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Weird Science
Cool and fascinating tidbits from the world of science
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Feeding the Final Frontier: 3-D Printers Could Make Astronaut Meals

Feeding the Final Frontier: 3-D Printers Could Make Astronaut Meals | Weird Science | Scoop.it

With 3-D printers coming of age, engineers are starting to expand the possible list of materials they might work with. The early work in food has been in making desserts – a Japanese company lets you order your sweetheart a creepy chocolate 3-D model of their head – but some researchers are already thinking of what comes next. The Fab@Home team at Cornell University has developed gel-like substances called hydrocolloids that can be extruded and built up into different shapes. By mixing in flavoring agents, they can produce a range of tastes and textures.

 

A 3-D printer could mix vitamins and amino acids into a meal to provide nutrients and boost productivity. There are limitations to the types of fresh foods that can be grown in space – NASA says some of the best crops for a Mars mission are lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes. With that you could make a salad, but a 3-D printer could manufacture croutons or protein-dense supplements. The device could take up less space than a supply of packets of food and, because each item is custom built, would help cut down on waste.

 

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3D Printer Spits out Human Embryonic Stem Cells

3D Printer Spits out Human Embryonic Stem Cells | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Imagine if you could take living cells, load them into a printer, and squirt out a 3D tissue that could develop into a kidney or a heart. Scientists are one step closer to that reality, now that they have developed the first printer for embryonic human stem cells.

 

In a new study, researchers from the University of Edinburgh have created a cell printer that spits out living embryonic stem cells. The printer was capable of printing uniform-size droplets of cells gently enough to keep the cells alive and maintain their ability to develop into different cell types. The new printing method could be used to make 3D human tissues for testing new drugs, grow organs, or ultimately print cells directly inside the body.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/02/06/3d-printed-human-embryonic-stem-cells/#ixzz2KFZvKCZo
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Shall I Encode Thee in DNA? ALL of Shakespeare's Sonnets Stored On Double Helix

Shall I Encode Thee in DNA? ALL of Shakespeare's  Sonnets Stored On Double Helix | Weird Science | Scoop.it

English critic Samuel Johnson once said of William Shakespeare "that his drama is the mirror of life." Now the Bard's words have been translated into life's most basic language. British scientists have stored all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets on tiny stretches of DNA.

It all started with two men in a pub. Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were drinking beer and discussing a problem.

 

Their institute manages a huge database of genetic information: thousands and thousands of genes from humans and corn and pufferfish. That data — and all the hard drives and the electricity used to power them — is getting pretty expensive.

 

"The data we're being asked to be guardians of is growing exponentially," Goldman says. "But our budgets are not growing exponentially."

It's a problem faced by many large companies with expanding archives. Luckily, the solution was right in front of the researchers — they worked with it every day.

 

"We realized that DNA itself is a really efficient way of storing information," Goldman says.

 

DNA is nature's hard drive, a permanent record of genetic information written in a chemical language. There are just four letters in DNA's alphabet — the four nucleotides commonly abbreviated as A, C, G and T.

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Video: Discovery of the Spider That Builds Spider Decoys

Video: Discovery of the Spider That Builds Spider Decoys | Weird Science | Scoop.it

In December, we broke the news about a new species of spider discovered in Peru. Tiny, and likely a member of the genus Cyclosa, the spider builds large, spider-shaped decoys -- and vibrates its web, acting as a master puppeteer.

 

Here is a video shot at the moment the spiders were discovered.

“I don’t know of any potential species discovery that has been caught on video to the same level that this one has been,” said the videographer who goes by Destin, who was accompanying biologist Phil Torres in the Peruvian Amazon.

 

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The secret sex of cheese | Molecular Love (and other facts of life)

The secret sex of cheese | Molecular Love (and other facts of life) | Weird Science | Scoop.it
Are you grossed out by blue cheese? Does that blue-green marbling of delicious fungus kind of make you gag? Well, this little factoid probably won’t help: there may be sex going on in that cheese.

