Planting shade trees =Reduces Power Bills By 11.4 Percent


Homeowners and  real estate developers listen up!

Keep the  trees

Older houses have large trees around them that will decrease air conditioningbeech_220 costs during the warmer months. Plant shade trees shade

This study shows how much can be saved when trees are used in yards.”

Professor David Laband in the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences says electricity usage and costs will be 11.4 percent less if a house has just 17.5 percent heavy shade coverage. This is compared to a house with no shade.

“The keys are heavy foliage and late afternoon shade,” Laband said. “The savings can be very significant for homeowners. Over the years I had read statements that shade trees reduce electricity consumption, so we wanted to put a dollar amount to it.”

His office conducted a yearlong study of 160 houses in the Auburn, Ala., area to determine the annual energy savings provided by shade trees, primarily looking at the months of May to September. He analyzed power bills, calculated shade coverage and surveyed the homeowners about household makeup, electricity-usage habits, square footage, type of air conditioning, appliances, roofing, exterior material and other factors.

“We looked at the amount of shade in the early morning, early afternoon and late afternoon,” Laband said. “If you have trees on the west side of your house, you will have a much lower power bill.”

Using local power company rates for kilowatt hours per day, Laband said the 11.4 percent savings would equal $31 to $33 per month. The study, which categorized types of shade into light, moderate and heavy, also found that a house covered with 50 percent of light shade will save 10.3 percent.
eucalyptus_tree_2_220
Thermostat settings were important as well. “For each degree you raise your thermostat in the summer, you will save 3.3 percent on your power bill,” he said. “We also found that children under age 12 are the major power consumers in the home. They watch television, play games and leave lights on.”

Laband hopes the study will encourage real estate developers not to cut down all the trees on new lots.

“Many older houses have large trees around them because the owners did not rely as much on air conditioning then,” he said. “Houses today often do not have shade trees because it’s easier to run an air conditioner. This study shows how much can be saved when trees are used in yards.”
Shade trees can reduce power bills by 11.4 percent – Staff Writers   Auburn AL (SPX) Nov 17, 2008

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Shade_Trees_Can_Reduce_Power_Bills_By_11_Percent_999.html

Aussie Tammar Wallaby’s DNA Mapped and living the good life


Prior to the turn of the century there were two distinct sub-species of Tammar Wallabies inhabiting South Australia. Today, there is only one. Extensive habitat clearance for agricultural production and predation by foxes has lead to the extinction of the “mainland” Tammar subspecies over its entire former range.

Tammars are the smallest of the wallaby family, weighing in at only 5 kg to 7 kg. They have a dark grey-brown coat above, a pale buff grey coat beneath, with reddish arms, feet and flanks. Most individuals also display a faint white cheek stripe.macropus_eugenii

The recent re-discovery of the mainland Tammar Wallaby, prompted the Australian and South Australian Governments to develop a cooperative program to repatriate this unique Australian. Eighty-five Tammar Wallabies were successfully repatriated from New Zealand in 2003-2004 and were held in quarantine for twelve months at the Monarto Zoological Gardens, pending a full assessment of their state of health.

Prior to the removal of any wallabies from Kawau Island, a comprehensive site selection process was undertaken to decide where the wallabies could be reintroduced. The factors included in this decision were:

(1) habitat suitability (historic range, habitat quality, size of habitat, presence of historic threats, ability to undertake threat management)
(2) potential risks to other species and communities and
(3) the ability to effectively manage the wallaby population to ensure its continued survival and to minimize its impacts on neighboring land-uses.

These little wallabys are being carefully tended in their protected habitat.

Tammar Wallabies like many of the smaller wallaby species hide during the day they shelter among dense shrubby vegetation from predators like Wedge-tailed Eagles. Then venture out into open grassy areas at night to feed. Although each wallaby has a defined home range, these ranges overlap with those of other wallabies and aggressive encounters are few.

