Tag Archives: News

Panda eats meat??!!

In part of Sichuan province a camera has also been taken film when a giant panda was eating meat. It is unlikely the panda pictured killed the antelope in the picture and may have fortuitously stumbled across the animal in the forest.

A significant part of the panda diet consists of fresh bamboo shoots, but the professionals are aware that their diet is less than one percent of meat and other plants make up. Moreover, some pandas prefer to eat meat than others. The panda  belongs to the bears family, so basically carnivorous animals typical of the digestive system. Because of this carnivorous digestive system the panda derives little energy and protein from consumption of bamboo so must eat as much as 14kg a day to stay healthy. The evolution of the course is completely adapted to a vegetarian diet. Sometimes, however, seem to have to get out the old behavior. For example in last May, a panda caught a peacock in a Chinese zoo.

The giant panda is the world’s most threatened animals. Unfortunately,  their future remains uncertain. In 2005 the Chinese government had established over 50 panda reserves, protecting more than 2.5 million acres. Its diverse habitats contain many rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna, the best known being the giant panda. But habitat loss continues to occur outside of protected areas, while poaching remains an ever-present threat. This amazing animal is the symbol of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) since 1961.

Ilona Kaszanyi

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Longer survival for ichthyosaurs, not like what scientists assumed

These prehistoric marine vertebrates have survived long after their assumed date ofdeath.

By Abdullah Abbadi/Blue Line News

Reconstitution of the new ichthyosaur Acamptonectes Densus. C. Mr. Kosemen

The ichthyosaurs were giant marine reptiles like the plesiosaurs and mosasaurs, whose ancestors were terrestrial reptiles. “Their size varied from less than one meter and more than 20m. Some were fast swimmers and able to dive to great depths with huge eyeballs and a warm-blooded physiology, “said Valentin Fischer at the University of Liège. The ichthyosaurs were a major component of marine ecosystems of the time of the dinosaurs, occupying many ecological niches.
Until recently, paleontologists believed they had been largely decimated, there are 145 million years ago during the JurassicCretaceous extinction. But discovery of a new species of ichthyosaur significantly changes our understanding of evolution and extinction of marine reptiles of the dinosaur era, according to a study published this week in PLoS ONE by an international team of Belgian scientists , British and German.
Researchers after examinations and dating of fossils belonging to several museums, including a new species of Acamptonectes Densus discovery, researchers were able to estimate the degree of species diversity of ichthyosaurs during the Jurassic-Cretaceous extinction and the period following . They show that ichthyosaurs did not suffer a major extinction at the end of the Jurassic (there are 145 million years) and the ichthyosaurs have remained very diverse until their final extinction, which lasted for about 94 million years.

Selected source from editor for further read: Plos Published: January 3, 2012

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Mysterious fossils shed light on the origin of animals

Scientists discover a “sixth toe” on the legs of an elephant

Quasi – Unusual crystals fell into the Earth from the Space

The rock sample in which the quasi-crystals have been found. © Paul Steinhardt

Unusual construction crystals identified in the Korjak-mountain, Russia. The substance is not formed on earth, but fell into our planet from space. The so-called quasi-crystals have existed only in the laboratory, and not even the experts expected to occur in nature. Previously, only a vacuum chamber, the procedure was difficult to establish quasi-crystals. Such crystals are different  from “classical” counterparts, do not follow the usual rules of spatial symmetries and different physical and electrical properties are also shown. The sample has the isotopic composition was analyzed and found that the material of the oxygen isotope ratio of the observed carbonaceous chondrite meteoritkban like – so the body fell to earth from space. This strange material described first by scientist Daniel Schechtman, who received the Nobel Prize for chemistry because of this experiments in 2011. The researcher spotted a unique diffraction pattern of concentric circles made up of ten bright dots, all at the same distance from each other.  At the time, scientists thought a crystal could have only four to six such dots. The quasi-crystals are similar like  the fascinating Aperiodic mosaics of the Arabic world ( the medieval Islamic mosaics of the Alhambra Palace in Spain or the Darb-i Imam Shrine in Iran), have helped scientists understand what quasi-crystals look like at the atomic level.  It has unique physical properties, so scientists are also experimenting with using the crystals in products ranging from diesel engines to frying pans.

