Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Walking, Biting Mosquitoes

In the quest to combat the spread of dengue fever, scientists from the University of Oxford in England have developed a method to genetically alter male mosquitoes so that when they mate with a female mosquito, the offspring's they produce will have wings that prevent the female from flying. By preventing the female mosquitoes from flying they also reduce the chances of them spreading the infection.

The fight against dengue has gone from swatting, to poison, even sterilizing males and now its genetic engineering to ground females. Is it also possible that evolution would result in a new breed of mosquitoes walking around and biting people from the ground?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Deep Sea Tailings Approved

At a time when terrestrial mineral and petroleum deposits all over the world are becoming more scarce, many companies are slowly moving into marine based mining. This is usually associated with offshore drilling for oil and gas, however in recent years, the likelihood of having a marine based mine for minerals has increased so much that we already have a proposed schedule for the start of deep sea mining in early 2011.

The main question in everyones minds is how successful will the deep sea mining company be at keeping its tailings at a minimum and what environmental impacts the mining practice will have on the environment. While scientists and environmentalists all over the world are still looking for safer techniques and alternatives to this method of mining, this is fast becoming a race against time and with the current state of the worlds economy, this is shaping up to be a losing battle for the scientists.

Having said that, it is even more frustrating to see that the PNG government has recently approved Deep Sea Tailings at the Basamuk bay for its new US$1 billion Ramu Nickel project Pipe. According to a news paper article from PNG, tailings disposal from the mine which are said to be already neutralized, would be piped along the sea floor to a depth of 150m below sea level where they would be released. To construct the Deep Sea Tailings Pipeline (DSTP), mine operator, Chinese Metallic Company Corporation (CMCC) has suggested blasting a pathway 500 meters long by 5 meters wide through coral beds in the region.

How do we justify the decisions made at the cost of the environment?

Monday, February 8, 2010

BomaiCruz taking on big changes

My good readers, I am very excited to tell you all that BomaiCruz is taking on a new face-change. But hey, this does not mean you will not have access to your favorite column (http://www.bomaicruz.blogspot.com) anymore, you can still enjoy it only, to make things more interesting to you I have decided to let the post be incorporated into Southern Fried Science.

Not only does this allow an entirely new look to the blog, it also allows you to be part of a larger community of bloggers from all over the world. You can now enjoy first hand feeds from various scientists on various expeditions all over the world and follow their progress. You can also be part of discussions about many different issues in science and get to witness for yourself what other people think of the issues in debate.

It is a great way to network and learn from others and also to share your piece of mind on many different issues. So please do make time to visit the new look BomaiCruz blog at http://www.bomaicruz.southernfriedscience.com