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Last September, a tiny space-time disturbance produced by two merging black holes roughly 1.3 billion light-years from Earth and detected by NASA's Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory marked the first-ever detection of gravitational waves. Less than half a second later, a weak and short-lived burst of high-energy light believed to have originated from the same part of the sky was detected by the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope - a phenomenon scientists at the space agency noted has a paltry 0.2 percent chance of being coincidental. Comment?
A team of MIT researchers are drawing inspiration from a type of aquatic creatures known as chitons-who have miniature eyes embedded directly in their hard protective shells-to develop new body armor with built-in optics that could be used to monitor surroundings. MIT professor Christine Ortiz, as well as colleagues from the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based institute, Harvard University and elsewhere, reported in the latest edition of the journal that the chiton Acanthopleura granulata possesses "an integrated sensory system" that "includes hundreds of eyes with aragonite-based lenses," providing both sight and protection. Comment?
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