Are bacteria responsible for the magnetic ‘sixth sense’ of marine animals?

A new paper has suggested that a symbiotic relationship with magnetotactic bacteria, capable of sensing the Earth’s magnetic field, may be behind the incredible navigational skills of marine animals including penguins, turtles and whales. So is this what is going on? Or is it too soon to tell? Since the invention and advancement of satellite … More Are bacteria responsible for the magnetic ‘sixth sense’ of marine animals?

Number of anemone arms depends on how much food they eat

A new study into the starlet sea anemone (Nematostella vectensis) has revealed the number of tentacle arms they can grow throughout their life is determined by how much food they eat, which opens up interesting questions about the genetics of developmental biology.   In almost all animal species in the natural kingdom, the number of … More Number of anemone arms depends on how much food they eat

New ‘pregnancy-style tests’ can detect destructive crown-of-thorns starfish on GBR

A new testing kit created by researchers from Australia can detect the coral killing crown-of-thorns starfish in a similar way to a home pregnancy kit. Using a special dipstick researchers can detect microscopic amounts of their DNA at the surface, which could help control their destructive population outbreaks below. For well over 50 years the … More New ‘pregnancy-style tests’ can detect destructive crown-of-thorns starfish on GBR

New device could unravel the microscopic mysteries of plankton

Scientists from Stanford University have created a revolutionary new device which can study individual plankton movements in simulated oceanic conditions. It is hoped it will open up a whole new field of research into these microscopic organisms and the crucial roles they play in global systems. Despite their microscopic size, plankton are one of the … More New device could unravel the microscopic mysteries of plankton

Book club: ‘Eye of the Shoal’ by Helen Scales

‘A sprawling, ambitious underwater journey studded with fascinating tidbits’ – New York Times When talking about the most spectacular or interesting marine creatures in our oceans, it is often the case that fish don’t really get the credit they so rightfully deserve. Step forward Dr Helen Scales, who’s fantastic book ‘Eye of the Shoal: A … More Book club: ‘Eye of the Shoal’ by Helen Scales

Chemical in sea whips can be re-created to treat multi-drug resistant TB

A new technique by researchers in Germany allows for a special antibiotic compound in sea whips to be re-created without the need for harvesting or destroying the soft corals it is found in. In addition to helping treat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, this process could also be used to create other useful medicines. Sea whips (also … More Chemical in sea whips can be re-created to treat multi-drug resistant TB

Harmful light pollution reaches up to 75% of the seafloor surrounding coastal cities

A ground-breaking new study has revealed for the first time the extent to which light pollution from coastal cities reaches nearby seafloor environments. It revealed that up to 75% of the 3D space surrounding the habitats can be exposed to light pollution, which can have highly damaging effects. Around 3/4 of world’s megacities are now … More Harmful light pollution reaches up to 75% of the seafloor surrounding coastal cities

Scientists discover new penguin colonies from space

A new study using satellite mapping technology has revealed there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than was previously thought, which will help scientists accurately monitor the iconic seabirds in the future. Using Earth-orbiting satellites to locate and track marine animals is becoming an increasingly important study tool for researchers who are … More Scientists discover new penguin colonies from space

The effects of offshore wind farms on marine life

Written by Owen Harris Increasing awareness about anthropogenic climate change and mounting public pressure has led to many countries committing to reduce their use of fossil fuels and increase their development of renewable energy sources. Although the switch to renewable energy will have an overall positive effect on the global climate and natural world, the … More The effects of offshore wind farms on marine life