Urban Aboriginal people face unique health challenges

For the first time, researchers have access to detailed information about how an urban Aboriginal population in Canada uses health care. A new study uses this health database to clearly demonstrate the unique challenges faced by urban Aboriginal people in Canada. Aboriginal people are often excluded, unidentified, or under-represented in most Canadian health information databases, researchers say.
…read more

Source: Science Daily

    

Gelada feeding ecology in an intact ecosystem at Guassa, Ethiopia: Variability over time and implications for theropith and hominin dietary evolution

By Peter J. Fashing, Nga Nguyen, Vivek V. Venkataraman, Jeffrey T. Kerby

ABSTRACT

Recent evidence suggests that several extinct primates, including contemporaneous Paranthropus boisei and Theropithecus oswaldi in East Africa, fed largely on grasses and sedges (i.e., graminoids). As the only living primate graminivores, gelada monkeys (Theropithecus gelada) can yield insights into the dietary strategies pursued by extinct grass- and sedge-eating primates. Past studies of gelada diet were of short duration and occurred in heavily disturbed ecosystems. We conducted a long-term study of gelada feeding ecology in an intact Afroalpine ecosystem at Guassa, Ethiopia. Geladas at Guassa consumed ≥56 plant species, ≥20 invertebrate species, one reptile species, and the eggs of one bird species over a 7-year period. The annual diet consisted of 56.8% graminoid parts, 37.8% forb parts, 2.8% invertebrates, and 2.6% other items, although geladas exhibited wide variability in diet across months at Guassa. Edible forbs were relatively scarce at Guassa but were strongly selected for by geladas. Tall graminoid leaf and tall graminoid seed head consumption correlated positively, and underground food item consumption correlated negatively, with rainfall over time. Geladas at Guassa consumed a species-rich diet dominated by graminoids, but unlike geladas in more disturbed habitats also ate a diversity of forbs and invertebrates along with occasional vertebrate prey. Although graminoids are staple foods for geladas, underground food items are important “fallback foods.” We discuss the implications of our study, the first intensive study of the feeding ecology of the only extant primate graminivore, for understanding the dietary evolution of the theropith and hominin putative graminivores, Theropithecus oswaldi and Paranthropus boisei. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2014.

Touted benefits of new EPA emissions limits may be misleading

Federal officials have diverged from past practices in estimating the effect of proposed new carbon dioxide emissions limitations, resulting in distorted estimates of benefits, two researchers say. A recent proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency would cut emissions from power plants in the United States by 15 percent and overall U.S. emissions by 5 percent. The EPA estimates it will cost $7.3 billion to comply, but provide worldwide climate benefits of $30 billion by 2030.
…read more

Source: Science Daily

    

Doctors have ethical obligation to educate, protect athletes from concussion, experts say

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the largest professional association of neurologists and a leading authority on sports concussion, is releasing a new position paper that states doctors have an ethical obligation to educate and protect athletes from sports concussion and clear them to play only when the athlete is medically ready, standing firm against objections from players, parents or coaches.
…read more

Source: Science Daily

    

Biologists link sexual selection, placenta formation

Sexual selection enhances opportunities to mate, the tail of male peacocks being an iconic example. Biologists have found that sexual selection and ‘placentation’ — the formation of a placenta — are linked. Describing the life histories of more than 150 species of fish in the family Poeciliidae, the researchers found that species with placentas tend to have males that do not have bright coloration, ornamentation or courtship displays.
…read more

Source: Science Daily

    

Urban heat: Not a myth, and worst where it’s wet

A new quantifies for the first time the primary causes of the ‘urban heat island’ (UHI) effect, a common phenomenon that makes the world’s urban areas significantly warmer than surrounding countryside and may increase health risks for city residents. In an analysis of 65 cities, researchers found that variation in how efficiently urban areas release heat back into the lower atmosphere is the dominant factor in the daytime UHI effect.
…read more

Source: Science Daily

    

Shark teeth analysis provides detailed new look at Arctic climate change

A new study shows that some shark species may be able to cope with the rising salinity of Arctic waters that may come with rising temperatures. The Arctic is of special interest today because it is increasing in temperature at twice the global rate. According to researchers, past climate change in the Arctic can serve as a proxy to better understand our current climate change and aid future predictions. The Eocene epoch is like a “deep-time analogue for what’s going to happen if we don’t curb CO2 emissions today, and potentially what a runaway greenhouse effect looks like.”
…read more

Source: Science Daily

    

Ancient arachnid brought ‘back to life’: Video recreates 410-million-year-old animal walking

Scientists have recreated the walking gait of a 410-million-year-old arachnid, one of the first predators on land, based on fossil evidence. The scientists used the fossils — thin slices of rock showing the animal’s cross-section — to work out the range of motion in the limbs of this ancient, extinct early relative of the spiders.
…read more

Source: Science Daily