing machines cause excessive damage and wrinkling to clothes primarily during the water removal step. With the introduc
Deadline: Dec 11 2013
Reward: $52,000 USD
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