Until pretty recently, a big chunk of fungal species were thought to reproduce without sex–until people really started to look. It turns out, there’s a lot more sex going on in the fungal world (on the down-low) than people thought. And that includes fungi that are used to make delicious blue cheese. Jeanne Ropars and colleagues in France, the home of Roquefort cheese, looked at the genomes of the mold species used in this particular cheese to see what kind of funny business was going on in their snack of choice. They found much more diversity than could be explained by asexual reproduction. And even more telling, the genes used by fungi to find mating partners have been kept intact and functional by evolution, meaning there’s probably some sex going on.

Besides providing people with a lovely conversation starter at wine and cheese parties, why did these scientists want to know about the sex lives of their cheeses? Well, whether you like it or not, people love moldy cheese. It’s a huge industry; as pointed out by the authors of this study, France alone produces 56,865 tons of blue cheese every year. But with an asexually producing mold, there isn’t much room for innovation. Producing new strains of mold (in this case, Penicillium roqueforti) relies on luck. Cheese makers have to wait for random mutations to occur and then select for strains that have qualities they like.
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Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brains

Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brains | Weird Science | Scoop.it
The link between a mother and child is profound, and new research suggests a physical connection even deeper than anyone thought. The profound psychological and physical bonds shared by the mother and her child begin during gestation when the mother is everything for the developing fetus, supplying warmth and sustenance, while her heartbeat provides a soothing constant rhythm.

The physical connection between mother and fetus is provided by the placenta, an organ, built of cells from both the mother and fetus, which serves as a conduit for the exchange of nutrients, gasses, and wastes. Cells may migrate through the placenta between the mother and the fetus, taking up residence in many organs of the body including the lung, thyroid muscle, liver, heart, kidney and skin. These may have a broad range of impacts, from tissue repair and cancer prevention to sparking immune disorders.

It is remarkable that it is so common for cells from one individual to integrate into the tissues of another distinct person. We are accustomed to thinking of ourselves as singular autonomous individuals, and these foreign cells seem to belie that notion, and suggest that most people carry remnants of other individuals. As remarkable as this may be, stunning results from a new study show that cells from other individuals are also found in the brain. In this study, male cells were found in the brains of women and had been living there, in some cases, for several decades. What impact they may have had is now only a guess, but this study revealed that these cells were less common in the brains of women who had Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting they may be related to the health of the brain.
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Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality?

Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality? | Weird Science | Scoop.it

The little creature of the sea that appears to debunk the most fundamental law of the natural world — you are born, and then you die.

 

After more than 4,000 years — almost since the dawn of recorded time, when Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh that the secret to immortality lay in a coral found on the ocean floor — man finally discovered eternal life in 1988. He found it, in fact, on the ocean floor. The discovery was made unwittingly by Christian Sommer, a German marine-biology student in his early 20s. He was spending the summer in Rapallo, a small city on the Italian Riviera, where exactly one century earlier Friedrich Nietzsche conceived “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”: “Everything goes, everything comes back; eternally rolls the wheel of being. Everything dies, everything blossoms again. . . .”

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How Long Would It Take to Fall Through the Earth?

How Long Would It Take to Fall Through the Earth? | Weird Science | Scoop.it

I didn’t see the latest version of the movie Total Recall (2012). However, I heard some people talking about the elevator scene.

 

If you had a tunnel all the way through the Earth and you dropped an object, how long would it take to get to the other side? Yes, I understand that maybe this tunnel didn’t go straight through the center, but I am going to model it that way. How would you calculate this? Here (of course) is a diagram of an elevator going through the Earth (not to scale).

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Hurricane Sandy Is Even More Impressive From Space

Hurricane Sandy Is Even More Impressive From Space | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Every once in a while a storm comes along that is so big, it even looks impressive from space. Hurricane Sandy has grown to be an enormous mass of wind stretching nearly 1,000 miles across at times.

 

In the whole globe image above, captured by NOAA's GOES-13 satellite on Oct. 28 at 9:02 a.m. EDT, Sandy is a huge white swirl centered just off the east coast of the United States, merging with a cold front on its western edge.

 

The rest of this gallery contains other impressive views and videos from space, as well as a "living" wind map and a map showing where an estimated 12 million to 15 million people will lose power.

 

Image: NOAA/NASA GOES Project

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Printing Solar Panels in the Backyard

Imagine what you might do if you could print your own solar panels. That's kind of the dream behind Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein's Solar Pocket Factory -- although they see it more as the "microbrewery" of panel production rather than a tool for everyone's garage.

