Preventing Lemur Extinction
There are over 100 species of lemurs in Madagascar and they all evolved in near isolation on the island, split away from the African mainland. This evolutionary niche has long fascinated scientists but the lemurs are in trouble. Since a coup in Madagascar in 2009, the situation has declined - conservation groups say they have repeatedly found evidence of illegal logging and hunting which limits lemur habitats. Dr Christoph Schwitzer from the Bristol Conservation and Science foundation explains how a three year emergency action plan could save these animals.
Fear Suppressing Neurons
Scientists still have a lot to discover about the specific areas in the brain where memories are formed. Now new research in mice has taken them one step closer into understanding the role neurons play during a fearful event. A team has found that certain neurons in the hippocampus inhibit fearful memories from forming there. Melissa Hogenboom investigates.
A team has developed new plants which can be used to clean up land polluted with explosives. After a detonation, sometimes the explosive does not fully explode and then when it rains, the small unexploded buts dissolve and contaminate ground water – it’s a source of pollution that will not go away. But now a team has incorporated bacteria that can breakdown these pollutants in plants. Professor Neil Bruce from York University says it should be possible to get rid of large amounts of the explosives quickly.
Presenter: Jon Stewart
Producer: Melissa Hogenboom
(Photo caption: Ring-tailed lemurs © AFP/Getty Images)