The Derby’s One-Eyed Patch, a New CF Test (Abstract Science: May 1 - 5)
Seeing your face in 3D, how horses see the world and a less “sweaty” way new way to diagnose cystic fibrosis.
(Science, 5/1/2017, Matthew Hutson)
If you’ve used the smartphone application Snapchat (it’s fun!), you may have turned a photo of yourself into a disco bear or melded your face with someone else’s. Now, a group of researchers has created the most advanced technique yet for building 3D facial models on the computer. The system could improve personalized avatars in video games, facial recognition for security, and—of course—Snapchat filters!
(Washington Post, 5/3/2017, Eliza McGraw)
Are you going to be watching the Kentucky Derby this weekend? If so, you want to keep your eyes on (see what I did there) Patch. Patch looks a lot like the other Kentucky Derby contenders but where others have an eye on their left side, Patch has an empty, ping-pong ball-size socket. The reason Patch hasn’t been sidelined is because horses see the world differently than humans. Humans have small, round pupils that allow us to see very well front and center. Horses, by contrast, have the largest eyes of any land mammals, and their long, horizontal pupils allow them to get an enormous view from side to side.
(LabRoots, 5/4/2017, Xuam Pham)
Cystic fibrosis is a well-recognized genetic conditions that leads to an elevated production of chloride ions in patients. For years doctors have been diagnosing CF through the sweat test, a 70-year-old technology that hooks patients up to electrodes and stimulates the skin to produce sweat. Taking advantage of flexible sensors and microprocessors, Stanford researchers designed a system that adheres to the skin, stimulates sweat production, and analyzes the molecular content of the sweat in real-time. Patients with higher levels of chloride ions trigger a higher electrical voltage on the sensor, thereby providing a means to diagnose cystic fibrosis without the inconvenience of a traditional sweat test.
—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola