Researchers at John Hopkins University in Maryland have created eyeball parts from stem cells in the hopes of better understanding the how and why we developed "trichromatic vision", aka, the ability to see in red, blue and green. Organoids are built "in vitro" from a small number of stem cells in a 3D suspension, which eventually multiply to form something similar to an organ system.The eye organoid used in the John Hopkins study produces a miniature retina, the layer of cells at the back of the eyeball that process light, creating the electrical impulses the brain can use to produce vision. Within the space are cone-shaped cells, known as cones, which are able to detect red, blue and green light. This research would help understand how the eye grows as a fetus develops.
36 2,17518 November, 2018
Apple has reportedly acquired Asaii, a music analytics company focused around the discovery of new and emerging artists. Asaii’s main product is a dashboard that pulls together data from both music services and social media, with its main feature — allowing labels to discover artists before they make it big. Asaii claims that its tech is able to find artists “10 weeks to a year” before they chart, allowing for the discovery of “the next Justin Bieber.” In addition to its artists dashboard, Asaii also produces a recommendation algorithm that streaming services can use to suggest relevant music to their listeners based on their existing preferences.
107 2,65317 November, 2018
Scientists in the Australian Antarctic Division have caught the rare marine creature on camera, posting a video to YouTube on Sunday, in the Southern Ocean off the coast of East Antarctica. The swimming sea cucumber, known more formally as enypniastes eximia, has been filmed only once before in the Gulf of Mexico. The camera that was used was attached to longlines and that could go to depths of up to 3 kilometers, thanks to its "extremely durable" casing. The scarlet-coloured sea cucumber has wing-like webbing on its sides that it uses to swim, and where you might expect a head, there's nothing but a circular ring of tentacles that gives the impression it's just met with an unfortunate accident. Enjoy your nightmares!
90 3,70216 November, 2018
Facebook is creating three new seasons of the reality show that stuck strangers together in a house -- shooting one each in Mexico, Thailand and the US -- and will debut them next spring. Facebook is working with MTV and Bunim/Murray Productions, which originated the show. "Social conversation" will be a central element of the new Real World shows, executives said, as users will be able to vote one housemate onto the show prior to air. Facebook said the new programs will "live up to" the original show's opening mantra, to tape strangers living together "to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real."
31 89915 November, 2018
According to a new study from Pew Research Center, most Americans say they can’t tell social media bots from real humans, and most are convinced bots are bad. Two-thirds of Americans have at least heard of social media bots, but only 16 percent say they’ve heard a lot about them, while 34 percent say they’ve never heard of them at all. Of those who have heard of bots, 80 percent say the accounts are used for bad purposes. And the more that a person knows about social media bots, the less supportive they are of bots being used for various purposes. In contrast, most Americans surveyed in a study about fake news were confident they could identify false stories.
35 1,46814 November, 2018
Bees commonly fly more slowly at dusk and return to their colonies at night. That the solar eclipse triggered similar behavior offers information on how the creatures respond when environmental cues occur unexpectedly. Using the tiny, USB microphones the size of flash drives hung on lanyards near bee-pollinated flowers far from foot and vehicle traffic, researchers discovered that during a solar eclipse, bees literally stop flying...immediately. "We had not expected that the change would be so abrupt, that bees would continue flying up until totality and only then stop, completely," lead researcher Candace Galen, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, said in a statement. "It was like 'lights out' at summer camp. That surprised us."
53 2,68613 November, 2018
Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna and the Environment Agency Austria released new research stating that microplastics have now entered the human food chain and are present in human feces. The scientists studied eight people from across the world, examining their stool samples for the presence of microplastics. In a worrying warning sign for our health, they found all eight participants tested positive for microplastics in their stool samples, with nine separate types of plastic identified. On average, the researchers say they found 20 microplastic particles per 10 grams of stool. Said lead researcher Dr. Philipp Schwabl, "This is the first study of its kind and confirms what we have long suspected, that plastics ultimately reach the human gut."
127 2,84012 November, 2018
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, NASA has named 21 new gamma-ray constellations. In addition to the Hulk, they have also named a constellation after Godzilla. These constellations aren't based on stars, they're based on gamma rays, as observed by the Fermi telescope. "Gamma rays are the strongest form of light," explained NASA. "They pack enough punch to convert into matter under the right circumstances, a transformation both Banner and the Hulk would certainly appreciate."
72 3,29011 November, 2018
Tired of relying on electricity and the regular old moon to provide lights around town at night, Chengdu, in southwestern China, hopes to launch an "illumination satellite" in 2020. The idea was presented recently by Wu Chunfeng, chairman of the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co. Details on the "illumination satellite" are scant, but Wu said it would be eight times brighter than the actual moon, could light an area 10 to 80 kilometers (6.2 to 50 miles) wide, and that its exact lighting range could be controlled within a few dozen meters. The satellite would also have a "highly reflective coating to reflect light from the sun with solar panel-like wings whose angles can be adjusted."
216 4,79910 November, 2018
The iceberg images come from the agency's Operation IceBridge, a long-running aerial survey mission that measures and monitors polar ice. The icebergs are a particular kind called tabular icebergs, which resemble sheet cakes. The vast majority of their mass is actually hidden underwater — what we see on the top is just a small fraction of the massive icebergs. IceBridge senior support scientist Jeremy Harbeck photographed the icebergs and stated, "I often see icebergs with relatively straight edges, but I've not really seen one before with two corners at such right angles like this one had."