DAILY DOSE: Frantic search for OceanGate Expeditions submersible continues; BBC exposes global monkey torture ring.

Rescue teams are urgently searching for a tourist submersible with five people aboard that disappeared during a dive to the wreck of the Titanic. The U.S.-based OceanGate Expeditions’ mini-submarine, Titan, lost contact with its parent surface vessel soon after its descent on Sunday.

Canadian aircraft detected undersea noises in the search area, but remotely operated vehicle searches have so far yielded negative results. According to its specifications, the Titan was designed to stay underwater for 96 hours, providing enough air until roughly Thursday. The search operation, involving teams from the United States, Canada, and France, covers an area of open sea larger than Connecticut.

Among those aboard the submarine are British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani-born businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Stockton Rush, the founder of OceanGate Expeditions. (Reuters)

A year-long BBC investigation has exposed a global monkey torture ring operating from Indonesia to the US. Hundreds of customers in the US, UK, and elsewhere were found to be paying Indonesians to torture and kill baby long-tailed macaques on film.

The ring began on YouTube before moving to private groups on the encrypted messaging app Telegram. The BBC tracked both the torturers in Indonesia and the distributors and buyers in the US, leading to an international law enforcement effort for justice. At least 20 people are under investigation globally, including three women in the UK and one man in the US.

Animal abuse videos continue to circulate on Telegram and Facebook, despite both platforms claiming to have policies against such content. (BBC)

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The Coalition S group of research funders will remove two-thirds of over 2300 scientific journals from its open access (OA) program by year-end due to their failure to meet prescribed progress targets in 2022.

The coalition will cease paying the OA publication fees these journals charge authors. Since 2021, Coalition S funders, including major public agencies and charities, mandated grantees to make their articles OA immediately by publishing in an OA journal or public repository.

This was part of a policy known as “Plan S,” which, after publishers expressed concern about a sudden shift to the OA model, initially allowed grantees to publish in “hybrid” journals transitioning to OA. However, only 30% of the enrolled journals achieved the targets and a mere 1% completely transitioned to OA in 2022. (Science)

Elko, a small town in Nevada, has been invaded by tens of thousands of Mormon crickets following the hatching of eggs buried in the soil. These red, cannibalistic crickets have caused chaos in the area, releasing a terrible smell and creating a hazard on highways due to their tendency to stick to car tires and cause sliding. Despite efforts to control the insects, using brooms, leaf blowers, and other equipment, they persist. They are expected to disappear by mid-August after completing their lifecycle. The occasional invasions are part of a cycle which can see years of relative absence followed by large infestations, often triggered by droughts. (Associated Press)

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

WORDS: The Biology Guy. (@thebiologyguy)


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