Image Credit : Flickr | acme
Like Salmon and Sea turtles, the female lemon sharks return to their birthplace to give birth, an almost 20-year Research conducted in Bimini in The Bahamas reports.
The ongoing project since 1995 that involved capturing, tagging, releasing and tracking of more than 2K baby lemon sharks brought in a noteworthy phenomenon of sharks returning to their native birth place when it’s their time of giving birth, U.S. researchers reported.
“We found that newborn sharks captured in the mid-1990s left the safety of the islands when they were between 5 and 8 years old,” researcher Kevin Feldheim of Chicago’s Field Museum said.
Despite their impressive travels, female lemon sharks always return to the same location where they were born to give birth
“Yet, despite leaving and visiting many other islands in their travels, these sharks ‘remember’ where they were born after a decade of roving, and are able to find the island again when they are pregnant and ready to give birth,” he said.
Such a long surmising project was supported by student volunteers, who came to Bahamas, effort to prove the speculation was true.
Spanning the behavior of lemon sharks for almost two decades have resulted in the confirmation of the female sharks’ ability to return back to their birthplace to give birth but the difficulty of keeping track of sharks from birth to maturity has made confirmation of the behavior a struggle, the researchers said.
Evidence that sharks utilize the same nursery areas across generations underscores the critical importance of preserving local nursery habitats and can provide strong input in designating inshore marine reserves that would protect sharks of future generations, the researchers said.
Image Credit : Flickr | torley
“Vast freshwater reserves are trapped beneath the ocean floor which could sustain future generations as current sources dwindle”, say an international team of scientists.
Scientists estimate that around 500,000 cubic kilometres of low-salinity water is trapped under the seabed on continental shelves around the world, including Australia, China, North America and South Africa. According to an Australian lead author, Vincent Post, a groundwater hydrogeologist from Flinders University in Adelaide.
“The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we’ve extracted from the Earth’s sub-surface in the past century since 1900,”
According to Post The Freshwater on our planet is increasingly under stress and strain so the discovery of significant new stores off the coast is very exciting. “It means that more options can be considered to help reduce the impact of droughts and continental water shortages.” says Post
The water use on our planet has been growing at more than twice the rate of population in the last century due to demands such as irrigated agriculture and meat production as per UN Waters predictions. Almost half of the world’s population is living in conditions of water scarcity. By 2030, 47 % of people are expected to face water shortage. Prior to these findings such undersea water reserves were considered to be rare.
“By combining all this information we’ve demonstrated that the freshwater below the seafloor is a common finding, and not some anomaly that only occurs under very special circumstances,” he says.
These deposits were expected to be formed over hundreds of thousands of years in the past, when the sea level was much lower and oceans surface was exposed to rainfall which was absorbed into the underlying water table. The coastlines disappeared when the polar icecaps started melting about 20,000 years ago. But these water reserves remained mostly intact thanks to clay and sediment layers.
“In some case you have actually have fresh water under the sea, but in most cases it’s a mixture between freshwater and sea water – we call that brackish water. For some areas it is economically viable to desalinate that brackish water and make it economically competitive with other sources of water recovery.” says Post.
Great care would have to be taken not to contaminate these water reserves.
According to Post drilling for this water would be expensive and great care would have to be taken not to contaminate these water reserves as these are precious resources. “We should use them carefully: once gone, they won’t be replenished until the sea level drops again, which is not likely to happen for a very long time,” says Post. Humans don’t have a good track record when it comes to exploiting the world’s groundwater resources, such as the Great Artesian Basin.
“We just squandered the water,” says Davis, who was previously with CSIRO, the World Bank and the National Water Commission.
“In the Great Artesian Basin case we spent around 100 years pumping the water to the surface and letting it flow free and evaporate, using only a very very small fraction of what we tapped,” he says. As a result, says Davis, Australia has had to undertake a very expensive remedial program to try and cap the free-flowing bores to save water. He says there are similar stories in Africa and China.
“What concerns me here is that we don’t take the same approach again,” says Davis.
Let’s be slow, cautious and thoughtful about it this time and show how we can act responsibly.
Barcelona Spain. Photo credit JAXA, ESA | Urthecast
Recently a couple of high-definition cameras have been delivered to the International Space Station thanks to Urthecast. So ISS will soon start broadcasting near-live images of Earth for free. According to Urthecast, the magnification will be so high that you will be able to see vehicles and crowds.
