Navigation Links
Researchers gain focus on a bug with bifocals

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
University of Cincinnati

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:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... In an effort ... the Word of Life Christian Church of Flint, MI, hosted a family-oriented evening ... 1.25 ton pile of candy dubbed “Candy Mountain”. , A Forever Recovery, a ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... On Saturday, October 24th, 2015, at the Mill Race Park ... a 5K walk known as “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”. Patients and staff members ... located in Battle Creek, joined in for this campaign that sought to raise donations ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... In an effort to ... to access life-saving information provided directly from top experts in mesothelioma, in 2016 ... conferences in three major cities: Houston, San Francisco, and Chicago. , “For ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The presidential race normally deals with ... why is it a national news story when Donald Trump makes disparaging remarks about ... appearances count more than anyone wants to admit when it comes to how people ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... During the week of ... raise funds for its research, education, support, and advocacy efforts. The campaign is ... , The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, which also goes by Meso Foundation, holds ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015  QT Vascular Ltd., together with its ... its subsidiaries, TriReme Medical LLC and Quattro Vascular Pte. ... the design, assembly and distribution of advanced therapeutic solutions ... pleased to announce that a three-judge panel of ... for the Federal Circuit ("Federal Circuit") has unanimously granted ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... CITY, Calif. , Nov. 30, 2015 Nevro ... that is providing innovative evidence-based solutions for the treatment of ... Board (PTAB) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ... of U.S. Patent No. 8,359,102 (the ,102 patent).  ... 2015, a unit of Boston Scientific Corporation filed two petitions ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... today that Matt Hogan , Chief ... Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, December 8 ... is being held at the Westin Grand ... also be available for one-on-one meetings at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: