Today's news

April 7, 2003

Africa's great apes face extinction
In a study published on the online version of the journal Nature, s cientists from Princeton University say that more than half of Africa's chimpanzees and gorillas have disappeared in the past 20 years. They found that other surveys of the primates in their heartland of western equatorial Africa had overlooked the alarming decline. (Independent, Guardian, Times)

Nature nurture project seeking volunteers
The world's biggest nature and nurture project expects to begin looking for 500,000 middle-aged people to volunteer a DNA sample and confidential health information in 18 months time. The chief executive of the £60 million UK Biobank Project, will describe its plans to MPs, academics and industrial leaders in London tonight. The project is intended to examine the complex interaction between genes, environment and lifestyle by gathering data and tracking the health of those taking part for up to 30 years.

Lights put glow-worms in the shade
Glow-worms are being threatened by the advance of street lights and security lamps, a conservationist from Sussex University says. The creatures, which in fact are beetles with the ability to create light, cannot see each other because they are being dazzled by light pollution. It is also thought that male glow-worms are mistaking street lights for females, and are becoming frustrated and unable to reproduce.

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