One of the science news stories that many are talking about is the latest story that has been released which states that multi-celled animals may potentially have the capacity to live without the supply of oxygen. The initial idea that had been floating around the science community was that only single celled species had this capacity, but this may not be the only exception to the rule. Marine biologists have the science community bubbling with their latest discussion. Although the marine biologists stand by the fact that they have not released any concrete evidence in order to allow them to stand by this theory, they are in deep and open discussion about such a theory. One of the creatures that has been most recently stated to have this capacity is called a loriciferan. A loriciferan is less than a millimeter long, have limited mobility, and can be found in the coarse-sand and shell-hash habitat. It is a creature that can typically be seen in the Mediterranean Sea of North and South Carolina. This is in the general area where marine biologists were able to find the species of loiciferan 3.5 kilometers below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. The recent science studies that have been conducted have led many to believe that the loriciferans are able to survive without oxygen because there has been cast-off skin found, which implies that the loriciferans are growing. This allows biologists to further conclude that there is a possibility that these loriciferans may be reproducing there, as well. This recent discussion seems to be only the beginning phases of what is slated to come as marine biologists further delve into this idea of the existence of multi-celled, oxygen free, creatures.
Another story that is current to science news is the debut of the element that physicists have proclaimed has been added to the periodic table. This synthesizing element is a super heavy element and is numbered 117. Element 117 was created in the laboratory of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, under the leadership of Yuri Oganessian. Other collaborators of this effort was Vanderbuilt University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory of Tennessee of the United States. Element 117 is presently being referred to as ununseptium, but has yet to receive a permanent name. The element is made up of calcium-48 and berkelium-249. The formulation of this new element has helped researchers already in the capacity of understanding the super heavy elements such as this. Researchers have taken a particular interest in the way in which the two element 117 isotopes decay, causing there to be new products that are formed as a result. The isotope decays to dubnium, in an isotope with 177 neutrons and roentgenium in an isotope with 176 neutrons.
One of the latest science news stories is one that seems to be reoccurring. Coming up on the ten year marker since the 9-11 attacks at the World Trade Center, rescue workers still have related complications. The New England Journal of Medicine has just issued a report, this month of April 2010, which states that rescue workers continue to show breathing difficulties. One of the most recent, most noted tests, to have been conducted was performed by a pulmonologist by the name of Thomas Aldrich. Thomas Aldridge practices at the Montefiore Medical Center as well as Albert Einstein College of Yeshiva University in New York City. The study was conducted by testing the lung function of 10,870 firefighters and 1,911 emergency medical service workers. The data was taken from a year before the 9-11 exposure, and through at least 3 follow-up tests that were conducted up until the conclusion of the year 2008. The science circuit has stated that the initial reaction was that the initial cough that was received as a result of the exposure to the scene, would go away like the common cold, but that has not been proven to be the case in some instances. It is said that the exposure to the dust, cement, and glass fibers, that were witnessed has subjected some to the development of bronchitis and asthma. Some have also been noted to suffer from various different pulmonary diseases, as well. Those rescue workers that were exposed to the dust the soonest after the attack, were said to be more prone to have a related lung condition as a result. Some environmental scientists say that part of the cause why such medical conditions have presented themselves could very well be due to the fact that may of the rescue workers witnessed exposure to these harmful elements without the proper protective supplies being offered, especially for those that worked within those first few days to weeks on the scene.
Our final science news story comes with a seasonal, yet scientific twist. It is the recent scientific discovery of the zebra finch songbird. The zebra finch songbird has just become the first songbird to ever have its genetic pattern revealed. One of the aspects that has been of particular interest in discovering the genetic background of a zebra finch is in relation to how it uses its gift of song. This discovery is being used to how zebra finches learn how to sing, and exactly when and where the zebra finch is inclined to sing. In relation to the way in which the zebra finch learns its song, it is said that the male zebra finches learn from their fathers. They then go on to practice the song for about a month to two months. It is after this point that the zebra finch begins to take on that particular song in its greatest form. A zebra finch will then come to sing this signature song the rest of his life. Ultimately, this is a study that will not only help scientists to be better understand the lives of zebra finches, but studying how zebra finches sing is an aspect of the study that can be attributed to further help with the understanding of autism, stuttering, as well as other communication disorders.