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Latest Tunicates Stories

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2011-07-05 08:00:47

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers have filled an important gap in the study of tunicate evolution by genetically sequencing 40 new specimens of thaliaceans,  gelatinous, free-swimming types of tunicates. Their study was featured on the cover of the June issue of the Journal of Plankton Research. Tunicates are a phylum of animals closely related to vertebrates, with a firm, rubbery outer covering called a tunic, from which the name derives. "Thaliaceans have been...

2011-04-19 12:51:24

Animals that reproduce asexually by somatic cloning have special mechanisms that delay ageing provide exceptionally good health. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg have shown how colony-forming ascidians (or sea squirts) can activate the enzyme telomerase, which protects DNA. This enzyme is more active also in humans who attain an advanced age. "Animals that clone themselves, in which part of an individual's body is passes on to the next generations, have particularly interesting...

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2011-04-11 11:32:26

By Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona A filter-feeding sea animal holds the promise of unraveling the complex mechanisms underlying heart formation and developing new diagnostics for congenital heart defects Each year in the U.S., approximately 40,000 babies are born with a heart defect. Without the proper diagnosis and treatment, many of these babies would die before their first birthday, according to Dr. Scott Klewer, a cardiologist at the UA's College of Medicine. "We still don't know...

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2010-08-10 08:05:00

Role extends to removing carbon dioxide from upper ocean and atmosphere What if trains, planes and automobiles all were powered simply by the air through which they move?  What if their exhaust and by-products helped the environment? Such an energy-efficient, self-propelling mechanism already exists in nature. The salp, a small, barrel-shaped organism that resembles a streamlined jellyfish, gets everything it needs from ocean waters to feed and propel itself. Scientists believe its waste...

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2010-03-02 09:30:20

New model for testing anti-Alzheimer's drugs: At a pier near you Alzheimer's disease affects an estimated 27 million people worldwide. It is the most common form of age-related dementia, possibly the most feared disease of old age. There is no cure, and the available drugs only help to relieve symptoms without slowing progression of the disease. One of the characteristic changes in the brains of Alzheimer's patients is the accumulation of plaques and tangles; currently, the best hope for...

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2006-07-03 10:10:00

Transparent jellyfish-like creatures known as salps, considered by many a low member in the ocean food web, may be more important to the fate of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the ocean than previously thought. In the May issue of Deep Sea Research, scientists report that salps, about the size of a human thumb, swarming by the billions in hot spots may be transporting tons of carbon per day from the ocean surface to the deep sea and keep it from re-entering the atmosphere. Salps are...


Latest Tunicates Reference Libraries

Atlantic Fire Ascidian, Pyrosoma atlanticum
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Pyrosoma atlanticum is a species of colonial tunicate found in temperate waters worldwide, usually between 50°N and 50°S. It is most plentiful at depths below 800 feet. It is found in colonies that are pelagic and move throughout the water column. In the evening the colony will move closer to the surface and descend back by dawn. Large colonies can rise and descend more than 2,500 feet in a single day. A colony of this species is cylindrical and can grow up to 2 feet long and 2.5 inches...

Phallusia nigra
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Phallusia nigra is a species of sea squirt (tunicate) found in tropical seas around the world. It is usually found in shallow waters attached to any hard substrate. It is a solitary animal rather than living in colonies. Although the native range of this animal is unknown, the tropical western Atlantic Ocean, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean are possibilities. Like all ascidians, this species has a thick leathery envelope (tunic) containing cellulosic material. The tunic encloses a...

Sea Pork, Aplidium californicum
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Sea Pork (Aplidium californicum) is a species of sea squirt (tunicate) in the Polyclinidae family. It is quite common on the west coast of North America from British Columbia to Baja California, and the Galapagos Islands. It is found in the intertidal zone and at depths down to 280 feet. This is a compound tunicate forming sheets, mounds, or slabs on rocks and other hard substrates. It is jelly-like in consistency, and is 0.4 to 1.2 inches thick. It is shiny yellow, orange, reddish-brown...

White-spotted Sea Squirt, Pycnoclavella diminuta
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The White-spotted Sea Squirt (Pycnoclavella diminuta), also known as the White-spotted Ascidian or White-spot Ascidian, is a species of tunicate found in the Indian and West Pacific oceans, and found along Australia, Lord Howe Island, New Caledonia, Indonesia and the Philippines. It lives at depths of 16 to 66 feet in the benthic zone in caves and under ledges. It often occurs in environments with soft corals. This species lives in colonies composed of small clusters of zooids that...

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2014-01-12 00:00:00

A salp is a barrel-shaped, free-floating tunicate (any living organism which has a saclike body enclosed in a thick membrane or tunic with two openings or siphons for the ingress and egress of water). It moves by contracting which pumps water through its body. The salp strains the water with internal feeding filters as it goes through the body. It consumes phytoplankton that are strained from the water. Salps are common throughout equatorial, temperate, and colder seas. They are most often...

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Word of the Day
penuche
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.
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