Tammar Wallabies have an unusual breeding pattern with most young being born on virtually the same day. Their fertilized eggs lay dormant, inside the mother (embryonic diapause), until the summer solstice, when fetal development resumes and all young are born approximately 40 days later, in late January or early February.

The kangaroo last shared a common ancestor with humans 150 million years ago.

The DNA sample taken from this little wallaby was decoded after being analyzed and sequenced over this last year. Researchers working with the government-funded Center of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics recently finished putting the pieces of the sequence together to form a genetic map. The group plans to publish the research next year.

Scientists have already untangled the DNA of around two dozen mammals, including mice and chimps, which are closer to humans on the evolutionary timeline. By comparing the DNA profiles of different species, scientists can spot genes they never knew existed and figure out what DNA features have stayed the same or changed over time. Elements that have remained the same are usually genes that have helped animals survive over time.

Another team of researchers Miller and Penn State colleague Stephan Schuster are map the genome of the Tasmanian devil, which is in danger of extinction because of a contagious facial tumor disease. Miller and Schuster said their project could lead to a way to keep the species alive.
Earlier this year, scientists mapped the DNA of a platypus and found that it crosses different classifications of animals.

Finding out more about our fellow animals can help us learn more about humans.

Big hop forward: Scientists map kangaroo’s DNA -Threatened Species – Tammar Wallaby – KRISTEN GELINEAU, A P Nov 18, 2008

Excerpts from http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/tammar.html

Image and some text courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Macropus_eugenii.jpg#file

500 year old fossils shed light on survival of yellow penguin


New Zealand researchers studying a rare and endangered Yellow-eyed penguin have uncovered a previously unknown species that disappeared about 500 years ago.New Zealand New Penguin

The research suggests that the first humans in New Zealand hunted the newly found Waitaha penguin to extinction by 1500, about 250 years after their arrival on the islands. But the loss of the Waitaha allowed another kind of penguin to thrive — the yellow-eyed species that now also faces extinction, Philip Seddon of Otago University. (1)
“Rarest of all the penguins, the Yellow-eyed penguin inhabits coastal forests of New Zealand and neighboring southern islands. Unique in appearance and behavior, these solitary birds have experienced population declines in the last 50 years due to habitat loss and predation by introduced species.
Yellow-eyed penguins have distinctive golden feathers which form a crown on their heads. This along with a bright yellow stripe running to the eye and around the back of the head are the distinguishing features of these elusive birds. They have slate grey-blue blacks with a white breast and belly, flesh colored feet, and thick reddish-purple bills. Immature birds have grey eyes and lack the yellow eye band and yellow head plumage. Chicks are covered with thick dark brown down feathers. Both sexes are alike, although the male does have slightly larger head and feet.
Yellow-eyeds spend most of their day at sea, feeding in the warm New Zealand waters. Amazing underwater swimmers, they can dive to depths of 400 feet and are adapted to holding their breath for up to four minutes.They may travel up to 20 miles from shore to feeding grounds at the edge of the Continental Shelf. There they scan the depths for opal fish, silverside, sprat, aruhu, red cod, and arrow squid.
Yellow-eyed penguins are forest nesting birds, preferring to nest in a secluded site backed up to a bank, tree or log. Coastal deforestation, however, has forced these penguins to seek refuge among tall shore grasses where adults, eggs and chicks frequently become prey to introduced dogs, cats, stoats, ferrets, and rats. Although they nest in loose ‘colonies’, mated Yellow-eyed penguins seek solitude, often nesting out of sight of each other.” (2)

“The research team was testing DNA from the bones of prehistoric modern Yellow-eyed penguins for genetic changes associated with human settlement when the team found some bones that were older and had different DNA.

Tests on the older bones “lead us to describe a new penguin species that became extinct only a few hundred years ago,” the team reported in a paper in the biological research journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Seddon said dating techniques used on bones pulled from old Maori trash pits revealed a gap in time between the disappearance of the Waitaha and the arrival of the yellow-eyed penguin. The Yellow -eyed penguin colonize New Zealand’s main islands around 500 years ago.

