thesubatomic:

Japanese scientists look Inside a fish’s brain using a probe sensitive to florescence - that wiggly line that you see is a fish’s thoughts.
high resolution →

thesubatomic:

Japanese scientists look Inside a fish’s brain using a probe sensitive to florescence - that wiggly line that you see is a fish’s thoughts.

neurosciencestuff:

Antipsychotic drugs linked to slight decrease in brain volume 
A study published today has confirmed a link between antipsychotic medication and a slight, but measureable, decrease in brain volume in patients with schizophrenia. For the first time, researchers have been able to examine whether this decrease is harmful for patients’ cognitive function and symptoms, and noted that over a nine year follow-up, this decrease did not appear to have any effect.
As we age, our brains naturally lose some of their volume – in other words, brain cells and connections. This process, known as atrophy, typically begins in our thirties and continues into old age. Researchers have known for some time that patients with schizophrenia lose brain volume at a faster rate than healthy individuals, though the reason why is unclear.
Now, in a study published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, a team of researchers from the University of Oulu, Finland, and the University of Cambridge has identified the rate of decrease in both healthy individuals and patients with schizophrenia. They also documented where in the brain schizophrenia patients have more atrophy, and have examined links between atrophy and antipsychotic medication.
By comparing brain scans of 33 patients with schizophrenia with 71 control subjects over a period of 9 years – from age 34 to 43 – the researchers were able to show that schizophrenia patients lost brain volume at a rate of 0.7% each year. The control participants lost brain volume at a rate of 0.5% per year.
Scientists have previously speculated that antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia may be linked to this decrease in brain volume. Today’s research confirms this association, showing that the rate of decrease in volume was greater when the dose of medication was higher. However, the mechanisms behind this – and whether it was in fact the medication that was causing this greater loss of tissue – are not clear. Some researchers have previously argued that whilst older antipsychotic medications might cause brain volume decreases, newer antipsychotic medications may protect against these decreases. However, today’s research suggests that both classes of antipsychotic medication are associated with similar declines in brain volume.
The researchers also looked at whether there was any link between the volume of brain lost and the severity of symptoms or loss of cognitive function, but found no effect.
Professor Juha Veijola from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oulu, Finland says: “We all lose some brain tissue as we get older, but people with schizophrenia lose it at a faster rate. We’ve shown that this loss seems to be linked to the antipsychotic medication people are taking. Research like this where patients are studied for many years can help to develop guidelines about when clinicians can reduce the dosage of antipsychotic medication in the long term treatment of people with schizophrenia.”
“It’s important to stress that the loss of brain volume doesn’t appear to have any effect on people over the nine year follow-up we conducted, and patients should not stop their medication on the basis of this research,” adds Dr Graham Murray from the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute and the Department of Psychiatry at University of Cambridge. “A key question in future will be to examine whether there is any effect of this loss of brain volume later in life. We need more research in larger studies with longer follow-ups to evaluate the significance of these brain changes.”
high resolution →

neurosciencestuff:

Antipsychotic drugs linked to slight decrease in brain volume

A study published today has confirmed a link between antipsychotic medication and a slight, but measureable, decrease in brain volume in patients with schizophrenia. For the first time, researchers have been able to examine whether this decrease is harmful for patients’ cognitive function and symptoms, and noted that over a nine year follow-up, this decrease did not appear to have any effect.

As we age, our brains naturally lose some of their volume – in other words, brain cells and connections. This process, known as atrophy, typically begins in our thirties and continues into old age. Researchers have known for some time that patients with schizophrenia lose brain volume at a faster rate than healthy individuals, though the reason why is unclear.

Now, in a study published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, a team of researchers from the University of Oulu, Finland, and the University of Cambridge has identified the rate of decrease in both healthy individuals and patients with schizophrenia. They also documented where in the brain schizophrenia patients have more atrophy, and have examined links between atrophy and antipsychotic medication.

By comparing brain scans of 33 patients with schizophrenia with 71 control subjects over a period of 9 years – from age 34 to 43 – the researchers were able to show that schizophrenia patients lost brain volume at a rate of 0.7% each year. The control participants lost brain volume at a rate of 0.5% per year.

