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A Sixth Sense? Magneto Receptive Humans???
#34
Human cognitive map scales according to surroundings

April 13, 2017

[Image: humancogniti.png]
A depiction of an individual engaged in navigating a virtual reality using the entorhinal cortex of the brain.  Credit: UT Austin Human Brain Stimulation and Electrophysiology Lab
A new study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences refines our understanding of a human skill—the ability to instantaneously assess a new environment and get oriented thanks to visual cues.

Whereas humans can look at a complex landscape like a mountain vista and almost immediately orient themselves to navigate its multiple regions over long distances, other mammals such as rodents orient relative to physical cues—like approaching and sniffing a wall—that build up over time.
The way humans navigate their surroundings and understand their relative position includes an environment-dependent scaling mechanism, an adaptive coordinate system with differences from other mammals, according to the study led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.
"Our research, based on human data, redefines the fundamental properties of the internal coordinate system," said Zoltan Nadasdy, lead author of the study and an adjunct assistant professor in the university's Department of Psychology. Nadasdy is also a researcher at Eötvös Loránd University and the Sarah Cannon Research Institute at St. David's Medical Center.
"Dysfunction in this system causes memory problems and disorientation, such as we see in Alzheimer's disease and age-related decline. So, it's vital that we continue to further our understanding of this part of the brain," he said.
Through a partnership with Seton Healthcare Family, the researchers in the UT Austin Human Brain Stimulation and Electrophysiology Lab were able to measure relevant brain activity of epileptic patients whose diagnostic procedure requires that they have electrodes planted in the entorhinal cortex of the brain. Neurons there serve as the internal coordinate system for humans. (The brains of individuals with epilepsy function normally when not undergoing a seizure.)
Patients performed a virtual navigation task on a tablet computer in four environments daily for seven to eight consecutive days. By measuring their brain activity, the researchers identified three previously unknown traits of the system:
  • Humans rescale their internal coordinate system according to the size of each new environment. This flexibility differs from rodents' rigid map that has a constant grid scale and empowers humans to navigate diverse places.

  • When seeking navigational cues in any given location, humans automatically align their internal compass with the corners and shape of the space. In contrast, rodents do so relative to the walls of the environment through physical exploration.

  • The nature of the coordinate system differs between humans and rodents—Cartesian and hexagonal respectively.
The findings illuminate the fabric of the human memory and spatial navigation, which are vulnerable to disease and deterioration. Deeper knowledge of these neuronal mechanisms can inform the development of techniques to prolong the health of this part of the brain and combat diseases such as Alzheimer's.


The study builds on earlier Nobel Prize-winning research exploring the entorhinal cortex of rodents. Due to the differences discovered between the human and rodent systems of navigation, the researchers emphasize that generalizing results from studies on animal subjects may provide inaccurate conjectures.
This study is one of the few on human subjects that report on the activity of individual neuron behavior, said György Buzsáki, an expert from New York University Medical Center who was not involved in the research.
"They not only confirm a previous report but extend the findings by showing that the size of the neuronal representation by entorhinal grid cells scales with the environment," Buzsáki said.
"Our hypothesis is challenging the definition of a universal spatial scale of environment predominant in lower mammals, which may open up important avenues of discovery," said Robert Buchanan, another lead author on the study and an associate professor at Dell Medical School. He is also an adjunct associate professor in the university's Department of Psychology and a chief of neurosurgery at Seton Brain and Spine Institute.
"Now, we can continue to explore this key component of what it means to be human—how we think about our past and future, how we imagine and plan," Buchanan said.
By using virtual reality, the researchers also refined a new experimental technology for facilitating spatial experiences that can't be reproduced in a laboratory. The data implies that humans can seamlessly switch between reality and virtual reality—a finding that can be applied in other studies of the brain.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Speed data for the brain's navigation system
More information: Zoltan Nadasdy et al. Context-dependent spatially periodic activity in the human entorhinal cortex, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1701352114 
Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Texas at Austin



Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-human-cognitive-scales.html#jCp[url=https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-human-cognitive-scales.html#jCp][/url][url=https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-human-cognitive-scales.html#jCp]
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#35
Some interesting findings... I wonder what they're actually good for? Not to be skeptical but with neurodegenerative diseases it seems to me like this and a lot of similar studies are a little like studying the deck chairs on the Titanic. We've got some very promising molecular models in neurodegenerative disease that may be able to account for quite a bit, including a number that may be earmarks of infectious disease. These findings might be helpful though for people who may have unrelated spatial challenges, or for designing environments that are optimally suited to their human occupants? 

I just hope I never have to get into magnetotaxis as an infectious disease issue. One of the last things I read on the subject in the 90s had gotten very spooky because I think it had crossed the line past merely insinuating that magnetotactic bacteria could influence the migratory behavior of host animals, which might be kind of scary if the animal refused the migratory stimulus. Worse, I began to wonder if the same thing could happen to humans, when suddenly I had a powerful urge to spend the winter in Mazatlan. Spooky.
"Work and pray, live on hay, you'll get Pie In The Sky when you die." - Joe Hill, "The Preacher and the Slave" 1911
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#36
Quote:PW:
Spooky.

Ninja ...Act on @ a distance.  Arrow
Improv is as new resolution was.

New map reveals Earth's magnetic field in high resolution
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Apr 10, 2017


[Image: magnetic-field-generated-superheated-liq...tes-lg.jpg]

An international team of researchers have created a high-resolution map of Earth's lithospheric magnetic field. Scientists created the map using a wealth of new data collected by the European Space Agency's Swarm satellites.
"Magnetic fields have been measured in space by satellites for the last 50 years, but it is the measurement of magnetic 'gradients' from the three Swarm satellites and data from a previous German CHAMP satellite that make this the highest resolution possible," Dhananjay Ravat, a geophysicist and professor at the University of Kentucky, said in a news release.
The gradient shifts in Earth's lithospheric magnetic field are shorter and lend a more exact portrait of the planet's magnetic field. When looking at Earth's magnetic field more broadly, the gradients can be drowned out by magnetic influence of Earth's core, ionosphere and magnetosphere.
The lithosphere is Earth's outermost layer, its oceanic and continental crust. The new map revealed evidence of Earth's "polarity flips," the reversal of the planet's magnetic poles. Evidence of the flips are preserved in bands of rock on the ocean floor.
"These stripes are symmetric about the mid-oceanic ridge," Ravat said. "They tell us about how the Earth's magnetic field behaved in the past. That is why this map is so important, it's a continuous record of the last 200 million years of Earth's history."
The new map showcases details as small as 155 miles. Doh The impressive resolution will allow scientists to investigate the origins of magnetic anomalies in Earth's crust. Scientists have already begun exploring the magnetic peculiarities of Africa.
"One of the strong features observed includes the Bangui region of Central Africa and there are a number of different hypotheses regarding its origin, one that includes a giant meteorite impact," Ravat said. "The high resolution of the new map will be able to discriminate between various competing hypotheses about its origin." Doh


http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/New_map_reveals_Earths_magnetic_field_in_high_resolution_999.html
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
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#37
http://thehiddenmission.com/forum/showth...s#pid41032


http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30oct_ftes.htm


Magnetic Portals Connect Sun and Earth
10.30.2008


+ Play Audio | + Download Audio | + Email to a friend | + Join mailing list

Oct. 30, 2008: During the time it takes you to read this article, something will happen high overhead that until recently many scientists didn't believe in. A magnetic portal will open, linking Earth to the sun 93 million miles away. Tons of high-energy particles may flow through the opening before it closes again, around the time you reach the end of the page.

"It's called a flux transfer event or 'FTE,'" says space physicist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Ten years ago I was pretty sure they didn't exist, but now the evidence is incontrovertible."

Indeed, today Sibeck is telling an international assembly of space physicists at the 2008 Plasma Workshop in Huntsville, Alabama, that FTEs are not just common, but possibly twice as common as anyone had ever imagined.

http://thehiddenmission.com/forum/showth...#pid102801
Portals Around Earth

Sheep
Never invite a Yoda to a frog leg dinner.
Go ahead invite Yoda to a Frog leg dinner
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#38
Ghost in the Machine? Mysterious 'Sterile' Neutrinos May Not Exist

By Tia Ghose, Senior Writer | April 13, 2017 10:49am ET

[Image: aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1h...Rvci5qcGc=]



A view inside a particle detector tank at Daya Bay, where photomultiplier tubes measure signals from antineutrinos.
Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab
Proposed elusive subatomic particles that only fleetingly interact with matter through gravity may not exist, at least if new data from a nuclear reactor is any indication.
Scientists had long noticed a discrepancy between the predicted and actual number of antineutrinos, or the antimatter partners to neutrinos, produced in nuclear reactors. Now, a new analysis suggests that this reactor antineutrino discrepancy isn't the result of a new hypothetical particle known as a sterile neutrino. Instead, the theoretical models may have been wrong all along, data from the Daya Bay nuclear plant in China suggests.
"Among the possible explanations, the most exciting one is that we have a new piece of physics," such as sterile neutrinos, said Kam-Liu Bak, the spokesperson for the Daya Bay Collaboration. "That explanation is now unlikely." [The 18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics]
Ghostly particles
Neutrinos are nearly massless, chargeless and incredibly elusive particles. The ghostly particles are produced in the sun's fiery heart and 100 billion pass through each centimeter of our bodies unnoticed every day. Their antimatter partners, called antineutrinos, form in nuclear reactors (on Earth) during beta decay, a process whereby a heavy isotope ejects a neutron from its nucleus, which then converts into an electron and an antineutrino.
It is this beta decay process that is at the heart of the so-called reactor antineutrino anomaly. In 2011, scientists updated a theoretical particle physics model that predicted how often antineutrinos should be detected inside nuclear reactors. Based on this new model, data from around the world revealed that reactors were producing fewer antineutrinos then expected: Some of the predicted antineutrinos were somehow vanishing.
Anomaly solved
One of the leading theories to explain the discrepancy argued that some of these missing antineutrinos were transforming into hypothetical particles called sterile neutrinos. Sterile neutrinos, would interact with other matter only via gravity, but not the weak force, as other neutrinos do. Sterile neutrinos were theoretically appealing in part because they share similar properties with, and could possibly explain, dark matter — the mysterious substance thought to make up most of the matter in the universe; dark matter does not interact with visible light.
Recently, however, the case for sterile neutrinos has been on shakier ground. In 2016, a huge subterranean experiment known as the IceCube Neutrino Observatory came up empty in its search for sterile neutrinos. That meant that if sterile neutrinos did exist, then they would have to exist in an energy range outside of most currently running neutrino experiments. [IceCube Photos: Physics Lab Buried Under Antarctic Ice]
The new study has further chipped away at the need for sterile neutrinos. Bak and his colleagues pored over data from the Daya Bay nuclear plant. Daya Bay produces nuclear power via the fission of radioactive elements such as uranium and plutonium. They analyzed the ratio of neutrinos and antineutrinos produced at varying energies, and how many total neutrinos were produced, looking at the more than 2 million antineutrinos produced over four years of operation.
The current study found that the number of antineutrinos generated from radioactive plutonium-239 (plutonium atoms with 94 protons and 145 neutrons) matched theoretical predictions, but the antineutrino ratio produced by the decay of radioactive uranium-235 (92 protons and 143 neutrons) was significantly lower than predicted by models. If sterile neutrinos were behind this anomaly, there should be the same fraction of missing antineutrinos emerging from the radioactive decay of plutonium as from uranium. Instead, it's likely the model is the source of the anomaly.  
"That is really the smoking gun of our latest result," Bak told Live Science.
However, that doesn't completely rule out the existence of these ephemeral particles, Bak added.
"The trouble is, as the name implies, the sterile neutrino is essentially extremely elusive — it's even far more elusive than other neutrinos," Bak said. "It's possible that we're looking at the wrong place, they may still be hiding somewhere."
The findings were published in February in Physical Review Letters.
Originally published on Live Science.

Bob... Ninja Alien2
"The Light" - Jefferson Starship-Windows of Heaven Album
I'm an Earthling with a Martian Soul wanting to go Home.   
You have to turn your own lightbulb on. ©stevo25 & rhw007
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#39
A thread can be like an ongoing research into a subject.
It will evolve on itz path over time in a 4-d manner subject to recall.

Are any humans magneto-receptive?
Quote:This study shows that collective intelligence, which typically focuses on one-time performance, can emerge from accumulation of knowledge over time.

Itza matter of Grid Cells in Grey Matter?
Quote:The ability to gather, pass on and improve on knowledge over generations is known as cumulative culture. Until now humans and, arguably some other primates, were the only species thought to be capable of it.
Feed-back loop for the 'neural-net' on the temporal axis.
Quote:Moving forward, the team intend to build on the study by investigating if a similar style of knowledge sharing and accumulation occurs in other multi-generational species' social groups. Many animal groups have to solve the same problems repeatedly in the natural world, and if they use feedback from past outcomes of these tasks or events, this has the potential to influence, and potentially improve, the decisions the groups make in the future.

Homing pigeons share our human ability to build knowledge across generations Holycowsmile
April 18, 2017

[Image: homingpigeon.jpg]
Single flying pigeon (white). Credit: Takao Sasaki
Homing pigeons may share the human capacity to build on the knowledge of others, improving their navigational efficiency over time, a new Oxford University study has found.



