Showing posts with label brain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brain. Show all posts

Values Taught to the Young Causes Terrorism

Plants destroyed in australia
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Learning the Koran

Anthropologists Puzzle Over the Hobbit of Flores Island

Anthropologists say the Hobbit of Flores did exist.
The naysayers have had to accept that the Hobbit discovered on the island of Flores in Indonesia did exist. They survived until about 15,000 years ago. Anthropologists should have taken notice of local folklore. Stories were handed down to the present about tiny "people" raiding food crops at night.

Remains have been closely examined by scientists. It was a tiny version of Australopithecus a human predecessor which lived in Africa from 4.5 million to 2 million years ago. The creature grew to small stature because it was trapped on an island. Short legs made it hard for them to walk but they did nonetheless - large trees do not grow on Flores.
A Human compared to the Hobbit of Flores island in Indonesia
Despite having a small brain Homo floresiensis developed stone tools to a complexity equalled only by humans. Its teeth were closer to human teeth than any other ape-like pre-human. This accounts for its naming as homo rather than Australopithecus.

The real mystery about the Hobbit is how did it get so close to Australia?
There must have been an exodus out of Africa much like the one that occurred to humans. We obviously were not the first upright ape to spread out widely from its source. Anthropologists have recently accepted the hypothesis that Man lived alongside other bipedal apes. The chain-like evolution of the ape family is now in the waste paper bin.
 Anthropology by Ty Buchanan 
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THE HOBBIT LIVED!
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Animal Gives it Some Thought

Goofy animal scratches head.
Animal scratches head thinks
"Where did I put those car keys?"
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ANIMAL LOSES IT
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First-NIght-Effect Means Little Sleep at New Hotel

SAnthropology: we have evolved to be on guard on the first night when sleeping in a new place.
Man is still a hunter. We may live in cities and believe we are advanced but our genes have evolved to survive in the wild outdoors beneath the starlit night sky. If we move into a new environment getting a good night's sleep on the first night is a problem. Our brain is "on-guard" against unknown dangers.
Primitive man sleeps
This phenomenon is in all animals. One hemisphere of the brain will sleep while the other remains on sentry duty. This "first-night-effect" is permanent. There is no cure because it isn't an illness. After the first night the brain adapts, records the new environment and deems it to be safe.

Tests show that the left hemisphere sleeps lighter in a new situation. Slow-wave activity is weaker than the right hemisphere. Furthermore, the default-mode network which involves mind wandering is more active. This indicates that the brain is checking the environment. Sleeping test subjects were played some normal and some unusual sounds. The left hemisphere became even more alert when it heard unusual sounds or even loud sounds. After the first night the brain became "normalized" then no such activity was observed.
 Anthropolgy by Ty Buchanan 
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Schizophrenia Gene Found

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The gene responsible for schizophrenia has been found. Contrary to the popular view the ailment doesn't only cause multiple personality issues. It has three variants: 1) Positive, causing delusions, dysfunctional thoughts, movement irregularities and hallucinations; Negative, unhappiness, not finishing activities, reduced speaking and low bodily expression; and Cognitive, poor decision making, low attention, memory problems.
schizophrenia sufferer
Ten in a thousand people suffer from schizophrenia. It usually begins before the age of 30 years. In 2014 an international program was organized to isolate the causative gene. It has been identified in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The C4 gene goes wild in sufferers, binding to more foreign molecules. This reduces the synaptic connections in the brain.

Hopefully, a new more specific medication can be produced from the research data. Currently, drugs are not effective because the target has been unclear.  lifelong treatment is necessary involving medication to smooth-out symptoms.  Ironically, psychological therapy has been practised.  This now seems to be the wrong thing to do if it is cause by a gene.
 Genetics by Ty Buchanan 
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Organoid "Making" a Waste of Resources!

Scientists are creating tiny human organs from stem cells just for the sake of it. They hope that it will make for beneficial discoveries and applications in the future. Is it a waste of public and private money? It could be. There is an opportunity cost in using resources for wasteful projects.
Organoid brain
These tiny but useless mini-organs are called organoids. Indeed, Madeline Lancaster was messing-around" when she realized that she had grown a brain. Attempting to form embryonic stem cells from neural rosettes she accidentally succeeded. The floating milky substance floating in the culture was an embryonic brain - retina cells. A mass of different cells were found when the contents of the culture dish were closely analysed.

