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Latest Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Stories

2011-04-13 00:00:27

Riptide Software, Inc. was awarded a new prime contract by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), to provide technical solutions to support the modernization of Army training ranges worldwide. (PRWEB) April 12, 2011 Riptide Software, Inc. was awarded a new prime contract by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), to provide technical solutions to support the modernization of Army...

2011-03-25 11:56:09

In 1964 biologist William Hamilton introduced Inclusive Fitness Theory to predict and explain phenomena ranging from animal behavior to patterns of gene expression. With its many successes, the theory became a cornerstone for modern biology. In August, 2010, Harvard researchers challenged the theory in the prestigious journal, Nature. Now Nature has published sharp rebuttals from scores of scientists, including Edward Allen Herre and William Wcislo, staff scientists at the Smithsonian...

2011-02-14 15:11:48

A million-dollar question Sleeping Beauty's kingdom was overgrown by vines when she fell into a deep sleep. Researchers at the Smithsonian in Panama and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee received more than a million dollars from the U.S. National Science Foundation to discover why real vines are overtaking the American tropics. Data from eight sites show that vines are overgrowing trees in all cases. "We are witnessing a fundamental structural change in the physical make-up of forests...

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2010-11-12 08:26:05

The steamiest places on the planet are getting warmer. Conservative estimates suggest that tropical areas can expect temperature increases of 3 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. Does global warming spell doom for rainforests? Maybe not. Carlos Jaramillo, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and colleagues report in the journal Science that nearly 60 million years ago rainforests prospered at temperatures that were 3-5 degrees higher and at atmospheric...

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2010-10-12 23:31:21

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Bocas del Toro Research Station and Galeta Point Marine Laboratory are reporting an anomalous sea temperature rise and a major coral bleaching event in the western Caribbean. Although the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, issued an advisory in July announcing above-average sea surface temperatures in the wider Caribbean region, there had been no clear indication of increased sea temperatures in Panama and the western...

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2010-07-20 08:12:39

Incidence of a lethal infectious disease moves at a rate of 30 kilometers per year A killer has been caught in the act: the first before-and-after view of an infectious disease that led to an amphibian die-off has been released by the scientists who tracked it. The results are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Like a wave, incidence of the fungal disease that wipes out Central American frogs--chytridiomycosis--advances through the...

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2010-06-28 08:05:21

Why are tropical forests so biologically rich? Smithsonian researchers have new evidence that the answer to one of life's great unsolved mysteries lies underground, according to a study published in the journal, Nature. "We've known for a long time that tree seedlings do not grow and survive well under their mothers or other adult trees of the same species," said Scott Mangan, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin"”Milwaukee and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute...

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2010-06-27 13:26:23

Home to jaguars, harpy eagles and red-eyed tree frogs, tropical forests support some of the rarest species on the planet and are the most biodiverse ecosystems on land. Understanding why some species are common while others are exceedingly rare has been a challenge in these mega-diverse forests. New results from a massive study at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute show that interactions among community members play an important role in determining which organisms thrive. "Based on...

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2010-05-27 08:02:43

Trying to stay ahead of a deadly disease that has wiped out more than 100 species, scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute continue to discover new frog species in Panama: Pristimantis educatoris, from Omar Torrijos National Park, and P. adnus from Darien Province near the Colombian border. In 1989 researchers realized that frogs were dying around the world. Then they identified the cause: a fungal disease called chytridiomycosis. In 2004 Karen Lips, associate professor at...

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2010-05-27 07:15:00

Blue-green orchid bees zip through increasingly scarce patches of tropical forest pollinating rare flowers. For the first time, researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute track unique signals from tiny transmitters glued to individual orchid bees, yielding new insight into the role of bees in tropical forest ecosystems. "When people disturb and destroy tropical forest they disrupt pollination systems," said David Roubik, senior staff scientist at STRI. "Now we can track orchid...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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