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For my devices that support it, I have implemented IPv6 . . .

  • on none of my devices
  • on some of my devices
  • on all of my devices
  • What is IPv6?
  • I use token ring, you insensitive clod

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:17 | Votes:105

posted by janrinok on Saturday May 20 2023, @11:13PM   Printer-friendly

Swedish obstetricians and gynecologists are noticeably more emotionally stable and conscientious compared to the majority of the Swedish population:

Personality is usually summarized in five traits - the so-called "big five": Emotional stability (neuroticism), extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness. Our personality then shapes our decision-making style. In a research study from Lund University, Swedish obstetricians' and gynecologists' personality profiles and clinical experience are linked for the first time to their decision-making styles in acute childbirth situations.

"Obstetricians and gynecologists have a personality profile that differs significantly from the population at large. On average, 85 percent of Sweden's population has significantly lower emotional stability, extroversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness than the obstetricians in our study. It's hard not to be surprised when the differences are so clear", says Petri Kajonius, associate professor of personality psychology and behavioral measurement at Lund University.

It is our personality that defines what we will enjoy in our professional life, and the consequence is likely a self-selection of people who seek a certain profession. Swedish obstetric-focused physicians' personalities make them comfortable in an environment where a childbirth situation can quickly shift to something acute and potentially escalate into a crisis. Here, traits such as emotional stability and conscientiousness are prominent.

Journal Reference:
Raoust, G., Kajonius, P. & Hansson, S. Personality traits and decision-making styles among obstetricians and gynecologists managing childbirth emergencies [open]. Sci Rep 13, 5607 (2023).

How do you assess your own personal emotional stability. Are you excitable, or calm and methodical, or does it change frequently depending upon the current situation that you find yourself?

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday May 20 2023, @06:26PM   Printer-friendly

Intel Shows New Stacked CFET Transistor Design At ITF World:

At ITF World 2023, Ann Kelleher, Intel's Technology Development GM, presented an outline of Intel's latest developments in several key areas, and one of the most interesting revelations was that Intel would embrace stacked CFET transistors in the future. This marks the first time that Intel has shown this new type of transistor in its presentations, but Kelleher didn't provide a date or firm timeline for production.

[In the image] we can see a zoomed-in version of the slide with a ring added around the new type of transistor. The first two transistor types at the bottom of the slide are older variants, while the '2024' entry represents Intel's new RibbonFET transistors that we've covered extensively in the past. Intel's first-gen design with the 'Intel 20A' process node features four stacked nanosheets, each surrounded entirely by a gate. Kelleher says this design remains on track to debut in 2024. RibbonFET uses a gate-all-around (GAA) design, which confers both transistor density and performance improvements like faster transistor switching while using the same drive current as multiple fins, but in a smaller area.

Kelleher's slide also shows the next generation of Intel's GAA design – the stacked CFET. The Complementary FET (CFET) transistor design has been on imec's roadmaps for some time, but we haven't yet seen it on an Intel slide or heard the company state that it plans to adopt this design. As a reminder, the imec research institute studies future technologies and collaborates with the industry to bring them to fruition.

Naturally, there is some variation between Intel's stylized render and the imec CFET render we've included in the first image of the album above, but Intel's image conveys the point well – this design allows the company to stack eight nanosheets, a doubling of the four used with RibbonFET, thus increasing transistor density. We also have images of the three other types of Intel transistors in the album above — Planar FET, FinFET, and RibbonFET.

CFET transistors, which you can read more about here, stack n- and pMOS devices atop each other to enable higher density. Two types of CFETs are currently being researched — monolithic and sequential. The four devices on the right side of the above image detail various proposed CFET designs. For now, it is unclear which type of design Intel would adopt, or if it will devise another type of implementation. Given that imec doesn't have CFETs on its roadmap until around when chips shrink to 5 angstroms in the 2032 timeframe, it could be some time before we find out.

That said, it isn't guaranteed that Intel would target CFET in that timeframe: Interestingly, Intel's slide shows its next-gen GAA nanosheet transistor (RibbonFET) and then jumps directly to CFET, omitting the GAA forksheet transistors that most think will be the step between nanosheet and CFET. You can also see that type of transistor in the above slide — it is the second from the left.

Given that Intel's image isn't very detailed, it is possible that the company also plans to use forksheet transistors before it moves to CFET, but it hasn't chosen to share the details yet. We're following up with Intel to see if we can learn any more details.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday May 20 2023, @01:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the must-keep-the-flow-of-porn-coming dept.

