Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Microbes under the sea.

The ocean depths are home to myriad species of microbes, mostly hard to see but including spaghetti-like bacteria that form whitish mats the size of Greece on the floor of the pacific, scientists said.


The survey, part of a 10-year census of marine life turned up hosts of unknown microbes, tiny zooplankton, crustaceans, worms, burrowers and larvae, some of them looking like extras in a science fiction movie and under-pinning all like in the seas. 


In no other realm of ocean life has the magnitude of census discovery been as extensive as in the world of microbes. Said Mitch Sogin of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, head of the marine microbe census.  The census estimated there were a mind boggling "nonillion" individual microbial cells in the oceans, weighing as much as 240 billion African elephants, the biggest land animal.


Getting a better idea of microbes, the hidden majority that makes up 50-90% of biomass in the seas, will give a benchmark for understanding future shifts in the oceans, perhaps linked to climate change or pollution.


Among the biggest masses of life on the planet are the carpets on the seabed formed by giant multi-cellular bacteria that look like thin strands of spaghetti.  They feed on hydrogen sulphide in oxygen starved waters in a band off Peru and Chile.




Courtesy : Times of India, Chennai times, 20/04/2010

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MEAT LOAF - Popular U.S food

A highly versatile and popular food, especially in the U.S made from ground meat mixed with seasonings (traditionally beef, but veal, pork or lamb may be added), it gets its name and shape by being baked in a tin shaped like a loaf of bread. Onions, green peppers and spices provide the seasoning along with salt and pepper: barbeque sauce is also a popular additive. Cereals, eggs, cheese, breadcrumbs may also be included to help make it more dough-like and help in binding the meat together. Usually served as a main course with sauce or relish to accompany it; the slices can be eaten either warm or cold.

PELMENI - A russian traditional food

One of the oldest and well-known Russian traditional foods, pelmeni is also known as “Siberian dumpling” because of their supposed Siberian origin.

Pelmeni keeps well, so much so that they were known as the hunter’s preserved meal. Pelmeni are dumplings with a filling of ground beef and pork mixed with minced onion and salt. They are usually kept frozen till ready to be eaten when they are thrown into boiling, salted water and cooked till the pelmeni float to the surface.

Pelmeni can be found in any Russian supermarket’s freezer section, though many Russian families consider it a privilege to make it by hand.

About Woodpeckers

WOODPECKERS are real tree-dwellers, where they dig for insects and grubs. The loud drumming made by the beak is a male’s warning to other males, and also an invitation to a female. A hole is bored in a tree for a nest. Common in Europe are the Lesser Spotted (no larger than a sparrow), the Great Spotted and the Green Woodpeckers. The largest European species is the Black Woodpecker, as big as a crow. Largest of all is the Ivory-billed Woodpecker of Mexico, fifty centimeters long. Some gaudily coloured birds related to woodpeckers are the toucans of South America, which have enormous beaks and look top-heavy. In fact the beak is quite light, and a toucan can hold and play with a grape or an egg without damaging it.

Parrots - Popular talking birds

Parrots make popular pets, especially the talking kinds, like the African Grey Parrot. A number of smaller species, called lovebirds, keep together in pairs, even in cages. The brilliantly coloured parrots of South America, called macaws, are noisy, screaming birds. So are the white, crested cockatoos of Australia. But the little green budgerigar is aboriginal for good bird. The Kea a New Zealand parrot, was once unpopular as it used to attack sheep, tearing at their backs to eat the flesh.