gjmueller:

Scientists Use Internet For Brain-To-Brain Communication

Ah, the internet. It lets us do so many things: from ordering pizza to browsing endless cat pictures and now… telepathy?
A study by a group of international scientists published in PLOS One found a brain could transmit a message to another brain through internet channels, and as if that weren’t enough — they did it across continents.

gjmueller:

Scientists Use Internet For Brain-To-Brain Communication

Ah, the internet. It lets us do so many things: from ordering pizza to browsing endless cat pictures and now… telepathy?

A study by a group of international scientists published in PLOS One found a brain could transmit a message to another brain through internet channels, and as if that weren’t enough — they did it across continents.

startswithabang:

The Ten Brightest Stars in the Sky

"When that happens, your star starts burning heavier elements, expanding into a giant star that’s cooler but much more luminous than your initial star. Even though the giant phase is much shorter-lived than the hydrogen-burning phase, its incredible brightness allows it to be seen prominently from far greater distances than the original star ever could be."

When you think of the most recognizable collections of stars: the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia, the “Teapot” in Sagittarius and the Southern Cross, they might have prominent stars, but none of them crack the top 10 in terms of brightness. Who, then, are the brightest stars in the sky? Come see how many you know, and find what makes them shine so brightly, and why they’re not representative of most stars in the Universe!

ucresearch:

Seeing a supernovae within hours of the explosion
For the first time ever, scientists have gathered direct evidence of a rare Wolf-Rayet star being linked to a specific type of stellar explosion known as a Type IIb supernova. Peter Nugent of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says they caught this star – a whopping 360 million light years away – just a few hours after it exploded.
Hear more about this discovery →

ucresearch:

Seeing a supernovae within hours of the explosion

For the first time ever, scientists have gathered direct evidence of a rare Wolf-Rayet star being linked to a specific type of stellar explosion known as a Type IIb supernova. Peter Nugent of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says they caught this star – a whopping 360 million light years away – just a few hours after it exploded.

Hear more about this discovery →

explainers-nysci:

How do our eyes adjust to different types of light?
Our Iris’s are the circular structures in our eyes that control the diameter of our pupil, the hole in the center of the Iris and our pupil controls the amount of light that enters our eye.
When our eyes are exposed to light, our Iris expands causing the pupil to become smaller. This regulates the perfect amount of light we need to be able to see. When our eyes are exposed to low light, the Iris contracts, causing the pupil to become larger. This creates more space for light to enter our eye!
In this gif, is the Iris contracting or expanding and why?
Source

explainers-nysci:

How do our eyes adjust to different types of light?

Our Iris’s are the circular structures in our eyes that control the diameter of our pupil, the hole in the center of the Iris and our pupil controls the amount of light that enters our eye.

When our eyes are exposed to light, our Iris expands causing the pupil to become smaller. This regulates the perfect amount of light we need to be able to see. When our eyes are exposed to low light, the Iris contracts, causing the pupil to become larger. This creates more space for light to enter our eye!

In this gif, is the Iris contracting or expanding and why?

Source

rhamphotheca:

Scientists Find Evidence for Tectonic Plates on Jupiter’s Moon Europa

Scientists have found evidence of plate tectonics on Jupiter’s moon Europa. This indicates the first sign of this type of surface-shifting geological activity on a world other than Earth.

Researchers have clear visual evidence of Europa’s icy crust expanding. However, they could not find areas where the old crust was destroyed to make room for the new. While examining Europa images taken by NASA’s Galileo orbiter in the early 2000s, planetary geologists Simon Kattenhorn, of the University of Idaho, Moscow, and Louise Prockter, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, discovered some unusual geological boundaries.

"We have been puzzled for years as to how all this new terrain could be formed, but we couldn’t figure out how it was accommodated," said Prockter. "We finally think we’ve found the answer."

