Aug 21, 2017

Genetic finding in salmon has conservation law implications

Michael Bravo

There is a genetic difference between Pacific salmon that migrate from the ocean in the spring or summer to spawn and those that make the trip later in the fall, according to a recent study. The finding may have a big impact on conservation efforts along the West Coast.

Why it matters: Conservation groups have fought for the economically important and at-risk spring chinook and summer steelhead salmon populations on the Pacific Coast to be afforded protection under the Endangered Species Act. But that depends on whether they are considered genetically distinct and at risk of losing biodiversity and, until now, early migrators weren't confirmed to be unique from other groups of the fish. The technique could also be used to analyze other species of animals and plants that haven't been classified beyond the species level.

What they found: UC Davis researchers analyzed the DNA of early migrating salmon populations and found variation in a single gene is associated with early migration. Those mutations appear to have evolved only once, suggesting they "will not readily reevolve if lost," the researchers wrote.

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

7 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.