Large and powerful predators such as swordfishes, tunas, and many sharks are unique among fishes in that they possess physiological mechanisms that warm their eyes. A new investigation reported this week sheds important light on the purpose of warming the eyes and the advantage that "warm eyes" confer on ocean predators.
Swordfishes, which hunt in water as cold as 3°C (about 37°F), can maintain their brain and eye temperatures 10°C–15°C (18°F –27°F) above ambient temperatures by using a specially adapted heating organ in muscle next to their eyes. The biological significance of this has been a mystery. Now, however, innovative research has shown that warm eyes allow swordfishes to process visual information more than 10 times more quickly than eyes cooled to the temperatures of deep-water environments.
Ship-board experiments by Kerstin Fritsches of the University of Queensland, Richard Brill of the National Marine Fisheries Service, and Eric Warrant of the University of Lund focused on electroretinogram recordings of freshly caught swordfishes. These established that higher eye temperatures maintain the speed of the retinas response to stimuli. Using temperatures and light intensities aligned with swordfishes dive profiles, the team showed that by heating their eyes, swordfishes retain the ability to spot quickly moving objects, allowing them to intercept rapid and elusive prey.
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In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
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Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
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The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
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