A giant neuron has been found wrapped around the entire circumference of the brain. For the first time, scientists have detected a giant neuron wrapped around the entire circumference of a mouse's brain, and it's so densely connected across both hemispheres, it could finally explain the origins of consciousness.
Using a new imaging technique, the team detected the giant neuron emanating from one of the best-connected regions in the brain, and say it could be coordinating signals from different areas to create conscious thought. This recently discovered neuron is one of three that have been detected for the first time in a mammal's brain, and the new imaging technique could help us figure out if similar structures have gone undetected in our own brains for centuries.
You can see them highlighted in the image at the top of the page. Lead researcher Christof Koch told Sara Reardon at Nature that they've never seen neurons extend so far across both regions of the brain before. Scientists have discovered a worm that eats plastic bags and leave behind antifreeze — Quartz. A species of berries indigenous to south Asia may have what it takes to make solar panels far less expensive than they are now.
It may even provide a lasting solution to India’s chronic power shortage. Octopus and squid evolution is officially weirder than we could have ever imagined. Just when we thought octopuses couldn't be any weirder, it turns out that they and their cephalopod brethren evolve differently from nearly every other organism on the planet.
In a surprising twist, scientists have discovered that octopuses, along with some squid and cuttlefish species, routinely edit their RNA (ribonucleic acid) sequences to adapt to their environment. This is weird because that's really not how adaptations usually happen in multicellular animals. When an organism changes in some fundamental way, it typically starts with a genetic mutation - a change to the DNA. Those genetic changes are then translated into action by DNA's molecular sidekick, RNA. You can think of DNA instructions as a recipe, while RNA is the chef that orchestrates the cooking in the kitchen of each cell, producing necessary proteins that keep the whole organism going.
But now it looks like cephalopods didn't get the memo. We May Be Completely Wrong About How Our Brains Form Memories. In Brief A mouse study has brought into question researchers' previous beliefs about how memories are formed, stored, and retrieved.
One Experience, Two Memories Scientists have long believed the human brain stores memories following a two-step process. Memories are first stored in the brain’s “short-term” memory, and are later moved to the “long-term” memory. An unexpected new lung function has been found - they make blood. Researchers have discovered that the lungs play a far more complex role in mammalian bodies than we thought, with new evidence revealing that they don't just facilitate respiration - they also play a key role in blood production.
In experiments involving mice, the team found that they produce more than 10 million platelets (tiny blood cells) per hour, equating to the majority of platelets in the animals' circulation. This goes against the decades-long assumption that bone marrow produces all of our blood components. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco also discovered a previously unknown pool of blood stem cells that makes this happen inside the lung tissue - cells that were incorrectly assumed to mainly reside in bone marrow. "This finding definitely suggests a more sophisticated view of the lungs - that they're not just for respiration, but also a key partner in formation of crucial aspects of the blood," says one of the researchers, Mark R.
Looney. Humans have a magnetic sensor in our eyes, but can we detect magnetic fields? - Not Exactly Rocket Science. Many birds have a compass in their eyes.
Their retinas are loaded with a protein called cryptochrome, which is sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic fields. It’s possible that the birds can literally see these fields, overlaid on top of their normal vision. This remarkable sense allows them to keep their bearings when no other landmarks are visible. New Research Points to a Genetic Switch That Can Let Our Bodies Talk to Electronics. Microelectronics has transformed our lives.
Cellphones, earbuds, pacemakers, defibrillators – all these and more rely on microelectronics’ very small electronic designs and components. Microelectronics has changed the way we collect, process and transmit information. Such devices, however, rarely provide access to our biological world; there are technical gaps. We can’t simply connect our cellphones to our skin and expect to gain health information. For instance, is there an infection?
The research we’ve just published with colleagues in Nature Communications brings us one step closer to closing that communication gap. Communicating With Electrons, Not Molecules One of the barriers scientists have encountered when trying to link microelectronic devices with biological systems has to do with information flow. Microelectronic devices don’t process information with molecules. Molecular Biologist Explains How THC Completely Kills Cancer Cells. Below is a video of Dr.
Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist at Compultense University in Madrid, Spain, clearly explaining how THC (the main psychoactive constitute of the cannabis plant) completely kills cancer cells. Not long ago, we published an article examining a case study recently published where doctors used cannabis to treat Leukemia, you can read more about that here. To read more articles and view studies about how cannabis is an effective treatment and cure for cancer, click here. Cannabinoids refer to any group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors in the body. Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce cancer cells as they have a great impact on the rebuilding of the immune system. WATCH: A jellyfish stinging in slow motion.
Primitive artificial cell turned into complex biological materials. Imagine starting from scratch with simple artificial microscopic building blocks and ending up with something much more complex: living systems, novel computers or every-day materials.
For decades scientists have pursued the dream of creating artificial building blocks that can self-assemble in large numbers and reassemble to take on new tasks or to remedy defects. Now researchers have taken a step forward to make this dream into a reality. "The potential of such new human-made systems is almost limitless, and many expect these novel materials to become the foundation of future technologies," says Dr.
Genome scientist Craig Venter in deal to make humanized pig organs. Lee Cronin: Making matter come alive – Moonshots – Solve for X. Life-like cells are made of metal - life - 14 September 2011. Video: See how life-like cells can be made from metal Could living things that evolved from metals be clunking about somewhere in the universe?
Perhaps. In a lab in Glasgow, UK, one man is intent on proving that metal-based life is possible. He has managed to build cell-like bubbles from giant metal-containing molecules and has given them some life-like properties. He now hopes to induce them to evolve into fully inorganic self-replicating entities. "I am 100 per cent positive that we can get evolution to work outside organic biology," says Lee Cronin (see photo, right) at the University of Glasgow. Cronin and his team begin by creating salts from negatively charged ions of the large metal oxides bound to a small positively charged ion such as hydrogen or sodium.
When the two salts meet, they swap parts and the large metal oxides end up partnered with the large organic ions. It's early days; other synthetic biologists are reserving judgement for now.