In a desperate bid to preserve a critically endangered species, a US zoo is taking the controversial step of trying to mate brother and sister captive Sumatran rhinoceroses.
The coupling of six-year-old Harapan and his older sister Suci could take place as early as August at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, animal keepers say.
The tactic has stirred strong emotions, but Terri Roth, director of the Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife, said she has no other choice.
"We are in a really tough spot and we just don't have any other options," she told AFP.
Conservation experts say there are as few as 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in their native lands of Indonesia and Malaysia.
In captivity, there are only 10 in the world. Four of them are closely related, with three having been bred in recent years at the Cincinnati Zoo.
A fourth born in Indonesia last year was the son of a Cincinnati-bred captive rhino and a formerly wild rhino.
For Suci, who is marking her ninth birthday next week, the only available suitors are her relatives, Roth said.
The other captive male of age in Indonesia is her older brother.
Harapan, who is on the cusp of adulthood, was brought to Ohio earlier this month from his previous home at the Los Angeles Zoo.
Artificial insemination has never worked in Sumatran rhinos, so shipping sperm from a genetically unique mate is not a viable alternative.
"Unless Indonesia were to capture more animals and an unrelated male became available to us, we don't have the genetic diversity that we need," Roth said.
In the meantime, experts say female rhinos need to breed in order to keep their reproductive organs from developing cysts that eventually render them infertile.
"Female rhinos, if they don't reproduce they tend to lose the ability to reproduce. It is kind of use it or lose it with them," said Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation.
Ellis said the population of Sumatran rhinos has dwindled dramatically due to humans encroaching on their land and poaching for their horns, which some Asian cultures believe carry healing powers though they consist of simple keratin, the same protein as in nails, hair and hooves.
"The species has really hit a crisis point," said Ellis.
"There are maybe as few as 100 animals left in the wild."
Still, the decision to breed siblings carries risks, including abnormalities, harmful genetic mutations and poor sperm quality in the offspring.
"In general, we are very much against the idea of breeding relatives because we know that more often than not it causes problems," said David Wildt, head of the Center for Species Survival at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
"I don't know if I would call it a solution. I think it is a strategy. And it really opens up some healthy debate," he added.
"If those were the last animals on the planet, what else would you do? But this isn't the situation here, though. These aren't the last two animals on the planet."
Zookeepers are hopeful that the Indonesian government will take steps to capture some wild rhinos that may be in isolation already due to deforestation, and add them to their captive sanctuary population in order to boost breeding options.
Roth said she was aware of the publicity the decision to mate siblings would bring -- both good and bad -- and she hopes it raises people's interest in preserving the habitat of these precious creatures.
The Sumatran rhino "is not like the giant panda that everybody knows about and follows. I thought people need to know about this," she said.
"We are about to lose this rhino quietly, without a whimper, and I don't want to see that happen."
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Hacker Barnaby Jack dies in San Francisco aged 35 - The Guardian Jul 28th 2013, 15:34
Barnaby Jack, a hacker who was due to present his findings on the security vulnerabilities of implanted medical devices, has died.
The San Francisco medical examiner's office said Jack, 35, died in the city on Thursday – but did not provide details on the circumstances surrounding his death.
Jack had exposed a security flaw in insulin pumps that could be made to dispense a fatal dose by a hacker 300ft away, pushing some medical companies to review the security of these devices.
He was also a popular and respected figure in the information security scene. Within that small scene, reverse engineers are especially close, said Matthieu Suiche, a friend of Jack's and chief scientist at CloudVolumes Inc in an email. "We pretty much all know each other, or have lots of common friends," Suiche said. "It's almost like we all grew up together."
He added: "There isn't much to say except that Barnaby was one of the rare people in InfoSec who was a brilliant researcher but also a good friend to many of us."
Suiche met Jack at the Black Hat conference a few years ago and said they had been really good friends since. He said he had drinks with Jack and his girlfriend in San Francisco just over a week ago.