Written by Ilona Kaszanyi

source: Origo.hu

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Memory loss may be due to silent strokes

Not detected Cerebrovascular accidents ( stroke ) appear to be one of the causes of the deficit of memory , according to a U.S. study. This provides an additional explanation to the decline of certain cognitive abilities. And perhaps in Alzheimer’s disease

Written by Abdullah Abbadi/Blue Line News

The similarity between the hippocampus of the brain with the famous fish syngnathid is striking. Area of the brain associated with memory, the hippocampus appears to be affected by silent strokes. © Prof. Laszlo Seress, Wikipedia, cc by sa 3.0

Strokes are more common than we think. But mostly they show symptoms, affecting only a few neurons. They are called silent. Apparently they can occur from age 30 and one out of three is victimized each year from age 70. Taken individually, these strokes have little impact, but over time, the consequences can be noticed.

A study by researchers at Columbia University in New York (USA) and published in Neurology show their impact on memory.

Memory is a very complex process. One of its headquarters would be the brain hippocampus, a small structure included in the medial temporal lobe of the mammalian brain. This is where good numbers are stored with memories that can be expressed verbally (general knowledge, true stories in the past). Previous studies have argued that a small hippocampus was associated with cognitive decline.

A connection between cognitive ability and number of silent strokes

This scan shows blood flow in the brain (white) following a massive stroke, while the dark spot just above corresponds to the swelling that results. © James Heilman, Wikipedia, cc by sa 3.0

In this research, 658 healthy people aged 79 years on average were passed to MRI and were also subjected to tests of memory, language, speed of information processing and visual perception. Of these, 174 (26%) had silent strokes.

Those people were less efficient in the various intellectual tests, including those relating to memory, than their peers, regardless of the size of their hippocampus. This shows that the volume of the hippocampus is not the only data used to estimate the decline in cognitive abilities , but these cerebral infarcts do play a role.

The risk factors of stroke are the obesity accompanied by its share of cardiovascular disease , as well as the blood pressure or the cholesterol . The damage they cause, even on a small scale, are irreversible.

Adam Brickman, a co-author of the study, even believe that the implications of this discovery can go beyond the simple prevention of cognitive decline related to age naturally. ” I think we are at the beginning of a story [medical] in which [is considered] the disease contributes to cardiovascular symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease . “In any case in this direction that research will continue.

Selected Sources for further read:

ABC News published Dec 29,2011

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Ice skaters and molecules run on the same principle


 The macro and the micro were linked through an ingenious experiment published last week. Scientists from Michigan State University showed that the way molecules shift energy around, is governed by the same principle that allows figure skaters to shift speeds during a twirl on the ice. Find out how chemistry and physics link up in one glowing molecule.

Everyone, even those contemptuous of ice skating, has seen a figure skater’s spin speed up as she draws her extended arms and legs towards her body. This is an example of the conservation of angular momentum. When the figure skater enters the spin with extended arms, the overall energy of her body has to move her hands and arms in large circles. As she pulls her arms in, there’s just as much energy as there was before, but the hands only move in small circles around the body. To conserve energy, the whole body moves faster.

Conservation of angular momentum has always been considered universal. Now, a new experiment positively demonstrates that it applies both to the way energy moves in chemicals and the way our spinning skater moves on ice. A group of chemists, lead by James McCusker, found a way to show that a luminescent reaction was also ruled by the conservation of angular momentum.

Skaters aren’t the only things that spin. Electrons do as well, and if they do it in pairs, they generally cancel out. Unpaired electrons, then, determine the ‘value’ of angular momentum for any given molecule. The molecule for this experiment involves two extensions of atoms from a core chromium atom. When energy is pushed into the system, in the form of photons, it is converted into a sort of ‘electronic’ energy – an elevated state of the electrons in the extensions of the molecule. The energy is then transferred from the extensions to the chromium core, which sends the energy back out in the form of light. This molecule, in essence, gives off light when light is shone on it. Or, at least it should do so when angular momentum is conserved in the transfer of the energy from the extension to the core.

