If pigeons went to medical school and specialized in pathology or radiology, they'd be pretty good at distinguishing digitized microscope slides and mammograms of normal from cancerous breast tissue, according to a new study from the University of...
There are few animals as revered and as respected as the cheetah. Well known for the being the fastest animal in the world, they are fearsome predators, and most people would never dream of approaching one.
For the first time, American eels (Anguilla rostrata, shown) have been tracked on the way to their spawning grounds at sea, a migration of at least 1600 kilometers from the freshwater haunts where they matured. Neither researchers nor fishermen have ever caught an adult eel in the open ocean, but it’s clear they must spend time there because scientists discovered their presumed spawning grounds in the North Atlantic’s Sargasso Sea more than a century ago.
Now, using tracking devices, researchers have finally mapped the migration routes of a few of those wriggly fish—and learned a little about their habits at sea to boot. Some of the devices measured water temperature and depth, and others measured temperature and the strength and intensity of Earth’s magnetic field. Of the 38 eels released off the southern coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, in the summers of 2012 through 2014, trackers on 28 of them eventually popped to the surface to broadcast data to the researchers via satellite (including two attached to eels that were apparently consumed by predators).
Six of the animals were tracked for more than a month, with the longest migration stretching almost 1600 kilometers to a point just shy of the northern edge of the Sargasso Sea, the researchers report online today in Nature Communications. The eels apparently migrate from fresh waters on the North American continent in two phases: First, in shallow waters along the continental shelf, the wrigglers swim between surface waters and the bottom, possibly sampling the salinity and temperature of deeper waters to ascertain their location and route. Then, after the eels pass the edge of the shelf, they make a beeline southward, swimming near the ocean’s surface at night and then diving to depths of about 700 meters during daylight hours, possibly to avoid predators.
Whether you’ve beaten SimCity or merely earned an urban planning doctorate, connecting a metro area with its primary resources requires some tough decisions. At the heart of the challenge is how to balance cost, efficiency, and resilience.
Take a new remote suburban development. If you have all the highway money in the world, you might connect it directly to all the metro area’s existing services and major centers, and build extra wide roads in case the initial lanes fill up with traffic or need a repair. That’s a very efficient and robust network, but it’s not a very cost-effective one. And if your money runs out someday—say, because the gas tax hasn’t been raised in decades—you might find that system too expensive to maintain, let alone to expand.
A new MIT study has delved into harbor seals' ability to sense and follow prey with impressive accuracy. The research involved building a large-scale version of the little antennas, and the results could prove useful for man-made sensors.
A paper published recently in Nature Communications details how a team lead by Dr. Ben Wilson and Professor Chris Petkov used a brain imaging technique to identify the neuronal evolutionary origins of language.
A team of researchers with Sorbonne Universités and Prédictive CEREEP-Ecotron Ile-De-France has found that grandmothers of pigeon chicks are somehow able to transfer immunity to a third generation, though the means is not apparent. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the team describes how they injected three generations of pigeons with a protein to monitor their level of immunity response and what they found by doing so.
Suspecting that older generations were passing along immunity capabilities to more than just their own chicks, the researchers conducted a several year study of urban pigeons. They started by injecting 60 females with a protein called haemocyanin—it helps to transport oxygen in some invertebrates but does not do anything beneficial to pigeons. They also injected 60 additional female pigeons with a saline solution to serve as a control group. The team then injected the same protein into all of the offspring of the test pigeons, and then two years later, into all of the third generation of offspring as well. The purpose of the injections was to cause the birds to produce antibodies as a part of an immune response—after the birds were injected, blood tests were taken to see how strong of a response was triggered. They discovered that the immune response of the third generation was stronger for those chicks whose grandmothers had received haemocyanin than for those whose grandmothers had received the saline. This of course suggested that in reacting to the protein initially, the grandmother pigeons had developed an immune response that they had somehow passed down through their offspring, to their grand-chicks.
Logic would suggest that the grandmother birds had somehow sent antibodies to their offspring to be wary of the haemocyanin protein—if so, there would be evidence of more antibodies in the eggs of their offspring. But, testing the eggs failed to find more antibodies, which left the researchers stumped as to how the grandmothers were passing on their immunological message. They suggest the immune system must be trained in some other way (via hormones, possibly, or nutrients), which means more studies need to be done to find the ultimate answer.
The secret language of giant pandas has been translated by scientists in China, discovering how the endangered species says things like I love you, I'm hungry and go away. The team from the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) say decoding their language will aid conservation of the species.
After finding more than a dozen sounds pandas use as words, the team is now planning to develop a high-tech panda translator that will use voice recognition technology to understand what they are saying to each other.
Experts have been working on the panda linguistics project for the past five years, making recordings of adult males, females and panda cubs at the centre in various situations. According to China's Xinhua news agency, they managed to translate 13 different panda vocalisations.
Taiwan: Go to Bed Baby PandaIBTimes UK Researchers analysed data on their voices and activities (such as eating, fighting and mating) to discover when panda cubs make a "gee-gee" sound it means they are hungry. When they say "wow-wow" it means they are unhappy, while "coo-coo" means nice or good.
Zhang Hemin, head of the CCRCGP, said: "We managed to decode some panda language and the results are quite interesting. Adult giant pandas usually are solitary, so the only language teacher they have is their own mother. If a panda mother keeps tweeting like a bird, she may be anxious about her babies. She barks loudly when a stranger comes near." He said the barking is interpreted as "go away".
When it comes to love, male pandas "baa" while females respond with tweeting noises. All these unusual sounds came as a big surprise to researchers, with Zhang explaining: "Trust me. Our researchers were so confused when we began the project that they wondered if they were studying a panda, a bird, a dog, or a sheep. [But] I
Here’s your feel good story for the day. NOAA researchers have captured what are probably the best aerial photos of wild Killer Whales ever and are here to explain how the images demonstrate an incredibly strong, collaborative family bond.
An outdoorsman Darius had a chance to witness a birth of two baby deer in his backyard. Unfortunately, one of them was injured and soon left behind by her family because she couldn’t keep up with them.
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