Crows making tools, video

This video says about itself:

28 June 2018

New Caledonian crows can remember what a tool looks like and then make a new one just from memory. Read more here.


Boris Johnson gone, all British Conservative ministers should follow

This video from the British parliament says about itself:

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn Responds to Boris Johnson Resignation to Theresa [May] in Houses of Parliament, London, England, UK, July 9, 2018.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

After Davis and Johnson quit: now it’s time for the rest of them

THE resignations of Brexit secretary David Davis and foreign secretary Boris Johnson clearly show that Theresa May has “no authority”, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told MPs today.

Their departures came in response to the Brexit blueprint that she cobbled together during a 12-hour Cabinet meeting at Chequers last Friday, which would see Britain agree a “common rule book” with the European Union.

Before Mr Johnson’s resignation was announced, his Labour counterpart Emily Thornberry listed ministerial quitters since November last year — Sir Michael Fallon, Priti Patel, Damian Green, Justine Greening, Amber Rudd and David Davis.

“There have been six resignations in 249 days. That’s one every six weeks”, she pointed out.

Now with seven resignations — eight with the inclusion of junior Brexit minister Steve Baker, who quit shortly after Mr Davis — Ms May’s government looks increasingly shaky.

Some Labour MPs shouted “resign”, while others mockingly waved goodbye as Ms May took to the Commons despatch box.

Mr Corbyn told MPs: “There are now only a few months left until these negotiations are supposed to conclude.

“We have a crisis in government, two secretaries of state have resigned and still we are no clearer on what the future relationship with our nearest neighbours and biggest partners will look like.

“Workers and businesses deserve better than this. It is clear … this government is not capable of securing a deal to protect the economy, jobs and living standards. This government cannot secure a good deal for Britain.”

He also criticised Mr Davis’s replacement, Dominic Raab, telling MPs: “This new Secretary of State is on record as wanting to ‘tear up people’s rights’.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell tweeted: “With a Prime Minister incapable of holding her ministerial team together and with such instability in government it’s impossible to see how EU leaders could take Theresa May seriously in the next round of negotiations.

“It’s time for her and her party to put country before party and go.”

Reports suggested that Ms May could face a leadership contest, with Conservatives unhappy with the Brexit plan apparently planning to trigger one by sending letters to the 1922 committee of the party’s backbenchers.

Leave-supporting Environment Secretary Michael Gove was reported to have pressed his Cabinet colleagues to back the proposals, under which Britain will remain subject to EU rules on goods.

Mr Johnson voiced support for the plan despite having previously said that to do so would be like “polishing a turd.”

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas called for a vote in no confidence in the government to trigger a general election.

In a dig at Mr Johnson’s resignation over the government’s Brexit plan, she tweeted: “I guess it gives him more time to polish his turds…

“But what an utter tragedy that, at a time like this, the country is being led by such a bunch of selfish incompetents. None of them can be trusted.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford wrote: “The foreign secretary should never have had the opportunity to resign. He should have been sacked months ago as a national embarrassment.”

A replacement for Mr Johnson had not been announced when the Star went to press.

Now it has: Jeremy Hunt.

GMB union general secretary Tim Roache warned that Mr Raab’s appointment as Brexit Secretary “signals a promotion of a hard-right figurehead who has shown contempt for working people in Britain.

“Theresa May has appointed someone who thinks British workers are lazy and have too many rights and he has already published plans to slash vital rights, from the minimum wage to rights for agency workers.”

BORIS BOLTS The British government is close to collapse following the resignation of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson over Brexit negotiations. Johnson’s resignation came a day after Brexit Secretary David Davis and his junior minister Steve Baker also stepped down. Compounding the fraught situation, Trump is due to arrive in the U.K. on Friday. [HuffPost]

Yesterday, the Star predicted that the Chequers “agreement” on a post-Brexit negotiating stance would not last very long. Within 24 hours, David Davis and Boris Johnson have rushed to prove the Morning Star right. Their resignations as Brexit Secretary and Foreign Secretary, respectively, have plunged the minority Tory government into what could turn into a terminal crisis: here.

Pressure mounts on May as Tory vice-chairs quit: here.

Workers and young people march on a Tories Out! demonstration in 2017

BORIS Johnson has resigned as Foreign Secretary, the third minister to walk out of the May government: here.

