Science Friday: Poor sleep linked to toxic buildup of Alzheimer’s protein, memory loss | A small vortex on the wing makes the elegance of birds’ flight

Poor sleep linked to toxic buildup of Alzheimer’s protein, memory loss

Heavy deposits of the toxic protein, beta-amyloid, shown in red in the brain on the right, are linked to poor sleep and may be paving the way for Alzheimer’s disease. A brain benefiting from deep sleep brain waves and an absence of beta-amyloid is shown on the left.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Bryce Mander and Matthew Walker

Date:June 1, 2015

Source:University of California – Berkeley

Summary:Sleep may be a missing piece of the Alzheimer’s puzzle. The toxic protein that is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease blocks the deepest stages of sleep, resulting in memory decline, according to new research.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150601122442.htm


A small vortex on the wing makes the elegance of birds’ flight

A small vortex on the wing makes the elegance of birds' flight

The alula feathers, the thumb-like structure, on both wings are well visible. Credit: Keith Bannister

One mystery of birds’ flight is solved! The elegance of birds’ flight, their seemingly effortless aerial turns and the softness of their landing, have been envied by many people. From countless observations, it has been known that the birds use a small group of feathers, called “the alula”, a thumb-like structure that is present at the bend of the wing, in slow and steep flight such as landing. Why do they use it? How the tiny feathers can help them land softly?

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-06-small-vortex-wing-elegance-birds.html#jCp

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