The scientists then came up with another molecule. It is exactly the same as the first, except the chromium core is ripped out and a cobalt core is put in its place. If energy were transferred from the extensions of the molecule to its cobalt core, the core would light up, just as before. However, a different number of unpaired electrons would be spinning, and angular momentum would not be conserved.

If conservation of angular momentum wasn’t a key part of the shift of energy within that molecule, either both molecules would light up, or neither would. If conservation of angular momentum was key, then the first molecule would light up, and the second would not. To everyone’s satisfaction, the chromium molecule lit up and the cobalt molecule did not. Angular momentum is just as important to tiny systems as it is to large ones.

McCusker told “Basically, we designed a molecule that, if angular momentum was conserved, would have this reaction. The energy only transfers if the total angular momentum is conserved.”

Published in Io9 Jan2, 2012

Science of Champagne – A Toast to the Chemistry of Champagne

Champagne, like any other wine made from grapes that are pressed and stored in special conditions to allow the fermentation led to the transformation into alcohol. So lets bust your friends with this amazing champagne science.

They may already know about French law, which decrees that grapes must be grown in the region of Champagne in order for sparkling wine to qualify as true champagne. But your companions might not know about Henry’s Law, explains a New Year’s themed video produced by the American Chemical Society.

This law of physics states that the pressure of a gas above a solution is proportional to the concentration of the gas within the solution. For champagne, carbon dioxide is the gas that forms those delightful bubbles. And, in an unopened bottle of champagne, there is equilibrium between the CO2 inside the liquid and the gas in the spaces of the cork.

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Popping the cork disturbs this equilibrium, which is only regained as the CO2 bubbles out. To get the most pleasure out of your drink, make sure to pour on an angle, which preserves up to twice as much CO2 compared to pouring into the middle of the glass, found a 2010 paper in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry.

“As the bubbles ascend the length of the glass in tiny trains,” the video explains, “they drag along molecules of flavor and aroma which explode out of the surface, tickling the nose and stimulating the senses.”

Making champagne involves two fermentations that must be done just right to ensure the correct concentration of bubbles in the final product. During the first fermentation, just as for any other kind of wine, yeast eats up sugar molecules in grape juice and releases CO2 and ethanol. The second fermentation traps CO2 inside the liquid.

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This process is not easy. During the 1600s, when Dom Pérignon is rumored to have discovered champagne (or at least helped perfect it), bottles sometimes ended up with no bubbles. Other times, CO2 levels were so high that bottles exploded.

If you really want to be the life of the party, you may want to pull out a microscope at this point. Under magnification, according to the ACS, you can witness exploding bubbles deforming neighboring bubbles. Now, watch as “gorgeous flower shaped structures blossom and then disappear in the blink of an eye.”

Editor explanation of the champagne science

The variation to champagne, is held at the champagne (technical term for thetransformation of wine into champagne) this corresponds to adding white wine yeastpreviously formed to cause a second fermentation. Now the products of afermentation reaction is the formation of alcohol molecules but also molecules of carbon dioxide, whose formula is CO2, which is commonly called carbon dioxide.

This carbon dioxide is far and after the fermentation reaction, dissolves in the liquid. But these CO2 molecules have only one thing in mind is to escape and resume their gaseous state, what they will do once they are nolonger held in a tightly closed container. So more precisely as soon as one opens the bottle.

Scientists note at the same time that if the cork skips, when you open the bottle, it’s also because of the pressure caused by the dissolved gas escapes.

To give an order of magnitude, it is considered that if CO2 was in the gaseous state, it would represent a volume of 5 liters in one bottle of champagne. CO2 escapes as bubbles but also and mainly to the contact surface between air and champagne, by diffusion.

However those bubbles in a more practical, how are they formed? what is their origin?

For understanding, we must start from a clean glass. . The champagne bubbles are formed from the impurities found in the container in whichthe champagne is poured. These impurities can be of any nature, limestone deposits, scale, cellulosic fibers from the cloth used to wipe the glass or dust suspended in the air that came to settle in the same glass.

In short, when the champagne is poured into the cup … or the flute … or glass available, a microscopic gas pocket is trapped by these impurities and it is from them that the bubbles of carbon dioxide will form the champagne. Because they will some how feel freed from the pressure of the liquid around them.