Scientists have previously speculated that antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia may be linked to this decrease in brain volume. Today’s research confirms this association, showing that the rate of decrease in volume was greater when the dose of medication was higher. However, the mechanisms behind this – and whether it was in fact the medication that was causing this greater loss of tissue – are not clear. Some researchers have previously argued that whilst older antipsychotic medications might cause brain volume decreases, newer antipsychotic medications may protect against these decreases. However, today’s research suggests that both classes of antipsychotic medication are associated with similar declines in brain volume.

The researchers also looked at whether there was any link between the volume of brain lost and the severity of symptoms or loss of cognitive function, but found no effect.

Professor Juha Veijola from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oulu, Finland says: “We all lose some brain tissue as we get older, but people with schizophrenia lose it at a faster rate. We’ve shown that this loss seems to be linked to the antipsychotic medication people are taking. Research like this where patients are studied for many years can help to develop guidelines about when clinicians can reduce the dosage of antipsychotic medication in the long term treatment of people with schizophrenia.”

“It’s important to stress that the loss of brain volume doesn’t appear to have any effect on people over the nine year follow-up we conducted, and patients should not stop their medication on the basis of this research,” adds Dr Graham Murray from the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute and the Department of Psychiatry at University of Cambridge. “A key question in future will be to examine whether there is any effect of this loss of brain volume later in life. We need more research in larger studies with longer follow-ups to evaluate the significance of these brain changes.”

The Black Eye Galaxy (M64)
Image Credit: Jeff Johnson
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The Black Eye Galaxy (M64)

Image Credit: Jeff Johnson

(Source: space.com)

afro-dominicano:


HDW 3
This image was obtained with the wide-field view of the Mosaic camera on the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory.
Hartl-Dengel-Weinberger 3 (HDW 3) is a large, ancient planetary nebula. Its distinctive braided shape is the result of the planetary nebula colliding with the interstellar gas around it as the nebula moves through the galaxy.
The star that produced the planetary nebula is the faint bluish one just below and to the right of the bright star near the center of the image.The image was generated with observations in Hydrogen alpha (red) and Sulphur [S II] (blue) filters. In this image, North is up, East is to the left.
high resolution →

afro-dominicano:

HDW 3

This image was obtained with the wide-field view of the Mosaic camera on the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Hartl-Dengel-Weinberger 3 (HDW 3) is a large, ancient planetary nebula. Its distinctive braided shape is the result of the planetary nebula colliding with the interstellar gas around it as the nebula moves through the galaxy.

The star that produced the planetary nebula is the faint bluish one just below and to the right of the bright star near the center of the image.The image was generated with observations in Hydrogen alpha (red) and Sulphur [S II] (blue) filters. In this image, North is up, East is to the left.

rhamphotheca:

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered
Jurassic fossils may mean that feathers were all in the family.
by Dan Vergano
Almost all dinosaurs were probably covered in feathers, Siberian fossils of a tufted, two-legged running dinosaur dating from roughly 160 million years ago suggest.
Over the past two decades, discoveries in China have produced at least five species of feathered dinosaurs. But they all belonged to the theropod group of “raptor” dinosaurs, ancestors of modern birds.
Now in a discovery reported by an international team in the journal Science, the new dinosaur species, Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, suggests that feathers were all in the family. That’s because the newly unearthed 4.5-ft-long (1.5 m) two-legged runner was an “ornithischian” beaked dinosaur, belonging to a group ancestrally distinct from past theropod discoveries…
(read more: National Geographic)
illustration by Andrey Atuchin
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rhamphotheca:

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Jurassic fossils may mean that feathers were all in the family.

by Dan Vergano

Almost all dinosaurs were probably covered in feathers, Siberian fossils of a tufted, two-legged running dinosaur dating from roughly 160 million years ago suggest.

Over the past two decades, discoveries in China have produced at least five species of feathered dinosaurs. But they all belonged to the theropod group of “raptor” dinosaurs, ancestors of modern birds.

