The Revolutionary Technologies That Are Helping Scientists Study Polar Bears

Polar Bears have been a topic of fascination for researchers for quite some time. Here is how scientists are getting a better understanding of these mammals, currently found in Canada, Norway, Russia, Greenland, and Alaska.

Tracking the Bears

Over the years, scientists have been continuously working on building tech that will help them better understand polar bears. One such method is to attach tracking devices to the bodies of polar bears. To ensure minimal damage to bears’ health, Jon Kirschhoffer, an industrial designer at 3M, along with his team, found two effective ways to conduct the studies. In one, a device with three small brushes and a long metal-wire handle, when attached to the neck of a sedated bear, can aid in the extraction of its fur. These brushes can be used to attach tracking devices to bears’ bodies, and to avoid getting the device snagged, Jon said, they attach three of them and put a protective cap on it as well. Other devices are of pentagonal design with metal tubes used to catch bears’ hair. Both devices are in the experimental stages, and scientists expect them to help track the bears for at least 270 days.

Artificial Intelligence

The polar bears’ tendency to travel across the sea ice makes it difficult for scientists to track the number of their species through aerial images. It’s not only expensive but also requires a lot of mental attention, which can be challenging. Therefore, scientists have been working on AI models that can not only reduce their workload but also help them track the bears more effectively.

Treadmill and Swim Chambers

To understand how moving across the Arctic affects polar bears’ bodies and how tiring it gets for them, biologist Anthony Pagano created a heavy-duty treadmill for polar bears. Later, a few polar bears were trained by the researchers at the San Diego Zoo and the Oregon Zoo to walk on the treadmill, which is kept in a chamber made of breakproof plastic and steel that weighs approximately 4,400 pounds. Swim chambers were also constructed to measure the exertion output of bears while swimming. Even though polar bears are not great swimmers, scientists predict that due to the thinning of the sea ice, they might have to swim for longer hours in search of food, which might decrease the survival chances of the species.

Forbes Richest Person 2022 Winner Isn’t From the Tech Industry, for a Change

Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and a long list of billionaires landing on Forbes’ richest person list have belonged to the tech industry. However, this year, the record was broken after nine long years. With a net worth of $184.7 billion, Bernard Arnault & Family, chief executive of luxury brand Louis Vuitton’s parent company LVMH, topped the list moving Elon Musk to second place. Although he did bounce back to the top of the list within a very short span of time, with $185.8 billion as his personal worth. Even though Arnault’s victory didn’t last long, it took nine long years for someone not from the tech industry to be the richest person on Earth. This last happened in the year 2013.

A Peek Back at 2013

Chairman of América Móvil and owner of Mexican Global Conglomerate Grupo Carso, Carlos Slim was listed by Forbes at the top of its most awaited list in 2013. At the age of 73, his net worth back then was $73 billion. In fact, 2013 was his fourth consecutive win since 2010. In 2011, Slim added over $20.5 billion net worth to his last year’s worth which was the highest amongst all. With a total worth of $74 billion, he sustained his position on Forbes’ list. The gap between his and Bill Gates’s net worth at that time was $18 billion.

The Downfall

It was in 2013 when Slim started slipping away when his worth dropped. However, he still didn’t lose his position. At the same time, Gates’s worth spiked up to $61 billion. By 2014, the world’s richest person dropped down to second place when his net worth reached $72 billion, and Gates rose to $76 billion. Since then, the techies have dominated the list singlehandedly until this year.