 

With over $70,000 of backing from a successful Kickstarter campaign, the inventors are now working on refining the prototype.

 

If all goes well, by April they'll have a machine that can spit out a micro solar panel every few seconds. In the meantime, Frayne stopped by Flora Lichtman's backyard with a few pieces of the prototype to explain how the mini-factory will work.


Via Sepp Hasslberger
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Rosamaria's curator insight, December 20, 2012 10:19 AM

Fábrica cuasi casera de paneles solares.

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Looking at Cute Images May Improve Concentration

Looking at Cute Images May Improve Concentration | Weird Science | Scoop.it

You should be ready to concentrate fully on the task at hand — examining a study which claims to have found that exposure to cute animals increases the brain’s concentration levels for a short time afterward. “The Power of Kawaii”, published in the open access journal Plos One, details an investigation into the kawaii phenomenon — that essential quality of cuteness which permeates so much of Japanese culture.The team from Hiroshima University reference the results of a 2009 study which found that being exposed to cute pictures made a sample group better at playing a surgery board game similar to Operation. Even more intriguing, the cuter the image the better the improvement in dexterity. So the Hiroshima team devised three new experiments to test what kinds of concentration are improved by exposure to cute images, and to hopefully shed some light on why that might be the case.

 

First, they had to define cuteness. In this instance, the researchers said that “cute objects are assumed to be characterised by baby schema” — that means big eyes and round faces. This fed into their hypothesis that concentration might be improved around cute things as a kind of instinctual behavioural reflex that occurs when humans are around babies that can’t care for themselves.

 

In the first experiment, 48 participants were split into two groups. They all played a similar game as in the 2009 study, and then each group was shown either a collection of baby animal pictures or adult animal pictures. Then they played the game again — and the group who had been exposed to the photos of baby animals both scored higher and finished faster than the other group, who saw no change. That replicated the results of the 2009 study.

 

The second experiment saw a different group of 48 particpants split into two like before, with each group asked to count how many times a certain number appeared among a random string of numbers, as well as what letter was appearing within a shape next to the number string. After the same baby/adult animal picture exposure, the group with the baby animal pictures experience a dramatic increase in accuracy and speed (just like in the first experiment) compared to no change in the other group.

 

The third experiment, however, didn’t find any improvement in reaction times among a group of 36 participants who had to identify a letter flashed quickly on a screen in front of them. That implies that cuteness works as an aid to concentration, not some kind of general aid to mental ability.

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Songs in the Key of Sea - Cyanobacteria Making Music

Songs in the Key of Sea - Cyanobacteria Making Music | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Soft horns and a tinkling piano form the backbone of "Fifty Degrees North, Four Degrees West," a jazz number with two interesting twists: it has no composer and no actual musicians. Unless you count bacteria and other tiny microbes, that is.

 

The song is the brainchild of Peter Larsen, a biologist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. Larsen, it turns out, has no musical training at all; his interests run less towards the blues and more towards blue-green algae.

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Scientists Unveil 'Google Maps' For Human Genome

Scientists Unveil 'Google Maps' For Human Genome | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Scientists unveiled the results of a massive international project Wednesday that they say debunks the notion that most of our genetic code is made up of so-called junk DNA.

 

The ENCODE project, which involved hundreds of researchers in dozens of labs, also produced what some scientists are saying is like Google Maps for the human genome.

 

"We like to think about the ENCODE maps similarly," said Elise Feingold at the National Human Genome Research Institute."It allows researchers to look at the chromosomes and then zoom into genes and even down to individual nucleotides in the human genome in much the same way that someone interested in using Google Maps can do so."

 

For decades, scientists thought that most of our genetic code was essentially useless — basically filler between our genes. Only a tiny fraction — the part that has genes in it — really mattered, according to this thinking.

 

"The phrase that was thrown around was junk DNA," said Michael Snyder, a geneticist at Stanford University who participated in the project. "I think all of us would agree that really wasn't a good term because it was simply something that we didn't know what it did."

So in 2003, the National Institutes of Health launched the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA elements) project, at a cost of $288 million. The researchers conducted more than 1,600 experiments to understand what is going on in this supposed genetic wasteland.

The results appear in more than 30 papers published in a slew of leading scientific journals, including Science, Nature and Genome Research.

