Study on Magnetic Compass Orientation in Birds Builds Case For Bio-Inspired Sensors

on Friday, 09 May 2014. Posted in Biology, Physics, Sci/Tech

Researchers show that migratory birds are unable to use their magnetic compass in the presence of urban electromagnetic noise. The findings open up new areas of study for magnetic sensors.

Study on Magnetic Compass Orientation in Birds Builds Case For Bio-Inspired Sensors

Researchers working on DARPA’s Quantum Effects in Biological Environments (QuBE) program have shown that the electromagnetic noise that permeates modern urban environments can disrupt a bird’s internal magnetic compass. The findings settle a decades-long debate into whether low-level, artificial electric and magnetic fields can affect biological processes in higher vertebrates. For DARPA, the results hint at a new class of bio-inspired sensors at the intersection of biology and quantum physics.

True Story: Snake Eats Crocodile

Written by ADH Staff on Tuesday, 04 March 2014. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

Witnesses in Australia watch as a giant snake captures, kills and devours a crocodile.

True Story: Snake Eats Crocodile

Rumor has it that sometimes large snakes, especially pythons, capture, kill and eat crocodiles. In Australia, it was caught on Camera. Witnesses in western Queensland, Australia had the unusual opportunity to watch one of the rarities of the animal kingdom: a large python killing and eating a crocodile.

NASA Technology to Help Develop Noninvasive Medical Treatments

on Monday, 10 February 2014. Posted in Space, Biology, Health, U.S., Sci/Tech

Kushman: “It's not just science fiction anymore. All indications are that 21st century life sciences will change dramatically during the next several decades, and GRoK is working to define the forefront of a new scientific wave.”

NASA Technology to Help Develop Noninvasive Medical Treatments

NASA has signed two patent license agreements with GRoK Technologies LLC of Houston to help develop novel biotechnology approaches that could have multiple applications in space and on Earth. The agreements are the results of the agency's Technology Transfer Program, which helps opens up NASA's research and technology to the public for use and development.

Cougar Killed in Illinois by DNR Officials

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Saturday, 23 November 2013. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

After finding the big cat on a farm, DNR officers killed the animal in a hail of gunfire.

Cougar Killed in Illinois by DNR Officials

Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are defending the killing of a cougar shot to death by Department officers this week. The big cat was spotted on a farm and found hiding in a corn crib and the family that saw it considered it a threat.

Researchers Unlock Mystery of Aspirin’s Anti-inflammatory Action

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Thursday, 21 February 2013. Posted in Biology, Health, U.S., Sci/Tech

Research describes how aspirin teams up with omega-3 fatty acids to fight dangerous inflammation.

Researchers Unlock Mystery of Aspirin’s Anti-inflammatory Action

Millions of people take a low-dose aspirin daily to improve heart health. Millions more take omega-3 fatty acid supplements for the same reason. As it turns out, new research detailed in the February 21 issue of the journal Chemistry & Biology explains, for the first time, how aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids work together to head off inflammation that is an underlying factor in heart disease, arthritis and inflammatory lung disease.

Researchers Brew Up Organics on Ice

on Wednesday, 19 September 2012. Posted in Space, Biology, Sci/Tech

New findings from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory suggest that organic chemistry involving polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can occur in the frigid recesses of deep space.

Researchers Brew Up Organics on Ice

Would you like icy organics with that? Maybe not in your coffee, but researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., are creating concoctions of organics, or carbon-bearing molecules, on ice in the lab, then zapping them with lasers. Their goal: to better understand how life arose on Earth.

Prometheus in a Pond

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Tuesday, 12 June 2012. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

Invasive species represent a threat to the environment that sometimes seems like something out of a science fiction nightmare. But with the threat also comes opportunity and a potentially economical and useful new food source.

Prometheus in a Pond

In Ridley Scott’s sci-fi 3D extravaganza Prometheus, the crew of an interstellar science expedition looking for mankind’s creator finds instead a nightmare of slithery, predatory and implacable alien enemies eager to hunt down and consume mammals, especially primates, that are up to two-thirds their size.