Davis resignation shatters Tories as May goes looking for Labour votes: here.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns to prepare possible Conservative leadership challenge: here.

Concerted efforts to save May’s government and the chance of a “soft Brexit”: here.

BORIS JOHNSON was branded a “pound-shop Donald Trump” today after saying that Muslim women wearing burkas “look like letter boxes” or bank robbers: here.

Chestnut-headed oropendolas in Panama

This video says about itself:

Chestnut-headed Oropendolas Take Over Panama Feeders – July 9, 2018

Watch a group of Chestnut-headed Oropendolas bounce around the Panama Fruit Feeder cam as they forage on bananas.

Watch LIVE 24/7 with highlights and viewing resources at

The Panama Fruit Feeder Cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Canopy Family.

I saw this species in Costa Rica.

Sea anemones, new research

This 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

There are many scientific studies that apply traditional approaches to ecological, physiological, and molecular research questions. However, these studies largely test these questions at only a single level of the biological hierarchy (microscopic to macroscopic). The Systems Science in Marine Biology (SSiMBio) group at Oregon State University believes that a broader, systems view is needed in order to make progress as it provides a powerful framework for understanding how the processes occurring at some biological levels lead to predictable outcomes at other levels. Our group is developing the temperate symbiotic sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima as a model system for this systems biology approach. This video encapsulates the meaning and goals of our group by showing many different aspects of this system on many biological levels.

From the Institut Pasteur in France:

The sea anemone, an animal that hides its complexity well

July 9, 2018

Despite its apparent simplicity — a tube-like body topped with tentacles -, the sea anemone is actually a highly complex creature. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, in collaboration with the CNRS, have just discovered over a hundred different cell types in this small marine invertebrate as well as incredible neuronal diversity. This surprising complexity was revealed when the researchers built a real cell atlas of the animal. Their findings, which will add to discussions on how cells have diversified and developed into organs during evolution, have been published in the journal Cell.

The sea anemone Nematostella vectensis provides a perfect model for researchers — apart from its stinging tentacles perhaps. It is a small marine invertebrate that is easy to keep in the laboratory and whose genome is simple enough to study its workings and close enough to that of humans for conclusions to be drawn. “When the sea anemone genome was sequenced in 2007, scientists discovered that it was very similar to the human genome, both in terms of the number of genes (roughly 20,000) and its organization, explains Heather Marlow, a specialist in developmental biology in the (Epi)genomics of Animal Development Unit at the Institut Pasteur and the main author of this study. These similarities make the sea anemone an ideal model for studying the animal genome and understanding interactions existing between genes.” It also has another advantage — its strategic position in the tree of life. The cnidaria branch that anemones belong to separated from the bilateria branch, in other words from most other animals, including humans, over 600 million years ago. “The anemone can therefore also help us to understand the origin and evolution of the multiple cell types making up the bodies and organs of animals, and particularly their nervous systems”, sums up Heather Marlow.

To try and understand a little more about sea anemones — and consequently about the whole animal kingdom -, Heather Marlow’s team decided to examine this cnidarian, cell by cell. Thanks to an innovative technique, the animal’s tiny cells — that measure no more than 1 micron in diameter — were isolated one by one, and their RNA analyzed. As although chromosomal DNA contains all genes, RNA shows those that are active. “The development of genome approaches at single-cell level can be used to accurately list the different cell types and also identify the genes responsible for the function of each of these cells”, explains Heather Marlow. In total, and unexpectedly, over a hundred different cell types were identified, grouped into eight main cell families (muscle, digestive, neuronal, epidermal, etc.). And one of the greatest surprises of this research concerns the nervous system. Close to thirty different types of neurons — peptidergic, glutamatergic or even insulinergic — were identified, revealing a relatively complex nervous and sensory system.

This research should therefore help evolution specialists to establish the common ancestor of cnidaria (anemones) on the one hand and bilateria (humans) on the other. Undoubtedly this ancestor already had some level of cell complexity. In addition, even though the sea anemone appears to be very different from us, it reveals the fundamental rules that today enable its cells, and our own, to perform so many different functions. “The cell is the basic element making up living beings.” By defining how the information coded by the genome determines the identity of each cell, we hope to uncover the mechanisms conserved by all animals that are essential for their development and homeostasis”, concludes Heather Marlow.