First Killer Whale In 20 Years Found Stranded On English Shores

Experts have confirmed the first dead killer whale to be found on the shores of England and Wales in 20 years. The juvenile male was discovered in the salt marshes of The Wash on the UK’s east coast. Analysis by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) suggests it died weeks ago. It was likely deposited inland onto the nature reserve by tides. Orcas are not unknown to British shores, although only Scotland’s west coast has a resident population. They are not often found this far south in UK waters, so the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP), which ZSL is a part of, is investigating. Samples of blubber, liver, muscle, and kidneys have been taken, which were mostly intact, despite the …

Even The Worlds Hardiest Animals May Be Impacted By Climate Change

Tardigrades are aquatic organisms known to withstand some of the most extreme conditions on Earth and beyond. Now, new research suggests the hardy microscopic invertebrates may be vulnerable to long-term exposure to rapidly increasing temperatures associated with climate change. Also known as moss piglets or water bears, tardigrades exhibit an extraordinary tolerance to extreme environments when they are dehydrated, or in a desiccated state. As an aquatic species, the millimeter-long organism needs to be surrounded in a film of water during its active state when feeding or reproducing. But when extreme conditions arise, tardigrades can enter cryptobiosis, a “reversible ametabolic state” whereby the organism essentially contracts its body, retracts its legs, and rearranges its internal organs to dry itself out. Cryptobiosis …

The battle between science and skepticism

(CNN)At a time when almost everything is politicized, vaccination has planted itself squarely on the national stage. On the other, are public health officials who point to unprecedented measles outbreaks that have sickened thousands in the US as proof that vaccine exemptions cause health crises. They’re calling on states to eliminate exemptions entirely. With 2020 legislative sessions kicking off in most states this month, this push and pull between science and skepticism is playing out across the country. More and more lawmakers are proposing bills, seeking to either boost, or limit, mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren. “I won’t be surprised if we see many pro-vaccine bills this year,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee …

Languages affected differently by brain disease

It is a feature of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia disorders. Brain scans and tests showed similar levels of cognitive function in people in both language groups. But when the researchers asked participants to complete a number of linguistic tests, they picked up obvious differences between the two groups in the challenges they faced. ‘Easier to pronounce’ “We think this is specifically because the consonant clusters that are so common in English pose a challenge for a degenerating speech-planning system,” said study author Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini, professor of neurology and psychiatry. “In contrast, Italian is easier to pronounce, but has much more complex grammar, and this is how Italian speakers with [primary progressive aphasia] tend to run into trouble.” As …