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My picks from ScienceDaily

Adult Male Chimpanzees Don’t Stray Far From The Home:

When it comes to choosing a place to live, male chimpanzees in the wild don’t stray far from home, according to a new report. The researchers found that adult male chimps out on their own tend to follow in their mother’s footsteps, spending their days in the same familiar haunts where they grew up. Male chimpanzees are generally very social, but how they use space when they are alone might be critical to their survival, the researchers said.

Solving Another Mystery Of An Amazing Water Walker:

Walking on water may seem like a miracle to humans, but it is a ho-hum for the water strider and scientists who already solved the mystery of that amazing ability. Now researchers in Korea are reporting a long-sought explanation for the water strider’s baffling ability to leap onto a liquid surface without sinking.

Innovative Model Connects Circuit Theory To Wildlife Corridors:

Scientists at Northern Arizona University and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis have developed a model that borrows from electronic circuit theory to predict gene flow across complex landscapes . Their approach could help biologists design better wildlife corridors, which are crucial to protecting threatened plant and animal populations.

Smelly Sounds: One Person Out Of Every 1,000 Has Synesthesia:

Surprising as it may seem, there are people who can smell sounds, see smells or hear colours. One person out of every thousand has synesthesia, a psychological phenomenon in which an individual can smell a sound or hear a color. Most of these people are not aware they are synesthetes: they think the way they experience the world is normal.

Sleep Chemical Central To Effectiveness Of Deep Brain Stimulation:

A brain chemical that makes us sleepy also appears to play a central role in the success of deep brain stimulation to ease symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders. The surprising finding is outlined in a paper published online Dec. 23 in Nature Medicine. The work shows that adenosine, a brain chemical most widely known as the cause of drowsiness, is central to the effect of deep brain stimulation, or DBS. The technique is used to treat people affected by Parkinson’s disease and who have severe tremor, and it’s also being tested in people who have severe depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.