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Digital Eye Strain Could Cause Long-Term Complications in Children

Youth need to be reminded to take short, frequent breaks from digital consumption.

Image via Flickr user Gwenael Piaser

Most adults are familiar with digital eye strain, the feeling of fatigue and physical discomfort caused by prolonged exposure to the electronic displays used in computers, TVs, and smartphones—the feeling is usually temporary and diminishes with rest. But as children get introduced to digital devices earlier and earlier in their development, there is growing concern about the effects of their prolonged exposure to glowing screens. The Vision Council believes that it could put the eyes of children at risk for myopia, or nearsightedness. The Council also raises concerns that blue-violet wavelengths emitted by digital screens could cause age-related muscular degeneration and cataracts.

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Blind “Daredevil” Rats Given Superpowered Senses

Sightless rodents given an extra-sensory boost thanks to Japanese scientists.

image via (cc) flickr user eltonharding

On April 10 Netflix will begin streaming Daredevil, their addition to the Marvel cinematic universe that’s already home to big screen heroes like Thor and Captain America. Lawyer-by-day/vigilante-hero-by night Matt Murdock, Daredevil’s titular protagonist, compensates for his chemically induced blindness with a superhuman sensory system, which not only boosts his remaining four senses, but also affords him a form of human echolocation; He can navigate his way through the world around him, “seeing” without his eyes.

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Color-Enhancing Glasses Let Doctors See Disease and Emotion

With the O2Amp glasses, physicians can see subtle changes in health and emotion that are invisible to the naked eye.

The ability to see the world in a broad spectrum of colors is more than just a wonderful gift—it's a survival mechanism that humans evolved in order to identify both threats and food. But color vision also helps us read each other. Research by evolutionary neurobiologist Dr. Mark Changizi's traces the development of color vision to the need among primates to understand changes in skin hue associated with different states of emotion or health. Flushed cheeks, for example, correspond to embarassment, exhaustion, illness, or anger associated with different levels of oxygenation in the blood. The ability to detect those states makes you more likely to survive. It's an evolutionary advantage.

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How Bees See Flowers Pollinator Porn

A new Floral Reflectance Database shows humans what plants actually look like to different pollinating insects.


A new Floral Reflectance Database created by scientists at Imperial College London and Queen Mary, University of London, shows humans what plants actually look like to different pollinating insects.

Professor Lars Chittka from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences explained to the BBC that "much of the colored world that's accessible to bees and other animals with UV receptors is entirely invisible for us. In order to see that invisible part of the world, we need this special machinery."

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In mid-March, as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (better known as the health care bill) was getting its final trim for passage. One of the provisions that was lost in the final fights would have created an Early Learning Challenge Fund, money dedicated to improving the health and educational outcomes of children by giving them access to better services between birth and age five.

Seems like a missed opportunity to have a worthwhile program. But Monica Potts, over at The American Prospect, writes that provisions in the passed health care bill will still help in giving young children some of the advantages they need to become better learners.

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