This means, surprisingly, in a perfectly clean glass, champagne does not have a bubble!This does not stop to consider the quality of champagne in terms of its effervescence.

Attention, the abuse of alcohol is dangerous for health.

Editor Nisha Loyalka

Follow Nisha on Twitter 

Mysterious fossils shed light on the origin of animals

Fossils older than 570 million years provide new secrets about the evolution of animals from a single cell. These fossils are neither strange bacteria, as some thought, nor animal cells, as others believed. But then what are they?

Images of one of the cell clusters fuels achieved by X-ray tomography A: three-dimensional representation for external. Six cells are visible. B: a cut in the cluster shows three nuclei. C: all nuclei are visible. The green is being divisive. Magnification: 4405 times. © Huldtgren et al., 2011, Science

Doushantuo is a region of southern China where fossil composed of cell clusters and aged 570 million years were discovered in 1998. For some researchers, they correspond to an embryonic form of the first metazoan animals . Indeed, the arrangement of fossilized cells resemble a morula, the first stage of embryonic development of an animal (the word, the Latin word meaning blackberry, and evokes the shape of this small cluster of cells). For others, these fossils could be bacteria . A study by Philip Donoghue and Stefan Bengtson, both paleontologists respectively at the University of Bristol and the Swedish Museum of Natural History , unveils publishing results undermining the two hypotheses in the journals Science
and PNAs . They are neither bacteria nor the embryos of animals.The new results were obtained using X-ray tomographic microscopy This method allows you to see inside fossils in three dimensions, without damaging them. About 450 fossils were analyzed. Fourteen cores were observed inside the fossilized cells. This result invalidates the hypothesis that these life forms are bacteria. Indeed, they are devoid of any nucleus. That same characteristic that earned them the name of prokaryotes (in contrast to eukaryotes, including ourselves, with plants, amoebae and some others).

Then are they animals? No. Cells were fossilized in the process of division when the nucleus cleave. However, the nuclear membrane the animal cells disappear during cell division. Therefore, the fossils do not contain animal cells. What is it then?

A single-celled ancestor of the animal kingdom

Some fossilized cell clusters observed in tomography are surrounded by a protective envelope. Cells located inside look like spores. A fossil even shows one of those ripped membranes with cells that escape. Compared with organisms living today, researchers have concluded that the fossils belonged to the group of Mesomycetozoea, part of the protists. This set is comprised mainly of single-celled organisms that are neither bacteria nor animals but can be considered as single-celled ancestors of the animal kingdom. In addition, species in this group produce large quantities of spores within a protective membrane over their reproduction. Thus, these old fossils 570 million years could account for the spores of the unicellular
ancestor of the animal kingdom. This information fills some holes that remain in the evolutionary history of animals.

According to the authors of this study, the results should be used to challenge existing theories about how the animals have learned to build multicellular structures from single cells. Some paleontologists, however, hold to clarify that it is necessary to take these results with caution because many fungi have characteristics similar to what was described by Philip Donoghue and colleagues. So, perhaps, other possible candidates. In science, everything is proved … until proven otherwise!

Abdullah Al Abbadi

Source: Planet Earth  published Dec 23, 2011

Scientists discover a “sixth toe” on the legs of an elephant

Written: Abdullah Al Abbadi

The mysterious growth observed on the legs of elephants and baffled scientists for more than three centuries seems like a “sixth toe” that allows elephants to keep the balance, according to a study published 23-Dec-2011 in Science magazine.

Since the first dissection of an elephant in 1706, the mystery hanging over the reason for this observed bone at the back of the legs of elephants.

“People just did not know what it was,” John Hutchinson of the Royal Veterinary College in London, at the head of the scientific team that made the discovery, told the BBC.

“All those who have studied the legs of elephants questioned on the subject. They thought: + Hmm, it’s weird + and they move on,” he added.

“We decided to look into the matter and concluded that even if it was not a real toe, which acted as a toe to help the elephant to support its weight,” said the scientist .

