Selected "In the News" items previously
featured on NISIC for
this month. See the current In
the News for the most recent items. View
the In the News Archives for
the previous items featured by month.
College Biologist Marc Muskavitch and Global Team Decode Pathogenome
of Virus-Spreading Mosquito (Sep 30, 2010)
An international group of researchers has sequenced the genome of the Southern
house mosquito, providing new insights into the most widespread disease-bearing
mosquito and shedding new light on the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases
such as malaria, encephalitis, and West
Nile Virus. Their findings are published in a pair of papers in Science: Sequencing
of Culex quinquefasciatus Establishes a Platform for Mosquito Comparative
Genomics and Pathogenomics
of Culex quinquefasciatus and Meta-Analysis of Infection Responses to
Study Shows Over One Fifth of the World's Plants are Under Threat
of Extinction (Sep 29, 2010)
International Union for Conservation of Nature.
A global analysis of extinction risk for the world's plants, conducted by the Royal
Botanic Gardens, Kew together with the Natural History Museum, London and IUCN,
has revealed that one in five of the world's plant species threatened with extinction.
The study, Sampled Red List
Index for Plants, is a major baseline for plant conservation and is the first
time that the true extent of the threat to the world’s estimated 380,000
plant species is known. According to the Kew Gardens’ Plants
At Risk – The Threat Facing Plants site, human induced activities are
the largest threat, while invasive species represent 4.9% of the threats.
Funding to Address Threats to State and Private Forests (Sep
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced
annual funding to help all states and trust territories
sustain the nation's urban and rural forests, and
to protect communities and the environment from
wildfires, insects, diseases and invasive species.
Grant recipients, who will receive a total of $190
million, typically use the funding for firefighting
and hazardous fuels reduction, tree planting operations,
and overall forest management issues.
Wildlife Refuge System Closes Caves to Slow Spread of White-Nose
Syndrome (PDF | 410 KB) (Sep 13, 2010)
Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Refuge
System has decided to close caves and abandoned
mines on refuges and implement research and monitoring
protocols in a nationwide effort to slow the spread
of White-Nose Syndrome
(WNS) in bats. Since 2006, WNS has spread rapidly
across the eastern U.S.,
killing more than 1 million bats.
Finds Economic Impact of Laurel Wilt Disease Could be "Catastrophic" (Sep
American Society for Horticultural Science.
Scientists have found that the invasive fungus called laurel
wilt disease and the redbay ambrosia beetle, which carries laurel wilt, represent
a significant economic threat to Florida's avocado industry. According to the
Economic Impact of Laurel Wilt Disease on the Florida Avocado Industry published
in HortTechnology, direct losses from the invasion could range from
$183 million to a remarkable high of $356 million.
Holiday for Dulles CBP (Customs Border Protection) on Labor Day
Weekend (Sep 9, 2010)
Customs and Border Protection.
Customs officers seized 14 Giant African
Land Snails from a passenger traveling from Ghana. Believed to be originally
from East Africa, Giant African Land Snails are reportedly one of the worst invasive
species in the world and are known to have caused economic damage to crop plants.
The snails, which can grow to 20 cm x 10 cm, are also illegal to possess in the
U.S. The traveler declared the snails and was not penalized, though the snails
posed a threat and were destroyed.
on Environmental Quality Appoints John Goss as
Asian Carp Director (Sep 8, 2010)
Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.
Continuing the Obama Administration's proactive response to the threat that Asian
carp poses to the Great Lakes, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) today
announced the appointment of John Goss as the Asian Carp Director. He will serve
as the principal advisor to CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley on Asian
carp issues, and oversee the coordination of Federal, state, and local efforts
to keep Asian carp from establishing in the Great Lakes ecosystems.
Lakes Restoration Initiative Grants Awarded (Sep 7,
Environmental Protection Agency.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the first
round of grant awards under President Barack Obama's Great
Lakes Restoration Initiative. The initative is targeting the most significant
environmental problems in the region, including combating invasive
of Wasp to Track EAB (Emerald Ash Borer) Increases (PDF | 43 KB) (Sep
Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry.
As the EAB,
an ash tree killer, edges closer to New England woods, forest health managers
are expanding a promising technique to detect low-level pest populations earlier.
The recently implemented wasp program sponsored by the USDA Forest
Service uses the natural behavior of the native wasp Cerceris
fumipennis to search for and prey upon EAB.
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