giovedì 31 marzo 2016

# s-brain: silent synapses

<< (..)  researchers  were  able  for  the  first  time  to  view  the  release  and  re-uptake  of dopamine  —  a  neurotransmitter  involved  in  motor  learninghabit  formation,  and  reward-seeking  behavior  —  in  individual synapsesWhen  all  the  neurons  were  electrically  stimulated  in  a  sample  of  brain  tissuethe  researchers  expected  all  the synapses  to  release  dopamine. Insteadthey  found  that  less  than  20  percent  of  dopaminergic  synapses  were  active  following  a  pulse  of  electricity. >>

The  case  of  the  silent  synapsesWhy  are  only  20%  of  synapses  active  during neurotransmission? Unknown  information  coding  in  the  brain? February  26,  2016

Daniela  B  Pereira, Yvonne  Schmitz, et al. Fluorescent  false  neurotransmitter  reveals functionally  silent  dopamine  vesicle  clusters  in  the striatum. Nature Neuroscience (2016) doi:10.1038/nn.4252. Published  online  22  February  2016

mercoledì 30 marzo 2016

# p-USA: #POTUS race, a POEtic justice ...

<< There's  poetic  justice  in  Trump's  rise  to  the  top  of  the  GOP  presidential  field.  The  GOP  is reaping  precisely  what  it  has  sown. >>

Dave  Pruett. From  the  Party  of  Abe  to  the  Party  of  Donald. 03/24/2016  07:46  pm  ET

martedì 29 marzo 2016

# s-game: #POTUS race turned into a game theory experiment ...

<< Zollman [Kevin  Zollman, Carnegie  Mellon University] notes being among the first to endorse a candidate who is best positioned  to  win  has its  advantages“You  get more credibility,”  he  said.  “I  want to  endorse  early  so  I can say, ‘I was there first’  —  the political  version  of  being  a hipster.” >>

<< That’s  what game theorists call  “costly  signaling,”  a  concession  an  individual makes to indicate greater  strength. Academics  have  theorized  that  the  sharing  of food  in  hunter-gatherer  societies  might  not  be  primarily  altruisticbut  rather  a chance for the best hunters to show off their skills,  and  thereby  move up in the reproductive  pecking  order. >>

<< But  that  was  before  the  2016 race turned into a game theory experiment, where true feelings are set aside for the purpose of a single  mathematical  result. >>

Andrew McGill. The Anti-Trump Endorsement Game. The mathematical strategy behind endorsing Ted Cruz, as explained by game theory. The  Atlantic. March 25, 2016 

<< (..) another  turn  of  the  cards  in  a  game  that  refuses  to  conform  to  old  rulesThe winner  will  be  the  candidate  who  figures  out  the  new  ones. >>

Andrew  McGill. The Game  Theory  Principles  Behind  a  Political Endorsement  Against  Trump. The  Atlantic. March  27,  2016.

venerdì 25 marzo 2016

# s-gene-biotech: the first designer minimal cell JCVI-syn3.0

<< "It doesn’t do anything magical rather than live, eat, and self-replicate,” Venter [@JCVenter]  says. But it is, he says, “the first designer organism in history" >>

Matthew Herper. After 20 Year Quest, Biologists Create Synthetic Bacteria With No Extra Genes. Mar 24, 2016 02:00 PM

<<  JCVI-syn3.0 is a working approximation of a minimal cellular genome, a compromise between small genome size and a workable growth rate for an experimental organism. It retains almost all the genes that are involved in the synthesis and processing of macromolecules. Unexpectedly, it also contains 149 genes with unknown biological functions, suggesting the presence of undiscovered functions that are essential for life. >>

Clyde A. Hutchison III, Ray-Yuan Chuang, et al. Design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome. Science  25 Mar 2016: Vol. 351, Issue 6280, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6253

mercoledì 23 marzo 2016

# s-math-stat: forecasting inside irregular epidemics

<< My name is Wan Yang, ... >>

<< Here  we  develop and  report  forecast  systems  that  are  able  to  predict  irregular  non-seasonal  influenza  epidemics >>

Yang  W,  Cowling  BJ,  Lau  EHY,  Shaman  J  (2015)  Forecasting  Influenza Epidemics  in  Hong  Kong.  PLoS  Comput  Biol  11(7):  e1004383. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004383

lunedì 21 marzo 2016

# s-behav: mama's boys among spotted hyenas

<< Males that stay at home are not second-class males but can breed as successfully as their more adventurous competitors that leave home, a new long-term study on spotted hyenas shows. >>

<< Spotted hyenas live in female-dominated groups of up to 100 individuals and express highly complex social behaviour. >>

Mama’s boys are not losers in spotted hyenas! 17 March 2016 Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB)

Eve Davidian, Alexandre Courtiol, et al. Why do some males choose to breed at home when most other males disperse? Science Advances  18 Mar 2016: Vol. 2, no. 3, e1501236 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501236

domenica 20 marzo 2016

# s-evol: early life in cold ocean

<< Many researchers  believe  that  Earth’s  early  oceans  were  very  hot,  reaching  80° Celsius,  and  that  life  originated  in  these  conditions.  New  findings  may  prove the  opposite  to  be  true >>

<< “We have found evidence  that  the  climate  3.5  billion  years  ago  was  a  cold environment,”  says  Furnes >>

Jens Helleland  Adnanes. Early  Earth  may have been ice cold Early. 14.03.2016.

