Category: Pioneers

First record: Common bottlenose dolphin in Canadian Pacific waters

Common bottlenose dolphins are the largest species of the beaked dolphins that inhabits in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide. These species are large that mostly found in groups and known to mixed with other species like whales and cetaceans. Common bottlenose dolphin diet mainly squid, eel, shrimp and wide variety of fishes by swallowing a whole than chewing it. Dolphins usually search prey using echolocation in a form of sonar. And uses sounds for communication like squeaks emitted from blowhole, whistles from nasal sacs and body language. The coastal of United States Pacific is known to have around 450 individuals while the offshore population about 3,495 individuals. In Canadian west coast no common bottlenose dolphin has been documented. However, on July 29, 2017 a sighting of this species mixed with cetaceans and killer whales has been observed.


Common bottlenose dolphins observed in Canadian waters

For the first time common bottlenose dolphins have been observed on July 29, 2017 in Canadian water. Each individual shows particular characteristics like short to moderate beak. A curved mouth line that dips downward resembling like a smile and tall falcate dorsal fin at the central back. Moreover, the body colors were usually light grey to black on the back and side while light to white color around the belly.


The sighting of the large group of common bottlenose dolphins is the first confirmed occurrence in Canadian Pacific waters. The location of sighting is approximately 1000 km northwest coast of America which signifies the first northernmost record of the species. About 200 dolphins were seen in the group in an unusual large aggregation. On the other hand it was also observed that this dolphins traveling closely with false killer whales, a typically offshore species.


The discovery of common bottlenose dolphins and false killer whales signifies the warming trends in North Pacific waters. Both of the species typically inhabit warm temperate waters in lower latitudes. But this sighting indicates that British Columbia, Canada oceanic conditions gives suitable habitat for them. It is also recorded that the show-up happened after a prolonged warming period.


Source: Prepared by Joan Tura from  Springer Nature BMC Marine Biodiversity

Vol. 11: 3, 20 April 2018

Effects of Gravity on Sleep

Gravity is a natural phenomenon that affects all things particularly all living creatures from cell to human being. It has an infinite range, although its effects become weaker on farther objects. This article is not based on observation on either human or animal. But it is based on extensive and attentive results of scientific studies on sleep performed in ground, water and space. Since the effect of gravity on sleep has been rarely studied and medical aspects give much of attention. Man live in the presence of gravity for million years but with the advent of space flight. Man can able to live in the absence of gravity.


Why do we sleep?

The hypothesis presented here is that sleep is partly due to gravity.  It try to explained several theories why sleep is a part of life in which it is one parameter. That all creatures on Earth undergo an alternative wake and sleep periods. Like in water, species modes of sleep are different from those of mammals. In which the rapid eye movement phase of sleep is not apparent, like in fishes. For insect, it is believed that there are alternating active and passive periods. Even planktons and unicellular organisms correspond to the necessity of using energy. In which it tends to move lower at night and goes up to the surface during daytime.


On the ground, gravity influence REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep wherein muscle tone helps maintain posture. When asleep the brain decreases its sensitivity to the external stimulus like sound, light, contact and weight. Like for example, horses can sleep while standing locking their knees to stay upright. But they cannot achieve REM sleep if they will not lay on the ground, the same also in the elephants. Indeed, gravity is forgotten by the brain during REM sleep.


In space, many studies explained that sleep differs minimally from Earth in which sleep duration in space is shorter. Sleep is one concern in space but the absence of gravity affects muscles and bones. Absence of it produces atrophy of muscles and loss of strength in bones in which these two are important in sleep. In water also demonstrate that biological sleep is dependent on gravity because without it sleep is reduced.


Therefore, evidences shows that sleep depends on the gravity that acts on the body either in water, space and ground. When gravity is compensated, sleep is affected. Because there is no tool to suppress gravity, it is hard to ascertain a long term experiment over generations to confirm that sleep is due to gravity.


Source: Prepared by Joan Tura from Medical Hypotheses

Volume 113, April 2018, Pages 81–84

1905: Einstein’s Annus Mirabilis

Here is an interesting article from “sent2null” written by David Saintloth, regarding Einstein’s uncanny output in 1905. Not exactly biological in origin, but Einstein as a scientist is an inspiration to all.

1905 was a great year for physics, in this year a 24 year old patent examiner in Bern Switzerland published 4 fundamental papers in physics in 4 disparate areas of the field. The topics included special relativity, the relationship between energy and matter, Brownian Motion and the subject of this post, the photo electric effect.

The photo electric effect paper by Einstein was probably the most practical paper next to the brownian motion paper in that it provided an answer to a long standing problem in electromagnetic theory at the time that had stood as an embarrassment to particle physics. This embarrasment was a legacy of the work of James Clerk Maxwell and his fundamental equations of electromagnetism, by using a continuous wave analog to describe the energy of propagating fields Maxwell was able to do the astonishing, he explained the riddle that was the relationship between electricity and magnetism in clear mathematical terms and he was able to show how light must be itself an electromagnetic wave by showing that all such waves are limited by the speed of light “c” or roughly 186,000 miles per second.

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