David Penny of New Zealand’s Massey University, who was not involved in the research, said the Waitaha was an example of another native species that was unable to adapt to a human presence.

‘In addition, it is vitally important to know how species, such as the Yellow-eyed penguin, are able to respond to new opportunities,” he said. “It is becoming apparent that some species can respond to things like climate change, and others cannot. The more we know, the more we can help.’

The Yellow-eyed penguin is considered one of the world’s rarest. An estimated population of 7,000 in New Zealand is the focus of an extensive conservation efforts.”(1)

Scientists find new penguin, extinct for 500 years – RAY LILLEY, A P
2006 photo November 19, 2008  the New Zealand Science AP Nov. 19, 2008 by the New Zealand Science Media Centre

Excerpts adapted from
1. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081119/ap_on_/as_sci_new_zealand_new_penguin;_ylt=AmPXQ5Kww9WrgKG
2. http://www.antarcticconnection.com/antarctic/wildlife/penguins/yellow_eyed.shtml

Gallery of photos http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Scientists-find-penguin-that-disappeared-500-years-ago/ss/events/sc/111908waitaha;_ylt=Agd5WwQGbhcIy6kFRQn4iVRxieAA#photoViewer=/081119/481/6fd71bbfc1fe4c1abc4d12691ad7bfb7

Giant clam coming back with help from friends/scientists


Giant clams is making come back in Philippines thanks to a few dedicated scientists and co=operation of local fishermen. The giant clam, Tridacna gigas, or traditionally, pa’ua, is the giant-clam-bglargest living bivalve mollusk or shellfish and is vulnerable. One of a number of large clam species native to the shallow coral reefs of the South Pacific and Indian oceans, they can weigh more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds), measure as much as 1.2 metres (4 feet) across, and have an average lifespan in the wild of 100 years or more when we leave them alone.

The giant clams are essential to coral reefs and so it was a race against time to build stock up.

When mature, the giant clam’s mantle tissues act as a home for the single-celled dinoflagellate algae (zooxanthellae) to feed in turn it provides the food for the clam. By day, the clam opens its mantle tissue so that the algae receive the sunlight they need to photosynthesize.

Researchers helping hand

Shocked by the depletion of giant clam stocks marine biologist Edgardo Gomez decided to do something about it. In 1985 when he was head of what is now the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines he began an ambitious program to breed and restock the bays and inlets around this southeast Asian archipelago nation of 7,000 islands.

“It really was a shock,” … “Giant clams are essential to coral reefs and so it was a race against time to build stock up.” Licuanan joined the program around the same time, when she was a young marine biologist taking a four-year break in 1986 to complete her PhD on giant clams at Australia’s James Cook University.

Suzanne Licuanan helps collecting sperm and eggs from clams resting on the seabed off a small island in the Lingayen Gulf, six hours drive northwest of Manila. This giant clam is most at risk.

“Saving the giant clam has been a long process that has involved not only breeding and restocking but educating local fishermen that they are worth saving,” she says.

“Clams form an integral part of a coral reef’s ecosystem. At the same time they can also be farmed as a sustainable livelihood,” she added.

Already reefs and bays in many parts of the Philippines are being restocked with mature giant clams from the project’s protected ocean nursery areas off Bolinao in the Lingayen Gulf. “Sometimes you feel like an expectant mother,” Licuanan said, tapping a syringe containing serotonin.Back at the laboratory peering down a microscope Licunanan estimates they had collected about 16 million fertilized eggs. “If one percent make it past the hatchery stage you are doing pretty well,” she says.”The last clam spawning in May we managed to get 12 million fertilized eggs (and) from that we now have 200,000 clams in tanks in the hatchery measuring one centimeter in length.

