Researchers raise bats in helium-rich air to check how they sense sound

Image of a bat in flight

Enlarge (credit: Bernd Wolter / EyeEm)

It’s now well-established that bats can develop a mental picture of their environment using echolocation. But we’re still figuring out what that means—how bats take the echoes of their own vocalizations and use them to figure out the locations of objects.

In a paper released today, researchers provide evidence that bats engage in echolocation in part because they’re born with an innate sense of the speed of sound. How did the researchers study this phenomenon? By raising bats in a helium-rich atmosphere, where the lower-density air produces an increase in the speed of sound.

Putting the location in echo

Echolocation is rather simple in principle. A bat produces sound, which bounces off objects in their environment and then returns to the bat’s ears. For more distant objects, the sound takes longer to return to the bat, providing a sense of relative distance.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#bats, #biology, #echolocation, #science

0

W.H.O. and Critics Look at What’s Next to Investigate Virus Origins

A scientific mission to China proposed further study for a number of topics. Critics and the director of the W.H.O. have weighed in as well.

#animals, #bats, #china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #ecohealth-alliance, #minks-animals, #southeast-asia, #world-health-organization, #wuhan-china, #wuhan-institute-of-virology-china

0

Virus Variants Can Infect Mice, Scientists Report

Infected rodents pose no immediate danger to humans, but the research suggests that mutations are helping the coronavirus expand its range of potential hosts.

#animals, #bats, #brazil, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disease-rates, #europe, #institut-pasteur, #mice, #minks-animals, #rodents, #south-africa, #xavier-montagutelli, #your-feed-science

0

Coronavirus Origins Remain Unclear in W.H.O.-China Inquiry

Far more work is needed to understand how the pandemic began, the report says, but it is not clear that Beijing will cooperate. “We may never find the true origins,” an expert said.

#bats, #china, #communist-party-of-china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #tests-medical, #wuhan-china, #your-feed-science

0

The Mansion Is Closed Because of Covid. No One Told the Deer.

Barrington Court, a grand estate in England that was a filming site for “Wolf Hall,” has been shut to visitors for much of the last year — human visitors, that is.

#animal-behavior, #bats, #butterflies-and-moths, #deer, #flowers-and-plants, #gardens-and-gardening, #henry-viii-king-of-england, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #mantel-hilary, #national-trust-group-england, #palaces-and-castles, #shutdowns-institutional

0

The Secret Life of a Coronavirus

An oily, 100-nanometer-wide bubble of genes has killed more than two million people and reshaped the world. Scientists don’t quite know what to make of it.

#almeida-june-1930-2007, #animals, #bats, #biodiversity, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #genetics-and-heredity, #microbiology, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #science-and-technology, #smallpox, #van-leeuwenhoek-antonie-1632-1723, #viruses

0

W.H.O. Researcher on His Trip to China Seeking Virus Origins

An interview with Peter Daszak, an animal disease specialist, just after his return from an investigative research mission to Wuhan, the site of the original Covid outbreak, and surrounding areas.

#animals, #bats, #china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #ecohealth-alliance, #politics-and-government, #wildlife-trade-and-poaching, #world-health-organization, #wuhan-china, #your-feed-healthcare

0

Thai Caves Attract Millions of Bats — and Now Scientists Too

A cave complex at a temple in Thailand has long drawn tourists, pilgrims and guano collectors. Now, scientists have arrived, looking for any potential links to the coronavirus.

#bats, #caves-and-caverns, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #research, #thailand

0

New Bat Species With Orangutan Hue Discovered in West Africa

Scientists hope the rare discovery could be a catalyst for conserving the region’s biodiversity.

#american-museum-novitates, #bats, #biodiversity, #conservation-of-resources, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #guinea, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

0

Bats and the Coronavirus

They probably spread the virus that’s killing humans. We almost certainly spread the fungus that’s killing them.

#bats, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #hendra-virus, #nipah-virus, #rabies, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #viruses, #white-nose-syndrome

0

Ready to Mate? Take Off Your Mask, One Bat Says

Wrinkle-faced bats incorporate whistles, wing flaps and furry masks into their mating rituals, researchers have found.

#bats, #biology-and-biochemistry, #costa-rica, #public-library-of-science-plos, #reproduction-biological, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

0

How America Helped Stop the Coronavirus in Asia

*Just not in the United States.

#bats, #bush-george-w, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #epidemics, #united-states-agency-for-international-development

0

What’s Special About Bat Viruses? What We Don’t Know Could Hurt Us

The immune systems of bats are weird, but we don’t know how weird, how they got that way or enough about other animals.

#bats, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #genetic-engineering, #national-science-foundation, #research, #science-journal, #viruses, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

0

The Pandemic, from the Coronavirus’s Perspective

The career of the coronavirus so far is, in Darwinian terms, a great success story.

#acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome, #aristotle, #bats, #caves-and-caverns, #cell-journal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #evolution-biology, #fauci-anthony-s, #hahn-beatrice-h, #monkeys-and-apes, #plague, #rats, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #worobey-michael-g-1970

0

Bat Got Into Your House? Here’s What to Do

“Bats are like people: They panic and can’t calm down,” a researcher said. Here’s how you can help safely evict your unexpected visitor.

#bat-conservation-international, #bats, #content-type-service, #rabies, #tuttle-merlin, #united-states

0

Can Humans Give Coronavirus to Bats, and Other Wildlife?

Federal agencies suggest caution in U.S. bat research to avoid transmitting the novel coronavirus to wildlife.

#bats, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #ecohealth-alliance, #fish-and-wildlife-service, #lancet-the-journal, #north-america, #u-s-geological-survey, #your-feed-science

0

Vampire Bats Self-Isolate, Too

When these mammals are ill, they have fewer interactions with family and friends, new study suggests. “It’s like us,” said one researcher.

#bacteria, #bats, #biology-letters-journal, #central-america, #infections, #research, #south-america, #viruses, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

0

The bat-virus détente

Image of a person holding a small bat.

Enlarge / Researchers examine a bat as part of their search for dangerous animal pathogens in the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative Lab in Yaounde, Cameroon. (credit: Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

For several weeks in March, Arinjay Banerjee would eat breakfast at 6am and then drive the empty roads of Toronto to a restricted-access lab. Then he’d ready himself for work, donning three layers of gloves, a helmeted mask kitted with an air-purifying respirator, and a surgical-style gown.

The interlocked doors and special filtered ventilation system of the lab, fitted with alarms should air circulation malfunction, are designed to stop outward air flow. After eight hours at the bench, Banerjee would put aside his scrubs and boot covers for sterilization, change out of his work sneakers and return to a basement apartment in the home of a colleague.

The stringent conditions in that Toronto lab—only one level below the most secure in the biosafety hierarchy—were crucial. Banerjee, a virologist, was on a team working to isolate the SARS-CoV-2 virus from one of the first patients in Canada. As the pandemic unfolded, he almost felt safer suited up in the containment lab than he did when out in the world.

Read 60 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#bats, #knowable-magazine, #science

0

Wildlife Trade Spreads Coronaviruses as Animals Get to Market

DNA tests show an increase in the number of animals with positive tests for some coronaviruses from the time they are trapped until they arrive on someone’s dinner plate.

#bats, #biorxiv, #china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #olson-sarah-h, #rats, #research, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #vietnam, #wildlife-trade-and-poaching, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

0

How Humanity Unleashed a Flood of New Diseases

What do Covid-19, Ebola, Lyme and AIDS have in common? They jumped to humans from animals after we started destroying habitats and ruining ecosystems.

#bats, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #wildlife-trade-and-poaching

0

Amid a Pandemic, ‘Batman’ Matters More Than Ever

Wang Linfa has researched bats and their diseases for decades, usually drawing little public attention. Now a world wracked by the coronavirus is relying on the work of scientists like him.

#bats, #biology-and-biochemistry, #china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #duke-university, #national-university-of-singapore, #research, #singapore, #viruses, #wang-linfa, #wuhan-china

0

Vilified for Virus, Bats Are a New Album’s Seductive Stars

“Ultrasonic,” Stuart Hyatt’s eighth recording as Field Works, turns their high-frequency sounds into haunting music.

#bats, #field-works, #music, #stuart-hyatt, #ultrasonic-album

0

U.S. and Chinese Scientists Trace Evolution of Coronaviruses in Bats

Researchers whose canceled U.S. grant caused an outcry from other scientists urge preventive monitoring of viruses in southwestern China.

#bats, #china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #daszak-peter, #ebright-richard-h, #ecohealth-alliance, #laos, #myanmar, #national-institutes-of-health, #nature-communications-journal, #research, #rutgers-the-state-university-of-new-jersey, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #southeast-asia, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vietnam, #your-feed-science

0

NIH abruptly cuts coronavirus research funding, alarming scientists

The Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on April 17, 2020.

Enlarge / The Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on April 17, 2020. (credit: Getty | Hector Retamal)

Researchers expressed alarm this week after the National Institutes of Health abruptly cancelled funding for a long-standing research project by US and Chinese scientists to examine how coronaviruses leap from bats to humans, potentially causing devastating pandemics—such as the one we are currently experiencing by a coronavirus genetically linked to those found in bats.

The funding cut could set back critical research into preventing such disease spread, scientists say. They also expressed dismay that the decision was prompted by unfounded conspiracy theories and what some see as a wider attempt by the Trump administration to deflect criticism of its handling of the pandemic by blaming China for unleashing the disease.

The NIH has not provided a clear explanation for its move to cancel the funds, which occurred April 24 and was first reported by Politico Monday, April 27. However, in emails exchanges published April 30 by Science magazine, it is clear that the NIH was motivated by conspiracy theories that allege—without evidence—that the virus was somehow released by Chinese researchers in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the pandemic began.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#bats, #coronaviruses, #covid-19, #funding, #nih, #public-health, #research, #sars-cov-2, #science, #trump

0