The ability to gather, pass on and improve on knowledge over generations is known as cumulative culture. Until now humans and, arguably some other primates, were the only species thought to be capable of it.
Takao Sasaki and Dora Biro, Research Associates in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University, conducted a study testing whether homing pigeons can gradually improve their flight paths, over time. They removed and replaced individuals in pairs of birds that were given a specific navigational task. Ten chains of birds were released from the same site and generational succession was simulated with the continuous replacement of birds familiar with the route with inexperienced birds who had never flown the course before. The idea was that these individuals could then pass their experience of the route down to the next pair generation, and also enable the collective intelligence of the group to continuously improve the route's efficiency.
The findings, published in Nature Communications, suggest that over time, the student does indeed become the teacher. The pairs' homing performance improved consistently over generations - they streamlined their route to be more direct. Later generation groups eventually outperformed individuals that flew solo or in groups that never changed membership. Homing routes were also found to be more similar in consecutive generations of the same chain of pigeon pairs than across them, showing cross-generational knowledge transfer, or a "culture" of homing routes.
Takao Sasaki, co-author and Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology said: 'At one stage scientists thought that only humans had the cognitive capacity to accumulate knowledge as a society. Our study shows that pigeons share these abilities with humans, at least to the extent that they are capable of improving on a behavioural solution progressively over time. Nonetheless, we do not claim that they achieve this through the same processes.'
[Image: 1-homingpigeon.jpg]
Group of pigeons flying. Credit: Takao Sasaki
When people share and pass knowledge down through generations, our culture tends to become more complex over time, There are many good examples of this from manufacturing and engineering. By contrast, when the process occurs between homing pigeons, the end result is an increase in the efficiency, (in this case navigational), but not necessarily the complexity, of the behaviour.


Takao Sasaki added: 'Although they have different processes, our findings demonstrate that pigeons can accumulate knowledge and progressively improve their performance, satisfying the criteria for cumulative culture. Our results further suggest that cumulative culture does not require sophisticated cognitive abilities as previously thought.'


This study shows that collective intelligence, which typically focuses on one-time performance, can emerge from accumulation of knowledge over time.

Dora Biro, co-author and Associate Professor of Animal Behaviour concludes: 'One key novelty, we think, is that the gradual improvement we see is not due to new 'ideas' about how to improve the route being introduced by individual birds. Instead, the necessary innovations in each generation come from a form of collective intelligence that arises through pairs of birds having to solve the problem together - in other words through 'two heads being better than one'.'

Moving forward, the team intend to build on the study by investigating if a similar style of knowledge sharing and accumulation occurs in other multi-generational species' social groups. Many animal groups have to solve the same problems repeatedly in the natural world, and if they use feedback from past outcomes of these tasks or events, this has the potential to influence, and potentially improve, the decisions the groups make in the future.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Passenger pigeons help to navigate
More information: 'Cumulative culture can emerge from collective intelligence in animal groups' written by Takao Sasaki and Dora Bird, features in the 18th April 2017 edition of Nature Communications
Journal reference: Nature Communications [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Oxford



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-04-homing-pigeons-human-ability-knowledge.html#jCp[/url][url=https://phys.org/news/2017-04-homing-pigeons-human-ability-knowledge.html#jCp]
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#40
Quote:"The results suggest that the detection system is based on iron that may be connected with or inside the eyes," Johnsen said.
The findings are consistent with the idea, first proposed nearly 40 years ago, that animals have tiny magnetic particles of an iron-containing compound called magnetite in their bodies. The magnetite particles are thought to act like microscopic compass needles, relaying information to the nervous system by straining or twisting receptors in cells as they attempt to align with the Earth's magnetic field.
"You can think of them as mini magnets that the body's cells can sense," Fitak said.
Magnetite has been found in the beaks of birds, the brains of sea turtles, the tummies of honeybees, and the nasal passages of rainbow trout. Other studies have even found minuscule amounts of magnetite in the human brain, but recent research suggests most of it comes from air pollution rather than occurring naturally, and it's unclear whether they give humans a subconscious magnetic sense

Improv Eyes.


Researchers identify genes that help trout find their way home
April 26, 2017 by Robin A. Smith

[Image: 39-researchersi.jpg]
Scientists have identified genes that enable rainbow trout to use Earth’s magnetic field to find their way back to the streams where they were born. Credit: Eric Engbretson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
In the spring when water temperatures start to rise, rainbow trout that have spent several years at sea traveling hundreds of miles from home manage, without maps or GPS, to find their way back to the rivers and streams where they were born for spawning.



In a study published April 26, 2017 in Biology Letters, researchers have identified genes that enable the fish to perform this extraordinary homing feat with help from Earth's magnetic field.
Generated by the flow of molten metal in its core, the Earth's magnetic field ranges from a mere 25 microteslas near the equator to 65 microteslas toward the poles—making it more than a hundred times weaker than a refrigerator magnet.
Diverse animal species can detect such weak magnetic fields and use them to navigate. First identified in birds in the 1960s, this sense, called magnetoreception, has since been documented in animals ranging from bees and salamanders to sea turtles.
But despite more than half a century of research, the underlying molecular and cellular machinery remains a mystery.
To work out the genetic basis, Duke University postdoctoral associate Bob Fitak and biology professor Sönke Johnsen and colleagues investigated changes in gene expression that take place across the rainbow trout genome when the animal's magnetic sense is disrupted.
In a basement aquarium on the Duke campus, they randomly scooped up one fish at a time from a tank into a small holding container, and placed the container inside a coil of wire. The coil was connected to a capacitor, which discharged an electric current to create a split-second magnetic pulse inside the coil, about 10 times weaker than the magnetic field generated by an MRI machine in a hospital.
Next the researchers sequenced all the gene readouts, or RNA transcripts, present in the brains of 10 treated fish and 10 controls to find out which genes were switched on and off in response to the magnetic pulse.
Disrupting the fish's internal compass with the magnetic pulse triggered changes in 181 out of the roughly 40,000 genes they examined.
Notably, the brains of treated fish showed increased expression of genes involved in making ferritin, a protein that stores and transports iron inside cells. Treated fish also showed changes in genes involved in the development of the optic nerve.
"The results suggest that the detection system is based on iron that may be connected with or inside the eyes," Johnsen said.
The findings are consistent with the idea, first proposed nearly 40 years ago, that animals have tiny magnetic particles of an iron-containing compound called magnetite in their bodies. The magnetite particles are thought to act like microscopic compass needles, relaying information to the nervous system by straining or twisting receptors in cells as they attempt to align with the Earth's magnetic field.
"You can think of them as mini magnets that the body's cells can sense," Fitak said.
Magnetite has been found in the beaks of birds, the brains of sea turtles, the tummies of honeybees, and the nasal passages of rainbow trout. Other studies have even found minuscule amounts of magnetite in the human brain, but recent research suggests most of it comes from air pollution rather than occurring naturally, and it's unclear whether they give humans a subconscious magnetic sense.
The researchers suspect the iron-binding ferritin protein may be involved in repair when the fish's magnetite-based compass is disrupted or damaged.
Next they plan to do similar experiments with other tissues, such as the retina, and additional species that live in the ocean but travel to their freshwater hatching grounds each spring to spawn, such as American shad.
"Scientists don't know what proteins might be involved in magnetite-based magnetoreception, but now we have some candidate genes to work with," Fitak said.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Researchers find cells that move in response to Earth's magnetic field
More information: Robert R. Fitak et al, Candidate genes mediating magnetoreception in rainbow trout, Biology Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0142 
Journal reference: Biology Letters [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Duke University



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-04-genes-trout-home.html#jCp[url=https://phys.org/news/2017-04-genes-trout-home.html#jCp][/url]
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#41
Psychedelic Drugs Really Do Trigger a 'Higher' State of Consciousness

By Tereza Pultarova, Live Science Contributor | April 25, 2017 06:52pm ET

[Image: aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1h...JhaW4uanBn]
Credit: agsandrew/Shutterstock

People who use psychedelic drugs have described the experience as feeling as though they have reached a "higher state of consciousness."  And now, a brain scan study backs them up.
People in the study who used psychedelic drugs showed patterns of neural activity that were "higher" by some measures, compared with normal waking consciousness, researchers in England found.
Previously, researchers knew that normal waking consciousness is a higher state of consciousness when compared with drowsiness and sleep, being under anesthesia or having certain brain injuries or diseases. Evidence of this came from studies in which scientists quantified the state of consciousness by measuring the certain types of activity of neurons. [Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind]
In the new study, researchers looked at some of those same measures of brain activity in people who had taken LSD, ketamine or psilocybin, and found that this brain activity increased compared with the normal waking state.
"We looked at magnetoencephalography data gathered by our colleagues from Imperial College London that show the magnetic activity of neurons in the brain," said Anil Seth, co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex. "We found that the diversity of the signal — its randomness and unpredictability — is actually higher in people on these drugs than in people who are in the normal waking state. If you look at people who are sleepy, asleep or under anesthesia, this measure always goes down."
The increase was similar for all three types of drugs used in the experiment, according to the study, published April 19 in the journal Scientific Reports.
The researchers also tried to correlate the activity in the brain with what the participants of the experiment were experiencing.
"We asked people questions such as: Do you feel your perceptions to be particularly vivid? How do you perceive the boundary between yourself and the rest of the world? How strange do things feel?" Seth told Live Science. "We did find some weak correlations between some of the measures and what people said they were experiencing."
People who use psychedelic drugs frequently report intense spiritual, even life-changing, experiences, the researchers said. If these drugs are used carefully under medical supervision, this drug-induced "higher consciousness" could potentially help people with conditions such as depression that do not respond to conventional medication, they wrote in their study.
"The present study's findings help us understand what happens in people's brains when they experience an expansion of their consciousness under psychedelics," said Robin Cahart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at the Imperial College London. [11 Odd Facts About ‘Magic’ Mushrooms]
"People often say they experience insight under these drugs ― and when this occurs in a therapeutic context, it can predict positive outcomes," said Cahart-Harris, who was not involved in the new study.
However, the researchers stressed that although the drug-induced psychedelic state might appear as a higher-level consciousness based on the particular measure used in the study, it does not mean it is more desirable, or that being in this state is healthier.
"The way we generally experience the world is the most useful way to experience it," Seth said. "We don't want to go around hallucinating all the time. It's not in any way saying that the psychedelic state is better or more valuable or more desirable. It's not a value judgment at all."
The researchers said that in future research, they hope to further the understanding of these drugs by identifying how specific changes in the brain's activity relate to specific aspects of the psychedelic experience.
Originally published on Live Science.

Bob... Ninja Alien2
"The Light" - Jefferson Starship-Windows of Heaven Album
I'm an Earthling with a Martian Soul wanting to go Home.   
You have to turn your own lightbulb on. ©stevo25 & rhw007
Reply
#42
Keep in mind that this looks remarkably like the articles I was reading in Science News about 1992-1994, only back then the articles went further and discussed effect of magnetotactic organisms on migratory mammalian hosts, magnetotactic inclusions in the human nose, and the remarkable magnetic properties of the inclusions themselves - I think at the time they were promising that further study of the difficult-to-demagnetize domains of the magnetic material would show us the way to a revolution in the cassette tape industry. 

The magnetite-based receptors in the beak of birds and their role in avian navigation
R. Wiltschko and W. Wiltschko
J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2013 Feb; 199(2): 89–98.
Published online 2012 Oct 31. doi:  10.1007/s00359-012-0769-3 PMCID: PMC3552369
Abstract
Iron-rich structures have been described in the beak of homing pigeons, chickens and several species of migratory birds and interpreted as magnetoreceptors. Here, we will briefly review findings associated with these receptors that throw light on their nature, their function and their role in avian navigation. Electrophysiological recordings from the ophthalmic nerve, behavioral studies and a ZENK-study indicate that the trigeminal system, the nerves innervating the beak, mediate information on magnetic changes, with the electrophysiological study suggesting that these are changes in intensity. Behavioral studies support the involvement of magnetite and the trigeminal system in magnetoreception, but clearly show that the inclination compass normally used by birds represents a separate system. However, if this compass is disrupted by certain light conditions, migrating birds show ‘fixed direction’ responses to the magnetic field, which originate in the receptors in the beak. Together, these findings point out that there are magnetite-based magnetoreceptors located in the upper beak close to the skin. Their natural function appears to be recording magnetic intensity and thus providing one component of the multi-factorial ‘navigational map’ of birds.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3552369

I especially like this part:

"What is the natural function of the magnetite-based receptors?
So far, the behavioral evidence that indicates the occurrence of magnetite-based receptors in the upper beak involves highly unnatural stimuli: neither spatially limited strong anomalies, nor magnetic pulses or extreme light regimes exist in nature. This leads to the question about the natural role of these receptors..."

[Image: pyrite.set.TMM.jpg]
Pyrite crystals

[Image: d69e55aacfdb0a41a9eb8e3ab2ad468a.jpg]
Pyrite crystal, sans pyramidion...

[Image: 5721b58183ccfdb5e48773e1d2d76875.jpg]
Magnetite crystal: Phi pyramids or Pi pyramids?

You know who else may have been big on such materials, are the ancients. I think I used to have on a webpage a scan of an Aztec drawing showing a "magic mirror" made of magnetite or pyrite (iron & sulfur compounds). For some strange reason, it's shown as if mounted in the head of a large bird. (Well, that or he's got it by the beak and is scrying space with its brain, but fairly sure the original text discussed magic mirrors - or maybe another version of what's on that ancient Turkish stella, only badly miscaptioned?)

[Image: d32a848a4e6ab72a38b4ae2ce211eae1.jpg]

[Image: 627_11_2.jpg]
"According to the Florentine Codex (see pic 11), Moctezuma II was shocked one day to see, brought to him by some fishermen, a strange crane-like bird with a mirror on its head showing the sky and stars - even though it was midday. Moctezuma saw reflected in the mirror large numbers of warriors astride giant deer, approaching from a distance. Just as the deeply troubled emperor consulted his astrologers regarding the meaning, the bird and the vision vanished..."
http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/artefacts/smoking-mirrors
"Work and pray, live on hay, you'll get Pie In The Sky when you die." - Joe Hill, "The Preacher and the Slave" 1911
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#43
Internal compass guides fruit fly navigation
Activity in ring of nerve cells corresponds to flight direction, study finds
BY 
LAURA BEIL 
2:11PM, MAY 4, 2017

[Image: 050417_LB_fly-compass_main.jpg][img=790x0]https://www.sciencenews.org/sites/default/files/2017/05/main/articles/050417_LB_fly-compass_main.jpg[/img]
IN THE RING  A ring of nerve cells in a fruit fly’s brain helps it to fly right — and all the other directions, depending on where the insect is trying to go.

