A Little Shock, Weird Genes, and the Brains Sense.


A Little Shock, Weird Genes, and the Brains Sense.

A leap of science into flashbacks

There is no need of chemical hallucinogens to initiate memories in your brain any more. Researchers have used small electrical signals to stimulate the cortex of the right hemisphere of brain in subjects to retrieve memories and to get relieved from the unpleasant ones. The stimulation caused hallucinogenic effects. The results came from a study of the post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) performed when the subjects were awake. The patients suffered from frequent flash backs and the findings pointed to the presence of hyperactive neural connections particularly in the cortex region of temporal lobe.

Weird Genome sequencing

Ozzy Osbourne made it to the list of those humans having a complete genome sequenced. The technology review covers the details of the story extensively. The sequencing has not done much to contribute to science since the distinctiveness of an individual is not explicitly shown in the DNA sequence. Rather, the sequences should be compared at the level of ethnic groups to get be of some use to science.

As to the claims of a high percentage of Neanderthal DNA in Ozzy’s genome, science has not confirmed the Neanderthal DNA sequences itself. Hence the story becomes more or less a fiction that happened in the recent times.

A gene for liberal views and friends

Researchers have found the presence of a new ‘liberal gene’ which is found to be associated with certain behavioral patterns of adolescence. The study was actually set to find out the effect of environmental influences like exposure to different views at adolescence in promoting a liberal view. But the research ended up in a gene in addition to the factors studied. The study was done in over 2500 subjects to find the presence of a gene for a dopamine receptor.

For those with the gene, having more friends in adolescent ages helped to gain a liberal world view. Conversely those with the gene and having lesser friends showed no such relations. The results were the same as in the absence of this gene. At least, science shows that complex behaviors often show the influence of environment over the gene.

Narwhals, the new instruments to study oceans.

The Arctic is a risky place for collection of scientific data, especially in winters when the temperatures fall terribly low. The researchers have not given up hope and had collected data from Baffin Bay and northern Davis Strait. The place is an entry point to Arctic from the north Atlantic region. They used narwhals (Monodon monoceros) which dive to greater depths in search of the prey. The typical feeding dives of the narwhals helped to measure the temperatures of the ocean depths even up to 1700 m. The data generated has also thrown light on the ocean currents and probably shows the future of narwhals to be used in oceanic studies.

Truffles do mate

Truffles are an expensive ingredient for cooking and are in rarity due to the lack of knowledge to culture the truffles in mass. Now researchers have come up with evidences about related genes in truffles suggesting the possibility to identify them by sex. To top it all, the different sexes are not uniformly distributed in the natural habitat. The finding shed light for the means to domesticate and culture them reducing the costs.

Its not more senses, just more processing of brain.

It has been always in the wonders list that the blind can get more information with their senses than their six sensed peers. A study has been conducted in a group of blind who are experienced in Braille reading to find out the actual process. The blind are sensitive to the vibrations of fingers just as the normal subjects. But they are able to overcome their limitations due to the reorganized brain. This enhances their ability to integrate and process the details of the senses, especially touch into a perfect picture with efficiency.

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