MI weekly selection #87


Glowing sharks living in dark depths evolve special vision

Some species of bioluminescent sharks that live in the darkest depths of the ocean have eyes that have evolved to detect complex patterns of light to communicate with each other, locate prey or hide themselves. Researchers found that the eyes of bioluminescent sharks provide better resolution than those of sharks that live in lighter waters, helping them see swiftly shifting light patterns.


Solar System’s gestation period

The origins of our solar system have been traced back to a time before the sun and planets were formed. The solar system gestated for about 30 million years before the sun came into being.


Early black holes grew swiftly because they lacked accretion disks

Supermassive black holes may have grown rapidly in the early universe because they lacked accretion disks, which impede matter from falling into modern black holes and limit how fast they grow. Researchers created a computer model of a black hole and fed it a continuous stream of dense gas because the early universe was more dense than it is today. Because of the gravitational pull of many stars in the vicinity of the black hole, it moved erratically, preventing the formation of an accretion disk, researchers suggest. That allowed the black holes to grow to massive proportions.

Space .com

Neurons from human skin cells regrow with longer axons in rats

Neurons from human skin cells survived and grew longer axons in rats. Skin cells were converted to induced pluripotent stem cells and were reprogrammed to become early neurons, which were embedded in a scaffold and grafted into rats with spinal cord injuries. After three months, there were new neurons with longer axons that reach the spinal cord wound tissue and connected with rat neurons, but researchers said that more study is needed before it can be tested in human trials.

The Scientist

Discarded cigarette filters could be used to store energy

Researchers have found a unique use for discarded cigarette butts: converting them into something that can store enough energy to power such things as cell phones and electric cars.


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