lunedì 22 gennaio 2018

# astro: asteroids, about small NEO (Near Earth Objects)

<< One of the major problems that civilisation has is that while we are becoming incredibly efficient at spotting Near Earth Objects, we still cannot do anything about one that might be on a collision path with the Earth. NASA currently has a project, DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), to redirect a threatening asteroid at the preliminary design phase. >>

<< It is salutary to look at the number of detections of Near Earth Objects. The Minor Planet Center maintains a database of observations, keeping a running total which, by the end of December 2017, stood at over 17,500. A further 28 have already been spotted this month. >>

Monica Grady. A huge asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, but what danger do smaller ones pose? Jan 18, 2018.   

sabato 20 gennaio 2018

# gst: chaotic dynamics in the transition between sleep and wakefulness

AA <<  have investigated how to describe one of the most significant state changes in the brain, namely the transition between sleep and wakefulness >>

<< The brain's neuronal activity depends on the overall state we are in (deep sleep, light sleep, sedentary awake or awake and active), and this is important for how sensory impressions are processed >>

Niels  Bohr  Institute. Chaos  in  the  transition from sleep to awake. Dec 15,  2017.

AA << find that sleep is governed by stable, self-sustained oscillations in neuronal firing patterns, whereas the quiet awake state and active awake state are both governed by irregular oscillations and chaotic dynamics; transitions between these separable awake states are prompted by ionic changes. Although waking is indicative of a shift from stable to chaotic neuronal firing patterns, [AA]  illustrate that the properties of chaotic dynamics ensure that the transition between states is smooth and robust to noise >>

Rune Rasmussen, Mogens H. Jensen, Mathias L. Heltberg. Chaotic Dynamics Mediate Brain State Transitions, Driven by Changes in Extracellular Ion Concentrations.
Cell Systems. 2017; 5 (6): 591 - 603.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2017.11.011. Dec 13, 2017.

giovedì 18 gennaio 2018

# behav: the self-medication poultice by orang-utans (Pongo pygmaeus)

<< Animals self-medicate using a variety of plant and arthropod secondary metabolites by either ingesting them or anointing them to their fur or skin apparently to repel ectoparasites and treat skin diseases >>

AA << document self-medication in the only Asian great ape, orang-utans (Pongo pygmaeus), and for the first time, to our knowledge, the external application of an anti-inflammatory agent in animals. The use of leaf extracts from Dracaena cantleyi by orang-utan has been observed on several occasions; rubbing a foamy mixture of saliva and leaf onto specific parts of the body. Interestingly, the local indigenous human population also use a poultice of these leaves for the relief of body pains >>

Morrogh-Bernard HC, Foitova I, et al. Self-medication by orang-utans (Pongo pygmaeus) using bioactive properties of Dracaena cantleyi. Scientific Reports. 2017; 7: 16653.
doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16621-w.
Nov 30, 2017.

Borneo Nature Foundation. Orangutans, like people, use medicinal plants to treat joint and muscle inflammation. Jan 10, 2018.

mercoledì 17 gennaio 2018

# age: lifespan in the elderly throughout history

<< People sometimes think that in those days if you lived to 40 that was about as good as it got. But that's not true. For people living traditional lives without modern medicine or markets the most common age of death is about 70, and that is remarkably similar across all different cultures >> Christine Cave.

Redefining knowledge of elderly people throughout history. Jan 4, 2018.

Christine M.Cave, Marc F.Oxenham. Sex and the elderly: Attitudes to long-lived women and men in early Anglo-Saxon England. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 2017; 48: 207-16.  doi: 10.1016/j.jaa.2017.08.003. Sept 4, 2017.

martedì 16 gennaio 2018

# acad: new research must be better reported

<< Yet all too often research-led stories start with "researchers have found", with little mention of their names, institution and who funded their work. And the problem is that by reporting new research in this way, it fails to break down the stereotypical image of an ivory tower >>

Andy Tattersall. New research must be better reported, the future of society depends on it. Jan 8, 2018.

lunedì 15 gennaio 2018

# sec: sometimes the repair is crippling ...

<< Microsoft has temporarily stopped fixing a serious security flaw on personal computers powered by certain chips from Advanced Micro Devices because the repair is crippling the affected machines >>

Microsoft stops fixing security flaw on PCs with AMD chips. Jan 9, 2018.

Windows operating system security update block for some AMD based devices. Jan 10, 2018.

sabato 13 gennaio 2018

# brain: rhythm-regulation and plasticity through oscillations

<< During inattentive wakefulness and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, the neocortex and thalamus cooperatively engage in rhythmic activities >>

<< thalamic oscillations of low-vigilance states have a plasticity function that (..) can shape ongoing oscillations during inattention and NREM sleep and may potentially reconfigure thalamic networks for faithful information processing during attentive wakefulness >>

Vincenzo Crunelli, Magor L. Lorincz, et al. Dual function of thalamic low-vigilance state oscillations: rhythm-regulation and plasticity. Nature Reviews Neurosci doi: 10.1038/nrn.2017.151. Jan 11, 2018