Saturday, April 30, 2016

Creating False Memories

Neuroscientists in France have implanted false memories into the brains of sleeping mice. Using electrodes to directly stimulate and record the activity of nerves cells, they made artificial associative memories that lasted while the animals slept and then influenced their behavior when they woke up.
Manipulating memories by messing with brain cells is nothing new in neuroscience labs. In 2014, one team of researchers used a technique called optogenetics to label the cells encoding fearful memories in the mouse brain and switch them on and off, and another used it to identify the cells encoding positive and negative memories, so that they could change positive memories into negative ones and vice versa.
This new work, published March 9, 2015 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, shows for the first time that artificial memories can be put into the brains of sleeping animals. It also gives scientists more details about how populations of nerve cells encode spatial memories and the important role that slep plays in making these memories stronger.
Karim Benchenane of the French National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris and his colleagues put electrodes into the brains of 40 mice, targeting the medial forebrain bundle(MFB), a component of the reward circuitry which has at least 3 different cells types that encode the memories needed for spatial navigation. Then they left the mice to explore their environment and monitored the responses of their neurons to identify place cells, each of which fired when one of the animals was in a specific location in their surroundings. In one experiment, performed on 5 awake mice, they timed the electrical stimulation of the MFB to correspond with the firing of a specific place cell.
This paired stimulation gave the mice a false memory. The mice linked the MFB stimulation with the specific location encoded by the cell, and thus spent 4- to 5-times more time in that location than two control mice who received MFB stimulation that did not correspond with a place cell firing. Place cells are known to 'replay' their activity patterns during sleep, and this is thought to strengthen newly formed memories.
To research further, the researchers repeated their experiments in 5 sleeping mice. Having already identified place cells while the mice explored their environment, the researchers let them fall asleep, and then paired the firing of each selected place cell in each one with the stimulation of the MFB. Later on, these mice, as well, showed a large preference for that specific location. In contrast, the control mice, who received random MFB stimulation that was not paired with the firing of a place cell wandered around with no liking to any particular place.
Even so, other work shows that false memories can be implanted into the human brain without advanced technology. In a recent study, nearly 3/4 of participants reported having in depth false memories of a crime they didn't commit.
By directly manipulating the brains of sleeping mice, researchers tricked the animals into thinking they had received a reward at a specific place.Photo Credit

The Neurobiology Behind Individuality

When a group of genetically identical mice lived together in the same complex for three months, mice that explored their surroundings more broadly grew more new neurons than those who were less adventurous, according to a study published May 9, 2013 in Science Magazine. This link between inquiring behaviors and the adult growth and development of nervous tissue shows that brain plasticity can be shaped by experience and suggests that this may promote individuality, even in genetically identical organisms.
Scientists have long tired to tackle the question of how individual differences in behavior and personality develop in terms of the way genes and the individual's surroundings interact. "But there is next to nothing [known] about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying individuality" says Gerd Kempermann of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Dresden.
A logical way to study this would be to look at how the brain's structure and function change over time (the brain's plasticity). This plasticity is hard to study, though, because it takes place mostly at the synaptic level, so Kempermann and his colleagues decided to look at the growth of new neurons in the adult hippocampus, which can be found easily. Earlier studies have shown that activity increases the adult growth an development of nervous tissue in groups of genetically identical mice, but there were differences between individuals in the amount of neuron growth.
To find out why, Kempermann and his colleagues housed 40 genetically identical female inbred mice in a 5-square meter, 5-level enclosure filled with different sorts of objects made to encourage activity and exploration. The mice were tagged with radio-frequency-infer-red transponders and had 20 antennas in the complex that caught their every movement. After 3 months, the researchers assessed the growth and development of nervous tissue in the mice by counting their fast-multiplying precursor cells, which had been numbered before the study began.
The researchers saw that individual differences in exploratory behavior corresponded with individual differences in the numbers of new neurons generated. "To our knowledge, it's the first example of a direct link between individual behavior and individual brain plasticity," said Kempermann.
However, be cautious about putting all the differences on their surroundings. Even though the mice in the study were genetically the same, they were not behaviorally identical to begin with. It is clear that some variation happens at an extremely early stage, making the mice more or less likely to explore.
These findings could help explain why human identical twins raised in the environment end up with different personalities. Photo Credit

EDM | Ten Scaly Facts About American Alligator

This is a video of me doing some rad facts about American Alligators. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Today the Rice Farmer and The Indian dive into
the wonderful world of space and talk about the interesting
space probe called DAWN commissioned by NASA.
ENjoy Lads :^)


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Grafting like a pro | EDM

Grafting is the act of taking off a limb off a tree/plant and taping it on on another tree/plant of the same family to have more than one fruit/vegetable growing on the same plant. In other words you put the tissues of two plants together to make it grow more stuff. This is a video of Anya and i doing rad stuff in our grafting adventure. If you look far back on the science blog you can see a post on a tree that bears more than 40 fruits.

Monday, April 11, 2016

How to turn milk into stone

       In this video he mixes warm milk and white vinegar to make a custard like substance called casein. He then explains that it makes up most of the protein found in milk. He will strain the casein and let dry out. After that it has become a plastic almost as hard as stone. This plastic was used a long time make pens and  other plastic objects.

Did you know that you can make diamonds out of peanut butter ?

       In this video I talk about how peanut butter can be made into diamonds.  Because of the carbon the peanut butter contains it is able to make diamonds. Anything with carbon can make them including you. In order to make the diamonds you need 50 kilo-bars of pressure which is equivalent to fifty elephants on top of one square unit of peanut butter. You also need heat about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So it seems that an average person can't  make their own diamonds out of their peanut butter.

