World’s Oldest Wild Bird Hatches Yet Another Chick

HONOLULU — The world’s oldest known wild bird just gave birth, astonishing scientists yet again.

Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross, is at least 65 years old, making her the oldest known bird in the wild, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The fluffy chick emerged from its shell on Feb. 1 on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, which is part of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The remote atoll lies about 1,300 miles northwest of Honolulu.

In the video below, Wisdom feeds her newborn chick, named Kūkini, the Hawaiian word for “messenger.”

Wisdom Feeds Kūkini

Celebrating the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science! This post of Wisdom feeding Kūkini is in honor of those women who are working on Midway Atoll to assure Wisdom, along with millions of other seabirds, are protected and safe by keeping weeds at bay that consume nesting habitat and by constantly monitoring the health of wildlife and habitat. As the United Nations is hosting the first International Day of Women in Science #STEM Kaipo Kiaha captured the work of 9 women (mostly volunteers) that goes on behind the camera guided by Wildlife Biologist Meg Duhr-Schultz. Their work allows us to share Wisdom with you. See Women in Science on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge at: Join us in helping celebrate February 11 by posting pictures of women and girls in science at #dayofwomeninscienc

Posted by Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument on Thursday, February 11, 2016

This birth is far from Wisdom’s first rodeo.

She’s hatched as many as 40 chicks in her lifetime, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. She was first banded in 1956, and since then has continued to amaze scientists by —> Read More

New method for bio-designing yeast could improve biofuel production

A new strain of yeast that could improve the efficiency of making fuel from cellulosic biomass such as switchgrass has been discovered by researchers. Both the yeast strain and the method of its design could help overcome a significant bottleneck in the biofuels pipeline — namely, that the powerful solvents so good at breaking down biomass also sometimes hinder the next critical step of the process, fermentation. —> Read More

Cranberry Juice Won’t Get Rid Of Your UTI

If you’ve ever been subjected to the agony that comes with a urinary tract infection, you know you’d do just about anything to relieve the pain.

And while for years friends, mothers and even doctors have advised women to drink cranberry juice to make it all go away, a Texas A&M Health Science Center urologist recently explained that this probably won’t give you the relief you need.

“Cranberry juice, especially the juice concentrates you find at the grocery store, will not treat a UTI or bladder infection,” said Dr. Timothy Boone in a statement. “It can offer more hydration and possibly wash bacteria from your body more effectively, but the active ingredient in cranberry is long-gone by the time it reaches your bladder.”

Le sigh. The myth may have started with a somewhat sensible hunch, but just doesn’t turn out to be true. As A&M explains, cranberries contain an active ingredient called proanthocyanidins, or PACS, that can keep bacteria from binding to the walls of the bladder. The catch is, PACs aren’t present in commercial cranberry juice.

“It takes an extremely large concentration of cranberry to prevent bacterial adhesion,” Boone said. “This amount of concentration is not found in the juices we drink. There’s a possibility it was stronger back in our grandparents’ day, but definitely not in modern times.”

You may have seen cranberry capsules in the pharmacy aisle. These do have a concentrated amount of PACs and can help prevent the risk of UTIs. According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, cranberry capsules reduced the risk of UTIs by 50 percent in women who had a catheter in place while undergoing gynecological surgery.

“In this study, they took the cranberry itself and put it —> Read More

Gravitational Waves and Binary Black Holes, an Inside Story


The recent announcement of the
The team from Rochester Institute of Technology

Based on this milestone work from a decade ago, RIT researchers at the center, Carlos Lousto and James Healy, aided by significant visualization work by Hans-Peter Bischof, numerically modeled the merger of a pair of black holes and produced simulated gravitational waveforms. The actual wave patterns detected by the LIGO facility on Sept. 14, 2015, closely match the simulations created by Lousto and Healy. The detected signals, and the predicted gravitational waveforms produced by the RIT group are contained in the Physical Review paper announcing the LIGO detection.

The LIGO signals, therefore, confirmed the theoretical and simulated predictions of gravitational waves emitted from the merger of a binary black hole system performed by the RIT group over the past decade. In fact, absent these predicted waveforms, the origin of the signals detected by the LIGO team would likely remain a mystery.

In addition to these important theoretical and numerical contributions, six RIT researchers were part of the LIGO detection/data analysis team and are co-authors on the Physical Review Letters paper, including John Whelan, Richard O’Shaughnessy, Carlos Lousto, James Healy, Jake Lange, and Yuanhao Zhang.

So, as in the case of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, theory and simulation preceded experimental confirmation, not the other way around. This is not intended to diminish the LIGO detection achievement in any way. The LIGO detection instrumentation represents the most sensitive set of detectors ever constructed, and I am in awe of the innovations that resulted in this amazing capability. Let’s celebrate the theory, simulation, and experiment as one monumental achievement. That, I believe, is what scientific historians will conclude decades from now.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject —> Read More

8 Crazy Things Love Does To Your Brain, According To Science

Love can make you feel euphoric, foolish, happy, obsessed, distracted, passionate, exhausted and pretty much everything in between — so it should come as little surprise that falling in love does quite a number on your brain.

When you fall in love with someone, a whole host of changes are taking place in your brain and body to create all that passion and euphoria, and of course the less desirable effects, too.

While you’re enjoying some time with your significant other this Valentine’s Day, take a moment to marvel at the science of love — and to appreciate the incredible effect your partner has on your noggin!

Scroll down for eight crazy things that love does to the brain.

1. Falling in love causes a major hormone rush. When you first fall in love, you experience a rush of hormones to the brain — including oxytocin, the “love hormone,” the “pleasure hormone” dopamine, and sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. Other hormones, like adrenaline, make the heart beat faster. This influx of hormones plays a major role in those intense feelings of fluttery excitement, attraction and euphoria.

2. Love can become an addiction. We all know that falling in love can lead to cravings and obsessive thoughts, and the desire to spend every moment with your partner. Sound like an addiction? That’s because it is. Now, neuroscience research has shown that love quite literally is like a drug: Falling in love activates the same system in the brain as cocaine addiction.

“Romantic love is an obsession, it possesses you,” Dr. Helen Fisher, anthropologist and author of Why We Love, said in a TED talk about the brain and love. “You can’t stop thinking about another human being… Romantic love is one of the most —> Read More

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