Archive for November, 2019

ECG for a Blue Whale

The blue whale’s scientific name is Balaenoptera musculus. It is said to be nearly 30 meters long and weighs more than 170 tons. The marine animal is the largest living thing on the planet. It’s also an endangered species and combined with it’s size and habitat, that makes it quite a challenge for scientists to study or preserve.

And yet the human mind is capable of miracles when science matches it. So researchers came up with an idea to study the heart rate of this huge animal by using an electrocardiogram machine. The researchers created a tag device which contained the ECG machine and was attached to the blue whale with suction cups. The four suction cups were able to keep the machine on the whale in a non intrusive manner.

The rather unique science project was successful in recording that the heart beat of the blue whale dipped to 2 beats a minute when it plunged under the ocean surface. The maximum heart beat was recorded at 37 beats a minute over the nine hour study which was conducted on a 72 feet long adult male. The whole data is the only information currently available on the blue whale as it swims in the open ocean.

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Virtual Reality Glasses for Cows!

The fall in Russia is a time for extreme swings in climate from sunshine to snow. The impact on human beings of this change is well known, but humans are not the only ones who suffer. In fact veterinary experts in the country have seen animals, both domestic and wild, under go temperament changes in the season.

Scientists have been checking the overall emotional mood of the herd because they believe that a cow’s emotional state is linked to the milk it yields. In the deary winters of Russia, the quality and quantity of milk produced by cows always goes down. In an interesting science experiment, a farm just outside Moscow is giving VR glasses to their cows. These have been specially designed for their bovine users.

The wrap around virtual reality glasses are showing cows reels of summer time, green grass and meadows. The idea is to show pleasant images and videos to the cows to keep their minds off the depressing and cold winter around them. Will these actually make a difference in their emotional state? Will the milk yield of these cows be better than the ones who have no VR glasses? Only time will tell.

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Tracing Your Food

If you have ever been to an orchard and seen the trees laden with fruits, you would have noticed that no two fruits look or taste exactly the same. However when you go to the supermarket, you will find a bunch of similar sized fruits which taste pretty much similar. This is the gift of modern technology blended with farming practices and not a product of mother nature.

As people become more aware of what they are eating and the nutrition that the food provides, global food processing companies are making more of an effort to appease them with details. Quick Response or QR codes are a way that the companies are drawing a connection between the farmer who grew the produce and the people who are consuming the end product.

Scanning the QR code on your smart phone allows you to get access to information about where the food comes from, what the nutrition is like and all the steps it has taken to get to their dining table. This is a science experiment that makes consumers feel more connected to the food that they are eating, even if they are buying them from supermarkets and not farmers.

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