SeaOrbiter – a spaceship-like floating lab that could be exploring our oceans by 2016

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SeaOrbiter

Surprisingly, we know little about Earth’s oceans despite covering more than 70% of our planet’s surface. With more than 95% of the world’s underwater realm unexplored, scientists know more about the surface of the Moon and Mars than the bottom of the ocean. Due to intense pressures and poor visibility, the deep ocean is an extremely challenging place to study. But that could be set to change in the not too distant future, thanks to a pioneering architect’s ambitious project which will see a $50 million floating laboratory take to the seas.

 

 

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We harvest the blood of half a million horseshoe crabs a year for medical science

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Harvesting the blood of horseshoe crabs.

The marvelous thing about horseshoe crab blood besides the baby blue color, is a chemical found only in the amoebocytes of its blood cells that can detect mere traces of bacterial presence and trap them in inescapable clots.

 

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CHAT – a translator that turns dolphin sounds into English

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Dolphins are believed to be one of the most intelligent animal species on the planet.

Scientists have developed a working translator that can take dolphin sounds and turn them into spoken English. The translator called CHAT (Cetacean Hearing and Telemeintry), takes the whistling sounds that dolphins make to communicate, and matches them to a known database of meanings.

 

 

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Sharks use Twitter to warn Aussie swimmers

When a shark comes roughly within .6 mile to shore a transmitter triggers an alert to send a tweet.

Western Australia (WA) scientists have equipped at least 320 sharks with transmitters that update a Twitter feed when the shark nears shore, meaning that technology is one step closer to finally defeating sharks.

 

 

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Dolphins use whistles to call each other by individual names

Dolphins have individual signature whistles.

Humans use particular vocal labels for objects and for people. These are called words, and names. There are many animals that use sounds to convey information such as a wolf’s howl.  Some creatures, such as parrots and dolphins, can learn specific vocal labels. And wild dolphins are known to have particular, individual signature whistles. Scientists at Scotland’s St. Andrews University wanted to know: can these whistles be used as labels?

 

 

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Information war is the ‘new cold war’

An information war has erupted around the world.

Around the world an information war has erupted. The lines for battle have been drawn between governments that regard the free flow of information, and the ability to access it, as a matter of fundamental human rights, and those that regard official control of information as a fundamental sovereign prerogative. The contest is being waged institutionally in organizations like the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and daily in countries like Syria.

 

 

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Tool-using dolphins have been found to socialize in cliques

Dolphins that use marine sponges to forage for food have been found to socialize in cliques.

In the first definitive example of subculture in animals, Australian bottlenose dolphins that use marine sponges to forage for food have been found to socialize in cliques.

 

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Humpback whales living in same ocean basin found singing different tunes

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New findings about Humpback whales change old views.

Whale song and the development of whale culture is a fascinating thing. Now researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Columbia University and Australia have found that humpback whales from different sides of the same ocean basin are singing different songs — an surprising finding since whales from the same basin usually sing the same tunes.

Previously, when whale songs from the same basin were compared, researchers found that the songs typically consisted of the similar parts or what is called in whale song parlance as “themes,” or distinct sounds which are often repeated in cycles lasting up to 30 minutes…

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