“How many of them will survive the transfer to the ocean nursery where they will be put in cages suspended off the ocean bed we don’t know. It’s just up to nature.” “Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that induces the clam to adduct its valves to expel the sperm and eggs,” she says. “Sometimes you have to give nature a hand in these things.”…”If one percent make it past the hatchery stage you are doing pretty well,” she says.”The last clam spawning in May we managed to get 12 million fertilized eggs (and) from that we now have 200,000 clams in tanks in the hatchery measuring one centimeter in length. “How many of them will survive the transfer to the ocean nursery where they will be put in cages suspended off the ocean bed we don’t know. It’s just up to nature.”

Legends of the giant clam

It is told in the past that it was a killer clam or man-eating clam. Even scientists perpetrated this misinformation. Reputable scientific and technical manuals once claimed that the great mollusk had caused deaths; versions of the U.S. Navy Diving Manual even gave detailed instructions for releasing oneself from its grasp by severing the adductor muscles used to close its shell. While the giant clam does close its’ shell to defend itself, the process of closing the shell valves is so slow, far too slow to pose a serious threat to any fish or man. The clam can not suddenly snap shut on a person’s arm or leg and thus drowning them.

Sustainability and Livelihood
The giant clams as vulnerable and scientists’ help to reproduce in a safe environment. Individuals need to quit buying or eating this clam. There is concern among conservationists for the sustainability of practices among those who use the animal as a source of livelihood. The numbers in the wild have been greatly reduced by extensive over harvesting for food and the aquarium trade. On the black market, giant clam shells are sold as decoration, and the meat, in Japan, is prized as a delicacy.

Giant clam makes come back in Philippines – Staff Writers Bolinao, Philippines (AFP) Terra Daily Nov 14, ’08

Tow thumbs up award!  Thanks for helping .-Mother Nature

Excerpts from http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Giant_clams_make_come_back_in_Philippines_thanks_to_science_999.html

File image. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Giant_clam_or_Tridacna_gigas.jpg

Excerpts from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tridacna_gigasby


USA fresh water pollution bill $4.3 yearly


boats_on_oil-polluted_water_at_the_harbour_of_byblos

Water pollution affects the health of the waterway, the health of the organisms living in and around the waterway, and, eventually, the health of humans. The effects of water pollution can range from aquatic deformities to contaminated fish to “dead” lakes.

Water pollution costs us in many ways. It decreases lakefront property values, the cost of treating drinking water and the revenue lost when fewer people take part in recreational activities like fishing or boating. It forces more people to by bottled water.The freshwater pollution caused by phosphorous and nitrogen run off from sewage seepage and agricultural runoff costs government agencies, drinking water facilities and individual Americans at least $4.3 billion annually. Of that, they calculated that $44 million a year is spent just protecting aquatic species from nutrient pollution.
When your municipal water plant spends more money to treat your tap water the water bill will increase. If doorhanger_side11you own a house on a lake that is becoming increasingly polluted, your property values likely may drop. If that lake is a recreation destination, your local economy could take a hit, too.

Walter Dodds, professor of biology at K-State and his K-State research team looked at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data on nitrogen and phosphorous levels in bodies of water throughout the country. Nitrogen and phosphorous are nutrients that are applied to plants as nutrients.

Dodds said that the majority of this type of pollution is from nonpoint sources like sewage flowing into a lake or stream from one pipe.Instead it comes from the nitrogen and phosphorous from runoff from row crop agriculture across the surrounding countryside.

The researchers found that freshwater pollution by phosphorous and nitrogen costs government agencies, drinking water facilities and individual Americans at least $4.3 billion annually. Of that, they calculated that $44 million a year is spent just protecting aquatic species from nutrient pollution.

“We are providing underestimates,” Dodds said. “Although our accounting of the degree of nutrient pollution in the nation is fairly accurate, the true costs of pollution are probably much greater than $4.3 billion.”
Pollution Of Freshwater Costs The USA At Least $4.3 Billion Annually – Staff Writers
New York NY (SPX) November 17, 2008

image example of lakeside pollution

http://www.terradaily.com/reports

Adopt a watershed

http://www.epa.gov/adopt//Pollution_Of_Freshwater_Costs_The_USA_At_Least_4_Billion_Annually_999.html

Lost thought extinct pigmy tarsier found alive


Tiny, long-lost primate rediscovered in Indonesia believed extinct for eight decades is found!

