Saturday, November 15, 2008

Enigma Illusion

Enigma Illusion I had to stare at the image for at least 30 seconds before it started rotating.
Microsaccades drive illusory motion in the Enigma illusion in PNAS.

Nice collection of Science Images

ScienceShots at Science Magazine.
Here are a couple of favorites:
Arp 147: Hubble

Algae that Fix Nitrogen in Daylight

Marine Algae Try Alternative Lifestyle in Science.
By transforming sunlight into food for themselves, oceanic blue-green algae multiply and provide nourishing meals for most other marine creatures. But a newly discovered group of these microorganisms forgoes this photosynthesis and, in doing so, becomes a nitrogen-rich natural fertilizer for the oceans, according to research published today in Science (p. 1110). These findings, the authors say, have important implications for nitrogen and carbon cycling in the oceans.

Transparent, Thin Loudspeakers from Carbon Nanotubes

Big Noise From Little Tubes in Science.
Last year brought news of Lilliputian radios made from whiskerlike carbon nanotubes. Now, researchers in China have added ultrathin loudspeakers to go with them. The devices, made from transparent and flexible carbon nanotube films, don't require any of the bulky magnets and sound cones of conventional speakers. So they could lead to a new generation of nearly invisible, flat speakers that can be integrated into everything from ceilings and walls to clothing and curtains.

The Evolution of Childhood

The Birth of Childhood in Science.
Unlike other apes, humans depend on their parents for a long period after weaning. But when--and why--did our long childhood evolve?