Photo: chensiyuan/Flickr

300 Firefighters Join Yosemite Lines

300 Firefighters Join Yosemite Lines

Over 4,800 firefighters are now battling the Rim fire in and around Yosemite National Park. An additional 300 firefighters were sent to fight the blaze on Thursday. The wildfire threatens the power and water supply for millions in the San Francisco Bay area.

The fire, now the sixth largest in state history, has burned over 192,000 acres, 40,000 in the park itself.

In addition to elite hotshot crews, some 34 crews of inmates are also fighting the fire. The blaze is now 30% contained.


slow loris kyoto school of medecine kaneko sperm bank freeze dry

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Scientists Create Sperm Bank For Endangered Species

Slow loris, giraffe contributing

Scientists at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine have, fearing the extinction of such adorable creatures as the slow loris, created the world’s first sperm bank for endangered species. Using new freeze-drying techniques, as opposed to liquid nitrogen, researchers have successfully preserved the reproductive material of a loris, as well as a chimpanzee and a giraffe.

Associate professor Takehito Kaneko spent the better part of the last decade developing a buffer solution that would allow for the freeze-drying of the material in question, while still protecting the genetic information held within. Finally, the team was able to succesfully bring the sperm back to life by thawing it in water.

“This method preserves the sperm samples very well and technically we believe it is possible to store them for decades or even longer into the future,” Kaneko told The Daily Telegraph. Kaneko will now begin collecting samples from all 132 species at Kyoto’s city zoo, including endangered elephants, tigers, and rhinoceroses.

When asked whether there might be human applications for the new technology, Kaneko said, “It’s a long way in the future, of course, but if we can store this genetic information in this way it could be something that we can take into space.” The samples, he believes, could one day be used to create colonies on other planets.


Photo: Scott_Calleja/Flickr

WATCH: Kangaroo and Dog Tussle

Video sparking anger

Two controversial video clips have surfaced of a dog getting into a tussle with a kangaroo. According to Anthony Gill, the video's uploader, his dog Max bolted and chased a mob of kangaroos 500 meters down an old fire trail. Gill then got into his "ute" and "drove to find him circling this roo and initially not doing anything." He said he and his four-year-old daughter dragged the dog away from the kangaroos three times.

Despite the ominous title "Kangaroo Tries to Drown Dog," Gill says he only posted the video as "fair warning."

That hasn't deterred criticism. One commenter wrote, "You are completely stupid ... You´╗┐ let your dogs annoy the kangaroo, but when the kangaroo takes advantage you complain ... ?"