The attention given to the side of the head which has received the injury, in connection with a specific reference to the side of the body nervously affected, is in itself evidence that in this case the ancient surgeon was already beginning observations on the localization of functions in the brain.

 James Henry Breasted

(via neuromorphogenesis)

neuromorphogenesis:

To quash depression, some brain cells must push through the stress
The nature of psychological resilience has, in recent years, been a subject of enormous interest to researchers, who have wondered how some people endure and even thrive under a certain amount of stress, and others crumble and fall prey to depression. The resulting research has underscored the importance of feeling socially connected and the value of psychotherapy to identify and exercise patterns of thought that protect against hopelessness and defeat.
But what does psychological resilience look like inside our brains, at the cellular level? Such knowledge might help bolster peoples’ immunity to depression and even treat people under chronic stress. And a new study published Thursday in Science magazine has made some progress in the effort to see the brain struggling with — and ultimately triumphing over — stress.
A group of neuroscientists at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York focused on the dopaminergic cells in the brain’s ventral tegmentum, a key node in the brain’s reward circuitry and therefore an important place to look at how social triumph and defeat play out in the brain. In mice under stress because they were either chronically isolated or rebuffed or attacked by fellow littermates, the group had observed that this group of neurons become overactive.
It would logically follow, then, that if you don’t want stressed mice (or people) to become depressed, you would want to avoid hyperactivity in that key group of neurons, right?
Actually, wrong, the researchers found. In a series of experiments, they saw that the mice who were least prone to behave in socially defeated ways when under stress were actually the ones whose dopaminergic cells in the ventral tegmental area displayed the greatest levels of hyperactivity in response to stress. And that hyperactivity was most pronounced in the neurons that extended from the tegmentum into the nearby nucleus accumbens, also a key node in the brain’s reward system.
The researchers wondered whether inducing similar hyperactivity in mice prone to depression — effectively pushing these cells to signal even faster and harder — might help bolster them against succumbing to passivity and defeat when under stress? Using antidepressant medication, viruses and lights that turn circuits on and off, they found that it could. By activating the chemical processes that induced the same level of hyperactivity seen in the ventral tegmenta of resilient mice, they made depression-prone mice more hardy and happy in the face of stress.
The results suggest something profound about the brain and depression: that in the healthy and psychologically resilient, stress induces its own chemical countermeasures, fostering a sort of psychological equilibrium. Someday medications might employ strategies that help promote such equilibrium to head off depression before it starts, as well as to treat it once it has set in.
high resolution →

neuromorphogenesis:

To quash depression, some brain cells must push through the stress

The nature of psychological resilience has, in recent years, been a subject of enormous interest to researchers, who have wondered how some people endure and even thrive under a certain amount of stress, and others crumble and fall prey to depression. The resulting research has underscored the importance of feeling socially connected and the value of psychotherapy to identify and exercise patterns of thought that protect against hopelessness and defeat.

But what does psychological resilience look like inside our brains, at the cellular level? Such knowledge might help bolster peoples’ immunity to depression and even treat people under chronic stress. And a new study published Thursday in Science magazine has made some progress in the effort to see the brain struggling with — and ultimately triumphing over — stress.

A group of neuroscientists at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York focused on the dopaminergic cells in the brain’s ventral tegmentum, a key node in the brain’s reward circuitry and therefore an important place to look at how social triumph and defeat play out in the brain. In mice under stress because they were either chronically isolated or rebuffed or attacked by fellow littermates, the group had observed that this group of neurons become overactive.

It would logically follow, then, that if you don’t want stressed mice (or people) to become depressed, you would want to avoid hyperactivity in that key group of neurons, right?

Actually, wrong, the researchers found. In a series of experiments, they saw that the mice who were least prone to behave in socially defeated ways when under stress were actually the ones whose dopaminergic cells in the ventral tegmental area displayed the greatest levels of hyperactivity in response to stress. And that hyperactivity was most pronounced in the neurons that extended from the tegmentum into the nearby nucleus accumbens, also a key node in the brain’s reward system.

