Comments Off on A sloth’s upside down life in Costa Rica, cosmic bursts seen from Puerto Rico, and thinking about a much warmer Antarctica.

1 May 2014

A sloth’s upside down life in Costa Rica, cosmic bursts seen from Puerto Rico, and thinking about a much warmer Antarctica.

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Josh More via Flickr

Costa Rica

A study of sloths in Costa Rica has determined that their organs are kept in place with adhesions to support their weight and make breathing easier. Sloths spend 90% of their time upside down.

Puerto Rico

A new astronomical phenomenon was confirmed by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Distant radio pulses of a very short duration had only been detected previously in Australia. Now scientists are trying to find out what causes them.

Antarctica

One study estimated the the temperature of Antarctica 40 million years ago was akin to that of modern day Florida. It turns out that the Eocene saw high concentrations of carbon dioxide.

Strange sounds heard by scientists in the Southern Ocean have been identified as minke whale calls. While scientists do not exactly know their meaning, they hope they will glean insights into minke whale behavior and migration.

Argentina

Blue Pampa is a scientific project initiated by the Argentine government to investigate the South Atlantic for the next ten years. It was presented this week by Argentina’s president.

Argentine scientists have developed a simple and economical test to detect cognitive diseases. It’s a device which follows the movement of the eye while the patient reads short sentences.

Brazil

A researcher in Brazil named Nagib Nasar has been awarded a prize of $100,000 for his work on geneticcally improving the cassava. Nasar donated the money to create a fund to support young scientists who study plant.

Mexico

A biopolymer capable of holding 500 times its weight in water could allow trees to grow in arid areas of Mexico. Called the “water pot,” it is produced from waste from the biodiesel industry and has been validated by scientists at the UNAM.

Mexico’s General Directorate for the Promotion of Science and UNAM recently published the book “Obesity”, aimed primarily at young people to show them the consequences of eating poorly and the need to lead a healthy life.

Andes

A study performed by the University of Rochester found that the central highlands of the Andes were formed through a rapid period of geologic “stretching”.