Posts tagged with ‘uc san diego’
A woodpecker drives its head into a piece of wood at deceleration forces of up to 1,200 times the force of gravity with each blow (and it’s estimated they do this about 12,000 times in a day). And yet, they don’t get brain damage. For materials scientists like Joanna McKittrick @ucsd, who work on bio-inspired materials, this is intriguing stuff …
The skull is a very nice, impact-resistant shell, so we are looking at their skulls - and their tongues also play a role into this, too. Amazingly enough, their tongues can wrap around their skulls …. if you like nature and you are curious about animals, almost everything you see, you’d say, why that, what is that function and can we duplicate that in the lab?
If you were to translate ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall’ in another language, a lot depends on what language you’re speaking. Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky of UC San Diego explains.
Let’s just focus on the verb ‘sat’. If this is something you want to say in English and it’s something that happened in the past, then you have to change the verb to mark tense. But in other languages, not only do you have to mark tense, there may be five different past tenses.
In other languages, gender and how you even came to know this information about Mr. Dumpty are factored in, too. The cognition behind language got Boroditsky interested in whether bilinguals have two separate systems for thinking in two languages or, do they have one integrated system for both? She found it’s actually a combination of the two.
They may change based on the language they’re speaking in the moment, but they’re almost always still different from the monolinguals of either language. So, it seems that there’s both combination and differentiation in the bilingual mind.
What about you? Do you speak more than one language?
The summer solstice is coming up…and while most of us have been trained to slather on the sunscreen, we don’t want to completely block out the skin’s natural production of vitamin D from the sun. As with everything, moderation is key. UC San Diego researcher Cedric Garland explains.
Sunscreens completely eliminate the synthesis of vitamin D more effectively than they reduce the risk of cancer or any other outcome. The wisest thing to do would be when a person is out in the sun, to skip the sunscreen for the first 10 or 15 minutes — just keep it in the pocket, allow the sun to create vitamin D in the skin, then put on a hat and if desired, wear a sunscreen — although choose it very carefully to make sure it’s a safe sunscreen.
Exposure to sunlight has been found to lower blood pressure and cut the risk of heart attack and stroke and Garland has linked vitamin D produced by sunlight to a significant reduction in colon and breast cancers. Garland says one does not need to exceed 15 minutes in the sun because our skin synthesizes all that it needs in that amount of time.
When it comes to earthquakes and other natural disasters, every second counts. Geodesist Yehuda Bock at the University of San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography has upgraded existing GPS technologies with small, low-cost sensors that can deliver data to his lab in about a second. Bock says they’re currently testing their seismic sensors in Southern California to monitor hospitals, bridges and tall buildings.
It provides us information for first responders and emergency personnel to quickly assess what areas have been affected by the earthquake and then to take appropriate action to save lives and also to minimize damage to infrastructure.