On the Air: September 19, 2021

One of the most expensive commodities on Earth is the swim bladder of a large fish found in the Gulf of California. It’s a delicacy in China, where it’s thought to heal arthritis and other ailments. A single bladder can fetch thousands of dollars. Don’t try finding one, though. The fish is endangered, so it’s illegal to catch, sell, or even have one.

The totoaba is in the family of drums and croakers. In fact, it’s the largest of all drum species. An adult can be six feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds.

In Print: September 1, 2021

Many microbes perform a key function in the cycle of life: breaking down dead and decaying organisms. But this important process often releases methane, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere 25 times more effectively than carbon dioxide. Now, however, a team of researchers from The University of Texas at Austin’s Marine Science Institute, working with scientists in China and The University of California at Berkeley, have discovered a new group of microbes that break down organic matter without producing methane.