The researchers wondered whether inducing similar hyperactivity in mice prone to depression — effectively pushing these cells to signal even faster and harder — might help bolster them against succumbing to passivity and defeat when under stress? Using antidepressant medication, viruses and lights that turn circuits on and off, they found that it could. By activating the chemical processes that induced the same level of hyperactivity seen in the ventral tegmenta of resilient mice, they made depression-prone mice more hardy and happy in the face of stress.

The results suggest something profound about the brain and depression: that in the healthy and psychologically resilient, stress induces its own chemical countermeasures, fostering a sort of psychological equilibrium. Someday medications might employ strategies that help promote such equilibrium to head off depression before it starts, as well as to treat it once it has set in.

Massive Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841
Image Credit: Hubble, Subaru; Composition & Copyright: Robert Gendler
Explanation: It is one of the more massive galaxies known. A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in the northern constellation ofUrsa Major. This sharp view of the gorgeous island universe shows off a striking yellow nucleus and galactic disk. Dust lanes, small, pink star-forming regions, and young blue star clusters are embedded in the patchy, tightly wound spiral arms. In contrast, many other spirals exhibit grand, sweeping arms with large star-forming regions. NGC 2841 has a diameter of over 150,000 light-years, even larger than our own Milky Way and captured by this composite image merging exposures from the orbiting 2.4-meterHubble Space Telescope and the ground-based 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope. X-ray images suggest that resulting winds and stellar explosions create plumes of hot gas extending into a halo around NGC 2841.
high resolution →

Massive Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841

Image Credit: HubbleSubaruComposition & Copyright: Robert Gendler

Explanation: It is one of the more massive galaxies known. A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in the northern constellation ofUrsa Major. This sharp view of the gorgeous island universe shows off a striking yellow nucleus and galactic disk. Dust lanes, small, pink star-forming regions, and young blue star clusters are embedded in the patchy, tightly wound spiral arms. In contrast, many other spirals exhibit grand, sweeping arms with large star-forming regions. NGC 2841 has a diameter of over 150,000 light-years, even larger than our own Milky Way and captured by this composite image merging exposures from the orbiting 2.4-meterHubble Space Telescope and the ground-based 8.2-meter Subaru TelescopeX-ray images suggest that resulting winds and stellar explosions create plumes of hot gas extending into a halo around NGC 2841.

astronomy-to-zoology:

Pygmy Falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus)

Also known as the African Pygmy Falcon, P. semitorquatus is a small species of falcon, that occurs in eastern and southern Africa. The population in eastern Africa (P. s. castanotus) occurs from Sudan to Somalia south to Uganda and Tanzania. The population in southern Africa (P. s. semitorquatus) occurs from Angola to South Africa.

True to its common name P. semitorquatus is very small at only 19-20 cm long, making it the smallest raptor in Africa. Pygmy falcons typically inhabit dry bush habitats and will feed on insects, small mammals, birds, and reptiles. Pygmy falcons will usually in the nests of weavers, and even though they feed on bird will rarely go after their weaver neighbors.

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Falconiformes-Falconidae-Polihierax-P. semitorquatus

Images: Steve Garvie and Bob

ohstarstuff:

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot 
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (GRS) is an atmospheric storm that has been raging in Jupiter’s southern Hemisphere for at least 400 years.
About 100 years ago, the storm covered over 40,000 km of the surface. It is currently about one half of that size and seems to be shrinking. 
At the present rate that it is shrinking it could become circular by 2040. The GRS rotates counter-clockwise(anti-cyclonic) and makes a full rotation every six Earth days. 
It is not known exactly what causes the Great Red Spot’s reddish color. The most popular theory, which is supported by laboratory experiments, holds that the color may be caused by complex organic molecules, red phosphorus, or other sulfur compounds. 
The GRS is about two to three times larger than Earth. Winds at its oval edges can reach up to 425 mph (680 km/h) 
Infrared data has indicated that the Great Red Spot is colder (and thus, higher in altitude) than most of the other clouds on the planet
Sources: http://www.universetoday.com/15163/jupiters-great-red-spot/ http://www.space.com/23708-jupiter-great-red-spot-longevity.html

ohstarstuff:

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

  • Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (GRS) is an atmospheric storm that has been raging in Jupiter’s southern Hemisphere for at least 400 years.
  • About 100 years ago, the storm covered over 40,000 km of the surface. It is currently about one half of that size and seems to be shrinking. 
  • At the present rate that it is shrinking it could become circular by 2040. The GRS rotates counter-clockwise(anti-cyclonic) and makes a full rotation every six Earth days. 
  • It is not known exactly what causes the Great Red Spot’s reddish color. The most popular theory, which is supported by laboratory experiments, holds that the color may be caused by complex organic molecules, red phosphorus, or other sulfur compounds. 
  • The GRS is about two to three times larger than Earth. Winds at its oval edges can reach up to 425 mph (680 km/h) 
  • Infrared data has indicated that the Great Red Spot is colder (and thus, higher in altitude) than most of the other clouds on the planet

Sources:
http://www.universetoday.com/15163/jupiters-great-red-spot/ http://www.space.com/23708-jupiter-great-red-spot-longevity.html

Milky Way’s Structure Mapped in Unprecedented Detail
Astronomers are one step closer to solving a longstanding mystery — just what our Milky Way galaxy looks like.
It may seem odd that a comprehensive understanding of the Milky Way’s structure has so far eluded researchers. But it’s tough to get a broad view of the galaxy from within.
"We are fairly confident that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy, but we don’t know much in detail. At the most basic level, we’d like to be able to make a map that would show in detail what it looks like," said Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who led the new study. 
Continue Reading
high resolution →

Milky Way’s Structure Mapped in Unprecedented Detail

Astronomers are one step closer to solving a longstanding mystery — just what our Milky Way galaxy looks like.

It may seem odd that a comprehensive understanding of the Milky Way’s structure has so far eluded researchers. But it’s tough to get a broad view of the galaxy from within.

"We are fairly confident that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy, but we don’t know much in detail. At the most basic level, we’d like to be able to make a map that would show in detail what it looks like," said Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who led the new study. 

Continue Reading

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

A water droplet can rebound completely without spreading from a superhydrophobic surface. The photo above is a long exposure image showing the trajectory of such a droplet as it bounces. In the initial bounces, the droplet leaves the surface fully, following a parabolic path with each rebound. The droplet’s kinetic energy is sapped with each rebound by surface deformation and vibration, making each bounce smaller than the last. Viscosity damps the drop’s vibrations, and the droplet eventually comes to rest after twenty or so rebounds. (Image credit: D. Richard and D. Quere)
high resolution →

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

A water droplet can rebound completely without spreading from a superhydrophobic surface. The photo above is a long exposure image showing the trajectory of such a droplet as it bounces. In the initial bounces, the droplet leaves the surface fully, following a parabolic path with each rebound. The droplet’s kinetic energy is sapped with each rebound by surface deformation and vibration, making each bounce smaller than the last. Viscosity damps the drop’s vibrations, and the droplet eventually comes to rest after twenty or so rebounds. (Image credit: D. Richard and D. Quere)

skunkbear:

Close-ups of butterfly wing scales! You should definitely click on these images to get the full detail.

I’ve paired each amazing close-up (by macro photographer Linden Gledhill) with an image of the corresponding butterfly or moth.  The featured lepidoptera* are (in order of appearance):

*Lepidoptera (the scientific order that includes moths and butterflies) means “scaly wing.” The scales get their color not from pigment - but from microscopic structures that manipulate light.

The great science youtube channel “Smarter Every Day” has two videos on this very subject that I highly recommend:

A Star’s Early Chemistry Shapes Life-Friendly Atmospheres
Born in a disc of gas and rubble, planets eventually come together as larger and larger pieces of dust and rock stick together. They may be hundreds of light-years away from us, but astronomers can nevertheless watch these planets as they form.
One major point of interest is the chemistry of the rubble that forms around a star before a planetary system is formed, known as the protoplanetary disc.
Continue Reading
high resolution →

A Star’s Early Chemistry Shapes Life-Friendly Atmospheres

Born in a disc of gas and rubble, planets eventually come together as larger and larger pieces of dust and rock stick together. They may be hundreds of light-years away from us, but astronomers can nevertheless watch these planets as they form.

