Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fwd: Experiments We Love: Do Hummingbirds Sleep?

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From: "Experiment" <>
Date: Mar 15, 2017 12:24 PM
Subject: Experiments We Love: Do Hummingbirds Sleep?
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Featured Project

March 15, 2017

Do Hummingbirds Actually Sleep?

When hummingbirds spend more energy than they consume, they go into a deep hypothermia (torpor) which, unlike restful sleep, can have physiological consequences. Professor Donald R. Powers and Isabelle Cisneros, an undergraduate researcher at George Fox University, are collaborating to understand if hummingbirds can also maintain a more shallow torpor that would conserve energy without reducing the body temperature so much that it prevents restoration. 

When studying torpid and non-torpid hummingbirds in Arizona and Ecuador, the team found that in both locations some hummingbirds had intermediate metabolic rates in between torpor, which suggests there may be a smaller body temperature reduction and a shallow torpor. While they've received support from traditional grants, they haven't received the student funding that Isabelle needs to work at a field site in Arizona. Once there, she and Professor Powers will measure body temperature regulations in the hummingbird's natural habitat. If their predictions are correct,  their research could transform what we know about hummingbird physiology. 

Featured Results

Crowdfunded scientific discoveries

A Prescription for Health and Fitness Based on Your Genes

In 2014, four researchers campaigned to explore the connections between exercise programs and a person's genes, and area of study known as exercise genomics. Specifically, they sought to explore if genes played a role in how patients with hypertension respond to exercise. Their new research angle was formed after their initial study in 2001, where they found that the genes that seemed the most relevant to exercise and hypertension were unknown, making them hard to analyze.

As technology progressed, so did their study, and they decided to use deep gene sequencing, which could identify more genes, to study 90 adults with high blood pressure. In their exercise study, they measured the effects of exercise on the adults' hypertension and analyzed the genes their blood samples. A couple of years later, they arrived at some interesting results that associate genetic differences with post-exercise hypotension in African Americans. This puts them one step closer to being able to pinpoint the correct exercise treatments for patients with high blood pressure. 

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In a world of rapidly expanding 'hotspots', Wifi typically only captures the attention when it breaks. How does wifi work in the first place? And what happens when it doesn't work correctly? This article goes in depth, explaining wireless networking inside and out. 

In sharp contrast with yesterday's blizzard in the northeast, California is about to erupt with signals of spring. Fueled by a winter full of storms, California's now nourished landscape will soon blossom with wildflowers that will rival a display that hasn't been seen since 2005.

Substance abuse in highschool students is a weighty matter that can greatly influence substance dependence in adulthood. This study compares substance abuse statistics between the United States and Europe, and breaks down which states and countries have the highest rates of substance abuse in teens. 

A rabbit hole in an English county has led to an underground cave with a mysterious history. While legend suggests that the caves could've been used by followers of the Knights of Templar, not all evidence supports this idea. This article from the BBC explains. 

According to Richard A. Friedman, a professor of clinical psychiatry, jetlag can make some people mentally ill. In his opinion piece for the New York Times, he describes how travel and sleep are crucial issues in terms of psychology. 
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