Summary of “Chemists discover how blue light speeds blindness”

Blue light from digital devices and the sun transforms vital molecules in the eye’s retina into cell killers, according to optical chemistry research at The University of Toledo.
“It’s no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye’s retina. Our experiments explain how this happens, and we hope this leads to therapies that slow macular degeneration, such as a new kind of eye drop.”
Karunarathne’s lab found that blue light exposure causes retinal to trigger reactions that generate poisonous chemical molecules in photoreceptor cells.
“It’s toxic. If you shine blue light on retinal, the retinal kills photoreceptor cells as the signaling molecule on the membrane dissolves,” Kasun Ratnayake, a Ph.D. student researcher working in Karunarathne’s cellular photo chemistry group, said.
Blue light alone or retinal without blue light had no effect on cells.
“The retinal-generated toxicity by blue light is universal. It can kill any cell type.”
The lab currently is measuring light coming from television, cell phone and tablet screens to get a better understanding of how the cells in the eyes respond to everyday blue light exposure.
To protect your eyes from blue light, Karunarathne advises to wear sunglasses that can filter both UV and blue light outside and avoid looking at your cell phones or tablets in the dark.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why athletes need a ‘quiet eye'”

Intriguingly, quiet eye appears to be particularly important at times of stress, preventing the athlete from ‘choking’ at moments of high pressure.
Crucially, the differences in this dwell time of the quiet eye don’t just predict the overall differences between elite and novice players; fluctuations in the onset and duration of the quiet eye can also explain lapses in the athlete’s individual performance, which would again reaffirm the idea that it is itself a critical part of the mental processes.
Camilo Sáenz-Moncaleano, who recently examined the quiet eye in tennis players, suspects that most athletes had not made a conscious decision to change their eye movements; for many it’s probably a behaviour that they picked up implicitly.
Budding athletes will be heartened to hear that the quiet eye can be taught, however.
In one of the first tests of quiet eye training, Vickers took a university basketball team and hooked them up to her eye-tracking devices so that they could become more aware of their gaze as they practiced ‘free throws’.
A University of Exeter study has found that quiet eye training can help children with coordination problems improve their physical abilities, contradicting a commonly held belief that they instead suffered from some problem with the motor system itself.
Her research has shown that quiet eye training also could accelerate doctors’ learning of new skills.
Her group recently measured the gazes of expert surgeons and then trained a group of first-year residents to mimic their eye movements – including the longer fixations that are characteristic of the quiet eye.

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Summary of “Facebook’s new AI research is a real eye-opener – TechCrunch”

There are plenty of ways to manipulate photos to make you look better, remove red eye or lens flare, and so on.
That may change with research from Facebook that replaces closed eyes with open ones in a remarkably convincing manner.
Some features are beyond the tools’ capacity to replace, one of which is eyes.
They seem to paste in the eyes of the people without much consideration for consistency with the rest of the image.
Machines are naive that way: they have no intuitive understanding that opening one’s eyes does not also change the color of the skin around them.
What Facebook’s researchers did was to include “Exemplar” data showing the target person with their eyes open, from which the GAN learns not just what eyes should go on the person, but how the eyes of this particular person are shaped, colored, and so on.
It still fails in some situations, creating weird artifacts if a person’s eye is partially covered by a lock of hair, or sometimes failing to recreate the color correctly.
You can imagine the usefulness of an automatic eye-opening utility on Facebook that checks a person’s other photos and uses them as reference to replace a blink in the latest one.

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Summary of “The Psychology Behind Why We Like Long, Dark Eyelashes”

The Everything Guide to Eyelashes is a week of stories on the Cut about lashes, from all the mascaras we’ve obsessively tested to our personal feelings about why eyelashes matter.
Long and sweeping enough to brush the lenses of his sunglasses and attract compliments from old ladies, his lashes embarrassed him: Weren’t long eyelashes for girls? Didn’t they make you pretty? He was a boy.
Long eyelashes are in no technical or biological sense a lady thing.
Still, eyelashes have managed to become one of the few types of female body hair to make it into the “Good, emphasize” category and not the “Bad, eliminate” one – and for centuries, we’ve been imagining the presence of long, dark eyelashes to signify feminine beauty of the highest order.
Eyelashes have also historically been associated with chastity – ancient Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder suggested, rather amusingly in hindsight, that women’s eyelashes could fall out if they had too much sex.
Why? More recent research points toward the notion that long eyelashes are valuable for the illusion they create of wide, gazing eyes.
Still, these theories explain little about why long or full eyelashes are considered feminine.
“What eyelashes do is like what lipstick does, and eyelashes may actually even do it more: They draw a contrast between the eye itself and the eyelid, like lipstick draws attention to the contrast between the lips and the surrounding area.” Attractiveness indicators in men, she says – facial features whose larger size and more striking definition suggest a man possesses traditionally “Masculine” qualities, like confidence and assertiveness – are more likely to be the eyebrows and jawline.

