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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Physiology: Hibernation in a tropical primate

KATHRIN H. DAUSMANN*, JULIAN GLOS†, JÖRG U. GANZHORN‡ & GERHARD HELDMAIER*

* Department of Animal Physiology, Phillips University, 35043 Marburg, Germany
† Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, Julius–Maximilians–University, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
‡ Department of Animal Ecology and Conservation, University of Hamburg, 20146 Hamburg, Germany

e-mail: dausmann@staff.uni-marburg.de

The Madagascan fat-tailed dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus medius, hibernates in tree holes for seven months of the year, even though winter temperatures rise to over 30 °C. Here we show that this tropical primate relies on a flexible thermal response that depends on the properties of its tree hole: if the hole is poorly insulated, body temperature fluctuates widely, passively following the ambient temperature; if well insulated, body temperature stays fairly constant and the animal undergoes regular spells of arousal. Our findings indicate that arousals are determined by maximum body temperatures and that hypometabolism in hibernating animals is not necessarily coupled to a low body temperature.
http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/Dynapage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v429/n6994/abs/429825a_fs.htm
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From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php:
Public Release: 23-Jun-2004
'Shhh'- A flip of a switch may one day quiet jet engines
Jet engines may run quieter in the future, with technology developed at Ohio State. Researchers have developed a silencer technology that creates electrical arcs to control turbulence in engine exhaust airflow -- the chief cause of engine noise. The university has applied for a patent on the design. With the flip of a switch, pilots could turn the silencers -- called plasma actuators -- on and off, reducing noise around commercial airports or military airstrips.

Public Release: 23-Jun-2004
Nature
NASA scientists get global fix on food, wood & fiber use
NASA scientists working with the World Wildlife Fund and others have measured how much of Earth's plant life humans need for food, fiber, wood and fuel. The study identifies human impact on ecosystems.
NASA Earth Science Enterprise

Public Release: 23-Jun-2004
International Housing Research Conference
People cocooning more, says study
"As a result of social and demographic changes, the private dwelling is less of a context for social company," says Glenn Stalker, a PhD student in sociology and author of the study, Change.

Public Release: 23-Jun-2004
Remote-controlled throwable robot developed by Carnegie Mellon with marines sent to Iraq for testing
Carnegie Mellon University robotics researchers, in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps' Warfighting Laboratory, have developed a small, throwable, remote-controlled prototype robot designed for surveillance in urban settings. Several are on the way to Iraq for testing. Known as Dragon Runner, the robot can see around corners and deliver information to Marines while keeping them out of danger in urban settings where human access is impractical, dangerous or unsustainable.
US Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory
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