IGOR SIWANOWICZ/HHMI JANELIA RESEARCH CAMPUS
Scientists have shown why fruit flies don’t get lost. Their brains contain cells that act like a compass, marking the direction of flight.
It may seem like a small matter, but all animals — even Siri-dependent humans — have some kind of internal navigation system. It’s so vital to survival that it is probably linked to many brain functions, including thought, memory and mood.
“Everyone can recall a moment of panic when they took a wrong turn and lost their sense of direction,” says Sung Soo Kim of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Va. “This sense is central to our lives.” But it’s a complex system that is still not well understood. Human nerve cells involved in the process are spread throughout the brain. In fruit flies, the circuitry is much more straightforward.
Two years ago, Janelia researchers reported that the flies appear to have a group of about 50 cells connected in a sort of ring in the center of their brains that serve as an internal compass. But the scientists could only theorize how the system worked. In a series of experiments published online May 4 in Science, Kim and his Janelia colleagues describe how nerve cell activity in the circle changes when the insects fly.

[Image: 050417_LB_fly-compass_inline_370.jpg]
VIRTUAL FLIGHT A tiny rod holds a fruit fly in place, so scientists can study the insect’s navigation system as virtual reality images simulate movement.

BRYAN W. JONES/UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
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The scientists tethered Drosophila melanogasterflies to tiny metal rods that kept them from wriggling under a microscope. Each fly was then surrounded with virtual reality cues — like a passing landscape — that made it think it was moving. As a fly flapped its wings, the scientists recorded which nerve cells, or neurons, were active, and when. The experiments clusters of about four to five neurons would fire on the side of the ring corresponding to the direction of flight: one part of the ring for forward, another next to it for left, and so on.

The researchers then tested whether artificially activating cells at different points along the ring, essentially moving the compass needle, would disrupt the flies’ sense of direction. If the insects thought they were heading north, the scientists used a laser to stimulate neurons on the south side of the ring. When that happened, the flies attempted to make random turns. “It seemed very confusing for the fly,” Kim says.
When this same experiment was conducted in darkness, which by itself is disorienting, the results were difficult to interpret, the scientists say, because it was impossible to know how much the inability to see was responsible for the haphazard flight.
Mammals don’t have the same convenient ring of navigation cells. Instead, neurons known as “head direction” cells are found in many brain regions. Those cells turn on as you move, noting the direction you’re facing, helping you find your way around even without a GPS device announcing the next turn. “We know that head direction cells exist in mammals, but we don’t know the architecture of the system,” says Hervé Rouault, a coauthor of the new study.
While internal navigation is more complicated in mammals, it’s important to understand a basic system like the one found in fruit flies, says Adrien Peyrache of McGill University in Montreal, who studies the neural basis of direction in rodents. In mammals, head direction cells don’t form a ring, but they do act in concert, he says. “One of the core questions is how the systems are wired.”[/size]

Citations
S.S. Kim et al. Ring attractor dynamics in the Drosophila central brainScience.  Published online May 4, 2017. doi:  10.1126/science.aal4835
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Even non-migratory birds use a magnetic compass
May 18, 2017

[Image: 5758903a7a8fb.jpg]
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Not only migratory birds use a built-in magnetic compass to navigate correctly. A new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that non-migratory birds also are able to use a built-in compass to orient themselves using the Earth's magnetic field.



The researchers behind the current study have received help from a group of zebra finches to study the magnetic compass of what are known as resident birds, that is, species that do not migrate according to the season. Zebra finches are popular pet birds in many homes. Originally, they come from Indonesia and Australia where they search for food in a nomadic way.
"We wanted to know how a magnetic compass works in non-migratory birds like these", says Atticus Pinzón-Rodríguez, doctoral student in biology at the Faculty of Science at Lund University.
In the current study, researchers have looked closer at the zebra finches' ability to utilise the Earth's magnetic field and the different properties of this built-in compass. The results show that the zebra finches use a magnetic compass with very similar functions to that of migratory birds, i.e. one with a very specific light dependency and thus sensitivity to different colours and light intensities.
"Our results show that the magnetic compass is more of a general mechanism found in both migratory birds and resident birds. It seems that although zebra finches do not undertake extensive migration, they still might be able to use the magnetic compass for local navigation", says Atticus Pinzón-Rodríguez.





Although the magnetic compass of birds has been studied by the research community for a long time, the understanding of how it works is still very incomplete, according to Atticus Pinzón-Rodríguez.
The present study was published recently in the scientific Journal of Experimental Biology.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: The magnetic compass of birds is affected by polarised light
More information: Atticus Pinzon-Rodriguez et al, Zebra finches have a light-dependent magnetic compass similar to migratory birds, The Journal of Experimental Biology (2017). DOI: 10.1242/jeb.148098 
Journal reference: Journal of Experimental Biology [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Lund University



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-non-migratory-birds-magnetic-compass.html#jCp[url=https://phys.org/news/2017-05-non-migratory-birds-magnetic-compass.html#jCp][/url]
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Quote:This seems to be a new/anu type of neuron, which we have informally dubbed the 'neighbourhood cell'. This neuron seems to enable the brain to specifically differentiate between distinct segments ("neighbourhoods") of the environment.'

Researchers discover new 'GPS' neuron
May 29, 2017

[Image: 0318_cogsci-grades-orig.jpg]
Credit: Rice University
An international research team led by the University of Amsterdam researchers Jeroen Bos, Martin Vinck and Cyriel Pennartz has identified a new type of neuron which might play a vital role in humans' ability to navigate their environments. The discovery is an important step towards understanding how the brain codes navigation behaviour at larger scales and could potentially open up new treatment strategies for people with impaired topographical orientation like Alzheimer's patients. The team's results are published in the latest edition of Nature Communications.



Every day billions of people across the planet successfully navigate their environments, for example when they go to work or head home. Such journeys generally happen with little conscious effort and rest on the brain's ability to use overall knowledge of an environment to make estimates of where it finds itself. The ability to make fine grained assessments of location is seated in the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure located in the temporal lobe. Research shows that the precise mechanism for navigation includes hippocampal place cells, which increase or decrease in electrical activity depending on one's location. However, when making their daily commute, people don't need very detailed representations of which houses they pass in which order. Instead, they can make due with more course information. Left at the museum and somewhere down the road right again at the supermarket, called topographical orientation.
Building on current research, the researchers investigated how large scale navigational knowledge is coded within the brain and whether this process indeed occurs in different structures within the temporal lobe. They did this by training rats to perform a visually guided task in a figure-8 maze consisting of two loops that overlap in the middle lane. During the experiment, the researchers measured electrical activity in the brain by using a novel instrument which allowed the researchers to simultaneously record groups of neurons from four different areas. They recorded from the perirhinal cortex, hippocampus and two sensory areas. Recordings from the perirhinal cortex revealed sustained activity patterns. The level of electrical activity clearly rose and fell depending on the segment the rats were in and persisted throughout that entire segment.
'We found a pronounced difference between the responses in the perirhinal cortex and responses in other areas of the brain', says Jeroen Bos, lead author and researcher at the UvA's Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences. 'Units from the perirhinal cortex had sustained responses throughout the whole loop. By contrast, responses from hippocampal place cells were scattered across the maze and their fields were much smaller than the loops of the maze. We were surprised to see the perirhinal cortex's responses align so closely with the layout of the maze, primarily because the region is commonly associated with object recognition.

[Image: 16817102513_4524af3456_o.jpg] My House in Childhood Neighbourhood
 This seems to be a new type of neuron, which we have informally dubbed the 'neighbourhood cell'. This neuron seems to enable the brain to specifically differentiate between distinct segments ("neighbourhoods") of the environment.'
[Image: 17247855348_2b58a71b4d_o.jpg] My House/Eye "Hood"-Winked!
The team's results offer a first glimpse on how the brain is able to code navigation behaviour at larger scales and could be especially relevant for people with an impaired capacity for topographical orientation. The large scale of perirhinal coding contrasts with the finer scale of hippocampal coding. 'It is known that patients with Alzheimer's disease or with damage to the temporal lobe have great difficulty finding their way, especially to remote goal locations', says fellow researcher and professor of Cognitive Systems and Neuroscience Cyriel Pennartz. 'Albeit new, our findings don't conflict with previous literature on this phenomenon, for example such as the long-time London cab driver who sustained hippocampal damage. Although the driver could still navigate through the city, he remained highly dependent on main roads and would frequently get lost when using side streets. It might be that he was using the perirhinal cortex for global orientation but could no longer make use of the fine-grained place fields normally found in the hippocampus.'
In addition to offering new insights into brain mechanisms for spatial navigation at different scales, the results may guide patients with Alzheimer's or other diseases in using other spatial strategies than the ones most severely affected. The findings point to the perirhinal cortex as a target for treatment. Finally, research on neural replacement devices and assistive robots may benefit from this study.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Study reveals how learning in the present shapes future learning
More information: Jeroen J. Bos et al. Perirhinal firing patterns are sustained across large spatial segments of the task environment, Nature Communications (2017). DOI: 10.1038/NCOMMS15602 
Journal reference: Nature Communications [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Amsterdam



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Neurons can learn temporal patterns

May 29, 2017



[Image: neuron.jpg]
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Individual neurons can learn not only single responses to a particular signal, but also a series of reactions at precisely timed intervals. This is what emerges from a study at Lund University in Sweden.





"It is like striking a piano key with a finger not just once, but as a programmed series of several keystrokes," says neurophysiology researcher Germund Hesslow.
The work constitutes basic research, but has a bearing on the development of neural networks and artificial intelligence as well as research on learning. Autism, ADHD and language disorders in children, for example, may be associated with disruptions in these and other basic learning mechanisms.
Learning is commonly thought to be based on strengthening or weakening of the contacts between the brain's neurons. The Lund researchers have previously shown that a cell can also learn a timed association, so that it sends a signal with a certain learned delay. Now, it seems that a neuron can be trained not only to give a single response, but a whole complex series of several responses.
The brain's learning capacity is greater than previously thought
"This means that the brain's capacity for learning is even greater than previously thought!" says Germund Hesslow's colleague Dan-Anders Jirenhed. He thinks that, in the future, artificial neural networks with "trained neurons" could be capable of managing more complex tasks in a more efficient way.
The Lund researchers' study focuses on the neurons' capacity for associative learning and temporal learning. In the experiments, the cells learned during several hours of training to associate two different signals. If the delay between the signals was a quarter of a second, the cells learned to respond after a quarter of a second. If the interval was half a second, the cells responded after half a second, and so on.
The researchers now show that the cells can learn not only one, but several reactions in a series. "Signal – brief pause - signal – long pause - signal" gives rise to a series of responses with exactly the same intervals of time: "response – brief pause – response - long pause - response".
The cells studied by the researchers are called Purkinje cells and are located in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls bodily position, balance and movement. It also plays an important role in learning long series of complicated movements which require precise timing, such as the movements of the hands and fingers when playing the piano.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: New learning mechanism for individual nerve cells
More information: Dan-Anders Jirenhed et al. Learned response sequences in cerebellar Purkinje cells, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1621132114 
Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Lund University



Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-05-neurons-temporal-patterns.html#jCp[url=https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-05-neurons-temporal-patterns.html#jCp]
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Researchers find glass eels use internal compass to find their way home

June 12, 2017
[Image: 60-researchersf.jpg]
Allesandro Cresci heads out to the fjords with Drifting In Situ Chambers (DISC) to be deployed to study the orientation of glass eels in their natural environment The glass eels stage of the European eel, (Anguilla anguilla) waiting for tides to shift to swim upstream. Credit: Institute of Marine Research

Scientists are closer to unraveling the long-standing mystery of how tiny glass eel larvae, which begin their lives as hatchlings in the Sargasso Sea, know when and where to "hop off" the Gulf Stream toward European coastlines to live out their adult lives in coastal estuaries.




In a new study by the University of Miami (UM)'s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research's Austevoll Research Station found that these glass eels (Anguilla anguilla) can sense Earth's magnetic field and use it like a compass controlled by an internal "biological" clock to orient themselves towards the coast.
"This study is an important addition to our understanding of the mechanisms of eel migration and also to that of other species, if it turns out that their magnetic orientation is similarly controlled by a biological clock," said UM Rosenstiel School Professor Claire Paris, a senior author of the study.
The odyssey of the European eel begins when they hatch in the Sargasso Sea. As tiny larvae, they travel thousands of kilometers across the Atlantic Ocean, hopefully making it to the European continental shelf. At some point between the Canary Islands and northern Norway they "hop off" the Gulf Stream and actively migrate towards the coast, heading for estuaries. Some eels remain in the coastal area, while others move inland into lakes, remaining there, slowly growing, for up to 30 years.
The research team led by UM Rosenstiel School Ph.D. student Alessandro Cresci investigated the orientation behavior of the eels using a unique combination of experiments. First, they observed the eels in a semi-enclosed, circular aquarium, called a Drifting In-Situ Chamber (DISC) pioneered by Paris, deployed in a Norwegian fjord, a natural environments of the glass eel just before it arrives at the coast. The next step was to conduct an orientation behavior analysis in a magnetoreception test facility (the "MagLab"), where they were exposed to artificially manipulated magnetic field such that the N-S and E-W axes were shifted by 90 degrees.
Although deprived of all other environmental cues, glass eels in the laboratory oriented to the South, the same direction that they swam in situ during the ebb tide.
"It is incredible that these small transparent glass eels can detect the earth's magnetic field. The use of a magnetic compass could be a key component underlying the amazing migration of these animals," said Cresci, the study's lead author. "It is also the first observation of glass eels keeping a compass as they swim in shelf waters, and that alone is an exciting discovery."
The study was designed to understand how the fish orient while drifting with the current under the same environmental conditions that they would encounter during their migration towards the coast to assess whether they use Earth's magnetic field as a frame of reference for orientation, and change direction according to the tidal cycle to guide them towards the coast.
When eel larvae arrive at the continental shelf, they metamorphose into transparent glass eels, changing shape, physiology and behavior. At some point during this journey—anywhere from the Canary Islands to northern Norway—they "hop off" the Gulf Stream and actively migrate towards the coast, heading for estuaries. Some eels remain in the coastal area, while others move inland into lakes remaining there, slowly growing, for up to 30 years.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: With magnetic map, young eels catch a 'free ride' to Europe
More information: "Glass eel (Anguilla anguilla) have a magnetic compass linked to the tidal cycle," Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602007 
Journal reference: Science Advances [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Miami



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-glass-eels-internal-compass-home.html#jCp[url=https://phys.org/news/2017-06-glass-eels-internal-compass-home.html#jCp][/url]
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#47
Quote:But, when the researchers rotated the magnetic field 8.5° counter-clockwise to adjust the magnetic declination while keeping all else constant, something remarkable happened. Although still in Rybachy, the birds behaved as though they'd been magically transported to Southern Scotland, Arrow  about 1,450 kilometers away.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-08-reed-warblers-magnetic-declination.html#jCp



Reed warblers have a sense for magnetic declination
August 17, 2017

[Image: reedwarblers.jpg]
This graphical abstract depicts how usingvirtual magnetic displacements,Chernetsov et al. suggest thatexperienced Eurasian reed warblers canuse magnetic declination to detectlongitude. Credit: Ekaterina Chernetsova
Researchers recently showed that migratory reed warblers depend on an internal geomagnetic map to guide them on their long-distance journeys. But it wasn't clear how the birds were solving the relatively difficult "longitude problem," determining where they were along the east-west axis and which way to go. Now, the team's latest report published in Current Biologyon August 17 has an answer. The birds rely on changes from east to west in magnetic declination, the angular difference between geographic north and magnetic north.



