Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Spookfish Uses Mirrors For Eyes

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

by Staff Writers
Bristol UK (SPX) Jan 14, 2009

A remarkable new discovery shows the four-eyed spookfish to be the first vertebrate ever found to use mirrors, rather than lenses, to focus light in its eyes.

Professor Julian Partridge from the University of Bristol, said: “In nearly 500 million years of vertebrate evolution, and many thousands of vertebrate species living and dead, this is the only one known to have solved the fundamental optical problem faced by all eyes - how to make an image - using a mirror.”

While the spook fish looks like it has four eyes, in fact it only has two, each of which is split into two connected parts. One half points upwards, giving the spookfish a view of the ocean - and potential food - above. The other half, which looks like a bump on the side of the fish’s head, points downwards into the abyss below. These ‘diverticular’ eyes are unique among all vertebrates in that they use a mirror to make the image.

Very little light penetrates beneath about 1000m of water and like many other deep-sea fish the spookfish is adapted to make the most of what little light there is.

At these depths it is flashes of bioluminescent light from other animals that the spookfish are largely looking for. The diverticular eyes image these flashes, warning the spookfish of other animals that are active, and otherwise unseen, below its vulnerable belly.

Although the spookfish was first discovered 120 years ago, no one had discovered its reflective eyes until now because a live animal had never been caught. When Professor Hans-Joachim Wagner from Tuebingen University caught a live specimen off the Pacific island of Tonga, members of his research team used flash photography to confirm the fish’s upward and downward gazes.

Photographs taken by Dr Tammy Frank looking down on the live fish produced eye-shine in the main tubular eyes that point upwards, but not in the diverticular eyes that point downward. Instead, these reflect light when seen from below.

It was when looking at sections of the eye that Professor Partridge realised that the diverticular mirrors were something exciting. The mirror uses tiny plates, probably of guanine crystals, arranged into a multi-layer stack.

This is not unique in the animal kingdom (it’s why silvery fish are silvery) but the arrangement and orientation of the guanine crystals is precisely controlled such that they direct the light to a focus.
Partridge’s computer simulation showed that the precise orientation of the plates within the mirror’s curved surface is perfect for focusing reflected light onto the fish’s retina.

The use of a single mirror has a distinct advantage over a lens in its potential to produce bright, high-contrast images. Having the ability to see moving objects at such depths could mean the difference between life and death for spookfish.

A Novel Vertebrate Eye Using Both Refractive and Reflective Optics by Hans-Joachim Wagner

Mystery solved: How bleach kills germs

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Associate Professor Ursula Jakob Reuters – Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Associate Professor Ursula Jakob (L) and Jeannette Winter, …

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Bleach has been killing germs for more than 200 years but U.S. scientists have just figured out how the cleaner does its dirty work.

It seems that hypochlorous acid, the active ingredient in bleach, attacks proteins in bacteria, causing them to clump up much like an egg that has been boiled, a team at the University of Michigan reported in the journal Cell on Thursday.

The discovery, which may better explain how humans fight off infections, came quite by accident.

“As so often happens in science, we did not set out to address this question,” Ursula Jakob, who led the team, said in a statement.

The researchers had been studying a bacterial protein called heat shock protein 33, which is a kind of molecular chaperon that becomes active when cells are in distress, for example from the high temperature of a fever.

In this case, the source of the distress was hypochlorous acid or hypochlorite.

Jakob’s team figured out that bleach and high temperatures have very similar effects on proteins.

When they exposed the bacteria to bleach, the heat shock protein became active in an attempt to protect other proteins in the bacteria from losing their chemical structure, forming clumps that would eventually die off.

“Many of the proteins that hypochlorite attacks are essential for bacterial growth, so inactivating those proteins likely kills the bacteria,” Marianne Ilbert, a postdoctoral fellow in Jakob’s lab, said in a statement.

The researchers said the human immune system produces hypochlorous acid in response to infection but the substance does not kill only the bacterial invaders. It kills human cells too, which may explain how tissue is destroyed in chronic inflammation.

Hypochlorous acid is an important part of host defense,” Jakob said. “It’s not just something we use on our countertops.”

Cool Volcano Photos!

