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brains

  1. NBD, Just Lab-Grown 3D Material That Functions Like a Rat’s Brain

    But how long before they can grow Krang?

    Rat brains are notoriously hard to grow without them being part of an entire rat. Some new research from Tufts University in Boston might change that, as they've discovered a way to grow artificial brain tissue that functions similarly to the brain of a rat.

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  2. Brain-to-Brain Connection Established Between Humans and Rats

    Step One: Learn to control rat brains. Step Two: CONTROL ALL THE BRAINS

    Harvard researchers have devised a way to create a functioning link between the brain of a human and a lab rat that lets a thought from the human test subject cause the rat to move its own tail. The research could prove to be a major expansion to the field of brain-computer interface (BCI), translating thoughts through a computer to another brain.

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  3. It’s Not All Miss Utah’s Fault That Her Response Was So Ridiculous — Some of It’s Biology

    Besides, it's not like she's wrong about needing to improve the education system. So there's that.

    I caught just enough of the Miss USA pageant this weekend to be weirded out by Nick Jonas and Mo Rocca existing in the same space, but not enough to see the unfortunate answer that Miss Utah contestant Marissa Powell gave to NeNe Leake's question about gender and income equality. The Internet has been tearing into Ms. Powell since, but I firmly believe that we should cut her a little slack. Yes, her response was cringeworthy, confusing, and nonsensical, but a lot of that can be chalked up to an intense case of stage fright. After all, how are you supposed to keep cool in front of millions of people and a Jonas Brother?

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  4. Well That’s Terrifying: Man With Chronic Runny Nose Was Actually Leaking Brain Fluid

    This is one of the most frightening things I've ever heard. A man in Arizona who thought he simply had a chronic runny nose has actually been leaking brain fluid, and it went on for more than 18 months. The man is on the road to recovery, but what's truly awful about this story is that one doctor said this condition can commonly be missed for a long time.

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  5. Science Says “Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye” to Songs That Get Stuck in Your Head

    Vital Information for Your Everyday Life

    Science, always out there doing things like landing car-sized robots on the moon and then making twitter accounts for them, or discovering the particle responsible for matter having mass and then shutting down for "upgrades." What has it ever done for you, personally these days? It's good to see some scientists tackling the important issues, like how to get rid of a song that's been stuck in your head.

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  6. Who Are You Calling Yarn-for-Brains? (Is it This Yarn Brain?)

    Braaaaiiiinnnnns

    Psychiatrist Dr. Karen Norberg knit this atomically accurate brain that is now on display at the Boston Museum of Science because she felt that knit yarn could best convey the wrinkly ripply nature of our brains. There's even a functional zipper that connects the two lobes! You can read more about how and why she made it at the The Telegraph. Previously in Awesome Crafts

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  7. Your Brain Can Be Nice or Logical, But Not Both At Once

    Offering a sympathetic ear can be a kind and noble gesture, but it's one you should be careful of if you also need to be logical, say researchers at Case Western University. A study, released online today in the journal NeuroImage, shows that the brain is incapable of being simultaneously logical and empathetic. So if you need to be nice, get ready to stop being analytical, and if you need to channel your inner Vulcan, be ready for other people to call you a jerk, because you will probably be acting like a jerk.

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  8. For the First Time, Creature Without Brain Demonstrates Memory

    The slime mold Physarum polycephalum is not traditionally regarded as exactly the brightest of life forms. Much of this perception has to do with the fact that a slime mold is a single-celled organism that has no brain or neural structure, which is really a pretty solid reason not to give a creature much credit in the intellect department. Despite this, though, slime mold has proven surprisingly capable of solving simple tests and mazes in lab settings. Now, researchers have even uncovered evidence that the mold doesn't need a brain to demonstrate that it uses memory as a problem solving tool, a feat you can check out in a video after the break.

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  9. New iPad App Is Next Best Thing To Touching Einstein’s Brain, Unfortunately Costs Ten Dollars

    Who among us hasn't wanted to poke Einstein's brain at some point? It's every nerdy kid's dream, as well as a really good way to get kicked out of some pretty classy archives. Thanks to a new app from the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago, anyone with an iPad and some kind of morbid inclinations can gawk at the brain that changed modern phsyics -- and in HD, no less! The catch? It's going to run you a couple of shekels to do so.

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  10. Scientists Discover Secret Behind Brain Washing (The Good Kind)

    There are plenty of things about the way the brain works that remain a mystery to us. Where does a memory live? Do we actually have free will? Why do I sometimes worry that I've lost my phone because it's not in my pocket even though it is clearly in my hand?  While science doesn't have answers to any of those questions yet, researchers have weighed in on a long-standing mystery of neuroscience, shedding light on how the brain disposes of waste and keeps itself clean. In doing so, they've discovered a whole new plumbing system that seems to shadow the arteries and blood vessels in the organ.

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  11. Grey Parrots As Smart As Toddlers, Toddlers Left Feeling Inadequate

    Long known to be good for repeating things that pirates say and also not much else, it appears that grey parrots have more going on upstairs than once thought. A recent study found that the birds are capable of making inferences and using simple logic to solve problems or make predictions. Fairly simple predictions, but still predictions, and mostly correct ones. The demonstration puts the parrots' reasoning skills on par with those of human three-year-olds -- which is either a major victory for parrots or a serious blow to toddlers everywhere, depending on how you look at it.

