Disease Vectors and Pests: How Genetically Modified Insects Could Affect the World

Genetic modification is a reality, now more than ever. Yearly, there are more than 2.8 million deaths due to diseases spread by insects. So, what if we genetically modified insects so they don’t pose such a big threat towards human and agricultural health? And what would the long-term outcome be of such modifications? Will the mutations spread uncontrollably through wild populations? Well, that is for us to see and scientists to consider.

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Talk Turtle to Me: How Algae Could Drive Sea Turtle Populations to Extinction

Rising ocean temperatures have been increasing the size of algal blooms, with Sargassum being one of the most prominent algae species affecting coastlines in the Caribbean. When beached, Sargassum can only be removed from shores through human intervention, which is both costly and time-consuming. These algal outbreaks are ending up on beaches where sea turtles are known to nest, affecting their biology and survivability. Will beached Sargassum on Caribbean shores affect sea turtle populations irreversibly, or will we find a more effective way of dealing with the changing algal populations?

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Prickly Adaptability: Will Crown-of-Thorn Starfish Populations Survive Rising Ocean Temperature and Acidity?

Crown-of-Thorns starfish outbreaks are of growing concern for the wellbeing of Indo-Pacific coral reefs. When these starfish populations grow too quickly, they feed on corals at rates that don’t allow the ecosystem to recover fast enough. With coral reefs struggling to survive rising ocean temperatures and acidity, it is essential to determine how these conditions affect their predators – in this case, the Crown-of-Thorn starfish. A recent study found that ocean warming and acidification affect larval development but not survivability. Could this mean bad news for coral reefs?

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How Climate-driven Ocean Changes Affect Right Whale Populations

It is no secret that the world is ever-shifting towards a warmer reality. With conditions changing greatly in the Gulf of Maine, researchers are now exploring how climate-driven changes have been affecting the North Atlantic right whale populations. Sadly, their findings have shone a light towards a worrisome reality – a reality where these whales might be driven into extinction.

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