 

 

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4.5 Billion 'Alien Earths' Calculated to Populate Our Own Milky Way

4.5 Billion 'Alien Earths' Calculated to Populate Our Own Milky Way | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Billions of Earth-like alien planets likely reside in our Milky Way galaxy, and the nearest such world may be just a stone's throw away in the cosmic scheme of things, a new study reports.

 

Astronomers have calculated that 6 percent of the galaxy's 75 billion or so red dwarfs — stars smaller and dimmer than the Earth's own sun — probably host habitable, roughly Earth-size planets. That works out to at least 4.5 billion such "alien Earths," the closest of which might be found a mere dozen light-years away, researchers said.

 

"We thought we would have to search vast distances to find an Earth-like planet," study lead author Courtney Dressing, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), said in a statement. "Now we realize another Earth is probably in our own backyard, waiting to be spotted."

 

Dressing and her team analyzed data gathered by NASA's prolific Kepler space telescope, which is staring continuously at more than 150,000 target stars. Kepler spots alien planets by flagging the tiny brightness dips caused when the planets transit, or cross the face of, their stars from the instrument's perspective.

 

Kepler has detected 2,740 exoplanet candidates since its March 2009 launch. Follow-up observations have confirmed only 105 of these possibilities to date, but mission scientists estimate that more than 90 percent will end up being the real deal.

 

In the new study, Dressing and her colleagues re-analyzed the red dwarfs in Kepler's field of view and found that nearly all are smaller and cooler than previously thought.

 

This new information bears strongly on the search for Earth-like alien planets, since roughly 75 percent of the galaxy's 100 billion or so stars are red dwarfs. 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Gareth Harris's curator insight, February 8, 2013 11:47 AM

ET may only be a stones throw away!

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Amazing: Dung beetles use stars for orientation

Amazing: Dung beetles use stars for orientation | Weird Science | Scoop.it
You might expect dung beetles to keep their 'noses to the ground,' but they are actually incredibly attuned to the sky.

 

While birds and humans are known to navigate by the stars, the discovery is the first convincing evidence for such abilities in insects, the researchers say. It is also the first known example of any animal getting around by the Milky Way as opposed to the stars. "Even on clear, moonless nights, many dung beetles still manage to orientate along straight paths," said Marie Dacke of Lund University in Sweden. "This led us to suspect that the beetles exploit the starry sky for orientation—a feat that had, to our knowledge, never before been demonstrated in an insect." Dacke and her colleagues found that dung beetles do transport their dung balls along straight paths under a starlit sky but lose the ability under overcast conditions. In a planetarium, the beetles stayed on track equally well under a full starlit sky and one showing only the diffuse streak of the Milky Way.

That makes sense, the researchers explain, because the night sky is sprinkled with stars, but the vast majority of those stars should be too dim for the beetles' tiny compound eyes to see. The findings raise the possibility that other nocturnal insects might also use stars to guide them at night. On the other hand, dung beetles are pretty special. Upon locating a suitable dung pile, the beetles shape a piece of dung into a ball and roll it away in a straight line. That behavior guarantees them that they will not return to the dung pile, where they risk having their ball stolen by other beetles. "Dung beetles are known to use celestial compass cues such as the sun, the moon, and the pattern of polarized light formed around these light sources to roll their balls of dung along straight paths," Dacke said. "Celestial compass cues dominate straight-line orientation in dung beetles so strongly that, to our knowledge, this is the only animal with a visual compass system that ignores the extra orientation precision that landmarks can offer."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Angel Gavin's curator insight, January 25, 2013 1:57 AM

A little bit off-topic but amazing anyway. Some insects are able to navigate by the stars!

 

Enjoy it!

Stacey Lamb's curator insight, January 25, 2013 6:09 PM

A bit disgusting, but interesting.

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A Cat's 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing

A Cat's 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Nobody knows how it happened: an indoor house cat who got lost on a family excursion managing, after two months and about 200 miles, to return to her hometown.

 

Even scientists are baffled by how Holly, a 4-year-old tortoiseshell who in early November became separated from Jacob and Bonnie Richter at an R.V. rally in Daytona Beach, Fla., appeared on New Year’s Eve — staggering, weak and emaciated — in a backyard about a mile from the Richters’ house in West Palm Beach.