"We've shown for the first time that magnetic declination may be a component of the magnetic navigational map, at least in some long-distance migratory birds," says Nikita Chernetsov at the Biological Station Rybachy in Russia.
Earlier studies had shown that animals including birds and sea turtles could rely on other aspects of the earth's magnetic field as well as celestial cues to navigate. But those features aren't very informative when it comes to measuring longitude in many parts of the world, including North America and Western Europe. The researchers knew that magnetic declination could help, but it wasn't clear whether reed warblers had a way to measure it.
To find out in the new study, the researchers captured 15 experienced adult Eurasian reed warblers during their autumn migration in Rybachy. They housed the birds in outdoor cages equipped with a special contraption that allowed researchers to precisely adjust the magnetic field.
When the researchers tested the reed warblers under starry skies in the natural magnetic field of Rybachy, the birds oriented as expected in a seasonally appropriate direction. But, when the researchers rotated the magnetic field 8.5° counter-clockwise to adjust the magnetic declination while keeping all else constant, something remarkable happened. Although still in Rybachy, the birds behaved as though they'd been magically transported to Southern Scotland, about 1,450 kilometers away.
[Image: 1-reedwarblers.jpg]
This photograph shows where reed warblers were kept in a magnetic coil system to experimentally manipulate the magnetic field. Credit: Nikita Chernetsov
After constant exposure to the 8.5° shifted declination, the reed warblers responded with a dramatic 151° change in their mean orientation from WSW to ESE. The findings show that "a small change in magnetic declination is sufficient to elicit a dramatic re-orientation response," the researchers write.
The findings confirm that Eurasian reed warblers use magnetic declination to determine their approximate east-west position within Europe. Importantly, naive birds under the same conditions didn't re-orient themselves correctly. They instead became confused, evidence that the reed warblers learn to follow the magnetic gradients from experience.

"Reed warblers seem to learn the large-scale spatial pattern of the declination gradient during their annual movements, just like they learn other gradients, inclination, and total intensity," Chernetsov says. "As magnetic declination mainly varies along the east-west axis, it provides the possibility to measure longitude."
Many questions remain about how the reed warblers' learning process takes place and how the birds extrapolate beyond gradients they've experienced directly. The researchers say it will also be important to find out if other migratory bird species have the same ability.
[Image: 2-reedwarblers.jpg]
This photograph shows where reed warblers were kept in a magnetic coil system to experimentally manipulate the magnetic field. Credit: Nikita Chernetsov
Either way, the findings are an important step forward in understanding how birds and other animals navigate over hundreds or even thousands of kilometers. People might consider taking note.
"We humans do not use the magnetic map for our navigation, but we might want to look into this option," Chernetsov says.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Magnetic contraption tricks migrating songbirds into changing direction
More information: Chernetsov et al.: "Migratory Eurasian Reed Warblers Can Use Magnetic Declination to Solve the Longitude Problem" Current Biology (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.07.024 
Journal reference: Current Biology [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Cell Press



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-08-reed-warblers-magnetic-declination.html#jCp[/url][url=https://phys.org/news/2017-08-reed-warblers-magnetic-declination.html#jCp]
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Quote:"What we saw was that for each type of movement, there is a particular pattern of brain activity, and that these patterns were organized in a specific manner" said Dr. Costa.



Hidden deep in the brain, a map that guides animals' movements
August 30, 2017

[Image: neuron.jpg]
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
New research has revealed that deep in the brain, in a structure called striatum, all possible movements that an animal can do are represented in a map of neural activity. If we think of neural activity as the coordinates of this map, then similar movements have similar coordinates, being represented closer in the map, while actions that are more different have more distant coordinates and are further away.


The study, led by researchers at Columbia University and the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, was published today in Neuron.
"From the ears to the toes and everything in between, every move the body makes is determined by a unique pattern of brain-cell activity, but until now, and using the map analogy, we only had some pieces of information, like single/isolated latitudes and longitudes but not an actual map. This study was like looking at this map for the first time." said Rui Costa, DVM, PhD, a neuroscientist and a principal investigator at Columbia's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and investigator at the Champalimaud Research at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, in Lisbon. Dr. Costa and his lab performed much of this work while at Champalimaud, before completing the analysis at Columbia.
A snapshot of neural activity
The brain's striatum is a structure that has been implicated in many brain processes, most notably in learning and selecting which movements to do. For example, a concert pianist harnesses her striatum to learn and play that perfect concerto. Early studies argued that cells in the striatum sent out two simple types of signals through different pathways, either 'go' or 'no go,' and it was this combination of these two signals—acting like a gas pedal and a brake—that drove movement. However, Dr. Costa and his team argued that the reality is far more complex, and that both types of neurons contribute to movement in a very specific way.
"What matters is not how much activity there is in each pathway, but rather the precise patterns of activity," said Dr. Costa. "In other words, which neurons are active at any particular time, and what sorts of movements, or behaviors, corresponded to that activity."
The key to observing neural activity during natural behavior was that the mice had to be able to move freely and naturally. To accomplish this, the team attached miniature, mobile microscopes to the heads of the mice. This allowed them to capture the individual activity patterns of up to 300 neurons in the striatum. At the same time, each mouse was equipped with an accelerometer, like a miniature Fitbit, which recorded the mouse's movements.

"We have recorded striatal neurons before, but here we have the advantage of imaging 200-300 neurons with single-cell resolution at the same time allowing for the study of population dynamics with great detail within a deep brain structure. Furthermore, here we genetically modified the mice so that neurons were visible when they were active, allowing us to measure specific neuronal populations. This gives us unprecedented access to the dynamics of a large population of neurons in a deep brain structure," says Gabriela Martins, postdoctoral researcher and one of the leading authors.

Towards understanding the striatal dynamics

Then, working with Liam Paninski, PhD, a statistician and a principal investigator at the Zuckerman Institute, the researchers devised a mathematical method of stripping out any background noise to the data. What they were left with was a clear window into the patterns of neural activity, which could serve as a basis for the complete catalog, or repertoire of movements.



"What we saw was that for each type of movement, there is a particular pattern of brain activity, and that these patterns were organized in a specific manner" said Dr. Costa.



In the striatum, there is an organization that is not random, where the neurons that are active together tend to be closer together in space. "This, again, implies that we can learn much more from the neuronal activity and how it relates to behavior when considering detailed ensemble patterns instead of looking at average activity." says Andreas Klaus, a postdoctoral researcher and one of the leading authors. This particular representation somehow maps the complete repertoire of possible actions. Similar actions we do are more similarly represented and actions that are more different are represented more differently. "This mapping reflects similarity in actions beyond aspects of movement speed," added Andreas Klaus.

Interpreting patterns of brain activity and eventually repairing them

But how can scientists read and interpret these patterns of brain activity? "Imagine looking at the brain activity when the mouse makes a slight turn to the right vs. a sharp turn. In even more abstract terms, if moving my right arm is more similar to walking than to jumping, then those would be represented more similarly. One of the challenges is finding out what does this mean. Why is the pattern more similar for similar actions? Is it because it's saying something about the body parts or muscles we're using? This is something we hope to explore for the future," says Dr. Costa.

And he added, "The precise description of the organization of activity in the striatum under normal conditions is the first step toward understand whether, and how, these dynamics are changed in disorders of movement, such as in Parkinson's disease. Experts tend to focus on disruptions to the amount of neural activity as playing a role in Parkinson's, but these results strongly suggest that it is the pattern of activity, and specifically disruptions to that pattern, that may be more critical."

This research marks a critical step toward a long-held scientific goal: deciphering how the brain generates behavior. It also offers clues as to what may happen in disorders characterized by disrupted or repetitive movements—including Parkinson's disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: From brouhaha to coordination: Motor learning from the neuron's point of view

More information: "The spatiotemporal organization of the striatum encodes action space," Neuron (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.08.015 
Journal reference: Neuron [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: The Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University




Sense of smell is key factor in bird navigation

August 29, 2017



[Image: senseofsmell.png]
A Scopoli's shearwater. Credit: Miguel McMinn
How do birds navigate over long distances? This complex question has been the subject of debate and controversy among scientists for decades, with Earth's magnetic field and the bird's own sense of smell among the factors said to play a part.





Now, researchers from the universities of Oxford, Barcelona and Pisa have shown in a new experiment that olfaction – or sense of smell – is almost certainly a key factor in long-distance oceanic navigation, eliminating previous misgivings about this hypothesis.
The research is published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Study leader Oliver Padget, a doctoral candidate in Oxford University's Department of Zoology, said: 'Navigation over the ocean is probably the extreme challenge for birds, given the long distances covered, the changing environment, and the lack of stable landmarks. Previous experiments have focused on the physical displacement of birds, combined with some form of sensory manipulation such as magnetic or olfactory deprivation. Evidence from these experiments has suggested that removing a bird's sense of smell impairs homing, whereas disruption of the magnetic sense has yielded inconclusive results.
'However, critics have questioned whether birds would behave in the same way had they not been artificially displaced, as well as arguing that rather than affecting a bird's ability to navigate, sensory deprivation may in fact impair a related function, such as its motivation to return home or its ability to forage.
'Our new study eliminates these objections, meaning it will be very difficult in future to argue that olfaction is not involved in long-distance oceanic navigation in birds.'
In this new experiment, the researchers closely followed the movements and behaviour of 32 free-ranging Scopoli's shearwaters off the coast of Menorca. The birds were split into three groups: one made temporarily anosmic (unable to smell) through nasal irrigation with zinc sulphate; another carrying small magnets; and a control group. Miniature GPS loggers were attached to the birds as they nested and incubated eggs in crevices and caves on the rocky Menorcan coast. But rather than being displaced, they were then tracked as they engaged in natural foraging trips.
All birds went out on foraging trips as normal, gained weight through successful foraging, and returned to exchange incubation periods with their partners. Thus, removing a bird's sense of smell does not appear to impair either its motivation to return home or its ability to forage effectively.


However, although the anosmic birds made successful trips to the Catalan coast and other distant foraging grounds, they showed significantly different orientation behaviour from the controls during the at-sea stage of their return journeys. Instead of being well-oriented towards home when they were out of sight of land, they embarked on curiously straight but poorly oriented flights across the ocean, as if following a compass bearing away from the foraging grounds without being able to update their position.
Their orientation then improved when approaching land, suggesting that birds must consult an olfactory map when out of sight of land but are subsequently able to find home using familiar landscape features.
Senior author Tim Guilford, Professor of Animal Behaviour and leader of the Oxford Navigation Group in Oxford's Department of Zoology, said: 'To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that follows free-ranging foraging trips in sensorily manipulated birds. The displacement experiment has – rightly – been at the heart of bird navigation studies and has produced powerful findings on what birds are able to do in the absence of information collected on their outward journey.
'But by its nature, the displacement experiment cannot tell us what birds would do if they had the option of using outward-journey information, as they did in our study. This heralds a whole new era of work in which careful track analysis of free-ranging movements, with and without experimental interventions, can provide inferences about the underlying behavioural mechanisms of navigation. Precision on-board tracking technology and new analytical methods, too computationally heavy to have been possible in the past, have made this feasible.'
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Migrating birds use a magnetic map to travel long distances
More information: O. Padget et al. Anosmia impairs homing orientation but not foraging behaviour in free-ranging shearwaters, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-09738-5 
Journal reference: Scientific Reports [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Oxford



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-08-key-factor-bird.html#jCp[/url][url=https://phys.org/news/2017-08-key-factor-bird.html#jCp]
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#49
Computational study sheds doubt on latest theory of birds' mysterious magnetic compass
October 3, 2017

[Image: birdsflock.jpg]
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
The European robin and other birds know where to migrate by sensing the direction of the Earth's magnetic field. Researchers have recently attributed this ability to a chemical reaction that takes place within the eye and whose success depends on the field direction. However, University of Oxford researchers report October 3 in Biophysical Journal that the current form of this "radical-pair mechanism" is not sensitive enough to explain the disruption of the avian magnetic compass by certain radiofrequency magnetic fields, raising new questions about this popular example of quantum biology.



