New research at the University of Adelaide has demonstrated that teenagers born prematurely may suffer brain development problems that directly affect their memory and learning abilities.
The research, conducted by Dr Julia Pitcher and Dr Michael Ridding from the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Institute, shows reduced ‘plasticity’ in the brains of teenagers who were born preterm (at or before 37 weeks gestation).
The results of the research are published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
“Plasticity in the brain is vital for learning and memory throughout life,” Dr Pitcher says. “It enables the brain to reorganise itself, responding to changes in environment, behaviour and stimuli by modifying the number and strength of connections between neurons and different brain areas. Plasticity is also important for recovery from brain damage.
“We know from past research that preterm-born children often experience motor, cognitive and learning difficulties. The growth of the brain is rapid between 20 and 37 weeks gestation, and being born even mildly preterm appears to subtly but significantly alter brain microstructure, neural connectivity and neurochemistry.
“However, the mechanisms that link this altered brain physiology with behavioural outcomes - such as memory and learning problems - have remained unknown,” Dr Pitcher says.
I always feel strangely proud when I see cool stuff like this on the internet from my city/my future university
Marco Tempest: The Electric Rise and Fall of Nikola Tesla
Electric magic telling a story about electric magic. One of my favorite TED moments ever.
Beautiful science illustrations of scale by design duo Brainstorm, a fine addition to these essential visualizations of the scale of the universe.
How the Chinese and the Greeks viewed (pretty much) the same sky.
It’s pretty remarkable how differently two cultures can connect the same dots, don’t you think?
(maps via radical cartography)
Mars One Receives First Funding for 2023 Manned Mission to Mars
Mars One is pleased to announce receipt of initial funding through sponsorship revenue, a major step towards sending a manned mission to Mars.
Mars One is a private Dutch organization whose intent is to land the first humans on Mars in 2023. Following a fully robotic construction of a habitable outpost between 2016 and 2020, subsequent crew arrivals will occur every two years. The existing technical plan of Mars One is unique in that it requires incorporation of only readily available technologies developed by major, established aerospace companies from around the world. As such, Mars One is a non-political integrator capable of delivering humans to Mars with less overhead, less total risk, and faster than any other existing organization.
Bas Lansdorp, founder and President of Mars-One offers, “Receipt of initial sponsorship marks the next step to humans setting foot on Mars. A little more than a year ago we embarked down this path, calling upon industry experts to share in our bold dream. Today, we have moved from a technical plan into the first stage of funding, giving our dream a foundation in reality.”
Mars One corporate sponsorship funds will be used primarily to finance the conceptual design studies provided by the aerospace suppliers. These design studies demand 500 to 2500 man-hours each, a comprehensive technical design of the various components of the Mission to Mars. Conceptual design studies will be completed for all components of the mission, from robotic construction of the outpost to the arrival of the first humans.
Once the conceptual design studies are complete, the selection of astronauts will commence. Unlike anything ever conducted in the history of space exploration, Mars One intends to make possible the opportunity for any qualified applicant from any nation to become an astronaut.
Read more here
Read more about Mars One here
“Mars One intends to make possible the opportunity for any qualified applicant from any nation to become an astronaut.”
SEE YOU GUYS LATER, I’M GOING TO MARS.
The rover did a test wiggle of its wheel to prepare for its first drive, which could be happening at any moment, starting today!!! Naturally, it made me think of this:
“Why won’t my wheels move?”
“You’ve been mostly asleep all year.”
“Why am I in this crater?! Who are you?! Are we enemies?”
“Let me ‘splain. No. Too much. Let me sum up. JPL launched you on a rocket and made you go through the seven minutes of terror so you could study the Mars rocks and make everybody so happy on Earth.”
“Hmm, not much time for dilly-dallying.”
“Hey you just wiggled your wheel! That’s wonderful!”
“I’ve always been a quick healer.”
Bonus points if you can place that. Engage full drive!
Curiosity Landing in LESS THAN AN HOUR
Curiosity, NASA’s largest and most complex Mars Rover ever, is scheduled to land in LESS THAN AN HOUR - starting at approximately 1:31 am EST. It takes approximately 7 for the rover to decelerate from 13,000 mph to 0! To NASA scientists, this has been called the “seven minutes of terror.” You can watch the live stream from NASA TV here.
Artists impressions of ancient Mars.
Badar Rashid decided to find out what white and grey matter inside a brain look like. He started with an image of neuron bundles taken using scanning electron microscopy, and blew it up to 4,000 times its actual size. He then added colour to the black and white result according to his own aesthetic.
The image appears in Physics Today (DOI:10.1063/PT.3.1651).
(Image: Badar Rashid, UCD)
Great image. These are actual neurons that have been given color.
By assigning each number a note, Michael John Blake has musically translated Phi, also known as the Golden Ratio - a mathematical constant with the value of 1.61803398874989…onto infinity.
The Lorenz system is a system of ordinary differential equations (the Lorenz equations) first studied by Edward Lorenz. It is notable for having chaotic solutions for certain parameter values and initial conditions. In particular, the Lorenz attractor is a set of chaotic solutions of the Lorenz system which, when plotted, resemble a butterfly or figure eight.
Oh. My. Goodness.
We know about my weakness for time-lapse videos of beautiful stuff. This is just feeding the beast.
These are some star shots captured on a road trip by a time-lapse production company called T-Recs. I love how they blend views of long, threadlike star trails with detailed (labeled!) shots of pinpoint stars across the cosmic canvas.
Have you ever seen shooting star paths so dramatic? And the scene with the reflection on the car windshield … that’s one I’ve never seen before. Bravo.
HD, full-screen, speakers up, sense of awe at the ready … you know how we do things.
EVERYBODY JUST STOP AND WATCH THIS