SubscriptionsGo to the Subscriptions Centre to manage your:My ProfileIn Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault officially opened, taking in seeds from 250,000 distinct varieties of agricultural crops. And online, the Encyclopedia of Life website launched, although it promptly crashed after millions of curious users tried to access the site.The vault acts as a backup to existing seed banks across the world, providing a safe and remote place to store the seeds of cultivated crops, away from the effects of climate change, earthquakes, war and other disasters.The vault is limited to the protection of cultivated crop seeds, as opposed to their wild cousins, however.The Encyclopedia of Life, on the other hand, is less concerned with different varieties of engineered species than the species themselves, and seeks to catalogue all 1.8 million known species on Earth.The aim of the encyclopedia organizers a group of universities and museums is to help researchers to understand large scale patterns that their specialized research might otherwise miss.But there’s an undercurrent to both projects as well: the fragile nature of life on Earth.Axel Diederichsen, the research scientist and curator at the Canadian Seed Gene Bank, said yesterday in an interview that agricultural breeding habits in the last 150 years have robbed cultivated plants of much of their diversity, creating a homogeneity that potentially exposes wide swaths of crops to pests or diseases.Likewise, multiple pressures such as climate change and the movement of invasive species threatens wildlife conservation efforts, and aiding those efforts is one of the stated goals of the encyclopedia.Diederichsen sees similarities between the two projects. “It’s important to get an overview,” he said.
The layout appears natural, but all the plants have been deliberately planted in their present position. Greencombe is an organic garden, using between 25 and 30 tons of home produced compost and leaf mould each year. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
The events surrounding the loss of the Edward Prince of Wales will never be fully known. The RNLI, after looking into the disaster, said that she had been capsized and driven ashore onto the rocks at high water, about 8pm on 23 April. She was never seen by the watchers on Sker Point so it is hard to confirm these findings..
So randomness has this way of promoting addictive behaviour. You keep waiting for that reward.”Ryerson new media student Keegan Shim knows the feeling well. He has a BlackBerry and estimates he sends and responds to at least 50 text messages a day, not including emails.