Posted: December 29th, 2013 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Cankler Science News, Favorite New Thought | Tags: Department of Sustainability and Environment, Eastern Bentwing Microbats, Flying Mammal, Microchiroptera, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Science News, United States Army, Victoria's Microbat Program, Wee Jasper | Comments Off on Missile Technology Tracking Microbat
During Australia’s sizzling hot summer months, there’s no better place to be than underground, especially if your a pregnant Microchiroptera, or Microbat.
While we may not be aware of it – microbats are seldom seen – these tiny creatures play an important role in controlling urban insect numbers, eating up to half their weight in bugs each night.
Every summer tens of thousands of female Eastern Bentwing Microbats migrate to limestone caves in southern New South Wales to deliver and rear their pups.
There are very few remaining breeding grounds for large colonies of this vulnerable species, females Bentwing Microbats migrate up to 300 kilometres to roost.
Researchers are using some pretty unusual technology to track and monitor these colonies, missile tracking software from the United States Army :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Cankler Science News, Health, Medicated | Tags: Chronic Obesity, Genetics, Obesity, Science News | Comments Off on Researchers Reveal How a Single Gene Mutation Leads to Uncontrolled Obesity
The discovery offers clues about how to turn on brain sensitivity to leptin and insulin, hormones that turn off appetite.
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have revealed how a mutation in a single gene is responsible for the inability of neurons to effectively pass along appetite suppressing signals from the body to the right place in the brain. What results is obesity caused by a voracious appetite.
Their study, published March 18th on Nature Medicine‘s website, suggests there might be a way to stimulate expression of that gene to treat obesity caused by uncontrolled eating.
The research team specifically found that a mutation in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) gene in mice does not allow brain neurons to effectively pass leptin and insulin chemical signals through the brain. In humans, these hormones, which are released in the body after a person eats, are designed to “tell” the body to stop eating. But if the signals fail to reach correct locations in the hypothalamus, the area in the brain that signals satiety, eating continues. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: February 26th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Astrobiology, Astronomy, Astrophysical, Cankler Science News | Tags: Astobiology, astronomy, Astrophysics, Earth's Atmosphere, Earthshine, Science News, University of Melbourne | Comments Off on Earthshine: The New Way We Search For Life
Scientists have developed a new method to study reflected light from the Earth that can correctly measure the amount of cloud cover, ocean and vegetation on our planet. The research, reported in the journal Nature, will allow astronomers to eventually study the atmospheric and surface features of planets in other solar systems. Scientists including Dr Michael Sterzik from the European Southern Observatory in Chile used spectroscopy and light polarisation to look for chemical bio-signatures in Earthshine – sunlight reflected by the Earth onto the surface of the Moon and back again.
Light passing through the Earth’s atmosphere contains a tell-tale spectrum revealing the elements within the gas. It is also strongly polarised by scattering from air molecules, aerosols and cloud particles, and by reflection off the oceans and land. By combining these characteristics in a technique called spectropolarimetry, Sterzik and colleagues successfully obtained information about the Earth from reflected light that wouldn’t be achieved by normal spectroscopic readings alone. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: January 5th, 2012 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Cankler Science News, Ecology | Tags: Antarctic Marine Biodiversity, Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents, New Undiscovered Species of Marine Life, Science News, Taxa, Yeti Crab | Comments Off on The Yeti Crab!? Antarctic Marine Biodiversity and Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents Produce New Undiscovered Species of Marine Life
A seven-pronged starfish, a mysterious pale octopus and a new kind of ‘yeti’ crab are among a teeming community of previously undiscovered life on the sea floor near Antarctica, British researchers said. The species, described this week on the online journal PloS Biology, were first glimpsed in 2010 when researchers lowered a robotic vehicle to explore the East Scotia Ridge deep beneath the Southern Ocean, between Antarctica and the tip of South America. The dark and remote area is home to hydrothermal vents, which are deep-sea springs that spew liquid at temperatures of up to 382 degrees Celsius, and have previously been found to host unusual life forms in other parts of the world.
“Hydrothermal vents are home to animals found nowhere else on the planet that get their energy not from the Sun but from breaking down chemicals, such as hydrogen sulphide,” said lead researcher Alex Rogers of Oxford University. “The first survey of these particular vents, in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, has revealed a hot, dark, ‘lost world’ in which whole communities of previously unknown marine organisms thrive.”
Vent ecosystems have been documented from many sites across the globe, associated with the thermally and chemically variable habitats found around these, typically high temperature, streams that are rich in reduced compounds and polymetallic sulphides. This most recent work by Steven Chown and his team of researchers has brought to the surface some pretty incredible findings, animal communities of the Southern Ocean vent ecosystems are very different to those found at other vent locations around the globe. Much of the biological significance of deep-sea hydrothermal vents lies in their biodiversity, the diverse biochemistry of their bacteria, the remarkable symbioses among many of the marine animals and these bacteria, and the prospects that investigations of these systems hold for understanding the conditions that may have led to the first appearance of life. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: December 13th, 2011 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler Science News, Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Physics, Quantum Physics, Science News | Tags: ALICE, ATLAS, Big Bang, Cankler Science News, CERN, European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Giga Electron Volts, Higgs, Higgs Boson, Large Hadron Collider, LHG, Quantum Physics, Quantum Theory, Science News | Comments Off on Higgs Boson: ‘The God Particle’ Nearly, But Not Quite!?
Scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research – CERN – say they have found signs of – although not yet conclusively discovered – the Higgs boson, an elementary particle which is the missing link in the Standard Model of physics.
The famed particle is the missing link in current theories of physics, used to explain how everything gains its mass. Rumors have been crashing about the scientific community for weeks on these findings.
Fabiola Gianotti, the scientist in charge of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, said the signal was centred at around 126 – GeV – Giga Electron Volts.
“I think it would be extremely kind of the Higgs boson to be here,” Gianotti told a seminar to discuss the findings :: Read the full article »»»»