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cyachallenge (2521604) writes "When it creeps into your bed at night and crawls across your skin, the bedbug has to navigate a forest of body hair before plunging its proboscis into your flesh for a meal. One wrong step, and it could get smushed. Tickled by the question of how people detect such microscopic pests, researchers recruited 19 volunteers with various amounts of body hair and shaved one of each of their arms. They then asked the subjects to look away while they dropped bedbugs onto their arms. The volunteers hit a button as soon as they felt something crawling on them. Participants, especially men, with more hair follicles per square inch and whose body hairs were longer, tended to be several seconds quicker than less hirsute individuals to notice the bugs on their unshaven arms, the researchers report online today in Biology Letters. And everyone took a long time to notice the bedbugs on the shaved arm. That might explain why humans still have hair on their bodies, the researchers conclude, since we no longer need it for keeping warm." Link to Original Source top
cyachallenge (2521604) writes "Electric Eye: Retina Implant Research Expands in Europe, Seeks FDA Approval in U.S. Several technologies to restore sight to retina-damaged eyes are making headway--one seeks to begin human trials in the U.S. and another has already hit the market in Europe. There is no effective treatment for the condition, but researchers are making great strides to remedy this through implants that stimulate still-active nerves in the retina, the layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye. In mid-November Retina Implant, AG, got approval to extend the yearlong phase II human clinical trial of its retinal implant outside its native Tubingen, Germany, to five new sites — Oxford, London and Budapest, along with two additional locations in Germany." Link to Original Source top
RadioAstron, effectively the largest radio telescope ever built, is up and running.
The telescope's main component, a 10-metre radio dish aboard the spacecraft Spectr-R, launched in July to an oblong orbit that extends between 10,000 and more than 300,000 kilometres from Earth.
By coordinating observations with radio telescopes on Earth in a technique called interferometry, the telescope can make observations as sharp as a single dish spanning the entire distance between the two farthest dishes. When Spectr-R is at its farthest from Earth, the system acts like one enormous telescope about 30 times as wide as our planet, boasting about 10,000 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope.