People who are visually impaired really do have enhanced abilities in their other senses, according to a new study. The research used detailed brain scans to compare the brains of people who could see to the brains of people who couldn’t.
The scans showed that these individuals had heightened senses of hearing, smell and touch compared to the people in the other group for study.
Enhancements in other areas like memory and language abilities were also observed. Such brain changes arise because the brain has a "plastic" quality, meaning that it can make new connections among neurones, the study said.
In the study, the researchers performed brain scans on 12 people who were visually impaired and 16 people who were not. All of the individuals from the former category were "highly independent travellers, employed, college-educated and experienced Braille readers," the researchers noted.
Analysing the brain scans, the researchers found that there were "extensive morphological, structural and functional" differences in the brains of these people.
The study has been performed and published by the researchers of Laboratory for Visual Neuroplasticity at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts.
Always wanted to visit the underwater wreck site of Titanic?
Well, now you can. Next spring, for the first time since 2012, eight-day dives will take willing tourists to see the infamous shipwreck. But, as it turns out, you’ll need to act fast, as deadly bacteria is quickly destroying what remains of the iconic ship.
Since the Titanic sank on the fateful night of April 14, 1912, it is estimated that fewer than 200 people have visited its final resting place. For the sinking’s centennial in 2012, Deep Ocean Expeditions led a series of 12-day dives where groups of 20 tourists, paying $59,000 each, explored the famous watery grave.
Now, for $105,129 per person, those who were worried they missed their chance can embark on an eight-day tour with Blue Marble Private who is working with OceanGate Expeditions.
The seven-week expedition will start in May 2018. It will also include specialists, submersible pilots, operations crew and a group of nine tourists. These specialists will not only get to glide over the picturesque grand staircase but will be assisting with the research work and get a chance to relive history in a different way.
A high school student from Arunachal Pradesh invents goggles with ultrasound and infrared sensors. This could be a major leap in the field of technology. These goggles will be an aid to the visually impaired people all over the world.
The gadget, named as Goggle for Blind, is said to have the ability to sense obstacles on all sides within a range of two metres. The gadget uses the principle of echolocation, which is also used by bats at night. It has two ultrasound sensors on the left and right to detect the presence of any obstacle. It also has an infrared sensor in the middle of the gadget, in case of failure of the other two sensors.
On the detection of an obstacle, the person hears a beep sound through the audio inputs and also feels a vibration that alerts him. Giving the invention encouragement, the government has pledged financial support for further development of the gadget.
Gaining back the interest of humans, the Camel has given hint to rescue mechanisms for the problem of food in the desert. The adaptations that may serve solutions are anatomical, physiological etc.
Anatomically, the camel has adapted to having erect ears to hear sounds. It has large eyes to navigate in the desert. A long neck helps him to explore the enemy from a distance.
The hump and tail behave as a storage container, which provides energy and water. The foot of the camel is like a plate, to maintain flat contact with the ground. The camel’s lifestyle also helps it in surviving in the desert.
The camel has fat stored in its hump, allowing sweat to evaporate easily from the rest of the surface of the body. It saves a significant amount of energy by increasing its body temperature during the day. Living in the desert, the camel seems to have adopted several behavioural variations.
It sits down early morning to allow little heat to absorb into his body by conduction. The metabolism rate of the camel increases with the rise in temperature.
The body seems to be built in a way, such that it can live in the desert with minimal problems. It has a large oesophagus with mucus-secreting glands. This makes it easy for them to swallow food without causing any problems.
Keeping in mind this knowledge, the camel can turn out to be a problem solver for all the issues related to survival in the desert.
A Yale University team has generated one of the highest-resolution maps of the dark matter of a distant galaxy cluster. This offers a detailed study of the presence of cold dark matter which are sluggish particles comprising 80% of the universe’s matter.
This map obtained from Hubble Space Telescope Frontier Fields data of three galaxy clusters act as cosmic magnifying glasses to survey older and more distant parts of the universe- referred to as gravitational lensing.
Scientists believe that these unseen particles called dark matter neither absorb nor reflect light, but are capable of exerting gravity. These can help explain how galaxies come into existence and how the universe is organised.
The researchers are trying to recognise the important dark matter particles viz., axions and neutralios. These are believed to provide the unseen mass accountable for lensing by bending light from far away galaxies. This bending of light generates systematic curvature in the galaxy shapes observed via the lens.
The map is a close match to the computer simulations of dark matter predicted theoretically by the cold dark matter model. These findings are published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.