tv Tomorrow Today - The Science Magazine Deutsche Welle June 26, 2018 2:30pm-3:00pm CEST
a clash that's shaking families and society to the core of. my father will be angry sometimes i think and we intend to. move those structures joy hate d.w. . you know. welcome to tomorrow today thanks for joining us coming up. an astonishing mammal that can shrink or grow as the seasons change. we also look at worms and fish that provide tantalizing hints for how to live to ripe old age. and we take a dive under the polar icecap where researchers have made a disturbing discovery. a
caravan of shrews the young animals hang on to one another to keep from getting lost their little hearts beat around a thousand times a minute an incredible mess of pottage feet that's why shrews have to eat pretty much nonstop otherwise they would quickly starve they can gulp down up to twice their body weight in food in a single day. and that's far from their only unusual characteristic. it's nine in the morning outside the max planck institute in the heart of in south western germany have a lot sorrow is on the lookout for some furry friends. the biologist has set up seventy traps. but so far only one creature has been captured. shrews are pretty
elusive animals although they might look like mice these small mammals aren't rodents in fact that distantly related to moles. and they have amazing qualities. i like shrewish they're a cute they're somehow excel take is not an animal that you usually see when you're walking in the field and from there from they're saying they fixed point of view of that they're very interesting in winter food becomes harder to come by many animals get around this problem by going into hibernation but the shrew has developed a quite different survival strategy something that's potentially of interest to humans this is one that previously ended up in lazzaro's trap. and had a chip inserted under its skin for tracking purposes. the sorrow has discovered that shrews can change that bone structure to find out
more about this ability he puts the little animal under general anaesthetic for a few minutes. then he takes x. rays. he has to be quick. the images show that the shrew is smaller in the winter than it was in the summer it's skull shrinks by around twenty percent. that's probably an energy saving measure their metabolism works so quickly that the little creatures would normally starve if they didn't eat for a few hours. but smaller bodies require less food so for a shrew it makes sense to shrink in winter. and. then come spring their bones grow
back to their full size. usually and momma gropes a longer life span mostly their bones are not so flexible that they can shrink and regrow again so in issue seems that their bones elise the skull can is rincon then it's reversible is a reversible process and he's massive it's not just like a little reason want to but up to twenty percent. of shrews bones are no different in terms of structure than that of other mammals so how can they shrink in winter and grow in the warmer months and how might that benefit human beings the max planck institute is researching this together with bones specialists from the medical department of getting in university. dr hans wolf and his team have discovered bone or trophy in c.t. scans the resembles osteoporosis in humans
a condition that can't currently be cured that's a. very interesting thing here is that the process is reversible so basically these creatures undergo a kind of reversible osteoporotic process in the winter months. the shrew spine and the back of its skull a most affected by the seasonal loss in bone density. maybe this research on shoes could give us clues about how to treat human osteoporosis. what. to do that scientists have to study the inside of the shrews bones more closely. through the first plaster needed by soaking them for weeks in a transparent plastic substance and then sectioned into millimeter thin slices the bone specialist analyzed the sections painstakingly under the microscope.
their conclusion all stew's sites cells within the bones are what controls the shrinking or growth of the shrew skeleton when winter comes they trigger the release of minerals from the bones the result can be clearly identified along the sutures of the skull where a gap can now be seen by some or it is disappeared again the osteo sites have restored the minerals in the bone and the holes that if we find out how it's all controlled and can intervene in these processes using certain substances that would be really great it's something exciting to look forward to in the future. will humans one day be able to learn how to read grow their bones thanks to the shrew have a lives are oh we'll have to lay a lot more traps before that can be found out but this downsized winter shrew has already done its bit for science. research in medicine
have done a lot to increase lifespan in the last few decades compared to the one nine hundred sixty s. people now live twenty years longer on average than. the oldest people on the planet now regularly make it to one hundred twenty some biologists say that points to a natural limit is that true and if it is can we have a candidate sings by. prolonging life under laboratory conditions it's possible here at the max planck institute for the biology of aging and cologne researchers are finding out how diet can prolong the lives of fruit flies. the fruit flies in the test tubes on the left or give a normal feed the flies on the right are the same age but have been given a special diet from day one they crawl up the glass faster than the other ones and they also live longer. it's not just about the number of
calories the protein or plays a crucial role if you give the fruit flies less protein then they live longer and they remain healthier as they age. in the lab next door gerontologist martine denser it is finding out how to prolong the life span of a ground war. he feeds them with an active substance that occurs naturally in animal cells it's called mean added to the worms feed that prevents age related neurodegeneration. without glucose i mean the round worms become increasingly stiff and unflexible. with that they stay active much longer and they also live longer. when they experimented with killie fish dario villains are nose team made
a further intriguing discovery they collected the feces of young killer fish and fed them to older killer fish thereby transferring the young ones intestinal bacteria the result was unexpected to say the least. the researchers monitored the fitness levels of older killa fish in the labs test pool and were able to identify that fish fed with a gut bacteria of young fish were a lot more active and lived up to thirty percent longer than those in the comparison group. the scientists have also succeeded in influencing the lifespan of months the rodents on the right are simply given less feed not only are they slimmer they also live longer given that mice are mammals this is significant. experiments with mice prove that it's possible to extend life spans with medication or by adjusting diets so these
