If brain size is proportional to body size in virtually all vertebrate animals, Cornell University biologists reasoned, shouldn’t eye size and body size scale the same way? While they failed to find a one-size-fits-all rule for eyes, what they learned about the 300 vertebrates they studied helps to explain how animals evolved precisely the orbs they need for everyday life.
The biologists reported their findings in the journal Vision Research (August 2004, "The allometry and scaling of the size of vertebrate eyes"). Howard C. Howland, Stacey Merola and Jennifer R. Basarab say they did find a logarithmic relationship between animals’ body weight and eye size for all vertebrates, in general: Bigger animals do tend to have bigger eyes, on average.
But breaking vertebrates into smaller groups -- such as birds, fishes, reptiles and mammals -- and trying to predict their eye size gets more complicated. And dividing all mammals into groups -- such as rodents and primates -- could make a scientist cross-eyed: Compared with all vertebrates, rodents’ eyes are only 61 percent as large as they "should be" if all animals obeyed the general rule, while primates’ eyes are 35 percent larger than those of vertebrates as a whole. Except for gorillas, that is.
Roger Segelken | EurekAlert!
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Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
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Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
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