Tag Archives | Turtles

Fruit Flies And The Age of Poisons In Central America

Air Force sprays for mosquitoes after Hurrican Ike
This article originally appeared on HoneyColony.

Long May You Run

We arrived at the Las Manos Border between Honduras and Nicaragua at nightfall. Our 24-person permaculture group had already been sitting in a van for nearly 24 hours, cruising the Pan-American Highway — the world’s longest “motorable road” — from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala across three countries.

As we slowed to a stop behind a lengthy row of cars, we spotted a man with a handkerchief over his face and very little else for protective gear. He was hunched forward, holding a metal hose in order to spray the lower parts of each passing vehicle.

Poisonous Gases Fumigation Area, was written in Spanish on a looming billboard.

Why wasn’t the man wearing proper safety equipment like an oxygen mask, overalls, boots, and gloves? What were they spraying on the vehicles, specifically the wheels? Did insects really hitch rides on tires?  … Read the rest

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Turtles Could Hold the Secret to Human Immortality

TurtlesInteresting article from Alasdair Wilkins on io9.com:

All animals eventually grow old and die. It’s an inevitable fact of life — except when it isn’t. Some animals, like tortoises and lobsters, never grow old, and learning their secrets could let humans live as long as they want.

For most animals, there are three basic ways they can die: disease, injury, or old age, which is also called senescence. But a select few species are seemingly immune from aging itself, a phenomenon known as negligible senescence. The gradual accumulation of cellular damage and degradation that will eventually kill other animals (including us) slows to a virtual standstill, prolonging the life — and, in fact, the youth — of any animal lucky enough to be negligibly senescent.

Tortoises are the most famous negligibly senescent animals. An Aldabra giant tortoise named Adwaita was thought to be 255 years old when he died in 2006, and carbon dating of his shell confirmed that he really had been born around 1750.

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