“It’s a funny little piece of cartilage that has stretched over time to become a long bone,” says Hutchinson. “This is a great example of tinkering” that frequently accompanies the evolution of species, he noted. Scientists reached this conclusion after studying such fossils of elephants. When the first elephants have been around 55 million years, they had relatively flat feet, the structure has evolved there are about 40 million years while the elephants got bigger.

Selected Source for further read: Source LONDON (AFP) – 23/12/2011 5:39 p.m.

Smallest black hole was found

The binary star system IGR J17091-3624 may contain the smallest black hole known. Scientists discovered it by studying the heartbeat-like pattern of X-rays thought to be emitted from a disk of accreting matter around the black hole. CREDIT: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab

Using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite of NASA observing the stars in the field of X-rays , a group of astronomers has found what appears to be the smallest known black hole . It’s light curve is similar to electrocardiogram .
The stellar black holes are formed during the collapse of a gravitational star mass. Stars like the Sun just aren’t massive enough to become black holes. Instead, in several billion years, the Sun will cast off its outer layers, and its core will form a white dwarf . So the star must exceed several times the mass of the Sun in order to become a black hole.

Typically, when this happens, the star explodes in a supernova . But recent studies regarding the black hole Cygnus X1 , suggest that this is not always the case. Still, a stellar black hole should not have a mass less than the so-called Chandrasekhar, in other words about 1.44 solar mass. If one were to discover a black hole of smaller mass, for example through the observations of Kepler , the energy from the gravitational collapse is not sufficient to produce the neutrons of a neutron star, so the collapse is halted by electron degeneracy to form white dwarfs.

Researchers think the system, officially called IGR J17091-3624, includes one normal star with a companion black hole, the black hole, if it truly exists, would weigh  three times less than the mass of the sun, putting it near the theoretical minimum mass required for a black hole to be stable. Mass would stream off this normal star and fall toward the black hole, forming a flattened disk around it. As friction in the disk heats the gas to millions of degrees, the disk would emit high-energy X-rays that can be seen across the galaxy.

As changes occur inside the disk, cyclical variations can be seen in the X-rays streaming from it, which pulse in varied intensity like a heartbeat.

“We think that most of these patterns represent cycles of accumulation and ejection in an unstable disk, and we now see seven of them in IGR J17091,” researcher Tomaso Belloni of the Brera Observatory in Merate, Italy, said in a statement. “Identifying these signatures in a second black hole system is very exciting.”

The astronomers recognized the signal from this system because of its similarity to another black hole system called GRS 1915+105 that pulses in much the same way. This other system contains a black hole that weighs about 14 times the sun’s mass, which sends out X-rays in highly structured patterns that last between seconds and hours.

In comparison, the newly observed system has an X-ray heartbeat that pulses 20 times fainter than GRS 1915 and cycles back to the beginning of the pattern about eight times faster, in as little as 5 seconds.

“Just as the heart rate of a mouse is faster than an elephant’s, the heartbeat signals from these black holes scale according to their masses,” said Diego Altamirano, an astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and lead author of a paper reporting the findings in the Nov. 4 issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Source: Space.com

How Egypt’s Revolution Has Dialed Back Women’s Rights

Vickie Langohr
December 22, 2011

(Mosa'aberising / flickr)

This past week was a pivotal moment for the struggle for women’s rights in Egypt. In response to more protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, police and government security forces beat and stripped several female demonstrators. One moment captured by a photographer ricocheted around the country, and seemingly just as fast, around the world: A woman, her black abaya yanked over her head to expose her naked torso and blue bra, was dragged by helmeted security forces over the pavement. One of them stood over her, hurling his foot down at her bare stomach. Days later, an estimated 10,000 women struck back in a mass rally in central Cairo declaring, “the daughters of Egypt are a red line” that cannot be crossed.

But the abuse of female protesters in Tahrir Square is just the latest in a series of challenges to women’s rights since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Soon after his regime fell, many quarters of Egyptian society started fighting to dial back many of the gains women have made in recent years. And, the success of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis in the first two rounds of elections suggests that the new parliament may in fact push restrictions into policy.

The revolution may have come to Egypt, but for women, it may mean anything but progress.

