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Cities are making mammals bigger

Urbanization is causing many mammal species to grow bigger. Credit: Photo courtesy of TexasEagle, CC-BY-NC 2.0

Readily available food in places packed with people may be the reason

A new study published in Communications Biology shows that urbanization is causing many mammal species to grow bigger, possibly because of readily available food in places packed with people.

The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded finding runs counter to scientists' hypothesis that cities would trigger mammals to get smaller over time. Buildings and roads trap and re-emit a greater degree of heat than green landscapes, causing cities to have higher temperatures than their surroundings, a phenomenon known as the "urban heat island" effect. Animals in warmer climates tend to be smaller than the same species in colder environments, a biological principle called Bergmann's Rule.

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Metabolism changes with age, but not when people might think

Science shows that, pound-for-pound, a 1-year-old burns calories 50% faster than an adult. Credit: Wikimedia/sylviebliss

Researchers measured life's metabolic highs and lows, from birth to old age

Most people remember a time when they could eat anything they wanted and not gain weight. But a study published in the journal Science and funded in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation suggests that metabolism -- the rate at which calories burn -- actually peaks much earlier in life and starts its inevitable decline later than you might guess

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‘Connection with the past’: AI to find and preserve Europe’s historical smells

Scent-enriched tours will be accessible to blind and visually impaired people in a way entirely visual exhibitions can never be. Image credit - Battlecreek Coffee Roasters / Unsplash

The psychological powers of smell

There's no sense quite like smell to trigger an emotional response. One whiff of a damp basement, a dusty blanket, a ripe strawberry, or a steaming bowl of pasta can instantly evoke feelings and memories that have their roots in the distant past. Yet when it comes to learning about bygone times, we barely give a thought to the vapours that once prevailed – galleries and museums are the domain of artworks that appeal to our sense of sight, rarely reminding us of how things smelled – fragrant or foul – when our forebears walked the earth.

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Inspirational Thoughts

The dream should go on

"And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." 


― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


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Thoughts to reflect on

Credit: Gettyimages

Oscar Wilde


"Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other."


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