Maarten J. de Wit, Harald Furnes. 3.5-Ga hydrothermal fields and diamictites in the Barberton Greenstone Belt—Paleoarchean crust in cold environments. Science Advances  26 Feb 2016: Vol. 2, no. 2, e1500368 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500368

sabato 19 marzo 2016

# s-brain-behav: an aesthetically rewarding function

<< (..) white matter connectivity between sensory processing areas in the superior temporal gyrus and emotional and social processing areas in the insula and medial prefrontal cortex explains individual differences in reward sensitivity to music >>

The << (..)  findings provide the first evidence for a neural basis of individual differences in sensory access to the reward system, and suggest that social-emotional communication through the auditory channel may offer an evolutionary basis for music making as an aesthetically rewarding function in humans >>

Sachs ME, Ellis RJ, et al. Brain connectivity reflects human aesthetic responses to music. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2016 Mar 10. pii: nsw009. PMID: 26966157

venerdì 18 marzo 2016

# s-tech: coping with disaster, future directions

<< Here is our list of disaster-related research that provides constructive lessons for the future >>

<< Choose from your area of interest for access >> Ven 18 Marzo, 2016 06:00

giovedì 17 marzo 2016

# s-gene: about music-related creative behaviours

<< This study gives preliminary evidence for the molecular genetic background of creative activities in music >>

<< There is evidence that human music perception and practice share a common genetic background with the vocalization of songbirds >>

<< Pathway analysis of the genes suggestively associated with composing suggested an overrepresentation of the cerebellar long-term depression pathway (LTD), which is a cellular model for synaptic plasticity >>

AA << also propose a common genetic background for music-related creative behaviour and musical abilities at chromosome 4 >>

Oikkonen J., Kuusi T. et al. Creative Activities in Music - A Genome-Wide Linkage Analysis. PLoS One. 2016 Feb 24;11(2):e0148679. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148679. eCollection 2016.


long-term depression pathway (LTD)

mercoledì 16 marzo 2016

# s-math: hijacking news: unexpected, surprisingly erratic biases inside PI

<< the distribution of the last digit of prime numbers are not as random as has been thought, which suggests prime's themselves are not >>

Bob Yirka. Mathematician pair find prime numbers aren't as random as thought. March 15, 2016

Robert J. Lemke Oliver, Kannan Soundararajan. Unexpected biases in the distribution of consecutive primes, arXiv:1603.03720 [math.NT]

lunedì 14 marzo 2016

# s-lang: the compositional syntax of Tits

<< Here  we  report  the  first  experimental  evidence  for  compositional  syntax  in  a  wild  animal  speciesthe Japanese  great  tit  (Parus  minor).  Tits  have  over  ten  different  notes  in  their  vocal  repertoire  and  use them  either  solely  or  in  combination  with  other  notes.  Experiments  reveal  that  receivers  extract different  meanings  from  ‘ABC’  (scan  for  danger)  and  ‘D’  notes  (approach  the  caller),  and  a compound  meaning  from  ‘ABC–D’  combinationsHoweverreceivers  rarely  scan  and  approach when  note  ordering  is  artificially  reversed  (‘D–ABC’).  Thuscompositional  syntax  is  not  unique  to human  language  but  may  have  evolved  independently  in  animals  as  one  of  the  basic  mechanisms of  information  transmission. >>

Toshitaka  N.  Suzuki,  David  Wheatcroft  &  Michael  Griesser. Experimental  evidence  for  compositional  syntax  in bird  calls. Nature Communications 7, Article number: 10986 doi:10.1038/ncomms10986. Published  08  March  2016

domenica 13 marzo 2016

# s-epidemiol: climate change plus Zika, then a behavioral transition, hat burqa- like everywhere ...

<< “In  many ways  the  Zika  outbreak  is  worse  than the  Ebola  epidemic  of 2014-15,” said  Jeremy  Farrar, head of the Welcome  Trust.  “Most  virus  carriers  are  symptomlessIt  is  a  silent  infection  in  a  group  of highly  vulnerable  individuals  –  pregnant  women  –  that  is  associated  with  a  horrible  outcome  for  their babies.” There  is  no  prospect  of a  vaccine  for  Zika  at  present,  in  contrast  to  Ebolafor  which  several are  now under  trial“The  real problem is  that  trying  to  develop  a  vaccine  that  would  have  to  be  tested  on pregnant  women is  a  practical and  ethical nightmare,”  added  Mike  Turner,  head  of infection  and immuno-biology at the Welcome  Trust >>

Robin  McKie. Saturday 30 Jan 2016  20.10  GMT. Zika  virus  could  be  bigger  global  health  threat  than Ebolasay  health  experts.

