Loopholes for Life
What allows a bird to fly across wide oceans? Or fly for miles at peaks as high as Mount Everest? A study conducted by a team of researchers at New York University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, has found through a series of lab experiments and computer simulations, just how birds can accomplish such a difficult activity.
Credit: National Science Foundation
Loopholes for life
I'm Mo with The Discovery Files, from NSF -- the U.S. National Science Foundation.
What allows a bird to fly across wide oceans? Or fly for miles at peaks as high as Mount Everest?
A study conducted by a team of researchers at New York University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, has found through a series of lab experiments and computer simulations, just how birds can accomplish such a difficult activity.
For us humans air flows deep within the branches of our lungs which move back and forth as we inhale and exhale.
However, air flow moves in one single direction in bird lungs even as they breathe in and out.
For this experiment, scientists, built piping filled with water, to represent air flow. They bent the piping into a loop to imitate a bird's lung, after adding particles to the water to track the direction of the flow, evidence showed, both the inhalation and exhalation phases contribute to the circulatory flow around the loops.
The loops allow this since the flows do not reverse course during the two phases but rather take entirely different routes when coming in and when leaving the lung.
These new findings have the potential to offer smarter ways to pump fluids in many applications like coolant systems and control air flow in breathing machines like respiratory ventilators.
So, when it comes to how bird's breath, now you're in the loop!
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