Organoids seem to mimic the operation of full-sized natural organs. Eye, stomach, gut, kidney, liver, pancreas, lung, prostate and breast mini-organs have been made. They do mimic some of the functions of the real thing. Unfortunately, they remain embryonic and do not keep growing to become actual copies human organs.

It seems organoids form on their own with no structural scaffolding required for them to make operational structures. Cell division simply follows the instruction written in the DNA. Their only use so far has been for testing of drugs and procedures to treat medical conditions. It is a developing science - early days.
 
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Jellyfish are Complex Creatures

Though jellyfish have no brain, intelligence is built into their bodies. They appear to act on instinct to changes in the environment. Whether they have consciousness is not known.
They swim better than any other creature. Swimming against the tide is their forte. Detecting the direction of currents was thought to be impossible without sight, yet jellyfish do it.

Rhythmically moving their heads and forcing water out from their bodies, they are a jet-propelled swimming machine. Most believe that jellyfish just drift. This is not the case, They head straight for their destination, for example, usually in groups.

Somehow they know that there are others of their kind with them, though they do not have eyes. Perhaps the animal uses the Earth's magnetic field as well as ocean currents to know where they are. Some scientists have suggested they use infrasound.
Science by Ty Buchanan
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Electrostimulation of the Brain Could Treat Elipepsy

It has been shown that elecrostimulation of one side of the brain can numb it and allow the other side, the creative part, to take over and temporally improve artistic skills. The sketching of animals by participants got much, much better.

There is hope that treatments for brain disorders will be discovered. A project by Australian and French researchers has applied sequential electromagnetic pulses (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation - or rTMS) to mice. Abnormal brain connections were corrected by this process.

Epilepsy, depression and tinnitus are caused by abnormal brain connections. Low-intensity repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (LI-rTMS) had a positive result on mice born with abnormal organization of the brain.

Permanent implants to human brains could improve life for many patients who have continuous episodes of brain maladies. The electrostimulation changes brain chemistry. A specific chemical spreads across large areas of the brain. It is this that corrects abnormality. Preexisting correct organization was not changed.
Health by Ty Buchanan
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Australia Should Develop a Bionic Brain - Nonesense!

One of the most difficult things to do is to develop a computer brain that operates like a human brain. Intelligence that evolved by nature is very complex. A computer "thinks" linearly with one activity followed by another. The human brain works outward from a central point, spreading out to different areas depending on the particular task.

To say that Australia should concentrate on making the world's first bionic brain is a leap too far. Saying that $250m over ten years will get the job done is way off the mark. There are many scientists already working with much more money than that and they haven't achieved much.

Pioneering the healthbionic ear and eye is kid stuff compared to replicating the brain. Using nerve activity to make artificial limbs move is also far from understanding human intelligence. Even after all these years measuring intelligence is beyond us. The IQ test only gives a score for rating cultural knowledge. It is misused by so many people.

We need to start at the real beginning and understand genetics first. Genes build the brain. Consciousness is another thing. Is it the outcome of the overall activity of the brain or is it something separate, like a soul? Saying humans are the only animal to have a soul is nonsense. When you get to Heaven expect to find some Neanderthal there!
Science by Ty Buchanan
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Paranormal Research Continues in Russia

If you thought that research into the ethereal world of religion and beliefs have gone - think again. The Russians are pouring millions of rubles into analyzing the paranormal. Telekinesis and mind control are the main areas studied.

There has been continuous planned research beginning in 1917 and officially ending in 2003, though it is believed that it is still ongoing. It is estimated to have cost more than a billion dollars.

Psychotronics may sound like something to do with robotics, but it the Russian word for parapsychology. Russians still strongly believe that the human brain, being an electronic device, is capable of transmitting and receiving information.

There is film of a subject moving objects around a table purely by thought. Even thinking about it could stimulate the immune systems of humans and plants. Some people were influenced unknowingly by others forcing them to do things purely by targeted thought.

