Animals, Biology, News

How Antarctic octopuses survive in freezing waters

Antarctic octopuses survive in cold waters by holding higher concentrations of blue blood proteins. Image: National Geographic

Octopus species that live in ice-cold Antarctic waters employ an unique strategy to transport oxygen to its tissue and survive, according to German researchers. The study suggests the octopuses’ specialized pigments, analogous to hemoglobin in vertebrates, are in higher concentration in the Antarctic region than in warmer waters. This would help to explain why octopuses are more adapted to climate change and warming waters

Animals, Biology, News

How chameleons change color: by changing nanocrystal patterns inside the skin

chameleon

The chameleon is one of the most remarkable, but also iconic creatures in the animal kingdom. It’s color shifting traits has made it the subject of metaphors. A person who is a master of disguise is rightfully labeled a chameleon. But how does the elusive lizard work its magic? After years of observation and rigorous study, scientists have finally uncovered how they do it. Beneath the outer layer of skin, chameleons have special nanocrystals that are evenly spaced. These reflect light and changing the spacing between the crystals also changes what kind of light gets reflected and eventually hits our eyes. Ultimately, this is how the chameleon turns green from red only a few minutes ago, or vice versa.

Animals, News

Doctors perform eye surgery on a goldfish

goldfish eye surgery

People generally love their pets, but we’d be lying to say there isn’t an inter-species discrimination. How many fish owners do you know who’ve been with their goldfish to a veterinarian? Not that many, I presume. Certainly, number-wise it pales in comparison to dogs or cats. The story of a Scottish goldfish named Star which had its cancerous eye removed by doctors thus serves as a noble example of respect and responsibility that all pet owners should bear.

Environment, News

The plane that will circle the globe on solar power alone

solar impulse

Tomorrow, Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will embark on an epic journey aboard Solar Impulse 2 – an airplane entirely powered by solar power – that will take them around the world. The five-months, 35,000 kilometers long trip will start and end in Dubai.

Climate, News, World Problems

Florida officials banned from using words like “climate change” or “global warming” in public

Gov. Rick Scott Banned Talk of “Global Warming” and “Climate Change”. Image: KCTV

In Florida, some have already found a solution to climate change: just ignore the damn thing! According to a outrageous report released by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, employees  of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have been ordered to stop using key terms like “global warming” or “climate change” in public communications, be them on twitter, PR releases or

Green Living, News, Science

The farmers of the future will be all robots

AGBOT II: Agricultural robot developed at the Queensland University of Technology for weed and crop management in broadacre as well as horticulture applications. Image: QUT

By 2050, world population is expected to rise to nine billion, but the amount of arable land meant to grow food will remain mostly the same as it stands today. As such, a 25% increase in productivity is mandated to support not just a growing populace, but also a wealthier one – as income inequality is coming down in developing countries, we’re also seeing a sharp increase in meat consumption, for instance. Genetically modified organisms and waste management are just a few paramount solutions. At the same time, productivity stems from agricultural processes and some modern farmers are already integrating the latest technology to increase their yields and cut costs. Twenty years from now, expect your oranges and corn to be 100% sown, grown and harvested by robots.

Animals, Art

Violent eye-opening cartoons show how it would be like if we were treated like animals

rino-acting-as-humans-do

Needless to say, these are not literal representations, but some are actually surprisingly accurate – take them as a sort of reversed perspective. I’m not going to comment, make of them what you wish. Just keep in mind that all have at least some truth to them. Source

Animals, News

Catalina Fox Makes Sharp Recovery

Urocyon littoralis - the Santa Catalina Island fox. Image via Wiki Commons.

The Catalina Fox simply can’t catch a break – it went from endangered, to doing so well that local residents want to kill it again.

Animals, Great Pics

Talk about parenting – Bald Eagle protects eggs from mounting snow

Can you spot the eagle? Image via Pennsylvania Game Commission.

This eagle at Codorus State Park in Pennsylvania has had it up to his neck with snow – both parents, mother and father, have taken parenting to the next level, sharing egg duty despite the growing snow. The Bald Eagle, recently taken off the endangered list is a sea eagle, and opportunistic species which subsists mainly on fish, which it swoops down and

Environment, Renewable Energy

Solar Power Today and Tomorrow

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Solar power is one of the most efficient yet clean sources of energy we have access to. There are no increased fuel costs or dependencies, no ties to pollutants, and it’s both reliable and affordable. Of course, in order to harness solar power you need access to specific technology. This tech relies on either small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, large-scale