 

“Are you sure it’s the same cat?” wondered John Bradshaw, director of the University of Bristol’s Anthrozoology Institute. In other cases, he has suspected, “the cats are just strays, and the people have got kind of a mental justification for expecting it to be the same cat.”

 

But Holly not only had distinctive black-and-brown harlequin patterns on her fur, but also an implanted microchip to identify her.

 

“I really believe these stories, but they’re just hard to explain,” said Marc Bekoff, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Colorado. “Maybe being street-smart, maybe reading animal cues, maybe being able to read cars, maybe being a good hunter. I have no data for this.”

 

There is, in fact, little scientific dogma on cat navigation...

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Our Personalities Are Constantly Changing, Even If We Think They’re Not

Our Personalities Are Constantly Changing, Even If We Think They’re Not | Weird Science | Scoop.it

It’s rare that scientific journals explicitly engage philosophical conundrums, but a paper in this week’s Science magazine begins with the question “Why do people so often make decisions that their future selves regret?” At age 18, that skull-and-crossbones tattoo seems like an unimpeachably cool idea; at 28, it’s mortifying. You meet the man of your dreams at 25—except that your dreams have become so different by 35 that you end up divorced.

“Even at 68, people think, ‘Ugh. I’m not the person I was at 58. But I’m sure I’ll be this way at 78,’” says one of the Science study authors, Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of the book Stumbling on Happiness.

 

An obvious answer to the question is that people mature—that “change is inevitable,” as Disraeli said, that “change is constant.” But after examining the responses of more than 19,000 people gathered over four months in 2011 and 2012, the researchers—Gilbert, Jordi Quoidbach, of the National Fund for Scientific Research in Belgium, and University of Virginia psychologist Timothy Wilson—discovered that even though most people acknowledge that their lives have changed over the past decade, they don’t believe change is constant.

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Hacking the Human Brain: The Next Domain of Warfare

Hacking the Human Brain: The Next Domain of Warfare | Weird Science | Scoop.it
t’s been fashionable in military circles to talk about cyberspace as a “fifth domain” for warfare, along with land, space, air and sea. But there’s a sixth and arguably more important warfighting domain emerging: the human brain.

This new battlespace is not just about influencing hearts and minds with people seeking information. It’s about involuntarily penetrating, shaping, and coercing the mind in the ultimate realization of Clausewitz’s definition of war: compelling an adversary to submit to one’s will. And the most powerful tool in this war is brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies, which connect the human brain to devices.

Current BCI work ranges from researchers compiling and interfacing neural data such as in the Human Conectome Project to work by scientists hardening the human brain against rubber hose cryptanalysis to technologists connecting the brain to robotic systems. While these groups are streamlining the BCI for either security or humanitarian purposes, the reality is that misapplication of such research and technology has significant implications for the future of warfare.

Where BCIs can provide opportunities for injured or disabled soldiers to remain on active duty post-injury, enable paralyzed individuals to use their brain to type, or allow amputees to feel using bionic limbs, they can also be exploited if hacked. BCIs can be used to manipulate … or kill.
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mdashf's curator insight, December 14, 2012 3:44 PM

Ethical Paradigms of science

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Scientists Get A New Look At Einstein's Brain

Scientists Get A New Look At Einstein's Brain | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Albert Einstein was a smart guy. Everybody knows that. But was there something about the structure of his brain that made it special?

 

Scientists have been trying to answer that question ever since his death. Previously unpublished photographs of Einstein's brain taken soon after he died were analyzed last week in the journal Brain. The images and the paper provide a more complete anatomical picture and may help shed light on his genius.

Enlarge image

 

Thin slices of Einstein's brain were preserved on slides prepared by lab technician Marthe Keller in 1955.

 

Every brain has unique nooks and crannies. Aside from sheer curiosity, examining Einstein's brain could yield scientifically valuable insights. "There are strong links between variation in brain anatomy and variations in intellectual ability, period," says Sandra Witelson, a neuroscientist at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario.

 

The story of how the photographs turned up is interesting in itself. In the hours after Einstein's death in 1955, the autopsy pathologist, Thomas Harvey, took dozens of photographs and dissected the physicist's brain into 240 parts for preservation.