Reddit will allow users to upload NSFW images from desktop:

Reddit announced Thursday that it will now allow users to upload NSFW images from desktops in adult communities. The feature was already available on the social network's mobile app.

[...] "This now gives us feature parity with our mobile apps, which (as you know) already has this functionality. You must set your community to 18+ if your community's content will primarily be not safe for work (NSFW)," the company said.

Reddit's announcement comes days after Imgur said that the image hosting platform was banning explicit photos from May 15. At that time, the company said that explicit content formed a risk to Imgur's "community and its business". Banning this type of content would "protect the future of the Imgur community."

Many of Reddit's communities rely on Imgur's hosting services. However, the social network allowing native NSFW uploads through desktop might be the most logical solution going forward.

Image hosting is not the only hurdle for NSFW communities. Last month, when Reddit announced that it will start charging for its API, the company also said that it will limit access to mature content available through its API. This would directly impact the experience on third-party Reddit apps. In yesterday's announcement about desktop upload for NSFW images, a Reddit staff members said that the company is discussing how to navigate this situation.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday May 20 2023, @08:54AM   Printer-friendly

Electric two-wheelers are set to scoot past EVs in road race:

Video Visit Asia's emerging megacities and you'll quickly notice that scooters and motorbikes vastly outnumber cars. Before long these fleets of two-wheelers will become battery-powered, always-connected, semi-autonomous machines that offer an even more potent alternative to their four-wheeled rivals.

The reasons powered two-wheelers dominate nations such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam – with a combined population over 1.75 billion – are simple: cars are unaffordable on local wages, few urban homes have space to store them, and warm climates make two-wheelers viable year-round. Plus, many of them sell for less than the equivalent of $1,000 apiece.

The industry has decided many will soon be electric and it looks like drivers will buy them.

"Electrification of micromobility can be adopted at a faster pace than cars, mainly because the motor and batteries are much smaller," Fook Fah Yap, a director at Singapore's Nanyang Technical University's Transport Research Centre told The Register.

Evidence of the shift is not hard to find. Earlier this year Honda announced it will start to sell 10 battery-powered bikes in 2025. Yamaha expects 90 percent of its sales will be electrified by 2050 and Toyota is expected to announce an electric two-wheeler this year.

[...] Two—wheelers, by contrast, are all about getting from A to B, quickly and at low cost. Digital technology's role in a two-wheeler is therefore all about information related to navigation.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday May 20 2023, @04:10AM   Printer-friendly

Scientists have unlocked one of the biggest mysteries of quasars by discovering that they are ignited by galaxies colliding:

First discovered 60 years ago, quasars can shine as brightly as a trillion stars packed into a volume the size of our Solar System. In the decades since they were first observed, it has remained a mystery what could trigger such powerful activity. New work led by scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire has now revealed that it is a consequence of galaxies crashing together.

The collisions were discovered when researchers, using deep imaging observations from the Isaac Newton Telescope in La Palma, observed the presence of distorted structures in the outer regions of the galaxies that are home to quasars.

Most galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centres. They also contain substantial amounts of gas – but most of the time this gas is orbiting at large distances from the galaxy centres, out of reach of the black holes. Collisions between galaxies drive the gas towards the black hole at the galaxy centre; just before the gas is consumed by the black hole, it releases extraordinary amounts of energy in the form of radiation, resulting in the characteristic quasar brilliance.

[...] This is the first time that a sample of quasars of this size has been imaged with this level of sensitivity. By comparing observations of 48 quasars and their host galaxies with images of over 100 non-quasar galaxies, researchers concluded that galaxies hosting quasars are approximately three times as likely to be interacting or colliding with other galaxies.

The study has provided a significant step forward in our understanding of how these powerful objects are triggered and fuelled.

Journal Reference:
C S Pierce et al., Galaxy interactions are the dominant trigger for local type 2 quasars [open], Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 522, Issue 2, June 2023, Pages 1736–1751,

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday May 19 2023, @11:24PM   Printer-friendly

Malware turns home routers into proxies for Chinese state-sponsored hackers

Researchers have uncovered malicious firmware that can turn residential and small office routers into proxies for Chinese state-sponsored hackers. The firmware implant, discovered by Check Point Research, includes a full-featured backdoor that allows attackers to establish communication, issue commands, and perform file transfers with infected devices. The implant was found in TP-Link routers but could be modified to work on other router models.

The malware's main purpose is to relay traffic between infected targets and command-and-control servers, obscuring the origins and destinations of the communication. The control infrastructure was traced back to hackers associated with the Chinese government. By using a chain of infected devices, the attackers can hide the final command and control and make it difficult for defenders to detect and respond to the attack.

This technique of using routers and other IoT devices as proxies is a common tactic among threat actors. The researchers are unsure how the implant is installed on devices but suspect it could be through exploiting vulnerabilities or weak administrative credentials.

While the firmware image discovered so far only affects TP-Link devices, the modular design allows the threat actors to create images for a wider range of hardware. The article concludes with recommendations for users to check for potential infections and apply proactive mitigations such as patching routers and using strong passwords.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday May 19 2023, @08:40PM   Printer-friendly

Study examines how three decades of U.S. policies define junk food for taxation and other regulations:

How is "junk food" defined for food policies like taxes? A combination of food category, processing, and nutrients can determine which foods should be subject to health-related policies, according to a new analysis examining three decades of U.S. food policies by researchers at the NYU School of Global Public Health and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.

[...] "There is a growing recognition that an unhealthy diet stems from overconsumption of what we colloquially refer to as 'junk food,' " said Jennifer Pomeranz, assistant professor of public health policy and management at NYU School of Global Public Health and the first author of the study, published in the journal Milbank Quarterly. "However, public health efforts to address junk food are hindered by a lack of a uniform method to define junk food for policy purposes."

One policy example where a definition for junk food is needed is a junk food tax, which raises the price of such products to reduce consumption and generate revenue for other programs to improve the nutrition and health of communities in need. Previous research by NYU and Tufts shows that taxes on junk food are administratively and legally feasible.

[...] They identified and analyzed 47 laws and bills from 1991 through 2021, including one active junk food tax law implemented by the Navajo Nation, three state snack food sales taxes that were later repealed, and numerous junk food tax bills that have not been enacted. (Their analysis did not include policies that solely focused on beverages such as soda taxes.)

[...] The researchers were surprised that no state tax laws or bills directed the state's public health department to define the foods subject to the tax, a practice regularly used at the federal level and a mechanism that states could use to have experts define the foods to be taxed.

The researchers further concluded that their analysis supports the use of junk food taxes implemented as excise taxes paid by manufacturers or distributors, rather than sales taxes that need to be administered by retailers and paid directly by consumers. Revenue from excise taxes can be earmarked for particular uses, including improving access to healthy food in low-resource communities.

"An advantage of excise taxes is that food companies may be motivated to reformulate their products to be healthier to avoid taxation," said study co-author Sean Cash of the Friedman School at Tufts. "Defining foods to be taxed is not a static exercise, as existing products are reformulated and thousands of new packaged foods are introduced each year—so how we tax foods is not just a tool for steering consumers away from the least healthy options, but also for encouraging healthy innovations in what ends up on the supermarket shelves."

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday May 19 2023, @05:58PM   Printer-friendly

Researchers are debating how the new domains will affect web security and users' habits:

In Google's own words, new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) can help self-expression, creativity and business. The previously approved list of "hundreds" of gTLDs entries now provides some troublesome additions such as "zip" and "mov," which can (and will) be abused to target users with sophisticated phishing attacks.

Google Registry has recently introduced 8 new top-level domains for "dads, grads, and techies," adding .dad, .phd, .prof, .esq, .foo, .nexus, .zip, and .mov to its growing list of some of the "most popular" gTLDs which also include .app and .dev. The .zip and .mov domains, however, have sparked a debate among experts about their potential consequences on internet and web overall security.

The zip and mov gTLDs were available in IANA's DNS records since 2014, but they have now become generally available thanks to Google's involvement. Now, anyone can purchase a ".zip" or ".mov" domain like "," even though the two suffixes have long been used to identify compressed file archives in Zip format and video clip files.

The overlap between two, extremely popular file formats – the Zip standard was created by Pkware in 1989, 34 years ago – and the recently registered web domains will bring new security threats to the internet ecosystem, some researchers said. Users could be deceived by malicious URLs shared on social networks or by mail, giving cyber-criminals new, "creative" tools to push malware installations, phishing campaigns or other nefarious activities.

As zip and mov are now two generally approved TLDs, internet services and mobile apps will be essentially forced to treat text snippets such as "" or "" like proper URLs to open in a web browser. Cyber-criminals have already started to exploit the new gTLDs, with a now-defunct phishing page at "" designed to try and steal Microsoft Account credentials.

