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Microbiomes are also important for birds to emit unique smells

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Microbiomes, i.e. all bacteria and microorganisms that live inside or on the surface of the body of a living creature, are very important not only for humans but also for other animals. A group of scientists from the State University of Michigan, for example, have studied the microorganisms of birds and found that bacteria are very important to produce a smell that many bird species use to identify other birds.

On the other hand, the same sense of smell, based precisely on the perception of odors, is important for many living beings, in a sense also for humans. Through smells, many living beings can be warned of danger, can find food, and can communicate and find a companion. Scientists have found that the odors produced by some singing birds, Junco occhiscuri (Junco hyemalis), are caused by specific strains of bacteria, and if these bacteria are removed, the birds will no longer express the correct information.

The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, also compares it with humans. According to Danielle Whittaker, the main author of the study, even in humans bacteria present on the surface of the body can create specific scents that can be unique to each person, such as armpit scents. Similarly, the scents produced by bacteria on the bird’s body surface are unique and allow other birds to obtain information relevant to the mating process itself.

On the other hand, many bird species start to rub against the beak of a given gland when the mating period comes, in order to stick to the kind of “oil” that the birds themselves rub against their feathers and body to produce more of their smell. In order to change the community, the bacteria that produce these bird odors, scientists injected some antibiotics into the gland and noticed that when these microorganisms were modified, the birds had strong difficulties in relations.


Related Articles and Sources:

https://jeb.biologists.org/content/222/20/jeb202978

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Bob Miller

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website ABC 14 News in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

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Drones that can see from 150 meters high used in Scotland to find missing persons.

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The Scottish police are starting to use a new drone system integrated with artificial intelligence, called the Remote Control Aircraft System (RPAS), to detect a person by facial recognition from a distance of up to 150 meters. The system, equipped with advanced cameras and neural computer networks, can actually identify a person, including movement, by recognizing facial features and comparing them with images in a database.

At present, this system is mainly used to search for missing persons or, in any case, for persons who need help or have been lost, as explained by Nicholas Whyte, one of the heads of the Scottish Air Support Unit, who makes some statements about this advanced system on the BBC website. The data collected by the drones are processed in real-time, and the recognition software, which is remotely activated, can distinguish between everything from a person, through an animal, to a vehicle with its license plate, even when these objects are in motion.

To train the software, managers have used hundreds of hours of footage from the same police officers in different contexts, locations and situations. Moreover, the software itself “does not require advanced supercomputers” because Professor Carl Schaschke, a researcher from the University of West Scotland, one of the institutions that worked with the Scottish police to develop this technology, indicates that even a trivial smartphone is sufficient to manage the software. The same system also requires only two police officers to manage one drone, one to pilot it and the other to use recognition software.

At the moment, Scottish political leaders have distributed three drones to be used across Scotland, and the formal launch of the system should take place on Thursday. Of course, such technology, with these particular features, raises concerns about all privacy and civil liberties issues, but the Scottish leaders themselves suggest that it is not a spy drone, but only a ‘police tool’ to help and find people.


Related Articles and Sources:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-50262650

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Bob Miller

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website ABC 14 News in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

2930 Scheuvront Drive, Denver Colorado, 80211
303-458-7258
Bob@abc14news.com
Bob Miller
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A fossil of a huge sea monster from 150 million years ago, a pliosaurus, was found in Poland

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A fossil of what phys.org calls the “150 millionth sea monster” was found by two researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences. Daniel Tyborowski and Błażej Błażejowski found a fossil in a wheat field near the village of Krzyżanowice. It is a pliosaurus fossil (Pliosauroidea), a marine reptile that lived in Jurassic and Cretaceous areas and had a large head and a generally large body and very massive toothed jaws.

The fossil is about 10 meters long and according to researchers belongs to the pliosaurus, which lived from 145 to 163 million years ago. Apart from being the first pliosaurus fossil in Poland, this fossil opened the way to other fossil remains of various other nearby creatures, including ancient crocodiles and turtles. According to researchers, this area used to be a tropical environment with many animals, perhaps created by an archipelago with lagoons and various small pools, almost ideal for all kinds of reptiles.

Hungry reptiles were hungry reptiles: there were several species and almost all of them were at the top of their food chains. In the millions of years in which they have existed, they have reached enormous proportions with some specimens that could be similar in size to those of modern plowing. They were very long and relatively narrow with a crocodile-like muzzle, with massive teeth and large fins. According to the researchers, they fed on almost every living animal they could find in this environment, from the reptiles themselves to the mammals that might have emerged in search of water food near them.

Researchers believe that there are still other interesting fossils to be found in the area, which is why they continue to work in the area.


Related Articles and Sources:

https://phys.org/news/2019-11-million-year-old-sea-monster-fossil-poland.html

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016787819301063?via%3Dihub

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7629681/Bones-30-foot-long-Jurassic-sea-monster-massive-jaws-cornfield-Poland.html

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliosauroidea

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Bob Miller

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website ABC 14 News in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

2930 Scheuvront Drive, Denver Colorado, 80211
303-458-7258
Bob@abc14news.com
Bob Miller
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Microbial skin protects sharks from infection as a result of wounds

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Microbials, i.e. groups of bacteria and microorganisms living in the body (or above it in the case of skin microorganisms), are not only very important for humans but also for animals, as confirmed by further research. This time, scientists from the Red Sea Research Centre of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) investigated the microbiological communities living on saithe shark skin (Carcharhinus melanopterus).

It has happened several times that those who study these sharks have observed them with noticeable wounds on their bodies, but almost never with signs of infection around the wounds themselves. To understand this phenomenon, an international team of researchers collected various samples of skin mucus from the backs and gills of sloe sharks living around Seychelles, namely around the Amirante Islands. In addition, they sequenced RNA genes to identify bacteria.

As Claudia Pogoreutz explains, one of the researchers who conducted the study, the researchers found no signs of infection around the wounds. This suggests that the skin of these sharks is not readily infective and that it is the bacterial communities, precisely those on the skin, that are the main reason: “We really need to investigate the bacterial functions and innate immunity of sharks to understand what really happens and how wound healing in sharks is mediated,” says the researcher in a press release presenting the research that has emerged in the Animal Microbiome.

Scientists have also found differences in the bacterial communities of shark skin depending on where he lived, even when he was only a few miles away, but relatively isolated. According to scientists, these differences are dictated by the environmental conditions in which these sharks live, by conditions that may vary, such as temperature, population density, nutrient availability and water pollution levels.

Pogoreutz herself suggests that there are still many things to understand with regard to shark skin micro-organisms.


Related Articles and Sources:

https://animalmicrobiome.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42523-019-0011-5

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Bob Miller

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website ABC 14 News in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

2930 Scheuvront Drive, Denver Colorado, 80211
303-458-7258
Bob@abc14news.com
Bob Miller
Continue Reading

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