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My ratings (R) are from 1 to 9. My Dates are also permalinks. Click on the column headers to sort Jots. Feel free to use the address bar like a command line interface by setting the optional query string parameters: Dtm1 (10, 20, 30, YYYYMMDDhhmmss), Dtm2 (YYYYMMDDhhmmss), IsJot (Jot or Not), Tag (zero+ times), NotTag (zero+ times), OrderBy (PostForDate, PostTitle, PostLink, PostText, PostSource, PostRating, PostSize) & Desc(Desc), and Limit(integer).
|20090410 135931 Z||The Secret To Chimp Strength||www.scienced … 090330200829.htm||digg.com/gen … o_Chimp_Strength||Biology, Fauna, Mind||In light of my having gone ape at the CSG prize play --climbing up to hang the banners (What? Were you thinking something else?) -- here is an article about why the other apes are stronger than humans.|
|20090624 171432 Z||Doctors Baffled, Intrigued by Girl Who Doesn't Age||abcnews.go.c … d=7880954&page=1||Biology, Cyber Life, Health, News||"Brooke Greenberg is the size of an infant, with the mental capacity of a toddler. She turned 16 in January." A fascinating story in of itself, but the differences between the Digg comments and the reddit comments are interesting as well.|
|20091201 200608 Z||Men and Women May Respond Differently to Danger||www.scienced … 091129125131.htm||Biology, Mind, Psychology, Relations, Science, Security, Self Defense, Survivalism, Violence||Yet another study supporting the male "flight or flight" response and the female "tend or befriend" response. This new study used fMRI to examine responses to positive and negative images.|
|20100905 182955 Z||Muscles Remember Past Glory||www.wired.co … 8/muscle-memory/||www.crossfit … ive2/007090.html||Biology, Conditioning, Health||Talk about muscle memory! Muscle cells are so large (some up to 30 cm or 1') that they can have multiple nuclei. It had been thought that if a muscle atrophied, then the extra nuclei went away. However this study shows that the extra nuclei can hang around for quite a while.|
|20101020 154726 Z||Heribert Watzke: The brain in your gut||www.ted.com/ … in_your_gut.html||Biology, Evolution, Mind, Nature, Psychology||Thought provoking. Our teeth indicate that we evolved to eat cooked food, i.e. we are "coctivars". Human guts are smaller in proportion to body weight than other primates. Our guts have 500 million nerve cell --about as many as in a cat's brain. I like how he classified our different tastes (sweet, bitter, etc) as serving different functions. The interaction between our head brain and gut "brain" is interesting and intuitive. There's also the vast number of flora in our gut. So the Japanese were onto something with their emphasis on the hara!|
|20110326 140651 Z||Quantum physics explanation for smell gains traction||www.bbc.co.u … ronment-12827893||Animation, Biology, Chemistry, Chill, Cool, Futurama, Physics, Science, TECH, TV||Futurama wasn't too far off with the Smelloscope by The Professor.|
|20111102 235726 Z||Paul Zak: Trust, morality -- and oxytocin||www.ted.com/ … nd_oxytocin.html||Biology, Chemistry, Ethics, Mind, Psychology, Relations, Science, TECH, Videos||I love the intersection of science and ethics. I found his experiments convincing support for his claim that oxytocin is the specific chemical for trust, morality, and empathy. Prescription: 8 hugs a day!|
Just to take away the bad taste that the Republicans leave in my mouth:
Wow. One of the more powerful pieces I have seen in a while. I know that I shift brains but it's amazing to choose to do so.
Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened -- and has become a powerful voice for brain recovery.
Ah ha! The engineers have been caught reverse engineering from nature again. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
The robot consists of a wheeled platform with a robotic "head" that uses two cameras to capture stereoscopic vision. The robot can turn its head and shift its gaze up and down or sideways to gauge its surroundings, and can quickly measure its own speed relative to its environment. The machine is controlled by algorithms designed to mimic different parts of the human visual system. Rather than capturing and mapping its surroundings over and over in order to plan its route--the way most robots do--the European machine uses a simulated neural network to update its position relative to the environment, continually adjusting to each new input. This mimics human visual processing and movement planning.