2008_11_18t183108_450x297_us_primate_indonesia

On a misty mountaintop on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, scientists for the first time in more than eight decades have observed a living pygmy tarsier, one of the planet’s smallest and rarest primates.
Over a two-month period, the scientists used nets to trap three furry, mouse-sized pygmy tarsiers two males and one female on Mt. Rore Katimbo in Lore Lindu National Park in central Sulawesi.

They spotted a fourth one that got away.

The tarsiers, which some scientists believed were extinct, may not have been overly thrilled to be found. One of them chomped Sharon Gursky-Doyen, a Texas A&M University professor of anthropology who took part in the expedition.

“My assistant was trying to hold him still while I was attaching a radio collar around its neck. It’s very hard to hold them because they can turn their heads around 180 degrees. As I’m trying to close the radio collar, he turned his head and nipped my finger. And I yanked it and I was bleeding.”

As their name indicates, pygmy tarsiers are small weighing about 2 ounces (50 grammes). They have large eyes and large ears and look like fairy gremlins.

They feed on insects at night and are unusual among primates in that they have claws rather than finger nails.

They had not been seen alive by scientists since 1921.

Rediscovered in Indonesia by Texas A and M University professor Sharon Gursky-Doyen in August 2008,
she and her group observed the first live pygmy tarsier in August at an elevation of about 6,900 feet.

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Indonesia-Texas-A-and-M-University-professor-Handout/photo//081118/photos_ts/2008_11_18t183108_450x297_us_primate_indonesia//s:/nm/20081118/sc_nm/us_primate_indonesia;_ylt=AoF0gPapxhs3akE1QgwHsX0iANEA

Tiny, long-lost primate rediscovered in Indonesia – Will Dunham Will Dunham  Reuters  Nov 18, 2008

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081118/sc_nm/us_primate_indonesia;_ylt=Al0rneQGJT6sPG8Vr4i7Gmes

Endangered Antbears of Africa hunt at night


What looks like pig, has rabbit-like ears and a kangaroo tail But is none of the above?ardvark

Aardvark’s name comes from South Africa’s Afrikaans language and means “earth pig.” A glimpse of the aardvark’s body and long snout like a the pig, rabbit-like ears and a kangaroo tail—yet the aardvark is related to none of these animals. However, the aardvark is not closely related to the pig; rather, it is the sole recent representative of the obscure mammalian order Tubulidentata, in which it is usually considered to form a single variable species of the genus Orycteropus, coextensive with the family Orycteropodidae. Nor is the aardvark closely related to the South American anteater, despite sharing some characteristics and a superficial resemblance.[2] The closest living relatives of the aardvark are the elephant shrews, along with the sirenians, hyraxes, tenrecs and elephants.

The aardvark is a living fossil. It is vaguely pig-like in appearance with big stout with an arched back and is sparsely covered with coarse hairs. The limbs are of moderate length. The front feet have only four toes — but the rear feet have all five toes. Each toe bears a large, robust nail its  foot appears to be intermediate between a claw and a hoof. The ears are very long, the tail is very thick at the base and gradually tapers. The greatly elongated head is set on a short, thick neck, and the end of the snout bears a disc, which houses the nostrils. The mouth is small and tubular, typical of species that feed on termites. The aardvark has a long, thin, snakelike, protruding tongue and elaborate structures supporting a keen sense of smell.
An aardvark’s weight is typically between 40 and 65 kg. An aardvark’s length is usually between 1 and 1.3 meters, and can reach lengths of 2.2 meters[4] when its tail (which can be up to 70 centimeters)[4] is taken into account. The aardvark is pale yellowish gray in color,and often stained reddish-brown by soil. The aardvark’s coat is thin and the animal’s primary protection is its tough skin. The aardvark has been known to sleep in a recently excavated ant nest, which also serves as protection.

