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nature

Cool nerve cells help mice beat heat

Cool nerve cells help mice beat heat

Scientists have made a fascinating discovery: through nerve cells in the hypothalamus mice are able to regulate their body temperatures, and save on their heating and air conditioning bills. These nerve cells contain a protein called TRPM2, which responded to heat after a battery of tests scientists performed. When mice with the protein and without the protein were subjected to heat, those with TRPM2 maintained a cooler temperature by 1 degree Celsius. Expect scientists to conduct more research on this in the future.

Source: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/cool-nerve-cells-help-mice-beat-heat?tgt=nr

'Baby, it's hot outside': Why birds sing to eggs

'Baby, it's hot outside': Why birds sing to eggs

Did you know that birds sing to their eggs before they hatch? It sounds like a Disney movie, but it's true, and the song may actually affect the babies' growth. Two groups of eggs were placed in an incubator to two different type of chirps, and those eggs who received the chirps of birds during a hotter temperature grew smaller than birds who heard regular birds singing. The story sounds slightly unbelievable, but birds can control the size of their offspring.

Source: http://phys.org/news/2016-08-baby-hot-birds-eggs.html

Image Source: By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Panel offers advice on how to combat climate-change "neoskepticism"

Panel offers advice on how to combat climate-change "neoskepticism"

There are three types of people: those who believe in climate change, those who don't, and those who believe climate change is an unchangeable phenomenon. This last group represents the "neoskeptic," who think that no matter how much money is spent on combating climate change, there will be no change given the lack of hard, scientific evidence. A small group of researchers wrote a paper detailing their fears with neoskepticism, believing that the feelings contribute to a slippery slope from which climate change can only exacerbate.

Source: http://phys.org/news/2016-08-panel-advice-combat-neoskepticism-climate.html

Image Source: By Frank Kovalchek from Anchorage, Alaska, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Ancient reptiles saw red before turning red

Ancient reptiles saw red before turning red

Birds and turtles, two animals that seem unrelated, actually have a shared gene allowing them to see more shades of red than humans can see. This means that birds and turtles have the same 250 million year old ancestor. Even cooler, because birds descended from dinosaurs, there is a strong possibility that dinosaurs also viewed the world in red!

Source: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ancient-reptiles-saw-red-turning-red

Image Source: By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Insufficient Arctic Temperatures Ignore One Fifth of Global Warming

Insufficient Arctic Temperatures Ignore One Fifth of Global Warming

The Arctic is melting faster than expected.

Due to insufficient data of temperatures in the Arctic region, prior climate change models failed to factor in 19 percent of worldwide air temperature heating over the last 150 years. While scientists have been aware of the exclusion of precise historical numbers up north, the community believed that the effects of the temperature change was relatively small on its own, but were surprised with the aggregate heating effect of the figures.

Source: http://phys.org/news/2016-07-historical-global-nasa.html

The Ultimate Unhealthy Diet

The Ultimate Unhealthy Diet

Oh no, we're not talking about potato chips, deep fried chicken, or chocolate (mmm... chocolate). Some species of animals eat quite bizarre "food."

Orangutans eat soil and clay. That's rather strange. Scientists believe the primates are searching for iron in their diets, or the minerals could aid digestion for the monkeys' troubled tummies.

And some animals even eat their own poo! Japanese hares chew on grasses and shrubs, process the food, and ingest the food again to ensure maximal nutritional intake. Gross? Definitely, but also fascinating.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160721-there-are-animals-that-eat-soil-toxins-and-even-their-poo