Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Grow A Frog Eye Anywhere

My, Your Eyes Are So Electric - ScienceNOW

A decade ago, Michael Levin made a bizarre discovery. Subjected to an electrical pulse, cells in a developing frog gut or tail would form what looked like normal eyes. At the time, the developmental biologist at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, was too busy with other projects to follow up on the discovery. But now he and colleagues have shown that a natural electrical current jump-starts normal eye development in frogs. The discovery comes as a surprise to some biologists, but it may eventually help clarify why certain human eye defects arise and lead to ways to repair damaged or diseased eyes...


Monday, December 05, 2011

Terra Nova For Real

Potentially Earth-Like Planet Has Right Temperature for Life

By Govert Schilling, ScienceNOW

For the first time, astronomers have found a planet smack in the middle of the habitable zone of its sunlike star, where temperatures are good for life. “If this planet has a surface, it would have a very nice temperature of some 70° Fahrenheit [21°C],” says William Borucki of NASA’s Ames Research Center here, who is the principal investigator of NASA’s Kepler space telescope. “[It's] another milestone on the journey of discovering Earth’s twin,” adds Ames director Simon “Pete” Worden...