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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Knowledge Capsule: Humans triggered extinction of nearly 1000 bird species

Human colonisation of the remote Pacific islands may have spawned the global extinction of nearly 1,000 species of birds

Published: April 7, 2013 12:02:02 am

Humans triggered extinction of nearly 1000 bird species

Human colonisation of the remote Pacific islands may have spawned the global extinction of nearly 1,000 species of birds,according to a new analysis of fossil data. Conservation ecologists explored the magnitude and pattern of one of the largest known human-caused extinction events,which occurred on remote Pacific islands between 3,500 to 700 years ago,when over-hunting and deforestation by humans wiped out thousands of non-perching landbird populations. Using a modelling approach,the researchers quantified the loss of non-perching landbirds on 41 remote Pacific islands,which form a part of the last habitable region of the Earth to be colonised by humans. The findings reveal that nearly two-thirds of the landbird populations originally present on those islands vanished in the years between the arrival of the first humans and European colonisation.— PTI

Mice can cough too: Chinese study

Mice can apparently cough,according to a new study which suggests the rodents can be used in research to fight coughing in humans. Scientists in China exposed 40 mice to fine mists of capsaicin,the molecule that makes chili peppers spicy. The rodents made a variety of sounds while sniffing,tapping their teeth,and scratching their noses. Among these sounds,the scientists identified explosive noises that coincided with the abrupt head-tossing and opened mouths one would expect with coughs. When given cough suppressants such as codeine,mouse coughing dropped dramatically. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.— PTI

Mice can cough too: Chinese study

Mice can apparently cough,according to a new study which suggests the rodents can be used in research to fight coughing in humans. Scientists in China exposed 40 mice to fine mists of capsaicin,the molecule that makes chili peppers spicy. The rodents made a variety of sounds while sniffing,tapping their teeth,and scratching their noses. Among these sounds,the scientists identified explosive noises that coincided with the abrupt head-tossing and opened mouths one would expect with coughs. When given cough suppressants such as codeine,mouse coughing dropped dramatically. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.— PTI

The weight advantage in a traffic accident

For those pedestrians and cyclists who get hit by cabs,an unexpected factor may protect against injury: being overweight. These are among the findings of a medical study of injured pedestrians and cyclists in New York. Victims with an above-normal body mass index were found to have less severe injuries than their counterparts. One harrowing take-away from the report is that no area can be entirely safe. Six per cent of pedestrians were injured while on a sidewalk. Of those injured on the street,44 per cent used a crosswalk.— NYT

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