Fearing the rollback of some women’s rights, the United States may consider supporting the Egyptian military’s bid to maintain control in the hope that that the generals will protect women’s position. But given the military’s own atrocious record on women’s rights — as its treatment of female protesters makes clear — Washington should avoid this temptation at all costs.

Women began complaining about their lack of representation in positions of policy within days of Mubarak’s departure, when the SCAF appointed an all-male committee to write constitutional principles for a March referendum. Things only got worse after that. On March 9, soldiers subjected at least 20 female protesters to electric shocks and beatings and inflicted so-called virginity checks on seven of them. An Egyptian officer justified the abuse by claiming that “the girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine. These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square.” Virginity checks were necessary, he said, because “we didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place. None of them were (virgins).”

Despite their responsibility for violence against women, military officials regularly invoke their concern for the safety of female activists as a reason to exclude them from government and to maintain emergency law. After the Minister of Local Development said that he would consider appointing women to head some of Egypt’s 26 governorates for the first time in Egyptian history, the government announced that women could not hold these positions because the lack of security made it too dangerous for them to go into the streets to monitor citizens’ problems. In early October, SCAF head Hussein Tantawi argued that emergency law, the removal of which was a key demand of the revolution, had to be maintained because of the current lawless conditions, saying that “no one would believe that a man should see his wife kidnapped in front of him and raped.” The military has also launched an assault on civil society organizations and human rights groups, including one that collected the testimony of the victims of the virginity checks, accusing them of illegally receiving foreign aid and of “grand treason.”

Over the last decade, the battle for women’s rights in Egypt has centered on personal status laws (PSLs), which govern marriage, divorce, and child custody issues based on prevailing interpretations of sharia (Coptic Church law determines PSLs for Christians). A series of laws passed by the parliament in 2000 have made progress in the intervening years. For example, the new guidelines created a form of divorce, khula, which gave women the power to request a divorce without having to prove maltreatment. The legislation also gave mothers custody of their children until the age of 15, replacing earlier laws that awarded them custody of sons until the age of 10 and daughters until 12. It granted women the ability to obtain birth certificates for their children and permitted mothers who had custody of children after a divorce to make educational decisions for them. In several ways, for the first time these laws granted mothers similar parental rights as fathers.

After the revolution, conservative forces argued that women’s rights laws passed under Mubarak, like all remnants of his regime, were illegitimate and should be repudiated. For example, several thousand Salafis demonstrated outside of al-Azhar University in Cairo in May, demanding the return of educational authority solely to fathers. The general secretary of the High Council of Islamic Affairs, a government body, called for lowering maternal custody ages from the current age of 15 to age six for boys and nine for girls. Challenges came from supposedly liberal forces as well. In April, the Freedoms Committee of the Journalists’ Syndicate held a conference condemning the current women’s rights standards in Egypt. Three months later, Judge Abdallah al Baga, president of the Family Court of Appeal, submitted a draft bill to the prime minister that called for abolishing khula divorce and reinstating, under some conditions, a practice in which husbands can forcibly return “disobedient” wives to their homes – a practice that has been outlawed since the 1960s.

Natural Reserve in Mauritania

Photo by Bamba

A house of environmental activists in Mauritania turned to a nature reserve full of wild turtles, and it is a direction of dozens of students, researchers and ordinary citizens who want to rest and or watch its contents of protected turtles, plants and fruit trees.

The environmental activist had to redesign his home which is located on the vast land in the south of the capital Nouakchott to respond to the needs of environmental activity, his house now is home for hundreds of wild turtles which are living in an entrances and shelters housing specially designed to receive those animals, and he feeds them from the branches of the fruit trees and other kind of meals that he provides them.

The Birth of the Idea and the unusual customs in Mauritania:

Owner of the project ” Bamba Samory Soueidatt ” said that the idea came to him 10 years ago. I was in recreation trip outside the city, I was surprised of a rural family who were cooking a turtle for the lunch meal and another turtle was waiting to be cooked, so I decided to buy it” says Bamba

The project began after that, Bamba decided to start mission of manhunt for the endangered turtles in the wild and remote countryside. Only few year later, he had collected dozens of turtles which he bought them or he picked them up from remote places of Mauritania.