Largest Black Hole

Largest Black Hole

Quasar OJ287 is the largest known black hole in our universe.
It is estimated to be atleast 18 billion times larger than the mass
of our sun. The black hole is so massive that it could possibly
suck in our entire galaxy. The event horizon is 11x times the 
diameter of neptune orbiting our sun. Researchers at the University
of Texas were able to discover this incredible black hole by using the
hubble telescope

Image Source

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Universe Expansion

Universe Expansion

Our universe is constantly expanding at a very high rate.
The rate is approximately 46.2 kilometers per megaparsec.
A megaparsec is 3 light years. In the 1920's, an astronomer
by the name of Edwin P. Hubble found out that our universe
is not static, but is expanding at a certain rate. Later in the 1990's,
Hubble Telescope discovered that the rate at which our universe
is expanding by is speeding up! Scientists still aren't exactly sure on
why or how our universe is expanding, but efforts from groups like
NASA continue to research and find out why.

Picture Source

Friday, April 8, 2016

Artificial Skin That can Give People with Prothestics a Sense of Touch

Artificial skin made in a lab can "feel" similar to the way a fingertip senses pressure and could one day let people feel sensation in their prosthesis limbs. Researchers were able to send the touching sensation as an electric pulse to the relative "touch" brain cells in mice.
The stretchy, flexible skin is made of a man made rubber that has been manufactured to micron-scale pyramid like structures that make it extra sensitive to pressure. The researchers sprinkled this pressure sensitive rubber with microscopic cylinders of carbon that conduct electricity very well so that when the material is touched, a series of electric pulses is given off by the sensor. This series of pulses is then sent to the brain cells in a way that mirrors how touch receptors in human skin send sensation to the brain.
To test if the skin could make electric pulses that the brain could respond to, the researchers connected the synthetic skin to a blue LED light. When the skin was touched, it sent electric signals to the LED light, which pulsed in response. The sensors translated that pressure pulse into electric pulses. When the sensors in the skin sent the electric pulses to the LED- very similar to the way touch receptors in real human skin send touch sensation signals to the brain- a blue light flashed.
The researchers added a special protein that cause brain cells to react to blue light and added them to the mice brain cells. The protein let the LED act like a receptor cells in the skin. When the light flashed it sent a signal to the brain that the artificial skin had been touched. This experiment showed that, when the artificial skin was touched, the brain would respond in the same way as brains react to real skin being touched.
The next step would be to the skin in other animals and the eventual goal is to be able to stimulate the human brain and have the skin available for people.

Aerogel: The World's Least Dense Solid

Aerogels are any material of a group of very light or porous solids. The lightest aerogel is less than four times as dense than dry air. They are made by certain gels being heated under pressure, causing the liquid in the gel to lose surface tension and become supercritical, or in a state between a liquid and gas. In this state, the liquid can be removed from the gel by adding additional heat, without messing up the porous structure made by the gel's solid component.
Silica-, melamine-, and carbon- based aerogels have been manufactured in the past. The lightest are silica-based aerogels and some have been appropriately nicknamed 'solid smoke' or 'frozen smoke'. These lightweight aerogels are almost transparent. Heavier aerogels were first produced in 1931 and have since been used to detect fast moving particles given off by particle accelerators
Newer, lighter aerogels with fairly high insulating properties are being tested to replace more dangerous foams as insulation in refrigerators and as substitutes for the air between double pane windows.

Are bananas good for you ?

   In this video I talk about the pros and cons of bananas. A banana contains 27 grams of carbohydrates and 14 grams of sugar compared to other fruit that is a lot. It only has one gram of protein and 0 grams of fat. A banana also has 500 MG of potassium and 32 MG of  magnesium. If you are trying to lose weight it's a bad choice  to eat a lot of them but if you're  healthy and active these are what you need.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Honey Badger

The honey badger is and amazing creation of God. They are one of the fiersest animals on earth. They can eat pretty much anything from tortices to venomous snakes to melons and honey. God gave them remarcably thick skin that can withstand even a muchete. This video is 10 surprising facts about honey badgers. hope you enjoy.

Is You'r Sense of Taste Connected to You'r Sense of Smell?

Taste is extremely connected with smell. Since our taste buds only detect 5 tastes, smell plays an important part in helping us taste flavors. The 5 categories are: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and sweet. Now imagine all of the flavors you have ever tasted and subtract any of these five that apply to a certain food. All of that flavor is because you are able to smell! We sometimes take smell for granted, but when we realize how important it is we are able to thank God for what he has given us.

If you want to learn some more click this link

Why are Lemons Sour?

Lemons are sour because they have citric acid, which is found in most fruits and vegetables. Unlike most fruits, lemons have a lot of citric acid. When lemon juice hits your taste buds, they send a message to your brain. This message lets your brain know that what you are tasting is sour. You then react to these messages by making a funny face or shaking your head.

Why Do Cats Love Boxes?

Have you ever seen a cat in a box or a photo of one and wondered why they like boxes so much? Well.. possibly not. But a few people have, and I am one of those few. The answer is rather simple: when a cat is in a box that is bigger and taller than it, it can stalk prey without being suspected, and it can hide from predators. For a cat, being in a box can relieve stress, especially when they've just moved somewhere new. Why would being in a box relieve a cat's stress? Well, say that a cat has just been brought to an animal shelter. It will most likely be very anxious and agitated. If there are other cats in the same area as it, then it will probably want to be alone. If there is a box, then it can climb into the box, curl up, and be able to get a hold of itself without having to worry about predators or territory until it has calmed.