The France v Britain scallop war goes much deeper than Brexit with nets | John Lichfield | Opinion | The Guardian

Forty French fishing boats attack five British boats in the Channel. Stones and smoke bombs are thrown. Rude words are exchanged in two languages. The British retreat.

Similar incidents have been happening for 15 years – or arguably for the last 900 years. The rights and wrong are complicated. Yesterday evening the French boats were undoubtedly the aggressors. They put to sea not in order to fish, but to harass the English and Scottish boats that had entered “their waters”.

It was foolhardy of the French fishermen, but they do have reasons to be exasperated. The latest outbreak of the Baie de la Seine scallop war should be seen in the context of Brexit and the deep uncertainties and exaggerated expectations encouraged by simplistic and vague UK plans to reclaim “our seas” and “our fish”.

Ironies abound. In the this dispute, British boats are asserting their right to fish in French waters even when they are closed to French trawlers. This right depends on EU rules, but pre-dates the EU fishing policy.

In any case, the row is not just about France v Britain. It is also about Big Boats v Small Boats, and the ecological damage caused by modern methods of industrial-scale fishing.

First, some facts. The clashes took place in “French waters” – that is to say about 15 miles from the French coast at a point where the Channel is about 100 miles wide, well beyond any possible legal definition of British waters. There were 40 French boats and five British – but the French boats were tiny and the British boats were large.

Source: The France v Britain scallop war goes much deeper than Brexit with nets | John Lichfield | Opinion | The Guardian

Zebrafish model gives new insight on autism spectrum disorder

Original post from Science Daily 


Date:   May 27, 2015

Source:   University of Miami

Summary:   Researchers are utilizing animal models to understand how dysfunction of either of two genes associated with autism spectrum disorder, SYNGAP1 and SHANK 3, contributes to risk in ASD. The new findings pinpoint the actual place and time where these genes exert influence in brain development and function.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological condition that affects approximately two percent of people around the world. Although several genes have been linked to multiple concurring conditions of ASD, the process that explains how specific genetic variants lead to behaviors characteristic of the disorder remains elusive.

Now, researchers are utilizing animal models to understand how dysfunction of either of two genes associated with ASD, SYNGAP1 and SHANK 3, contributes to risk in ASD. The new findings pinpoint the actual place and time where these genes exert influence in brain development and function. The findings are published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

“The overall goal of our study was to generate and directly compare two zebrafish models of ASD, to gain an in vivo perspective on how ASD genetic variants impact neural circuit development in embryos,” said Julia E. Dallman, assistant professor of biology at the University of Miami (UM) College of Arts and Sciences and lead investigator of the study. “Our work begins to address a major gap in our current understanding of ASD.”

The findings show that disrupting the expression or “knocking down” either SYNGAP1 or SHANK 3 genes affects early brain development in the mid and hindbrain regions and results in hyper-excitable behaviors.

“It is well known that genetics plays a significant role in ASD risk and that many genes are involved, but the exact nature of their involvement is not well understood,” said Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Professor of Human Genetics, at the UM Miller School of Medicine and co-author of the study. “The implications of the present study are important as it helps us understand how two ASD related genes, SHANK3 and SYNGAP1, contribute to the development of the disorder.”

The study is titled “Two knockdown models of the autism genes SYNGAP1 and SHANK3 produce similar behavioral phonotypes associated with embryonic disruptions of brain morphogenesis.” In contrast to previous studies of ASD-linked genes in humans and mice, the current study is conducted in developing zebrafish, because zebrafish embryos are transparent organisms that develop outside the mother, thus allowing the researchers to observe early brain development in the fish.

The researchers chose to analyze SYNGAP1 and SHANK3 orthologs–genes in different species that have a common ancestor and maintain the same function, since embryonic functions of these ASD-linked genes are unknown.

The study utilized three groups of fish. In two of the groups, the expression of either SYNGAP 1 or SHANK 3 genes was knocked down by injecting a molecule that specifically targets each gene. The third was also injected with a similar molecule, but with no match in the zebrafish genome, so it functioned as a control group. The behavior of larvae in all groups was analyzed by studying their escape responses in the presence of a stimulus.

The experiments showed that while control larvae swam away from the stimulus, the knock-down larvae had unproductive escape responses, as well as significantly reduced swimming velocities. Moreover, a subset of the knock-down larvae exhibited spontaneous seizure-like behaviors, and there were significant changes in the brain structure of these larvae, indicative of delayed development.

Together these findings support the emerging opinion that mutations of specific ASD-related genes disrupt early embryogenesis and that these early disruptions play a key role in the development of the disorder.

