Navigation Links
Researchers gain focus on a bug with bifocals
Date:8/23/2010

University of Cincinnati researchers are reporting on the discovery of a bug with bifocals such an amazing finding that it initially had the researchers questioning whether they could believe their own eyes. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of truly bifocal lenses in the extant animal kingdom," the researchers state in the Aug. 24 cover feature of the premier life-science journal, Current Biology.

The article is an exploration of two eyes of the larvae of the sunburst diving beetle (Thermonectus marmoratus). The two eyes have the bifocal lens, which the researchers have found in four of the larvae's 12 eyes, says researcher Elke K. Buschbeck, a UC associate professor of biology.

The article explains that using two retinas and two distinct focal planes that are substantially separated, the larvae can more efficiently use these bifocals, compared with the glasses that humans wear, to switch their vision from up-close to distance the better to see and catch their prey, with their favorite food being mosquito larvae.

"In addition, we think that within the principle eyes, separate images of the same object could be focused on each of the two retinas, allowing each eye to function as 'two eyes in one,'" the researchers reveal in the article. The tubular-shaped eyes with the bifocals allow them to efficiently focus onto their two retinas, says Annette Stowasser, a UC biology doctoral student and first author on the paper.

The discovery was made in Buschbeck's lab and was supported by her National Science Foundation CAREER award to recognize the research and teaching talent of young faculty. "We're hoping this discovery could hold implications for humans, pending possible future research in biomedical engineering," Buschbeck says.

"The discovery could also have uses for any imaging technology," adds Stowasser.

Bugs with Bifocals

The sunburst diving beetle larvae that was studied typically live in creeks and streams around Arizona and the western United States. It's classified as a holometabolous insect the group of insects that morph into something completely different from how they originated like the caterpillar/moth or the maggot/fly. The larvae of these beetles have the bifocal lens. They lose these intricate lenses when they become a beetle.

Researchers Couldn't Believe Their Eyes

As the researchers zeroed in on how the multiple eyes of this insect worked, they did even more research to try to disprove what they saw. They first used a microscope to look through the lenses of the two eyes detailed in the research article. They saw how the lens could make a second image grow sharper something that could only happen with a bifocal. "It was my first research project, and I seriously thought I made a mistake, and then we did additional research to try to kill the hypothesis," says Stowasser.

However, their findings were confirmed with more research in addition to observing the operation of the lens and the two focal planes via a microscope. They saw the bifocal again when they used a method to project a narrow light beam through the lens. "Our findings can only be explained by a truly bifocal lens," write the researchers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dawn Fuller
dawn.fuller@uc.edu
513-556-1823
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
2. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
3. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
4. Researchers Who Discovered First Genes for Stuttering will Present Findings to the National Stuttering Association
5. Researchers create drug to keep tumor growth switched off
6. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
7. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
8. Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
9. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
10. Researchers chart genomic map spanning over 2 dozen cancers
11. Researchers discover second protective role for tumor-suppressor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... 10 Best Water ... were three leading bottled water brand owners that topped the list as a result ... and optimize conversion. The premier brand was Tibet 5100, a top notch water company ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... Ongoing news of the ravages of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among former ... takes a closer look at cases of TBI being managed by their members. The ... the aging population, and identifies the challenges associated with their care. , During the ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Gout is like no other joint pain. ... often severe, with intense swelling and redness. It is triggered by the crystallization of ... adults are the most susceptible, according to the February 2016 issue of Harvard Men's ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... AHRA: ... winner and inspirational speaker Jan Fox will serve as keynote speaker at the ... provide participants with tools to more effectively communicate with their own organizational staff ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... A national ergonomics pioneer ... Expo event March 9-11, 2016. Hosted by Ohio's Bureau of Worker's Compensation, the ... the longest running and largest worker's compensation event in Ohio, organizers of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... Fla. , Feb. 10, 2016 CSI ... today with the launch of the Specialty Pharmacy Podcast. ... an industry-first, aimed at providing real-world education, discussion and ... --> --> The ... and CEO of CSI Specialty Group Suzette DiMascio, CHE, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... YORK , Feb. 10, 2016 Immune ... biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it has filed a ... Leukemia and other cancers. --> ... treating cancer by administration of Ceplene (histamine dihydrochloride) in ... provides methods of predicting the efficacy of Ceplene and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb. 10, 2016  The ALS Association, in partnership with ... Challenge to generate a biomarker to track TDP43 aggregation. The ... to a $1 million investment. --> ... that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal ... and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: