MI weekly selection #124


Magnetic bands around sun may help predict solar flares

Tracking the movements of traveling magnetic bands in the sun’s atmosphere may help predict solar flares, which can cause damaging power problems on Earth and wreak havoc on satellites, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Solar flares are at their worst when formed by the instability of bands with opposing magnetic polarity.


Land bridge linking North, South America older than once thought

North and South America connected about 10 million years earlier than previously believed. The two land masses linked up at Panama, with earlier research saying it formed about 3 million years ago, but the new study turned up evidence that the bridge was there much earlier.


Bats may beat white-nose syndrome with help of naturally occurring bacteria

Bacteria that naturally grows on bats’ skin may help their hosts fend of the deadly white-nose syndrome that has been plaguing bats. Researchers tested bacteria found on four bat species to determine the degree to which they block the fungus’ growth.


Next generation bionic limbs will have eyes of their own

Scientists are investigating the use of artificial vision technology in a robotic ankle that will allow it to respond better to changes in terrain. The camera scans the area where there is a high probability the user is going to step next. Using that info, the robot changes its pose and stiffness to give a smooth gait for the user.


3D image of “wasabi receptor” could lead to new pain drugs

Scientists have developed a 3D image of the TRPA1 receptor, which is behind the body’s reaction to irritants such as wasabi, tear gas and air pollution. The research could lead to new drugs that target pain and itching.

Medical Daily

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