Warm-blooded fishes swim faster and farther than cold-blooded counterparts

Marine scientists have long known that some species of fish possess a unique physiological characteristic — a web of arteries and veins lying very close together — that enables them to raise their internal temperatures higher than that of the water surrounding them. Now, a new study has demonstrated that species possessing the ability to warm their core — a process called endothermy — are able to swim two and a half times faster than those whose body temperature doesn’t change. —> Read More

Woman Whose Message In A Bottle Was Found 40 Years Later: ‘It Makes Me Feel Like Anything Is Possible’

A message in a bottle tossed into Washington state’s Puget Sound around 1975 made its way out into the open Pacific and survived for 40 years before it was found on a beach in Alaska last month.

When Susan Cordell and a friend were preteens, they were on a beach in Port Townsend, Washington, one summer in the mid-1970s when they sent the message.

“I think we just haphazardly wrote this quick letter, found a bottle and just tossed it,” she told Fox Q13 news this week. She said she and her friend were at the stage and age when “you just have this sense that the world is so big and you want to be a part of it and have a sense of adventure,” she said.

The bottle churned in the Pacific Ocean currents until Mikki Stazel and her boyfriend Kevin Easley found it. In early April they came from Anchorage on a bush plane to explore a remote beach on the Gulf of Alaska near Kayak Island along the state’s southern coast and look for debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, Easley told Washington’s Port Townsend Leader.

“Mikki and Surly, her dog, walked east and I walked west. When we met back in the plane she had the bottle. This is the first one I’ve actually ever seen. We were both really excited,” he told the paper. “So excited, that I didn’t want to wait to bring it home and use tweezers to remove the message. We decided to break the bottle on the log right there and then.”

Easley and Stazel did some research online and reached out to a Susan Cordell who lives in Hawaii. It was the same woman.

“I had this flooding memory of doing it actually, and so I immediately wrote back —> Read More

Astronomers Discover The Most Distant Galaxy Yet

farthest galaxy

An ancient galaxy located more than 13 billion light-years from Earth in the constellation Bootes has set a record as the most distant galaxy every observed.

But EGS-zs8-1, as the galaxy is known formally, has astronomers excited for another reason.

“The amazing thing is not the distance, but that we are looking back through 95 percent of all time and seeing this when it was a young galaxy … and seeing it forming stars at a huge rate just 670 million years after the Big Bang,” Dr. Garth Illingworth, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz and a co-author of a new study about the galaxy, told The Huffington Post in an email.

(Story continues below images.)

The galaxy EGS-zs8-1 as shown in a Hubble image of a field of galaxies.

farthest galaxy
Close-up of EGS-zs8-1.

Yale astronomer Pascal Oesch discovered the blue-colored galaxy in images taken by NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, the Associated Press reported. Researchers then used the ground-based 10-meter telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii to determine its exact distance from Earth.

The telescopes’ observations are of light that was emitted by EGS-zs8-1 when it was about 100 million years old — very young in astronomical terms. At the time it was forming stars about 80 times faster than the one-star-per-year pace our Milky Way manages today.

“At this stage galaxies are like infants — small, active, and growing fast,” Illingworth said in the email.

The researchers hope to continue to study EGS-zs8-1 and other distant galaxies using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which is set to launch in 2018.

“The result of JWST’s upcoming measurements will provide a much more complete picture of the formation of galaxies at the cosmic dawn,” Illingworth said in a written statement.

The study —> Read More

Americans Are Cool With All Kinds Of Sex, Just Not The Extramarital Kind

Academic studies can be fascinating… and totally confusing. So we decided to strip away all of the scientific jargon and break them down for you.

The Background
Between sexting, hookup apps and dating sites for people seeking affairs (yes, really), it’s easier to cheat now than ever. But while we seem to be more open about infidelity these days, does that mean we’re officially cool with it?

The Setup
To find out, a set of researchers turned to the General Social Survey, a longitudinal survey of over 33,000 adults between 1972 and 2012, which asked participants about sexual norms (among other things). This provided the researchers with a rare bird’s eye view of how opinions about sex have changed over the last 40 years, and it served as the basis for their recent study on America’s shifting attitudes about sex.

The questions included: “Do you think it is wrong or not wrong if a man and a woman have sexual relations before marriage?”; “What if they are in their early teens, say 14 to 16 years old?”; “What about a married person having sexual relations with someone other than his or her husband or wife?”; and “What about sexual relations between two adults of the same sex?” Respondents could answer “always wrong,” “almost always wrong,” “wrong only sometimes” and “not wrong at all.”

The Findings
While people have become significantly more tolerant of premarital sex, adolescent sex and same-sex sexual activity since 1972, it seems people still aren’t open-minded about extramarital sex (defined as “sex between a married person and someone other than his/her spouse” by the researchers). In fact, people have actually become less OK with cheating over the years — 4 percent of respondents said it was acceptable in 1973 (5.9 percent of men —> Read More

NASAs Ten-Engine Electric Plane

NASA GL-10 takeoff

The GL-10 in vertical take-off mode. Credits: NASA Langley/David C. Bowman

NASA has been grabbing headlines recently with their potentially game-changing emDrive propulsion system. The emDrive has generated a lot of discussion, and a lot of controversy too. But NASA has a lot more going on than futuristic space travel designs, and one recent test flight showed that the minds at NASA are still working on innovative designs for flight systems that operate in Earth’s atmosphere.

The Greased Lightning 10, or GL10, is a remotely piloted, ten engine aircraft that can take off and land vertically, and then rotate its wings for forward flight. This type of system has been developed before in full size, piloted aircraft like the V22 Osprey, but it’s never been done before in a small, remotely-piloted aircraft.
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Read the rest of NASAs Ten-Engine Electric Plane (556 words)


© Evan Gough for Universe Today, 2015. |
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