Surge in Lyme Disease Predicted for Northeastern US

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Sunday, 18 March 2012. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

A rapid decline in mouse populations in the Northeast may have set the stage for a dangerous outbreak of Lyme disease this year.

Surge in Lyme Disease Predicted for Northeastern US

A leading researcher on human exposure to vector-borne diseases working with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies says that states in the U.S. Northeast may face an increased risk from Lyme disease this year.

Sparrow Populations Collapsing in Japan

on Thursday, 19 January 2012. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

SparrowSparrows, maybe the most familiar of all wild birds, are a vanishing species. The population of sparrows in Japan has made a sudden drop, just as they have in Europe.

This is a slight mystery, but researchers point to urban sprawl and modern styles of architecture that have deprived the birds of their natural habitat and their usual nesting places in towns and cities, as well as a lack of food, particularly insects.

According to the researchers, the number of sparrows in Japan has fallen by 60 percent in over the past 21 years. The estimate by a team at Rikkyo University in Tokyo and Iwate Medical University in Iwate Prefecture is based on the results of monitoring by the Yamahsina Institute for Ornithology. Gen Morimoto, a researcher at Rikkyo University's Lab of Animal Ecology, and Osamu Mikami, an assistant professor of biology at Iwate Medical University, are members of the team.

Study Reveals How Bats Stay on Target Even in Dark, Cluttered Environment

on Friday, 29 July 2011. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

New research shows bats can stay on target even in a cluttered environment. In a paper published in the July 29 issue of Science, James Simmons and Mary Bates of Brown University, along with researchers from the Republic of Georgia, reveal how bats expertly use echolocation to hone in on specific targets, such as prey organisms, without being distracted or set off course by background objects in their environments.

It has long been known that bats emit high frequency sonar blasts, and then construct a three dimensional picture of their environment based on returning echoes. But the new research, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, shows how bats interpret the cacophony of returning echoes to distinguish their priority target from background clutter.

Simmons explains that when a bat chirps, it waits for the corresponding echo; it makes a mental fingerprint of the emitted sound and its echo. If the broadcast/echo fingerprints match up precisely, then the bat "will process it and produce an image," Simmons said. In many cases, that image would be the bat's target object. But when the second harmonic is weaker in the echo fingerprint, the response from the bat's neurons' is delayed by as few as 3 microseconds. That momentary delay, while undetectable to humans, is enough to tell the bat that the object is present, but it is not its primary interest.

Man Claims to Photograph Loch Ness Monster

on Saturday, 23 July 2011. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

William Jobes believes he took a picture of the Loch ness MonsterIs there an unknown creature swimming in the cold depths of Scotland’s famous Loch Ness? Despite stories dating back to the Middle Ages about large, mysterious creatures inhabiting the Loch, no hard evidence of “Nessie’s” existence has ever come to light.

Every so often, however, someone claims to snap a picture of the elusive alleged “monster.”

After 45 years of trying, William Jobes believes he has evidence of the fabled creature’s existence.

The UK’s Daily Mail reports that the 62-year-old was walking along a footpath with his wife when he spotted something unusual in the water.

Whatever it was, it appeared to have a head that was bobbing about above the waves some 200 to 300 yards from shore. He managed to get a single picture with his camera.

“I had a wonderful shock,” Jobes told the paper. “I have actually been coming up to Inverness for the past 45 years and I have never seen anything like this before.”

The picture snapped by Jobes appears to depict a dark colored hump in the water with a smaller stub that looks like it could be a tale rising a short distance from the water’s surface not far behind the main hump. Or, maybe it’s the creature’s head. Or, maybe it is nothing at all.

