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Rough in Biological News

Protowings may have helped bird ancestors cover rough terrain

Biologists have long argued about how birds evolved the ability to fly, because it is not immediately evident what improvement in fitness would result from ancestral, partly evolved wings. Two theories have recently dominated the debate: one postulates that flight evolved in tree-dwelling ancestors...

Crustacean shell with polyester creates mixed-fiber material for nerve repair

...hells of crustaceans. It's cheap, readily available, biodegradable and biocompatible, meaning that it won't trigger an immune response. Chitosan has a rough surface similar to the surfaces found inside the body that cells can attach to. The problem is chitosan swells in water, making it weak in wet environ...

Urban myth disproved: Fingerprints do not improve grip friction

...our grasp on smooth surfaces, what are they for? Ennos explains that our fingerprints may function in other ways. They might have evolved to grip onto rough surfaces, like tree bark; the ridges may allow our skin to stretch and deform more easily, protecting it from damage; or they may allow water trapped ...

Nontoxic hull coating resists barnacles, may save ship owners millions

...at led to increased interest in endowing the ship coatings with wrinkled topographies. The coatings share traits with surfaces found in nature, where rough surfaces such as shark skin generally stay free of debris buildup. In contrast, other marine species, such as whales, have smooth skin but often carr...

Non-toxic hull coating resists barnacles, may save ship owners millions

...at led to increased interest in endowing the ship coatings with wrinkled topographies. The coatings share traits with surfaces found in nature, where rough surfaces such as shark skin generally stay free of debris buildup. In contrast, other marine species, such as whales, have smooth skin but often carr...

Tree survival skills

...mage of root balls during the study. "Based on the data, it appeared the majority of this damage occurred during the handling process. Results suggest rough handling before and after transport should be minimized in an effort to maximize growth and transplant success", remarked Stewart. The scientists a...

Satellite imagery shows fragile Wilkins Ice Shelf destabilized

...'s TerraSAR-X satellite. On 24 April, the satellite data showed that the first icebergs had started to break away from the fragile ice shelf. A very rough estimate suggests that, so far, about 700 sq km of ice has been lost from the Wilkins Ice Shelf. In contrast to the ice bridge, which shattered ve...

Study of protein structures reveals key events in evolutionary history

...re highly integrated and they are used in different contexts," he said. By tracing the history of the modules, the researchers were able to build a rough timeline of protein evolution. It revealed that before the three superkingdoms began to emerge, most proteins contained only single domains that perfo...

Largest prehistoric snake on record discovered in Colombia

...used its size to make an estimate of Earth's temperature 58 to 60 million years ago in tropical South America. Paleontologists have long known of a rough correlation between an age's temperature and the size of its poikilotherms (cold-blooded creatures). Over geological time, as ages get warmer, so does...

At 2,500 pounds and 43 feet, prehistoric snake is the largest on record

...e an estimate of Earth's temperature 58 to 60 million years ago in an area encompassed by modern-day Colombia. Paleontologists have long known of a rough correlation between a period or epoch's temperature and the size of its poikilotherms (cold-blooded creatures). As the Earth's temperature increases, ...

Gaps in adhesion

...f the polymer and not from one end. "In practice, this only plays a part when the surface is completely level," explains Butt. "Most surfaces are very rough at nano level, so that a weight on one end always pulls more strongly there than on the other." The scientists have designed their experiment to co...

UCSB study finds physical strength, fighting ability revealed in human faces

... possible enemy. For women, the mechanism helps identify males who can adequately protect them and their children. Men have a lot more experience with rough and tumble play and direct experience with fighting, yet women are just as good at assessing these variables. The authors also point out that neither ...

Guilt on their hands: tiny 'tags' could help to solve and deter gun crime

... cartridge case with micro-patterned pyramid textures, or adding an abrasive grit, held in place by a thin layer of resin, to the cartridge base. This rough surface is able to retain dead skin cells from a thumb as it loads a cartridge into a firearm. A key benefit is also the affordability a cost-effecti...

