This is horrifying hahaha. (Via @amberbenson)
In which human reproduction seriously sounds like the Game of Thrones.
Showing posts tagged science
Showing posts tagged science
It may seem like the stuff from spy and superhero movies but scientists have created “the first room-temperature light detector that can sense the full infrared spectrum” which, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, can be made so thin that it can be easily stacked on night vision contact lenses.
Back in 2011 some speculated that Seal Team Six used night vision contact lenses in the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden. Those rumors were never substantiated, but this invention is very real…
Scientists Successfully Implant Lungs into Fish
Scientists have successfully created a goldfish that is capable of breathing atmospheric air. Using advanced microsurgery techniques, researchers at the New South Wales Veterinary Institute implanted a pair of frog lungs into the fish, which survived out of water for 2 hours.
The lungs were connected to the respiratory surface that were naturally found in the gills. The fish was able to conduct gas exchange through the lungs instead of the gills, which allowed it to breath in a terrestrial environment. A very humid chamber was constructed for the goldfish so that it did not dehydrate.
Mathematical Beauty Activates Same Brain Region as Great Art or Music
People who appreciate the beauty of mathematics activate the same part of their brain when they look at aesthetically pleasing formula as others do when appreciating art or music, suggesting that there is a neurobiological basis to beauty.
There are many different sources of beauty – a beautiful face, a picturesque landscape, a great symphony are all examples of beauty derived from sensory experiences. But there are other, highly intellectual sources of beauty. Mathematicians often describe mathematical formulae in emotive terms and the experience of mathematical beauty has often been compared by them to the experience of beauty derived from the greatest art.
Innervating the Brain
The Allen Brain Atlas is an online tool that combines structure, function, and gene expression data to create a comprehensive catalogue of histological sections and three-dimensional renderings of the human and mouse brains. While it was established primarily to accelerate neuroscience and neuroanatomy research, it is available free online. The images above are taken from renderings of the mouse brain showing the innervation of the olfactory bulb (bottom and top) and the expression of the App gene (middle) implicated in amyloid fibril formation in Alzheimer’s disease and, interestingly, mental retardation in Down Syndrome patients (APP, the human analogue to mouse App, is encoded on chromosome 21).
Networks of neurons are not and cannot be wires like you would see on the side of a highway; they usually eminate from a point of origin and move to connect certain points of the brain, but they are in no way disorganised. For example, while the corpus collosum maintains extensive innervation throughout both hemispheres, other areas of the brain will not. It is this sort of macro-scale compartmentation that allows different parts of the brain to perform different functions - in vertebrates like us, for example, intense lateralisation of the hemispheres gives rise to lower-level organisation, namely the specific structures that perform fundamentally different tasks (the hippocampus, the cerebrum, and the cerebellum, for example). Before in situ hybridisation, the characteristic pattern of neuronal spread throughout the brain was probed by creating lesions in different areas and noting the resulting phenotype; this worked because without excitation, neurons die. This same reality makes it highly suboptimal for the brain to organise itself as a tangled mess of fibres if many of the pathways are likely to become redundant; it both necessitates and causes an organised structure built upon the frequency of signal transduction to particular areas.
Scientists decipher dog-tail wags
Scientists have shed more light on how the movements of a dog’s tail are linked to its mood.
Earlier research had revealed that happy dogs wag their tails more to the right (from the dog’s point of view), while nervous dogs have a left-dominated swish.
But now scientists say that fellow canines can spot and respond to these subtle tail differences.
The study is published in the journal Current Biology.
Prof Georgio Vallortigara, a neuroscientist from the University of Trento, said: “It is very well known in humans that the left and right side of the brain are differently involved in stimuli that invokes positive or negative emotions.
"Here we attempted to look at it in other species."
He added that just as in humans, for dogs the right side of the brain was responsible for left-handed movement and vice versa, and the two hemispheres played different roles in emotions.
Dogs on film
To find out more about how dogs react to the lop-sided tail wags of other dogs, the researchers monitored the animals as they watched films of other dogs.
They measured the pets’ heart rates and analysed their behaviour.