Under most reaction conditions with most molecules, the Earth's magnetic field is far too weak—roughly 200 times feebler than a refrigerator magnet—to have any impact on the amount of products produced. But under special reaction circumstances, a burst of energy, perhaps from a light source, creates two short-lived radicals—compounds with one unpaired electron each. These high-energy intermediates, and consequently the outcome of the reaction, are quite sensitive to even weak magnetic fields. In bird eyes, suitable radicals are believed to be generated within cryptochrome, a light-absorbing protein that produces an as-yet-unidentified signaling molecule in a quantity determined by the field direction, resulting in an avian magnetic compass.
"The radical-pair mechanism of magnetoreception is still just a hypothesis, and arguably the best evidence we have for it so far is the effect of time-dependent radiofrequency magnetic fields on the ability of migratory birds to detect the direction of the Earth's magnetic field," says senior author Peter Hore, an Oxford biophysical chemist specializing in magnetic influences on chemical reactions.
Experimental studies of avian magnetic-compass disruption have largely used two different kinds of field frequencies. One approach involves a field oscillating at a single frequency, whereas the other uses broadband noise spread over a range of frequencies. To date, experimental evidence has been unable to agree on which setups actually confuse avian navigation and to what extent.
Faced with the conflicting body of experimental work, the researchers took a computational approach to the problem and designed a new method to simulate the effects of broadband radio noise along the birds' routes. They applied this method and analogous preexisting methods for single-frequency radiation to three plausible radical pairs that might form within cryptochrome and respond to changes in magnetic intensity.
Although the simulations showed that identical radiofrequency conditions imposed different spin-sensitivity patterns for the different proposed radical pairs, the researchers determined that current experimental evidence is insufficient to identify one responsible radical pair from among the choices. "Even with generous assumptions about the properties of the radicals, we predict tiny effects of these radiofrequency fields, and the main conclusion that we come to is that the current understanding of the radical-pair model can't explain any of the reported behavioral results," says Hore.


This inability to explain the experimental performance of the avian magnetic compass raises a whole series of questions. These include the overall validity of the radical-pair mechanism, whether birds might have evolved to be able to detect minute magnetic changes and have thus become susceptible to human-produced radio noise as a side-effect, or even whether applied electromagnetic fields might be affecting a different behavior—such as motivation—altogether.
"It is possible that we're just barking up the wrong tree and there's a different mechanism entirely," Hore says. "I prefer to think that there is some aspect of the mechanism that we're completely missing that amplifies the effect of time-dependent magnetic fields on the radical pairs and makes them more sensitive to changes than our simulations predict."
To help elucidate the workings of the compass once and for all, the researchers propose a number of experimental conditions inspired by cases they analyzed with their computational methods. In particular, they identify bands of radiofrequency noise not yet studied in behavioral experiments and predict that these would substantially affect specific biologically plausible radicals.
"Those experiments will probably be quite challenging because of the high-frequency fields involved, but their outcome should finally tell us whether it is a radical-pair mechanism or not, and if it is, what the radicals are," Hore says.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Radical pair analysis overcomes hurdle in theory of how birds navigate
More information: Biophysical Journal, Hiscock et al.: "Disruption of magnetic compass orientation in birds by radiofrequency electromagnetic fields" http://www.cell.com/biophysj/fulltext/S0...17)30859-7DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.07.031 
Journal reference: Biophysical Journal [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Cell Press



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-10-latest-theory-birds-mysterious-magnetic.html#jCp[/url][url=https://phys.org/news/2017-10-latest-theory-birds-mysterious-magnetic.html#jCp]
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#50
Quote:"It is possible that we're just barking up the wrong tree and there's a different mechanism entirely," Hore says. "I prefer to think that there is some aspect of the mechanism that we're completely missing that amplifies the effect of time-dependent magnetic fields on the radical pairs and makes them more sensitive to changes than our simulations predict."

I think this is more of "Publish or Perish" mentality in academia in general. Whether it makes any sense or not.

With $$$ getting less available for non-defense spending, hell I just learned that between 1998 and 2015 the DOD and HUD had cooked the books to a total tune of $21 TRILLION dollars !!!

https://usawatchdog.com/21-trillion-miss...tin-fitts/


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#51
Theory smells Victory of scents/sense


The vibrational theory of olfaction for the win
October 31, 2017 by John Hewitt report

[Image: thevibration.jpg]
Molecules of mercaptoethanol (left) and decaborane (right) Credit: L. Turin
(Medical Xpress)—As occurred in the painstaking deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs, adherence to outmoded ideas is a lasting impediment to our understanding of how odorants are decoded by the olfactory system. The primary roadblock for hieroglyphs was the insistence that they were purely ideographic, ie. that the shapes of the pictograms owned all their meaning. It was only after Thomas Young compared the three different scripts of the Rosetta Stone that he was able to discover that the hieroglyphs also had a corresponding physics—namely, that they had phonetics.


In other words, it was the relationships found among the previously unappreciated vibrational characters of the spoken glyphs that led to their eventual successful decoding. Using Young's phonetic foundation, Jean-Francois Champollion theorized that there should be instances where certain sounds, like that of the letter 't', come to be represented by more than one hieroglyph, much like our own 'c' and 'k'. What finally convinced the world that it must be so began with a key sound element that Champollion fortuitously discovered in the glyphs for both Ptolemy and Cleopatra.
Luca Turin has almost single-handedly created the field of olfactory molecular vibrations. Functional groups of sulfur and borane were his Ptolemy and Cleopatra. The common note shared by two very differently shaped odorants containing these molecules was one particular stretch vibration occurring at a frequency of roughly 2600 cm-1. With this first key, originally pointed out in 1912, Turin has begun to unlock a whole codex of scents. His latest work, just published with Makis Skoulakis and Klio Maniati from the Fleming Institute and University of Athens in the journal eNeuro, is a game changer in the vibration story.
I say "game changer" because traditionally, one way for budding researchers to get ahead in the shapist-dominated field of olfaction has been to take take a potshot at Turin's theories. Often this has been under the auspices of dubious peer review and editorial standards. As with many things these days, the typical result is that #fakenews headlines like 'Vibration Theory is Totally Implausible' get the prime airtime but only rarely does the rebuttal.
recent case in point is a paper on human detection of lily-of-the-valley odorants from the lilial and bourgeonal family. The post review comments suggest that the vibrations have survived yet another challenger. Rather than dwell in that abyss, let's allow Turin to take a few paragraphs here to personally relate his recent findings, before we add some additional comments below it:
"In a shape theory, the smell of an odorant is encoded in the shape of the odorant molecule, which in turn determines the receptors in which it fits. This is a lock-and-key theory, therefore the shapes of both locks and keys matter to the pattern of receptor activation. Picture a thought experiment in which the shapes of the olfactory receptor binding sites are all altered, while leaving wiring to the brain identical. The receptor activation pattern will be different, therefore odorants will be perceived to have a different smell, or odor character.

In a vibration theory, the smell of an odorant is encoded in the molecular vibrations of the odorant itself. The large number of smell receptors present is there to make sure that enough of them bind any given odorant so that relevant bands of the odorant's vibrational spectrum are probed, as in color vision. Now do the same thought experiment and change the shape of all receptors. Odorants will now also bind to a different set of receptors, but if there are enough of them in each band binding the odorants, the spectrum bands will be correctly measured and the odor will remain the same.
This is a fundamental difference, which could experimentally test the correctness of one or the other theory. Altering the binding sites of all receptors is not possible at the moment, not least because we do not exactly know where odorants bind. However, we can ask whether animals endowed with receptors of completely different shapes perceive odorants in a similar fashion. Insect odorant receptors, for example are completely different from mammalian ones: they have no sequence homology, and a different topology. Do fruit flies smell things the way we do? Which odorants should be used to test this? To keep things simple and reduce the problem to a single vibrational band, we have made use of two remarkable observations taken from human olfaction.
(1) One of the most remarkable coincidences in olfaction is that both sulfur and boron hydrides (respectively known a thiols and boranes) —and nothing else in nature— smell sulfuraceous to us despite having no chemical properties in common. What they do have in common, however, is a stretch (B-H vs S-H) vibrational frequency, around 2600 cm-1. Do flies, like us, then perceive boranes to smell like sulfur? Our experiments show that the answer appears to be Yes: flies trained to avoid boranes then avoid thiols and vice versa. This suggests that they are detecting a vibration at the same frequency.
(2) A second experiment involves the intensity, rather than the frequency of a vibration. It is well known that in cyanohydrins, chemical structures in which a nitrile (-CN) and a hydroxyl (-OH) group are attached to the same carbon, the distinctive CN stretch vibration shows up very weakly in spectrometers. Interestingly, cyanohydrins also lack the distinctive "nitrilic" odor character imparted to any odorant by the -CN group. If the -OH group is moved one carbon away, both the -CN vibration intensity and the -CN odor are restored. We have tested how flies trained to avoid a nitrile respond to a cyanohydrin and its displaced congener. Our results show that they, like us, do not perceive the nitrile in cyanohydrins but do perceive it when the -OH is moved."
In addition to these discoveries, Turin also just published a much more sweeping treatise on molecular recognition in olfaction in the journal Advances in Physics: X. In it, he and his co-authors delve into more of the specifics of olfactory receptors, including particular amino acid motifs, metal binding capacities, and disulphide bridge redox status. It turns out that amino acid side chains alone frequently pull off some rather interesting electron transfer effects without the need for fancy co-enzymes or prosthetic groups. Although there are only a few cases in which this has been proposed, we can take a brief anecdotal look at how this mechanism operates in other proteins.
Green fluorescent protein (GFP), for example, possesses an all-natural endogenous fluorescence without need for any auxiliary cofactor. Instead, an intrinsic covalently-bonded chromophore is spontaneously constructed from the side chains of the tripeptide Ser65-Tyr66-Gly67. Although other kinds of biofluorescent molecules (like luciferin) can be slightly tuned by the surrounding enzymatic shell, there is huge power in directly exposing the full lumiphore construction to evolutionary sequence adjustments; GFPs of every shade, lifetime, activation or quenching ability are available to mother nature and researcher alike.
The same kinds of amino acid substitutions that control the separations and interactions of side chains in fluorescent proteins also play an essential role in tuning the proposed mechanism for vibration detection—inelastic electron tunneling. Life literally runs on electron tunneling through the respiratory chain complexes in mitochondria. These proteins employ complicated mechanisms including esoteric-soundings things like electron bifurcation and confurcation to pump protons across the mitochondrial inner membrane. When mitochondria go dark, cells can often continue to run for a short while, but it is only in the dim glow of the battery backup metabolism.
In order to make a tunneling receptor work, the authors suggest three main structural features should be present: provisions for electron transfer across the odorant binding site, for resupply of electrons to the electron donor site, and for electrochemical transduction of the current. By starting with the presumed ancestor of all GPCRs, rhodopsin, they have already found evidence of these features in other members of the receptor family. One particular conserved tryptophan in the receptor binding pockets fits the bill nicely as it has the higher possible 'HOMO' energy of all amino acids. An acceptor with a 'LUMO' energy below that would be possible if metal ions like zinc can be coordinated nearby.
Turin mentioned above that insect olfactory receptors are quite different from mammalian receptors. This raises an important question. While mammals use GPCRs that indirectly modify downstream ion channels, insects have opted for heteromeric ionotropic receptor complexes that are gated directly by odorant binding. Insects apparently have ample evolutionary access to GPRCs because they readily employ them elsewhere in their bodies. Therefore, it's perhaps not so much that insects can't use GPCRs for olfaction, but rather that they have chosennot to. Why? Even more beguiling is the devilish conundrum of how nature seems able to convergently muster up different solutions to the same problem of optimally detecting odorants, i.e., receptors with vastly different footprints that use conserved vibrational mechanisms.
Perhaps one surprising answer to the issue of ionotropic receptors is that flying insects simply don't have any time to spare on elaborate second messenger mechanisms. While one might imagine that a moth or butterfly casually meandering up an odor plume should not be constrained by synaptic delays of just a few milliseconds, the reality for smaller flies might be much different. Central pattern generators were discovered in locusts as the main control systems behind their ballistic aerial jaunts. Flies, however, must employ a direct stretch-activated myogenic flight control because there is no way that spiking motor neurons can match their rapidly beating wings one-for-one.
Researchers have found that just a few spikes in a single fruit fly ORN neuron are sufficient to trigger an upwind turn with a delay of less than 85 ms. At a 200 hz wing beat frequency, a typical turn requires the power of about 10 strokes, or roughly 50 ms. These times are not that much slower than those of fighter aces like blowflies that can pull turns to a visual stimulus in under 30 ms. In 30 ms, these flies might put out just three or four spikes across a single synaptic delay between sensing a looming stimulus and effecting a motor response away from it. The task the flies needed to perform for the 85ms odorant response were actually a bit more challenging then it might at first appear. The flies had to make an olfactory discrimination about the identity of the odorant, and then command a new heading in its direction.
Like olfactory neurons, the photoreceptors of flies are also a bit different from ours. Although flies similarly use a G protein coupled second messenger system in their phototransduction cacade, their version takes less than 20ms to go from photon excitation to cell depolarization. Among the fastest known, fly photoreceptor signal chains involve direct physical perturbations of the membrane that propagate through the cell. While receptor and synaptic events might appear to be extremely fast relative to typical axonal transmission delays found for mammalian brains, fly receptor potentials don't typically don't need to be transmitted very far. In fact, in cases where we might say fast computation 'entirely by chemisty' predominates, graded potentials carry the load and spike generation can be dispensed with altogether.
In Turin's second point above, he describes how the both the 'nitrilic' -CN spectral line intensity and its associated odor character can be restored by moving an OH group one spot further down the hydrocarbon chain of the molecule. As this was observed in both mammal and insect, one would suspect their receptors and higher order glomerular circuitry might be doing something similar. Another example where a minor tweak to an odorantmolecule can predictably (at least in the vibrational world) result in large perceptual differences was highlighted last week in Phys.org. The molecule in question is now believed to be responsible for the strong metalic scent of blood. Known as trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal, or E2D for short, this lipid by-product is created when fats in whole blood break down upon exposure to oxygen in the air.
Mice and humans, who can detect E2D at concentrations of less than one part per trillion, show a strong avoidance response to it. Flies, on the other hand, love it, and wolves react like it was catnip. Fully availing myself of the powers of Google in order to sound smart, I asked Turin on social media why trans-4,5-epoxy-alk-(E)-2-enals smell metallic rather than the grassy odor of the associated aldehydes 6 carbons or the soapy-citrus for those with 8? He immediately fired back that this phenomenon can be explained by the dilution of the 1100 cm-1 C-O-C asymmetric stretch.

