Tag: Science

Neuroscientists reverse memories’ emotional associations
"A new study from MIT neuroscientists reveals the brain circuit that controls how memories become linked with positive or negative emotions. Furthermore, the researchers found that they could reverse the emotional association of specific memories by manipulating brain cells with optogenetics — a technique that uses light to control neuron activity.
The findings, described in the Aug. 27 issue of Nature, demonstrated that a neuronal circuit connecting the hippocampus and the amygdala plays a critical role in associating emotion with memory. This circuit could offer a target for new drugs to help treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, the researchers say.
“In the future, one may be able to develop methods that help people to remember positive memories more strongly than negative ones,” says Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and senior author of the paper. 
The paper’s lead authors are Roger Redondo, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoc at MIT, and Joshua Kim, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Biology…”
Keep reading at MIT News

Neuroscientists reverse memories’ emotional associations

"A new study from MIT neuroscientists reveals the brain circuit that controls how memories become linked with positive or negative emotions. Furthermore, the researchers found that they could reverse the emotional association of specific memories by manipulating brain cells with optogenetics — a technique that uses light to control neuron activity.

The findings, described in the Aug. 27 issue of Nature, demonstrated that a neuronal circuit connecting the hippocampus and the amygdala plays a critical role in associating emotion with memory. This circuit could offer a target for new drugs to help treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, the researchers say.

“In the future, one may be able to develop methods that help people to remember positive memories more strongly than negative ones,” says Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and senior author of the paper. 

The paper’s lead authors are Roger Redondo, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoc at MIT, and Joshua Kim, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Biology…”

Keep reading at MIT News

Why People Were Terrified of Nighttime Air Until the 1900s 
"When civilization progressed and we settled into homes, that fear stuck with us. And then it gave rise to one of the stranger and more little-known theories of Western society: Night air is poisonous.
…
The myth is a component of miasma theory, which held that “bad air” emanating from decaying organic matter caused disease (an idea later replaced by germ theory). This was particularly bad around swamps, of course, and seemed to worsen at night. Said Catharine Beecher, the great American educator: “Thus it appears, that the atmosphere of the day is much more healthful than that of the night, especially out of doors.”

The idea of bad night air had come over with the first Americans. Baldwin notes a conversation between none other than John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, who while traveling in 1776 were forced one night to share a room in a crowded inn. “The Window was open, and I, who was an invalid and afraid of the Air in the night (blowing upon me), shut it close,” Adams wrote in his autobiography. But old Ben Franklin demurred, demanding that he reopen the window, lie down, and listen to why he was being a jackass. So Adams endured the lecture until he fell asleep.
Adams was a highly educated man who would later become president, who nevertheless believed that when the sun went down air suddenly turned into poison. This was not, therefore, simply superstition. Indeed, over the next century and a half, even doctors and other educated folk propagated the myth.…”
Keep reading at WIRED

Why People Were Terrified of Nighttime Air Until the 1900s 

"When civilization progressed and we settled into homes, that fear stuck with us. And then it gave rise to one of the stranger and more little-known theories of Western society: Night air is poisonous.

The myth is a component of miasma theory, which held that “bad air” emanating from decaying organic matter caused disease (an idea later replaced by germ theory). This was particularly bad around swamps, of course, and seemed to worsen at night. Said Catharine Beecher, the great American educator: “Thus it appears, that the atmosphere of the day is much more healthful than that of the night, especially out of doors.”

image

The idea of bad night air had come over with the first Americans. Baldwin notes a conversation between none other than John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, who while traveling in 1776 were forced one night to share a room in a crowded inn. “The Window was open, and I, who was an invalid and afraid of the Air in the night (blowing upon me), shut it close,” Adams wrote in his autobiography. But old Ben Franklin demurred, demanding that he reopen the window, lie down, and listen to why he was being a jackass. So Adams endured the lecture until he fell asleep.

Adams was a highly educated man who would later become president, who nevertheless believed that when the sun went down air suddenly turned into poison. This was not, therefore, simply superstition. Indeed, over the next century and a half, even doctors and other educated folk propagated the myth.…”

Keep reading at WIRED

Eunice aphroditois aka the Bobbit Worm
"This unsettling creature is called Eunice aphroditois, or colloquially the Bobbit worm. These critters can grow up to three meters long and have pincers capable of slicing its (sometimes larger) prey right in half. Also? It injects a toxin into its prey to make it easier to digest. Yum.
The worm keeps itself buried in the sand or gravel at the bottom of the sea, only allowing its five tiny antennae to stick up out of the silt. If something swims or crawls along that disturbs one of the antennae, the worm springs up out of the ground and grabs whatever passerby happened to be unlucky that day. They’re found throughout the warmer parts of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans.”
Eunice aphroditois aka the Bobbit Worm
"This unsettling creature is called Eunice aphroditois, or colloquially the Bobbit worm. These critters can grow up to three meters long and have pincers capable of slicing its (sometimes larger) prey right in half. Also? It injects a toxin into its prey to make it easier to digest. Yum.
The worm keeps itself buried in the sand or gravel at the bottom of the sea, only allowing its five tiny antennae to stick up out of the silt. If something swims or crawls along that disturbs one of the antennae, the worm springs up out of the ground and grabs whatever passerby happened to be unlucky that day. They’re found throughout the warmer parts of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans.”
Eunice aphroditois aka the Bobbit Worm
"This unsettling creature is called Eunice aphroditois, or colloquially the Bobbit worm. These critters can grow up to three meters long and have pincers capable of slicing its (sometimes larger) prey right in half. Also? It injects a toxin into its prey to make it easier to digest. Yum.
The worm keeps itself buried in the sand or gravel at the bottom of the sea, only allowing its five tiny antennae to stick up out of the silt. If something swims or crawls along that disturbs one of the antennae, the worm springs up out of the ground and grabs whatever passerby happened to be unlucky that day. They’re found throughout the warmer parts of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans.”