Now in a discovery reported by an international team in the journal Science, the new dinosaur species, Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, suggests that feathers were all in the family. That’s because the newly unearthed 4.5-ft-long (1.5 m) two-legged runner was an “ornithischian” beaked dinosaur, belonging to a group ancestrally distinct from past theropod discoveries…

(read more: National Geographic)

illustration by Andrey Atuchin

Next-Generation Telescope Will Be Able to Detect Pollutants on Other Planets
In the search for extraterrestrial life, we’ve been focusing on basic organisms like microbes—life forms that haven’t even evolved multicellular structures, let alone industrial societies. That means astrobiologists have been focused mostly on identifying biospheres that contain life’s necessities: oxygen, infrared radiation (for photosynthesizing plants), and water.
But a new study argues that astrobiologists should also be looking for CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), too, in case intelligent life is actually post-industrial. The authors proved, too, that the James Webb Space Telescope—scheduled to launch in 2018—will be equipped to detect at least two kinds of CFCs, under the right conditions.
Continue Reading
high resolution →

Next-Generation Telescope Will Be Able to Detect Pollutants on Other Planets

In the search for extraterrestrial life, we’ve been focusing on basic organisms like microbes—life forms that haven’t even evolved multicellular structures, let alone industrial societies. That means astrobiologists have been focused mostly on identifying biospheres that contain life’s necessities: oxygen, infrared radiation (for photosynthesizing plants), and water.

But a new study argues that astrobiologists should also be looking for CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), too, in case intelligent life is actually post-industrial. The authors proved, too, that the James Webb Space Telescope—scheduled to launch in 2018—will be equipped to detect at least two kinds of CFCs, under the right conditions.

Continue Reading

plays

scishow:

Moonquakes and Marsquakes

SciShow Space explores the origins of Earthquakes that aren’t on Earth. Moonquakes and Marsquakes can happen, too!

hydrogeneportfolio:

"Maybe we’re on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we’re on Mars because we have to be, because there’s a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we’ve been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad you’re there. And I wish I was with you.”
— Carl Sagan
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hydrogeneportfolio:

"Maybe we’re on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we’re on Mars because we have to be, because there’s a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we’ve been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad you’re there. And I wish I was with you.

 Carl Sagan

A Bold Critic of the Big Bang’s “Smoking Gun”
David Spergel explains why a widely publicized gravitational-wave discovery could be wrong, and how it could affect the public’s perception of science
From Quanta Magazine (find original story here).
In mid-March, a panel of four astrophysicists working on an experiment to probe the first moments of time held an extraordinary press conference at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass. The scientists announced that a radio telescope located at the South Pole had discovered gravitational waves generated by the Big Bang. They posted a non-peer-reviewed paper on the Internet that proclaimed the beginning of a “new era” in cosmology.
Sharing the spotlight at the press conference were Andrei Linde and Alan Guth, two theoretical physicists who have developed seminal theories of how our universe rapidly inflated at its birth. The new results validated those theories—or so it seemed.
Continue Reading
high resolution →

A Bold Critic of the Big Bang’s “Smoking Gun”

David Spergel explains why a widely publicized gravitational-wave discovery could be wrong, and how it could affect the public’s perception of science

From Quanta Magazine (find original story here).

In mid-March, a panel of four astrophysicists working on an experiment to probe the first moments of time held an extraordinary press conference at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass. The scientists announced that a radio telescope located at the South Pole had discovered gravitational waves generated by the Big Bang. They posted a non-peer-reviewed paper on the Internet that proclaimed the beginning of a “new era” in cosmology.

Sharing the spotlight at the press conference were Andrei Linde and Alan Guth, two theoretical physicists who have developed seminal theories of how our universe rapidly inflated at its birth. The new results validated those theories—or so it seemed.

Continue Reading

NEOWISE Spots a Comet That Looked Like an Asteroid
Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) has been observed by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft just one day after passing through its closest approach to the sun. The comet glows brightly in infrared wavelengths, with a dust tail streaking more than 62,000 miles (100,000 kilometers) across the sky. Its spectacular activity is driven by the vaporization of ice that has been preserved from the time of planet formation 4.5 billion years ago.
"The tail forms a faint fan as the smaller dust particles are more easily pushed away from the sun by the radiation pressure of the sunlight," said James Bauer, researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
C/2013 UQ4 takes more than 450 years to orbit the sun once and spends most of its time far away at very low temperatures. Its orbit is also retrograde, which means that the comet moves around the sun in the opposite direction to the planets and asteroids.
The comet was originally thought to be an asteroid, as it appeared inactive when discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on October 23, 2013. NEOWISE also observed the comet to be inactive on New Year’s Eve, 2013, but since then the comet has become highly active, allowing astronomers around the world to observe it. The comet’s activity should decline as it once again returns to the cold recesses of space.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the NEOWISE mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah, built the science instrument. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., built the spacecraft. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. For more information about NEOWISE, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/neowise
high resolution →

NEOWISE Spots a Comet That Looked Like an Asteroid

Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) has been observed by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft just one day after passing through its closest approach to the sun. The comet glows brightly in infrared wavelengths, with a dust tail streaking more than 62,000 miles (100,000 kilometers) across the sky. Its spectacular activity is driven by the vaporization of ice that has been preserved from the time of planet formation 4.5 billion years ago.

