Sat, Mar 25, 2017 | updated 10:52 PM IST

Birds have built-in air conditioners, reveals CT Scan

Updated: Nov 09, 2016 12:16 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov. 9(ANI): In a recent study it has been found that birds' bills are filled with complex structures called nasal conchae that moderate the temperature of air being inhaled.

The same also helps in reclaiming water from air being exhaled and thus help them meet the demands of climate.

The researchers used CT scans to examine the conchae of two Song Sparrow subspecies, one that lives in warm, dry sand dunes and one that lives in moister habitats farther inland.

In this first comparison of conchae structure from birds living along a moisture gradient, the conchae of the dune-dwelling sparrows had a larger surface area and were situated farther out in the bill than those of their inland relatives, hypothetically increasing their beaks' ability to cool air and recapture water.

The researcher Raymond Danner of the University of North Carolina Wilmington and his colleagues from Cornell University and the National Museum of Natural History used Song Sparrow specimens that were collected in Delaware and the District of Columbia and preserved in ethanol and iodine to help soft tissues show up in scans.

"We had been studying the function of the bird bill as a heat radiator, with a focus on heat loss from the external surface and adaptation to local climates, when we began to wonder about the thermoregulatory processes that occur within the bill," says Danner.

"I remember the entire team assembled for the first time, huddled around a computer and looking in amazement at the first scans. The high resolution scans revealed many structures that we as experienced ornithologists had never seen or even imagined, and we were immediately struck by the beauty of the ornately structured anterior conchae and the neatly scrolled middle conchae," he added.

"This study highlights the remarkable complexity of the rostral conchae in songbirds. This complexity has gone largely unnoticed due to the ways in which most birds are collected and preserved," according to Jason Bourke, a researcher from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences who was not involved in the research. "Thanks to the use of innovative techniques like diceCT, we are now able to really appreciate just how complicated bird noses can be."

The study has been published in the The Auk: Ornithological Advances journal. (ANI)

A simple route to developing new sensors

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 11:01 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): Turns out, there's more to a material used for decades to colour food items than meets the eye.

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London [UK], Mar. 24 (ANI): Following a huge explosion of magnetic field and plasma from the Sun's corona, Tasmania's skyline has been aglow in recent days - with vivid purple and green lights illuminating the horizon.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.23 (ANI): What the CRAB!

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.23 (ANI): According to a new study, places which have weaker non-medical exemption policies for vaccinations can reduce the likelihood of a measles outbreak 140 to 190 percent by strengthening them.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 23 (ANI): Higher level of blood sugar and insulin resistance, accompanied by obesity and physical inactivity, is also linked to more rapid decline in cognitive performance, says a new study.

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New Delhi [India], Mar.22 (ANI): Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on systems to forecast the natural disasters that could be used as input by States/disaster management agencies.

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Does universe have a time frame?

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 15:11 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.22 (ANI): Has anybody ever wondered whether our universe has a resting time frame? A researcher is conducting an experiment to find this out.

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Washington D.C.[USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A recent research suggests that essential microscopic creatures which produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere can rapidly adapt to global warming.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): He already had a research ship, dinosaur and flightless weevil named after him and now, Sir David Attenborough's hat has got another feather in the form of a 430 million-year-old shrimp ancestor.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A team of scientists has brought fresh hope to alcoholics as they are trying to find out whether or not treating the addiction is as simple as popping over-the-counter pills.

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Wild chimps 'surprisingly' live longer!

Updated: Mar 21, 2017 14:01 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 21 (ANI): Our close primate relatives, chimpanzees, have longer life span, if kept under the right ecological conditions.

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Restoring Pluto's planetary identity in crisis

Updated: Mar 18, 2017 06:55 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 18 (ANI): A decade after Pluto was ousted from the planet lineup, a supporter of the now dwarf planet is fighting to restore its title.

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Washington D.C [USA], Mar. 17 (ANI): The risk of hearing loss from exposure to noises is all around us every day and now, a recent study

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Today, over 95 percent of vanilla flavouring used in foods, from cereal to ice cream, is not natural and the production of the synthetic one is taking a toll on

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Good news for those who want to continue using fabric softeners but are afraid of risking the environment as a recent study has paved the way for the "greener"

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Earth's radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped regions of charged particles encircling our planet,were discovered more than 50 years ago, but their behaviour is still not completely understood.

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New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 13 (ANI): US tech giant Google has announced that using artificial intelligence to identify breast cancer has borne fruitful results.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): Turns out, social media is far more accurate than traditional forecasting as a team of researchers has suggested that it can warn us about extreme weather events before they happen- such as hurricanes, storms and floods.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): According to a recent study, arsenic molecules might be used to "fish out" the most toxic elements from radioactive nuclear waste - a breakthrough that could make the decommissioning industry even safer and more effective.

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So, how do financial criminals evade laws?

Updated: Mar 13, 2017 09:06 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): Despite preventative measures against bankruptcy fraud and money laundering, criminals are finding ways to exploit differing regulations in the United States and Europe.

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