Reverse engineering nature is the way to go because nature has complex systems that evolved over thousands of years.
I love it when scientists dabble in philosophy. Stuart Kauffman is a theoretical biologists who pioneers in the study of complexity in biological systems. In this paper he pokes at ye olde question of free will.
Since Descartes' dualism, with his res extensa and res cogitans, six fundamental problems in the philosophy and natural history of mind are these:
1. how does mind act on matter?
2. If mind does not act on matter is mind a mere epiphenomenon? 3. What might be the source of free will?
4. What might be the source of a responsible free will?
5. Why might it have been selectively advantageous to evolve consciousness?
6. What ”is” consciousness?
According to Kauffman, the mind is a quantum phenomena that produces classical output that is non-random and yet cannot be predicted by the laws of physics because its quantum system decoheres and thus information is lost that cannot be retrieved.
if the quantum-classical boundary can be non-random yet lawless, then no algorithmic simulation of the world or ourselves can calculate the real world, hence the evolutionary selective advantages for evolving consciousness to "know" it may be great.
The concept of our minds spanning the classical and quantum divide is intriguing and would answer questions 1-5. Kauffman admits to having no answer for question 6.
What a cutie!
Puny arms, massive jaws, swift legs — all the ingredients of the king of the carnivores — adorned a newly discovered dinosaur, Raptorex kriegsteini, reported by the journal Science. But Raptorex was only about 1/90 the size of Tyrannosaurus, and flourished about 40 million years before T.Rex appears in the fossil record.
This one is so obvious that it's spooky. The concept of successful genes maximize replication is familiar; that life succeeds because it maximizes entropy on a much lower level than the visible mess we create. The complex processes of life enable chemical reactions to get past a little hill and into a lower energy state.
"The purpose of life is to hydrogenate carbon dioxide." -Mike Russell
What a wonderful, beautiful, and thought provoking piece. Individual cells may be far more powerful than we realize.
After all, whole living cells are primarily autonomous, and carry out their daily tasks with little external mediation. They are not subservient nanobots, they create and regulate activity, respond to current conditions and, crucially, take decisions to deal with unforeseen difficulties.
We're so self-impressed, that we can barely appreciate what's going on.
For me, the brain is not a supercomputer in which the neurons are transistors; rather it is as if each individual neuron is itself a computer, and the brain a vast community of microscopic computers. But even this model is probably too simplistic since the neuron processes data flexibly and on disparate levels, and is therefore far superior to any digital system. If I am right, the human brain may be a trillion times more capable than we imagine, and "artificial intelligence" a grandiose misnomer. I think it is time to acknowledge fully that living cells make us what we are, and to abandon reductionist thinking in favour of the study of whole cells. Reductionism has us peering ever closer at the fibres in the paper of a musical score, and analysing the printer's ink. I want us to experience the symphony.
So the "alien" is from California! The most frequent Sci Fi elemental substitution is Si instead of C, so who would have guessed that As instead of P?!
At their conference today, NASA scientist Felisa Wolfe Simon will announce that they have found a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today. Instead of using phosphorus, the bacteria uses arsenic. All life on Earth is made of six components: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same. But not this one.
They DNA-tricked a human embryonic kidney cell to have green fluorescent protein (GFP, like first found in bio-luminescent jellyfish), then placed it between mirrors, and zapped it with blue light. The GFP acted as the gain medium, the light bounced back and forth between the mirrors until it got strong enough to come out of the semi-transparent mirror as a laser beam! The kidney cell survived just fine.
This is the first time they've used living tissue as a gain medium. They have all sorts of ideas for applications, even Townes couldn't predict what we eventually used the laser for.
Soon we can have frickin sharks with frickin laser beams!
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