New exploit tactics conceived by security researchers include the ability to use Unicode characters and the "@" symbol for user identification as a creative way to share malicious URLs that looks like legitimate internet addresses. The "creative" internet conceived by Google as a new form of expression and business is more insecure than ever, it seems.

The debate among security experts is still ongoing, though, as some developers don't share the same "doom and gloom" sentiment about the new gTLDs. Microsoft Edge programmer Eric Lawrence said on Twitter that the level of fear-mongering about .zip and .mov domains is "just comical." Google highlighted how the risk of confusion between domains and file names is not a new one, and that Google Registry provides the tools needed to suspend or remove malicious domains across all of the TLDs the company controls.

See also:

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday May 19 2023, @03:13PM   Printer-friendly

Alphabet and Meta are just a couple of the big names paying a startup to produce bio-oil as a way to trap CO2:

Some of the biggest names in tech have inked a deal to turn corn stalks and tree trimmings into a barbecue sauce ingredient and then pump the stuff underground to try to fight climate change.

That sounds wild, so let's break it down from the start. Alphabet, Meta, Stripe, Shopify, and McKinsey Sustainability launched a new climate initiative called Frontier about a year ago. The goal is to boost new technologies capable of sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by convincing other companies to buy into them.

Today, a San Francisco-based climate tech startup called Charm Industrial announced that Frontier's founding members and a smattering of other companies have agreed to pay Charm a total of $53 million to capture and store 112,000 tons of carbon dioxide between 2024 and 2030.

Some of the biggest names in tech have inked a deal to turn corn stalks and tree trimmings into a barbecue sauce ingredient

Charm has an unconventional way of getting that done. First, it collects agricultural and forestry waste — i.e., discarded corn stalks or branches leftover from logging. Wherever it finds that stuff, it sends its fleet of flatbed semi trucks hauling reactors that heat up the waste to 500 degrees Celsius without burning it. That turns the waste into bio-oil, a tarry-looking carbon-rich liquid.

The watery part of the bio-oil is essentially the same thing as liquid smoke, an ingredient used to give barbecue sauce and other foods a smokey flavor, according to Charm CEO and co-founder Peter Reinhardt.

Bio-oil also holds the carbon dioxide that the plants or trees its made from absorbed for photosynthesis. Had those corn stalks or tree branches been disposed of by burning or simply left to rot, that CO2 would have escaped again — heating the planet along with all the other emissions that come from burning fossil fuels.

Trapped in the bio-oil, Charm Industrial thinks it can store the CO2 underground for thousands to millions of years to keep it from making climate change worse. That's how the startup can now sell carbon removal credits, representing tons of captured CO2, to companies that want to use its service to try to cancel out some of its own carbon dioxide pollution.

So far, Charm has successfully stored more than 6,100 metric tons of CO2 in the form of bio-oil. (A previous purchase from Microsoft, at 2,000 metric tons of CO2, is a big chunk of that.) So the deal announced today is a major escalation and a vote of confidence from Big Tech companies that have been early backers of the nascent carbon removal industry.

The advantage Charm says it has is that its plan is decentralized. Other companies are building big plants to suck carbon dioxide out of the air or sea. They need land (or offshore real estate) for their facilities, to start. And then they face lengthy permitting processes for pipelines transporting CO2 to specialized storage wells.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday May 19 2023, @12:23PM   Printer-friendly

A key component of any processor is instruction decoding: analyzing a numeric opcode and figuring out what actions need to be taken. The Intel 8086 processor (1978) has a complex instruction set, making instruction decoding a challenge. The first step in decoding an 8086 instruction is something called the Group Decode ROM, which categorizes instructions into about 35 types that control how the instruction is decoded and executed. For instance, the Group Decode ROM determines if an instruction is executed in hardware or in microcode. It also indicates how the instruction is structured: if the instruction has a bit specifying a byte or word operation, if the instruction has a byte that specifies the addressing mode, and so forth.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday May 19 2023, @09:39AM   Printer-friendly

Researchers Design Tool to Enhance Workplace Socialization in Remote, Hybrid Arrangements:

About one-third of our lives are spent at work, and the relationships we build there can have personal and professional benefits. But a majority of workers indicate difficulty connecting with co-workers socially, especially in the new landscape of remote and hybrid work arrangements.

