08 October, 2014 – Episode 484 – This Week in Science


It’s Nobel Week!, Oceans Are Bigger, Ridiculously Ridiculous Ridge, Foxy Origins, Brain Train To Rabies Town, Can Rhino’s Swim?, Loud Larvae, Sticky Spiders, Aesthetic Avians Architects, When You Die, Naval Robo-Ships, Amazing Expanding Brain, And Much More…

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer!
There has always been a difference between what we see and
what is real…
Sometimes it is an intentional illusion…
like a Movie, which is made up of still photographs whizzing
past a beam of light at 24 frames per second…
Sometimes it is a more subconscious trick…when our vision of
an event is filtered by some connotations of past experiences…
You pass on the coffee refill not because you’ve had enough…
but because the waitresses shirt is yellow, and you don’t care for more yellow
just now and besides…
her face is similar in some strange way to a dog that once
bit somebody standing next to you and even though you aren’t actually
recollecting the event right now as she offers to refill your cup… somewhere
the connection has been made and the coffee refill has been averted…
And what do we see when we look with eyes?
Flickers of light?
With ears?
Vibrations of tiny hairs?
And even these events like all senses must be converted into
electrical impulses that whirl about the brain searching for pattern
So how is it we
know anything at all about the world around us if this is all we see?
Because this is all we need.
This whizzing, whirling subconscious flickering of recognition patterns is
Exactly what was required to do the work of an active mind…
and you have an active mind, which is why you find yourself looking forward to another episode
of This week in science…
Coming up Next

It’s Nobel Week!
“The winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics are :Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”; for chemistry are: Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”; for physiology and medicine are: John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”. Yay for one woman in there!

The Oceans Are Warmer
Research using both sea level measurements and the Argo system of ocean monitoring floats suggests that the upper 2000 meters of the oceans are warmer than we thought. Also, findings suggest that the Southern hemispheres oceans have warmed more than measurements previously concluded.

Ridiculously Ridiculous Ridge
A recent paper suggests that a ridge of persistent high pressure in the north pacific ocean is what has kept California moisture free the past two years. Also, AGCC has created conditions where this might become the norm rather than an outlier… get ready for more drought in the future California.

The Origin of foxy  ladies
UC Davis scientists report the results of an analysis of the red fox genome based on the Y-chromosome, which concludes the Eurasian and North American populations actually comprise two separate species that have been reproductively isolated for more than 400,000 years.

Brain Train to Rabies Town
The bones of a large land mammal dated at 48 million years old ties African elephants and rhinos to Pakistani tapirs. The study ties up loose ends about the confusion over the ancestral linkages of these animals.

Can Rhino’s swim?
Israeli scientists determined that the rabies virus hijacks a nerve growth factor within nerve cells in order to move rapidly into the spinal cord and then brain of its host. An understanding of how such a virus can gain entry into the brain has the potential to influence research into drug development for disorders of the brain.

Aesthetic Avians Architects
When given the option, birds employed standard camouflage and disruptive camouflage when nest-building.

Sticky Spiders
More nightmare fodder – daddy-longlegs use very sticky glue to keep prey from evading their fate.

Loud Larvae
Snapper larva have been shown to make noise! WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE BABY FISHES!

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Ever wonder what happens when you die?
The Awareness During Resuscitation or AWARE study, which looked at 2060 cardiac arrest cases at 15 hospitals across the globe, reported that the terminology used to describe near death and out of body experiences is imprecise and insufficient to properly scientifically investigate conscious awareness. They suggest that cardic arrest should be used as a marker as it is biologically synonymous with death, and that further unbiased study into death is warranted.

Amazing Expanding Brain
The cerebellum has been shown to be potientially very important to understanding modern human cognitive abilities in light of evidence that it expanded rapidly in apes and our human ancestors. It is possible that the neocortex has received an unprecedented amount of attention to date.

Naval Robo-ships
The US Navy reported a successful test of its robot ships. Based on technology used by the NASA Mars rovers, which are fairly autonomous, these ships would not necessarily need human guidance, and a single person could pilot up to 20 of these drone ships on their own.

Sugary drinks…
messed up adolescent rats’ heads

It’s in your genes!

First Reported Ebola Transmission
A Spanish nurse has reportedly contracted Ebola from a patient who became ill while treating patients in Africa. Also, the Ebola infected patient in Dallas who was in critical condidition has died.

Soylent 1.1
Now with digestive enzymes… to reduce gas.

Bats Like Trees
It looks as though bats think windmills are trees when the wind is low. This is a probable influence on the number of bats killed by windmills yearly.

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