Ecosystems are failing and extinction rates are soaring. Thomas E. Lovejoy and Edward O. Wilson weigh in on why cataloging existing species, discovering new ones, and maintaining a balanced and diverse global ecosystem are critical for ensuring a habitable environment for all.

By | October 1, 2011

Conserving Our Shared Heritage

Reversing catastrophic threats to our planet’s biodiversity is not optional: our lives depend on it.Although countless species have come and gone, today we share the planet with tens of millions of species, simultaneously shaping the Earth's very form and function. . . .By Thomas E. Lovejoy


Synthetic Biology

Opinion: Exploring a Little-Known Planet

Cataloging the staggering richness of Earth’s species will have multiple payoffs.One of the fundamental questions of biology is the amount and full nature of biodiversity on Earth. It should be worrisome to all that 250 years after Carl Linnaeus introduced the practice of binomial nomenclature and articulated the goal of identifying all species of organisms, we still have accounted for only a tiny fraction of the whole. . . .By Edward O. Wilson

Slide Show: Newly Discovered Species

Life on Earth is mind-bogglingly diverse with estimates of the number of existing species in the tens of millions. Over the last 4 billion years, many species have gone extinct; and because of the actions of humans, many existing species are now endangered. New species are constantly being discovered, however, such as the ones pictured in this slideshow, collected during the recent Census of Marine Life.


Stem Cells Induced for ConservationResearchers generate pluripotent stem cells from two endangered species in hopes of learning more about the near-extinct animals.By Kerry Grens
Opinion: The Invasive IdeologyBiologists and conservationists are too eager to demonize non-native species.By Matthew K. Chew and Scott P. Carroll
Love and CricketsA new exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia celebrates the work of an artist who is also the world’s authority on grasshoppers and crickets.By Cristina Luiggi
Opinion: Diversity for Conservationists and BiotaConservation biologists must reflect on the nation’s changing demographics to save the organisms they strive to protect.By Columbus H. Brown and Roel R. Lopez
Atlas of the AtmosphereThe air is teeming with microbes, and scientists are finally starting to understand how they influence everything from meteorology to epidemiology.By Vanessa Schipani
Cataloging LifeCan a single barcode of DNA record biodiversity and keep us safe from poisons?By Bob Grant




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