First (Fully) Warm-blooded Fish Found

by Stephanie Pappas

The car-tire-size opah is striking enough thanks to its rotund, silver body. But now, researchers have discovered something surprising about this deep-sea dweller: It’s got warm blood.

That makes the opah (Lampris guttatus) the first warm-blooded fish every discovered. Most fish are exotherms, meaning they require heat from the environment to stay toasty. The opah, as an endotherm, keeps its own temperature elevated even as it dives to chilly depths of 1,300 feet (396 meters) in temperate and tropical oceans around the world.

“Increased temperature speeds up physiological processes within the body,” study leader Nicholas Wegner, a biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California, told Live Science. “As a result, the muscles can contract faster, the temporal resolution of the eye is increased, and neurological transmissions are sped up. This results in faster swimming speeds, better vision and faster response times.”…

(read more: Live Science)

photograph by NOAA Fisheries, SW Fisheries Science Center

BAT FLIGHT VERSUS BIRD FLIGHT

Bats are better at flying than birds are.

I can hear all you bird fanatics out there revving your engines, but that’s not just my personal opinion (ok, it mostly is). Still, there are some sound scientific facts in there.

Look, if you compare the effortless soaring of something like a turkey vulture to the frenetic flapping of a little brown bat, of course the bird is going to seem better off. But most people haven’t spent a lot of time around bats, or watching bats fly. Because they generally fly at night.

I spent a summer mist-netting for bats in rural Ohio once, and let me tell you, your opinion on bat flight prowess changes after you have seen a bat fly within a few centimeters of a vertical wall of net and completely reverse direction in midair. All in a split second.

Bats are really, really good at flying.

Read more…

Nobel Awarded Women In Medicine and Physiology

Gerty Theresa Cori - 1947 Discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen (also known as Cori Cycle)

Rosalyn Yalow - 1977 Development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones

Barbara McClintock - 1983 Discovery of mobile genetic elements

Rita Levi-Montalcini - 1986 Discoveries of growth factors

Gertrude B. Elion - 1988 Discoveries of important principles for drug treatment

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard - 1995 Discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development

Linda B. Buck - 2004 Discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi - 2008 Discovery of human immunodeficiency virus

Carol W. Greider - 2009 Discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase

Elizabeth H. Blackburn - 2009 Discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase

May-Britt Moser - 2014 Discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain

We can be the next. WE CAN DO IT!