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Summary of “How this optical illusion made me question my reality”

The latest visual illusion to make me question my reality is a blurry swirl of colors that disappear if I stare at them for long enough.
The illusion popped up on the r/woahdude Reddit today, but versions of it have existed since at least 1804 when a philosopher named Ignaz Paul Vital Troxler described how an image can fade away if you stare at it hard enough.
When our senses get used to a consistent sensation, it’s called neural adaptation, explains Susana Martinez-Conde, a professor at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and author of the book Champions of Illusion.
Of course, the moment that happens, the illusion breaks and I can see all the colors again.
I asked Martinez-Conde whether my excitement that the illusion had worked somehow made the image reappear.
Still, if the illusion doesn’t work for you, Martinez-Conde recommends closing one eye so that you only have to focus on keeping one eye still.
If it still doesn’t work, change the contrast on your monitor and give yourself a good 45 seconds to let the illusion disappear.
There’s no shame in letting the illusion trick your mind, Martinez-Conde says.

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Summary of “Am I Going Blind?”

I had almost certainly experienced what is colloquially called “a stroke of the eye,” whereby the optic nerve is ravaged by a brief reduction of blood flow and thus oxygen.
It would edit my right eye out of the equation so that my left eye could guide me on its own, leaving me with entirely serviceable vision.
Worse, the “Stroke” revealed anatomical vulnerabilities that meant that my left eye was potentially in jeopardy, too, and there was no proven script for protecting it.
The central vision in my right eye was compromised, in an unsubtle fashion.
For the first month after my diagnosis, I’d catch myself absent-mindedly rubbing my eyes, as everyone does, and terror would sizzle through me.
If the left eye were going to quit on me, it would probably do so then.
In the middle of the night, when my bladder screamed, I hesitated before opening my eyes.
Despite my eye disorder, I’m in clover: economic security; access to good health care; a durable relationship with a man whose face will delight me for as long as I’m able to gaze at it, after which his voice, which I also adore, will do.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Your Eyes Move, So Do Your Eardrums”

Keep flicking your eyes back and forth, left and right.
As your eyes flitted right, both eardrums bulged to the left, one inward and one outward.
These wobbles happen every time you move your eyes, whether or not there’s external noise.
Groh has long been interested in how the brain connects information from our eyes and ears.
That’s easier said than done, because our ears are obviously fixed on our heads but our eyes are constantly moving.
They also found that the eardrums start to wobble about 10 milliseconds before the eyes.
Instead, Groh says, “The brain is saying: I am about to move the eyes; ears, get ready.”
Still, it’s clear that something is happening to the ears, and it’s intimately connected to what the eyes are doing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This Is The Fascinating Way Blue Eyes Get Their Colour”

Your eyes aren’t blue because they contain pigmented cells.
Fascinatingly, it’s these two factors that control your eye colour.
Brown eyes, for example, contain a high concentration of melanin in their stroma, which absorbs most of the light entering the eye regardless of collagen deposits, giving them their dark colour.
Green eyes don’t have much melanin in them, but they also have no collagen deposits.
Blue eyes are potentially the most fascinating, as their colour is entirely structural.
People with blue eyes have a completely colourless stroma with no pigment at all, and it also contains no excess collagen deposits.
Interestingly, this means that blue eyes don’t actually have a set colour – it all depends on the amount of light available when you look at them.
Check out Van Slembrouck’s great story to find out how hazel and grey eyes get their colour, and also to check out his beautiful diagrams that explain structural colouring.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Cataract Surgery May Prolong Your Life”

Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed operation in the United States, with more than three million Americans having cataracts removed each year, according to the organization Prevent Blindness America.
“Not only can cataract surgery give people a better life while they’re living it, they can also live more of it,” Dr. Coleman said in an interview.
The women in the study who underwent cataract surgery lived longer even though, over all, they were sicker to begin with – as a group, they had more heart attacks, chronic pulmonary disease, peptic ulcers and glaucoma than those who did not have surgery.
Previous studies had shown a lower mortality risk in men as well as women following cataract surgery, Dr. Coleman said.
Those who had cataract surgery subsequently had reduced risks of death from cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological and infectious diseases, as well as cancer and accidents.
There have also been extraordinary advances in cataract surgery since the 1980s.
Specialists now also recognize the wisdom of not waiting until a cataract is “Ripe” and vision seriously diminished before urging patients to consider surgery.
Ms. Quinn, a social service administrator, has sage advice for anyone needing cataract surgery: “Do your homework. I encourage people to become well-informed about the operation, its aftermath and the various lens options now available.” Also important, she said, is having research-based confidence in your doctor.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Scallop Sees With Space-Age Eyes”

Earlier studies had given scientists hints that the scallop eye was weirdly complex.
Benjamin A. Palmer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and his colleagues recently used a powerful new tool known as a cryo-electron microscope to look at scallop eyes.
Researchers have long known that the mirror in a scallop eye is made from a molecule called guanine.
Dr. Palmer and his colleagues took X-rays of the scallop eyes to determine that these layers form a flat-bottomed bowl.
What’s more, the hundreds of eyes on a scallop all deliver signals to a single cluster of neurons, which may combine that information to create a rich picture of the outside world.
Dr. Palmer said that scallop eyes may provide inspirations for new inventions.
There’s certainly precedent: NASA has built X-ray detectors to study black holes that mimic lobster eyes.
Perhaps an artificial scallop eye could take pictures in dim seawater.

The orginal article.