New research shows even small ships pose deadly threat to North American right whales

right whale
A female North Atlantic right whale with her calf. Credit: Public Domain

It has long been known that ship strikes involving large vessels pose one of the greatest threats to North Atlantic right whales, whose coastal habitats and tendency to stay close to the water’s surface make them vulnerable to such deadly collisions.

New research by Dal scientists suggests that the endangered animals can also suffer fatal injuries if struck by small boats or by large vessels travelling at slow speeds.

“We’ve shown clearly that small vessels can be a threat to whales. We’ve shown that very light, but fast-moving vessels like trans-oceanic racing sailboats can cause potentially lethal injuries to whales, so it means if you’re in a vessel on the ocean, you may be a threat to these animals,” says Sean Brillant, an adjunct in the Department of Oceanography.

“We also showed that there is indeed no safe

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Genetics behind deadly oat blight — ScienceDaily

A multi-institution team co-led by a Cornell University researcher has identified the genetic mechanisms that enable the production of a deadly toxin called Victorin — the causal agent for Victoria blight of oats, a disease that wiped out oat crops in the U.S. in the 1940s.

Victoria blight is caused by the fungus Cochliobolus victoriae, which produces the Victorin toxin, but until now no one has uncovered the genes and mechanisms involved.

“The oat varieties favored by farmers in the 1940s were resistant to Crown Rust disease, but scientists later discovered this was the very trait that made those oat varieties susceptible to Victoria blight because the Victorin toxin was targeting that specific plant protein,” said co-senior author Gillian Turgeon, professor and chair of the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). “Unearthing the molecules

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Chemical clues in leaves can reveal ash tree resistance to deadly disease — ScienceDaily

Naturally occurring compounds in ash leaves could be linked to susceptibility of individual trees to the fungal disease ash dieback (ADB). But selecting trees with lower levels of these compounds and breeding for resistance could leave the UK ash tree population open to attack from invading insect pests in the future, according to scientists at the University of Warwick.

Secoiridoid glycosides are naturally occurring compounds found in plant leaves. Researchers from Warwick’s School of Life Sciences and Department of Chemistry and the School of Biosciences at the University of Exeter looked at the abundance and diversity of secoiridoid glycosides in the leaves of a panel of ash trees known to be resistant and samples from trees known to be susceptible to ADB from both Denmark and the UK.

Previous research had identified five compounds in the secoiridoid glycoside family that were enriched in susceptible Danish trees, but results published today

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Deadly Snake Removed From Home Air Conditioner Unit, Rescue Caught On Camera

Warm weather forces snakes to move around and find cool spots. Now, what could be better than chilling inside an air conditioner unit.

A red-bellied black snake was recently found in an air conditioner unit at an Australian home.

In a Facebook post, Stuart McKenzie from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 wrote that it “took ages” for them to remove the snake from the unit.

“What’s the go with venomous snakes in aircon units lately haha. This took ages to get the snake out but we got there eventually,” he wrote.

McKenzie added he had switched off the power before removing the reptile.

“Before any aircon guys or sparkies have a heart attack I had all of the power off to the aircon before poking around,” he said.

A video of rescue was also posted on Facebook, which showed the snake catcher using a torch to find the exact hiding

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Deadly Eta drenches Honduras, could reach Florida

The rain-heavy remains of Hurricane Eta flooded homes in Honduras on Thursday as the death toll across Central America rose to at least eight. Forecasters said the once-mighty storm was expected to regather form and head toward Cuba and Florida by early next week.The storm that hit Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday had become more of a vast tropical rainstorm, but it was advancing so slowly and dumping so much rain that much of Central America remained on high alert.Eta had sustained winds of 30 mph and was moving west-northwest at 7 mph late Wednesday. It was centered 90 miles south of La Ceiba, Honduras.Guatemala authorities reported four dead Thursday, adding to two victims in Honduras and two in Nicaragua.Two children died when their home collapsed under heavy rains in the central Guatemala department of Quiche, according to a statement by local firefighters. A third person also … Read More

‘We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic,’ Birx wrote in a White House memo.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who has carefully straddled the line between science and politics as she helps lead the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, delivered a stark private warning on Monday, telling White House officials that the pandemic is entering a new and “deadly phase” that demands a more aggressive approach.

The warning — sent in a private memo to White House officials as the nation’s daily coronavirus caseload has broken records and approached 100,000 — amounted to a direct contradiction of President Trump’s repeated false assertions that the pandemic is “rounding the corner.” In it, Dr. Birx suggested Mr. Trump and his advisers were spending too much time focusing on lockdowns, and not enough on controlling the virus.

“We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic,” Dr. Birx wrote, adding, “This is not about lockdowns — It hasn’t been about lockdowns since March or April.

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How Integrated Operations is Using a Breakthrough Misting Technology to Stop the Spread of Deadly Viruses and Bacteria

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich., Oct. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Consumers and businesses require due diligence to ensure they are opting for effective disinfection methods for dangerous viruses and bacteria. Many approaches are less effective than claimed and provide a false sense of security to people in environments that can be germ-ridden including schools, elder care facilities, offices, etc.

To achieve effective protection against surface and airborne germs, engineer, former

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