Although there is nothing comparable to this kind of insight into the molecular world of scent within the shapist mentality, we should probably thank its supporters for making this battle of ideas so epic. There may yet be time for two more big events in the field, one a Hi Nobel party, and the other, a funeral. Horsepoop


[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Odorant shape and vibration likely lead to olfaction satisfaction
More information: Vibrational Detection of Odorant Functional Groups by Drosophila Melanogaster. www.eneuro.org/content/early/2 … /ENEURO.0049-17.2017
Molecular recognition in olfaction, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/1 … 3746149.2017.1378594
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#52
Newly-hatched salmon use geomagnetic field to learn which way is up
February 16, 2018 by Chris Branam, Oregon State University


[Image: newlyhatched.jpg]
A freshly-hatched juvenile salmon. Credit: Richard Bell and Tom Quinn, University of Washington
Researchers who confirmed in recent years that salmon use the Earth's geomagnetic field to guide their long-distance migrations have found that the fish also use the field for a much simpler and smaller-scale migration: When the young emerge from gravel nests to reach surface waters.


The study is published in the journal Biology Letters. The findings have important implications for understanding how salmon navigate across the wide range of habitats they encounter.
"From very early on in the life cycle, salmon have the ability to detect and respond to geomagnetic information," said David Noakes, director of the Oregon Hatchery Research Center and senior author on the study. "This matters because we need to know how rearing conditions might impact the fish, particularly in the case of hatcheries – where we already have some evidence that exposure to unnatural magnetic fields can disrupt the ability of steelhead trout to orient appropriately."
The Oregon Hatchery Research Center is a collaborative research project of Oregon State University, where Noakes is a professor and senior scientist in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Michelle Scanlan, faculty research assistant at OSU and co-lead author on the study, said, "We show that the magnetic sense in salmon can be used for three-dimensional orientation – as a map, a compass and an indication of which way is up."
When salmon spawn, the mothers bury their fertilized eggs in gravel "redds" where they incubate for weeks or months. Upon hatching, the young salmon remain in the gravel until they deplete residual yolk stores, after which they emerge from the gravel and live above the substrate in the open water of the stream or river.
The newly-hatched fish appear to use the direction of magnetic field lines to help determine which way is up. This finding indicates that magnetic cues are used for three-dimensional orientation across a wide range of spatial scales and habitats.
"Getting out of the gravel is not as easy as it might seem, but it is of critical importance," said Noakes, who in previous studies examined the role of temperature, light, and water current on salmon emergence.
"All could be used by the fish, but none was essential," he said. "In the absence of these cues, fish still moved out of the gravel. Now we have the answer to that."
The research team constructed a system of copper-wire coils through which a very low electric current could be run to precisely control the magnetic field surrounding fish. Experiments were carried out under complete darkness and in still water.
Within the coil-system, fish that were developmentally ready to move into surface waters were placed at the bottom of plastic tubes that had been filled with clear glass marbles, to mimic gravel. The researchers measured the height fish moved up in the tubes over a 30-minute period.
One group of salmon were exposed to the normal magnetic field in Oregon and another group of salmon to an inverted magnetic field. Fish in the normal magnetic field moved significantly further up the tubes than did those that experienced the inverted magnetic field. The team ruled out the possibility that fish were simply startled by the sudden change in electromagnetic conditions by running the same amount of electric current required to invert the magnetic field in the opposite direction.
"Given that only inverting the magnetic field influenced fish movement, it seems salmon use the direction of field lines to orient vertically during their emergence from gravel – our findings are difficult to interpret in any other way," said Nathan Putman, senior scientist at LGL Ecological Research Associates in Bryan, Texas, and co-lead author on the study.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Link confirmed between salmon migration, magnetic field
More information: Nathan F. Putman et al. Geomagnetic field influences upward movement of young Chinook salmon emerging from nests, Biology Letters (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0752

Journal reference: Biology Letters [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Oregon State University


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-newly-hatc...d.html#jCp
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#53
(08-17-2017, 09:32 PM)EA Wrote:
Quote:But, when the researchers rotated the magnetic field 8.5° counter-clockwise to adjust the magnetic declination while keeping all else constant, something remarkable happened. Although still in Rybachy, the birds behaved as though they'd been magically transported to Southern Scotland,  >>> about 1,450 kilometers away.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-08-reed-warblers-magnetic-declination.html#jCp



Reed warblers have a sense for magnetic declination

August 17, 2017, Cell Press


[Image: reedwarblers.jpg]
This graphical abstract depicts how usingvirtual magnetic displacements,Chernetsov et al. suggest thatexperienced Eurasian reed warblers canuse magnetic declination to detectlongitude. Credit: Ekaterina Chernetsova


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-08-reed-warbl...n.html#jCp


Researchers recently showed that migratory reed warblers depend on an internal geomagnetic map to guide them on their long-distance journeys. But it wasn't clear how the birds were solving the relatively difficult "longitude problem," determining where they were along the east-west axis and which way to go. Now, the team's latest report published in Current Biologyon August 17 has an answer. The birds rely on changes from east to west in magnetic declination, the angular difference between geographic north and magnetic north.



"We've shown for the first time that magnetic declination may be a component of the magnetic navigational map, at least in some long-distance migratory birds," says Nikita Chernetsov at the Biological Station Rybachy in Russia.
Earlier studies had shown that animals including birds and sea turtles could rely on other aspects of the earth's magnetic field as well as celestial cues to navigate. But those features aren't very informative when it comes to measuring longitude in many parts of the world, including North America and Western Europe. The researchers knew that magnetic declination could help, but it wasn't clear whether reed warblers had a way to measure it.
To find out in the new study, the researchers captured 15 experienced adult Eurasian reed warblers during their autumn migration in Rybachy. They housed the birds in outdoor cages equipped with a special contraption that allowed researchers to precisely adjust the magnetic field.
When the researchers tested the reed warblers under starry skies in the natural magnetic field of Rybachy, the birds oriented as expected in a seasonally appropriate direction. But, when the researchers rotated the magnetic field 8.5° counter-clockwise to adjust the magnetic declination while keeping all else constant, something remarkable happened. Although still in Rybachy, the birds behaved as though they'd been magically transported to Southern Scotland, about 1,450 kilometers away.
[Image: 1-reedwarblers.jpg]
This photograph shows where reed warblers were kept in a magnetic coil system to experimentally manipulate the magnetic field. Credit: Nikita Chernetsov
After constant exposure to the 8.5° shifted declination, the reed warblers responded with a dramatic 151° change in their mean orientation from WSW to ESE. The findings show that "a small change in magnetic declination is sufficient to elicit a dramatic re-orientation response," the researchers write.
The findings confirm that Eurasian reed warblers use magnetic declination to determine their approximate east-west position within Europe. Importantly, naive birds under the same conditions didn't re-orient themselves correctly. They instead became confused, evidence that the reed warblers learn to follow the magnetic gradients from experience.

"Reed warblers seem to learn the large-scale spatial pattern of the declination gradient during their annual movements, just like they learn other gradients, inclination, and total intensity," Chernetsov says. "As magnetic declination mainly varies along the east-west axis, it provides the possibility to measure longitude."
Many questions remain about how the reed warblers' learning process takes place and how the birds extrapolate beyond gradients they've experienced directly. The researchers say it will also be important to find out if other migratory bird species have the same ability.
[Image: 2-reedwarblers.jpg]
This photograph shows where reed warblers were kept in a magnetic coil system to experimentally manipulate the magnetic field. Credit: Nikita Chernetsov
Either way, the findings are an important step forward in understanding how birds and other animals navigate over hundreds or even thousands of kilometers. People might consider taking note.
"We humans do not use the magnetic map for our navigation, but we might want to look into this option," Chernetsov says.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Magnetic contraption tricks migrating songbirds into changing direction
More information: Chernetsov et al.: "Migratory Eurasian Reed Warblers Can Use Magnetic Declination to Solve the Longitude Problem" Current Biology (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.07.024 
Journal reference: Current Biology
Provided by: Cell Press



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-08-reed-warblers-magnetic-declination.html#jCp[/url][url=https://phys.org/news/2017-08-reed-warblers-magnetic-declination.html#jCp]


NASA's SDO Reveals How Magnetic Cage on the Sun Stopped Solar Eruption
Date:February 23, 2018Source:NASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterSummary:A dramatic magnetic power struggle at the Sun's surface lies at the heart of solar eruptions, new research shows.


[Image: 180223131937_1_540x360.jpg]
In this series of images, the magnetic rope, in blue, grows increasingly twisted and unstable. But it never erupts from the Sun's surface: The model demonstrates the rope didn't have enough energy to break through the magnetic cage, in yellow.
Credit: Tahar Amari et al./Center for Theoretical Physics/École Polytechnique/NASA Goddard/Joy Ng

A dramatic magnetic power struggle at the Sun's surface lies at the heart of solar eruptions, new research using NASA data shows. The work highlights the role of the Sun's magnetic landscape, or topology, in the development of solar eruptions that can trigger space weather events around Earth.
The scientists, led by Tahar Amari, an astrophysicist at the Center for Theoretical Physics at the École Polytechnique in Palaiseau Cedex, France, considered solar flares, which are intense bursts of radiation and light. Many strong solar flares are followed by a coronal mass ejection, or CME, a massive, bubble-shaped eruption of solar material and magnetic field, but some are not -- what differentiates the two situations is not clearly understood.
Using data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, the scientists examined an October 2014 Jupiter-sized sunspot group, an area of complex magnetic fields, often the site of solar activity. This was the biggest group in the past two solar cycles and a highly active region. Though conditions seemed ripe for an eruption, the region never produced a major CME on its journey across the Sun. It did, however, emit a powerful X-class flare, the most intense class of flares. What determines, the scientists wondered, whether a flare is associated with a CME?
The team of scientists included SDO's observations of magnetic fields at the Sun's surface in powerful models that calculate the magnetic field of the Sun's corona, or upper atmosphere, and examined how it evolved in the time just before the flare. The model reveals a battle between two key magnetic structures: a twisted magnetic rope -- known to be associated with the onset of CMEs -- and a dense cage of magnetic fields overlying the rope.
The scientists found that this magnetic cage physically prevented a CME from erupting that day. Just hours before the flare, the sunspot's natural rotation contorted the magnetic rope and it grew increasingly twisted and unstable, like a tightly coiled rubber band. But the rope never erupted from the surface: Their model demonstrates it didn't have enough energy to break through the cage. It was, however, volatile enough that it lashed through part of the cage, triggering the strong solar flare.
By changing the conditions of the cage in their model, the scientists found that if the cage were weaker that day, a major CME would have erupted on Oct. 24, 2014. The group is interested in further developing their model to study how the conflict between the magnetic cage and rope plays out in other eruptions. Their findings are summarized in a paper published in Nature on Feb. 8, 2018.
"We were able to follow the evolution of an active region, predict how likely it was to erupt, and calculate the maximum amount of energy the eruption can release," Amari said. "This is a practical method that could become important in space weather forecasting as computational capabilities increase."

Materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. Tahar Amari, Aurélien Canou, Jean-Jacques Aly, Francois Delyon, Fréderic Alauzet. Magnetic cage and rope as the key for solar eruptions. Nature, 2018; 554 (7691): 211 DOI: 10.1038/nature24671
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA's SDO Reveals How Magnetic Cage on the Sun Stopped Solar Eruption." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180223131937.htm>.

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[Image: perception.jpg]
The 'loudness' of our thoughts affects how we judge external sounds
The "loudness" of our thoughts—or how we imagine saying something—influences how we judge the loudness of real, external sounds, a team of researchers from NYU Shanghai and NYU has found.
[Image: 1x1.gif]Feb 23, 2018 in Psychology & Psychiatry

 
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#54
(02-28-2018, 01:29 AM)EA Wrote:  
[Image: perception.jpg]
The 'loudness' of our thoughts affects how we judge external sounds
The "loudness" of our thoughts—or how we imagine saying something—influences how we judge the loudness of real, external sounds, a team of researchers from NYU Shanghai and NYU has found.

[Image: 1x1.gif]Feb 23, 2018 in Psychology & Psychiatry

 

Other... Ninja   Uncommon Senses. TM Doh

Perhaps most interesting was that they found that the volunteers could hear softer echoes that sound experts had indicated were impossible for humans to hear, suggesting their brains have adapted to use a new form of sensory input.

Echolocation in humans found to be more sensitive than thought
February 28, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org report


[Image: soundwave.jpg]
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A team of researchers from the U.K., the Netherlands and the U.S. has found that echolocation in blind people is more sensitive than previously thought. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes experiments they conducted with blind echolocation experts and what they learned from them.


