Scientists have long known that the human body runs like clockwork, guided by a circadian system that responds to daily patterns of light and darkness. Now a team of researchers is developing a personal device to measure daily light intake and activity, which could allow them to predict optimal timing for light therapy to synchronize the circadian clock to the 24-hour solar day and relieve psychosocial stress.
Scientists have shed light on how our bodies convert vibrations entering the ear into electrical signals that can be interpreted by the brain. Exactly how the electrical signal is generated has been the subject of ongoing research interest. When a noise occurs, such as a car honking or a person laughing, sound vibrations entering the ear first bounce against the eardrum, causing it to vibrate. This, in turn, causes three bones in the middle ear to vibrate, amplifying the sound. Vibrations from the middle ear set fluid in the inner ear, or cochlea, into motion and a traveling wave to form along a membrane running down its length.
Orcas or killer whales may continue to suffer the effects of contamination with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) for the next 30 -- 60 years, despite 1970s-era regulations that have reduced overall PCB concentrations in the environment, researchers in Canada report. The study calls for better standards to protect these rare marine mammals.
Did the great flood of Noah's generation really occur thousands of years ago? Was the Roman city of Caesarea destroyed by an ancient tsunami? Will pollution levels in our deep seas remain forever a mystery? These are just a few of the questions that are being addressed by a new environmental marine research team from Tel Aviv University and the non-profit research and education organization, EcoOcean.
Paleontologists have long theorized that miniaturization was one of the last stages in the long series of changes required in order for dinosaurs to make the evolutionary "leap" to take flight and so become what we call birds. New evidence from a tiny Mongolian dinosaur, however, may leave some current theories about the evolution of flight up in the air.