Aardvarks are nocturnal. They spend the hot African afternoon sleeping holed up in cool underground burrows dug with their powerful feet and claws. After sunset, aardvarks go dig for their favorite food termites using those claws that resemble small spades.

The aardvark digs through the hard shell of a termite mound with its front claws and uses its long, sticky, wormlike tongue to feast on the insects within. It closes its nostrils to keep dust and insects from invading its snout, and its thick skin protects it from bites. Thus it can root around termite and ant mounds without enhaling dirt and its thick skin protects it from insect bites.

Excerpts from   Aardvark African Wildlife Foundation
http://www.awf.org/content/wildlife/detail/aardvark

Image courtesy of  Beverly Joubert
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Orycteropus_afer.jpg#file

Designing to improve healing and performance


Could it be that neuroscientists and architectural design firms are finally working together to improve img_742998_1_0child-hospitalmedical staff performance and the healing of the patients? Those three ideas of health, healing and environmental impact is an old concept in holistic medicine, but finally provable to western neuroscientists. All can now begin to benefit.

A U.S. architectural firm has announced plans to work with neuroscientists to identify healthcare facility designs that promote performance and healing.

HMC Architects of Ontario, Calif., says it will work with a team of neuroscientists from the University of California-San Diego, citing recent studies showing building design, color and lighting affect patient health.

“Neuroscience provides a means for us to measure how the brain, body and building interact,” said Eve Edelstein, a UCSD neurophysiologist. “Neuroscience gives us the tools to understand how the engagement of our senses in architectural space influences our emotions, behavior and health itself.”

To measure brain responses to simulated building designs, Edelstein is using a virtual reality device called the StarCave, developed by UCSD, and resembling a small Imax theater.

“We’ve synchronized the technology in the cave so that we can record a person’s brain waves at the same time they’re moving about in a simulated architectural environment,” Edelstein said. “So with this technology, we can test out architectural designs without having to build them. We can test which features work and which features don’t work by measuring the influence of architectural features on mental and physical function.”

Recently a scientific review of 320 evidence-based design studies in the academic literature that apply to the field of pediatrics, concluded that the

physical environment of health care settings affects the clinical, physiological, psychosocial and safety outcomes among child patients and families.

The need to

minimizing or eliminating the harmful effects of such environmental factors as loud noise, high light levels and infectious pathogens should be the goal of children’s hospitals and other types of hospitals providing pediatric services. In particular, the neonatal intensive care unit has been the focus of many interventions proven effective in improving infant health outcomes.
Examples of proven low cost design recommendations implementable at any time are:

- Hand washing dispensers at each bedside and in all high patient volume areas
- Incubator noise reduction measures (earmuffs, sound absorbing panels) in the NICU
- Circadian (cycled) lighting in the NICU
- Artwork and virtual reality images to provide positive distractions

Examples of proven moderate to high cost design interventions implementable during renovation or new construction include:

- Single family patient rooms
- Adequate space for families to stay overnight in patient rooms
- Accessible indoor or outdoor gardens
- Visual access and accessibility to patients (e.g. through decentralized nurses’ stations)
- HEPA filtration for immune compromised patients

“The exciting news is that well designed hospitals based on evidence can actually increase patient safety and quality, reduce anxiety and stress for child patients and their families and also improve working conditions for hospital staff,” said Lawrence McAndrews, president and CEO of NACHRI.

“Bottom line is this report challenges children’s hospitals and adult hospitals that serve children to evaluate their built spaces and implement design interventions that can help their pediatric patients heal.”

