The Disingenuous Entomologist

Jul 03

[video]

Mar 28

LEAVING FOR A POST DOC

whatshouldwecallgradschool:

credit: Ed

yesterday.

Aug 04

[video]

Mar 15

12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free -

canisfamiliaris:

That’s 144 places, for those of you who never learned multiplication, or what the English word “dozen” means!

(or one ‘gross’)

Mar 13

Brown University creates first wireless, implanted brain-computer interface -

fuckyeahneuroscience:

Researchers at Brown University have succeeded in creating the first wireless, implantable, rechargeable, long-term brain-computer interface. The wireless BCIs have been implanted in pigs and monkeys for over 13 months without issue, and human subjects are next.

We’ve covered BCIs extensively here on ExtremeTech, but historically they’ve been bulky and tethered to a computer. A tether limits the mobility of the patient, and also the real-world testing that can be performed by the researchers. Brown’s wireless BCI allows the subject to move freely, dramatically increasing the quantity and quality of data that can be gathered — instead of watching what happens when a monkey moves its arm, scientists can now analyze its brain activity during complex activity, such as foraging or social interaction. Obviously, once the wireless implant is approved for human testing, being able to move freely — rather than strapped to a chair in the lab — would be rather empowering.

Moving forward, the wireless BCI is very much a part of BrainGate — the Brown University research group that’s tasked with bringing these neurological technologies to humans. So far, the pinnacle of BrainGate’s work is a robotic arm controlled by a tethered BCI, which paralyzed patients can use to feed themselves (video embedded below). While the wireless BCI isn’t approve for human use (and there’s no indication that they’re seeking approval yet), it was designed specifically so that it should be safe for human use.

The Brown researchers now intend to develop a different version of the device to help them study the motor cortex of an animal with Parkinson’s disease. They are also working on reducing the device’s size, improving its safety and reliability, and increasing the amount of data it can transmit — for the eventual goal of equipping those with movement disabilities, or elective transhumanists, with a wireless brain-computer interface.

Original paper here

Sweet.

(via sagansense)

Mar 01

A Brain-to-Brain Interface for Real-Time Sharing of Sensorimotor Information -

Scientists establish a brain-to-brain interface (BTBI), allowing pairs of rats to cooperate via the BTBI to achieve a common behavioural goal.

This should alleviate the fears of people worried about governements controlling people’s brains via chips. Clearly, the technology is in its infancy. They should take solace in the fact this sort of thing won’t be rolled out to the infant population for another few years.

Jan 18

co-labelled sweetness. rhodamine-loaded auditory brainstem neurons demonstrating potassium channel (Kv2.2) immunoreactivity.
The image could’ve been of more glorious quality but, distressingly, the confocal microscope has been recently boned by a software ‘upgrade’. You know how it is.

co-labelled sweetness. rhodamine-loaded auditory brainstem neurons demonstrating potassium channel (Kv2.2) immunoreactivity.

The image could’ve been of more glorious quality but, distressingly, the confocal microscope has been recently boned by a software ‘upgrade’. You know how it is.

Jan 09

[video]

Nov 12


Research shows binge drinking inhibits brain development
Teenagers who binge drink risk inhibiting part of their brain’s development and many are laying the groundwork for alcoholism down the track a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher has found.
Professor Selena Bartlett, from QUT’s Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), studied the effect excessive binge drinking during adolescence had on a particular receptor in the brain and discovered teen bingeing altered it irreversibly, keeping the brain in an adolescent state.
“The human brain doesn’t fully develop until around age 25 and bingeing during adolescence modifies its circuits, preventing the brain from reaching maturity,” she said.
“During adolescence, the brain undergoes massive changes in the prefrontal cortex and areas linked to drug reward but alcohol disrupts this.
“The research, which was carried out on rats, suggests that during ageing, the brain’s delta opioid peptide receptor (DOP-R) activity turns down, but binge drinking causes the receptors to stay on, keeping it in an adolescent stage.
“The younger a child or teenager starts binge drinking and the more they drink, the worse the possible outcome for them.”
Professor Bartlett said recent trends to mix high-caffeine drinks such as Red Bull with alcohol were making the binge drinking problem worse. 

…that explains somethings.

Research shows binge drinking inhibits brain development

Teenagers who binge drink risk inhibiting part of their brain’s development and many are laying the groundwork for alcoholism down the track a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher has found.

Professor Selena Bartlett, from QUT’s Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), studied the effect excessive binge drinking during adolescence had on a particular receptor in the brain and discovered teen bingeing altered it irreversibly, keeping the brain in an adolescent state.

“The human brain doesn’t fully develop until around age 25 and bingeing during adolescence modifies its circuits, preventing the brain from reaching maturity,” she said.

“During adolescence, the brain undergoes massive changes in the prefrontal cortex and areas linked to drug reward but alcohol disrupts this.

“The research, which was carried out on rats, suggests that during ageing, the brain’s delta opioid peptide receptor (DOP-R) activity turns down, but binge drinking causes the receptors to stay on, keeping it in an adolescent stage.

“The younger a child or teenager starts binge drinking and the more they drink, the worse the possible outcome for them.”

Professor Bartlett said recent trends to mix high-caffeine drinks such as Red Bull with alcohol were making the binge drinking problem worse.

…that explains somethings.

(via sagansense)

Oct 31

I’d like to take a second to point out that invertebrates, like most other ectotherms, are cooler than mammals.