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Science News: November 2005

Author: Nicolas Delerue, Issues: November 2005, Topic: Science

A giant squid filmed for the first time
Two Japanese researchers filmed a giant squid (Architeuthis dux) in its habitat for the first time. They baited the squid with bags of mashed shrimp and when it came near the bait, 900m below sea level, a camera filmed it eating and also trying to free one of its tentacle caught in a fishing line. Giant squid have often been found dead on beaches, but this is the first time one was filmed alive.
More details and pictures are available at:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/09/0927_050927_giant_squid.html and at

Agreement on ITER
After more than two years of negotiations, the European Union and Japan have finally reached an agreement regarding the site of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor ITER. Both regions wanted to host it. It was finally decided that France will h ost the reactor, but several important concessions have been made to Japan and an important material research facility will be built in Japan.
More details on ITER can be found at http://www.iter.org/

Fishes will migrate northward due to global warming
A report of the National Research Institute of Fisheries Engineering explains how global warming will affect fish populations around Japan. To stay in water at their preferred temperature fishes are likely to migrate northward. Subtropical fishes may become available near Kyushu and Shikoku and oysters may become more common near Hokkaido, but other species currently fished around Japan may go further north. The report predicts a decline of up to 70% of fish catches around Japan by 2100. Similar effects are already observed around New Zealand and Britain.
More details can be found at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20050828a1.htm

New form of life discovered in Tsukuba
Two researchers from Tsukuba University, Noriko Okamoto and Isao Inouye, have observed a new form of life, a new creature which they have dubbed "Hatena", ("mysterious" in Japanese), which behaves partly as a plant and partly as a predator. Hatena hosts a small green algae, and when it splits into two cells, one is green and the other is colourless. The green cell lives as a plant whereas the colourless cell develops a feeding apparatus with which is eats the same green algae. Once it has caught its prey, the cell looses it feeding apparatus and the algae also undergo some transformation. The researchers believe that a similar phenomena occurred millions of years ago when some bacteria where incorporated in some plants and algae to form the chloroplast.
More details can be found at: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=000DBF79-0930-134F-893083414B7F0000 and

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