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Beautiful microscopy / biology images

Beautiful microscopy / biology images | Our Color World | Scoop.it

Beautiful pictures obtained by confocal microscopy provided by the Sean Carroll Laboratory in Madison, WI.

 

http://tinyurl.com/7q5oudy

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Individual Brains Synchronize When Musicians Play Together

Individual Brains Synchronize When Musicians Play Together | Our Color World | Scoop.it
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin have shown that synchronization emerges between brains when making music together, and even when musicians play different voices. In a study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, Johanna Sanger and her team used electrodes to record the brain waves of guitarists while they played different voices of the same duet. The results point to brain synchronicity that cannot be explained away by similitudes in external stimulation but can be attributed to a more profound interpersonal coordination.

 

Scientists working with Ulman Lindenberger at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin already discovered synchronous brain activity between musicians playing the same piece in 2009. The current study goes one step further by examining the brain activity of guitar players performing a piece of music with two different parts. Their aim was to find out whether musicians' brains would synchronize if the two guitarists were not playing exactly the same notes, but instead played different voices of the same song.

 

To test their hypothesis, the psychologists arranged 32 experienced guitarists in duet pairs, and recorded electrical activity in different brain regions of each musician. They were then asked to play a sequence from the "Sonata in G Major" by Christian Gottlieb Scheidler a total of 60 times, and the duet partners were given slightly different tasks: each musician had to play a different voice, and one of the two was responsible for ensuring that they started at the same time and held the same tempo. Thus, one person took the lead and the other followed. The duet's brain activities showed coordinated brain oscillations, even when playing different voices of the same duet. Called phase coherence, this synchronous activity suggests a direct neural basis for interpersonal coordination.

 

"When people coordinate their own actions, small networks between brain regions are formed. But we also observed similar network properties between the brains of the individual players, especially when mutual coordination is very important; for example at the joint onset of a piece of music," says Johanna Sänger. The difference between leader and follower was also reflected in the results of the measurement of electrical activity captured by electrodes: "In the player taking the lead, the internal synchronization of an individual's brain waves was stronger and, importantly, was present already before the duet started to play," says Johanna Sänger. "This could be a reflection of the leading player's decision to begin playing at a certain moment in time," she added.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Spotmaps, Color Blueprints for Movies

Spotmaps, Color Blueprints for Movies | Our Color World | Scoop.it
Spotmaps is an ongoing project by Andy Willis to create color blueprints for movies. Each colored square or “spot” represents the average color from one second of the movie. Each row of spots represents one minute of the ...
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Red pigment contributes to melanoma risk in fair-skinned individuals - Doctor Tipster

Red pigment contributes to melanoma risk in fair-skinned individuals - Doctor Tipster | Our Color World | Scoop.it
ABC Online
Red pigment contributes to melanoma risk in fair-skinned individuals
Doctor Tipster
Melanoma is a skin cancer that develops in melanocytes, the cells in which melanin, the pigment that gives skin color, forms.
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World of Fractals

World of Fractals | Our Color World | Scoop.it

Fractals are one of the most interesting puzzles of mathematics. They are made by a simple formula, yet they have such beautiful and complex designs. All that's needed is a simple Mathematica code for many of the most interesting types of fractals. Some of this code may not be very efficient, but it gives you a basic understanding of the mathematics involved.

http://www.bugman123.com/Fractals/index.html


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Iridescence - a wide-spread phenomenon in nature