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Next time you you worry about earth shaking events picture this:

Teacher Rocket Balloon Cars

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

I thought you’d like to hear about our successful science lesson today. We’ve been learning about Neil Armstrong and the Wright Brothers so I found an experiement called The Rocket Balloon. You are probably familiar with it. Anyway, first I demonstrated it for the class. Then I divided them into four teams of four. Each student had an assigned job and all the materials were ready on the table. I told them that part of their science grade was to see how they worked in teams because astronauts can’t argue in space about whose doing what. It was interesting to just sit back and watch them working together. After letting them do the experiment four or five times, they cleaned up and wrote about it in their journals. I’ve never seen them write so quietly and so focused before! One of the requirements was to explain what they had learned. It was a little hard for some to put it in to words but they were able to explain the activity very well. It is definitely one that I will do again next year.

Take care,

Solar Eclipse in China

Monday, July 28th, 2008
On August 1, 2008, a total solar eclipse begins at 6:09 pm China time
(6:00 am EDT) near the windswept high grasslands northeast of the
small hamlet of Yiwu, about two hours north of Hami in the Xinjiang
province of China. As in the total solar eclipses of 1999, 2001, and
2006, a team of Exploratorium and NASA heliophysics experts will
adeptly capture and broadcast the Eclipse live from yet another
specially chosen international locale. Like the Olympics, the thrills
of live viewership can still be yours even if you can't travel to
China for this major celestial event. Thanks to satellite technology,
you can watch it from your planetarium or local museum -- or even from
home at your computer screen.  We have set up a special web site
specifically for this event; including podcasts, articles, videos, and
of course a live webcast on August 1st!  Go to and click on the Eclipse Special "Total
Solar Eclipse 2008".

An "Eclipse" is a natural phenomenon that has captured the curiosity
and wonder of people for thousands of years.  The reason for an
eclipse has been explained in many cultures throughout time.  We see
thousands of eclipse watchers set up their telescopes to view the
corona in hopes of discovering more about the Sun.  It is not
surprising to find eclipses within the required curriculum.  We have
provided activities and storytelling that is multidisciplinary for use
in any classroom.  We hope you will use the featured formal education
section and enjoy the eclipse with your students through a special
storytelling activity.  The web cast and "Eclipse Special" will be
archived for your use during the school year.

The Most Important Disease of a Most Important Fruit

Saturday, July 19th, 2008
Randy Ploetz
Tropical Research and Education Center,
University of Florida, IFAS, Homestead

Origins and importance of banana as a food crop
Banana is one of the most fascinating and important of all crops. It is a large monocotyledenous herb that originated in Southeast Asia. Virtually all of the cultivars that are grown are thought to have been selected as naturally occurring hybrids in this region by the earliest of farmers. In fact, Norman Simmonds proposed that banana was one of the first crops to be domesticated by man. In writing of the beginnings of agriculture in Southeast Asia, he concluded, “It seems a reasonable assumption that the bananas evolved along with the earliest settled agriculture of that area and may therefore be some tens of thousands of years old.”

Despite the current, clear understanding of its ancestry, the edible bananas’ origins are often confused in the literature. Almost all of the 300 or more cultivars that are known arose from two seeded, diploid species, Musa acuminata Colla and M. balbisiana Colla; they are diploid, triploid and tetraploid hybrids among subspecies of M. acuminata, and between M. acuminata and M. balbisiana.

Conventionally, the haploid contributions of the respective species to the cultivars are noted with an A and B. For example, the Cavendish cultivars that are the mainstays of the export trades are pure triploid acuminata and, thus, AAA. The Linnaean species M. paradisiaca (the AAB plantains) and M. sapientum (the sweet dessert bananas, of which Silk AAB is the type cultivar) are invalid and no longer used.


Women selling fruit of Dwarf Cavendish AAA  and Pisang awak ABB  in a market in Karonga, Malawi, East Africa. The lower photograph shows preparation of male buds of Pisang awak for cooking in a market in Sungai Kolok, Thailand. For many of the world’s poorest people, banana is a nutritious and important staple food. Click images for enlargement.

