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Scooped by Marc Williams!

GM wheat could permanently damage human genetics by silencing hundreds of genes throughout the body

GM wheat could permanently damage human genetics by silencing hundreds of genes throughout the body | science |
It is one of the only major food crops left without a genetically-modified (GM) counterpart, but this could soon change if the Australian government gets its way in approving a GM wheat variety developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and...
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Rescooped by Marc Williams from Geography Education!

Exploring the Brain’s GPS

Exploring the Brain’s GPS | science |
May-Britt and Edvard I. Moser are exploring the way the brain records and remembers movement in space, which they speculate may be the basis of all memory.

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 30, 2013 4:26 PM

This is more neuroscience than it is geography, but it is incredibly relevant to geographers and spatial analysis.  These Norwegian neuroscientists are charting the brain to understand how we remember where we have been, where we are and how we navigate through space.  They are primarily mapping out the brains of rats, but much of what they’ve discovered appears to hold for all mammals.  There are certain cells that are only active when you are in certain places.  These cells interact as a network in a grid pattern,  forming a very regular hexagonal pattern (central place theory!?!).  These ‘place cells’ or ‘grid cells’ store information about distances and directions and are crucial to navigation.  Read more about it in this article or watch this 6-minute video


Tags: spatial, mental maps.


Rescooped by Marc Williams from Social Foraging!

Life in the City Is Essentially One Giant Math Problem

Life in the City Is Essentially One Giant Math Problem | science |

Glen Whitney stands at a point on the surface of the Earth, north latitude 40.742087, west longitude 73.988242, which is near the center of Madison Square Park, in New York City. Behind him is the city’s newest museum, the Museum of Mathematics, which Whitney, a former Wall Street trader, founded and now runs as executive director. He is facing one of New York’s landmarks, the Flatiron Building, which got its name because its wedge- like shape reminded people of a clothes iron. Whitney observes that from this perspective you can’t tell that the building, following the shape of its block, is actually a right triangle—a shape that would be useless for pressing clothes—although the models sold in souvenir shops represent it in idealized form as an isosceles, with equal angles at the base. People want to see things as symmetrical, he muses. He points to the building’s narrow prow, whose outline corresponds to the acute angle at which Broadway crosses Fifth Avenue.


“The cross street here is 23rd Street,” Whitney says, “and if you measure the angle at the building’s point, it is close to 23 degrees, which also happens to be approximately the angle of inclination of the Earth’s axis of rotation.”

Via Ashish Umre
Luciano Lampi's curator insight, May 4, 2013 10:59 AM

The city and the matemathician! Beautiful !