findings could also apply to humans mention it also. his colleagues at the live nets institute and beg to differ the ageing process and humans is highly complex. it's possible to optimize a mechanism so that it functions longer like with a car you can improve the engine but there might come up point when the clutch goes or the bodywork falls apart there will always be something that puts a spanner in the works so ultimately we don't expect we'll be able to extend lifespans beyond one hundred twenty. but in the future will people be living into their hundreds and remaining in good shape these zebrafish might have the answer they have the extraordinary ability to self renew. the researchers in you are looking for the genes responsible for organ development in the fish larvae . even when the organism is old the genes involved in the formation of the
kidneys and the larvae will still be capable of completely repairing the organ if it's damaged. researchers still don't fully understand how zebrafish can bring new their organs but they hope the phenomenon can shed light on the regeneration of human organs. their goal here and this applies to gerontology in general it's not so much to extend the human lifespan. the natural limit is around one hundred twenty give or take the goal is to maintain good health as long as possible what we want to do is extend our health spans this way because the or the english spend this would be even filling a void. i believe there is a biological limit at the moment we're debating if that limit may be one hundred twenty but i wouldn't want to nail it down i can imagine that we might exceed that
in future. in that future how long will humans live there are no clear answers to that but researchers hope that before too long they'll have found ways to slow down the aging process. the average lifespan worldwide is now of around seventy two on facebook we asked whether if they wasn't a mortality pill you take it here are some of you ron says. here in a rare a says he'd take a pill for eternal you are not just want to be immortal. hector got stompin eggers would be happy to take two. kids on the other hand explains he wouldn't take one piece too curious about what happens after we die. while the teen accompanies it says she'd be happy to take a pill that promise to keep her healthy. thanks for those comments keep them coming
. one good way to lengthen your lifespan is to exercise regularly like hiking in the mountains but make sure to take enough wool clothing along because the higher you go the cold it gets how come peter do the from kenya couldn't figure that out he said to his wife. why is it that the higher you go the colder it gets. everyone knows that when you climb a mountain it can start off warm but at the top the climbers are often greeted by icy wins. high you're closer to the sun so shouldn't it be warmer. the sun is one hundred fifty million kilometers from the earth the few kilometers covered by the climber don't make much of a difference so why is it colder on the peak. of.
the real reason has to do with the air specifically air pressure that reflects the density of gas molecules in the atmosphere around us at sea level air pressure is relatively high that means there are lots of molecules that are moving around and colliding with one another and exchanging thermal energy. but at higher altitudes the eric spans cools the molecules move more slowly on average and collide less often. you can observe the opposite effect one pumping up the tire pumping compresses the air raising its temperature in the process. in addition air masses absorb more heat when they're close to the ground because warmer air takes up more moisture and humid air in turn absorb still more
heat another reason why it's warmer at sea level than high up in the mountains. if your old one is right why aren't you do you have a science question that you've always wanted answered we're happy to help out send it to us as a video text or boys smile if we answer it on the show we'll send you a little surprise as a thank you. come on you just asked if. you'll find us at d.f.w. dot com slash science or drop us a line at the w. under school site tech on facebook d.w. science. humans have always been a restless species we've spread out all over the globe. one period of mass migration was between the third and six centuries of the current era and many of those migrants were women as revealed by an archaeological site in bavaria.
researchers there have been looking at some skulls dating back fifteen hundred years. this unusually elongated skull has a fascinating story to tell about the early middle ages. a small number of skulls displaying this feature have been found all of them female but what is behind this deformity. bones from a number of medieval graveyards in bavaria is being studied at munich state collection of anthropology and paleo anatomy. and international study has been able to unlock some of the skull secrets. teams from mines and meaning have been investigating the bones at the genome level. they have and we studied six burial grounds in total all the deformed goals that come from them go back to around the year five hundred from flint. girls probably had their heads down when they were still infants
a custom still practiced in congo in the one nine hundred fifty s. to determine the origin of this cranial modification the researchers looked at d.n.a. evidence for i mean you're a number of years ago we realize that we need to patricio part of the temporal bone the inner part of the skull which contains a lot of d.n.a. we've been able to get lots of information from it and that's one of. the misnamed that first we take a sample of bone from the skull and try to extract d.n.a. from it we then use a special process to copy the d.n.a. in the past we could only see four hundred base pairs but with new so-called next generation sequencing we can now see five million. that's a huge amount of information. and from a. yankees and surely aren't all this gold found in book finding belong to a woman who died aged around forty. thanks to the new technology we were able to
examine the fragments of d.n.a. that she inherited from her ancestors and what we found was that she might have had an ancestor from malaysia. but the rest came overwhelmingly from around the mediterranean area. and wish them good luck but. it is long been suspected that the woman had migrated from china not so it turns out rather she was from south eastern europe and had integrated into a socially mixed village community study manna buildings offer protection and there was likely a place for tribunals despite its diverse origins the community was well organized . the d.n.a. shows that the women with normal skulls have ancestors from central and northern europe while those with elongation skulls all come from elsewhere. as a foreign source of how about as you know i mean the surprising thing for us was to discover that the women the ones with the different scoldings came according to
their genetic data from southeastern europe. so we have these women who really covered a great distance to arrive here in bavaria where they died and were buried that. it's possible that elongated skulls were a female status symbol in southeastern europe perhaps the marriage of women from that area to men in various cemented diplomatic relations. what is certain is that these women stood out from the rest. of these new methods allow us to determine hair and eye color an interesting way we can tell that these women really were different in appearance and you had no they tended to have darker. anadarko complection while the local population were more likely to have her own.