Plate tectonics is the scientific theory that Earth’s outer layer is made up of plates or blocks that move, which accounts for why mountain and volcanoes form and earthquakes happen…

(read more: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Image: Noah Kroese, I.NK

A Black Hole Doesn’t Die — It Does Something A Lot Weirder
Black holes are basically “game over, man,” for anything that gets too close to them, but they aren’t invincible. In fact, they’re always in the process of self-destructing. We’ll look at how they fizzle out, and see if we can help them do it faster.
The Event Horizon
Realistically speaking, you are dead as soon as you get anywhere near a black hole. You’ll be snapped like a rubber band by the differences in the gravitational pull on your top and bottom half, or you’ll be fried by radiation (more on that later). No one in the foreseeable future (even if we try to foresee multiple millennia into the future) will get close to a black hole. Pass the event horizon, however, and you don’t even have an unforeseeable future. Once material gets beyond the event horizon, it’s being pulled into the black hole with such force that it doesn’t escape. Not even light gets out. Once something has gone beyond the event horizon, it no longer really “counts” as part of the universe anymore.
Continue Reading

A Black Hole Doesn’t Die — It Does Something A Lot Weirder

Black holes are basically “game over, man,” for anything that gets too close to them, but they aren’t invincible. In fact, they’re always in the process of self-destructing. We’ll look at how they fizzle out, and see if we can help them do it faster.

The Event Horizon

Realistically speaking, you are dead as soon as you get anywhere near a black hole. You’ll be snapped like a rubber band by the differences in the gravitational pull on your top and bottom half, or you’ll be fried by radiation (more on that later). No one in the foreseeable future (even if we try to foresee multiple millennia into the future) will get close to a black hole. Pass the event horizon, however, and you don’t even have an unforeseeable future. Once material gets beyond the event horizon, it’s being pulled into the black hole with such force that it doesn’t escape. Not even light gets out. Once something has gone beyond the event horizon, it no longer really “counts” as part of the universe anymore.

Continue Reading

neurosciencestuff:

How studying damage to the prefrontal lobe has helped unlock the brain’s mysteries
Until the last few decades, the frontal lobes of the brain were shrouded in mystery and erroneously thought of as nonessential for normal function—hence the frequent use of lobotomies in the early 20th century to treat psychiatric disorders. Now a review publishing August 28 in the Cell Press journal Neuron highlights groundbreaking studies of patients with brain damage that reveal how distinct areas of the frontal lobes are critical for a person’s ability to learn, multitask, control their emotions, socialize, and make real-life decisions. The findings have helped experts rehabilitate patients experiencing damage to this region of the brain.
Although fairly common, damage to the prefrontal lobes (also called the prefrontal cortex) is often overlooked and undiagnosed because patients do not manifest obvious deficits. For example, patients with prefrontal brain damage do not lose any of their senses and often have preserved motor and language abilities, but they may manifest social abnormalities or difficulties with high-level planning in everyday life situations.
"In this review, we aimed to highlight a blend of new studies using cutting edge research techniques to investigate brain damage, but also to relate these new studies to original studies, some of which were published more than a century ago," said lead author Dr. Sara Szczepanski, of the University of California, Berkeley. "There is currently a large push to better understand the functions of the prefrontal cortex, and we believe that our review will make an important contribution to this understanding."
In addition to revealing the functions of different areas within the prefrontal cortex, studies have also demonstrated the flexibility of the region, which has helped experts optimize cognitive therapy techniques to enable patients with brain damage to learn new skills and compensate for their impairments.
The review indicates that by studying patients with damage to the prefrontal cortex, investigators can gain insights into this still-mysterious region of the brain that is critical for complex human skills and behavior.
high resolution →

neurosciencestuff:

How studying damage to the prefrontal lobe has helped unlock the brain’s mysteries

Until the last few decades, the frontal lobes of the brain were shrouded in mystery and erroneously thought of as nonessential for normal function—hence the frequent use of lobotomies in the early 20th century to treat psychiatric disorders. Now a review publishing August 28 in the Cell Press journal Neuron highlights groundbreaking studies of patients with brain damage that reveal how distinct areas of the frontal lobes are critical for a person’s ability to learn, multitask, control their emotions, socialize, and make real-life decisions. The findings have helped experts rehabilitate patients experiencing damage to this region of the brain.

