Navigation Links
Fur and feathers keep animals warm by scattering light
Date:1/23/2014

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23In work that has major implications for improving the performance of building insulation, scientists at the University of Namur in Belgium and the University of Hassan I in Morocco have calculated that hairs that reflect infrared light may contribute significant insulating power to the exceptionally warm winter coats of polar bears and other animals. The research was published today in The Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal, Optics Express.

Biophotonics expert Priscilla Simonis, a researcher at the University of Namur and lead author of the Optics Express paper, was intrigued by the ability of polar bears to insulate their bodies to temperatures of 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 F) even during long, cold winters when outside temperatures are a frigid -40 C (-40 F). The feat was especially impressive given that the bears have a layer of fur that is only 5 centimeters thick.

The insulating power of the animals' coats made Simonis wonder why thermal insulation in buildings doesn't work as well. "Why do we need at least 60 cm of rockwool or glasswool" common types of building insulation made from minerals or glass fibers "to get a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius inside from about -5 degrees Celsius outside?" she asked. "Why is the polar bear fur much more efficient than what we can develop for our housing?"

Simonis and her team tackled the question by re-examining two of the different ways heat can travel: radiation, which transfers thermal energy through electromagnetic waves, and conduction, which transfers thermal energy through the vibrations of neighboring atoms and molecules. Most people assume that fur and feathers keep animals warm primarily by trapping a layer of air that slows thermal conduction, says Simonis. But she and her colleagues suspected that radiation might play a bigger role.

