Scientists have long known the molecular mechanisms behind most of the body’s sensing capabilities. Vision, for example, is made possible in part by rhodopsin, a pigment molecule that is extremely sensitive to light. It is involved in turning photons into electrical signals that can be decoded by the brain into visual information. But how the human body is able to sense a one-degree change in temperature has remained a mystery.
Once roofed by ice for millennia, a 10,000 square km portion of the Antarctic seabed represents a true frontier, one of Earth’s most pristine marine ecosystems, made suddenly accessible to exploration by the collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves, 12 and five years ago respectively. Now it has yielded secrets to some 52 marine explorers who accomplished the seabed’s first comprehensive biological survey during a 10-week expedition aboard the German research vessel Polarstern.
African elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory at a rate unprecedented since an international convention banning ivory trade took effect in 1989, a University of Washington biologist says.
A study of eight hospitals in Peru has shown that opening windows and doors provided ventilation more than double that of mechanically ventilated negative-pressure rooms and 18 times that of rooms with windows and doors closed.
A study of 36 Spanish honeys from different floral origins revealed that honeys generated by bees feeding on honeydew have greater antioxidant properties than those produced by bees feeding on nectar. The study is published in this month’s edition of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
After disappearing from Ontario due to over hunting in the 19th century, wild elk have returned to the province thanks to the efforts of the Ontario elk restoration program. According to a report on the program’s success, published in the March issue of Restoration Ecology, 460 elk were brought from Alberta and released in various Ontario sites between 1998 and 2001.
Lizards that signal to rivals with a visual display “shout” to get their point across, UC Davis researchers have found. Male anole lizards signal ownership of their territory by sitting up on a tree trunk, bobbing their heads up and down and extending a colorful throat pouch. They can spot a rival lizard up to 25 meters away, said Terry Ord, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis who is working with Judy Stamps, professor of evolution and ecology.
For years, anglers thinking they were catching the prized white marlin may have caught something quite different, raising concerns about the true remaining numbers of the threatened species, according to an article in the most recent issue of the scientific journal Bulletin of Marine Science.