zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog calcium bones

“GFP” and Calcium

Calcium is an abundant and important element

“GFP”? No, it does not mean ‘Guns for Peace’ or ‘Golden Flower Pot’. It stands for Green Fluorescent Protein, a substance for the discovery of which the three scientists O. Shimomura, R.Tsien and M. Chalfie were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008. The GFP is inextricably connected with indicating the presence of calcium ions and calcium is one of the most important elements with multiple functions in our body ad that of animals. —>

zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog fish swimming

Progress to Roam Around more Freely

But even in fish it has its price

Have you ever had this feeling that you were really hungry or thirsty and needed to eat or drink something, but you were too exhausted (or let’s put it bluntly: too lazy) to get up and go to the shop? Getting up, putting on your coat, walking to the shop, etc., all that takes time and would, of course, also have required extra energy. The decision as to whether to stay at home or to go out procuring food is one that animals have to make all the time . —>

Family Life on a String for a sandhopper

A monogamous sandhopper makes it happen

If someone spends years and years researching for his doctorate degree and devotes a considerable time of his life to the study of a half-centimetre long multilegged, marine critter, you would expect this creature to have some irresistibly attractive features, right? So, I was very excited when Dr Helmut Stephan of Kiel University showed me “his” Dulichia porrecta, an amphipod (and therefore a ‘relative’ of sandhoppers) living at depths of 40-60 m or deeper in sub-Arctic oceanic waters including some patches of the Baltic Sea. Keeping this animal in captivity in the lab requires patience, water in the aquarium cooled down to a constant 12°C, and lots of cultures of the right algal plankton mix as food for these crustaceans. —>