Most people are expert readers, but it is something of an enigma how our brain achieved expertise in such a recent cultural invention which requires a cognitive interface between vision and language.
The first alphabetic scripts are thought to have been invented only around four to five thousand years ago so it is unlikely that enough time has elapsed to allow the evolution of specialized parts of the brain for reading.
While neuroimaging techniques have made some progress in understanding the neural underpinning of this essentially cultural skill, the exact unfolding of brain activity has remained elusive.
The theory that the Chicxulub crater holds the clue to the demise of the dinosaurs and 40 percent of all species 65 million years ago
is challenged in a paper published in the Journal of the Geological Society
. The Chicxulub crater, discovered in 1978 in northern Yucutan and measuring about 112 miles in diameter, lies under a km of debris and records a massive extra-terrestrial impact by an object 10-20 km in size.
On April 21, 2009, CDC reported that two recent cases of febrile respiratory illness in children in southern California had been caused by infection with genetically similar swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses. The swine flu viruses contained a unique combination of gene segments that had not been reported previously among swine or human influenza viruses in the United States or elsewhere (1).
Neither child had known contact with pigs, resulting in concern that human-to-human transmission might have occurred.
Scientists have studied gamma oscillations, high-frequency brain waves, for over 50 years in the belief that they are crucial to understanding consciousness, attention, learning and memory. Now researchers have found a way to induce these waves by shining laser light directly onto the brains of mice.
The work takes advantage of a newly developed technology known as optogenetics, which combines genetic engineering with light to manipulate the activity of individual nerve cells. The research helps explain how the brain produces gamma waves and provides new evidence of the role they play in regulating brain functions — insights that could someday lead to new treatments for a range of brain-related disorders.
Two California children who had not had contact with pigs recently recovered from infections with "unique" swine flu/swine influenza viruses, raising concern about possible human-to-human transmission and putting health authorities on alert, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.
The two cases were in a 10-year-old boy in San Diego County and a 9-year-old girl in neighboring Imperial County, but they are apparently unrelated, the CDC said in an Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Dispatch report April 21st.
A piece of chalk in a laboratory at the University of Stavanger in Norway may be the key to unlocking a great mystery.
If the mystery is solved, it will generate billions in additional income. Okay, it will be billions of dollars for the oil industry and Arabs aren't exactly doing great things with their money now but uncovering the mechanisms behind 'water weakening' could provide crucial knowledge for oil companies to be able to predict reservoirs’ behavior.