MI weekly selection #267

Space travel can hurt astronauts’ eye nerves

Tissues that surround part of astronauts’ optic nerves become damaged due to long-term space travel. The study looked at 15 astronauts who had been in space for about six months.

Live Science

Evidence that world’s freshwater is acidifying

The world’s freshwater appears to be acidifying. Researchers noted an increase in carbon dioxide alongside a reduction in pH over 35 years at four German reservoirs.

Scientific American

Working human muscle created using skin cells

Researchers have transformed human skin cells into working skeletal muscle for the first time. The method could give researchers the ability to better study muscles and therapies for them.

Wired

Amazon home to rare hybrid bird species

The tiny golden-crowned manakin, a rare green bird with a yellow head found in the Amazon rainforest, has been determined to be a hybrid of an opal-crowned manakin and a snow-capped manakin. “While hybrid plant species are very common, hybrid species among vertebrates are exceedingly rare,” said study author Jason Weir.

Live Science

Self-healing muscle could be used in prostheses

Researchers are developing an artificial muscle called HASEL (hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic actuator) that is flexible and strong and could be able to heal itself. The inexpensive device could be tailored for use in prostheses.

National Geographic

 

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