"The tail forms a faint fan as the smaller dust particles are more easily pushed away from the sun by the radiation pressure of the sunlight," said James Bauer, researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

C/2013 UQ4 takes more than 450 years to orbit the sun once and spends most of its time far away at very low temperatures. Its orbit is also retrograde, which means that the comet moves around the sun in the opposite direction to the planets and asteroids.

The comet was originally thought to be an asteroid, as it appeared inactive when discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on October 23, 2013. NEOWISE also observed the comet to be inactive on New Year’s Eve, 2013, but since then the comet has become highly active, allowing astronomers around the world to observe it. The comet’s activity should decline as it once again returns to the cold recesses of space.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the NEOWISE mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah, built the science instrument. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., built the spacecraft. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. For more information about NEOWISE, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/neowise

(Source: jpl.nasa.gov)

Tracks Hint at the Social Life of Tyrant Dinosaurs
What’s scarier than a tyrannosaur? Three tyrannosaurs. That’s simple, undeniable math. The question is whether or not the tyrant dinosaurs ever prowled together in real life. Up until now, the evidence has been equivocal. But a trackway found in British Columbia finally provides firmer ground for speculation on the social lives of these celebrated carnivores.
The idea that large tyrannosaurs – like Albertosaurus and the mightyTyrannosaurus itself – worked together to bring down prey isn’t new. University of Alberta paleontologist Philip Currie has been championing the hypothesis for over a decade, citing bonebeds that contain multiple individuals of the Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurs Albertosaurus andDaspletosaurus. And three years ago Currie went to the public with his idea in the form of a book and documentary called Dino Gangs. “If dinosaurs hadn’t become extinct, would gangs of killer tyrannosaurs now rule the world?”, the hyperbolic documentary asked.
Continue Reading
high resolution →

Tracks Hint at the Social Life of Tyrant Dinosaurs

What’s scarier than a tyrannosaur? Three tyrannosaurs. That’s simple, undeniable math. The question is whether or not the tyrant dinosaurs ever prowled together in real life. Up until now, the evidence has been equivocal. But a trackway found in British Columbia finally provides firmer ground for speculation on the social lives of these celebrated carnivores.

The idea that large tyrannosaurs – like Albertosaurus and the mightyTyrannosaurus itself – worked together to bring down prey isn’t new. University of Alberta paleontologist Philip Currie has been championing the hypothesis for over a decade, citing bonebeds that contain multiple individuals of the Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurs Albertosaurus andDaspletosaurus. And three years ago Currie went to the public with his idea in the form of a book and documentary called Dino Gangs. “If dinosaurs hadn’t become extinct, would gangs of killer tyrannosaurs now rule the world?”, the hyperbolic documentary asked.

Continue Reading

Empiricism

Empiricism is an ism with many meanings. In accounts of the history of philosophy, empiricism is often contrasted with rationalism, though serious historians frequently look with jaundiced eye at this way of telling the story. According to this formula, empiricists emphasize the role of sense experience, rationalists the role of reason. Each position can be given extreme formulations, as in the clashing claims that sense experience is the only source of knowledge or that reason is, and each position can be moderated, with the attendant possibility that they no longer conflict. The debate was usually framed in terms of the existence of “innate ideas” and often blurred the distinction between psychological and epistemological questions.

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mstrkrftz:

Milky way shining brightly above Rinjani Mountain, Lombok, Indonesia
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mstrkrftz:

Milky way shining brightly above Rinjani Mountain, Lombok, Indonesia
Milky Way in Singapore
Image Credit: Justin Ng
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Milky Way in Singapore

Image Credit: Justin Ng

I don’t get out of bed every morning thinking, “Will I find extraterrestrial intelligence today?” But I do think every day, “How can I improve the search?”

Astronomer Jill Tarter, who inspired Jodie Foster’s character in the film based on Carl Sagan’s Contact, on the search for extraterrestrial life and the importance of playing the long game – so much wisdom that applies to just about every aspect of life.

(via explore-blog)