MI weekly selection #303

Shallow waters helped diversify early vertebrates

Researchers gathered almost 3,000 records of early fish fossils and put them into a database that helped them learn how the creatures diversified. “We found that all vertebrates, from the first jawless forms to sharks and bony fishes, originated in very restricted shallow waters hugging the coastline,” said Lauren Sallan, lead author of the study.

New Scientist

Wild mice pass microbiomes through generations

The microbiomes of wild mice are passed down from generation to generation. Researchers collected wild mice, paired them up, tracked their gut microbes and found very little change through 11 generations.

The Scientist

3D-printed transmission gives robotic arm speed and strength

Researchers used physics principles to create a robotic prosthetic arm that is both fast and strong, compared with other prosthetic limbs that typically have just one of those attributes. A 3D-printed transmission that includes a trigger mechanism and a cylinder made of polyurethane composite works so well that the arm can catch and crush a can, just changing gears.


Gene therapy shows promise in Parkinson’s disease patients

An experimental gene therapy delivered to the brain surgically through an adeno-associated viral vector appeared safe and reduced the need for medication in a clinical trial involving Parkinson’s disease patients. Researchers reported that the therapy improved motor scores and “on” and “off” time in the small, open-label clinical trial.

MedPage Today

New laser technique could improve satellite communication

Scientists could possibly communicate better with satellites on cloudy days through an ultrafast laser technique that may eventually contribute to quantum communications networks. The technique involves an initial laser shooting a hole through cloud cover to pave the way for a second laser to deliver information through that hole.

Science News

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