Brainfriendly, motivating stuff for ESL EFL learners
5.5K views | +2 today
Follow
Brainfriendly, motivating stuff for ESL EFL learners
Brainfriendly, motivating stuff for ESL EFL learners
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Aulde de Barbuat from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

Nitrogen fixing trees help to quicken the pace of reforestation

Nitrogen fixing trees help to quicken the pace of reforestation | Brainfriendly, motivating stuff for ESL EFL learners | Scoop.it

Researchers have discovered that trees can switch on their ability to fix Nitrogen from the atmosphere with a little help from the Rhizobium bacteria. This finding has a huge implication on the ongoing projects of reforestation on denuded lands.

 

A study was carried out on a square mile area of the Panama Canal watershed where the forest was recovering after clearing activities. Different land use options were studied and the carbon storage, runoff and biodiversity were carefully monitored. A comparison was made between mature tropical forests, native trees in forest restoration plots and abandoned pastureland.

 

Jefferson Hall, one of the researchers, said, “This is the first solid case showing how nitrogen fixation by tropical trees directly affects the rate of carbon recovery after agricultural fields are abandoned. Trees turn nitrogen fixation on and off according to the need for nitrogen in the system.”

 

It was observed that trees which were able to fix the atmospheric nitrogen were also able to add carbon nine times quicker than ordinary trees. In fact Nitrogen fixing trees were able to add 50,000 kilograms of carbon per hectare during the first 12 years of growth.

 

Tropical forests act as carbon sinks drawing away carbon from the air. As the scourge of the Global warming increases it is important that freed land which has been denuded by industrial or agricultural use be quickly repaired and reforested. Nitrogen fixing trees will help to quicken the pace of reforestation.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Aulde de Barbuat from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

Slow-motion world for small animals - feeling for time is relative

Slow-motion world for small animals - feeling for time is relative | Brainfriendly, motivating stuff for ESL EFL learners | Scoop.it

Smaller animals tend to perceive time in slow-motion, helping them to escape from larger predators, a study finds. This means that they can observe movement on a finer timescale than bigger creatures, allowing them to escape from lager predators.

 

Insects and small birds, for example, can see more information in one second than a larger animal such as an elephant. In humans, too, there is variation among individuals. Athletes, for example, can often process visual information more quickly. An experienced goalkeeper would therefore be quicker than others in observing where a ball comes from. The speed at which humans absorb visual information is also age-related. Younger people can react more quickly than older people, and this ability falls off further with increasing age.

 

From a human perspective, our ability to process visual information limits our ability to drive cars or fly planes any faster than we currently do in Formula 1, where these guys are pushing the limits of what is humanly possible. To go any quicker would require either computer assistance, or enhancement of our visual system, either through drugs or ultimately implants.

 

Some deep-sea isopods (a type of marine woodlouse) have the slowest recorded reaction of all, and can only see a light turning off and on four times per second "before they get confused and see it as being constantly on.

 

Having eyes that send updates to the brain at much higher frequencies than our eyes do is of no value if the brain cannot process that information equally quickly. Hence, this work highlights the impressive capabilities of even the smallest animal brains. Flies might not be deep thinkers but they can make good decisions very quickly.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
Room 8's curator insight, September 18, 2013 4:46 PM

This is a great article.

Connor Keesee's curator insight, October 9, 2013 12:22 PM

Connor Keesee Animal Science, Gold 3

Rescooped by Aulde de Barbuat from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

Orangutans plan their travel route up to one day in advance and communicate it to other members of their clan

Orangutans plan their travel route up to one day in advance and communicate it to other members of their clan | Brainfriendly, motivating stuff for ESL EFL learners | Scoop.it
Male orangutans plan their travel route up to one day in advance and communicate it to other members of their species. In order to attract females and repel male rivals, they call in the direction in which they are going to travel.

 

In order to attract females and repel male rivals, they call in the direction in which they are going to travel. Anthropologists at the University of Zurich have found that not only captive, but also wild-living orangutans make use of their planning ability.

 

For a long time it was thought that only humans had the ability to anticipate future actions, whereas animals are caught in the here and now. But in recent years, clever experiments with great apes in zoos have shown that they do remember past events and can plan for their future needs. Anthropologists at the University of Zurich have now investigated whether wild apes also have this skill, following them for several years through the dense tropical swamplands of Sumatra.

 

Orangutans generally journey through the forest alone, but they also maintain social relationships. Adult males sometimes emit loud 'long calls' to attract females and repel rivals. Their cheek pads act as a funnel for amplifying the sound in the same way as a megaphone. Females that only hear a faint call come closer in order not to lose contact. Non-dominant males on the other hand hurry in the opposite direction if they hear the call coming loud and clear in their direction.

 

"To optimize the effect of these calls, it thus would make sense for the male to call in the direction of his future whereabouts, if he already knew about them," explains Carel van Schaik. "We then actually observed that the males traveled for several hours in approximately the same direction as they had called."

 

In extreme cases, long calls made around nesting time in the evening predicted the travel direction better than random until the evening of the next day.Carel van Schaik and his team conclude that orangutans plan their route up to a day ahead. In addition, the males often announced changes in travel direction with a new, better-fitting long call. The researchers also found that in the morning, the other orangutans reacted correctly to the long call of the previous evening, even if no new long call was emitted.

 

"Our study makes it clear that wild orangutans do not simply live in the here and now, but can imagine a future and even announce their plans. In this sense, then, they have become a bit more like us," concludes Carel van Schaik.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Aulde de Barbuat from Science News
Scoop.it!