Banana is now one of the most popular of all fruits. Although it is viewed as only a dessert or an addition to breakfast cereal in most developed countries, it is actually a very important agricultural product. After rice, wheat and milk, it is the fourth most valuable food. In export, it ranks fourth among all agricultural commodities and is the most significant of all fruits, with world trade totaling $2.5 billion annually. Yet, only 10% of the annual global output of 86 million tons enters international commerce. Much of the remaining harvest is consumed by poor subsistence farmers in tropical Africa, America and Asia. For most of the latter producers, banana and plantain (which is a type of banana) are staple foods that represent major dietary sources of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C, and potassium, phosphorus and calcium.

This photograph shows seed-packed fruit of Musa balbisiana, one of the ancestors of the edible bananas. Since the edible cultivars are parthenocarpic and often female or male sterile, seeds are rarely found in their fruit. The latter factors, however, have made it difficult to improve this crop by breeding.

Impact of banana diseases
Diseases are among the most important factors in banana production worldwide. They are the reasons for which all of the world’s breeding programs were created and remain a primary focus of all current programs. Recently, diseases also became principal targets of biotechnological efforts to improve this crop and ).

A leaf spot disease is the most important of these problems. Black Sigatoka, which is also known as black leaf streak, causes significant reductions in leaf area, yield losses of 50% or more, and premature ripening, a serious defect in exported fruit. It is more damaging and difficult to control than the related yellow Sigatoka disease, and has a wider host range that includes the plantains and dessert and ABB cooking bananas that are usually not affected by yellow Sigatoka.

Figure5sm.jpg (22695 bytes)

A close-up of the adaxial surface of a banana leaf that is affected by black Sigatoka. Under high rainfall and humidity, these lesions will coalesce and kill the entire leaf. Click image for enlargement.

Damage caused by black Sigatoka in a planting of Dwarf Cavendish AAA in Malawi, East Africa. Note the scarcity of healthy leaf tissue on plants that carry fruit. Yields from such plants are usually a half or less than that from healthy plants.
Click image for enlargement.

Figure6sm.jpg (57557 bytes)

In export plantations, Black Sigatoka is controlled with frequent applications of fungicides and cultural practices, such as the removal of affected leaves, and adequate spacing of plants and efficient drainage within plantation. In total, these are very expensive practices. For example, fungicide application includes the use of airplanes or helicopters, permanent landing strips and facilities for mixing and loading the fungicides, and the high recurring expense of the spray materials themselves. In total, it has been estimated that the costs of control are ultimately responsible for 15-20% of the final retail price of these fruit in the importing countries. Their great expense makes them essentially unavailable to small-holder farmers who grow this crop, it is these producers who are affected most by this important disease.

Figure7sm.jpg (60203 bytes)

Aerial application of fungicides to control black Sigatoka in Honduras. In the final analysis, the costs associated with these control measures are directly responsible for 15-20% of the purchase price of exported fruit in the importing countries. (Photo courtesy of R.H. Stover)
Click image for enlargement.

Distribution, etiology and epidemiology of black Sigatoka
Black Sigatoka was first recognized in the Sigatoka Valley of Fiji in 1963, but was probably widespread in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific by that time. In the Western Hemisphere, it first appeared in 1972 in Honduras and now occurs on the mainland from central Mexico south to Bolivia and northwestern Brazil, and in the Caribbean basin in Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and southern Florida. In Africa, the disease was first recorded in Zambia in 1973 and has since spread throughout the sub-Saharan portions of that continent. In most areas, black Sigatoka has now replaced yellow Sigatoka to become the predominant leaf spot disease of banana.

Black Sigatoka is caused by the ascomycete, Mycosphaerella fijiensis Morelet [anamorph: Paracercospora fijiensis (Morelet) Deighton] (a variant of the pathogen, M. fijiensis var. difformis, that was previously reported in tropical America, is no longer recognized). The pathogen produces conidia and ascospores, both of which are infective. They are formed under high moisture conditions, and are disseminated by wind, and in the case of conidia, also by rain and irrigation water. Due to their greater abundance and small size, ascospores are more important than conidia in spreading the disease within plants and plantations. In contrast, infected planting material and leaves, which are used often in the developing world as packing materials, are usually responsible for the long-distance spread of the disease. The recent outbreak of black Sigatoka in South Florida almost certainly resulted from the importation of infected germplasm by local growers (see Plant Disease note D-1998-1217-03N).

