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Watching tropical fish swimming about in a tank is a peculiarly calming experience - which is perhaps why
they're so often to be seen in dentists' surgeries. It might also help to explain why people who keep fish are the
happiest and most contented breed of pet owner. According to a new study by psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, pet
choice is often a good indication of personality. Dog owners tend to be cheerful, while cat lovers are dependable and
emotionally sensitive. Reptile fanciers are independent - and have no sense of humour. But no one is happier than a
keeper of fish, according to the professor's research. Click
Human embryos that get too much or too little retinoic acid, a derivative of Vitamin A, can develop into
babies with birth defects. New research at UC Irvine shows for the first time how embryonic cells may regulate levels of
retinoic acid, giving scientists insight into how it acts as a signal between cells to control development of the brain,
limbs and many other tissues in embryos.
Zebra fish embryos used in this
study were genetically engineered to be unable to make enough retinoic acid. The UCI scientists implanted tiny retinoic
acid-soaked beads, which gradually released retinoic acid into the embryos. Using genetically altered fish embryos in
which cells become fluorescent in response to retinoic acid when illuminated with an ultraviolet light, the scientists
tracked how the retinoic acid moved within the embryos. This study is among the first to examine the distribution of
retinoic acid. Click
They say they're packed in like sardines at the Shedd Aquarium -- the folks who work there, that is, not
the fish. To remedy the office squeeze, the Shedd is planning to construct 24,000 square feet of new workspace on part
of the roof of the Oceanarium, beginning in the fall of 2008. You can see the slight changes in the drawings above. Click
Scientists identified a gene involved in producing yellow pigment cells in oval spots on the fishes'
fins. These markings, known as egg-dummies, are found on the anal fins of the male fish and are crucial to mating. The
fish are known as maternal mouth-brooders, because once the female has laid her eggs, she picks them up in her mouth.
Attracted by what she takes to be eggs - actually the egg-dummy markings - the female then approaches the male. When the
female is close to the anal fin, the male discharges sperm into the female's mouth to fertilize the eggs. Click
An 18-foot (5.4-meter) Minke whale ran aground on a sandbar in
Brazil's Amazon jungle, some 1,000
miles (1,600 kilometers) from the Atlantic Ocean, Brazilian media reported Friday. The Globo television agency broadcast
images of dozens of people gathered along the Tapajós River splashing water on the animal, whose back and dorsal fin
were exposed to the hot Amazon sun. Click
Captured just before midnight on November 13 by fishers in Cambodia, this Mekong giant catfish is 8 feet
long (2.4 meters long) ands weighs 450 pounds (204 kilograms). "This is the only giant catfish that has been caught this
year so far, making it the worst year on record for catch of giant fish species," said Zeb Hogan (far right in the
picture above), a fisheries biologist at the University of Reno in Nevada. After collecting data on the fish, Hogan
released it unharmed. Giant catfish were once plentiful throughout Southeast Asia's Mekong River watershed, including
the Tonle Sap River—home of the fish in these exclusive pictures taken near Phnom Penh. But in the last century the
Mekong giant catfish population has declined by 95 to 99 percent, scientists say. Only a few hundred adult giant catfish
may remain. Since 2000 five to ten fish have been caught by accident each year throughout the Mekong area. Click
to be at
are 2 of
Joshua from Okemos, Michigan,
sent us this email.
A Big Sincere Thank-you
for calling during the show to
Evan from Colorado,
Matt from Tennessee,
Jourdan from Connecticut, and
Mike from Missouri.
The Bailey Brothers
encourage YOU to call Pet Fish Talk
during the show and talk about your pet fish.
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