Thursday, July 22, 2004

Pete's featured in Nature!

Nature 430, 396 - 398 (22 July 2004)

"Biodiversity: A tragedy with many players"

"Peter Ng is a man with a mission: to catalogue the huge diversity of life dwelling in habitats long dismissed as uninteresting. It's a race against time, he tells Carina Dennis and Peter Aldhous.

A tropical peat swamp is not a welcoming place. Its acidic waters sting every tiny scratch on your body. Hold your hands just beneath the surface and you can't see them through the tannin-laden water. The only bonus is that leeches don't fancy the murk. But Peter Ng, a taxonomist and conservation biologist at the National University of Singapore, loves getting up to his armpits in the mire.

Ng has discovered that the peat swamps of southeast Asia are teeming with rare species of fish and crustaceans, many of which are new to science. "Peat swamps have been badly neglected," says Ng, who pulls out novel specimens on nearly every dip into these hostile waters. His team has found a treasure trove of biodiversity in other unlikely places too, including the broken rubble of dead coral found off tropical beaches.

Now Ng is engaged in a race to catalogue these neglected faunas before many of them are wiped out by Asia's relentless economic development. The peat swamps, in particular, are being drained as fast as he can sample them, sometimes for urban or agricultural development, at other times — in a bitter irony — under the guise of 'environmental improvement'...... "(read more at Nature 430, 396 - 398 (22 July 2004)

Also, see the editorial in the same issue, Ignorance is not bliss. If you the links are invalid later, see RMBRnews.

1 comment:

BHARGAVI said...

This was really amazing to discover the bone degrading worms and sir if it is possible can i know about cholesterol degrading microbes particularly in humans.