Igor Smirnov was quietly brought out of retirement in 2007 by the Russian government to start his research again. He is called the father of psychotronic weapons.
Science by Ty Buchanan
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Accident Witnesses May Not Remember the Truth

Witnesses in a trial may reiterate what they believe to be an accurate statement of what happened before their very eyes, but this may be distorted if they were stressed at the time. During a bank robbery or hostage taking they will be stressed if they are the victims.

Certain parts of the brain are known to be affected, when a memory (engram) is created. Once a memory is made and filed, recall of this is the same whether the engram is true or false.

In mice the chemical structure of a memory of a bright flashing light was identified. This chemical "program" was induced in some mice. When electric pulses were applied to the animal's feet for memory recall, those with the program froze in shock, while the others reacted normally. Obviously, the mice deemed the false memory to be absolutely real. Placement of the memory is fixed and immediate.

Human memories tend to improve with age. As time goes by, what actually happened and what really occurred during childhood is rosier. Bad memories affect health. Amnesia could be a safety mechanism to forget a very bad, painful memory.
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Conservation
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The Flores "Hobbit" had a Small but Sufficient Brain

The "miniature" humans on the island of Flores in Indonesia have had extensive tests performed on them. Their remains have been examined in detail.  While their brain was as small as an orange it was large enough for them to develop many skills. At a third of the weight of modern-day people it was in proportion.

The world of the "Hobbit", Homo floresiensis, was composed of pygmy animals, so it was a natural environment for them. They would not have perceived themselves to be small.

This sub-species developed from one of the first branches of humans that walked upright, going back two million years. Their direct forebear, Homo erectus, was larger than modern humans. It roamed over a large part of Asia.

Isolation on a small island led to dwarfism occurring. All mammals progress this way when trapped in a limited domain, though reptiles get larger. It was doubtful that they hunted the much bigger reptiles. If their environment was more challenging they would have developed larger brains. A small brain was sufficient. They did use flaked stone points in their weapons. This points to Homo erectus having such knowledge.

Early Hobbits first arrived on Flores 95,000 years ago, before humans moved out of Africa, so they possibly shared the world with Homo erectus with no challenge from Homo sapiens. The problem is the gap between the demise of Homo erectus at 300,000 years ago and the branching off of the large version of the Hobbit. Apart from Homo erectus no direct ancestor has been found.
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Evolution
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Binge Drinking Causes Type 2 Diabetes

Drinking alcohol is not an innocent pastime. We know it damages the liver. However, a link has been found between binge drinking and the onset of type 2 diabetes. How it does this is not fully understood.

Rats were put on a "diet" of 3 g/kg of alcohol for only three days. Even when the alcohol had completely left their systems insulin resistance was still occurring. The effect lasted 54 hours after ingestion of alcohol had ceased.

Impaired adipose tissue and hepatic functions were believed to be the cause. There was more hypothalamic inflammation affecting insulin signaling.

There is hope for a treatment. Inhibiting brain protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) can block the detrimental action  on insulin of binge drinking,
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Albert Einstein's Genius Was Due to His Unusual Brain

Albert Einstein wasn't only a genius her was a very odd human being. His brain shows peculiar differences from the norm; it had many more folds than the average person. This gave the brain a greater surface area. It is like using a larger computer to do calculations.

Upon his father's death in 1955, Thomas Einstein gave the pathologist permission to preserve the brain of Albert Einstein. It was photographed then dissected into 2,000 ultra-thin slices. The slices and slides of them were later distributed to researchers.

The brain had more neurons and glia cells, well outside of the normal range; pariental lobes were unusual in the pattern of ridges and grooves. Einstein only had a brain of average size. The area controlling the tongue and face was larger, as was the region that involves attention and planning. Overall, Einstein's brain was complex. Many people think in words. He said his thinking was like a physical activity.

If selection based on "healthy" genes had been practised Einstein would never have been born. The same could be said for other great people. Sir Winston Churchill, for example, led an odd life. He would drink whisky in the evening right into the early hours and seldom got out of bed before midday.
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