1. Neuroscientists to help design hospitals – Staff Writers San Diego (UPI) Nov 13, 2008
http://www.interndaily.com/reports/Neuroscientists_to_help_design_hospitals_999.html

2. Hospital Design Can Heal According to First Comprehensive Report on Impact of Physical Environment on Child Patients Levent OZLER May 10, 2008  http://www.dexigner.com/design_news/hospital-design-can-heal-according-to-first-comprehensive-report.html

image courtesy of http://search.live.com/images/results.aspx?q=Medical&form=MXCA00&kwid=7f83624462863621dd19e66fc85a66bb

Spittle bug -a high jump machine


These little true bugs do not look like they hold a world record, but under that body is hidden the best cercopis_sanguinolenta_spittlejumping legs in the world. The spittle bugs jump higher than any other creature known on the planet. When one compares its body length to the distance jumped it has beaten out its cousin the flea.

To earn nature’s high jump champ crown, the tiny insects lept close to 28 inches equivalent to 100 spittle bug body lengths. If man could jump 100 times his height the human jumper would be able to bound over many of US’s tallest buildings.

This catapult-like mechanism the spittle bug uses comes from the slow contraction of its long jumping muscles. This slow contraction is stored in an “elastic internal structure, then released in less than a millisecond to power the explosive extension of the bug’s hind legs.

‘They jump like little bullets,” says Steve Shaw, a professor with the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University. It’s a last ditch escape response, otherwise the bug becomes bird food.’

Shaw and Malcolm Burrows, current head of the Zoology Department at the University of Cambridge, spent August afternoons sweeping the long grasses with nets at York Redoubt, the 18th century military fort overlooking Halifax Harbour. They returned to Dalhousie to analyze the specimens they collected”.

Under the microscope what makes them high jump so high?

When viewed under the microscope, one can see a stretchy protein this protein, called resilin in the long jumping muscles in the hind legs,  is stiff enough when bent to absorb all the muscle energy, retaining the tension that will power the jump.
Spittlebug Beats Flea to Become High Jump Champ – Jennifer Viegas  Discovery.com  November 14, 2008

http://blogs.discovery.com/news_animal/2008/11/spittlebug-beat.html

image courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Super cold and allergy relief from placer mandarin orange


Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture have confirmed that the juice from Owari Satsumamandarins_03 mandarins grown in Placer County, California orchards contains significant amounts of synephrine, a natural product that can help relieve the symptoms of colds and allergies.

Dr. Andrew P. Breksa III,  Klaus Dragull and Brian Cain through USDA’s Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California, found  “the synephrine concentrations from mandarins grown in the Placer County orchards were up to six times higher than values previously determined for orange juices.”

The next step could be a bioavailability study that will measure the rate at which synephrine enters the blood stream after a person drinks mandarin orange juice from these Placer County orchards, and how long that synephrine remains in the blood stream.

Agricultural agvocate Joanne Neft, a champion of Placer County mandarins and other local agricultural marketing interests for more than 20 years, raised the money and coordinated the study pro bono with the High Sierra Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization which works with USDA.

“The Placer County mandarin synephrine …may be a natural remedy for the symptoms of allergies and the common cold, a remedy that is easy to peel, easy to eat, and right in our own backyards,” Neft said. “Every child’s parents should be thrilled with this news.”

The High Sierra Resource Conservation and Development Council helps strengthen the local economy, rural heritage, conservation and management of natural resources and served as fiscal agent for the initial study. Funding came from several private donors, the Placer County Board of Supervisors, Mountain Mandarin Growers, Newcastle Area Business Association and the Placer County Farm Bureau.

USDA Study Shows County Mandarins Contain Cold Relief Substance USDA STUDY RESULTS October 07, ’08

Nutrition Information about the Mandarin
Owari Satsuma Mandarin Orange

One “average-size” piece of fruit contains:

Vitamin A: 420 I.U. per 100 gram
Vitamin B: Thiamin .07 mg
Riboflavin .03 gram
Niacin .2 gram
Vitamin C: 31 mg
Carbohydrates: 10.9 gram
Calcium: 33 mg
Iron: .4 mg
Phosphorous: 23 mg
Potassium: 110 mg

http://www.mountainmandarins.com/nutrition.htm
Photo Provided by Wayde Carroll

http://www.placer.ca.gov/News/2008/October/CountyMandarinsContainColdReliefSubstance.aspx

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