Science in Action - Meteor strike “a one in 50 year event”
Meteor strike “a one in fifty year event”; Bionic eye trials Bees detect electric buzz from flowers; Why eating late is unhealthy – linking the body’s internal clock to obesity
Meteor strike “a one in fifty year event” Less than 12 hours after discussing the possibilities of an asteroid impact in last week’s Science In Action, people in Russia were actually bombarded. A meteoroid ripped across the sky, creating a sonic boom that was recorded around the world. Over 1200 people were injured as a result of the event. Bill Cook, head of the NASA Meteoroid Environments Office, was excited by this once in a lifetime event, but cautioned that the devastation could have been much greater. Artificial retina offers sight For those with degenerative eye diseases affecting the retina at the back of the eye, recent advances in bionic vision offer a ray of hope in a darkening existence. But will artificial retinas work for all patients who are suffering with this type of sight failure? Professor Eberhart Zrenner has examined the success of these implants with a number of his patients. Bees detect electric buzz Bees have evolved to sense the signals that flowers use to advertise their delicious nectar and pollen. Colour, scent, and even ultra violet are known indicators for incoming bees. Now Dominic Clarke, Professor Daniel Robert, and a team of researchers at the University of Bristol have discovered that buff-tailed bumblebees can sense a flower’s electrical information too. Why eating late is unhealthy As greater demands are placed on us to work unusual hours, getting a balanced diet at regular times can get very difficult. Eating late at night is known to be an unhealthy habit, but we didn’t really know why. A study in mice reveals that animals metabolise sugars far less effectively if eaten when they should be asleep. Professor Carl Johnson explained why midnight snacking animals became obese and more prone to diabetes. So what do these findings mean for us?