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Latest Rod cell Stories

2011-09-22 12:07:06

After more than three decades of research, University of Pennsylvania veterinarians and vision-research scientists, with associates at Cornell University, have identified a gene responsible for a blindness-inducing disease that afflicts dogs. In the process, the Penn scientists may have discovered clues about how retinal cells, and perhaps even neurons, can be regenerated. The research was conducted by Gustavo D. Aguirre, William A. Beltran, Agnes I. Berta and Sem Genini of Penn's School...

2011-06-09 23:50:49

Johns Hopkins researchers uncover the source of the visual system's 'false alarms' On rare occasion, the light-sensing photoreceptor cells in the eye misfire and signal to the brain as if they have captured photons, when in reality they haven't. For years this phenomenon remained a mystery. Reporting in the June 10 issue of Science, neuroscientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that a light-capturing pigment molecule in photoreceptors can be triggered by...

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2011-05-04 09:25:00

The human eye long ago solved a problem common to both digital and film cameras: how to get good contrast in an image while also capturing faint detail. Nearly 50 years ago, physiologists described the retina's tricks for improving contrast and sharpening edges, but new experiments by neurobiologists at University of California, Berkeley and the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha show how the eye achieves this without sacrificing shadow detail. These details will be published next...

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2010-02-16 09:40:00

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have peered deep into the eye of the chicken and found a masterpiece of biological design. Scientists mapped five types of light receptors in the chicken's eye. They discovered the receptors were laid out in interwoven mosaics that maximized the chicken's ability to see many colors in any given part of the retina, the light-sensing structure at the back of the eye. "Based on this analysis, birds have clearly one-upped us in...

2009-10-13 15:11:30

Ever wonder how your eyes adjust during a blackout? When we go from light to near total darkness, cells in the retina must quickly adjust. Vision scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified an intricate process that allows the human eye to adapt to darkness very quickly. The same process also allows the eye to function in bright light. The discovery could contribute to better understanding of human diseases that affect the retina, including age-related...

2009-04-16 15:22:05

German-led scientists say they have discovered an important element of DNA that creates good night vision in nocturnal mammals. Ludwig-Maximilians University researchers in Munich said they discovered the DNA within the photoreceptor rod cells responsible for low light vision turns the rod cell nuclei themselves into tiny light-collecting lenses, with millions of them in every nocturnal eye. The conventional architecture seen in almost all nuclei is invariably present in the rod cells of...

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2009-01-01 10:25:09

A team of Johns Hopkins neuroscientists has worked out how some newly discovered light sensors in the eye detect light and communicate with the brain. The report appears online this week in Nature. These light sensors are a small number of nerve cells in the retina that contain melanopsin molecules. Unlike conventional light-sensing cells in the retina"”rods and cones"”melanopsin-containing cells are not used for seeing images; instead, they monitor light levels to adjust the...

2008-08-22 17:11:34

The Olympic athletes have been parading around like fashionistas in an array of colorful outfits, and we, their adoring public, can't resist commenting on the style and color of their high-end athletic wear. My favorite was the faux silk, faux embroidered, slinky red leotards of the Chinese women's gymnasts. Apparently, as researchers have recently discovered, the choice of red for those leotards might also have given the Chinese gymnasts an advantage. But why is the color red so...

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2006-10-06 08:30:00

Not so long ago, before electric lights, farmers relied on moonlight to harvest autumn crops. With everything ripening at once, there was too much work to to do to stop at sundown. A bright full moon -- a "Harvest Moon" -- allowed work to continue into the night. The moonlight was welcome, but as any farmer could tell you, it was strange stuff. How so? See for yourself. The Harvest Moon of 2006 rises on October 6th, and if you pay attention, you may notice a few puzzling things: 1. Moonlight...

2005-07-12 01:45:00

Johns Hopkins scientists have uncovered new details of how smelly things create signals in the nose that eventually go to the brain. The findings raise issues about how the process involved has been described for many years in biology textbooks. The textbooks say that our sense of smell converts odors into brain signals just like our vision converts light into brain signals. But the new work shows that while a key protein pathway is used in both, it behaves quite differently in the nose than...


Word of the Day
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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