Figure9sm.jpg (30787 bytes)

“Damn, how did this get here?” Dr. Jonathan Crane, Extension Tropical Fruit Crops Specialist for the University of Florida in Homestead, examines a leaf of the banana cultivar Rajapuri AAB that is affected by black Sigatoka. The importation of infected propagation material, which is a common and effective means for moving this disease long distances, was probably responsible for the recent outbreak of black Sigatoka in South Florida. Click image for enlargement.

Chemical control of first yellow, and then black, Sigatoka has evolved considerably over the last 65 years. Bordeaux mixture, first used in the mid-1930s, has been replaced by several succeeding generations of protectant and, later, systemic fungicides. Presently, a sterol biosynthesis inhibitor, tridemorph, several different sterol demethylation inhibitors, most importantly propiconazole, and the methoxyacrylate, azoxystrobin, are the most commonly used systemics.

Since there is a tendency for resistance or tolerance to develop in M. fijiensis towards the systemic fungicides, they are usually applied in combination or alternation with broad-spectrum, protectant fungicides, such as the dithiocarbamates and chlorothalonil. With the exception of chlorothalonil, these fungicides are usually mixed with petroleum-based spray oils. The oils themselves are fungistatic and retard the development of the pathogen in the infected leaf. When they are mixed in water emulsions with fungicides, the resulting “cocktails” provide superior disease control.

The export plantations in the Philippines and Central and South America that produce fruit for the developed world are vast monocultures of Cavendish cultivars, usually of Grand Nain but also of Williams and Valery. In order to treat these large areas with fungicides, helicopters or fixed wing aircraft are used. Application schedules in the plantations are routinely determined with disease-forecast systems that incorporate data on disease severity within the plantation and environmental factors that are known to affect infection and disease development. These epidemiological tools enabled producers in Central America to substantially reduce the number of fungicide applications that were needed for control. However, increased tolerance in the pathogen to the DMI fungicides has made it necessary to increase applications in several countries in the region to previous frequencies of 25 - 40 per year.

Aerial view of an export plantation of the Cavendish cultivar Grand Nain in the Sula Valley of Honduras. Such vast monocultures allow fruit to be produced efficiently, but require that fungicides for black Sigatoka control be applied by aircraft. Click image for enlargement.

Figure11sm.jpg (16530 bytes)

The annual cost of fungicide applications in export plantations is about $1,000 per hectare. Although the international trades can add this expense to the price they charge for fruit, this is not an option for subsistence farmers. Thus, the latter producers must use different strategies to manage black Sigatoka. These include the removal of older leaves to reduce inoculum levels in a plantation, interplanting with other nonsusceptible crops, and planting in partial shade which results in less severe disease development.

The potential for bred bananas
Given the high expense of fungicides, their unavailability for subsistence farmers, and the recurring problem with fungicide resistance in the export plantations, it is clear that genetic resistance to black Sigatoka would be most useful. If resistant, agronomically acceptable cultivars were available, they would provide the best solution to this problem in export and subsistence situations alike.

Unfortunately, resistance to black Sigatoka among pre-existing banana genotypes is poor. The Cavendish cultivars that are used for export are so susceptible that nothing short of intensive fungicide application will control the disease in most areas. Resistant cultivars that could be used in subsistence situations are available, but they are usually less productive or desirable than those that are susceptible. This situation has begun to change as a result of new, resistant hybrids that are being developed by the banana breeding programs ( ).

The first program to make significant progress in improving this crop was that of the Fundación Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola (FHIA in La Lima, Honduras. It was begun by the United
Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands in 1959, but was donated to this private agricultural research foundation in 1984. FHIA has developed numerous dessert, plantain and cooking hybrids, several of which have been tested in the International Musa Testing Programme of the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain ( Results from these and other trials indicate that the FHIA clones are generally very vigorous and produce high yields under a wide range of environmental and edaphic conditions. Importantly, they resist pathogenically and geographically diverse populations of M. fijiensis, as well as two other major problems, Panama disease, (fusarium wilt) and nematodes.
Unfortunately, since they do not yet meet the high standards of the export trades, they have only been adopted for local consumption in East Africa, tropical America and the Caribbean.

