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Mystery of deepsea dragonfishs seethrough teeth solved

first_imgLos Angeles: Scientists have found what makes the teeth of deep-sea dragonfish transparent, a unique adaptation which helps camouflage the predatory creatures from their prey. According to the study published in the journal Matter, the adaptation results from their teeth having an unusually crystalline nanostructure mixed with amorphous regions. The findings could provide “bioinspiration” for researchers looking to develop transparent ceramics. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Deep-sea creatures have evolved some fascinating adaptations such as bioluminescence, eyes that can see in low light, and mouths that can engulf much larger prey. Some species, such as the deep-sea dragonfish (Aristostomias scintillans), have transparent teeth. “It’s an adaptation that, to our knowledge, has not yet been explored in detail,” said Audrey Velasco-Hogan, a PhD student at the University of California San Diego in the US. “By studying why these teeth are transparent, we can better understand deep-sea organisms like the dragonfish and the adaptations they evolved to live in their environments,” Velasco-Hogan said. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaTransparent teeth, along with a dark body, make the dragonfish essentially invisible to their prey, she said. Because of this camouflage, dragonfish are among the top predators of the deep sea despite being small — measuring about 15 centimetres long — and relatively slow. “They spend most of their time sitting around with their jaws open, waiting for something to come by,” Velasco-Hogan said. “Their teeth are always exposed, so it’s important that they are transparent so they don’t reflect or scatter any bioluminescent light from the environment,” she said. To solve the mysteries of the dragonfish’s dental disguise, researchers imaged and analysed the nanostructure of the teeth using a combination of electron microscopy, focused ion beam and nanoindentation tests. They discovered that the teeth have unique characteristics both in their outer enamel-like layer and inner dentin layer. The enamel-like layer consists of hydroxyapatite nanocrystals structured in a way that prevents light from scattering or reflecting off the surface of the teeth. The dentin layer is also structured in its own particular way. It lacks microscopic channels called dentin tubules, which are what give the teeth of humans and other animals their colour. The absence of tubules is also responsible for making dragonfish teeth transparent. “Typically, teeth are not nanostructured. And they tend to have microscale features such as dentin tubules. “From a materials perspective, it’s really interesting to see that dragonfish teeth have architectures that we do not see in others,” Velasco-Hogan said.last_img read more

Canadian real estate market to slow down modestly as interest rates rise

TORONTO — Activity in Canada’s real estate market will slow “modestly” next year as interest rates begin to rise, according to a new report from RBC Economics.The report pegs the risk of an outright crash in real estate as low, saying RBC expects the economy to grow and that interest rates will likely rise gradually starting next year.However, the bank says there could be a “severe” downturn in the real estate market if employment plunges due to a deep recession or if interest rates surge dramatically.Meanwhile, RBC says the economic shock from lower oil prices hasn’t been big enough to derail Canada’s overall real estate sector.In fact, it says the Canadian housing market is poised to post one of its best years on record despite a drop in home resale activity in the oil-sensitive provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.RBC says rock-bottom interest rates have fuelled demand for housing elsewhere, particularly in Ontario and British Columbia.In July, the Bank of Canada cut its overnight lending rate — which affects variable-rate mortgages and other products — by 25 basis points to 0.5 per cent.CMHC says Toronto housing market at ‘high risk,’ as economists fear Tories ‘throwing fuel on fire’Are millennials better off renting? Why young Canadians may want to put off home ownershipRBC predicts the central bank will raise the rate by 75 basis points to 1.25 per cent in the second half of 2016.“It has long been our view that the eventual rise in interest rates from generational low levels will produce significant headwinds for Canada’s housing sector,” the report said.“Much of the market’s vibrancy in the past several years can be attributed to exceptionally low — and declining — interest rates.”RBC said it expects the cooling to be moderate and controlled — for instance, home resales declining by less than 10 per cent over several years and price growth slowing to a rate of 3.2 per cent in 2016.“In our opinion, the risk of a crash — resales plummeting by more than 25 per cent nationwide for instance — is low for three main reasons,” the report says. “First, we expect the Canadian economy to grow and create jobs and boost incomes. Severe housing downturns usually coincide with recessions.”The other two reasons cited are strong immigration and the gradual pace at which interest rates will rise.RBC says it doesn’t expect national home prices to fall outright, at least in the short term, although certain segments of certain markets — for example, condos in Montreal — could see a decrease.The risks of a nationwide collapse in prices — such as a drop of 25 per cent or more — are “quite remote,” according to the report. read more

EthiopiaEritrea UN mission investigates shooting in security zone

In a statement, the UN peacekeeping operation said the shooting took place on 5 September at Limosin Waterpoint near Assab-Bure road in the eastern part of the zone. An Eritrean policeman was shot in the leg and taken to a hospital by an UNMEE ambulance. The Eritrean police said he was one of four people attacked at an observation post established by Asmara. The Eritrean authorities have attributed the shooting to the Ethiopian Armed Forces. Ongoing investigations by UNMEE have not yet identified the attackers. A previous shooting incident at the Limosin Waterpoint was reported on the night of 16 to 17 June. That attack, in which an Eritrean militiaman was killed, was also attributed by Eritrea to the Ethiopian Armed Forces. However, a thorough investigation by UNMEE was unable to identify the attackers. Ethiopia denies any involvement, the UN Mission said. read more