Brains of People With Schizophrenia Try to Repair Themselves: Study

Schizophrenia is a mysterious, misunderstood mental illness without a full cure. However, researchers from the United Kingdom and China may have found a clue that could help to understand it better.

Source: Brains of People With Schizophrenia Try to Repair Themselves: Study

The human brain produces 500,000 to 1,000,000 new brain cells daily, which has been known for years. These cells migrate throughout the brain and repair damaged areas by replacing lost cells. There’s a hypothesis on the etiology of schizophrenia and all of the autism spectrum disorders is neurotoxicity from the stress hormone cortisol during early pregnancy, when cortisol is known to pass the placental barrier and when important neural modules are developing, or not.

Antibiotics’ Side-Effects Include Immune Disease and Fewer Brain Cells

In some situations, antibiotics are lifesavers. In others, however, they do more harm than good. For instance, when antibiotics are used too much or for the wrong illnesses, the drugs only end up killing helpful microbes and spawning drug-resistant superbugs. To figure out the proper times to use antibiotics, doctors need to carefully weigh the risks and benefits of each situation. But, sadly, that calculation is extremely tricky—if not impossible—because scientists still aren’t sure what all of the risks are.

Source: Antibiotics’ side-effects include immune disease and fewer brain cells

Live a dirtier life! Maybe those dishes only need washing once a week?

Definitely go through your soaps and throw out the anti bacterial ones. Those were stupid from day one and even more so now that the media is finally catching up.

Counting Sheep Doesn’t Actually Work, and Other Misconceptions About Sleep

A trick I’ve used to fall asleep is to pick a category, bands, birds, animals, sea creatures, flowers which is fairly broad and try to go through the alphabet thinking of an example from each one. I find that the reason that this works is that frequently worry and anxiety can keep us awake so giving the brain something to do is helpful.

The reason to avoid waking a sleep walker is that they have no idea where they are. They are in a different world.

When It Comes to Brains, Size Doesn’t Matter

Crows, ravens, and other corvids are sometimes called feathered apes. Like primates, these birds form social groups, use tools, solve puzzles, recognize faces, and enjoy a good joke (especially if it’s at the expense of cats). Now a group of researchers has shown in a series of tests that corvids exhibit the same levels of self-control that chimps do when faced with a task that requires them to forgo a quick reward in favor of a bigger one that comes later.

The researchers published a fascinating description of their work in Royal Society Open Science, and their paper challenges a long-held belief that both absolute and relative brain volume correlate with intelligence. No longer will humans and our ape cohorts be able to claim that we’re smart just because our brains are big. Instead, say the researchers, it’s more likely that intelligence stems from neural complexity, whether that’s numbers of neurons or connections between them.

Source: When it comes to brains, size doesn’t matter


As someone who owns a small parrot (a Green Cheek Conure), I can attest to how remarkably true this is. Despite ~350 million years of evolution separating us from a common ancestor, our parrot Eddie, at only a year old, can communicate verbally with a number of phrases (not just mimic, but communicate – he uses phrases like “Hi there”, “good boy”, and “can I have a kiss” contextually), he recognizes our emotions, learns tricks quickly and solves tasks (though not to the same extent as a raven or African Grey), recognizes and remembers faces, and more. All this from a bird that weighs 70 grams and has a head less than 1″ in diameter.

With his intelligence, verbal communication, excellent colour vision, and social bonding, I feel like Eddie and I see the world in a much more similar way than a dog or a cat does to a human. Birds are pretty cool.

Q: Why Don’t We Have Crows as Pets?

They’re illegal to keep as pets in America because they’re recognized as protected “migratory birds”. Which is ridiculous, because they’re so prolific, many consider them pests. But end result, you can’t hunt them or keep them as pets. Sadly.

They also are intelligent and assertive and don’t like being kept in small places.

Smart Scalpel Can Distinguish Between Healthy and Cancerous Brain Tissue

Performing any kind of surgery on the brain is already a tremendously difficult procedure, but removing only cancerous tissue is even more of a challenge because it’s very difficult to visually distinguish the good brain from the bad. But what if the scalpel in a surgeon’s hand could tell the difference between the two?

Source: Smart Scalpel Can Distinguish Between Healthy and Cancerous Brain Tissue

The article suggests that the technology could be used on other cancers.  But if that was the case, why not have developed that first?

From daredevil to chicken: Scientists find off-switch for risky behavior

Whether you prefer to play it safe or wade into risky business for larger payoffs, your decision process may largely depend on a tiny bundle of cells deep in your noggin.

By tagging and tweaking those cells in the brains of high-rolling rats, researchers were able to turn them from ballsy to cautious decision-makers. More specifically, the rodents switched their preference away from pulling a lever that released a jackpot of sugary treats 25 percent of the time to another lever that served up smaller-sized treats 100 percent of the time.

Source: From daredevil to chicken: Scientists find off-switch for risky behavior

I’m sure my parents would have loved to have this for me as a kid. And as an adult I suppose.

Off-Switch For Overeating and Obesity Found in the Brain

After tediously tracking calories and willfully shunning cravings, many a dieter has likely dreamt of a simple switch that, when thrown, could shut down hunger and melt away pounds—and scientists may have just found it.

Source: Off-switch for overeating and obesity found in the brain

The “it’s your own fault” view of obesity as a willpower issue does not hold up to logical scrutiny.

As far as I know, obesity is the only condition that has massively increased in humans, despite an overwhelmingly negative view of it by society, and shaming of sufferers. Look at smoking as an analog–despite how difficult it is to quit smoking, people have done so in huge numbers over the past few decades, while obesity has continued to rise, unabated, throughout the world. If it were a willpower issue, as smoking apparently is, we would most certainly not see this happening.

This Video Explains How Stress Breaks Down Your Brain

If you think there’s a possibility of Alzheimer’s for you, please make sure you make plans with regard to health, etc. before things get bad and you can’t make those decisions anymore. Things easily become a big mess in those situations.

Your Brain Operates Differently Depending on the Time of Year

Winter gloom and springtime glee are common seasonal swings. But beyond swaying how you feel, yearly cycles may also shift the way you think, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: Your brain operates differently depending on the time of year

I’d like to know – Is this evidence of natural brain oscillations, or are we measuring the effect of our societal education patterns on these oscillation patterns?   Somebody call Australia… Find out if their brains swirl around the drain in the opposite direction 😉

Brain Preservation Breakthrough Could Usher in a New Era in Cryonics

Researchers from 21st Century Medicine have developed a new technique to allow long term storage of a near-perfect mammalian brain. It’s a breakthrough that could have serious implications for cryonics, and the futuristic prospect of bringing the frozen dead back to life.

Source: Brain Preservation Breakthrough Could Usher in a New Era in Cryonics

So they’d basically be xeroxing my memories and personality?  That’s not preservation, that’s duplication.  Might want to take a number from a character in this movie for how to deal with duplicates