Veritable Invasion or Veritable Wonder? Lessons around Brood II 17-Year Cicadas

Veritable Invasion or Veritable Wonder? Lessons around Brood II 17-Year Cicadas | Brainfriendly, motivating stuff for ESL EFL learners | Scoop.it

LOTS  of great links and teaching resources about a wildlife wonder which may start entomologists and biologists vocations.

 

"Over the next few weeks, as soil temperatures reach a sustained temperature of 64 degrees, cicadas from Connecticut to North Carolina will emerge from their subterranean world for the first time since they burrowed underground as nymphs in 1996, returning in numbers that dwarf those other spectacles. The buzzing of males will be heard in a mating ritual that stretches back to at least the ice age. Then, within six weeks, they will all be dead, hundreds of millions, if not billions, of them, and their progeny will not be seen until 2030.

 

These are the Brood II cicadas, one of the longest living insects in the world, seen only once every 17 years along the East Coast........."

 Among the resources listed, :

 

And also check the fascinating video A2, B1 pre-intermediate, intermediate and over:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/10/cicadas-17-year-swarm-new-jersey

The exceptional documentary ( no commentaries)

http://youtu.be/ICDdTBgqYt0

 

-- this interesting New York Times article https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/opinion/here-comes-the-cicadas-buzz.html?_r=1&

 

There is an OFFICIAL WEBSITE (A MUST VISIT) (www.magicicada.org) devoted to the magicicada Brood II.

Check the links & teaching resources.


Via Sakis Koukouvis
more...
Meryl Jaffe, PhD's comment, June 14, 2013 12:12 AM
Thanks for scoop!
Rescooped by Aulde de Barbuat from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

Holy Water May be Harmful to Your Health and Contained up to 62 Million Bacteria per Milliliter

Holy Water May be Harmful to Your Health and Contained up to 62 Million Bacteria per Milliliter | Brainfriendly, motivating stuff for ESL EFL learners | Scoop.it

New study find that 86 percent of holy water contains fecal matter. Despite its purported cleansing properties, holy water could actually be more harmful than healing, according to a new Austrian study on "holy" springs.

Researchers at the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna tested water from 21 springs in Austria and 18 fonts in Vienna and found samples contained up to 62 million bacteria per milliliter of water, none of it safe to drink.

 

Tests indicated 86 percent of the holy water, commonly used in baptism ceremonies and to wet congregants' lips, was infected with common bacteria found in fecal matter such as E. coli, enterococci and Campylobacter, which can lead to diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

 

Nitrates, commonly found in fertilizer from farms, were also identified in the water. If ingested, water containing nitrates over the maximum contaminant level could cause serious illness, especially in infants younger than 6 months, which could lead to death if untreated, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

 

"We need to warn people against drinking from these sources," said Dr Alexander Kirschner, study researcher and microbiologist at the Medical University of Vienna.

 

The study, published in the Journal of Water and Health, also found that all church and hospital chapel fonts contained bacteria -- the busier the church, the higher the bacterial count.

 

"This may represent a problem that has hitherto been underestimated, especially in hospitals, since there a lot of people with weakened immune systems there," Kirschner said.

 

There have been advances made for the more hygienic use of holy water, including the invention of a holy water dispenser a few years ago by an Italian priest, while studies have also indicated that adding salt (at recommended levels of 20 percent) can help disinfect the water.

 

But Kirschner cautions that salt is not a reliable way to prevent infection and instead recommends priests regularly change the holy water in churches and erect signs to inform congregants about the dangers as well as of the history of the holy springs.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Aulde de Barbuat from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

Camouflaged Octopus Uses Thousands Of Tiny Chromatophores and Reflectors To Match Surroundings

Camouflaged Octopus Uses Thousands Of Tiny Chromatophores and Reflectors To Match Surroundings | Brainfriendly, motivating stuff for ESL EFL learners | Scoop.it
Roger Hanlon was following this octopus underwater and couldn't believe his eyes.

 

The ghost octopus can match the color and texture of its surroundings in fractions of a second by changing the size and shape of dynamic spots of pigments on their skin called chromatophores.

Chromatophores allow an octopus to blend in with all manner of underwater backdrops.

 

Some combination of these expandable chromatophores and reflectors underneath them allows an octopus to blend in with vegetation, rocks, or smooth surfaces almost imperceptibly. Hanlon has been studying these animals for years, and is still in awe of their camouflaging stunts. “The amazing thing is that these animals are color blind yet they are capable of creating color-match patterns,” Hanlon told Science Friday, “But we don’t know how.”

 

So, when science can’t tell us how something works, all we can do is be amazed. Watch the video again and revel in how awesome this tricky octopus is. It won’t get any more obvious, we promise. 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
Mad Scientist's curator insight, September 17, 2013 12:25 AM

This video shows the amazing the camoflague ability of the octopus. Squid and Cuttlefish (relatives of octopus) are also really good at this. What is even more amazing is that these animals are colour-blind and that their skin cells do all the work.

Rescooped by Aulde de Barbuat from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

South American Gecko found to be "unsinkable" and able to walk comfortably on water due to hydrophobicity of skin

South American Gecko found to be "unsinkable" and able to walk comfortably on water due to hydrophobicity of skin | Brainfriendly, motivating stuff for ESL EFL learners | Scoop.it

At a million times smaller than a T-Rex, the tiny Brazilian pygmy gecko could easily drown in the smallest of puddles… if its skin wasn’t water repellent, that is. Incredibly it doesn’t even break the surface and can comfortably walk long stretches over water without sinking through its surface.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
No comment yet.