Bats famously use echolocation to navigate and to capture prey—but echolocation in humans is not widely understood. Some blind people use it to identify nearby objects. They make sharp sounds with their mouths and listen for the echoes. This skill is useful for identifying where a chair in a room is, for example, or ducking to avoid bumping into a low door frame. But, as the researchers with this new effort note, very little is actually known about echolocation in humans. To learn more, the team enlisted the assistance of eight blind volunteers who had developed their echolocation skills to expert levels.
The experiments consisted of asking the volunteers to locate a plate affixed to a pole in an otherwise empty and soundproof room Each of the volunteers was also fitted with microphones near their ears to record the sounds produced by the subjects and the sounds that were echoed back to them. For each run, a single volunteer held their head steady (normally they swing their heads as they walk to better hear echoes) and attempted to locate the plate, which was posted in one of four varying points in the room.
The researchers found that the subjects were best at locating the disk when it was directly in front of them—all eight volunteers found it every time. They were all pretty good at finding it when it was placed at 45 to 90-degree angles, as well. It was when the disk was placed behind them that they started having trouble. They went from an average accuracy of 80 percent with angles of 135 degrees to 50 percent when the disk was directly behind them. The researchers also found that the volunteers varied both the volume and rate of clicks they made when attempting to locate something. Perhaps most interesting was that they found that the volunteers could hear softer echoes that sound experts had indicated were impossible for humans to hear, suggesting their brains have adapted to use a new form of sensory input.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Research reveals how humans develop echolocation skills
More information: L. Thaler et al. Human echolocators adjust loudness and number of clicks for detection of reflectors at various azimuth angles, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2735
Abstract
Some people can echolocate like bats, making clicks with their mouths. In this paper we show that blind echolocators dynamically adjust the loudness and numbers of mouth clicks that they make when they detect objects off to the side or behind them, as compared to objects in front of them. The findings help us understand how expert echolocators achieve their incredible skill. The findings will also be useful for teaching echolocation to other people.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the Royal Society B


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-echolocati...t.html#jCp

[/url]

Our reactions to odor reveal our political attitudes
February 28, 2018, [url=http://www.su.se/english]Stockholm University


[Image: maxresdefault.jpg]

Other... [Image: ninja.gif]   Uncommon Senses. TM [Image: doh.gif]
[Image: ourreactions.jpg]
Researchers at the smell laboratory at Stockholm university. Jonas Olofsson standing. Credit: Niklas Björling

People who are easily disgusted by body odours are also drawn to authoritarian political leaders. A survey showed a strong connection between supporting a society led by a despotic leader and being sensitive to body odours like sweat or urine. It might come from a deep-seated instinct to avoid infectious diseases. "There was a solid connection between how strongly someone was disgusted by smells and their desire to have a dictator-like leader who can suppress radical protest movements and ensure that different groups 'stay in their places.' That type of society reduces contact among different groups and, at least in theory, decreases the chance of becoming ill," says Jonas Olofsson, who researches scent and psychology at Stockholm University and is one of the authors of the study.



Disgust is a basic emotion that contributes to survival. At its core, disgust is a protection against things that are dangerous and infectious—things that we want to avoid. The researchers had a theory that there would be a connection between feelings of disgust and how a person would want society to be organised. They thought that people with a strong instinct to distance themselves from unpleasant smells would also prefer a society in which different groups are kept separate. "Understanding the shared variance between basic emotional reactivity to potential pathogenic cues such as body odours and ideological attitudes toward groups perceived as deviant can prompt future investigations on what are the emotional determinants of outgroup derogation. In the future, this knowledge might inform policies to prevent ethnocentrism," says Marco Tullio Liuzza from Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, Italy, one of the authors.

A scale was developed for the participants to rate their levels of disgust for body odours, both their own and others. The scale was used in a large-scale survey administered online in different countries, together with questions regarding political views. In the U.S., questions about how they planned to vote in the presidential race in 2016 were included. "It showed that people who were more disgusted by smells were also more likely to vote for Donald Trump than those who were less sensitive. We thought that was interesting, because Donald Trump talks frequently about how different people disgust him. He thinks that women are disgusting and that immigrants spread disease, and it comes up often in his rhetoric. It fits with our hypothesis that his supporters would be more easily disgusted themselves," says Jonas Olofsson.

The results of the study could be interpreted to suggest that authoritarian political views are innate and difficult to change. However, Jonas Olofsson believes that they can be changed even if they are deep-seated. "The research has shown that the beliefs can change. If contact is created between groups, authoritarians can change.
[Image: 1-20-17-jones-stone.jpg]
It's not carved in stone. Quite the opposite, beliefs can be updated when we learn new things."




 

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Disgust is way of communicating moral rather than self-interested motivation

More information: Marco Tullio Liuzza et al. Body odour disgust sensitivity predicts authoritarian attitudes, Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171091


Journal reference: Royal Society Open Science [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Stockholm University


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-reactions-...s.html#jCp


Sanctuary Cities are slowly turning into Arrow  shit-holes?

Marco Tullio Liuzza et al. Body odour disgust sensitivity predicts authoritarian attitudes, Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171091

You will have a closed environment at multiple locations to further test your hypothesis. Poop

Democrats Turning Denver Into Sh!thole - YouTube
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weLm/XDbGIFtssNU5UrY7+/Z5T2Me/hVtjv/wDZpX2MBEZgvUl5f5Bwj4DQuVO2F/8Ae/Z5T2MZgKhRfqS8v8kwj4P/2Q==[/img]▶ 6:58
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ6mx-wphT8
Feb 19, 2018 - Uploaded by The Alex Jones Channel
Denver approves local sentencing changes aimed at helping immigrants avoid deportation, such as reducing ...
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171091
Dem Policies Create Huge Shitholes They First Exploit ... - Infowars
https://www.infowars.com/dem-policies-cr...ploit-then-...
Dem Policies Create Huge Shitholes They First Exploit, Then Bulldoze. California tent city for homeless to be destroyed. Millie Weaver | Infowars.com - January 26, 2018 371 Comments ...

DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171091
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
#55
Uncommon Senses.
Seeing sounds: Researchers uncover molecular clues for synesthesia
March 5, 2018, Max Planck Society

[Image: 1-gene.jpg]
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
One in 25 people have synesthesia, in which an experience involving one sense is associated with perception in another sense—for example, seeing colors when listening to music. Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the University of Cambridge report clues into the biological origins of such variations in human perception. They studied families with synesthesia, and describe genetic changes that might contribute to their differences in sensory experience.

Some people with synaesthesia may see sounds, while others may taste them or feel them as shapes. This kind of sensory cross-talk comes in many forms, and develops during early childhood. It has been known for over a century that synaesthesia runs in families, giving a strong hint that inherited factors are important.
"Brain imaging of adults with synaesthesia suggests that their circuits are wired a little differently compared to people who don't make these extra sensory associations. What we don't know yet is how these differences develop," said Dr. Amanda Tilot, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. "We suspect some of the answers lie in people's genetic makeup."
A genetic window into sensory experience
Today, in a report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the University of Cambridge report new genetic clues that could help explain the biology of synaesthesia. The researchers carefully analysed the DNA of three families in which multiple members, across several different generations, experience colour when listening to sounds.
The team took advantage of advances in genome sequencing, enabling them to identify genetic variants in the synaesthesia families and track how they were passed on from one generation to the next. In particular, they focused attention on rare DNA changes that altered the way genes code for proteins, and that perfectly matched the inheritance of synaesthesia in each of the three families.
While the highlighted DNA variants differed between the three families, a common theme emerged to connect them: an enrichment for genes involved in axonogenesis and cell migration. Axonogenesis is a key process enabling brain cells to wire up to their correct partners.
Combining families to uncover biological processes
Professor Simon Fisher, Director of the Max Planck Institute, who led the research, said, "We knew from earlier studies by the Cambridge team that no single gene can account for this intriguing trait; even families who experience the same form of synaesthesia are likely to differ in terms of specific genetic explanations," said Fisher. "Our hope was that the DNA data might point to shared biological processes as candidates for involvement in synaesthesia."
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University, commented, "This research is revealing how genetic variation can modify our sensory experiences, potentially via altered connectivity in the brain. Synaesthesia is a clear example of neurodiversity which we should respect and celebrate."
In search of synaesthetes
To better understand these findings, the team is looking for new families and individuals to join their study. To learn more about their research and take a short test to find out if you experience a common form of synaesthesia, go to http://www.mpi.nl/synaesthesia.

 Explore further: Synaesthesia is more common in autism
More information: Amanda K. Tilot el al., "Rare variants in axonogenesis genes connect three families with sound–color synesthesia," PNAS (2018). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1715492115

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science [/url]
Provided by: [url=https://medicalxpress.com/partners/max-planck-society/]Max Planck Society


https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-03-u...hesia.html
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
#56
Quote:The researchers found that adult fish of both species change their swimming trajectories in response to a change in the direction of the Earth magnetic field that was experimentally introduced while carefully controlling for confounding variables. Interestingly, this effect also occurred in the absence of visible light such that a photon-independent mechanism has to be assumed.
Uncommon Senses.
A compass in the dark
March 9, 2018, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres


[Image: acompassinth.jpg]
Credit: Westmeyer/Helmholtz Zentrum München
A research team headed by scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has published a new model in Nature Communications which allows studying magnetoreception. Analyzing zebrafish and medaka fish allowed the researchers to measure brain activity during magnetic stimulation and to show that the sense also works in darkness.

Magnetoreception refers to the ability of some animals to sense Earth's magnetic field and make use of it for navigation. Still, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. "To solve this question might not only satisfy neuroscientific curiosity but also lead to new molecular methods", said Prof. Dr. Gil Gregor Westmeyer. He is the principal investigator of the study at the interface of neuroscience and molecular imaging, and his team is affiliated both with Helmholtz Zentrum München and TUM. "Reverse-engineering the magnetoreceptor may lead to synthetic biology techniques for remotely controlling molecular processes with magnetic fields." To reach this goal, Westmeyer and his team wanted to establish a model to study magnetoreception.

The scientists focused their work on zebrafish, and distally related medaka fish because they are vertebrate animals that can be genetically addressed and analyzed well under the microscope. The researchers found that adult fish of both species change their swimming trajectories in response to a change in the direction of the Earth magnetic field that was experimentally introduced while carefully controlling for confounding variables. Interestingly, this effect also occurred in the absence of visible light such that a photon-independent mechanism has to be assumed.

"In this model, we can now look for previously unidentified magnetoreceptor cells, which our behavioral experiments predicted would involve magnetic material", said co-first author Ahne Myklatun, a graduate student in the Westmeyer laboratory.

In addition, the researchers were able to show a similar magnetic field-dependent effect in young fish larvae. "This is a decisive advantage because in their early developmental stages, the fish are still almost transparent", said Antonella Lauri, a postdoctoral fellow and joint lead author. "Thus, we can use imaging techniques to study the brain of the fish during behavioral runs with changing magnetic fields." The scientists were already able to identify a candidate region in the brain—a track that could now lead to the unknown magnetic receptor cells.

Gil Gregor Westmeyer, principal investigator on this ERC-funded study, concludes: "Magnetoreception is one of the few senses whose mechanism is not understood. The kind of multidisciplinary work we present here will ultimately lead to an understanding of the biophysical mechanism of magnetoreception and its underlying neuronal computation. These findings could also offer interesting approaches to engineer biological systems for the remote control of molecular processes with magnetic fields."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Tracking live brain activity with the new NeuBtracker open-source microscope

More information: Ahne Myklatun et al. Zebrafish and medaka offer insights into the neurobehavioral correlates of vertebrate magnetoreception, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03090-6


Journal reference: Nature Communications [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-compass-dark.html#jCp

Quote:"It's definitely something that we need to keep an eye on," Tarduno said.

An Electro-Blob Under Africa May Be 'Ground Zero' for Earth's Magnetic Field Reversal
By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | March 7, 2018 04:30pm ET


[Image: aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1h...xlcy5KUEc=]
Chunks of clay excavated from Iron Age grain bins in South Africa. Early farmers burnt their clay huts and grain storage buildings in times of drought as part of a cleansing ritual, unknowingly locking the magnetic properties of the minerals in the clay into place.
Credit: Courtesy John Tarduno
A flip in Earth's magnetic field may be brewing. And if it is, an electromagnetic blob deep under southern Africa is likely to be ground zero for the change.
New research using clays burned in cleansing rituals by Iron Age farmers finds that over the past 1,500 years, an electromagnetic anomaly in the Southern Hemisphere has waxed and waned, with the magnetic field in the region weakening and strengthening. This weirdness may presage a gradual reversal in the magnetic field, so that magnetic north moves to the South Pole and vice versa. (A flip-flop of this sort last occurred 780,000 years ago.)
The study suggests that the magnetic field under southern Africa may not just be weird today,  study co-author John Tarduno, who researches the Earth's magnetism at the University of Rochester in New York, told Live Science. It may be a longstanding hotspot for changes in the global magnetic field.
"This may be the place that reversal started, at least reversals over the last millions of years," Tarduno said. [7 Ways the Earth Changes in the Blink of an Eye]
 
Weakening field
 
The planet's magnetic field is generated by the churning of liquid iron in the core. Without the field, life on the planet would be much different, if not impossible: This invisible shield protects the Earth's surface from deadly cosmic radiation.
Right now, the field is undergoing a weakening, and no one is sure why. The South Atlantic Anomaly, a region of the magnetic field that stretches from South Africa to Chile, is particularly weak, Tarduno said, so scientists have become interested in figuring out what might be going on in the core underneath that area.
The problem is that before about 160 years or so ago, with the advent of magnetic observatories and (eventually) satellite observations, there weren't many records of what the magnetic field looked like in the Southern Hemisphere, Tarduno said. Ninety percent of the data that does exist comes from the northern half of the planet. To start to rectify that disparity, Tarduno and his team excavated clays from the Limpopo River Valley of Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Botswana. In times of drought hundreds to thousands of years ago, Bantu-speaking farmers would burn down their clay huts and grain bins in ritualistic ceremonies. Unbeknown to these ancient farmers, the fire heated the magnetic minerals in the clay and locked into place a record of the strength and orientation of the field at that time. Now, researchers can study those properties to find out what the magnetic field was doing at that moment in time.
Locked in clay
The excavations unearthed these burnt clays as long ago as A.D. 425, Tarduno said, providing the longest record yet of the magnetic field in southern Africa. The data show that the magnetic field experienced sudden directional shifts between A.D. 400 and 450, and then again between A.D. 750 and 800. Between about A.D. 1225 and 1550, the field noticeably weakened. The first two shifts might also indicate a weakened field, Tarduno said, but more research is needed to determine the magnetic intensity in those time frames. The researchers reported their findings Feb. 15 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
What these shifts suggest is that what is going on in the Southern Hemisphere's magnetic field today may have happened before, Tarduno said.
The field shifts may have to do with underlying processes churning deep beneath the Earth's surface, Tarduno said. In recent years, scientists have documented a weird patch of magnetic field below southern Africa at the boundary between the core and the mantle, where the polarity of the field is reversed.
"That patch may be largely responsible for the decreasing magnetic field," Tarduno said.
The patch is like an eddy in a stream, he said. As for what causes the eddy, it may be something odd about the mantle right above the core in that location, he said. The mantle under southern Africa is unusual, and possibly both hotter and denser than surrounding mantle, he said.
"We think that is causing there to be changes in the flow of the iron [in the core] as it enters this region," Tarduno said.
That could mean that southern Africa is the origin for magnetic field reversals, Tarduno said, though there's no guarantee that the field will flip now — the weakening could also dissipate, as it has in centuries past.
Even if the field doesn't reverse, though, the weakening itself could have societal implications, Tarduno said.
"These are not of the nature of disaster movies. That's not the point," he said. Instead, a weakening field could let more cosmic radiation hit the Earth, making infrastructure like the power grid more susceptible to geomagnetic storms and even changing atmospheric chemistry so that more UV rays could sneak through, causing increased risk for skin cancer in humans.

