wildcat2030

wildcat2030:

ARE we ever going to figure out how the brain works? After decades of research, diseases like schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s still resist treatment. Despite countless investigations into serotonin and other neurotransmitters, there is still no method to cure clinical depression. And for all the excitement about brain-imaging techniques, the limitations of fMRI studies are, as evidenced by popular books like “Brainwashed” and “Neuromania,” by now well known. In spite of the many remarkable advances in neuroscience, you might get the sinking feeling that we are not always going about brain science in the best possible way.
This feeling was given prominent public expression on Monday, when hundreds of neuroscientists from all over the world issued an indignant open letter to the European Commission, which is funding the Human Brain Project, an approximately $1.6 billion effort that aims to build a complete computer simulation of the human brain. The letter charges that the project is “overly narrow” in approach and not “well conceived.” While no neuroscientist doubts that a faithful-to-life brain simulation would ultimately be tremendously useful, some have called the project “radically premature.” The controversy serves as a reminder that we scientists are not only far from a comprehensive explanation of how the brain works; we’re also not even in agreement about the best way to study it, or what questions we should be asking.

wildcat2030

wildcat2030:

Trying to fly and having sex are the two most popular activities that lucid dreamers — people who are aware that they are dreaming, and can control their dreams to a certain extent — aim to do in their dreams, according to a new study. The researchers surveyed about 570 people who said they’ve experienced lucid dreaming, and asked them what they’ve dreamt about, and whether they just observed their dreams unfolding or they actively aimed to change the dream. The researchers also asked the participants which activities they decided — when they were awake — to try to do in their dreams. About 350 of the participants provided examples of the actions they planned in wakefulness to accomplish in their lucid dreams. Most often, participants wanted to try things that are impossible in waking life, such as flying, doing magic, breathing under water, talking with animals, being someone else and time travel. But the participants also reported planning to carry out everyday activities in their dreams, such as having sex and doing sports. Lucid dreamers also reported intending to communicate with dream characters, change the scene or perspective, or carry out aggressive actions such as fighting, killing and robbery. “Of all waking intentions, flying was the most popular one,” the researchers said in their study, published in the summer issue of the American Journal of Psychology.

  |  Lucid dreaming is amazing and fun…speaking from personal experience.

ucsdhealthsciences
ucsdhealthsciences:

“Den” of leaves
Dendritic cells get their name from their surface projections, which somewhat resemble the dendrites of neurons, the branchlike extensions that increase the surface of a cell body and receive information from other neurons.
Dendritic cells are found in most tissues of the body, most abundantly in those that interface between internal and external environments, such as the skin, lungs and lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Here, they’re suitably placed to serve their primary function, which is to continuously sample their surroundings for antigens, such as dead cells or invasive microbes. They are a key player in the body’s immune response system.
Once exposed to an antigen, say a virus, the sheets of the dendritic cell entrap it so that it can be degraded by internal lysosomes into peptide fragments and then redisplayed to circulating T cells, which develop the appropriate immune response. 
The image above is an artistic rendering, based on ion abrasion scanning electron microscopy developed at the National Institutes of Health.

ucsdhealthsciences:

“Den” of leaves

Dendritic cells get their name from their surface projections, which somewhat resemble the dendrites of neurons, the branchlike extensions that increase the surface of a cell body and receive information from other neurons.

Dendritic cells are found in most tissues of the body, most abundantly in those that interface between internal and external environments, such as the skin, lungs and lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Here, they’re suitably placed to serve their primary function, which is to continuously sample their surroundings for antigens, such as dead cells or invasive microbes. They are a key player in the body’s immune response system.

Once exposed to an antigen, say a virus, the sheets of the dendritic cell entrap it so that it can be degraded by internal lysosomes into peptide fragments and then redisplayed to circulating T cells, which develop the appropriate immune response

The image above is an artistic rendering, based on ion abrasion scanning electron microscopy developed at the National Institutes of Health.

wildcat2030

wildcat2030:

The next couple of years will be make or break for the next big theory in physics called supersymmetry - SUSY for short. It might make way for a rival idea which predicts the existence of a ‘fifth force’ of nature. Next Spring, when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) resumes its experiments, scientists will be looking for evidence of SUSY. It explains an awful lot that the current theory of particle physics does not. But there is a growing problem, provocatively expressed by Nobel Laureate George Smoot: “supersymmetry has got symmetry and it’s super but there is no experimental data to suggest it is correct.” According to the simplest versions of the theory, supersymmetric particles should have been discovered at the LHC by now. One set of null results prompted Prof Chris Parkes, of the LHCb to quip: “Supersymmetry may not be dead but these latest results have certainly put it into hospital”. But other forms of the theory are still very much in play.

spaceplasma
(Moving GIF)

spaceplasma:

Saturn’s Rings at Maximum Tilt

In March 2003, Saturn’s rings were at maximum tilt toward Earth, a special event occurring every 15 years. With the rings fully tilted, astronomers get the best views of the planet’s Southern Hemisphere. They took advantage of the rings’ unique alignment by using Hubble to capture some stunning images.

Credit: NASA, ESA, E. Karkoschka, G. Bacon (STScI)

(Moving GIF)

spaceplasma:

Saturn’s Rings at Maximum Tilt

In March 2003, Saturn’s rings were at maximum tilt toward Earth, a special event occurring every 15 years. With the rings fully tilted, astronomers get the best views of the planet’s Southern Hemisphere. They took advantage of the rings’ unique alignment by using Hubble to capture some stunning images.

Credit: NASA, ESA, E. Karkoschka, G. Bacon (STScI)