Coronal mass injection find could see ‘textbooks rewritten’
The Verge: NASA says it has made a discovery which will require “rewriting textbooks” after it found the two rings of charged particles surrounding the Earth - called Van Allen belts - were reconfigured by a coronal mass injection. Not only are the belts now believed to be more malleable, the mass injection revealed for the first time the formation of a third belt.
Photo: An image of a giant prominence on the sun before it erupted is captured on August 31, 2012, by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). This may have been one of the causes of a third radiation belt that appeared around Earth a few days later. (Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA/Goddard Space Flight Center)
Brain-to-brain interface allows transmission of tactile and motor information between rats
Researchers have electronically linked the brains of pairs of rats for the first time, enabling them to communicate directly to solve simple behavioral puzzles. A further test of this work successfully linked the brains of two animals thousands of miles apart—one in Durham, N.C., and one in Natal, Brazil.
The results of these projects suggest the future potential for linking multiple brains to form what the research team is calling an “organic computer,” which could allow sharing of motor and sensory information among groups of animals. The study was published Feb. 28, 2013, in the journal Scientific Reports.
“Our previous studies with brain-machine interfaces had convinced us that the rat brain was much more plastic than we had previously thought,” said Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., PhD, lead author of the publication and professor of neurobiology at Duke University School of Medicine. “In those experiments, the rat brain was able to adapt easily to accept input from devices outside the body and even learn how to process invisible infrared light generated by an artificial sensor. So, the question we asked was, ‘if the brain could assimilate signals from artificial sensors, could it also assimilate information input from sensors from a different body?’”
To test this hypothesis, the researchers first trained pairs of rats to solve a simple problem: to press the correct lever when an indicator light above the lever switched on, which rewarded the rats with a sip of water. They next connected the two animals’ brains via arrays of microelectrodes inserted into the area of the cortex that processes motor information.
Clemens Wirth & Radium Audio presents:
…moving on from Macro Kingdom, we pass through the portal of a microscope to venture into the Micro Empire … surrounding us … inhabiting us …
Stranger than fiction… molecular conflict and mitochondrial warfare … a heartstopping, subcellular epic … a truly microcinematic experience …
“as an enthusiast for little things, I wanted to go deeper than the macro universe, so I found myself hanging on the eyepiece of a microscope. The real challenge was definitely the small depth of field in microscopy. It’s really fascinating how detailed this tiny world is.”
(gifs by moi)
(Phys.org)—A team of researchers working at the Astrophysical Institute of the Canary Islands has found evidence of a previously unknown structure in the accretion disk of a black hole that is part of an X-ray binary system. The structure, as they describe in their paper published in the journal Science, presents itself with a wave like movement through the disk, moving outward.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-03-black-hole-accretion-disk.html#jCp
Zoanthids, like all of the animals we typically call “coral” in the marine aquarium hobby, are cnidarians (pronounced “nigh-dare-ee-yans”). More specifically, zoanthids are part of the class Anthozoa, which includes the soft and leather corals, sea anemones, mushroom corals and stony corals (and exclude other cnidarians such as fire corals, lace corals, jellyfishes, and sea wasps). Anthozoa, as a word, originates from Greek (“anthos” and “zoion”) and translates roughly as “flower animal,” which is an apt name for most zoanthids.
Like sea anemones, mushroom corals and stony corals, zoanthids are called hexacorals because they have polyps with tentacles in multiples of six (octocorals, on the other hand, have eight tentacles). Zoanthids, unlike the “true” or stony corals (what hobbyists generally term SPS and LPS) lack skeletons, but they are also not soft corals (which are all octocorals). The polyps of zoanthids are either solitary or embedded in so-called mats. Solitary polyps are often connected to other polyps by runners (called stolons, pronounced “stoe-lahn”), while mat polyps embed themselves in a tissue matrix or mat (called a coenenchyme and pronounced “see-nehn-kyme”).
Source: [x] Image Credit: Felicia McCaulley, Sanoe Nakao, Travis Staut, Kien Tran
Researchers have identified a possible treatment window for plaques in the brain that are thought to cause memory loss in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, according to a new study published in the February 27, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“Our study suggests that plaques in the brain that are linked to a decline in memory and thinking abilities, called beta amyloid, take about 15 years to build up and then plateau,” said Clifford R. Jack, Jr., MD, with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
For the study, 260 people between the ages of 70 and 92 underwent two or more brain scans over an average of 1.3 years that measured plaque buildup in the brain. Of the participants, 78 percent did not have impaired thinking abilities or memory at the start of the study.
The study found that the rate of buildup accelerates initially, then slows down before plateauing at high levels. For example, lower rates of plaque buildup were found in both people who had low and high levels of the plaques at the start of the study while the rate of plaque accumulation was highest in participants with mid-range levels at the start of the study.
The study also found that the rate of buildup of plaques was more closely tied to the total amount of amyloid plaques in the brain than other risk factors, such as the level of cognitive impairment, age and the presence of the APOE gene, a gene linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our results suggest that there is a long treatment window where medications may be able to help slow buildup of the amyloid plaques that are linked to cognitive decline,” said Jack. “On the other hand, trying to treat the plaque buildup after the amyloid plaque load has plateaued may not do much good.”
LIVE VIDEO: SpaceX rocket set to launch to Space Station
Watch a live feed from NASA as SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with Dragon capsule on top, attempts to launch to the International Space Station: http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/spacex-iss-flight-march-2013
The mission is the second of 12 SpaceX flights to resupply the ISS. Launch is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. EST.
Photo: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with its Dragon spacecraft onboard, is seen shortly after it was erected at Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida today. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
SpaceX will launch a rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to send a space capsule packed with NASA cargo for the space station.