Killer pulses help characterize special surfaces

... substrate in the July 18 issue of the journal Science . Surface-enhanced Raman scattering, which functions by adsorbing molecules of interest onto rough metal surfaces, typically enhances the Raman spectrum a million times. Hot spots can occur, however, where the electric field enhancement can be a bil...

Wilkins Ice Shelf hanging by its last thread

...Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces at Bonn University estimates the area lost on the Wilkins Ice Shelf during this break-up event is about 1350 km with a rough estimate of 500 to 700 km in addition being lost if the bridge to Charcot Island collapses. This break-up is puzzling to scientists because it has...

Study shows quantum dots can penetrate skin through minor abrasions

...d rat skin in various stages of distress - including healthy skin, skin that had been stripped using adhesive tape and skin that had been abraded by a rough surface. The researchers also assessed whether flexing the skin affected the quantum dots' ability to penetrate into the dermal layer. Monteiro-Rivier...

New family of gecko discovered by researchers from the U of Minnesota and Villanova University

...nd are found on nearly every continent. Researchers are also interested in the gecko because of the animals sticky toe pads, which allow them to scale rough and smooth surfaces -- a characteristic that may have human application in medicine, emergency rescue service and military industries. Graduate stu...

Ancient 'Nutcracker Man' challenges ideas on evolution of human diet

...n as the "Nutcracker Man" may upset current evolutionary understanding of early hominid diet. Using high-powered microscopes, researchers looked at rough geometric shapes on the teeth of several Nutcracker Man specimens and determined that their structure alone was not enough to predict diet. Peter U...

Deep-sea sharks wired for sound

...s spend there, what the seabed habitats are like, and what role they play in the ecology of the sharks. For example, the sharks may rely on shelter in rough habitats, and these are scarce. The research applied tagging techniques never before tested at such depths and developed new handling practices to ...

Popcorn-ball design doubles efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells

...nd cheaper than existing solar technologies. Researchers have tried various rough surfaces and achieved higher and higher efficiencies. Current lab prototype... on developing new approaches and compared the performance of a homogeneous rough surface with a clumping design. One of the main quandaries in making an eff...

Northern right whales head south to give birth, leave genetic 'fingerprints' with NOAA researchers

...alog maintained by the New England Aquarium in Boston. Adult Northern right whales can be easily identified by callosities, large raised patches of rough skin that resemble barnacles, on their heads. It is like recognizing a human face, Pace says of the patterns. Once we see an individual we can tell wh...

High blood pressure in older adults traced to gene's effects in blood vessels

...mooth muscle cells and observed the changes to the vessels that followed, which led to high blood pressure by the time the mice were 6 months old the rough equivalent to middle age in humans. We created the disease in the animals and then went backwards to understand how the disease developed. This is...

Sticky questions tackled in gecko research

... at how they climb up rocks and other natural surfaces we are hoping to gain an even better understanding of their adhesive system because coping with rough and unpredictable terrain poses quite different problems than does smooth and even ones. This calls for examining both the animals and the terrain the...

Researchers combat slowing yields with targeted fertilizer applications

...growth rate as compared to the yield growth rate during the green revolution phase (1960-1986). To meet the expected food demand in the next 30 years, rough estimates for India suggest the need to increase average farm productivity of the system, which is currently at 45 to 60% of the attainable yield pote...

European Union forests expanding, absorbing carbon at surprisingly high rate: study

...ry year, the expanding European forests remove a surprisingly large amount of carbon from the atmosphere, says co-author Aapo Rautiainen. According to rough estimates, their impact in reducing atmospheric carbon may well be twice that achieved by the use of renewable energy in Europe today. Under the Ky...

'Heftier' atoms reduce friction at the nanoscale, study led by Penn researcher reveals

...s automobile clutches may be interested in techniques to increase friction without changing the wear or adhesion of materials. Even in the absence of rough edges or wear between sliding bodies, friction between the atoms at the surface causes vibrations which dissipate energy, but the exact mechanisms of ...

Mysterious 'neural noise' actually primes brain for peak performance

...have a lot of trouble articulating most of the variables your brain just processed for you. Similarly, intuition may be less a burst of insight than a rough consensus among your neurons. Pouget and his team are now expanding their findings across the entire cortex, because every part of our highly deve...

