Monday, January 9, 2012

An un-extinction event in the Galapagos

When the word of new extinctions has become all too common, it's good to hear about when a species thought to be extinct is found to be alive.

'Extinct' Galapagos tortoise may still exist - BBC News

Well, at least the DNA says they're out there somewhere on Isabela Island.

And if they don't find the pure-breds, at least the newly identified hybrids can be used in a breeding program to bring back the Floreana Galapagos tortoise into existence and reintroduced into its native island, where it has not existed for 162 years.

Interesting how if this turns out to be true, it means that at some point the Floreana tortoise was an accidentally introduced invasive species on Isabela (and perhaps still is). In this case, turns out this may have been the salvation of the species!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

End of the Month Science Music Video: Björk - Hollow

This video, for a song Björk released only though a smartphone app called Biophilia, makes beautiful use of molecular modeling and animation.

Biomedical animator Drew Berry made the animation using models of DNA and DNA-binding and -replicating proteins.

Also make a visit to Björk's webpage to listen to her inspired message on music and nature.

Thank you Marcos for letting me know about this one!