In the future, products of the breeding programs will play increasingly important roles in subsistence agriculture. Whether new hybrids are used eventually to replace the Cavendish cultivars that are used by the export trades, however, remains to be seen. The very substantial infrastructure that characterizes export production is focussed on producing only these cultivars. Converting these operations to the production and handling of another type of banana would be an expensive proposition. Moreover, the currently available hybrids do not meet the very high standards for fruit quality and post-harvest shelflife that are demanded by the trades. Yet, as fungicides continue to lose their effectiveness against black Sigatoka, and as the practice of fungicidal disease control becomes more expensive and less appealing to consumers in the importing countries, the trades may eventually be forced into making the difficult transition away from the Cavendish clones.

Carlier, J., X. Mourichon,  D. Gonzâlez de León, M.F. Zapater, and M.H Lebrun. 1994. DNA restriction fragment length polymorphisms in Mycosphaerella species that cause banana leaf spot diseases. Phytopathology 84:751-756.

Carreel, F., S. Fauré, D. Gonzâlez de León, P.J.L. Lagoda, X. Perrier, F. Bakry, H. Tezenas du Montcel, C. Lanaud,  and J.P. Horry. 1994. Évaluation de la diversité génétique chez les bananiers diploïdes (Musa spp.). Genet. Sel. Evol. 26:125s-136s.

Fullerton, R.A., and  R.H. Stover (eds.). 1990. Sigatoka Leaf Spot Diseases of Banana: Proceedings of an International Workshop held at San José, Costa Rica, 28 March – 1 April, 1989. INIBAP. Montpellier, France. 374 pp.

Gauhl, F. 1994. Epidemiology and Ecology of Black Sigatoka (Mycosphaerella fijiensis Morlet) on Plantain and Banana (Musa spp.) in Costa Rica, Central America. Ph.D. dissertation, Universität Göttingen, 1989. (translated to English from German by INIBAP, Montpellier, France). 120 pp.

International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain. 1994. Annual Report, 1993. Montpellier, France. 73 pp.

Kress, W.J. 1990. The phylogeny and classification of the Zingiberales. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 77:698-721.

Mourichon, X., J. Carlier, and Fouré. 1997. Sigatoka leaf spot diseases. Musa Disease Fact Sheet No. 8. INIBAP, Montpellier, France. 4 pp.

Ortiz, R. 1995. Musa genetics. In: Gowen, S. (ed.) Bananas and Plantains. Chapman & Hall. London. pp. 84-109

Ploetz, R.C., and X. Mourichon. 1999. First report of black Sigatoka in Florida. (Disease Note) Plant Disease 83:300.

Rhodes, P.L. 1964. A new banana disease in Fiji. Commonwealth Phytopathological News 10:38-41.

Simmonds, N.W. and K. Shepherd. 1955. Taxonomy and origins of cultivated bananas. Journal of the Linneaen Society of Botany (London) 55:302-312.

Simmonds, N.W. 1966. Bananas. 2nd edition. Longmans. London. 512 pp.

Stover, R.H. 1980. Sigatoka leaf spot diseases of bananas and plantains. Plant Disease 64:750-756.

‘Major’ Dinosaur Discovery in Utah

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A newly discovered batch of well-preserved dinosaur bones, petrified trees and even freshwater clams in southeastern Utah could provide new clues about life in the region some 150 million years ago.

The Bureau of Land Management announced the find Monday, calling the quarry near Hanksville “a major dinosaur fossil discovery.”

An excavation revealed at least four sauropods, which are long-necked, long-tailed plant-eating dinosaurs, and two carnivorous ones, according to the bureau. It may have also uncovered an herbivorous stegosaurus.

Animal burrows and petrified tree trunks 6 feet in diameter were found nearby. The site doesn’t contain any new species but offers scientists the chance to learn more about the ecology of that time, said Scott Foss, a BLM paleontologist.

The fossilized dinosaurs are from the same late Jurassic period as those at Dinosaur National Monument, which straddles the Utah-Colorado state line, and the Cleveland-Lloyd quarry near Price.

It could be a decade or so before the full importance of the Hanksville quarry is known, Foss said. “It does have the potential to match the other major quarries in Utah,” he said.

The site, roughly 50 yards wide by 200 yards long, was excavated by a team from the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Ill. Museum officials visited the site for about a week last summer and returned this year for a three-week excavation.

The area has long been known to locals and BLM officials as a dinosaur haven. But no one knew of the site’s magnitude until excavation began.