What we know

No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).

Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).

Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.

Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.

Zika virus. Prevention. 13/03.2016

venerdì 11 marzo 2016

# s-brain: nanobot, lovers vs dangerous: "can you dance with me?"

<< He predicts that by the 2030s, humans will be using nanobots capable of tapping into our neocortex and connecting us directly to the world around us. However, he admitted that computers won't take over us until they learn to love and laugh. >> Ray Kurzweil

<< Artificial  intelligence  has  the  potential  to  be  as  dangerous  to  mankind  as  nuclear  weapons >> Stuart  Russell

2087 - il pseudomotore di Shostakovich
wednesday, november 15, 2006

<< Can  I  dance  with  you >> The Troggs.  With A Girl Like You. (1967), live.

martedì 8 marzo 2016

# s-brain: what you know, how you see

<< “When  you  become  an  expert  in  reading  an  alphabetwhat  does  that  changeDoes  your  visual  system  see  the  same thing  as  a  beginnerWe  say  no,”  Wiley  said.  “If  you’re  an  expertthings  that  look  complex  to  a  novice  look  simple  to you.” The  findings  should  apply  not  just  to  lettersbut  to  anything  we  see. “What  we  find  should  hold  true  for  any  sort  of  object  —  carsbirdsfacesExpertise  mattersIt  changes  how  you perceive  things,”  Wiley  said.  “Part  of  being  an  expert  is  learning  what  matters  and  what  doesn’t  matter  —  including visual  featuresYou  know  what  to  look  for.” >>

Johns Hopkins University. What You Know Can Affect How You See. Released: 1-Mar-2016 10:05 AM EST

Wiley Robert  W., Wilson Colin,  Rapp Brenda. The  Effects  of  Alphabet  and  Expertise  on  Letter  Perception.  Journal  of  Experimental  Psychology:  Human  Perception  and  Performance,  Feb 25 , 2016,  Database:  PsycARTICLES [  First  Posting  ]

lunedì 7 marzo 2016

# scenarios among entities of one-time-only dilemma (di ipotetico aciclico "sbricio-lamento") ...

<< As Richard Thaler, the behavioral economist at the University of Chicago, explained, the strategies can be applied to anything: health care, nuclear deterrence, the last piece of pizza >>

<< Game theory shows that in iterated dilemmas, played many hundreds or thousands of times, cooperation is a very stable strategyone reason it is so common in nature.
But this is not an iterated dilemma. It’s a one-time-only dilemma with a tremendous payoff for the winner >>

<< As Daniel Diermeier, the dean of the public policy school at the University of Chicago, notes, “A very important lesson of game theory is that sometimes the world is a grim place >>

Kevin  Quealy. The 2016 Race. Lessons From Game Theory ... February 24, 2016

domenica 6 marzo 2016

# s-brain: no, they can't upload

<< According  to  a  spectacularly  misleading  article  in  the TelegraphScientists  discover  how  to ‘upload  knowledge  to  your  brain’ >>

<< Except…  that’s  not  what  happened  at  all. >.

<<  The press  release  from  HRL  Laboratories about  the  study  seems  to  be  the  source  of  most  of  the errorsincluding  the  Matrix  analogy >>


now you can #learn; the begin

sabato 5 marzo 2016

# s-brain: how to manage big and small numbers ...

<< Previous  studies  have  highlighted  the  general  region  where  the  brain  handles numbers  -  in  an  area  called  the  fronto-parietal  cortex,  which  runs  approximately  from the  top  of  the  head  to  just  above  the  earBut  scientists  are  in  the  dark  about  how exactly  the  brain  unpicks  and  processes  numbers >>

<< Dr  Qadeer  Arshad (..) said:  "Following  early  insights  from  stroke  patients  we  wanted  to  find  out exactly  how  the  brain  processes  numbers.  In  our  new  study,  in  which  we  used  healthy volunteerswe  found  the  left  side  processes  large  numbersand  the  right  processes small  numbers.  So  for  instance  if  you  were  looking  at  a  clock,  the  numbers  one  to  six would  be  processed  on  the  right  side  of  the  brainand  six  to  twelve  would  be processed  on  the  left." >>

Kate Wighton. Big  and  small  numbers  are  processed  in  different  sides of the brain. 04 March 2016.

<<  This allowed us to demonstrate the first systematic bidirectional modulation of numerical magnitude toward either higher or lower numbers, independently of either eye movements or spatial attention mediated biases >>

<< (..) numerical allocation is continually updated in a contextual manner based upon relative magnitude, with the right hemisphere responsible for smaller magnitudes and the left hemisphere for larger magnitudes >>

Qadeer Arshad, Yuliya Nigmatullina, et al. Bidirectional Modulation of Numerical Magnitude. Cereb. Cortex (2016) doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv344 First published online: February 14, 2016