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Mangrove rivulus jumps farther as it ages, researchers say

Mangrove rivulus jumps farther as it ages, researchers say

Science
March 16 (UPI) -- The mangrove rivulus, which is known as the tiny jumping fish, can leap farther as it gets older, new research shows.These fish, which can be found in the United States, are capable of "tail-flip jumping" many times their body length when out of water, allowing them find better find better habitats by escaping predators. Researchers from the universities of Exeter in Britain and Alabama published their findings Thursday in the Journal of Experimental Zoology."Few studies have examined how the relationship between form and function changes across lifespan, and we were intrigued to find experience trumps all -- at least if you're a mangrove rivulus," Dr. Tom Houslay, of the Center for Ecology and Conservation at University of Exeter in Cornwall, said in a press release.In s...
Over 500,000 years of geographic change explains human adaptation in Kenya

Over 500,000 years of geographic change explains human adaptation in Kenya

Science
March 16 (UPI) -- By studying rocks in Kenya, scientists have uncovered an understanding of human evolution over the last half-million years.Anna K. Behrensmeyer of the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History and her colleagues over more than 15 years studied the geological history of the East African Rift in southern Kenya. They detailed their findings Thursday in the Geological Society of America Bulletin.Because the sediments of the newly named Oltulelei Formation in the Olorgesailie Basin were deposited after a 180,000-year period of erosion, they preserved important evidence for human evolution until about 36,000 years ago.For roughly 700,000 years, the basin was relatively stable. But over the last 500,000 years, it has been divided into sub-basins and ex...
Several injured by out-of-control ski lift in Georgia

Several injured by out-of-control ski lift in Georgia

Science
March 16 (UPI) -- At least ten people were injured when a ski lift in Georgia, a mountainous country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, malfunctioned.Two accident victims, one Swedish and one Ukrainian, were taken to the hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries. The breakdown occurred at the ski resort Gudauri.It's not yet clear what caused the lift to break down, but a glitch of some kind caused chairs to begin moving backwards at high speed. Chairs slammed into each other as they zipped around the terminal at the bottom of the slope."According to initial information, Sadzele ski lift in Gudauri stopped working, chairs crashed into each other with riders suspended in the air, causing health injury of medium gravity," the state-owned resort manager, Mountain Resorts De...
FAA announces ban on 'doors-off' helicopter flights after fatal crash in N.Y.

FAA announces ban on 'doors-off' helicopter flights after fatal crash in N.Y.

Science
March 16 (UPI) -- The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday it is no longer allowing 'doors-off' helicopter flights unless passenger safety harnesses can be quickly and easily unfastened in the event of an emergency.The announcement comes in the wake of the helicopter crash that killed five people last weekend.Engine trouble forced a New York City sightseeing helicopter owned and operated by Liberty Helicopters to land in the East River on Sunday evening. Though flotation devices were effectively deployed, they failed to keep the helicopter upright. The five passengers drowned after the aircraft tipped over into the frigid water.Helicopter pilot Richard Vance was able to free himself from his harness and escape the sinking helicopter.Doorless helicopters allow sightseers to take...
Stephen Hawking: Tributes pour in for 'inspirational' physicist

Stephen Hawking: Tributes pour in for 'inspirational' physicist

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceScientists, politicians and actors have paid tribute to world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who has been called an "inspiration to millions".The British scientist, famed for his work on black holes, died peacefully at his home in Cambridge aged 76.Astronomer Royal Lord Rees, one of the world's most eminent scientists, described his life as a "triumph".Others described him as a "unique individual" whose death "has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake".Prof Hawking was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease at the age of 21 and was told he had only a few years to live.He was known for his theories on black holes and relativity and went on to publish several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.The University...