Dutch young wolves born, after 200 years


This 2016 video from Arctic Canada says about itself:

Babysitting Cute Wolf Pups | Snow Wolf Family And Me | BBC

With the adults gone Gordon tries to get a closer look at the wolf pups and see if he can spot any differences between them.

Dutch NOS TV reports today that three young wolves were born in the Veluwe region in April this year.

This camera trap video shows them.

They are the first wolf cubs born in the Netherlands since about 200 years ago, when the species was exterminated.

Their parents probably came from Germany last year.

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Vietnam, Iraq wars based on lies, Sanders says


This 18 June 2019 CNN video from the USA is called Bernie Sanders: “The American People Were Lied To About The Gulf Of Tonkin [the pretext for Vietnam war escalation] And WMDs In Iraq!”

Remember that now that the Trump administration prepares to wage war on Iran on a dodgy pretext.

Donald Trump, Iran, and the Gulf of Tonkin Redux: here.

Antarctic marine life recovery after dinosaurs’ extinction


This August 2016 video says about itself:

Fossil hunters want to know what life was like when dinosaurs became extinct 66 million years ago. We join an Aussie [Australian] palaeontologist on a US expedition searching for dinosaur fossils in Antarctica, the most challenging place to explore the end of their ancient world.

From the British Antarctic Survey:

Antarctic marine life recovery following the dinosaurs’ extinction

June 19, 2019

A new study shows how marine life around Antarctica returned after the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs.

A team led by British Antarctic Survey studied just under 3000 marine fossils collected from Antarctica to understand how life on the sea floor recovered after the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction 66 million years ago. They reveal it took one million years for the marine ecosystem to return to pre-extinction levels. The results are published today (19 June 2019) in the journal Palaeontology.

The K-Pg extinction wiped out around 60% of the marine species around Antarctica, and 75% of species around the world. Victims of the extinction included the dinosaurs and the ammonites. It was caused by the impact of a 10 km asteroid on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, and occurred during a time period when the Earth was experiencing environmental instability from a major volcanic episode. Rapid climate change, global darkness, and the collapse of food chains affected life all over the globe.

The K-Pg extinction fundamentally changed the evolutionary history of life on Earth. Most groups of animals that dominate modern ecosystems today, such as mammals, can trace the roots of their current success back to the aftermath of this extinction event.

A team of scientists from British Antarctic Survey, the University of New Mexico and the Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland show that in Antarctica, for over 320,000 years after the extinction, only burrowing clams and snails dominated the Antarctic sea floor environment. It then took up to one million years for the number of species to recover to pre-extinction levels.

Author Dr Rowan Whittle, a palaeontologist at British Antarctic Survey says:

“This study gives us further evidence of how rapid environmental change can affect the evolution of life. Our results show a clear link in the timing of animal recovery and the recovery of Earth systems.”

Author Dr James Witts, a palaeontologist at University of New Mexico says:

“Our discovery shows the effects of the K-Pg extinction were truly global, and that even Antarctic ecosystems, where animals were adapted to environmental changes at high latitudes like seasonal changes in light and food supply, were affected for hundreds of thousands of years after the extinction event.”

Curing sick green turtles, new research


This is a 2010 video about green turtles from the BBC’s Life in Cold Blood documentary series.

From James Cook University in Australia:

Good viruses and bad bacteria: A world-first green sea turtle trial

June 19, 2019

Summary: A world-first study has found an alternative to antibiotics for treating bacterial infections in green sea turtles.

Researchers at the JCU Turtle Health Research Facility have conducted a first-of-its-kind study using what’s known as phage therapy as an option for bacterial infections in green sea turtles.

Phage therapy uses so-called ‘good viruses’ (bacteriophages) that occur naturally in the environment and kill bacteria.

Green turtles rely on ‘good bacteria’ in their gut to extract nutrients from food,” said Dr Robert Kinobe, one of the researchers involved in the study.

“This creates a challenge when it comes to treating bacterial infections because if we administer antibiotics, it can destroy the ‘good bacteria’ and make the turtle’s health worse.”

Researchers at the JCU Turtle Health Research Facility applied ‘good viruses’ to green sea turtles and found that it was successful in eliminating the targeted ‘bad bacteria’ without hampering the non-targeted ‘good bacteria’.

“This shows that phage therapy can be safe and effective enough to manipulate or treat targeted bacteria in green sea turtles,” said Dr Kinobe.

A further complication, previously identified by the JCU Turtle Health Research Facility, is the existence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the guts of green sea turtles, which are found in several locations along the Queensland coast.

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most critical issues we face, which is why this finding of an alternative to antibiotics is so important,” said co-author Dr Lisa Elliott.

