MI weekly selection #68

Shrinking salamander

Salamanders may be getting shorter due to climate change

Appalachian salamanders have gotten shorter in the past 50 years, possibly adapting to warmer, drier weather conditions. Researchers compared specimens they collected with those collected by museums from the same areas since 1957. They found that each generation of salamanders in several species grew 1% smaller and that the highest incidence of shrinkage occurred in areas where temperatures rose and rainfall dropped the most.

National Geographic News

Night Vision Contact Lens

The University of Michigan has developed a prototype contact lens that enhances night vision by placing a thin strip of graphene between layers of glass. The graphene reacts to photons, which makes dark images look brighter.

Michigan News

Neuron activity of fly larvae linked to specific behaviors

Scientists have mapped the neurons responsible for every behavior executed by fruit fly larvae, the first small step toward creating a map of neurons in the human brain. Researchers broke down the few behaviors fruit fly larvae are capable of and associated them with the 10,000 neurons in their brains and nerve cords.

Reuters

Cat transmits tuberculosis to humans

Health officials in England confirmed that two people contracted tuberculosis from a pet cat, marking the first known cat-to-human transmission of the bacterium. Mycobacterium bovis was identified in the cat and both people, who are recovering. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is more commonly the cause of tuberculosis in humans. Veterinarians in cities west of London identified tuberculosis in nine pet cats between December 2012 and April 2013.

The Guardian

Lasers to help explain black hole “firewall paradox”

Researchers say the physics behind lasers may help them understand the “firewall paradox” of black holes, and lend credence to Stephen Hawking’s recent theory that black holes have “apparent horizons” rather than event horizons.

Discovery

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