The bones were found in a sandstone channel of an ancient river.

“The preservation of these dinosaurs is excellent,” Foss said.

The mix of dinosaurs, trees and other species in the area may help scientists piece together what life was like 145 million years to 150 million years ago, including details about the ancient climate, Foss said.

BLM plans to close the site to conduct an environmental assessment for continued work in the area. The agency isn’t disclosing the exact location of the find because of security concerns.

Future Scientists

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008
Web edition:

Science and engineering fair brings more than 1,500 students to Atlanta

Competitors will descend upon Atlanta this week for an event of Olympic proportions: the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Instead of bobsleds and basketballs, entrants may have trained with beakers and Bunsen burners, and now will gather to flex their mental muscles at the world’s largest high-school science competition.

Now in its 58th year, the fair brings together more than 1,500 students, as well as teachers, scientists, science communicators and business and government leaders from around the world. It is the final event for an international network of more than 500 science fairs for ninth- through 12th-graders. After a week of showcasing their projects, interviewing with judges and attending talks and events, three students will take home the gold: $50,000 scholarships. All told, $4 million in scholarships, tuition grants and scientific trips and equipment will be awarded, including three tickets to a youth science seminar in Stockholm, Sweden, that includes an evening at the Nobel Prize ceremonies.

Categories include animal sciences, biochemistry, energy and transportation, earth sciences, engineering, medicine and health, microbiology and mathematics. Some students have been working on their projects for months or years; about one-third of the students are working in teams.

“Projects presented at the Intel ISEF demonstrate how the next generation is capable of rising to the great global challenges of our time. Their research demonstrates profound curiosity, intelligence and discipline,” says Elizabeth Marincola, president of Society for Science & the Public, which runs the competition and publishes Science News. “The economic health of any developed country depends on its investment in science and technology, and we are proud to reward and celebrate the contributions of these talented young scientists to our common future.”

More than 1,200 science, engineering and industry professionals will judge the projects. The week also includes workshops for teachers and others interested in hosting science fairs or honing their science communications skills.

Since 1997 Intel Corp. has partnered with Society for Science & the Public in sponsoring the fair. Agilent Technologies is presenting sponsor this year.

Denzel Washington tells NY kids science is important

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - Denzel Washington says inner-city schoolkids have to be reminded that scientists are more important than entertainers.

The Academy Award-winning actor and wife Pauletta award annual scholarships for neuroscience research to college students and make the presentations at city schools. On Friday, they went to Mount Vernon High School in suburban Westchester County. Mount Vernon is Washington’s hometown.

Washington — who won Oscars for his performances in “Training Day” (2001) and “Glory” (1989) — says actors, rappers and basketball stars get more recognition, but someone in a hospital bed is more impressed by a good doctor. He says inner-city students might not be aware of all the opportunities available, and he urged the excited Mount Vernon kids to apply for his scholarships.

Last year, the 53-year-old Washington directed and starred in “The Great Debaters,” based on the real-life victories of a black college debating team in the 1930s.

Help Plant One Billion Trees!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Yep, that’s not a typo! The Nature Conservancy, of which I have been a member for over a decade, has just unveiled a plan to replant devastated Brazilian rainforests with One Billion native trees. Check out the very neat interactive forest website and Please help if U can! -Ken

Give one minute of your time today and you can make a real difference for one of the world’s most endangered tropical forests.

Please forward this email to 10 of your friends and ask them to visit It probably won’t even take the whole 60 seconds.

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, The Nature Conservancy launched the Plant a Billion Trees  campaign in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.

Only 7 percent of the Atlantic Forest’s once vast landscape now remains. But through the Plant a Billion Trees campaign, the Conservancy is working to restore 2.5 million acres of land by planting 1 billion trees over the next seven years.

One dollar plants one tree in this on-the-ground reforestation effort that will help to remove 10 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year — that’s like taking 2 million cars off the road!

You can explore the forest with our interactive map that highlights some of the 23 species of primates, more than 1,000 species of birds and over 20,000 species of plants calling the Atlantic Forest home.

At  just a dollar a tree, there has never been a conservation project of this scale that’s ever been so within the world’s reach.

Please join with us to help reach this goal and tell your friends about today.

Thanks a billion!


Yesterday’s future isn’t here yet. Make your own future today!
- Ken