Tag: biology

Apr 12 2016

Brain imaging during LSD use

Increased visual cortex cerebral blood flow (CBF), decreased visual cortex alphapower, and a greatly expanded primary visual cortex (V1) functional connectivity profile correlated strongly with ratings of visual hallucinations, implying that intrinsic brain activity exerts greater influence on visual processing in the psychedelic state, thereby defining its hallucinatory quality. Neural correlates of the LSD experience revealed by …

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Mar 18 2014

Alan Turing was a genius in chemistry and biology, too

A theory of Turing’s regarding cell differentiation – all the more remarkable since he was a mathematician, not a biologist – has just been proved, 60 years after he killed himself following prosecution and conviction as a homosexual. This is the man who cracked the German WWII ciphers, devised the universally accepted test for artificial …

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Jul 18 2013

Eek. Biggest virus ever. And it’s alien.

Thank God it only eats amoebae. Perhaps most striking, 93 percent of pandoraviruses’ 2,500 genes cannot be traced back to any known lineage in nature. In other words, they are completely alien to us. Biggest Virus Yet Found…

Mar 13 2013

Neanderthal large eyes caused less intelligence?

The Neanderthals had larger eyes, so more of their brain was devoted to sight. Result: less of their brain was devoted to brainy things like survival. Not sure of the lesson here, other than that seeing more means thinking less? Neanderthal large eyes caused their demise.

Apr 13 2012

Alcohol sharpens the mind

Eureka! Drink up. The drinking group solved nearly 40 per cent more problems than the others, and took an average of 12 seconds compared to the 15.5 seconds needed by sober subjects. via Alcohol sharpens the mind, research finds

Apr 06 2012

The most complex mass of protoplasm in the Milky Way?

Our data may open up entirely new ways of analyzing, understanding, and, eventually, imitating the network architecture of the brain, which according to Marian C. Diamond and Arnold B. Scheibel is “the most complex mass of protoplasm on earth—perhaps even in our galaxy.” via The Human Brain

Mar 13 2012

Brain and eye abnormalities in astronauts

No mention of whether the damage resulting from long-term exposure to microgravity is permanent. Some version of artificial gravity may be a prerequisite to long-term space travel.

Jan 10 2012

Telomeres: lifespan indicators

"They found that the telomere length in an early stage of life, at 25 days after hatching, was a good predictor of lifespan …"
http://www.science20.com/curious_cub/telomeres_and_lifespan-86000

Dec 31 2011

Unintelligent Design

"A monstrous discovery suggests that viruses, long regarded as lowly evolutionary latecomers, may have been the precursors of all life on Earth."

Oct 20 2011

Old American theory is ‘speared’

An ancient bone with a projectile point lodged within it appears to up-end – once and for all – a long-held idea of how the Americas were first populated.

Jul 24 2011

Human-animal hybrids

Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories. via Embryos involving the genes of animals mixed with humans have been produced secretively for the past three years

Jun 12 2011

Human cell becomes living laser

Scientists have for the first time created laser light using living biological material: a single human cell and some jellyfish protein. via Human cell becomes living laser : Nature News

Apr 21 2011

Gut bacteria divide people into 3 types

Each human being is host to thousands of different species of microbes. Yet a group of scientists now report just three distinct ecosystems in the guts of people they have studied. Blood type, meet bug type. via Gut Bacteria Divide People Into 3 Types, Scientists Report – NYTimes.com

Feb 11 2011

Gene tests inadvertently exposing cases of incest

Mapping your entire genetic code to look for disease signatures may reveal more than you want to know. Nancy Spinner, a professor of pathology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said her team had encountered two cases of incest since it began using SNP-based arrays from gene sequencing company Illumina Inc in May 2008. …

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Nov 14 2010

Hmmm: studies show traces of drugs in air, water, and sewage

The American Chemical Society has published a series of studies under the title “Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Environment: Ecological and Human Health Considerations” that detail numerous reports of the detection of cocaine, LSD, amphetamines, marijuana, and pharmaceutical drugs in water, air, and sewage in the US and Europe. Some was “still present in …

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Apr 08 2010

Animals thrive without oxygen at sea bottom

…three species of multicellular animal, or metazoan, that apparently spend their entire lives in oxygen-starved waters in a basin at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. via Animals thrive without oxygen at sea bottom : Nature News.

Apr 02 2010

Terrifying sea critter hauled from ocean’s depths

Check out the claws. The pictures reveal the creature to be a giant isopod, a large crustacean that dwells in deep Atlantic and Pacific waters. This particular creature is a Bathynomus giganteus, a deep-sea scavenger that feeds on dead whales, fish and squid. via Terrifying Sea Critter Hauled from Ocean’s Depths | Fox News.

Sep 03 2009

Men lose their minds speaking to pretty women

men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive woman perform less well in tests designed to measure brain function than those who chat to someone they do not find attractive… via Men lose their minds speaking to pretty women – Telegraph. I knew that. Really. I was just distracted.

Jun 30 2009

The Extinction Oscillator

When I was studying geology at Columbia, the theory of geologic gradualism was being replaced by a new idea of catastrophism, which proposed that long periods of stability were sometimes broken by huge geological events: volcanoes would erupt after long periods of quiet, drowning a landscape in lava; or an asteroid would strike the planet and …

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Apr 29 2009

Google’s tracking of search queries on flu in Mexico

Using Google search activity in Mexico to help track human swine flu levels.