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Maharashtra: Researchers spot blue whales after hundred years

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A group of researchers claimed to have spotted a mother-calf pair of blue whales, between March and May, 3 km away from the Sindhudurg coast in Maharashtra after nearly 100 years. Bryde’s whales were also seen by the researchers during the same period.

The findings were conducted by the Cetacean Population Study team, positioned at the Sindhudurg coast since the beginning of this year under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project on Mainstreaming Coastal and Marine Biodiversity, which was brought into action by Maharashtra State Mangrove Cell.

Ketki Jog, a member of Cetacean Population Study team said, “The blue whale sighting was that of a mother-calf pair. They were seen near Kunkeshwar, 2.7km offshore, at a depth of 16m.”

According to N Vasudevan, Chief Conservator of Forest, Maharashtra State Mangrove Cell, the last reported sighting of blue whale, the world’s largest animal, was in 1914.

Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) earlier claimed that another sighting of the mammal was observed in 2010 along the coast of Mangalore.

The team also reportedly spotted a small pod of four Bryde’s whales four times: April 11, 16, 30 and May 6, from the coast, at an average water depth of 15 metres.

Vasudevan added, “The sighting of the largest mammal just 3 km away from the Sindhudurg shore calls for immediate study as to why such a large species is moving close to land.”

The Mangrove Cell suggested that from now onwards, they will regularly conduct the whale watching activities from Sindhudurg coast. “Without disturbing the habitat of the whales, these spots can become a tourist attraction if such mammals are spotted often,” Vasudevan said.

CMFRI researchers also informed that these huge species can be seen across the Indian Ocean, southern parts of Sri Lanka coast and have often been found migrating to Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

“Mammals like the blue whale often frequent the coasts of India. However, the issue is that there has been no documentation of the same. Authorities should invest more such studies to protect the endangered species,” said E Vivekanandan, consultant and scientist in CMFRI, Chennai.

According to another research conducted by Cetacean Population Study team under the UNDP project, 687 dolphins were also seen near the coast out of which 153 individual dolphins were identified because of distinct features such as their fin.

Sightings of close to 40 Finless Porpoise were also recorded across the Sindhudurg coast during the two phases of the study this year.

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‘Computer Kidney’ Suggests to Drink Enough Water Daily

“Incredibly, how mammals produce a highly concentrated urine is not well understood,” Layton said. “We’re now a step closer to understanding how water balance is maintained in mammals.”

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The injury happens when there is an insufficient water balance, which can lead to concentrated urine from a build-up of waste in the body. Pixabay

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada have developed a “computer kidney” that can help shed light on impacts of medicines taken by those who don’t drink enough water.

The ability of the kidney to maintain water balance is vital to our health. It controls water balance, and when we are dehydrated, it produces highly concentrated urine to get rid of waste using as little water as possible.

The older population, those with kidney diseases, and those on blood pressure medication sometimes have a problem with water balance.

The researchers found that the elderly people with impaired kidney function and those taking a combination of certain drugs need to be extra mindful of their water intake.

“People who have high blood pressure are typically given a water pill, so they pee a lot to lower their blood volume and in so doing lower their blood pressure,” said Anita Layton, professor of Applied Mathematics, Pharmacy and Biology at Waterloo.

These patients are frequently also given another drug that targets a hormonal system which will affect the kidney as well.

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The researchers found that the elderly people with impaired kidney function and those taking a combination of certain drugs need to be extra mindful of their water intake. Pixabay

“A lot of people are on these two drugs, and they will be fine. But one day they might have a headache and take an aspirin, and the three of these drugs together can hurt your kidneys,” Layton added in a paper published in the the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology.

Layton built the first computational model that simulates the muscle contractions that move urine from the kidney to the bladder.

It found that unless a patient is properly hydrated, taking the two blood pressure drugs and an aspirin concurrently could cause acute kidney injury.

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The injury happens when there is an insufficient water balance, which can lead to concentrated urine from a build-up of waste in the body.

“Incredibly, how mammals produce a highly concentrated urine is not well understood,” Layton said. “We’re now a step closer to understanding how water balance is maintained in mammals.” (IANS)