The woolly mammoth is really interesting. We actually get to see what such an animal looked like. Dinosaurs? We can’t decide about feathers, much less colour of…
We’ve lost a lot of information in places where you can’t bury the dead. For example, “sky burial” was practiced in the area around Tibet. Sky burial was where the body would be cut into pieces, left for carrion birds (IE vultures). As our population increases, the need for real estate increases. So burial sites are likely to turn into what we already see in the Middle East, where your remains will get added to a box containing your ancestors.
It happens to all of us: You’re at home at night when suddenly a craving hits. Never mind that you’re not actually famished — you need food now. And, unfortunately, you’re probably going to eat more than you should.
According to new research from Brigham Young University, there’s science behind this phenomenon. In a new study published in the journal Brain Imaging and Behavior, researchers discovered that some areas of the brain don’t get the same “food high” at night as they do during the day.
This is not something I’ve experienced. I have woken to pain/discomfort from being hungry. Not often, and I started to eat more. I didn’t like the experience, but also was concerned about too much weight loss.
Interesting – I don’t remember experiencing the sensation myself. I think it was an MRI I had, where they injected me with something (to display a thrombosis I imagine) – the first time, I was nearly sick on the operator. Maybe that was a CT scan? It’s been almost a decade…
There’s no radiation to be concerned with for an MRI, but there is for CT scans.
Orange cheese dust. That wholly unnatural neon stuff that gloms onto your fingers when you’re mindlessly snacking on chips or doodles. The stuff you don’t think about until you realize you’ve smeared it on your shirt or couch cushions—and then keep on eating anyway, despite your better intentions. Orange cheese dust is probably not the first thing you think of when talking about how the brain functions, but it’s exactly the kind of thing that makes NeuroFocus, and neuromarketing in general, such a potentially huge and growing business. In 2008, Frito-Lay hired NeuroFocus to look into Cheetos, the junk-food staple. After scanning the brains of a carefully chosen group of consumers, the NeuroFocus team discovered that the icky coating triggers an unusually powerful response in the brain: a sense of giddy subversion that consumers enjoy over the messiness of the product. In other words, the sticky stuff is what makes those snacks such a sticky brand. Frito-Lay leveraged that information into its advertising campaign for Cheetos, which has made the most of the mess. For its efforts, NeuroFocus earned a Grand Ogilvy award for advertising research, given out by the Advertising Research Foundation, for “demonstrating the most successful use of research in the creation of superior advertising that achieves a critical business objective.”
It’s time for a shake-up. There is a new way to stimulate a brain using tiny vibrating particles, and it was inspired by the proteins that let us taste spicy foods.
The technique is a twist on deep brain stimulation, which involves sticking electrodes into the brain to deliver rapid pulses of weak current. Such stimulation has shown promise for treating a range of disorders including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. But the need to open up someone’s head to implant electrodes has made it a less than appealing treatment option.
Here’s an odd by-product of body art. In an MRI machine, a tattoo can start generating heat to the point where it burns your skin.
…An MRI puts a person in a strong magnetic field. This causes the protons in their body to synchronize, lining up in the same direction. The machine then sends bursts of radio waves through the body. This knocks the protons out of sync, but eventually they line back up. This re-alignment involves the protons sending out radio signals, which the machine interprets, figuring out where each proton is, and delivering a map of the inside of the body to doctors. Because different kinds of tissues respond at different rates, an MRI can even distinguish one kind of tissue from another.
For those of us on blood thinner, it’s unlikely to be getting new tattoos. For those unaware: be prepared to be turned away by tattoo artists if they learn you are on blood thinners, as it effects the process. But if you manage, add “ask about the ink” to see if there’s a risk of complications in an MRI.
For those who already have tattoos, it’s worth letting the doctor/MRI staff know prior to getting the scan.
Acquiring a magnetic sense is more than just a party trick for biohackers: it’s a form of sensory augmentation. Since everything with an electric current generates a magnetic field of some size, it can prove useful for people who work with electronics, allowing them to separate live and dead wires by feel.
The only practical application I see is for those who work with things that would have magnetic fields, like electricians, mechanics… These days, people want capacitive interaction for touchscreens on tablets and phones. I just about dated myself by saying “PDA”… Get off my lawn!
You’re not supposed to take metal objects into an MRI because of the enormous magnetic fields these devices generate. It’s not entirely known what the effects of such a scanner may have, or if that would damage the MRI machine.
Internet brain games aren’t the only way to gauge what’s going on between your ears. A simple physical test may be able to tell you how healthy your brain is, according to a new study from Japan, published in the journal Stroke.
In the study, researchers had 1,387 healthy people stand on one leg with their eyes open for as long as possible, up to a minute. Then they performed MRI’s on the subjects, whose average age was 67, and had them complete four cognitive tests.
Interestingly, the length of time the people could balance predicted what the scientists saw on the brain scans: Those who were unable to stand flamingo-style for more than 20 seconds were more likely to have cerebral small vessel disease, a condition where tiny blood vessels deep in the brain are damaged. None of the study participants showed any symptoms.
Just another reason to be self-conscious in yoga class… But seriously consider the following:
Flunk the test? Ask your doctor if you should be concerned, and take a proactive approach to brain health. “People say, ‘What can I do to keep from getting Alzheimer’s? What can I do to prevent stroke? If it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain,” says Senelick. “Work on your risk factors: hypertension, diabetes, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking.”