Readers react to birds colliding with wind generators, mysterious muons and extra

When birds collide

Citizen science and hen migration knowledge may assist forestall birds from colliding with wind generators, Jack J. Lee reported in “How you can preserve birds protected as U.S. wind farms develop” (SN: 5/8/21 & 5/22/21, p. 4).

Reader N. Adler famous that the story primarily mentioned giant birds comparable to eagles and whooping cranes. “Are smaller birds additionally at risk from being killed by the generators?” Adler requested.

Smaller birds are affected too, Lee says. Actually, a 2014 research in PLOS ONE estimated that songbirds make up about 60 p.c of wind turbine–associated hen fatalities in the USA and Canada. “This can be as a result of songbirds are one of the crucial ample hen teams in these international locations,” Lee says. “Raptors, a gaggle of birds that features eagles, appear to be significantly susceptible to wind turbine collisions due to their flight behaviors, and their populations might be extra liable to decline as a consequence of low reproductive charges.”

Masks up

A microscopic take a look at the particle-filtering properties of various materials reveals the unseen, textured world of face masks, Emiliano Rodríguez Mega reported in “Texture issues for face masks safety” (SN: 5/8/21 & 5/22/21, p. 5).

Reader Tim Baldwin wished to understand how the scale of the areas between face masks fibers compares with that of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Every coronavirus particle is about 100 nanometers throughout, molecular biology and senior author Tina Hesman Saey says. Some scientists say an aerosol droplet should be not less than 4.7 micrometers throughout to carry sufficient virus to be infectious. Whereas there could also be gaps between the fibers of material face masks bigger than the droplets, a pair layers of fabric make it unlikely that these gaps will line as much as let the droplets via, Saey says.

Smashing science

Scientists within the lab noticed a mysterious magnetic property of subatomic particles known as muons that would upend the usual mannequin of particle physics, Emily Conover reported in “Muons might sign new physics” (SN: 5/8/21 & 5/22/21, p. 6).

Reader Jorge Ramos questioned if muons exist in atoms in nature or if the particles are made solely within the lab.

“Muons don’t usually exist inside atoms,” Conover says, “however they’re current on Earth naturally.” The particles kind when cosmic rays from area crash into Earth’s environment, producing a bathe of muons. Physicists can create muons artificially by smashing protons right into a goal materials, she says. “This fashion the scientists can generate a beam of muons that they will research, as a substitute of a diffuse bathe.”

Much less is extra

Folks default to addition when fixing puzzles and issues, even when subtraction makes extra sense, Sujata Gupta reported in “Subtraction doesn’t come naturally” (SN: 5/8/21 & 5/22/21, p. 8).

Reader Robert Cox, a tutor, and a few of his college students seen that the research contributors have been primarily based in the USA and questioned if this desire for addition applies to different cultures.

The researchers did a preliminary research amongst college college students in Japan and Germany, Gupta says. That research’s findings counsel that the tendency so as to add reasonably than subtract could also be widespread. However extra work is required to know why folks default to addition, together with how cultural elements comparable to social norms, industrialization and aesthetic preferences may affect that tendency, the researchers say.

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