scientist

Showing 34 posts tagged scientist

As honey bee populations decline (from pesticide and fungicide use, parasites, and a mix of other factors), scientists like entomologist Claudio Gratton are exploring the exciting idea of pollinating our plants and crops in an “alternative” way: native bees.

“There’s a lot of other pollinators out there,” explains Gratton. The 500 or 600 wild bee species that live in Wisconsin are only a fraction of the 4,000 native to the United States. But because they tend to be solitary, aren’t easily managed, and don’t produce honey, they’ve mostly flown under the radar.

In this video from KQED’s QUEST, learn about these native bee populations and how we can support them by planting pollinator-friendly gardens and championing farms that pollinate with native bee habitats.

Related watching: It’s Okay to Be Smart’s How Bees See the Invisible, and the incredible Hidden Beauty of Pollination.

Well-preserved, thanks to just the right combination of conditions over 72 million years, a 16 foot (5 meter) long dinosaur tail has been unearthed by paleontologists in Coahuila, MexicoBased on evidence, the excavation team believes that the tail could have been from a duck-billed hadrosaur, and they hope to locate more of the dinosaur’s body deeper underground. From Yahoo:

A group of locals discovered the fossil in June 2012. Paleontologists with INAH and the National Autonomous University of Mexico spent about a year surveying the area, and began their excavation on July 2… 

Aside from providing a valuable addition to the world’s limited collection of intact dinosaur fossils, the team hopes their findings will help explain the mechanics of how hadrosaur tails moved…

Finding the remains of this web-footed herbivore in such good condition is rare, and will add to the information gathered from previous discoveries. Related hadrosaur reading should include Dakota, the 67 million year old "mummified" hadrosaur that was excavated in North Dakota in 2006.

Watch more paleontology videos.

h/t @pourmecoffee.

Video camera technology has improved immensely in recent years, allowing scientists like lightning physicist Vladislav Mazur and meteorologist Tom Warner to analyze high speed footage of these captivating bolts of electricity in the sky.

In this video, Incredible Slow Motion Lightning Strike, via sagansense, we see just 1 second of lightning slowed down into 3 minutes. Yes, 1 sec = 3 mins.

One more to watch: a downward lightning negative ground flash captured at 7,207 images per second

Science fiction stories in which pilots control spacecrafts with their minds have become less about fiction and more science. A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed the next step in thought-controlled vehicles. Watch this model helicopter fly through an obstacle course using brainwaves. 

The aircraft’s pilot operates it remotely using a cap of electrodes to detect brainwaves that are translated into commands.

Ultimately, the developers of the mind-controlled copter hope to adapt their technology for directing artificial robotic limbs and other medical devices. Today’s best neural prosthetics require electrodes to be implanted in the body and are thus reserved for quadriplegics and others with disabilities severe enough justify invasive surgery.

"We want to develop something non-invasive that can benefit lots of people, not just a limited number of patients," says Bin He, a biomedical engineer at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, whose new results build on his previous work with a virtual thought-controlled helicopter.

A fascinating note: some would-be pilots could not provide clear thought commands during trial studies. Those candidates who meditated or practiced yoga had better focus and stronger mind-body awareness, allowing them to adapt to the brain-computer interface with less training. 

Read the rest of the article at Nature.com.