what's the buzz

what's the buzz

Fossil of 95-m-yr-old pterosaur found

Scientists have uncovered the fossil of a new species of a giant flying reptile in the Sahara desert.

However, it seems the 95-million-year-old pterosaur was not too fond of flying as it spent its time looking for prey in the once lush Sahara.

The Alanqa saharicafrom, discovered two years ago in southeast Morocco, belonged to a pterosaur family that flourished nearly 70 million years ago. According to study leader Nizar Ibrahim, University College Dublin, Ireland, the jaw and neck bones of the newfound fossil make it the oldest known ancestor of the azhdarchids, a type of large pterosaur.

A saharicafrom from had a toothless, beak-like jaw, a long, slender neck, and an estimated wingspan of 19.5 feet.

Recent research also suggests that azhdarchids such as A saharicafrom didn’t fly that much.

A saharicafrom could well have hunted “lizards and little dinosaurs with their long, slender jaws... a bit like a stork or a heron,” said Ibrahim.

Avoid saunas, hot showers, to become ‘Daddy Cool’!

The trick to becoming a father is staying cool — literally.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised men to avoid saunas, hot showers and alcohol to increase their fertility chances.

In their study, it was found that one in five healthy young men between the ages of 18 and 25 have abnormal sperm counts. Also, the sperm they produce is frequently of poor quality.

And, embarrassingly enough, more than 90 per cent of the sperm of a bull or a ram is normal.

The guide from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority advised men how to increase sperm count.

It stated: “For maximum sperm production, the testes should be a couple of degrees cooler than the rest of your body. It may help to avoid tight-fitting clothing, saunas and hot showers.”

“This new guide, along with our website, aims to help people with the decisions they need to make the journey through fertility treatment easier and less confusing,” said a spokesman for the HFEA.

Experts also warned that cyclists risk fertility by spending too much time in the saddle.

Allergic asthmatics more vulnerable during flu season

People with allergic asthma face double trouble during flu season, according to a new American study.

The research, conducted by University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, appears in the June edition of the Journal of Immunology.

Lead author Dr Michelle Gill, assistant professor of paediatrics and internal medicine at UT Southwestern, said: “Our findings imply that the better your asthma is controlled, the more likely you are to have an appropriate response to a virus”.

“When individuals with asthma come in contact with an allergic trigger and a respiratory virus, the allergen may actually interfere with the immune response to the virus. This interruption in the antiviral response may contribute to exacerbations of asthma that are commonly associated with respiratory viral infections,” Gill said.