He called his friend "brilliant", and said Jack's latest research on medical devices could help save the lives of many people. "In this world full of people fearfully complying and worrying, very few people are crazy enough to challenge the rules, to approach life in an unconventional paradigm and to speak up to contribute to change this world," Suiche said.
Jack was due to speak at the Black Hat conference, which starts Saturday in Las Vegas. His presentation, "Implantable medical devices: hacking humans," would have explained how these devices could be compromised and would have suggested ways to improve device security.
Black Hat said the room his discussion was meant to take place will instead be used as a place for his friends and colleagues to gather and remember him on 1 August, when the session was set to take place.
Black Hat said in a statement:
We have lost a member of our family. Everyone would agree that the life and work of Barnaby Jack are legendary and irreplaceable. Barnaby had the ability to take complex technology and intricate research and make it tangible and accessible for everyone to learn and grow from. Beyond his work in our industry, Barnaby was an incredibly warm hearted and welcoming individual with a passion for celebrating life. We all have a hilarious and upbeat story about Barnaby. He is truly a shining example of what we love about this community.
Black Hat will not be replacing Barnaby's talk on Thursday, Aug. 1. No one could possibly replace him, nor would we want them to. The community needs time to process this loss. The hour will be left vacant as a time to commemorate his life and work, and we welcome our attendees to come and share in what we hope to be a celebration of his life. Barnaby Jack meant so much to so many people, and we hope this forum will offer an opportunity for us all to recognize the legacy that he leaves behind.
Our deepest sympathies go out to Barnaby Jack's family and loved ones. Words cannot adequately describe how much he will be missed, but it is certain that Barnaby will NEVER be forgotten.
At the time of his death, Jack was director of embedded security research at security firm IOActive. On Twitter, the company said: "Lost but never forgotten our beloved pirate, Barnaby Jack has passed. He was a master hacker and dear friend. Here's to you Barnes!"
(28-07-2013) NASA Mission Discovers Particle Accelerator in Heart of Van Allen Radiation Belts - Yumanewsnow - W4llppr
NASA Mission Discovers Particle Accelerator in Heart of Van Allen Radiation Belts - Yumanewsnow Jul 27th 2013, 01:06
The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
Please contact the server administrator, email@example.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.
More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
Apache/2.2.23 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.23 OpenSSL/0.9.8e-fips-rhel5 mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/188.8.131.5235 Server at www.yumanewsnow.com Port 80
Here's The First Press Shot Of AT&T's HTC One Mini - Android Police Jul 28th 2013, 01:02
Here's The First Press Shot Of AT&T's HTC One Mini
We've already seen plenty of HTC's One Mini for AT&T in the flesh, but a blurrycam can only go so far. Tonight, we've got one more treat – a crisp, clear press shot of the device.
While the shot doesn't hold much more information than what we already saw in our exclusive photos recently, it's interesting that the Beats Audio logo isn't sporting its typical red brand color (though the same is true for the press shots that have been released). The phone's Blink Feed screen has also been updated, showing different stories than the press shot we saw when HTC made the phone official, but that makes sense considering the location has changed to Atlanta from London. The date on both reads July 23rd.
Without further ado, here's the first press shot for AT&T's variant of the HTC One Mini:
If you need a refresher, here's what to expect from the AT&T One Mini in the specification department:
- 4.3" display at 720p
- Dual-core 1.4GHz processor
- 1GB RAM
| Liam Spradlin || Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets. |
Motorola DROID Mini For Verizon Poses Next To Big Brothers DROID Ultra And DROID MAXX
HTC One Mini (a.k.a. M4) Spotted In Leaked Photos Next To Its Bigger Brother
Samsung Officially Announces The Galaxy S4 Mini In 3G, LTE, And Dual-SIM Versions, No Price Or Date Yet
HTC M4 Details Leak – It's Basically Just A Smaller, Less-Powerful One
Weibo User Reveals Questionable Press Shot Of HTC's Unannounced 5" Phone [Update: Shot Is Confirmed Unofficial]
Exclusive: This Is The AT&T HTC One Mini (Pictures, Specifications)
Is that a new logo in the watermark for Android Police? I like the geometric vibe.