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Creating Music Using Brain Waves: Just For Fun Or Clinically Important?

Creating Music Using Brain Waves: Just For Fun Or Clinically Important? | Weird Science | Scoop.it

If you set the human mind to music, what would it sound like?

 

That’s what researchers from the University of Electronic Science and Technology in Chengdu, China are trying to discover. In their second study using human brain imaging to create music from brain waves, the researchers are “composing” music that could one day aid in improving diagnoses of brain disorders and new treatments for those conditions.

 

In their previous study, lead researcher Jing Lu and her colleagues used brain signals taken with electroencephalography (EEG) and translated them into musical notes. How? They used the height, or amplitude of the waves taken with EEG to determine the pitch of the notes and the length of airwaves to map out the duration of the notes. The intensity of the tone came from the average power change of EEG.

 

When the researchers played their first brain wave composition, however, the music was hard on the ears and too abrupt, so they turned to another imaging technique to enhance the process.

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The Beatles' Surprising Contribution To Brain Science

The Beatles' Surprising Contribution To Brain Science | Weird Science | Scoop.it

When we listen to a new musical phrase, it is the brain's motor system — not areas involved in hearing — that helps us remember what we've heard, researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans last month.

 

The finding suggests that the brain has a highly specialized system for storing sequences of information, whether those sequences contain musical notes, words or even events.

 

But the discovery might never have happened without The Beatles, says Josef Rauschecker of Georgetown University. As a teenager in Europe, Rauschecker says, he was obsessed with the group.

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Incredibly Small: Best Microscope Photos of the Year

Incredibly Small: Best Microscope Photos of the Year | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Every year for nearly four decades, Nikon has received hundreds of entries in its Small World microscope photography contest. Every year, the images are more amazing, and this year's winners -- selected from nearly 2,000 submissions -- are undoubtedly the best yet.

 

Super-close-ups of garlic, snail fossils, stinging nettle, bat embryos, bone cancer and a ladybug are among the top images this year. The first place winner (above) shows the blood-brain barrier in a living zebrafish embryo, which Nikon believes is the first image ever to show the formation of this barrier in a live animal.

 

“We used fluorescent proteins to look at brain endothelial cells and watched the blood-brain barrier develop in real-time,” the winners, Jennifer Peters and Michael Taylor of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in Memphis, said in a press release. “We took a 3-dimensional snapshot under a confocal microscope. Then, we stacked the images and compressed them into one – pseudo coloring them in rainbow to illustrate depth.”

 

Here are the top 20 photomicrographs from the 38th Nikon Small World competition, selected for their originality, informational content, and visual impact by a panel of scientists, journalists and optical imaging experts.

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Here's What the Space Around Earth Sounds Like

Here's What the Space Around Earth Sounds Like | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Surrounding our planet are rings of plasma, part of Earth's magnetosphere, which are pulsing with radio waves. Those waves are not audible to the human ear alone, but radio antennae can pick them up, and that's just what an instrument -- the Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) -- on NASA's recently launched Radiation Belt Storm Probes has done.

 

The noises, often picked up here on Earth by ham-radio operators, are called Earth's "chorus" as they are reminiscent of a chorus of birds chirping in the early morning. So here's your planet, singing its song into space. Musicians: Sample away.

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Mother Tree - How Trees Communicate

Learn about the sophisticated, underground, fungal network trees use to communicate and even share nutrients. UBC professor Suzanne Simard leads us through the forrest to investigate this underground community.

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Around the Solar System in Photography

Around the Solar System in Photography | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Robotic probes launched by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and others are gathering information all across the solar system. We currently have spacecraft in orbit around the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Saturn -- and one new rover recently landed on Mars. Several others are on their way to smaller bodies, and a few are heading out of the solar system entirely. Although the Space Shuttle no longer flies, astronauts are still at work aboard the International Space Station, performing experiments and sending back amazing photos. With all these eyes in the sky, I'd like to take another opportunity to put together a recent photo album of our solar system -- a set of family portraits, of sorts -- as seen by our astronauts and mechanical emissaries. This time, we have some great shots from the new Mars rover Curiosity, a parting shot of the asteroid Vesta, some glimpses of Saturn and its moons, and lovely images of our home, planet Earth. [33 photos]

 

 

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