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Article ID: 700802

Physicists Train Robotic Gliders to Soar Like Birds

University of California San Diego

Scientists know that upward currents of warm air assist birds in flight. To understand how birds find and navigate these thermal plumes, researchers used reinforcement learning to train gliders to autonomously navigate atmospheric thermals. The research highlights the role of vertical wind accelerations and roll-wise torques as viable biological cues for soaring birds. The findings also provide a navigational strategy that directly applies to the development of UAVs.

Released:
19-Sep-2018 4:05 PM EDT

Article ID: 700635

More Than 4 Billion Birds Stream Overhead During Fall Migration

Cornell University

Using cloud computing and data from 143 weather radar stations across the continental United States, Cornell Lab of Ornithology researchers can now estimate how many birds migrate through the U.S. and the toll that winter and these nocturnal journeys take. Their findings are published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Released:
17-Sep-2018 11:05 AM EDT

Article ID: 700525

Creating a Continental Bird Migration Forecast

Cornell University

September is the peak of autumn bird migration, and billions of birds are winging their way south in dramatic pulses. A new study published in the journal Science reports that scientists can now reliably predict these waves of bird migration up to seven days in advance. The study details the underlying methods that power migration forecasts, which can be used as a bird conservation tool.

Released:
13-Sep-2018 2:30 PM EDT
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Article ID: 700174

Birds Retreating From Climate Change, Deforestation in Honduras Cloud Forests

University of Utah

Cloud forests are not immune to down-to-earth problems of climate change and deforestation. A 10-year study of bird populations in Cusuco National Park, Honduras, shows that the peak of bird diversity in this mountainous park is moving higher in elevation. Additional land protection may not be enough to reverse the trend, driven in part by globally rising temperatures.

Released:
6-Sep-2018 4:55 PM EDT
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Article ID: 699068

Bird Communities Dwindle on New Mexico’s Pajarito Plateau

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Researchers have found declines in the number and diversity of bird populations at nine sites surveyed in northern New Mexico, where eight species vanished over time while others had considerably dropped.

Released:
15-Aug-2018 4:45 PM EDT
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Article ID: 699028

Play-Doh Helps Plant Research

University of Delaware

You know that smell of fresh cut grass? It's a cry for help. Plants use scent cues to protect themselves and new research has identified the use of these plant volatiles in agricultural settings.

Released:
15-Aug-2018 11:05 AM EDT
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Article ID: 698619

UF Study: Snail Kites Must Do More Than Move to Thrive

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

For a new study, UF/IFAS researchers used nine years of data to find out whether snail kites are reproducing after they move, and how these findings might change conservation strategies.

Released:
6-Aug-2018 3:05 PM EDT
  • Embargo expired:
    31-Jul-2018 11:00 AM EDT

Article ID: 697913

Creating a (Synthetic) Song from a Zebra Finch’s Muscle

American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Birds create songs by moving muscles in their vocal organs to vibrate air passing through their tissues, and new research shows that these muscles act in concert to create sound. Scientists describe how zebra finches produce songs in this week’s Chaos: Using electromyographic signals, they tracked the activity of one muscle involved in creating sound, the syringealis ventralis. They then used the data from this muscle to create a synthetic zebra finch song.

Released:
25-Jul-2018 8:05 AM EDT

Article ID: 698089

For Spinal Fusion Surgery Patients, Taking Opioids Before Surgery Is Major Risk Factor for Long-Term Opioid Use

Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Patients taking opioids for at least three months before spinal fusion surgery in the lower spine are much more likely to continue taking opioids one year after surgery, reports a study in Spine. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Released:
26-Jul-2018 10:10 AM EDT
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Article ID: 697487

Variations of a Single Gene Drive Diverse Pigeon Feather Patterns

University of Utah

In a new study, biologists have discovered that different versions of a single gene, called NDP (Norrie Disease Protein), have unexpected links between color patterns in pigeons, and vision defects in humans. The gene variations were likely bred into pigeons by humans from a different pigeon species and are now evolutionarily advantageous in wild populations of feral pigeons living in urban environments.

Released:
17-Jul-2018 8:00 AM EDT

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