To ease the friction caused by reduced in-person interaction, a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute created a Slack application that helps to initiate casual conversations and create affinity groups in an online workspace.

"We were freshly out of the pandemic, and we realized that everyone around us was complaining about how it's hard to build genuine connections," said Shreya Bali, the project's principal investigator who earned her master's degree from CMU's School of Computer Science in 2022. "Online modes of communication do provide us with the technical tools to make connections, but there is still a lot of hesitation to actually initiate such conversations when you are not in the same room as someone."

The team's new application, called Nooks, offers users a low-risk way to start new conversations in three phases: creation, incubation and activation. It starts with someone anonymously submitting a topic of interest. Then, the topic is incubated while the system presents it to other Slack users, allowing them to indicate if they are interested in the same topic. Once the incubation period is over, a private channel — or "nook" — is activated for this newly identified affinity group.

"Typically, when everyone's in the office at the same time, you can usually tell that if someone is near the water cooler it's OK to go and disturb them. Or if someone is walking in the corridor, you can start a conversation as you walk past," said Pranav Khadpe, an HCII Ph.D. student and one of the paper's co-authors. "But online, we don't have those lightweight signals. Nooks can help to replace these social cues."

[...] "Anyone interested can hop into a nook and break the ice without any preconceived notion of who is in the group," Bali said. "This helps to avoid social anxiety of, say, not knowing anyone in the Nook or feeling intimidated if you see it includes colleagues of a different team or higher level."

[...] "Beyond supporting personal wellbeing, positive social interactions at work diffuse ideas, accelerate decision-making, promote better collaboration and enhance productivity," Khadpe said. "It's a neat win-win situation that Nooks can help facilitate."

arXiv link: Nooks: Social Spaces to Lower Hesitations in Interacting with New People at Work

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday May 19 2023, @06:53AM   Printer-friendly

Chinese Chip Industry to Focus on Perfecting Mature Nodes: Report:

Severe constraints on the development of the Chinese chip industry caused by strict export control rules that block People's Republic chipmakers from obtaining advanced wafer fab equipment (WFE) has triggered local specialists to rethink the nation's semiconductor strategy. While it is obvious that China will have to replace tools made abroad to make leading-edge chips in the long term, for now the country's chipmakers will have to focus on perfecting their mature nodes to stay competitive, reports DigiTimes.

Meanwhile, between 2022 and 2026, Jiwei Research estimates there will be 25 new 300-mm fabs in China, with a total capacity of over 1.6 million wafer starts per month. This could significantly increase China's chip production capacity, which will increase China's total 300-mm capacity to 2.76 million WSPM by 2026.

Without access to advanced equipment, all of these fabs will have to focus on 20nm – 90nm-class technologies, but it will better be able to rely on domestic suppliers. Consequently, companies within the Chinese semiconductor supply chain, spanning from raw materials, machinery, and electronic design automation (EDA), are reportedly shifting their growth strategies, prioritizing mature processes over advanced ones. For instance, Naura has declared that it will prioritize shipments of tools for trailing processes utilized by Chinese chipmakers.

Furthermore, a provider of photoresist materials has disclosed that the current industry emphasis is on mature processes, in the hope of spurring significant advancements in mature wafer production techniques. As of now, the development of cutting-edge processes is not at the forefront of Tianxia's semiconductor industry's agenda.

[...] But Chinese chip specialists believe that despite oversupply risks, domestic chipmakers should concentrate on trailing nodes rather than on desperately investing in sub-14nm and more advanced fabrication technologies. Focusing on mature processes can lead to increased self-sufficiency and controllability of the semiconductor industry, reducing dependence on foreign technology and supplies.

[...] Meanwhile, domestic suppliers of lithography tools can make scanners with enough resolution for a 90nm-class node and it is even unclear whether they can make them in sufficient quantities. Therefore, Chinese chipmakers will keep buying tools produced by companies from Japan and the Netherlands. So while China's chip sector is striving for autonomy, it will likely keep relying on WFE made abroad.

Related: China's Phone Giant Oppo Disbands Chip Design Unit as Shipment Slumps

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday May 19 2023, @04:08AM   Printer-friendly
from the johnny-5-alive dept.

On Thursday, AI company Anthropic announced it has given its ChatGPT-like Claude AI language model the ability to analyze an entire book's worth of material in under a minute. This new ability comes from expanding Claude's context window to 100,000 tokens, or about 75,000 words.

