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Fish in the Public Eye 2

By Steve Kraus (SteveK)
 
Finally, it is starting to warm up here in the United States. Summer is just around the corner and now is the time to get those ponds up to their full summertime glory. It is also a good time to head out to a local stream and collect some non-endangered plants. You maybe surprised how many plants you have locally. Myself and several other Petfish members have found many good terrarium and aquarium plants on the edges of lakes. Just be sure you check your local laws on collecting.
 
Scientists who are working on the Human genome project use chromosome maps of other species as a guide to help them find similar genes in our DNA. It has been found that the chromosome map of a puffer fish (Fugu rubripes) has been extremely helpful. The genes for the basic tools of life and of many major organs have been passed down through the fish and human lineages. Barring chromosomal alterations and/or mutations, the genes should remain in the same general position on the chromosomes.
 
Good news for all of you fisher-men/women out there! It has been know that a diet rich in omega-3-fatty acids helps reduce the risk of heart problems. Well now a recent study has confirmed that fish oil beats soy oil in keeping the heart healthy. The study monitored the amount of air pollution (smog) in the subject’s heart by monitoring the heart rate variability. It was found that soy did offer some protect, but fish oil completely wiped out all air pollutants from the heart.
 
As some of you already know, we are heading towards a modern biodiversity crisis. It is really inevitable, but seeing that it is going to happen, I have been a big proponent of cataloging all of the Earth’s life and getting DNA libraries made of all of these species. Then after we pass the hump, maybe things will have gotten pretty bad environmentally, but we could go back and fix what damage had been done and reintroduce these species. The reason I bring this up is because a 2.4 million dollar grant was given to catalog MRI scans of all the fish in one of the largest collections in the world. These scans will include some of extremely rare fish and some that are almost extinct. These 3D pictures will allow high school and college students to do virtual dissections of fish. Look out, maybe someday Petfish.net will have a 3D picture of your fish for you to explore. They are supposed to post their progress on www.digitalfishlibrary.org but as of the writing of this, I could not open up the site.
 
I wonder if these researchers’ parents had aquariums while they were growing up.
 
-SteveK

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