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ScienceDaily: Top Science News


Seeing through a robot's eyes helps those with profound motor impairments
With single gene insertion, blind mice regain sight
Tectonics in the tropics trigger Earth's ice ages
Exotic 'second sound' phenomenon observed in pencil 'lead'
Unique diversity of the genetic history of the Iberian Peninsula revealed by dual studies
Pests and the plant defenses against them drive diversity in tropical rainforests


Seeing through a robot's eyes helps those with profound motor impairments



Posted: 15 Mar 2019 12:54 PM PDT


An interface system that uses augmented reality technology could help individuals with profound motor impairments operate a humanoid robot to feed themselves and perform routine personal care tasks such as scratching an itch and applying skin lotion. The web-based interface displays a 'robot's eye view' of surroundings to help users interact with the world through the machine.


With single gene insertion, blind mice regain sight



Posted: 15 Mar 2019 06:58 AM PDT


People left blind by retinal degeneration have one option: electronic eye implants. Neuroscientists have now developed an alternative: gene therapy that, in tests, restored vision in blind mice. A gene for green opsin delivered via virus gave blind mice enough sight to discern patterns on an iPad at a resolution sufficient for humans to read. Given existing AAV eye therapies already approved, this new therapy could be ready for clinical trials in three years.


Tectonics in the tropics trigger Earth's ice ages



Posted: 14 Mar 2019 12:16 PM PDT


Over the last 540 million years, the Earth has weathered three major ice ages -- periods during which global temperatures plummeted, producing extensive ice sheets and glaciers that have stretched beyond the polar caps. Now scientists have identified the likely trigger for these ice ages.


Exotic 'second sound' phenomenon observed in pencil 'lead'



Posted: 14 Mar 2019 12:16 PM PDT


At relatively balmy temperatures, heat behaves like sound when moving through graphite, study reports.


Unique diversity of the genetic history of the Iberian Peninsula revealed by dual studies



Posted: 14 Mar 2019 12:15 PM PDT


Researchers have analyzed ancient DNA from almost 300 individuals from the Iberian Peninsula, spanning more than 12,000 years. The first study looked at hunter-gatherers and early farmers living in Iberia between 13,000 and 6,000 years ago. The second looked at individuals from the region over the last 8000 years. Together, the two papers greatly increase our knowledge about the population history of this unique region.


Pests and the plant defenses against them drive diversity in tropical rainforests



Posted: 14 Mar 2019 12:15 PM PDT


Researchers have been baffled by tropical rainforest diversity for over a century; 650 different tree species can exist in an area covering two football fields, yet similar species never grow next to each other. It seems like it's good to be different than your neighbors, but why?
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