Jellyfish Point Way to Better Turbines

on Friday, 15 July 2011. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

Moon Jellyfish may be the key to getting rid of those unsightly wind turbines. Chances are that where there are wind turbines, there are also signs staked in the front yards of surrounding neighbors opposing their intrusive, unsightly, and health damaging effects. Bioengineering professor John Dabiri from the California Institute of Technology just may have come up with a solution that may harness energy more efficiently using smaller, less ghastly spectacles spinning in the skyline. And he got his inspiration by studying the moon jellyfish.

Why the moon jellyfish? Moon Jellyfish generally move close to the water's surface, depending largely upon water currents, tides, and winds to move them along as they feed on an array of zooplankton. Although an efficient way to travel, the moon jellyfish doesn’t depend just on mother nature. Instead, the jellyfish expands and contracts the jelly within its bell-shaped body forcing the water away from the jellyfish and allowing it to be thrust through the water.

Reporting on Dabiri's work, Discovery News noted: “Through his research, Dabiri has observed that moon jellyfish don't move through water simply by using jet propulsion. Instead, they create complex vortex rings in the wake of their motion that allow them propel themselves forward.”

Dabiri believes that a better understanding of the jellyfish's method could hold the key to creating more efficient human propulsion devices. In addition, “Dabiri is also interested in the schooling of fish and the hypothesis that patterns of the school's group motion actually lowers the amount of energy each fish exerts. The theory is encouraging for alternatives to large, unsightly turbines — the idea being that smaller, clustered structures might be a more efficient way to harness wind power.”

Researchers Learn How to Erase Memories

on Thursday, 23 June 2011. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

Researchers learn to erase memories which is reminiscent of Heroes and Star Trek. In the once popular NBC science fiction drama Heroes, people who remember problematic or unfortunate things have their minds erased by a character known as “the Haitian.”

This enigmatic man was used by a super-secret conspiratorial organization known only as “the company” to selectively remove memories from people who might threaten the organization’s diabolical agendas. Many of the characters on the show rightly viewed “the Haitian” with dread.

What was science fiction sooner or later becomes science fact. Computer floppy disks, ubiquitous in the 1980s and 90s, were predicted by Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek in the 1960’s. Nuclear submarines, famously, were predicted in the 19th century author Jules Verne, as were trips to the Moon.

Now, while “the Haitian” won’t be supernaturally removing memories any time soon, scientists have discovered how to remove, or turn off, memories — at least in rats in the laboratory.

A research team lead by Theodore W. Berger of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California published a paper describing their research in the Journal of Neural Engineering on June 15.

Ten-year Study Finds California Current an Oceanic Serengeti Plain

on Wednesday, 22 June 2011. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

The Census of Marine Life Tagging of Pacific Predators project (TOPP) found the ocean teeming with life. After ten years of tagging and tracking 23 of the Pacific Ocean’s top predators, the Census of Marine Life Tagging of Pacific Predators project (TOPP) has found that some areas of the Pacific teem with so much life that they are like oceanic equivalents of Africa’s famed Serengeti Plain.

The results of the study, published in the journal Nature, found that one of the “hot spots” for marine wildlife is the California current. Flowing off the U.S. west coast, the California current moves south, beginning off the coast of southern British Columbia and flowing toward Baja California. Unique climactic conditions coupled with the current have long been known to produce an upwelling effect that results in cool, nutrient-rich water supporting a vibrant food chain.

The study also identified another area of the Pacific preferred by marine wildlife. According to the Census of Marine Life, this area, known as the North Pacific Transition Zone that connects the western and eastern Pacific, also teems with life.

Bald Eagle Drops Deer, Causes Power Outage

on Sunday, 19 June 2011. Posted in Biology, Sci/Tech

n and dropping it on a powerline.When wildlife strikes: An eagle is suspected of loosing its grip on a faw

Bald Eagle Drops Deer, Causes Power Outage

You know you live in the country when your power grid is unreliable. No, it’s not unreliable because the technology is bad or outdated or the guy putting up and maintaining the power lines is sub-par. The real reason the grid is unreliable in rural America is because of mother nature.

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