1. Almost Blood, April 2014.

    Almost Blood, April 2014.

  2. TED Gratitude Presentation by Louie Schwartzberg

  3. Yes, It's True: Humans Have Become Software. Amazing Advances Lie Ahead. →

  4. The Jewellery Sector and 3D Printing - 3D Printing Industry →

  5. Recent Advances in Understanding the Geology of Diamonds | Gems & Gemology →

  6. Homer’s ILIAD — World Literature — Medium →

  7. neurosciencestuff:

New ideas change your brain cells
A new University of British Columbia study identifies an important molecular change that occurs in the brain when we learn and remember.
Published this month in Nature Neuroscience, the research shows that learning stimulates our brain cells in a manner that causes a small fatty acid to attach to delta-catenin, a protein in the brain. This biochemical modification is essential in producing the changes in brain cell connectivity associated with learning, the study finds.
In animal models, the scientists found almost twice the amount of modified delta-catenin in the brain after learning about new environments. While delta-catenin has previously been linked to learning, this study is the first to describe the protein’s role in the molecular mechanism behind memory formation.
“More work is needed, but this discovery gives us a much better understanding of the tools our brains use to learn and remember, and provides insight into how these processes become disrupted in neurological diseases,” says co-author Shernaz Bamji, an associate professor in UBC’s Life Sciences Institute.
It may also provide an explanation for some mental disabilities, the researchers say. People born without the gene have a severe form of mental retardation called Cri-du-chat syndrome, a rare genetic disorder named for the high-pitched cat-like cry of affected infants. Disruption of the delta-catenin gene has also been observed in some patients with schizophrenia.
“Brain activity can change both the structure of this protein, as well as its function,” says Stefano Brigidi, first author of the article and a PhD candidate Bamji’s laboratory. “When we introduced a mutation that blocked the biochemical modification that occurs in healthy subjects, we abolished the structural changes in brain’s cells that are known to be important for memory formation.”
Background 
According to the researchers, more work is needed to fully establish the importance of delta-catenin in building the brain connectivity behind learning and memory. Disruptions to these nerve cell connections are also believed to cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington disease. Understanding the biochemical processes that are important for maintaining these connections may help address the abnormalities in nerve cells that occur in these disease states.
(Image: Shutterstock)

    neurosciencestuff:

    New ideas change your brain cells

    A new University of British Columbia study identifies an important molecular change that occurs in the brain when we learn and remember.

    Published this month in Nature Neuroscience, the research shows that learning stimulates our brain cells in a manner that causes a small fatty acid to attach to delta-catenin, a protein in the brain. This biochemical modification is essential in producing the changes in brain cell connectivity associated with learning, the study finds.

    In animal models, the scientists found almost twice the amount of modified delta-catenin in the brain after learning about new environments. While delta-catenin has previously been linked to learning, this study is the first to describe the protein’s role in the molecular mechanism behind memory formation.

    “More work is needed, but this discovery gives us a much better understanding of the tools our brains use to learn and remember, and provides insight into how these processes become disrupted in neurological diseases,” says co-author Shernaz Bamji, an associate professor in UBC’s Life Sciences Institute.

    It may also provide an explanation for some mental disabilities, the researchers say. People born without the gene have a severe form of mental retardation called Cri-du-chat syndrome, a rare genetic disorder named for the high-pitched cat-like cry of affected infants. Disruption of the delta-catenin gene has also been observed in some patients with schizophrenia.

    “Brain activity can change both the structure of this protein, as well as its function,” says Stefano Brigidi, first author of the article and a PhD candidate Bamji’s laboratory. “When we introduced a mutation that blocked the biochemical modification that occurs in healthy subjects, we abolished the structural changes in brain’s cells that are known to be important for memory formation.”

    Background

    According to the researchers, more work is needed to fully establish the importance of delta-catenin in building the brain connectivity behind learning and memory. Disruptions to these nerve cell connections are also believed to cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington disease. Understanding the biochemical processes that are important for maintaining these connections may help address the abnormalities in nerve cells that occur in these disease states.

    (Image: Shutterstock)

  8. The Futile Pursuit of Happiness →

  9. When things are nearby, they’re concrete and you can see the details of the things. On the other hand, when things are far away, they’re much more abstract. So thinking about things that are near and far puts us in different mental states. When you think about things nearby, you see the details, and so when a creative idea comes along, the first thing you ask is, can it work?

    [But] most creative ideas are risky and the risks are obvious when you look at the details, so when you think about it with this detail-oriented mindset, you’re more likely to shoot the idea down. On the other hand, when you’re thinking about things that are far away, you’re in a more abstract frame of mind and so the first question you ask is not will this work; you’re more open to seeing the creative possibilities.

    — NPR’s Shankar Vedantam highlights some curious research on why we miss creative ideas that are right under our noses, quite literally speaking. This is why the incubation stage of the creative process, where you step away from the problem at hand, is so important in producing the subsequent illumination stage. (via explore-blog)

  10. "A Straight Out Scam": Montreal Angel Austin Hill Failed Spectacularly Before Later Success | BetaKit →

    Good friend, mentor and the Jedi I use to assist, Austin Hill, spills the beans on how failure is about gaining something, not losing it. Especially when it comes to the crossroads of money vs. meaning. 

  11. No One Likes a Critic →

    Our happiness does depend on our ability to express ourselves, and communicate effectively. Otherwise, there is no reward. 

  12. Einstein’s Camera  →

    Fascinating. 

  13. Hipstamatic Oggl - KOKOEXARHOS (@thatkoko) →