despite their different origins it does appear that these migrant women assimilated quickly and were well integrated in the new society. how medicine far we haven't found much that is different or exotic in the way that these women were buried if nothing that would suggest that they came from far away which leads us to believe that they were well integrated into the society and had adopted the local rights and customs. the early middle ages were a time of great mobility for many including the migrants from southeastern europe the elongation skull show that varia was a. you'll find other members of our species in every corner of the planet including the arctic. but the garbage reproduce is even more mobile than we are. the apparently pristine nature here is not nearly as untouched as it appears. it was only recently that researches found life
forms under the ice sheet of the north pole kristie sions deep water sponges and completely unexpectedly corals. yet this newly discovered habitat is under threat just slightly further south another group of scientists from the alfred vegan institute captured these images of plastic pollution and other waste for fifteen years melanie back man has been observing the spread of plastic debris in the arctic ocean it's a depressing development. and given that it's sort of met a sort used in industrial fishing this also looks like it's used in fishing this is some. unspecified plastic fragment. and we see a lot of this sort of thing on the seabed two point five kilometers under the surface kilometer of us that. in one thousand nine hundred nine the scientists
began conducting long term research in an area that spans over ten thousand square kilometers it's. almost every year melanie batman and her colleagues survey the seabed with the ocean floor observation system. attached to a steel cable the device scans the ocean floor from a distance of about a meter taking high resolution photos and videos. the research is have compared images from different years and reach some devastating conclusions. as. there is now twenty times more waste in the northern zone is increased from about two point five chance of plastic in an area the size of a football pitch to sixty of the tile a pool was part of it was cheating death in an arctic region that's completely remote found funny little sent home. that would mean the polar seabed is in
fact one of the world's most polluted marine regions on a par with the mediterranean. yes but not really disappointing of course we take these images because we're searching marine life on the sea floor and there's all this plastic waste they're forcing on. them i mean it's not what you want to see a different. one cause of the worsening pollution in the arctic ocean could be the gulf stream. it carries litter from southern regions north which then get stranded as the current sinks deeper. more and more deborah is a arriving in the arctic ocean disastrously it's become a dead end the plastics and the plastic litter that's visible is only part of the problem. melanie batman demonstrates the effect of the elements on plastic litter it decomposes into micro plastic particles.
in recent years the researches have taken regular samples from the seabed and examined them for micro plastics. this year not for the first time the results were deeply worrying. the humvee and of the demand for the outfit i just with this is a sample of sediment from the arctic ocean from a depth of two point five kilometers yet we'll analyze it in our lab on heligoland life on our analysis last year revealed approximately one thousand to one thousand five hundred micro plastic particles which is really quite considerable i would let this go on with me. and tell relatively recently the research as well unaware of the extent of the problem because they didn't have a fission diagnostic tools today it's possible to filter individual particles out
of the deep sea mud and to document. not a pretty sight he said klein clay will never be able to get rid of these tiny particles they'll end up in the food chain plastics are in the dead in the oceans. yeah to me it was born plastic tubes are. these days scientists find plastics in most marine life where it can lead to infections and poisoning. bad news not just for the sea creatures. i am. among hundreds of these days when you eat seafood such as mussels and shrimp is a fair assumption that you are consuming micro plastics too big it. doesn't only affect lifeforms on the deep sea floor it's an environmental disaster that affects us all. that's all for now but
we make up over a week what does of half of the hundred that you think we ought to some of the services. they want to shape the continent's future shift to. be part of it and join african youngsters as they share their stories their dreams and their challenges of the seventy seven percent. platform for africa it's majority. entered the conflict zone confronting the powerful. as f.b.i. director james comey was always pretty well known but when donald trump five in last year to stevie's for good measure to me this week he's my guest here in by the way he's promoting a book even as he faces new challenges of insubordination so what's the truth of the conflict zone confronting the powerful on t.w. . earth moved home tunes of
species. a home worth saving. given those are big changes and most start with small steps but global interiors tell stories of creative people and innovative projects around the world. is that limits least manage certain shows and resources should. decrease interactions conflict teaching the next generation doesn't want to touch it. all channels available to people to take action and where to turn into doing something here for the next generation in the age of the environment series of global three thousand on t w and online.
this is d w news live from bali and hope the migrant stuck in sydney for the day after their rescue ship was refused entry to european ports the lifeline may not be permitted to dock in while to a new nation saw fit to accept a subset of the hundreds of people on board also on the program. washington's waters are the patients at tech games grow as.