Eunice aphroditois aka the Bobbit Worm

"This unsettling creature is called Eunice aphroditois, or colloquially the Bobbit worm. These critters can grow up to three meters long and have pincers capable of slicing its (sometimes larger) prey right in half. Also? It injects a toxin into its prey to make it easier to digest. Yum.

The worm keeps itself buried in the sand or gravel at the bottom of the sea, only allowing its five tiny antennae to stick up out of the silt. If something swims or crawls along that disturbs one of the antennae, the worm springs up out of the ground and grabs whatever passerby happened to be unlucky that day. They’re found throughout the warmer parts of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans.”

Social Octopus Species Shatters Beliefs About Ocean Dwellers
"Panamanian biologist Aradio Rodaniche first reported the Pacific striped octopus in 1991 off the coast of Nicaragua, noting its strange behavior—living in groups of possibly up to 40, laying multiple egg clutches, and mating face-to-face and sucker-to-sucker. Most other octopus species, for instance, come together only to mate.”
“Next thing you know, they’re making spears, forming hunting parties, warring with one another. And then they develop city-states, philosophy, diplomacy, and politics, and all the horrible appurtenances thereof: assassins, lobbyists, and televangelists. Then they take over”. - PZ Myers
Social Octopus Species Shatters Beliefs About Ocean Dwellers
"Panamanian biologist Aradio Rodaniche first reported the Pacific striped octopus in 1991 off the coast of Nicaragua, noting its strange behavior—living in groups of possibly up to 40, laying multiple egg clutches, and mating face-to-face and sucker-to-sucker. Most other octopus species, for instance, come together only to mate.”
“Next thing you know, they’re making spears, forming hunting parties, warring with one another. And then they develop city-states, philosophy, diplomacy, and politics, and all the horrible appurtenances thereof: assassins, lobbyists, and televangelists. Then they take over”. - PZ Myers

Social Octopus Species Shatters Beliefs About Ocean Dwellers

"Panamanian biologist Aradio Rodaniche first reported the Pacific striped octopus in 1991 off the coast of Nicaragua, noting its strange behavior—living in groups of possibly up to 40, laying multiple egg clutches, and mating face-to-face and sucker-to-sucker. Most other octopus species, for instance, come together only to mate.”


Next thing you know, they’re making spears, forming hunting parties, warring with one anotherAnd then they develop city-states, philosophy, diplomacy, and politics, and all the horrible appurtenances thereof: assassins, lobbyists, and televangelists. Then they take over. - PZ Myers

You Should Know: Dr. Marie Daly
"Dr. Daly was the very first African-American (or Black) woman to earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry in the United States. 
Inspired by books of science adventure that she read while visiting her grand parents, young Marie Daly dreamed of becoming a scientist early in life. Having the support of her family, including her father who attended Cornell University and majored in Chemistry, she attended an all-girls secondary school in Queens, NY where she grew up. 

She went on to college and earned a BS in chemistry from Queens College. She worked for a while as laboratory assistant at her alma mater and earned her MS in Chemistry from New York University during this period.
Dr. Daly’s most significant work is examining the biochemistry of cholesterol and heart health. Her groundbreaking work with Dr. Quentin B. Deming at Columbia University (later the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York), disclosed the relationship between high cholesterol and clogged arteries…”
Read the whole post at The Urban Scientist

You Should Know: Dr. Marie Daly

"Dr. Daly was the very first African-American (or Black) woman to earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry in the United States.

Inspired by books of science adventure that she read while visiting her grand parents, young Marie Daly dreamed of becoming a scientist early in life. Having the support of her family, including her father who attended Cornell University and majored in Chemistry, she attended an all-girls secondary school in Queens, NY where she grew up. 

image

She went on to college and earned a BS in chemistry from Queens College. She worked for a while as laboratory assistant at her alma mater and earned her MS in Chemistry from New York University during this period.

Dr. Daly’s most significant work is examining the biochemistry of cholesterol and heart health. Her groundbreaking work with Dr. Quentin B. Deming at Columbia University (later the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York), disclosed the relationship between high cholesterol and clogged arteries…”

Read the whole post at The Urban Scientist