Prof Vallortigara said: “We presented dogs with movies of dogs - either a naturalistic version or a silhouette to get rid of any other confounding issues, and we could doctor the movement of the tail and present the tail more to the left or right.”
When the animals saw an otherwise expressionless dog move its tail to the right (from the tail-wagging dog’s point of view), they stayed perfectly relaxed.
But when they spotted a tail veer predominantly to the left (again from the tail-swishing dog’s point of view), their heart rates picked up and they looked anxious.
Prof Vallortigara said he didn’t think that the dogs were intentionally communicating with each other through these movements.
Instead, he believes that they dogs have learned from experience what moves they should and shouldn’t feel worried about.
Fujitsu creates tablet that tricks you into thinking you’re feeling water, pushing buttons or stroking an alligator
The Japanese firm has developed the prototype tablet device using ultrasound vibrations to mimic a variety of textures.
These vibrations change the friction between the finger and the screen to trick the brain into thinking it’s plucking a harp, touching the skin of an alligator and more. It can also give the sensation of a slippery liquid.
Other, similar technologies change the friction between the finger and the screen using static electricity, and Fujitsu claim the use of ultrasound is a world first.
It is also a breakthrough technology because ultrasound vibrations usually need a large amount of energy to work effectively. This is the first time it’s been developed to run on smaller devices with mobile batteries.
The company claims that it can reproduce edges, ridges, protrusions and bumps as well as other sensations using its technology.
Fig 1. In 2008, bioengineers at the University of Minnesota stripped rat hearts of cells using detergent — you can see the results of three trials here. This process left untouched the blood vessels, collagen, and various proteins that compose the heart’s physical structure.
Fig 2. The ghost heart is flushed with red dye to show that major and minor blood vessels were left intact.
Fig 3. A researcher injects the ghost heart with heart cells from newborn mice.
Fig 4. Researchers adjusted the environmental conditions to simulate natural conditions, meaning they provided oxygenate fluids, pressure, and an electrical stimulus. You can see the bioreactor schematic here.
I’ve seen this photograph very frequently on tumblr and Facebook, always with the simple caption, “Ghost Heart”. What exactly is a ghost heart?
More than 3,200 people are on the waiting list for a heart transplant in the United States. Some won’t survive the wait. Last year, 340 died before a new heart was found.
The solution: Take a pig heart, soak it in an ingredient commonly found in shampoo and wash away the cells until you’re left with a protein scaffold that is to a heart what two-by-four framing is to a house.
Then inject that ghost heart, as it’s called, with hundreds of millions of blood or bone-marrow stem cells from a person who needs a heart transplant, place it in a bioreactor - a box with artificial lungs and tubes that pump oxygen and blood into it - and wait as the ghost heart begins to mature into a new, beating human heart.
Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, has been working on this— first using rat hearts, then pig hearts and human hearts - for years.
The process is called decellularization and it is a tissue engineering technique designed to strip out the cells from a donor organ, leaving nothing but connective tissue that used to hold the cells in place.
This scaffold of connective tissue - called a “ghost organ” for its pale and almost translucent appearance - can then be reseeded with a patient’s own cells, with the goal of regenerating an organ that can be transplanted into the patient without fear of tissue rejection.
This ghost heart is ready to be injected with a transplant recipient’s stem cells so a new heart - one that won’t be rejected - can be grown.
Living Tissue Emerges From 3-D Printer
Harvard bioengineers say they have taken a big step toward using 3-D printers to make living tissue. They’ve made a machine with multiple printer heads that each extrudes a different biological building block to make complex tissue and blood vessels.
Their work represents a significant advance toward producing living medical models upon which drugs could be tested for safety and effectiveness.
It also advances the ball in the direction of an even bigger goal. Such a machine and the techniques being refined by researchers offer a glimpse of the early steps in a sci-fi healthcare scenario: One day surgeons might feed detailed CT scans of human body parts into a 3-D printer, manipulate them with design software, and produce healthy replacements for diseased or injured tissues or organs.
Read more below and click the gifs for explanations.
Ferrofluid on top of a strong magnet forms peaks which follow the magnetic field.