Scientists Pinpoint ‘Master’ Genes Responsible for Butterfly Wing Appearance

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — The complex designs on a butterfly’s wings might be determined by a genetic master switch. New research suggests just two genes are responsible for a butterfly’s intricate shapes and colors and that turning off those genes completely changes their appearance. Butterfly wings are covered in tiny scales. These form patterns in … Continued

Researchers Discover Plastic-Eating Fungus

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — New research suggests a fungus could be key to ridding the Earth of plastic pollution. Pakistani and Chinese researchers say they’ve discovered a fungus which actually feeds on plastic trash. The fungus, which was found in a garbage dump in Islamabad, Pakistan, breaks down plastic by secreting a certain enzyme. What’s … Continued

First Wild Bison Seen in Germany in Centuries Shot Dead By Hunters

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — A wild bison spotted in Germany for the first time in centuries is shot dead by hunters. The animal was seen last week near the eastern town of Lebus. The World Wildlife Fund said it marked the first sighting of a wild European bison in the country in 250 years. Polish … Continued

Study Finds Sea Turtle Populations Bouncing Back

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — There is reason to celebrate on the conservation front. A new study reveals that sea turtle numbers are recovering. Researchers analyzed nesting sites in almost 60 regions across the globe. They found nest numbers were up at 95 sites compared to down at 35. The findings were published on Sept. 20 … Continued

Study: Biggest and Smallest Species Most at Risk of Extinction

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — When it comes to survival, bigger isn’t always better. But neither is smaller. New research reveals that the largest and smallest animals face the highest risk of extinction. Researchers looked at a variety of animals, from birds and reptiles to mammals and amphibians. The findings, published on Sept. 18 in the … Continued

Locals Oppose Cutting Trees for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Local Tokyo residents fighting to save the trees. Seventy platanus trees currently line Meidai Street in the Chiyoda district, surrounded by Meiji University and other college campuses but they’re on the chopping block as part of the city’s redevelopment plan to expand its sidewalks ahead of the 2020 Olympics. Chiyoda officials … Continued

Harambe’s Successor Arrives at Cincinnati Zoo

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — The Cincinnati Zoo has announced it is getting a new male gorilla over a year after the death of the now-world-famous Harambe. Harambe was shot by a zoo worker after a 3-year-old boy fell into his enclosure in May 2016 and quickly rose through the ranks of internet fame to become … Continued

Scientists Are Hoping Starfish-Eating Snails Will Help Protect the Great Barrier Reef

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Scientists are getting creative with ways to protect the largest living thing on earth — the Great Barrier Reef. Studies suggest the reef’s corals are dying at an unprecedented rate. One of the biggest threats to their health is the crown-of-thorns starfish. These starfish love to eat coral. The Australian Institute of … Continued

Scientists Find First Evidence of Night Parrots in Southern Australia in Decades

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) – Scientists are on the feather-trail of one of the rarest birds on Earth. It’s called the night parrot. It’s a nocturnal, desert-dwelling parrot endemic to Australia. Experts thought it had gone extinct until a confirmed sighting was made in Queensland four years ago. The elusive bird was later spotted in Western … Continued

Snow Leopards Reclassified as ‘Vulnerable’

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Snow leopards are no longer listed as an “endangered” species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, announced on Sept. 14 that the animals are now classified as “vulnerable.” The upgrade to their status follows a three-year assessment of their numbers in the wild. To be listed as “endangered,” … Continued