26 April, 2012 – This Week in Science

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Supernovas Spawn Life, Unexpected Reservoir, Meerkat Losers Win, Bee Like Brains, The G-Spot, Treating Autism, Mad Cow Cure, World Robot Domination, Belief Vs. Analytics, And Much More…

Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!
We humans may see ourselves as an independent life form,
liberated from animal ignorance
able to attain the greatest heights of intellect through powers of logic and reason…
And when engaged in this pursuit, we do quite well.
But much of who we are and how we live is still under the direct control of a higher power
For the true world of man is the world of the brain and within the world of mans brain there lives two distinct creatures
There is the sentient mind of self, that with which we think, scheme plan and dream…
And there is that other creature… the animal control brain…
The controller that manipulates us into eating, urges us into making love, reminds us to care for our young and commands us to seek safety and security
If we forget to eat for a few days, it is not the sentient knowledge of needing nutrient that nudges us into nibbling…
But painful pangs of stomach sensations brought on by the animal control brain that lightly punishes us into eating…
Once we have eaten, we are not intellectually satisfied by our self nourishing act,
but we are injected with opiates, serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine by the animal brain controller as a reward for following its commands
The same is true of sex, of love, of safety and the pleasing appearance of order…
The controller is actively punishing and rewarding the sentient mind, manipulating mind and body in acts of basic animal survival
And as it asserts its dominance over the will of man, again and again we submit to its ultimate authority, fanatically. with out question.
We obey, not because it is in our best interest to do so, but because our best interest was determined by our caretaker and tormentor brain long before man kind existed
That it bares great similarity to the myths created by man to explain a controlling super natural force greater than himself is not a coincidence of terms,
but may be the explanation for the coincidences of myths throughout the ages…
The one thing that allows us to escape the animal control brains dogmatic directions…
Our intelligence.
We can have sex for the sensation, not just procreation.
We eat foods that release the greatest rewards, and get extra oxytocin love hormone delivered by music or watching movies
we have learned much about the brain itself, giving us an ever increasing advantage over the controller, and our understanding of how much we require its control
And at the end of each day, when the eyes close and the world in which we live is once again reduced to inner skull walls…
we can be thankful for the knowledge we have gained and the perspective we have learned by listening to
This Week in Science… coming up next

Supernovas Spawn Life
Our solar system may have encountered a supernova or two in it’s journey around the milky way that could have greatly effected our planet’s history. In fact, these supernovae that we may have come into contact with could have in turn influenced the development of life on earth. This means there are far off elements in the evolutionary story we have yet to even discover – talk about the BIG PICTURE…

Unexpected Virus Reservoir
It turns out that bats are very dangerous to humans, even the ones that aren’t vampires… 60 new species of paramyxovirus was recently found in bats; this family of viruses is responsible for the common cold, measles, mumps, and pneumonia, as well as distemper in pets. Bats appear to be the evolutionary breeding ground for these dangerous viruses that can jump directly to people, which reveals some obstacles to eradicating them.

Are meerkat losers smarter?
Outcast or lower socially ranking meerkats are more persistent and more effective at solving puzzles to acquire food. Human high schools may in fact be reflective of wild animals in social groups…

How Your Brain is Like a Bee
Our brain searches for information the same way a bee forages for nectar. We look for information in our brain in groupings just like a bee in a bush of flowers. By studying these bees’ foraging techniques, a computer can predict when our brain will switch to a new “bush,” or grouping of information. Soon a computer will be able to predict what we are thinking about before we think it…

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The G-Spot
By dissecting a female cadaver, Dr Adam Ostrzenski has found what he believes to be anatomical, physical evidence of a G-Spot. One data point cannot be enough to indicate universal existence, location, and function of this long sought-after gem, but it raises some questions that some men might be willing to pay a hefty sum to answer.

Treating Disease… Autism
An experimental compound named GRN-529 has effectively reversed behaviors in mice associated with core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. This compound blocks a protein receptor in brain cells, and may be a option for use in humans.

Mad cow cure
Researchers in Sweden and Switzerland have detected and treated toxic prions in the brain using self-illuminating polymers. The treatment can render the mis-folded prions harmless, which could effectively treat diseases like Mad Cow and even Alzheimer’s.

World Robot Domination!
Get rid of teachers! It turns out that computers can grade essays as well as human teachers. Programs and algorithms can look out for what makes a good or bad essay, and grade with about 98% accuracy to how a person would score the work.

Belief Vs. Thinking
A study at the University of British Columbia demonstrated that analytical thinking can decrease religious belief, even in devout believers. I’m not even going to say it… Glean what you will from this one…

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