Vegetarian Sharks? Bonnetheads Can Survive on Seagrass Alone, Study Finds

Sharks are infamous as meat eaters who often prey on sea creatures and sometimes humans. However, a new study has found that there is a species of shark that can survive on a vegetarian diet.

Meet the bonnethead shark, a member of the hammerhead shark genus Sphyrna in the family Sphyrnidae. A study, led by Samantha Leigh, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Irvine, found that these sharks are able to survive on a diet of seagrass, a plant that grows on the ocean floor. Read more.

Robert N. Clayton, ‘one of the giants’ of cosmochemistry, 1930-2017

Scientist conducted pioneering research on meteorites and lunar rocks

University of Chicago Professor Emeritus Robert N. Clayton, whose pioneering research on the chemistry of meteorites and lunar rocks helped shape the field of cosmochemistry, died on December 30, 2017. He was 87.

In the foreword of a book dedicated to Clayton, Smithsonian geologist Glenn MacPherson wrote that Clayton “could easily wear the name ‘Mr. Oxygen.’” Clayton pioneered the use of oxygen isotopes as “fingerprints,” creating a relatively simple test to distinguish meteorites from ordinary rocks as well as a revolution in the burgeoning field of cosmochemistry. Read more.

Many sharks live a century — longer than thought

Radioactivity from nuclear bombs has helped reveal lengthy lifespans, a new analysis says.

We humans go to great lengths to appear younger than we are. Sharks, it seems, do it naturally.

About a decade ago, studies began to hint that many sharks have longer lifespans than previously suspected. Now, a new analysis that pulled together data from more than 50 studies suggests a “widespread” underestimation of lifespans among many sharks, rays, and cartilaginous fish. Read more. (Explore the interactive: “Sizing Up Sharks, the Lords of the Sea.”“Sizing Up Sharks, the Lords of the Sea.”)

From mountain to sea - studying Taranaki ecosystems

The University of Waikato and George Mason Charitable Trust have joined forces to support in-depth research into Taranaki ecosystems. The plan is to get a coherent approach to research in an often-neglected part of the country.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at the University of Waikato Professor Bruce Clarkson is one of the scientists behind the project to provide scholarships for postgraduate students to study issues in marine and fresh waters and on the land. The Trust is donating $100,000 a year for five years and the university will match that.

Professor Clarkson says the George Mason Trust has long been a supporter of the university, funding scholarships and research projects. "But it’s been in an ad hoc way, so we’ve worked together to design a high-quality integrated model." Read more.

Citing 'enormous' cost difference, Anthem says no to imaging tests at hospitals

Frustrated over the “enormous” price variations among medical providers, Anthem Inc. has said it is no longer allowing patients to receive certain outpatient imaging at hospital-owned facilities.

“We’re seeing differences of like 500 percent,” said Dr. Jay Moore, senior clinical director of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri.

“It just doesn’t make sense. It’s ridiculous in terms of the amount of cost differential.”

Anthem is pushing patients toward independent facilities when they need high-tech imaging tests such as MRI, CT and PET scans. The policy went into effect July 1. Read more.