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A snake species has been discovered in Madagascar. Aptly called "ghost snake" thanks to its pale color, the reptile's name comes from the local Malagasy term "lolo," meaning ghost. In a new study, researchers claimed that the ghost snake belongs to a larger group of snakes known as Madagascarophis, which are cat-eyed, nocturnal and distinguished by their vertical pupils. Researchers at the American Museum of Natural History, the Université de Mahajanga in Madagascar and LSU Museum of Natural Science published their research work on the ghost snake in the scientific journal Copeia. "None of the other snakes in Madagascarophis are as pale and none of them have this distinct pattern," said the lead author of the paper, Sara Ruane, who is a post-doctoral fellow at the LSU Museum of Natural Science. Ruane asserted that the discovery of the new snake species, now known as Madagascarophis lolo, has been an exciting endeavor because there are many cat-eyed snakes in the island but this one stood out as an entirely new species and hitherto remained unknown because of poor exploration of the region. The researchers came across the ghost snake on pale gray limestone Tsingy rocks in the Ankarana National Park in northern Madagascar. Tsingy rock formations are the high point of Ankarana. The rocks are sharp and hard to walk on, yet the researchers traced the ghost snake's closest kin to be Madagascarophis fuchsi, discovered 100 kilometers north of Ankarana, a few years ago. They said the common factor binding the duo is that they both found them in rocky and isolated areas. More Research On Ghost Snake In The U.S. The researchers are now back in the U.S. after discovering the new ghost snake species and are planning in-depth genetic and morphological analyses of the reptile. In the preliminary studies, the focus is on physical characteristics of the snake with attention on scales spread on the belly, back, and those near the eyes and lips. Ruane has taken the ghost snake's DNA from the tissue samples and will compare it with the Madagascarophis fuchsi. She used three genetic markers found in existing Madagascarophis species to compare with the new one. With the help of her colleauges, she also mapped out the genetic family tree of the Madagascarophis and found that there are five species all in all. "All of the analyses we did support that this is a distinct species despite the fact that we only have this one individual," Ruane said. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Moura T.,Instituto Portugues do Mar e da Atmosfera | Jones E.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Clarke M.W.,Marine Institute of Ireland | Cotton C.F.,Florida State University | And 13 more authors.
Fisheries Research

Deep-water sharks exhibit species-specific reproductive strategies, which include segregation by sex, size and reproductive stage. However, due to the wide spatial distribution of most species, available information, usually collected at a regional scale, is usually not adequate to infer species reproductive spatial dynamics. This study draws together information on the distribution of reproductive stages of three species of squaliform sharks: Portuguese dogfish Centroscymnus coelolepis (Somniosidae), leafscale gulper shark Centrophorus squamosus (Centrophoridae) and birdbeak dogfish Deania calcea (Centrophoridae), gathering data from several geographical areas from the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. For each species we analysed the sex ratio and the spatial patterns of reproductive stages within regions, considering the influence of geographical area, depth, season, temperature and salinity. The combination of statistical methods used in this study successfully identified a number of life history patterns which reflect different use of habitats by sex and life cycle stage. Pregnant females of the three species are spatially segregated, inhabiting shallower and/or warmer waters. In the case of the leafscale gulper shark this segregation might be associated with large scale migrations. In contrast, in Portuguese dogfish all adult maturity stages occur in the same geographical area. Pregnant female birdbeak dogfish were rare in all samples. Larger immature specimens of all the three species distribute deeper than the remaining maturity stages in most of the regions analysed. Mature males of leafscale gulper shark and birdbeak dogfish were more broadly distributed than mature females, supporting the possibility of sex-biased dispersal. Neonates and small sized specimens were scarce in the Northeast Atlantic potentially explained by their concentration in nurseries, and/or by gear selectivity. Management measures will benefit from considering the geographic scale of demographic variation between species. However, standardized collaborative approaches will be needed for comprehensive assessment. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Deshpande R.,Karlstad University | Deshpande R.,More Research | Sundvall L.,More Research | Grundberg H.,Domsjo Fabriker | Germgard U.,Karlstad University
Cellulose Chemistry and Technology

A sodium bisulphite cooking study has been performed on spruce chips with the aim of monitoring the impregnation and the initial phase of such a cook performed at pH 4.5. Both pulp and liquor analyses have been carried out and the experiments have been done with a laboratory-prepared cooking acid, in comparison with a mill cooking acid. The pulping experiments have been performed down to a total pulp yield of 60%. The objective was to verify and extend the current knowledge of bisulphite pulping with a focus on the initial phase of the cook. With the help of a kinetic model that has been developed in the project, the pulp composition during the cook with respect to cellulose, lignin, glucomannan and xylan can now be predicted. The side reactions with respect to thiosulphate formation were also analyzed in this study. Source

Deshpande R.,Karlstad University | Deshpande R.,More Research | Sundvall L.,More Research | Grundberg H.,Domsjo Fabriker | Germgard U.,Karlstad University
O Papel

The initial phase of a bisulfite cook, here defined as the first part of the cook down to 20% lignin, is highly influenced by the temperature and it can therefore be used to control the initial pulping rate with respect to lignin. However, the influence of the temperature is different for the degradation of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose and for the formation of the by-product thiosulfate. The temperature is therefore a powerful tool to control several mechanisms in a bisulfite cook. Additionally, if the cooking acid is taken from a pulp mill, where the ionic strength, the content of by-products and COD in the liquor phase are much higher than in a lab prepared cooking acid, this will also influence the kinetics of the different chemical reactions and, thus, the composition of the pulp after a certain cooking time. Earlier literature references, which are based on lab prepared cooking acids, are therefore not completely reliable as tools to predict the final composition of the pulp in a pulp mill. Source

Bjorkevoll I.,More Research | Reboredo R.G.,Estrada Colexio Universitario 16 | Fossen I.,More Research
LWT - Food Science and Technology

Headed and gutted fresh or frozen and thawed cod (Gadus morhua L.) from the same net catch were hand filleted post rigor before carrying out small-scale salting trials. Fillets were heavy salted using three different methods introducing phosphate during injection, brining, or during pickle salting. For all salting methods, treatment with 0, 4.5, 9 or 18 g/L of the pyro and tri polyphosphate blend Carnal 2110 was carried out. Quality and chemical parameters were analyzed after 5 weeks and 6 ± 1 months of chilled storage of heavy salted fillets.Results showed that injection was a successful way of introducing phosphate in heavy salted fillets. Immersion in phosphate brine during pickle salting did not lead to effective uptake of these additives. Quality parameters were not altered significantly by the phosphate addition using both instrumental color and sensorial analysis of heavy salted cod. Treatment of phosphate did not significantly affect the oxidation of heavy salted cod, measured as TBARS. Considerable increases in yields were registered as a response to increased phosphate addition, and yields were significantly higher for heavy salted cod from frozen and thawed compared to fresh raw materials. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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