Assisted Reproductive Technologies for Biodiversity Conservation

by Arianna Lord Earlier this year, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium performed artificial insemination on two of their female polar bears in hopes that the procedure would produce cubs. Polar bears greatly rely on Arctic sea ice for hunting, traveling, mating, and resting. However, because of the continued shrinking of sea ice due to climate change, polar bears have been listed as a threatened species … Continue reading Assisted Reproductive Technologies for Biodiversity Conservation

Biodiversity Loss Can Increase the Spread of Zoonotic Diseases

by Sanjana Kulkarni SARS-CoV-2 may have spread to humans from an animal host, but it is not the only disease-causing agent (i.e. pathogen) to have done so. Lyme disease, Ebola virus, influenza, HIV, the plague, and rabies virus are just some examples of zoonotic diseases, meaning that they originated in animals and spread (i.e spilled over) to humans.  Many human activities, such as deforestation and … Continue reading Biodiversity Loss Can Increase the Spread of Zoonotic Diseases

Signal to Noise Special Edition: United Nations Decade on Biodiversity

Articles in this Special Edition The importance of being biodiverse Wenfei Tong Alien invasion! Ecological and societal impacts of invasive species Katie Boronow Biodiversity and human health Rachel Becker Metagenomics: Exploring the depths of the microbial world Jon Russell Managing biodiversity: Indigenous knowledge, elephants, and the repercussions of intervention Alexandra Brown A conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Barron Marc Presler Words from the Editors Biodiversity,  a … Continue reading Signal to Noise Special Edition: United Nations Decade on Biodiversity

Managing biodiversity: Indigenous knowledge, elephants, and the repercussions of intervention

When we think of biodiversity management, or maintaining the species diversity in an area, it’s easy to draw parallels to conservation. However, conservation usually focuses on one or few species at a time. This means that it often doesn’t mesh well with biodiversity maintenance, which requires considering the balance of all species in a given habitat. By managing a system based on the needs of … Continue reading Managing biodiversity: Indigenous knowledge, elephants, and the repercussions of intervention

Biodiversity and human health

Over 250 million years ago, cataclysmic volcanic activity wiped out nearly all life on earth. 65 million years ago, a meteor impact in the Yucatán drove the dinosaurs to extinction. In the past 540 million years of earth’s history, paleontologists have identified five mass extinction events in which over 75% of Earth’s species have died during a relatively short period of time [1]. Unfortunately, it … Continue reading Biodiversity and human health

Can assisted colonization save endangered species?

by Isle Bastillefigures by Allie Elchert In an episode of the BBC show Planet Earth there is a harrowing scene depicting thousands of freshly hatched baby sea turtles scuttling away from the sea towards a busy highway. A somber voice-over relays that the hatchlings are misguided by the nearby city lights. Paradoxically, while this was a human-driven habitat disruption, the turtles will not survive without … Continue reading Can assisted colonization save endangered species?

Special Edition: Diversity

The world we live in is full of both seen and unseen wonders, filled with unique human beings, organisms, and communities. From the hundreds and thousands of bacteria that make up the microbiomes we interact with on a daily basis, to the efforts made to conserve and increase biodiversity, to saving endangered species, scientific research has enabled us to uncover and preserve more and more … Continue reading Special Edition: Diversity

Grand Evolutionary Transitions: The eruption of multicellularity

by Piyush Nandafigures by Corena Loeb Around 600 million years ago, single-celled life transitioned to multicellular life forms, begetting a paradigm shift in the definition of life on earth. This was an event so remarkable in earth’s timeline that it would set the stage for the evolution of complex organisms, from sponges to the human body we each reside in. These complex life forms eventually … Continue reading Grand Evolutionary Transitions: The eruption of multicellularity