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Expanding our view of vision

New brain-scanning technique allows scientists to see when and where the brain processes visual information. Every time you open your eyes, visual information flows into...

The secrets of owls’ near noiseless wings

Many owl species have developed specialized plumage to effectively eliminate the aerodynamic noise from their wings – allowing them to hunt and capture their...

Stem cells converted to living intestinal patches

More than 20,000 Danes suffer from chronic inflammatory bowel disease. They are treated with expensive medication that only dampens their symptoms, or have the affected...

Divided we stand: US regions exhibit distinct personalities

Americans with similar temperaments are so likely to live in the same areas that a map of the country can be divided into regions...

Breastfeeding may reduce Alzheimer’s risk

The report, newly published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, suggests that the link may be to do with certain biological effects of breastfeeding....

Scientists measure countries’ well-being

At the heart of any country’s progress lies the well-being of its people. How to accurately and effectively determine well-being is the subject of...

Scientists ID novel therapy for treating Parkinson’s

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have made a significant step in the development of a novel therapy that could one day help to...

Scientists discover why buttercups reflect yellow on chins

Scientists have found that the distinctive glossiness of the buttercup flower (Ranunculus repens), which children like to shine under the chin to test whether their friends like butter, is related to its unique anatomical structure. Their findings wer...

Ancient 'Saranwrap' Preserves Fossils

Why are some fossils preserved so beautifully? Dr Jan Zalasiewicz of the University of Leicester Department of Geology believes it is because they were wrapped in a sort of clingfilm, hundreds of millions of years ago. He, together with Helen Jones, a Leicester undergraduate and Professor Barrie Rickards of Cambridge University, have been puzzling over why some graptolites (pictured below) - extinct, ocean-going animals ? are so curiously preserved.

Long-life contact lenses

A Texas scientist has discovered that a special metal coating could allow contact lens wearers to keep their lenses in for longer periods of time. Coating contacts with a one-molecule-thick layer of selenium, an antibacterial metal, keeps them bacteria-free for at least two months, says Ted Reid of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. Although selenium can be toxic to humans in large quantities, these lenses would apparently be safe, with less selenium than you'd find in an average lunch. Reid hopes the coating could be used on other internal devices, like heart valves and catheters, and even suggests selenium-coated molecules could be used to keep people exposed to HIV from becoming infected. In other eye news, new eye-tracking software developed by scientists at Cambridge University could help computer users with disabilities write more quickly, accurately, and comfortably than before.

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