Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Technology has given biologists the opportunity to discover new life.

E.O. Wilson (a professor and honorary curator in entomology at Harvard University) presented at TED in March 2007 which is quite an inspiring and fascinating talk for any age group. A video that should definitely be shown in every biology class. He encourages everyone to get to know more about the insects and small creatures, to learn more about our biosphere.

There are over 500 bacteria (now known) that are friendly living in your throat and mouth alone. Biodiversity is a yardstick with which to measure the health of planet Earth. Much of early biology consisted of identifying and classifying creatures. As the world famous Ecologist E.O Wilson says, “Everything is connected”. It is these interactions and the totality of life, which give rise to the term biodiversity. Biological diversity can be defined as the variety of living creatures, including their ecological roles and their genetic diversity. Biodiversity is in short the “creation” in its mind-boggling entirety.

HIPPO is an acronym that Wilson uses to describe the threats to biosphere:

  • H - habitat destruction
  • I - introduced species (introduced invaders by humans often kill out native species)
  • P - pollution
  • P - population (Wherever humans step - they gobble up resources)
  • O - overconsumption (North Americans - 5 % of the world population but consumes 25% of world resources)
E.O. Wilson wishes that all can work together to help create the key tools needed to inspire preservation of earth's biodiversity - it is called the Encyclopedia of Life. A website that has a page for each species on earth that makes this information available for everyone on the earth. Could scientists and the everyday person can come together (almost in a wiki format) to develop the Encyclopedia?

School Chat....
How can your school or class be involved in your corner of the world? Contact the folks at Encyclopedia of Life to see how your program can contribute.....the smallest of discoveries can be found by the youngest scientists!

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