Bioprospecting, also known as biodiversity prospecting, refers to research activity aimed at identifying and obtaining chemical substances which can be found in nature and developed into commercially valuable products.
When we think of the Arctic, the first images we summon up in our minds are usually of glaciers and polar bears. And that’s quite correct, as the Arctic is, for the most part, covered with glaciers or ice sheets and inhabited by the world’s largest land predator. But there’s more to the Arctic than that. Found in the area is also, or maybe most of all, the Arctic tundra, which is the northernmost type of vegetation in the world.
What links a mysterious outbreak of anthrax in a remote corner of Siberia and the appearance of massive craters in Siberian tundra? And does the fact that both resulted from the warming of the Arctic and the thawing of permafrost mean that we can rest easy outside the Arctic circle?
A howling blizzard among the bleak scenery of a remote fishing town in Iceland. A police officer investigating a brutal murder. It’s probably enough to send a chill down your spine, but rest assured, it’s nothing but an extract from a mystery drama series “Trapped” (original title: “Ófærð”). After all, untamed Scandinavian wilderness is not only perfect for landscape photography, but also provides a suitably eerie setting for crime stories of the Nordic noir type.
Birds have long been a source of inspiration for the arts. One of the most common bird motifs found in maritime literature, adventure stories and travel journals is that of the albatross. The name comes from the Arabic al-qādūs or al-ḡaṭṭās, which might be translated as the diver. Linnaeus gave the albatross the generic Latin name Diomedea, which is a reference to the mythical Greek warrior Diomedes, after whose death his mourning companions were turned into birds.