Many discoveries yet to be found
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 00:10
On Oct. 4, CNN covered a story that brought much excitement to the world. Researchers who went on a mission to collect DNA samples found more than they expected when they discovered 160 new species on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, Malaysia. The species consisted of fungi, plants and small animals such as frogs. From these discoveries, some can conclude that humanity knows little of the world to this day and that there is much left to explore.
When Christopher Columbus took his expedition to find a shorter and faster trade route to Asia, he did not expect to “discover America.” Many people believe that we know little about our oceans and the space surrounding Earth in comparison to the land. However, not knowing about 160 species is quite a lot to let slip for the past 2,000 years.
We should not take our Earth for granted by assuming that it does not have much to surprise us with anymore. With 160 species being discovered on the other side of the world, the world has proven that it is still quite astonishing.
Discoveries are happening more often than you would believe, you might miss the news. CNN covered an article by David McKenzie last month about a new monkey discovered in the forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Scientists never expected to discover this creature as it was the second discovery of a new monkey species in 28 years.
According to the article, they named the new monkey species Cercopithecus Lomamiensis. Despite the fact that the general world population did not know of this monkey species, it was well known by the local hunting community, as the people of the area named the native monkey “Lesula.”
Unlike the discoveries among the mountains in Borneo, this species was found in an area of lower altitude. However, the article pointed out that the large forest has yet to be charted. The article proves that the world still has much to offer. While the forest is not that large, most of it has not been explored. Yet, it still seems impossible that a monkey could slip by science for so long, especially since the community knew of its existence.
Mount Kinabalu is 13,435 feet tall, which makes it the tallest mountain in Malaysia and the 20th tallest mountain in the world. It could be that more species can be found in areas with great natural boundaries. If it was difficult to find over 100 species in the highest elevation in Malaysia, imagine what other creatures are yet to be found in mountains like Mount Everest.
Another idea about these animals that will show another side of our world being unknown to us instead of height or inattentiveness, is evolution. Researchers on the Borneo expedition have discovered a species of frog that they believe will contain new DNA when research is conducted. A frog with new DNA could lead to many results. This DNA could lead to other findings such as a new antibody against a disease, or will lead to help cure a mental disability.
With this new DNA, it will give insight on how species evolve, especially in a place like Borneo. The article said that the researchers plan to publish works discussing how evolution works in Borneo in the upcoming year. These new discoveries may not just be species that we missed because of carelessness. With these new species we can see paths to a new future, possibly one which we thought could never be possible.
CNN said that the Borneo researchers collected 3,500 DNA samples from over 1,400 species. One of the researchers said in a press release that it is certain that many of these species are new to the scientific world. The lesson that you should take from this is to keep your eyes open. If you see something that looks strange to you, it could be possible that you discovered something new.
Georgie Flynn is a junior English and print journalism major and can be reached at email@example.com.