Archives for posts with tag: energy

Researchers have watched hummingbirds flying backwards and have found that it uses no more energy than flying forwards.

According to a piece on the BBC News website, Olympic cycling has taught us five science lessons…

  1. Slipstreaming saves energy – the cyclist in front uses about a third more energy than the one behind
  2. The centripetal force in a flat circular track would make it hard for cyclists to stay on track – so the velodrome is an oval and is banked
  3. Aerodynamics is important – by making themselves small, wearing sleek helmets and by riding bikes with solid wheels, the cyclists cut wind resistance
  4. Muscle makes a difference – cyclists build up different kinds of muscles for sprint (fast twitch muscle) and endurance cycling (slow twitch muscle)
  5. High tech clothing helps – once piece suits are designed not to soak up sweat and to smooth air flows

Olympic Games 27 July – 12 August

In a set of articles in the British Medical Journal, researchers debunked a number of claims for sports products. The color of urine—something athletes are told to keep an eye on—depends on many factors, not just hydration. Drinking before you feel thirsty may worsen performance. Energy drinks with caffeine and other compounds have no benefit above and beyond the boost from caffeine. And carbohydrate and protein combinations post-workout don’t improve performance and recovery.

Olympic Games 27 July – 12 August

Bacteria, fungi and primitive organisms (archaea) living on rocky soils on volcanoes in South America seem to convert energy from gases such as carbon monoxide and dimethyl sulfide rather than using known processes like photosynthesis.

Read the abstract in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences.

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