Published: Sunday 15 April 2007

Turtles in trouble Marine turtles across North America may soon be victims of climate change. A study published in the journal Global Change Biology reports that just a 1C temperature increase could eliminate male births across many beaches, whilst an extra 3C would cause less nesting and high levels of infant mortality. Turtles are particularly vulnerable as their sex determination is temperature sensitive meaning warmer conditions yield more females. Researchers recommend conservation efforts should look at protecting key breeding grounds that may supply males to other beaches to avoid complete population collapse.

Tune in early A study by Northwestern University researchers provides concrete evidence that playing a musical instrument significantly enhances the brainstem's sensitivity to speech sounds. This finding has broad implications because it applies to sound encoding skills involved not only in music but also in language.

The findings indicate that experience with music at a young age in effect can "fine-tune" the brain's auditory system. "Increasing music experience appears to benefit all children, whether musically exceptional or not, in a range of learning activities," the authors note.

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