Although fairly common, damage to the prefrontal lobes (also called the prefrontal cortex) is often overlooked and undiagnosed because patients do not manifest obvious deficits. For example, patients with prefrontal brain damage do not lose any of their senses and often have preserved motor and language abilities, but they may manifest social abnormalities or difficulties with high-level planning in everyday life situations.

"In this review, we aimed to highlight a blend of new studies using cutting edge research techniques to investigate brain damage, but also to relate these new studies to original studies, some of which were published more than a century ago," said lead author Dr. Sara Szczepanski, of the University of California, Berkeley. "There is currently a large push to better understand the functions of the prefrontal cortex, and we believe that our review will make an important contribution to this understanding."

In addition to revealing the functions of different areas within the prefrontal cortex, studies have also demonstrated the flexibility of the region, which has helped experts optimize cognitive therapy techniques to enable patients with brain damage to learn new skills and compensate for their impairments.

The review indicates that by studying patients with damage to the prefrontal cortex, investigators can gain insights into this still-mysterious region of the brain that is critical for complex human skills and behavior.

medicalschool:

Neural Layers
 neural stem cells lie in the layer closest to the ventricular space, the ventricular layer
this layer generates both neuroblasts and glioblasts

Neuroblasts - neurons arise first as neuroblasts and migrate along radial gial, their migration stops at cortical plate. Glioblasts - glia arise later as glioblasts
Both neurons and glia undergo a complex process of growth, differentiation and interaction over a long developmental time period. 

medicalschool:

Neural Layers

  •  neural stem cells lie in the layer closest to the ventricular space, the ventricular layer
    • this layer generates both neuroblasts and glioblasts

Neuroblasts - neurons arise first as neuroblasts and migrate along radial gial, their migration stops at cortical plate. Glioblasts - glia arise later as glioblasts

Both neurons and glia undergo a complex process of growth, differentiation and interaction over a long developmental time period. 

quantumaniac:

E42 - Potential Young Twin of Our Sun

"Pillars of Creation," the picture shown above, is possibly one of the most popular space photographs ever taken. The Hubble Telescope took the image in 1995 of M16, the Eagle Nebula (shown below). 

E42, a dense ball of interstellar gas, is jutting out the leftmost pillar. E42 is a stellar embryo that could develop into a star very similar to our Sun. E42 is in the “earliest stages of development ever detected for this type of object,” according to Space.com

E42 is a an evaporating gas globule (EGG), an “egg” of gas from which a star eventually emerges. More from Space.com:

this particular EGG has the same mass as the Sun and appears to be maturing in a violent environment matching the one thought to have produced Earth’s life-giving star.

You can read more about E42 here

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Type 1a Supernovae: Why Our Standard Candle Isn’t Really Standard
By: Nadia Drake | National Geographic-Phenomena
When I joined Phenomena, Carl Zimmer asked: What obsesses you? Among my obsessions, I answered, are type 1a supernovae. Here we go.
How can an astronomical object of such crucial cosmological importance remain so fundamentally mysterious?
When a runaway thermonuclear explosion rips through a white dwarf star and blows the star to bits, it’s called a type 1a supernova. These explosions are incredibly violent and incredibly bright, sometimes outshining entire galaxies. Thought to occur about once every two centuries in a galaxy like the Milky Way, these stellar cataclysms are relatively frequent events.
Continue Reading
high resolution →

Type 1a Supernovae: Why Our Standard Candle Isn’t Really Standard

By: Nadia Drake | National Geographic-Phenomena

When I joined Phenomena, Carl Zimmer asked: What obsesses you? Among my obsessions, I answered, are type 1a supernovae. Here we go.

How can an astronomical object of such crucial cosmological importance remain so fundamentally mysterious?