“Bacteriophages and phage therapy have already been suggested as an alternative for antibiotics in humans, but we also need to investigate its scope for treatment in animals.”

The research has been published in the Journal of Environmental Microbiology and opens the door for future applications of phage therapy as an alternative to antibiotics in treating bacterial infections in turtles and other marine animals.

‘Investigate Saudi crown prince for murdering journalist’


This 19 June 2019 video says about itself:

U.N. Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard gives live interview as her final report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is released.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

United Nations rapporteur wants investigation of role of Saudi Crown Prince in Khashoggi case

A UN Special Rapporteur wants a criminal investigation into the role of high-ranking Saudis in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The UN must insist that the responsibility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should also be looked at, says the special UN rapporteur for extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard in a report.

“The guilt has not yet been established. The only conclusion is that there is credible evidence and that further investigation is needed”, she writes. According to her, Crown Prince Mohammed played a key role in the campaign against dissidents. She considers it unthinkable that an operation like this could take place without his knowledge.

Saudi Arabia did not cooperate in the investigation. Callamard was not allowed to interrogate people in that country. She was also not allowed to enter the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi was murdered on October 2 last year.

She did have access to sound recordings made by the Turkish secret service in the consulate. Khashoggi came to the consulate in Istanbul to arrange papers for his marriage. According to Callamard, two Saudi secret agents spoke shortly before his arrival how they would cut his body into pieces.

Once inside, Khashoggi was told that he would be taken to Saudi Arabia, the recordings show. His interrogator instructed him to send an email to his son. Then sounds of struggle can be heard. Khashoggi must have been killed afterwards. His remains have not been found.

Eleven suspects are on trial for the murder in Saudi Arabia. That happens behind closed doors. The names of most suspects were not disclosed.

So, there is a kangaroo court trial for a few low-level fall guys. Aiming at beheading them, so they won’t ever be able to tell who (His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman) ordered them to murder Khashoggi.

CALL FOR SAUDI PRINCE TO BE INVESTIGATED OVER KHASHOGGI DEATH An independent UN human rights expert investigating the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is calling for an investigation into the possible involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, citing “credible evidence”. [AP]

How seals dive, new research


This 2017 video is called Meet the Harbour Seal.

From PLOS:

Wearable device reveals how seals prepare for diving

June 18, 2019

A wearable non-invasive device based on near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) can be used to investigate blood volume and oxygenation patterns in freely diving marine mammals, according to a study publishing June 18 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by J. Chris McKnight of the University of St. Andrews, and colleagues. The results provide new insights into how voluntarily diving seals distribute blood and manage the oxygen supply to their brains and blubber, yielding important information about the basic physiological patterns associated with diving.

In response to submersion in water, mammals show a suite of cardiovascular responses such as reduced heart rate and constriction of peripheral blood vessels. But investigating dive-by-dive blood distribution and oxygenation in marine mammals has up to now been limited by a lack of non-invasive technology that can be used in freely diving animals.

The authors hypothesized that NIRS could address this gap in knowledge by providing high-resolution relative measures of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin within specific tissues, which can in turn be used to estimate changes in blood volume. In the new study, McKnight and colleagues adapted NIRS technology for use on freely diving harbor seals to investigate blood volume and oxygenation patterns specifically in the brain and blubber, using a device that they dub the PortaSeal.

The authors used the PortaSeal to obtain detailed continuous NIRS data from four seals swimming freely in a quasi-natural foraging habitat. The device is superglued to the animals’ fur; either on their heads to measure cerebral blood, or on the shoulder to monitor peripheral circulation; it is then easily removed, and the data downloaded.

Intriguingly, the results showed that seals routinely constrict their peripheral blood vessels, accompanied by increased cerebral blood volume, approximately 15 seconds before submersion. These anticipatory adjustments suggest that blood redistribution in seals is under some degree of cognitive control and is not just a reflex response to submersion. Seals also routinely increase cerebral oxygenation at a consistent time during each dive, despite a lack of access to air.

The authors propose that the ability to track blood volume and oxygenation in different tissues using NIRS will enable a more accurate understanding of physiological plasticity in diving animals in what is an increasingly disturbed and exploited environment.

“Discovering that seals, which are physiologically fascinating animals, can seemingly actively exert control over their circulatory systems is really exciting,” Said Dr McKnight. “It gives a new perspective on the capacity to control the body’s fundamental physiological responses. Getting this insight with non-invasive wearable technology from the bio-medical field offers many exciting future research avenues. We can start to study organs, like the brain, of seals in the open ocean performing exceptional feats like diving to 2000m for 2hrs with heart rates as low as 2bpm, and yet somehow avoid brain trauma.”