January 9, 2014

Ultramarathoners tend to get injured young.     Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ultramarathoners Improve With Age

Less prone to injury

Age might be an asset for ultramarathoners. A new study published Wednesday in the online journal PLOS ONE found that among those who run distances longer than the traditional 26.2 miles, younger athletes get injured more often, usually in the knees and feet.

Higher injury rates for younger ultramarathon runners likely stem from their inexperience and uncertainty about their limits, according to the study. Runners who get injured young also sometimes quit long-distance running, making the veterans a stronger, more exclusive group.

The study also found that although ultramarathoners have low rates of illnesses compared to the general population, they have increased rates of asthma and allergies.

Check out Outside's guide to the nine toughest ultramarathons, and how you can train to complete them.

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Northern Lights Headed South

Solar storm pushing the Aurora Borealis

An especially strong solar flare that shot forth from the sun on Tuesday could disturb Earth's magnetic fields enough to send the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, as far south as Colorado. The flare reached Earth early today and should be visible during the next two days.

According to federal space weather forecaster Joe Kunches, this evening should provide the best viewing opportunities, weather permitting. The lights should be visible in most Canadian and northern American cities.

The solar flare has already forced the cancellation of a launch to the International Space Station yesterday, and most airline flights near the poles have been diverted as of today. GPS systems are also expected to be affected.

Check out a little preview of what you might be missing right here.

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Black-tailed prairie dogs will do the wave together to avoid being eaten.     Photo: chadh/Flickr

Watch: Prairie Dogs Do the Wave

To avoid being eaten

Like football fans at a stadium, black-tailed prairie dogs also do the wave.

A study published last month suggests that the animals use this bobbing motion, which researchers call a “jump-yip,” not to cheer on a favorite team, but rather to avoid being eaten.

In fact, they’re testing the watchfulness of their neighbors. Alert prairie dogs will catch the wave, pass it through the colony, and hopefully live to dance another day. 

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New study reveals biofluorescence in fish     Photo: Courtesy of American Museum of Natural History

Fluorescence Found in Fish

Study reveals biofluorescence in more than 180 fish species

Scientists have stumbled upon something brilliant. A study released Wednesday shows that hundreds of fish species are bioflourescent, absorbing a high-energy blue light and turning it into beautiful greens, oranges, and reds.

Beyond the visual spectacle, the findings might lead toward major developments in determining how these species communicate and mate.

The first sign of this biofluorescence was noticed when a team of scientists from the American Museum of Natural History was studying coral, which is already known for its fluorescent properties. After a day of photographing the coral, the team noticed a fluorescent green eel, which lead to further studies, reports The New York Times.

Human divers are able to see some of the fluorescence with the naked eye. However, it becomes greatly enhanced with the help of an intense blue light, which the divers used during the research.

A biofluorescent lizardfish.   Photo: Courtesy of American Museum of N

The study will travel in an exhibit titled “Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence,” which will open in May at the Canadian Museum of Nature. 

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Vegas Sign Goes Solar

Panels installed to light the night

Since 1959, people from across the globe have gathered to snap pictures in front of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

As of yesterday, folks have another reason to pause in front of the iconic landmark: it's now solar powered. Twenty-five-foot towers harness the sun’s light and convert it into energy that powers the neon sign at night.

“The county will save approximately 1,000 dollars a year—but that's not the issue...it’s an educational tool as much as anything else," Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak told Fox 5 News, referring to the sign's sustainability.

The best part? It doesn’t cost the taxpayers a cent. All funding came from the Consumer Electronics Association, NV Energy, and the Las Vegas Centennial History Grant Program.

A cause for celebration, indeed. To the casinos!

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