One major point of interest is the chemistry of the rubble that forms around a star before a planetary system is formed, known as the protoplanetary disc.

Continue Reading

Fluke Forces
Dolphins prove that they rely on muscle power, rather than a trick of fluid dynamics, to race through water at high speeds.
Writing in the Journal of Experimental Biology in 1936, British zoologist James Gray made a simple calculation based on observations of a dolphin swimming alongside a ship in the Indian Ocean. The dolphin, he reported, had passed the vessel, from stern to bow, in 7 seconds. The ship was 41 meters long and it was moving at 8.5 knots. “This dolphin must therefore have been travelling at 20 knots [10.1 meters per second],” wrote Gray, who concluded, after an avalanche of more complex calculations, that dolphins couldn’t possibly have attained that speed using muscle power alone.
Continue Reading
high resolution →

Fluke Forces

Dolphins prove that they rely on muscle power, rather than a trick of fluid dynamics, to race through water at high speeds.

Writing in the Journal of Experimental Biology in 1936, British zoologist James Gray made a simple calculation based on observations of a dolphin swimming alongside a ship in the Indian Ocean. The dolphin, he reported, had passed the vessel, from stern to bow, in 7 seconds. The ship was 41 meters long and it was moving at 8.5 knots. “This dolphin must therefore have been travelling at 20 knots [10.1 meters per second],” wrote Gray, who concluded, after an avalanche of more complex calculations, that dolphins couldn’t possibly have attained that speed using muscle power alone.

Continue Reading

Researchers Push New Parkinson’s Treatment Toward Clinical Trials
The most effective way to tackle debilitating diseases is to punch them at the start and keep them from growing.
Research at Michigan State University, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, shows that a small “molecular tweezer” keeps proteins from clumping, or aggregating, the first step of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
Continue Reading

Researchers Push New Parkinson’s Treatment Toward Clinical Trials

The most effective way to tackle debilitating diseases is to punch them at the start and keep them from growing.

Research at Michigan State University, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, shows that a small “molecular tweezer” keeps proteins from clumping, or aggregating, the first step of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

Continue Reading

policymic:

How many Earth twins are out there? Hundreds possibly

NASA’s recent discovery of Kepler-186f, the first habitable Earth-sized planet is big news in humankind’s long search for extraterrestrial life.

A universe full of exoplanets: Thanks to the Kepler Space Telescope, which was launched in 2009 to hunt planets across the universe, we’ve managed to find around 1800 exoplanets so far, many of which have been discovered in just the last year or so.

Read moreFollow policymic

Auroras Over Stokksnes, Iceland
image Credit: ELISABETTA ROSSO, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC YOUR SHOT
high resolution →

Auroras Over Stokksnes, Iceland

image CreditELISABETTA ROSSO, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC YOUR SHOT

(Source: National Geographic)

kqedscience:

In weird Brazilian cave insects, male-female sex organs reversed"This may be the role reversal to end all role reversals.Scientists on Thursday described four insect species that dwell in extremely dry caves in Brazil, feed on bat guano and possess what the researchers called an “evolutionary novelty.” .The females have an elaborate, penis-like organ while the males have a vagina-like opening into which females insert their organ during mating sessions that last 40 to 70 hours, the scientists reported in the journal Current Biology.”
Learn more from reuters.
high resolution →

kqedscience:

In weird Brazilian cave insects, male-female sex organs reversed

"This may be the role reversal to end all role reversals.

Scientists on Thursday described four insect species that dwell in extremely dry caves in Brazil, feed on bat guano and possess what the researchers called an “evolutionary novelty.” .

The females have an elaborate, penis-like organ while the males have a vagina-like opening into which females insert their organ during mating sessions that last 40 to 70 hours, the scientists reported in the journal Current Biology.”

Learn more from reuters.

neuromorphogenesis:

Language and Your Brain

For centuries, researchers have studied the brain to find exactly where mechanisms for producing and interpreting language reside. Theories abound on how humans acquire new languages and how our developing brains learn to process languages.

By Voxy.