According to Bamba in interview of Aljazeera net, his main motivation to run this project was his feeling of risks facing the turtles, which are now few in number and endangered because of several factors, most notably the drought that hitting Mauritania since decades, also large parts of the country, and the enthusiasm of broad categories of the population to eat turtles and prepare it as meals in a private offer for the guests, especially in remote and rural areas.

Among the unusual customs in Mauritania, is a large number of people with asthma or shortness of breath to look for a turtle to lock it up for an hour or two hours with the patient, believing that the turtles have extraordinary ability to absorb the disease and help people recover without having to search for a doctor or to pay for meditation fees.

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Fruits and Trees
Not only turtles Bamba preserves in Adbakana – name of beautiful town in the middle of Mauritania which he gave it to his reserve – but he also decided to a couple of kind of trees and plants that most of them not available in whole Mauritania.

Today the reserve is full of many types of trees in including, for example olives, figs, almonds, orange and black berries, pomegranates, apples and sea Curusol and Melia, henna and Seixas and some palm trees.

One of students that was visiting the reserve during Al Jazeera net interview, called for support to this project which is lack much.

Abdullah Al Abbadi

Source: Al Jazeera.net  Dec 1, 2011

Agriculture: 75% of the genetic food has gone

BREAKING NEWS: Three-quarters of the genetic diversity in agriculture have disappeared during the twentieth century, according to a study released Sept. 7 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO experts draw a parallel between the decline of the indigenous tribes living space, globalization and the decline of biodiversity of food.

Wheat harvest | Region of Cusco, Peru | Kazuyoshi Nomachi / Corbis

The context:
Organic farming emphasizes product quality and environmental friendliness. It is grown on 30.5 million hectares, or 0.7% of the global agricultural area. The FAO studies point out that in the past 10 000 species were grown to feed the world but now, ” only 150 plants feed the majority of mankind . ” By themselves, rice, wheat, corn and potatoes represent 60% of energy from plants.
The challenge:
The FAO study highlights the progressive limitation of agricultural genetic diversity worldwide, of which it recalls the original wealth:
“The remote tribes of denser tropical forests and deserts of ice have a rich range of safe and nutritious food – some with extraordinary properties – that our wealthy societies can only envy,” it said in conclusion of the book Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems, published by FAO, in collaboration with the CINE (Centre for Indigenous People’s Nutrition and Environment) from McGill University.
The other conclusion of FAO experts is more disturbing: “As wild habitats recede under economic pressures and globalization standardizes lifestyles, these native foods are disappearing at high speed – and thus, the food that ensured good health. ”
– A standardized diet
The report cites several examples of ecosystems that are particularly rich in terms of genetic diversity. In the Thai village of Sanephong, Karen community has 387 crops for its 661 residents.
In contrast, the study observed the increasing trend of Western countries to focus their power on four major crops: wheat, rice, corn and soybeans (raw or transformed). This limitation is accompanied by a loss of genetic diversity, “three quarters of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops have disappeared in the last century,” FAO said.

– The negative health consequences
Barbara Burlingame, FAO expert in evaluation and nutritional requirements states that “the alienation of traditional food sources in favor of all prepared foods business is often accompanied by an increase in disordered eating such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. ”
In fact, the study shows that obesity is almost non-existed in Awajun (Peru), where 93% of their energy needs are satisfied while the people of Mand ( a Jat clan from Punjab, India ) covers only 27% of these needs, suffers from several problems health.
The commitment of the international community:
Based on the observation that no country is self-sufficient in energy resources, FAO has established an International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. 127 countries have already ratified the treaty . To promote biodiversity and sustainable agriculture, and to ensure their fair and equitable sharing, the treaty allowed the establishment of a gene bank consisting of 64 global food crops.
In June, Tunis, and eleven developing countries * were rewarded for for their conservation projects of genes and genetic resources which are vital to feed the world. FAO hopes to help indigenous people to find new markets for their food production and their medicinal plants.

* Egypt, Kenya, Costa Rica, India, Peru, Senegal, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Cuba, Tanzania, Morocco.

Abdullah Al Abbadi

Source: FAO Sept. 7 . 2011