University of Toronto study dispels decades-old theory
After decades of debate, a U of T researcher has finally determined that duck-billed dinosaurs massive but hollow crests had nothing to do with what many scientists suspected -- the sense of smell.
Speculation about their function has led to theories that the crests functioned as everything from brain coolers to snorkels for underwater feeding. Now, David Evans, a PhD student in zoology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, has been able to use a reconstructed brain cavity to rule out one historically popular theory: that the crests evolved to increase the animals sense of smell. "From the brain case, theres no indication that the nerves curled upwards into the crest, as we would expect if the crest was used for the sense of smell," Evans says.
Nicolle Wahl | EurekAlert!
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
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