Iridescence - a wide-spread phenomenon in nature | Our Color World | Scoop.it

Some natural surfaces can produce complex optical effects like rain droplets or a glass prism by selectively reflecting light of specific wavelengths and, therefore, specific colors. One optical effect, in particular, the one called iridescence, produces some of the most intense colorations in nature such as the rainbow-like coloration of soap bubbles, the inside of some shells, and the bright colors of the exoskeleton of some insects. The word iridescence originates from the Greek iris, which means ‘rainbow’, and refers to the optical property of some surfaces to change color and its intensity with the illumination or the viewing angle. Iridescent surfaces are uniquely structured in a way that causes the reflected light waves to interact physically with each other. The crests and troughs of the reflected light waves sometimes align (they are ‘in phase’) and reinforce each other, thus increasing the intensity of the reflected color. By contrast, if the reflected light waves are out of phase, they can cancel each other out and those particular colors never manifest. The final effect of this optical interference is the production of one or more predominant colors, the type and intensity changing with the angle of illumination and/or observation. Thus, iridescent colors are ‘structural’: they do not result from pigmentation but from physical interactions between light and surfaces.

 

Although iridescence is a widespread phenomenon in nature, I was genuinely surprised to read a recent paper by Eric Rosenfeld’s group published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology reporting that several bacteria, including some well-known laboratory strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Haemophilus influenzae, are iridescent. The paper begins with a fine introduction about what is known in the field. Bacterial iridescence was first reported in 1904 but has been loosely and poorly described thereafter. Many reports used (or misused) epithets such as “shine,” “sheen,” “glistening”, “metallic effect,” “bright”, “luster,” “glow,” “glisten,” or “rainbow-like” For example, the authors showed that the ‘metallic iridescence’ previously reported for some strains of P. aeruginosa is not angle-dependent. Thus, these colonies are not truly iridescent. In some cases, fluorescence was mistaken as iridescence. I must admit that I have used some of these terms loosely in the past, blissfully ignorant of what I was observing.The researchers unified these epithets employing a rigorous classification of bacterial iridescence by using two microscopic techniques: epi-illumination (where illumination and detection take place on the same side of the sample) and trans-illumination (which detects the light transmitted through the sample). They investigated and described in detail the iridescent properties of colonies of several strains, including an iridescent strain (strain BK) of the marine bacterium Cellulophaga lytica (formerly known as Cytophaga lytica). This strain was isolated from the surface of a red anemone and grew into colonies displaying a glitter-like green coloration under direct epi-illumination. Other strains of C. lytica available in pure culture, including the only sequenced strain of the group (DSM7489), were either non-iridescent or exhibited low-intensity iridescence. In fact, the intense green iridescence displayed by C. lytica strain BK is described by the authors as ‘unmatched in the bacterial kingdom’ and to rival that observed in some insects and vertebrates.

 

Research article:

"Iridescence of a Marine Bacterium and Classification of Prokaryotic Structural Colors"

http://dx.crossref.org/10.1128%2FAEM.07339-11

 


Via Cesar Sanchez, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Musicology : 12 Piano Notes Made Visible For The First Time

Musicology : 12 Piano Notes Made Visible For The First Time | Our Color World | Scoop.it

Shannon Novak, a New Zealand-born fine artist, commissioned us to image 12 piano notes as inspiration for a series of 12 musical canvases. We decided to image the notes in video mode because when we observed the 'A1' note we discovered, surprisingly, that the energy envelope changes over time as the string's harmonics mix in the piano's wooden bridge. Instead of the envelope being fairly stable, as we had imagined, the harmonics actually cause the CymaGlyphs to be wonderfully dynamic. Our ears can easily detect the changes in the harmonics and the CymaScope now reveals them--probably a first in acoustic physics.

Capturing the dynamics was only possible with HD video but taming the dynamics of the piano's first strike, followed by the short plateau and long decay phase, was tricky. We achieved the result with the help of a professional audio compressor operating in real time.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Right Light Keeps Van Gogh's Flowers Fresh - LiveScience.com

Right Light Keeps Van Gogh's Flowers Fresh - LiveScience.com | Our Color World | Scoop.it
KUNC
Right Light Keeps Van Gogh's Flowers Fresh
LiveScience.com
Much like the painter himself, the chrome yellow pigment that Vincent van Gogh favored is famously unstable.
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