Half Your Brain Stays Awake When You Sleep In A New Place
There is a great chance that you felt sleepy and groggy after you slept in a hotel or went out to camp. You may have felt weary the following day after you tossed and turned in your bed the entire night. This is a result of nature dying hard. The brain goes into survival mode as someone sleeps in a new place. Scientists at Brown University have suggested that this enables people to jump awake once strange sounds arise.
The scientists referred to the First Night Effect (FNE) as a usual disturbance in sleep for a while. However, they have been unable to completely understand how this process exactly works. Masako Tamaki teamed up with her colleagues in order to discover the reason behind this concept. They meticulously analyzed multiple sleeping brains with the help of advanced Neuroimaging techniques. Interestingly, they discovered that such brains demonstrate asymmetrical patterns of sleep activity. This means that a hemisphere of the brain continues to hum as the other one is asleep. The hemisphere that is not fully awake tends to be more active, so much so that it responds to external stimuli such as deviant sounds.
How Einstein’s creative thinking led to a new rule book for the universe.
Who could have believed that the world was flat? Or that it sits fixed in space, while the cosmos revolves around it? Anyone with two eyes, that’s who. It takes a leap of imagination to contemplate the alternative — that we are standing atop a rapidly spinning sphere, hurtling through space.
Albert Einstein, like Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei before him, redefined our understanding of the universe, and he did so thanks to a knack for keeping his thoughts clear of unnecessary information. In fact, he conducted experiments on the basis of thought alone, playing them out in something like the construct from The Matrix — a completely empty space populated with only items essential to his experiments. A clock. A train. A beam of light. An observer or two. An elevator. “Imagine a large portion of empty space, so far removed from stars and other appreciable masses,” said Einstein, describing his mental construct.
Experiments at Vanderbilt University have proven a 200-year-old observation that electric eels can leap out of water and shock animals to death, a claim originally made by 19th century biologist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.
During a field trip to the Amazon basin in 1800, Humboldt said he saw electric eels leaping out of the water and delivering enough voltage to kill a horse. But with no scientific studies on the matter, and no similar observations since, many had come to believe that the famous naturalist was exaggerating.
“The first time I read von Humboldt’s tale, I thought it was completely bizarre,” said Ken Catania, the Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, where the recent experiments were conducted. “Why would the eels attack the horses instead of swimming away?”
Memories are wonderful little windows into the past that are of immense importance to all of us. But sometimes, a memory isn’t good and can be a source of pain. In such cases, one wishes to forget such memories but the trouble is that doing so isn’t easy at all. Now, a team of researchers might have found a way to eradicate painful memories by changing how one thinks about the “context” surrounding a certain memory.
The study included a team of researchers from Princeton University and Dartmouth College. Those who volunteered for the research were asked to memorize or forget a list of words. To make sure that the volunteers had a context with the words they were told to memorize, they were shown pictures of landscapes in between the words. During this whole exercise, the researchers measured the brain activity of the subjects using fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and made a note of the neural patterns that occurred.
Later, the volunteers were asked to recall the words on the list while their brain activity was being monitored using fMRI. What researchers found was the same neural patterns that they observed during the initial phase of experiment showing that the brain had intertwined the context (pictures of landscapes) and the memory (the words on the list). Those who failed to recall the list didn’t have the same neural patterns which were observed in the first phase.
The team is hopeful that their research will not only pave way for new researches on similar lines but will also help develop new memory therapies that will help those who have experienced traumatic events in the past or suffer from PTSD.
Understanding how the brain works, how the memories are created and retained in the brain is the first step to diagnosing and treating brain diseases that can have a crippling effect.
Post Credited From Science World
An ambitious new project can change the fate of rhinos. An experiment, which will transform rhino tissues into egg cells and sperm, may soon be carried out to save the northern white rhinoceros in Kenya as per reports. Currently, there are only three living members of the species in the world.
Thousands of northern white rhinoceros once inhabited the central African savannahs, however at the moment there are only three rhinos of this subspecies left, all of which live in Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy but are owned by the Dvůr Králové Zoo in Czech Republic. The three rhinos called Fatu, Sudan and Najin, which are guarded round the clock, cannot breed naturally owing to a variety of reasons.
According to a report published in Nature journal, scientists have suggested an ambitious plan that will collect cells from living rhinos and frozen storage and transform them into egg cells and sperms, to save the northern white rhino from the fate of extinction. Subsequently in vitro fertilization (IVF) will be used to create embryos and revive the nearly extinct species.
A fresh set of estimates by biologists now suggests that species with backbones are starting to vanish quicker compared to the time since dinosaurs became extinct. The situation has got so bad that human beings are now endangered as well. Paul Ehlirch is a researcher from Stanford University who stated that the study clearly shows that the world has now entered the 6th mass extinction event. It turns out that this event was triggered by humans.
Biologists are known to have believed that planet Earth is in the midst of a great extinction event. Critics have made the argument that the estimates somewhat overstate the actual facts on the matter. Scientists usually compare the extinction rate to the background extinction rate in order to figure out what a major extinction event is. Just so that it is clear, background extinction rate is the rate at which one expects species to vanish fro the face of the Earth.
The artist Sarah Walker once told me that becoming a mother is like discovering the existence of a strange new room in the house where you already live. I always liked Walker’s description because it’s more precise than the shorthand most people use for life with a newborn: Everything changes.
Because a lot of things do change, of course, but for new mothers, some of the starkest differences are also the most intimate ones—the emotional changes. Which, it turns out, are also largely neurological.
Even before a woman gives birth, pregnancy tinkers with the very structure of her brain, several neurologists told me. After centuries of observing behavioral changes in new mothers, scientists are only recently beginning to definitively link the way a woman acts with what’s happening in her prefrontal cortex, midbrain, parietal lobes, and elsewhere. Gray matter becomes more concentrated. Activity increases in regions that control empathy, anxiety, and social interaction. On the most basic level, these changes, prompted by a flood of hormones during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, help attract a new mother to her baby. In other words, those maternal feelings of overwhelming love, fierce protectiveness, and constant worry begin with reactions in the brain.