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Wikipedia.org: Effects of high altitude on humans — Death zone
The death zone, in mountaineering, refers to altitudesabove a certain point where the amount of oxygen is insufficient to sustain human life. This point is generally tagged as 8,000 m (26,000 ft, less than 356 millibars of atmospheric pressure). Called eight-thousanders, all 14 such summits in the death zone above 8,000 m are located in the Himalaya and Karakoram mountain ranges. The concept of the death zone (originally the lethal zone) was first conceived in 1953 by Edouard Wyss-Dunant, a Swiss doctor, in an article about acclimatization published in the journal of the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research. Many deaths in high-altitude mountaineering have been caused by the effects of the death zone, either directly (loss of vital functions) or indirectly (wrong decisions made under stress, physical weakening leading to accidents). In the death zone, the human body cannot acclimatize. An extended stay in the zone without supplementary oxygen will result in deterioration of bodily functions, loss of consciousness, and, ultimately, death. Scientists at the High Altitude Path.
climbing  biology  safety  death  health 
2 days ago by mikael
The Brainless Slime That Can Learn By Fusing - The Atlantic
Slime mold is so cool. The experiment that really kills me is the one where they lay out bits of food to represent major cities on a map, and then the slime mold basically figures out the interstate/rail patterns that we actually built.
Biology  Science  Research  SlimeMold 
3 days ago by jonchambers
Birds Beware: The Praying Mantis Wants Your Brain
Tom Vaughan, a photographer then living in Colorado’s Mancos Valley, kept a hummingbird feeder outside his house. One morning, he stepped through the portico door and noticed a black-chinned hummingbird dangling from the side of the red plastic feeder like a stray Christmas ornament.

At first, Mr. Vaughan thought he knew what was going on. “I’d previously seen a hummingbird in a state of torpor,” he said, “when it was hanging straight down by its feet, regenerating its batteries, before dropping down and flying off.”

On closer inspection, Mr. Vaughan saw that the hummingbird was hanging not by its feet but by its head. And forget about jumping its batteries: the bird was in the grip of a three-inch-long green praying mantis.

The mantis was clinging with its back legs to the rim of the feeder, holding its feathered catch in its powerful, seemingly reverent front legs, and methodically chewing through the hummingbird’s skull to get at the nutritious brain tissue within.
biology  science  ecology  interesting 
3 days ago by rmohns

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