"It's definitely something that we need to keep an eye on," Tarduno said.


https://www.livescience.com/61958-africa...-flip.html
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#57
A certain protein could possibly be the key to understanding navigation in birds
April 4, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org report


[Image: 5758903a7a8fb.jpg]
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
A team of researchers at Lund University has found evidence that suggests a certain protein plays a prominent role in bird navigation. They have published their findings in Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Birds that are able to migrate great distances obviously have some form of navigation system—they stop at the same places and have very clear destinations in mind. But how do they do it? In recent years, some in the field believed it had to do with iron-rich cells in their beaks serving as mini-compasses, but this theory has had some problems, such as how the birds translate beak sensations to directional signals. In this new effort, the researchers suggest it is not the cells in the beak that are responsible, but a type of protein that exists in their eyes. The researchers came to this conclusion by studying the brains, muscles and eyes of zebra finches. More specifically, they studied Cry1, Cry2 and Cry4, proteins associated with the circadian clock. The researchers found that Cry1 and Cry2 levels tend to rise and fall throughout each day, but Cry4 remains constant, suggesting it has another purpose.

The researchers chose to study these particular proteins because they are made of a type of molecule that sometimes has an odd number of electrons, leaving some unpaired, and thus sensitive to a magnetic field. They also found that Cry4 tends to exist in clusters in a part of the bird retina that tends to get a lot of light and which is sensitive to blue light—this is important because prior studies have shown that birds are only able to navigate when blue light is available. Taken together, the evidence suggests that the protein plays a strong role in navigation.

The study does not prove that the Cry4 protein is the key to bird navigation, but it makes a strong case for it. Earlier this month, a Danish and German team of researchers studying robins found that Cry4 levels also remain constant each day, but rise during the migratory season.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Migratory birds eye-localized magnetoreception for navigation

More information: Atticus Pinzon-Rodriguez et al. Expression patterns of cryptochrome genes in avian retina suggest involvement of Cry4 in light-dependent magnetoreception, Journal of The Royal Society Interface (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2018.0058

Abstract
The light-dependent magnetic compass of birds provides orientation information about the spatial alignment of the geomagnetic field. It is proposed to be located in the avian retina, and be mediated by a light-induced, biochemical radical-pair mechanism involving cryptochromes as putative receptor molecules. At the same time, cryptochromes are known for their role in the negative feedback loop in the circadian clock. We measured gene expression of Cry1, Cry2 and Cry4 in the retina, muscle and brain of zebra finches over the circadian day to assess whether they showed any circadian rhythmicity. We hypothesized that retinal cryptochromes involved in magnetoreception should be expressed at a constant level over the circadian day, because birds use a light-dependent magnetic compass for orientation not only during migration, but also for spatial orientation tasks in their daily life. Cryptochromes serving in circadian tasks, on the other hand, are expected to be expressed in a rhythmic (circadian) pattern. Cry1 and Cry2 displayed a daily variation in the retina as expected for circadian clock genes, while Cry4 expressed at constant levels over time. We conclude that Cry4 is the most likely candidate magnetoreceptor of the light-dependent magnetic compass in birds.


Journal reference: Journal of the Royal Society Interface


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-04-protein-po...s.html#jCp
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#58
New study finds genetic evidence that magnetic navigation guides loggerhead sea turtles
April 12, 2018, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


[Image: seaturtle.jpg]
An olive ridley sea turtle, a species of the sea turtle superfamily. Credit: Thierry Caro/Wikipedia
New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides valuable insight into the navigation and nesting behaviors of loggerhead sea turtles that could inform future conservation efforts. Loggerhead sea turtles that nest on beaches with similar magnetic fields are genetically similar to one another, according to a new study by UNC-Chapel Hill biologists Kenneth J. Lohmann and J. Roger Brothers.



The study will publish in the journal Current Biology on April 12.

Key takeaways include:
  • Magnetic fields are the strongest predictor of genetic similarity among nesting loggerhead sea turtles, regardless of the geographic proximity or environmental traits of nesting beaches.
  • The findings support previous research from Lohmann and Brothers, which indicated that adult loggerhead sea turtles use magnetic fields to find their way back to the beach where they themselves hatched. The new research implies that sometimes the turtles mistakenly nest at a different beach with a similar magnetic field, even if that beach is geographically far away from the beach on which they hatched - like on the opposite coast of Florida.
  • Conservation efforts should note the importance of a beach's magnetic field for attracting loggerhead sea turtles. Sea walls, power lines and large beachfront buildings may alter the magnetic fields that turtles encounter.
"Loggerhead sea turtles are fascinating creatures that begin their lives by migrating alone across the Atlantic Ocean and back. Eventually they return to nest on the beach where they hatched - or else, as it turns out, on a beach with a very similar magnetic field," said Kenneth Lohmann, professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill. "This is an important new insight into how sea turtles navigate during their long-distance migrations. It might have important applications for the conservation of sea turtles, as well as other migratory animals such as salmon, sharks and certain birds."

Lohmann and Brothers are available for interviews if you'd like to arrange a time to learn more.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: For sea turtles, there's no place like magnetic home

Journal reference: Current Biology [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-04-genetic-ev...a.html#jCp
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#59
Moving magnetic fields disrupt ice nucleation
May 9, 2018, California Institute of Technology


[Image: movingmagnet.jpg]
Freezer burned peas embedded in ice. Damage to foods during freezing may be mitigated by supercooling, according to a new study. Credit: Ragesoss/CC BY-SA 3.0
Great science stems from curiosity and hard work. In this case, it all began with a broken freezer.



Atsuko Kobayashi (MS '91) and Caltech professor Joseph Kirschvink (BS, MS '75)—a husband-and-wife team of researchers who divide their time between Japan and the U.S.—returned to their home to discover that their freezer had died at some point during their absence.

While shopping for a new one, Kobayashi saw an advertisement for a special type of freezer using magnetic fields to keep food fresher by "supercooling" them. She did not buy it, but she wanted to know why supercooling might improve frozen food and how magnetic fields might cause supercooling.

When chilled below 0 degrees Celsius, water molecules start forming ice crystals wherever there are minerals or other solids suspended in the water—what are known as nucleation sites. Completely pure water, lacking nucleation sites, can be chilled well below the usual freezing point and yet remain a liquid—a process called supercooling.

Supercooling has commercial advantages. Indeed, without necessarily knowing the mechanisms behind why they work, Japanese fishermen have been using the magnetically controlled freezers to transport fish long distances to market. The treatment is purported to reduce the cellular damage in the fishes' flesh, keeping the flavor and texture intact. The fish often sell on the competitive fish market at prices comparable to freshly caught variety.

"When you supercool water before freezing it, the resulting ice doesn't expand as much in volume as regular ice because it takes on a different crystalline structure. If you are freezing tissues, which have water in them, less expansion means less damage to cells," Kobayashi says. The process also offers scientific advantages. As an electron microscopist, Kobayashi often has to freeze biological tissues before generating images of them. One of her major goals has been finding ways to freeze biological tissue while minimizing damage caused by ice crystal formation.

"The question was, why would magnetic fields have any effect on whether unpurified water, like the water in cells, could be supercooled?" asks Kobayashi, who is a senior research scientist at the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and visitor in geology and biology at Caltech.

[Image: movingmagnet.gif]
Model of how magnetic fields can manipulate a molecule of magnetite, keeping it in motion so that ice crystals cannot form along its surfaces. Credit: Kobayashi/Kirschvink
While researching minerals capable of ice nucleation, she had a realization: the answer could lie in magnetite, a naturally occurring compound of iron and oxygen that is magnetic.

 

Kobayashi and Kirschvink's research team has long studied magnetite. Kobayashi was the first to succeed in extracting and imaging nanocrystals of biological magnetite in the human brain, and Kirschvink, the Nico and Marilyn Van Wingen Professor of Geobiology at Caltech, has spent the past 30 years exploring what role biological magnetite might play in magnetoreception—the ability of living creatures to sense magnetic fields

Their work builds on the research of Heinz Lowenstam, a paleoecologist who joined Caltech in 1952. Although it was well known that animals could generate hard minerals in teeth and bones, Lowenstam made the discovery in 1962 that the teeth of chitons (a type of marine mollusk) were capped with magnetite. Magnetite is the hardest mineral any animal can make, and it was later discovered as a biological precipitate in creatures like bacteria, bees, birds, and mammals—including humans.

Kobayashi has demonstrated that trace amounts of magnetite particles added to water have a huge effect on its freezing temperature. An earlier paper by the Kobayashi/Kirschvink research team showed that a few parts per billion of magnetite added to ultrapure water—water lacking any other nucleation sites—prevented supercooling almost entirely. Digging deeper, they found that ice crystallizes easily on the surface of magnetite particles at temperatures just below 0 degrees Celsius.

Reasoning that any slight disruption at the surface of the magnetite should disrupt this process and prevent freezing, they next designed a series of experiments using rotating magnetic fields about 20 times stronger than the earth's magnetic field—strong enough to jiggle the magnetite molecules. By keeping the magnetite molecules in constant motion, they prevented ice from forming on their surface and were able to supercool magnetite-impregnated water almost as well as ultrapure water. This even worked in two representative types of tissue: celery (for vegetables) and cow muscle (for meats). By jiggling the magnetite molecules in the cells of the plant and animal tissues, they were able to supercool them and ultimately freeze them with less damage to the tissues.

"The finding validates the Japanese fishermen who have been using this technology for years and confirms magnetite as the underlying cause of why damaging ice forms in tissues," says Kobayashi. It also suggests a way to help address world hunger, she says. Recent estimates by the National Resources Defense Councilindicate that 40 percent of the human food supply is lost between the farm and the dining table, and that frost and freezer damage is responsible for a portion of this loss. "If that damage could be mitigated by the controlled application of magnetic fields, more food might make it to tables worldwide, reducing the fuel, fertilizer, and water needed for modern agriculture," Kobayashi says. "Understanding the reason why damaging ice forms in tissues when they freeze could also lead to improved techniques for cryogenic storage of living eggs, sperm, embryos, and perhaps even small animals."

For Kirschvink, this finding is just the start. Magnetite may be a primary cause of ice nucleation in nature, he says. "Climate scientists have been trying to pin down the source of ice nucleation for decades so that we could improve atmospheric circulation models, cloud seeding.

The study, titled "Magnetic Control of Heterogeneous Ice Nucleation with Nanophase Magnetite: Biophysical and Agricultural Implications," appears online ahead of publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on May 7.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Bacteria can use magnetic particles to create 'natural battery'

More information: Magnetic control of heterogeneous ice nucleation with nanophase magnetite: Biophysical and agricultural implications. PNAS www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/05/01/1800294115


Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: California Institute of Technology


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-05-magnetic-f...n.html#jCp
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#60
(01-01-2017, 03:39 AM)Fsbirdhouse Wrote: Ya know, I did a search and couldn't find anything that really answered that question.

Now the question seems strictly academic, but it may have profound implications for fine gold recovery in sluice boxes.
As material is fed into a sluice box, that box must be at a certain angle, the flow of water moving the material must be at a certain volume and speed to move all of the material across the riffles in the sluice box.
The material is of three main types. The heaviest being gold or platinum. The next would be 'Black Sands' and then the Blond sands.
What tends to happen in a sluice box is the magnetic 'Black Sands' will soon clog the gold trapping riffles, so the riffles are designed at a steeper angle of drop, coupled with a fast/heavier flow of water to clear the riffles in the sluice box, so as to leave room for them to trap the heavier, larger pieces of gold.

Now, if the riffles could be kept clean of the 'Black Sands' by reducing their actual weight magnetically, so reduced flows of water could push it down the length of short riffles without grabbing the sands (and thereby coating the magnets with that material) while at the same time reducing the angle of the box, those reduced flows of water over the riffles would  not only push the 'Black' sands, but also the 'Blond' sands out so even the Super Micro fine gold particles could fall out of the water flow behind the riffles, rather than riding over the top of the Black Sand clogged riffles, massive amounts of this micro gold could at last be recovered that all previous attempts failed to recover in times past. Some rivers are known to have very much 'Unrecoverable fine gold' throughout their materials.
Whew!
And so, I did the experiment that confirmed the theory.
I think I explained in 'GOLD FEVER' thread.
Gonna have to wait for a while to build the actual sluicebox I envision. Even tho I'm doing 10 minutes on the treadmill a couple of times a day, my endurance is still far below par.
I'm hoping for mid to late June before I'm back to snuff.
So, the words Autumn and Fall are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world!

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new?"It has been already, in the ages before us. Ecc 1: 9-10
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