The team is now working to determine exactly how early developmental deficits impact later behaviors. In the long-term, they hope to use SYNGAP1 and SHANK3 zebrafish models for drug screening, to identify environmental risk factors and test potential therapies for ASD.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami.Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. R. A. Kozol, H. N. Cukier, B. Zou, V. Mayo, S. De Rubeis, G. Cai, A. J. Griswold, P. L. Whitehead, J. L. Haines, J. R. Gilbert, M. L. Cuccaro, E. R. Martin, J. D. Baker, J. D. Buxbaum, M. A. Pericak-Vance, J. E. Dallman. Two knockdown models of the autism genes SYNGAP1 and SHANK3 in zebrafish produce similar behavioral phenotypes associated with embryonic disruptions of brain morphogenesis.Human Molecular Genetics, 2015; DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddv138

Cite This Page:


University of Miami. “Zebrafish model gives new insight on autism spectrum disorder.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2015. <>.  …….’

When He Put His Hand In The Water Near A Fighter Fish, This Happened — Wow.

Original post from Viral Nova

‘………….By Grace Eire

Grace Eire   See more stories..

Grace Eire

On Viral Nova, Grace writes about cute animals. She also writes for, and thoroughly enjoys puns – the good kind or the bad kind. She’s not picky when it comes to puns. She’s studied English, music, film, and other creative fields. In her spare time she’s reading or writing creative nonfiction, arranging songs, or writing jokes just in case she some day decides to try stand up comedy.

Flowerhorn fish are known for being aggressive and territorial fish. In fact, you can’t keep more than one in a single tank, or else they’ll tear each other apart. For these reasons, it’s pretty much a given that you wouldn’t want to stick your hand in a tank with one in it…right?

But what happens when this man put his hand in this fish’s pond is truly incredible.

You really have to see it for yourself.

(source Love Your Animals!)

So precious! This fish recognizes that this is the man who takes care of him and feeds him every day. He’s showing affection just like any other pet would! It just goes to show to all the haters out there who think fish don’t make good pets…they can enjoy playing games and cuddling up with you, too! ……’

Your Canned Tuna Has a Dirty Secret

Original post from takepart

‘…………A new report says dolphin-safe tuna may not be sea turtle– or shark-safe and identifies brands with the best environmental practice.

(Photo: Getty Images)

March 09, 2015

Emily Gertz is TakePart’s associate editor for environment and wildlife.

These days, most brands of canned tuna are labeled “dolphin safe,” meaning the fish are caught using methods that don’t inadvertently kill them.

That’s good for dolphins, said Graham Forbes, the seafood markets project leader for Greenpeace USA, but it doesn’t go far enough.

“ ‘Dolphin safe’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘ocean safe,’ ” he said. “There are other species, including the tuna themselves, along with sea birds, turtles, and sharks, that given the scale of this fishery are caught and severely damaged by this industry.”

Greenpeace on Monday released a shopping guide to 14 canned tuna brands. The rankings rate each company’s environmental practices, as well as its efforts to support fair labor practices and root out modern-day slavery along its supply chain.

(Photo: Courtesy Wild Planet Foods)




Three smaller brands—Wild Planet, American Tuna, and Ocean Fresh—took the top honors. The group called Wild Planet “a go-to eco-brand” for its environmentally sound sourcing practices, environmentally informative labeling, and detailed sustainability policies.

The house-brand tuna at Whole Foods, the nation’s eighth-largest food store chain (and arguably the most visible corporate booster for eco-conscious eating), rated well for sourcing its tuna responsibly. Greenpeace put it in fourth place on the list, however, because it found that Whole Foods relied on suppliers to self-report about environmental impacts rather than using an independent auditor.

Chicken of the Sea, Bumble Bee, and StarKist—the three brands that supply more than 80 percent of the United States’ demand for canned tuna—were ranked 11, 12, and 14, respectively.

Greenpeace faulted StarKist for purchasing its tuna “from destructive fisheries that [kill] tons of marine life as bycatch.” The group charged Bumble Bee with greenwashing its record by creating a smaller, sustainably sourced label called Wild Selections to deflect attention from lower environmental standards in its primary supply chain.

“The U.S. is the largest market for canned tuna in the world,” Forbes said. “But the three brands have not yet offered an easily identified sustainable product.”

In a statement, Bumble Bee chief executive Chris Lischewski criticized Greenpeace for “harassing businesses and raising funds for their own operations.”

Bumble Bee was “deemed compliant in 17 out of 17 areas of performance” on its last audit by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, Lischewski said in the statement—a project Bumble Bee cofounded with “scientists, tuna processors and the World Wildlife Fund…to preserve the long-term sustainability of the world’s tuna resources.”

A StarKist spokesperson said that the company had no comment on the ranking. She referred a reporter to a statement from the National Fisheries Institute, a trade organization, criticizing Greenpeace for, among other things, using an “unpublished methodology” to create its ratings.

Forbes said Greenpeace based the rankings on a combination of sources that included each company’s responses to a Greenpeace-supplied survey; corporate websites; publicly available scientific and regulatory reports on fish stocks and fishery impacts on other species; data from regional fishery management organizations; and the information supplied by Seafood Watch, a project that offers regularly updated consumer guides to sustainably harvested seafood.

By buying the list’s top-rated brands, “U.S. consumers who care about ocean conservation can both send a message to the big brands and make changes out on the water,” Forbes said.  …………’