Like OpenAI's GPT-4, Claude is a large language model (LLM) that works by predicting the next token in a sequence when given a certain input. Tokens are fragments of words used to simplify AI data processing, and a "context window" is similar to short-term memory—how much human-provided input data an LLM can process at once.
While it may not sound impressive to pick out changes in a text (Microsoft Word can do that, but only if it has two documents to compare), consider that after feeding Claude the text of The Great Gatsby, the AI model can then interactively answer questions about it or analyze its meaning. 100,000 tokens is a big upgrade for LLMs. By comparison, OpenAI's GPT-4 LLM boasts context window lengths of 4,096 tokens (about 3,000 words) when used as part of ChatGPT and 8,192 or 32,768 tokens via the GPT-4 API (which is currently only available via waitlist).
Notably, Anthropic received a $300 million investment from Google in late 2022, with Google acquiring a 10 percent stake in the firm.

Anthropic says that 100K context windows are available now for users of the Claude API, which is currently restricted by a waitlist.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday May 19 2023, @01:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the Mr.-President-we-must-not-allow-an-AI-gap! dept.

Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates says he's "scared" about artificial intelligence falling into the wrong hands, but unlike some fellow experts who have called for a pause on advanced A.I. development, he argues that the technology may already be on a runaway train:

The latest advancements in A.I. are revolutionary, Gates said in an interview with ABC published Monday, but the technology comes with many uncertainties. U.S. regulators are failing to stay up to speed, he said, and with research into human-level artificial intelligence advancing fast, over 1,000 technologists and computer scientists including Twitter and Tesla CEO Elon Musk signed an open letter in March calling for a six-month pause on advanced A.I. development until "robust A.I. governance systems" are in place.

But for Gates, A.I. isn't the type of technology you can just hit the pause button on.

"If you just pause the good guys and you don't pause everyone else, you're probably hurting yourself," he told ABC, adding that it is critical for the "good guys" to develop more powerful A.I. systems.

[...] "We're all scared that a bad guy could grab it. Let's say the bad guys get ahead of the good guys, then something like cyber attacks could be driven by an A.I.," Gates said.

The competitive nature of A.I. development means that a moratorium on new research is unlikely to succeed, he argued.

Originally spotted on The Eponymous Pickle.

Previously: Fearing "Loss of Control," AI Critics Call for 6-Month Pause in AI Development

Related: AI Weapons Among Non-State Actors May be Impossible to Stop

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Thursday May 18 2023, @10:34PM   Printer-friendly
from the breathe-deep-the-gathering-gloom dept.

Hammerhead sharks found to hold their breath on deep water hunts to stay warm:

Scalloped hammerhead sharks hold their breath to keep their bodies warm during deep dives into cold water where they hunt prey such as deep sea squids. This discovery, published in Science by University of Hawai'i at Mānoa researchers, provides important new insights into the physiology and ecology of a species that serves as an important link between the deep and shallow water habitats.

"This was a complete surprise," said Mark Royer, lead author and researcher with the Shark Research Group at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) in the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. "It was unexpected for sharks to hold their breath to hunt like a diving marine mammal. It is an extraordinary behavior from an incredible animal."

Shark gills are natural radiators that would rapidly cool the blood, muscles, and organs if scalloped hammerhead sharks did not close their gill slits during deep dives into cold water. These sharks are warm water animals but feed at depths where seawater temperatures are similar to those found in Kodiak Alaska (around 5ºC/ 40ºF), yet they need to keep their bodies warm in order to hunt effectively.

"Although it is obvious that air-breathing marine mammals hold their breath while diving, we did not expect to see sharks exhibiting similar behavior," said Royer. "This previously unobserved behavior reveals that scalloped hammerhead sharks have feeding strategies that are broadly similar to those of some marine mammals, like pilot whales. Both have evolved to exploit deep dwelling prey and do so by holding their breath to access these physically challenging environments for short periods."

[...] "This discovery fundamentally advances our understanding of how scalloped hammerhead sharks are able to dive to great depths and withstand frigid temperatures in order to capture prey," said Royer. "It also demonstrates the delicate physiological balance that scalloped hammerhead sharks must strike in order to forage successfully."

[...] "This extraordinary physiological feat that allows scalloped hammerhead sharks to expand their ecological niche into the deep sea could very well make them vulnerable to additional human impacts."

Journal Reference:
Mark Royer et al., "Breath holding" as a thermoregulation strategy in the scalloped hammerhead, Science (2023). DOI: 10.1126/science.add4445.

Original Submission

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