The scientists performed some
'/>"/>

Contact: Angela Stark
astark@osa.org
202-416-1443
The Optical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Newly discovered dinosaur implies greater prevalence of feathers
2. Best evidence yet that dinosaurs used feathers for courtship
3. Study suggests why some animals live longer
4. NOAA discovers way to detect low-level exposure to seafood toxin in marine animals
5. Elephant seal tracking reveals hidden lives of deep-diving animals
6. Deep sea animals stowaway on submarines and reach new territory
7. Environmental concerns increasing infectious disease in amphibians, other animals
8. Ion selectivity in neuronal signaling channels evolved twice in animals
9. Super-strong, high-tech material found to be toxic to aquatic animals
10. Fossil study helps pinpoint extinction risks for ocean animals
11. Hunt for superbugs in Australian animals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fur and feathers keep animals warm by scattering light
(Date:10/15/2014)... pneumonia in female mice to an enzyme activated by ... more resistant to respiratory infections than males. Now, an ... to bacterial pneumonia in female mice is linked to ... show that this enzyme is ultimately activated by the ... team, lead by Professor Lester Kobzik at the Harvard ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Biomedical Science by ... of genomic instability and its implications for the immune ... to win the Rosenstiel Award; the first, Rod McKinnon, ... the Charles A. Janeway Professor of Pediatrics and Professor ... at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Boston Children,s ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... discriminating thieves, prostate cancer tumors scavenge and hoard copper ... such avarice may be a fatal weakness. , ... kill prostate cancer cells by delivering a trove of ... diseased cells brimming with the mineral, leaving non-cancer cells ... already commercially available for other uses, could soon be ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Brandeis awards 44th Rosenstiel Award to pioneering geneticist Fred Alt 2Prostate cancer's penchant for copper may be a fatal flaw 2
... issues, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices do help reduce ... conclusion is the result of a European study designed to ... significant role in reducing risk for both cancer and cardiovascular ... are comparable in their ability to reduce risk compared to ...
... created from poultry feathers may add value to ... environmental problem of plastic waste. , According to ... million tons of non-biodegradable plastic waste ends up ... of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech, is ...
... to process information more chaotically than has long been ... by scientists at the University of Bonn. The passing ... they show, occur exclusively at the synapses, i.e. the ... that the neurons release their chemical messengers along the ...
Cached Biology News:100 percent juices found as beneficial to health as fruits and vegetables 2Researcher examines polymers created with poultry feathers 2Brain works more chaotically than previously thought 2Brain works more chaotically than previously thought 3
(Date:10/17/2014)... received a $451,781 Air Force Office of Scientific Research ... and nano-scale level that will provide clues for predicting ... and Aerospace Engineering, said the new technology and process ... of an aircraft,s wing., "We,ll be able to determine ... at it on this scale," Huang said. "Certain patterns ...
(Date:10/17/2014)... SAN DIEGO and HILDEN, ...   , Translational research ... new capabilities being presented at the American Society ... Volume of 250,000-plus DNA samples linked to Ingenuity ... superior depth for genomic analysis  Ingenuity ...
(Date:10/17/2014)... October 17, 2014 Bioquell, provider ... upon by health facilities around the world to ... being treated. Among the many places the hydrogen ... Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and at the National ... vapor-producing robots have been utilized to decontaminate patient ...
(Date:10/17/2014)... 17, 2014 The global SWIR market ... analysis and forecast of revenue. This market is valued ... reach $97.9 million by 2019, at a CAGR of ... TOC of the global SWIR market report, to get ... provides a glimpse of the segmentation of the market, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:UT Arlington project to detect possible damages in aircraft parts early in process 2QIAGEN Demonstrates Expanded Bioinformatics Workflows at ASHG; Strong Market Adoption as Researchers Analyze Genomic Data on More Than a Quarter-Million Samples in Secure Private Cloud 2QIAGEN Demonstrates Expanded Bioinformatics Workflows at ASHG; Strong Market Adoption as Researchers Analyze Genomic Data on More Than a Quarter-Million Samples in Secure Private Cloud 3QIAGEN Demonstrates Expanded Bioinformatics Workflows at ASHG; Strong Market Adoption as Researchers Analyze Genomic Data on More Than a Quarter-Million Samples in Secure Private Cloud 4QIAGEN Demonstrates Expanded Bioinformatics Workflows at ASHG; Strong Market Adoption as Researchers Analyze Genomic Data on More Than a Quarter-Million Samples in Secure Private Cloud 5QIAGEN Demonstrates Expanded Bioinformatics Workflows at ASHG; Strong Market Adoption as Researchers Analyze Genomic Data on More Than a Quarter-Million Samples in Secure Private Cloud 6Bioquell’s Vapor Producing Robots Selected to Combat Ebola in Hospitals Around the World 2Bioquell’s Vapor Producing Robots Selected to Combat Ebola in Hospitals Around the World 3Bioquell’s Vapor Producing Robots Selected to Combat Ebola in Hospitals Around the World 4Bioquell’s Vapor Producing Robots Selected to Combat Ebola in Hospitals Around the World 5Bioquell’s Vapor Producing Robots Selected to Combat Ebola in Hospitals Around the World 6The global SWIR market is expected to reach $97.9 million by 2019 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The global SWIR market is expected to reach $97.9 million by 2019 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3
... Therapeutics Corporation today,announced that Blake M. Paterson M.D., ... in Bioscience Award from the Greater Baltimore Council.,Dr. ... nominees,submitted by businesses, bioscience advocates, higher education,institutions and ... Dr. Paterson has received this award from the ...
... March 18 Caliper Life,Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... the,Lehman Brothers Global Healthcare Conference in Miami, will ... EDT. Kevin Hrusovsky, President and CEO of,Caliper, will ... The live,webcast can be accessed at, http://cc.talkpoint.com/LEHM002/031808a_jw/default.asp?entity=Caliper . ...
... Three biotech CEOs and,the president of one ... by the Greater Baltimore Committee as winners of ... the 2008 Greater Baltimore Region Bioscience Awards are:, ... E. Askew, President & CEO, CSA,Medical, Inc. Askew,s ...
Cached Biology Technology:Blake M. Paterson MD, CEO and Co-founder of Alba Therapeutics, Wins Greater Baltimore Committee 2008 Leadership in Bioscience Award 2Three CEOs and University President Named Winners of Greater Baltimore Committee's 2008 Baltimore Region Bioscience Awards 2