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  12. Things We Saw Today: Brain Cupcakes

    Things We Saw Today

    I'm sorry that I have no more information on these than what you see here. (I Heart Chaos)

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  13. Witzelsucht: The Disease That Causes People to Speak in Puns

    In Which We Don't Make An Obvious Pun

    An upsetting mental disorder has been discovered, and it concerns your brain and the delivery of puns. It's called witzelsucht, and it causes people to make jokes, puns, and engage in what could be considered inappropriate conversation and/or behavior -- and probably annoy people. Which is sad, because being a person who voluntarily makes bad puns all day is one thing. Not being able to control your bad puns is another. Insert your own pun joke here, because I'm far too concerned about many people I know who might be dealing with this already.

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  14. Alien Brain Hemorrhage Cocktail

    The above image does not depict a shot glass full of red Kool-Aid that was left in a very warm garage for a few months, but a drink intentionally made to look insane. Dubbed the "Alien Brain Hemorrhage," the cocktail consists of half a shot glass full of peach schnapps, with Bailey's Irish Cream poured on top. Once the shot is almost full, a small amount of blue curacao is added, and once that settles, a small splash of grenadine tops the drink off. Head on past the break to check out a video of the concoction.

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  15. Things We Saw Today: Heeeeeere’s Kitty!

    Things We Saw Today

    Wennnnndy ... gimme the cat. Just gimme the cat ... (At Nerdcore)

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  16. Study Links Religious Experiences to Brain Shrinkage

    A study published in PLoS ONE by Amy Owen and her colleagues at Duke University showed greater atrophy in the hippocampus of people who identify with a specific religion, as well as people who do not identify with any; basically, the subjects who experienced shrinkage in certain areas of the brain were identified as religious, or specifically not, as opposed to those who are casual about religion.

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  17. Shakespeare Makes Your Brain Smarter

    The Human Machine

    William Shakespeare's unique use of language (or misuse, depending on whom you ask) activates a response in the brain that can "shift mental pathways and open possibilities" for further mental stimulation. In other words, reading Shakespeare increases your brain power. If someone had told me this in high school, I would have never reached for those Cliff's Notes.

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  18. Way Out: The Roald Dahl Suspense Series [Video]

    this exists

    Back in the 1950s, CBS wanted to fill one of its half-hour time slots with something they could show alongside The Twilight Zone. So they created Way Out, which interpreted Roald Dahl's more adult, twisted stories (even though he was known for his more light-hearted, kid-friendly work) into a television series similar to its successful companion piece. It only ran for 14 episodes, but five of them are available online at Archive.org. This episode, entitled "William and Mary," shows a bitter, verbally abusive husband on his deathbed and the neurologist who wants to keep his brain alive after death. It's a really twisted story, and it certainly makes you want to read Dahl's work, but I'd be lying if I said this wouldn't be amazing if given the MST3K treatment. Especially the part when the good doctor says he's "been wanting to have a go at a man." Oh, yes. The full 26-minute episode is embedded above. (Metafilter via Boing Boing)

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  19. Bigger Brains More Easily Tricked by Optical Illusions

    Dr. Sam Schwarzkopf and his colleagues at University College London created an experiment based on the Ebbinghaus illusion, where two identical circles are placed next to each other, though one is surrounded by larger circles and the other identical circle is surrounded by smaller ones, and asked 30 volunteers to guess which of two circles was larger. Afterward, the researchers scanned the volunteers' brains, and noticed that people with a smaller visual cortex experienced the Ebbinghaus illusion more. Interestingly, the team found that the people with a smaller visual cortex tended to have bigger brains.

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  20. Can Conjoined Twins with Shared Brain Share Thoughts?

    A pair of conjoined twins named Tatiana and Krista Hogan, who were born four years ago in Vancouver, partially share brains: There's a bridge between each girl's thalamus, which could allow them to share sensory information and more. One scientist who conducted tests on them concluded that "Their brains are recording signals from the other twin’s visual field ... one might be seeing what the other one is seeing.” Their grandmother is convinced that they can even share thoughts:

    Adding to the conundrum, of course, are their linked brains, and the mysterious hints of what passes between them. The family regularly sees evidence of it. The way their heads are joined, they have markedly different fields of view. One child will look at a toy or a cup. The other can reach across and grab it, even though her own eyes couldn't possibly see its location. "They share thoughts, too," says Louise. "Nobody will be saying anything," adds Simms, "and Tati will just pipe up and say, 'Stop that!' And she'll smack her sister." While their verbal development is delayed, it continues to get better. Their sentences are two or three words at most so far, and their enunciation is at first difficult to understand. Both the family, and researchers, anxiously await the children's explanation for what they are experiencing.
    Full fascinating profile on the Hogan twins and the implications their case has for neuroscience at Macleans.ca. (Macleans.ca via Kottke via Boing Boing. pic via Macleans.ca)

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