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Your Questions About How To Discover New Species

Joseph asks…

How species name of unicellular organisms is given?

Species are the group of organisms that are capable of interbreeding. But unicellular organisms aren’t able to reproduce sexually, they use asexual or vegetative modes of reproduction. So, how can we give them their specific name?

New Niche Finder answers:

There are unicellular sexual species. They are eukaryotic protists or fungi. Sexual reproduction may be from colonies as with Volvox algae or from single cells as from diatoms.
Diatoms must reach a larger size before sexual reproduction is possible.

Prokaryotic bacteria and archaea reproduce asexually by binary fission but imperfectly so still have population pools of similar organisms with variation. This is how they adapt to antibiotics/ There is still differential survival with respect to selective pressures on the variant progeny.

Names of species follow from existing classification systems while newly discovered species are named according to the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria and Viruses

Naming bacteria was once linked to diseases or points of infection but now rely on chemical or genomic markers to determine phylogenetic relationships

Helen asks…

Are we destroying any species of life as we discover new ones?

I ask because someone possted that we have discovered 441 new species in the rain forests. But have not we destroyed more than that as we were looking for those that we found?

New Niche Finder answers:

Species are going extinct all the time, most of them due to human activity

Robert asks…

You discover a new species, what are some reasons of why you should morally treat them like humans?

I am writing a small paper with moral and factual premises that you can make up about the new species. What I was thinking was basing my argument on the intelligence of them. If anything I was hoping to get ideas from other people to what they would say to argue for this.

(This just helps me bounce ideas around of what to write)


New Niche Finder answers:

You should morally treat a new species like humans because it raises you to a higher state of mind and being. This elevation is beneficial not only for other humans, but also for the new species and for every other species already existing.

William asks…

How many species are there on Earth?

How many species are there on planet Earth?? All living things, I was just wondering if anyone knows.

New Niche Finder answers:

Current estimates of the total number of species on Earth range from 5 to 30 million, approximately 2 million have been formally described. Determining an accurate count is a challenging job because there is no central registry for species.

Some species, such as many large mammal, butterfly, bird, plant, and insect species, have been well studied. Over half of all described species are insects, including nearly 300,000 known beetles. However, the estimated number of insects on Earth is thought to be close to 8 million and, proportionally, scientists are closer to naming all plant and vertebrate species. Little continues to be known about the distribution and biology of vast numbers of species groups, including arthropods, fungi, and nematodes.

With technological advances, scientists have also discovered a wealth of new species in areas assumed to be barren, previously inaccessible to humans. Researchers have only recently discovered that the deep Antarctic seas are teeming with life. New species are also still being discovered in relatively well populated areas; one study found 10,000 bacterial species in a single gram of Minnesota soil.

Donna asks…

What are some of the coolest recent scientific discoveries?

Any new species discovered? Anything about the cosmos?

New Niche Finder answers:

A tall shopping bag was folded for the first time ever last month (no kidding, see http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2011/03/25/rspa.2011.0120 ).

In general, what is cool for a scientist is a bit subjective. Xkcd had a nice strip about scientists who love dog barf slime mods (which *are* absolutely astounding creatures) http://www.xkcd.com/877/

Speaking of slime molds, just this year trisexual slime molds were discovered http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6010/1533.abstract — that’s not your regular male and female, that’s THREE sexes.

Also slime mold farmers were discovered, ones that take their favorite food bacteria along, to create crops: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v469/n7330/full/nature09668.html

But if you like cosmos, a bunch more galaxies were found as far back as the Reionization era, and there was a superfluid neuron star observed, and other stuff.

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