James Cameron gives away deep-sea craft
Director James Cameron is donating the craft that he built and last year rode into the seas deepest spot to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,as part of a new collaboration meant to speed ocean exploration. The craft,which cost Cameron,the maker of hit movies like Titanic and Avatar,roughly $10 million of his own money,will be used mainly to aid the design of advanced vehicles and technologies,rather than for routinely carrying scientists into the seas depths. The announcement comes on the anniversary of Camerons solo dive through the dark waters of the western Pacific. No other vehicle can carry people down so deep,and ocean engineers praise the craft,which was designed by Cameron and a team in Australia,for its innovative features. NYT
New lichen species discovered in India
Ten new species of lichens have been discovered in eastern Uttar Pradesh,according to the Lichenology Laboratory at National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI),Lucknow. Lichen is a composite organism with two components existing in a symbiotic relationshipone algae and the other fungus (the host). The new species,which have not been named yet,belong to the genera Opegrapha,Thyrea,Rinodina,Pyrenopsis,Pertusaria,Lecanora,Leprocollema,Bacidia,Toninia and Psora . Additionally,the total count of lichen species reported from Uttar Pradesh has now gone up to 150,from an earlier 43,while five species have been reported for the first time in India. We plan on publishing the findings in a few international journals , said Dr Sanjeeva Nayaka,Principal Investigator of the project.
Lichens are important because they are an indicator of the environment. The level of occurrence of lichen indicate the extent of pollution in the surrounding environment; with a high occurrence indicating a healthy environment, said Dr D K Upreti,Head of Lichenology Laboratory at NBRI,who is also involved in the project. Hamza Khan,Lucknow