Study: Living coral reefs provide better protection from tsunami waves

...f small obstacles into the water. A dead reef, on the other hand, is not as rough -- it tends to erode and exerts less drag on the wave." A turbulent mountain of water crashing over a complicated rough surface presented Kunkel with a number of obstacles for her own study -- sp...

Dinosaurs -- stones did not help with digestion

... they wore out quickly in the muscular stomach and were not polished. On the contrary, the surface of the stones, which had been partly smooth, became rough in the stomachs during the experiments. The mass of the stones then corresponded on average to one per cent of the body mass of the birds. 'Where...

Humpback whales have brain cells also found in humans

...en question as to how brain structure may relate to the extensive behavioral and social abilities of this mammal. Although brain to body mass ratio, a rough measure of intelligence, is lower for baleen whales such as the humpback compared to toothed whales such as dolphins, the structure and large brain si...

Nice guys do finish first in lizards' evolutionary race

... Getting beaten up by the neighborhood bully so your buddy can get some tail may seem like a rough life, but it not only works for some lizards, it also gives a fascinating peek into hard-wired altruism in evolutionary biology. Side-blotched lizar...

Life and death in the hippocampus: what young neurons need to survive

...ge, one gets the impression that the hippocampus is a dangerous place for a fledgling neuron trying to elbow its way into pre-existing networks. "It's rough in there!" he concedes. "The NMDA receptor-mediated event is a competition between mature cells vying for connectivity and young guys competing with b...

MIT 'seeing machine' offers hope to blind

...Goldring: "A couple of them said they'd tried every seeing aid available (magnifying devices, etc.), and this was by far the best, even in this rough, rough shape." Goldring and colleagues are now working toward a large-scale clinical trial of a color seeing machine (the device tested in the pilot trial...

Tiny shock absorbers help bacteria stick around inside the body

...structure of the protrusions helps the bacteria hang on tightly, even under rough fluid flow inside the body, researchers report in the journal PLoS Biology....The fimbriae uncoil and recoil to dampen sudden changes in forces caused by rough and rapidly changing flow conditions," explained study co-author Dr. Viola ...

Penguins waddle but they don't fall down, UH researchers say

...His study on walking stability features dozens of King penguins from Moody Gardens in Galveston. Though these endearing animals may seem unsuited for rough terrain, penguins will travel more than 75 miles across rugged ground terrain to reach their nesting sites. Kurz believes the penguins have learned t...

In the mind's eye: How the brain makes a whole out of parts

...asten discrete shards of stained glass to create a design. "Humans do a rough categorization of objects very quickly," Connor said. "For instance, in jus...something we see is an animal or not. Our results show that this immediate, rough impression probably depends on recognizing just one or more individual part...

The world's deepest dinosaur finding - 2256 metres below the seabed

... While most nations excavate their skeletons using a toothbrush, the Norwegians found one using a drill. The somewhat rough uncovering of Norway's first dinosaur happened in the North Sea, at an entire 2256 metres below the seabed. It had been there for nearly 200 million y...

Watch your step when the going gets rough

...n. The research is published this week in the Journal of Physiology. This research models the sort of situation people encounter when rambling over rough terrain, where they need to accurately place their feet on well defined targets. Getting it right may avoid your slipping or twisting an ankle. "This ...

Fruit fly research set to revolutionize study of birth defects

...defects in human babies. Babies have bent limbs, tufts of hair and bulging eyes and the fruit flies have bent legs (and wings), tufts of bristles and rough eyes." While identifying this gene array is significant in its own right, the successful use of fruit flies in this kind of study is a revelation...

New bioinformatics technique for systematically analyzing key regions in DNA that help control gene activity

...mplish this," Komorowski said, "we used a machine learning technique called rough sets to mathematically model general rules that could associate known bindi...joint work appears in the June issue of the journal Genome Research. The rough sets technique was developed by Zdzislaw Pawlak in Poland in the 1980s and ...
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