MIT engineers have devised a technique that vastly improves on the speed and accuracy of measuring soft materials' properties. The technique can be used to test the properties of drying cement, clotting blood, or any other 'mutating' soft materials as they change over time. The researchers report their results in the journal Physical Review X.
Blue whales have been dropping pitch incrementally over several decades, but the cause has remained a mystery. A new study finds a seasonal variation in the whales' pitch correlated with breaking sea ice in the southern Indian Ocean. The new research also extends the mysterious long-term falling pitch to related baleen whales and rules out noise pollution as the cause of the global long-term trend, according to the study's authors.
A new study reveals the negative effects of traffic noise on frogs and how some frogs have adapted. Traffic noise is stressful to frogs and impairs the production of skin peptides that defend against pathogens like chytrid fungus. Frogs from ponds near noisy highways show a dampened stress response and altered immune profile when exposed to noise compared to frogs from quiet ponds, suggesting they have adapted to reduce the negative effects of traffic noise.
Academics transform photo of landmark Mars sunrise into a piece of music
Beatboxing is a musical art form in which performers use their vocal tract to create percussive sounds, and a team of researchers is using real-time MRI to study the production of beatboxing sounds. Timothy Greer will describe their work showing how real-time MRI can characterize different beatboxing styles and how video signal processing can demystify the mechanics of artistic style. Greer will present the study at the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9.
Few things can delight an adult more easily than the uninhibited, effervescent laughter of a baby. Yet baby laughter, a new study shows, differs from adult laughter in a key way: Babies laugh as they both exhale and inhale, in a manner that is remarkably similar to nonhuman primates. The research will be described by Disa Sauter during a talk at the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9.
Hearing has long been suspected as being 'on' all the time -- even in our sleep. Now scientists are reporting results on what is heard and not heard during sleep and what that might mean for a developing brain. At the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9, researchers from Vanderbilt University will present preliminary results from a study in which preschool children showed memory traces for sounds heard during nap time.
Moths are a mainstay food source for bats, which use echolocation to hunt their prey. Scientists are studying how moths have evolved passive defenses over millions of years to resist their primary predators. While some moths have evolved ears that detect the ultrasonic calls of bats, many types of moths remain deaf. In those moths, researchers have found that the insects developed types of 'stealth coating' that serve as acoustic camouflage to evade hungry bats.
To find ways to improve man-made active sensing, scientists worldwide study the sonar systems of bats and dolphins. During the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9, Laura Kloepper will compare bat and dolphin sonar systems, describing her work on how the two animals cope with acoustic interference. She'll use her findings to argue why bats have the superior system.
Here's another reason you might be exhausted after that preschool birthday party: Your brain had to work to figure out who actually asked for more ice cream. 'What we found with two-and-a-half-year-olds is that it's amazingly hard for adults to identify who's talking,' said Angela Cooper, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto. Cooper's co-authored research will be presented at the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9.