When a runaway thermonuclear explosion rips through a white dwarf star and blows the star to bits, it’s called a type 1a supernova. These explosions are incredibly violent and incredibly bright, sometimes outshining entire galaxies. Thought to occur about once every two centuries in a galaxy like the Milky Way, these stellar cataclysms are relatively frequent events.

Continue Reading

spaceexp:

Orion’s Sword
Source: rbrecher (reddit)
high resolution →

spaceexp:

Orion’s Sword

Source: rbrecher (reddit)

7 TED Talks that will make you love science

Eta Carinae: Our Neighboring Superstars
Eta Carinae is an intriguing double star system that contains one of the biggest and brightest stars in the Milky Way.
X-rays from Eta Carinae give clues about the system, including how the winds from the stars interact.
Astronomers have been observing Eta Carinae with Chandra since the telescope was launched in 1999.
The Eta Carinae star system does not lack for superlatives. Not only does it contain one of the biggest and brightest stars in our galaxy, weighing at least 90 times the mass of the Sun, it is also extremely volatile and is expected to have at least onesupernova explosion in the future.
As one of the first objects observed by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory after its launch some 15 years ago, this double star system continues to reveal new clues about its nature through the X-rays it generates.
Continue Reading

Eta Carinae: Our Neighboring Superstars

  • Eta Carinae is an intriguing double star system that contains one of the biggest and brightest stars in the Milky Way.
  • X-rays from Eta Carinae give clues about the system, including how the winds from the stars interact.
  • Astronomers have been observing Eta Carinae with Chandra since the telescope was launched in 1999.

The Eta Carinae star system does not lack for superlatives. Not only does it contain one of the biggest and brightest stars in our galaxy, weighing at least 90 times the mass of the Sun, it is also extremely volatile and is expected to have at least onesupernova explosion in the future.

As one of the first objects observed by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory after its launch some 15 years ago, this double star system continues to reveal new clues about its nature through the X-rays it generates.

Continue Reading

child-of-thecosmos:

Radio and television broadcasting may be only a brief passing phase in our technological development. When we imagine alien civilizations broadcasting signals with radio telescopes, are we any different from earlier generations who imagined riding cannon shells to the moon? Civilizations even slightly more advanced than ours may have already moved on to some other mode of communication, one that we have yet to discover or even imagine. Their messages could be swirling all around us at this very moment, but we lack the means to perceive them just as all of our ancestors, up to a little more than a century ago, would have been oblivious to the most urgent radio signal from another world. 

But there’s another more troubling possibility: Civilizations, like other living things, may only live so long before perishing due to natural causes, or violence, or self-inflicted wounds. Whether or not we ever make contact with intelligent alien life may depend on a critical question: What is the life expectancy of a civilization?

- Episode 11: The Immortals, Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey

The Mystery of Saturn’s Expanding F Ring
Saturn’s most distant ring is twice as bright and three times as wide as it was during the Voyager flybys in 1980 and 1981
Saturn’s rings are among the most beautiful sights in the Solar System. They have been a source of scientific fascination and puzzlement since they were discovered by Galileo in 1610 although it was Christiaan Huygens who first suggested they were rings in 1655.
The great mystery of Saturn’s rings is how they formed and why they are so stable. A simple model of orbital dynamics suggests that any small particles in this kind of orbit should gradually spiral into the planet.
Continue Reading
high resolution →

The Mystery of Saturn’s Expanding F Ring

Saturn’s most distant ring is twice as bright and three times as wide as it was during the Voyager flybys in 1980 and 1981

Saturn’s rings are among the most beautiful sights in the Solar System. They have been a source of scientific fascination and puzzlement since they were discovered by Galileo in 1610 although it was Christiaan Huygens who first suggested they were rings in 1655.

The great mystery of Saturn’s rings is how they formed and why they are so stable. A simple model of orbital dynamics suggests that any small particles in this kind of orbit should gradually spiral into the planet.

Continue Reading