- Steven Koehl
Yeah I have to admit that is pretty sexy. Could this point to a possible AP site redesign? I remember awhile back Artem mentioned it, when the new mobile site was introduced courtesy of Reddit user davidlgj
- Bojan Gutic
Am I imagining things, or was that logo proposed a LOOOONG time ago, before the one currently in use was chosen?!
- http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
There may or may not have been a logo or not a logo that inspired what you have or have you seen here tonight or yesterday.
- http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide
Liam, you've really been kicking up the articles a lot more lately. Great content, AP has been on Point!
Oh great, another AT&T exclusive....
It's ok AT&T can keep this mini to themselves.
- http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
I don't know if it's an exclusive - could be one or could be also on other carriers. What are you basing this on?
Now the HTC One Max needs to leak for AT&T and then my selection of devices will be complete!
no nfc is a deal breaker for a phone in 2013. HTC should be ashamed of cutting an important corner. I mean how am i going to complain about AT&T and VZW blocking google wallet?
aint buying another phone until i see the Next NEXUS
- Cristian Borsa
I'm a bit worried that Google is going to fork android itself with the Moto X.
Galaxy Note 8.0: Still the best small tablet - ZDNet (blog) Jul 28th 2013, 12:04
When the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 arrived a couple of months ago the value over the iPad mini was readily apparent. In addition to rivaling the size of the super-thin little iPad, the Note 8.0 has two features the former lacks. After two months of heavy use of the Galaxy Note 8.0, the value of the tablet is still very good.
Google recently launched the new Nexus 7, a nice tablet at a decent price. The refreshed model has good hardware running the newest version of the Android OS. While the new Nexus 7 is a solid entry into the tablet space, it doesn't have anything to knock the Note 8.0 off its high pedestal.
- Processor: Samsung Exynos 4412, 1.6GHz quad-core
- Display: 8-inch, 1280x800, 189 ppi, touch + pen digitizer
- Memory: 2GB
- Storage: 16GB, microSD up to 64GB
- Cameras: Front- 1.3MP, Back- 5MP
- OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
- Battery: 4,600 mAh
- Connectivity: wi-fi a/b/g/n, 2.4 and 5 GHz
- Dimensions: 210.8x135.9x7.95 mm, 8.29x5.35x0.31 inches; 340g, 0.74lb
While the hardware inside the Note 8.0 isn't as fast as that in the Nexus 7, pefrormance of the former is very snappy. The processor in the Note is more than enough to handle anything you need to do on the tablet. Scrolling is smooth, video plays well, and it handles multitasking with ease.
Google launched Android 4.3 with the Nexus 7, an advantage over the Note 8.0. Even so, Android 4.1 which is used on the Note 8.0 has been modified by Samsung to provide unique functionality. The multiview feature that allows running two apps side-by-side on the display (see image above), is a powerful feature. It makes it possible to keep an eye on a running app on the left while working in another app displaying on the right pane.
Smart stay is another feature that uses the front camera to check if the user is looking at the screen. As long as it "sees" the user looking it prevents the display from dimming and shutting off. This feature is available on certain Samsung smartphones, too and is one of the best utilities on mobile devices.
The Note 8.0 has something not found on other small tablets, the S Pen. Taking handwritten notes on the fly is a great feature. Samsung has included special apps to leverage using the pen. These include a note app and a planner app that leverage pen input to great effect.
The pen can be used to write in any app due to special support by Samsung. Anywhere you can use the onscreen keyboard in Android you can use the pen to write text instead.
Next page: Great apps on the Galaxy Note 8.0