A new study conducted in Florida has given scientists reason to believe that hammerhead sharks may have vision comparable to that of humans. The researchers measured electrical activity in the eyes of half a dozen sharks from three different hammerhead species. They then put electrodes under the sharks' corneas and recorded electrical activity while shining lights in horizontal and vertical arcs around each eye. Compared to normal-headed sharks, the hammerheads had three times the visual overlap — that's what creates stereo vision and depth perception in animals with eyes that face forward. This, of course, helps them be faster and more efficient at hunting prey. But there's a catch: because their eyes are so far apart, hammerheads have these giant blind spots right in the middle of their head. As study leader Michelle McComb put it in an interview with National Geographic:
There's actually been anecdotal claims by divers that they see little fish schooling right in front of the hammerheads' heads. It's like the fish are swimming by and saying, Ha, ha, ha, you can't see me!
In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, […]
In a lead editorial in the current Nature, John Wilbanks (formerly head of Science Commons, now “Chief Commons Officer” for Sage Bionetworks) and Eric Topol (professor of genomics at the Scripps Institute) decry the mass privatization of health data by tech startups, who’re using a combination of side-deals with health authorities/insurers and technological lockups to […]
The Wall Street Journal reports that storytellers—people with a natural inclination to craft concise yet compelling narratives without rambling—were found to be hot by science. Feels good to be a writa. The results were the same across all three studies: Women rated men who were good storytellers as more attractive and desirable as potential long-term […]
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Home audio has taken some big leaps forward in recent years–not just in terms of sound quality, but also in the style department. The FRESHeBAR Leather Soundbar, now 56% off in the Boing Boing Store, is proof.The FRESHeBAR comes packing almost all the options you’d ever need for a home sound system, including Bluetooth streaming capabilities.The unit’s 90 […]
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