Urthecast is a Canadian company that plans to start its free broadcast in early 2014. The cameras can see everything from 51 degrees north to 51 degrees south. It means Alaska, Scandinavia, and most of the UK won’t be featured. Everyone else will be able to see their neighborhood at surprisingly high resolution. The ISS orbits the Earth 19 times a day that’s why the feed is described as “near live” on the website with a delay of around 45 minutes to two hours before the images show up on your screen.
Virtually travel to your favorite places, plan events around an ISS pass-over, or watch how places change over time.
The still camera can see up to a resolution of five meters per pixel. At such resolution the cameras will be able to generate images that are 40 km wide. The video camera can see much more clearly at an ultra-crisp 4K resolution. At such insane resolution Urthecast expects to download 200GB of pictures and videos from the ISS every day.
The feed is free on Urthecast’s website. You just need to request for an invite. A separate premium service is also available for businesses intelligence, monitoring assets and real time monitoring of strategic locations.
Image Credit : seaorbiter
The ocean is still a vastly unexplored world that is full of mysteries, and with the growing technology, we frequently discover more oddities and fascinating creatures from its depths. Such research attempts are soon going to have a massive boon in the form of an ocean-based research laboratory called the SeaOrbiter. The station will have laboratories, workshops, living quarters and a pressurized deck to support divers and submarines.
“SeaOrbiter is the only vessel in the world allowing a 24/7 exploration on long-term missions of the open sea and the abyss.”
The SeaOrbiter, which seems to be an amazing spaceship like structure, is the work of Jacques Rougerie, a sea architect, and various experts, among them being the former NASA head Daniel Goldin. The cost is expected to be around $52.7 million. On completion the project will result in a vessel that is basically the ISS of the ocean, able to hold up to 22 researchers and crew members initially.
The laboratory is semi-submersible vessel and weighs 1000 tons. It has a total height of 51 meters with 31 meters below sea level., and will harvest renewable energy from wind, sun, and waves. It is designed to float vertically and drift with the ocean currents but has two small propellers allowing it to modify its trajectory and maneuver in confined waters. Underwater robots can be sent from the laboratory to explore the seabed. The hull is made of an alloy comprising aluminum and magnesium is five times thicker than that of a conventional vessel.
Its vertical alignment in the sea will leave a small part visible above the surface with much larger accommodation and laboratories below the sea’s surface. Some levels will have a cabin pressure equal to the external water pressure allowing divers to live for extended periods at depth and make frequent excursions.
Rougerie said in a message to the folks at Fast Company: “The SeaOrbiter is the synthesis of everything that we have been able to do at sea: it is at the same time a moving habitat and a dynamic launching point for submarine research and exploration. It will not replace oceanographic boats or exploratory submarines. Instead, it’s another way to explore and better comprehend the underwater universe and bring human life at sea to another level on a 24/7 basis and over long periods.”
Image Credit : Jeebbo
Is there an afterlife?
Many scientists would dismiss the concept for lack of proof but one expert claims he has evidence to confirm once and for all that there is indeed a life after death. According to Professor Robert Lanza the answer lies in theory of Biocentrism.
Biocentrism — also known as the biocentric universe — is a theory proposed in 2007 by American scientist Robert Lanza. According to this theory — life creates the universe rather than the other way around. Biocentrism asserts that current theories of the physical world do not work, and can never be made to work, until they fully account for life and consciousness.
Lanza’s biocentric theory builds on quantum physics. While physics is considered fundamental to the study of the universe, and chemistry fundamental to the study of life, biocentrism places biology before the other sciences to produce a theory of everything.
Professor Robert Lanza says the evidence lies in the idea that the concept of death is a mere figment of our consciousness. “We think life is just the activity of carbon and an admixture of molecules – we live a while and then rot into the ground”, said the scientist on his website.
Biocentrism explains that the universe only exists because of an individual’s consciousness of it. Life and biology creates the universe; the universe itself does not create life. The same applies to the concepts of space and time, which Professor describes as “simply tools of the mind”.
According to professor the concept of death as we know it is “cannot exist in any real sense” as there are no true boundaries by which to define it. The idea of dying is essentially something we have long been taught to accept, but in reality it just exists in our minds. Professor says that once we begin to question our preconceived concepts of time and consciousness, the alternatives are huge and could alter the way we think about the world in a way not seen since the 15th century’s “flat earth” debate.
Professor Lanza says it can be explained far more simply using colours. Essentially, the sky may be perceived as blue, but if the cells in our brain were changed to make the sky look green, was the sky truly blue or was that just our perception?
When we die, we do so not in the random billiard-ball-matrix but in the inescapable-life-matrix.
Professor Lanza explains that, when we die, our life becomes a “perennial flower that returns to bloom in the multiverse”. He added: “Life is an adventure that transcends our ordinary linear way of thinking. When we die, we do so not in the random billiard-ball-matrix but in the inescapable-life-matrix.”
Image Credit : BoredPanda
If you are curious about aliens and extraterrestrial life, you’ve probably heard a lot about crop circles, but surprisingly a Japanese photographer Yoji Ookata has found something similar to crop circles 80 ft below the sea level. He discovered this 6.5 feet mysterious circle carved from sand while diving. He was so amazed that he came back with the TV Crew to figure this out.
Wait, there is no alien theory behind it.
Image credit : BoredPanda
The cameras revealed that there is no alien theory behind this. A few-inch long puff fish was creating the sand sculptures by swimming tirelessly and using its single fin. The team figured that this is the way to attract the male fish, and the center of the circle is where the pair lays the eggs. The riffles serve as a protective barrier against ocean currents.
Image Credit : Flickr
A scientist exploring the effects of alcohol on the brain said a cure for Hangover is closer than you think. He’s busy devising a substitute beverage that can eliminate the toxic health effect of alcohol on the liver, heart and brain.
Writing in The Guardian, David Nutt — a professor at Imperial College in London — said he had identified compounds that are effective substitutes to alcohol, that mimic the effects of booze on the brain.
To test them out he had a few drinks.
‘Within minutes of taking the antidote I was up giving a lecture with no impairment whatsoever.’ – David Nutt
“In theory we can make an alcohol surrogate that makes people feel relaxed and sociable and remove the unwanted effects, such as aggression and addictiveness,” – David Nutt.
At present Professor Nutt is seeking funding for testing and marketing the product. But one thing for sure he will have no challenge finding test subjects.
Image Credit : Flickr | kevinmgill
“India’s mission to Mars has overcome a technical problem and appears to be back on track”, India’s space research agency ISRO says.
The problem occurred on Monday when a planned engine burn failed to raise the spacecraft’s orbit around Earth from 71,623km to 100,000km. A problem with the thruster caused the Mars Craft to fall short of the mark. As a solution, the Mars-craft used an additional thruster firing to make up for the shortfall early on Tuesday.
The Indian Space Research Organisation – ISRO has now pushed the spacecraft to a higher velocity as planned.
“The final orbit will be known in a few hours”
Speaking to Indian news channel NDTV, ISRO’s chairman K Radhakrishnan said: “All is well and operations completed as planned. The final orbit of the spacecraft will be known in a few hours.”
Mr Bagla told BBC News that the “spacecraft has been put on required velocity and seems to be on track”.
Instead of flying directly to Mars, the Mars Craft is scheduled to orbit Earth for nearly a month, building up the speed to “slingshot” its way out of the earth’s gravitational pull to reach its destination – The Red Planet.
International Space Station
Renowned security expert Eugene Kaspersky reveals that the International Space Station was infected by a USB stick carried into space by a Russian astronaut.
According to Kaspersky, The international space station’s computer systems were infected by an unspecified virus this year. The malware spread through a removable device carried by Russian astronauts, and though the extent of the damage hasn’t been specified, it has been revealed that on occasion, the station has suffered “virus epidemics”.
The virus surfaced before May 2013 during a transition by the United Space Alliance over to Linux. Before converting the international space station’s control systems from Windows over to Linux, scientists were used to bring USB drives with them into space, and such was how the malware was transferred.
Reports have shown that in the past, a Russian astronaut brought a laptop that harbored a W32.Gammima.AG worm, something that ended up spreading to other laptops running Windows XP. Now that the ISS has been migrated from the Windows to Linux, the instances of these infections are likely to decrease.
Image Credit : Flickr | akeg
US based Newlight Technologies has come up with a plastic that is actually environment friendly. Named AirCarbon, It is a material made by separating carbon from air, carbon that would otherwise be in the air we are breathing right now.
Pollution-Free electric cars, Carbon-Negative plastic – Humanity is going in the right direction
Almost all plastics today are made exclusively from oil or other fossil fuels. By replacing oil with AirCarbon, the company is aimed to reverse the flow of carbon and actually improve the world–reducing the concentration of carbon in the air.
According to the company AirCarbon is able to meet the performance requirements of a wide range of applications, including applications currently using fossil fuel-based polypropylene, polyethylene, ABS, polystyrene, and TPU.
AirCarbon is a naturally biodegradable polyester that can be recycled in multiple use cycles, and can be formulated into both biodegradable and non-biodegradable grades according to the durability and carbon capture needs of a given application.
Its a carbon-negative material, quantifiably reducing the amount of carbon in the air, transforming the products we use every day into products that reverse the flow of carbon and change the world.
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