Music cuts across cultures: Certain aspects of our reactions to music universal

Music cuts across cultures: Certain aspects of our reactions to music universal

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http://machprinciple.com/music-cuts-across-cultures-certain-aspects-of-our-reactions-to-music-universal/

Musical-Wallpapers[1]

Whether you’re a Pygmy in the Congolese rainforest or a big-city hipster, certain aspects of music will touch you in the same ways—but others very differently, a study suggests.

“People have been trying to figure out for quite a while whether the way that we react to music is based on the culture that we come from or on some universal features of the music itself,” said co-researcher Stephen McAdams of McGill University in Montreal. “Now we know that it is actually a bit of both.”

The researchers traveled deep into the rainforest to play music to a very isolated people, the Mbenzélé Pygmies, who live without radio, television or electricity. They then compared how the Mbenzélé responded both to their own and to unfamiliar Western music, with how Canadians in downtown Montreal responded to the same pieces.

They found that the two groups were similar in their responses to how exciting or calming they found the music to be—but differed regarding whether specific pieces made them feel good or bad. The Pygmies tended to rate everything, even “scary” music, as making them happy, according to the study, published in the research journal Frontiers in Psychology.

The investigators played 19 short musical extracts (11 western and 8 Pygmy) of between about 30 and 90 seconds to 40 Pygmies and an equal number of Canadians. Because all the Mbenzélé Pygmies sing regularly for ceremonial purposes, the Canadians recruited for the study were all either amateur or professional musicians.

The Western music was designed to induce a range of emotions from calm to excited, and from happy to anxious or sad, and included both orchestral music and excerpts from three popular films (Psycho, Star Wars, and Schindler’s List).

The Pygmy pieces were all polyphonic (multiple-voiced) vocal pieces that are fairly upbeat and tend to be performed in ceremonial contexts to calm anger, or express comfort after a death, for example, or to bid good fortune before a hunting expedition leaves the village, or even to pacify a crying child.

The researchers used emoticons with smiling or frowning faces at each end of a continuum to get people to identify whether the music made them feel good or bad. They also asked participants to rate whether the music made them feel calm (close-eyed emoticon) or excited (open-eyed face). As participants listened, various measurements were also taken such as heart rate, rate of respiration, and amount of sweat on the palms.

“Our major discovery is that listeners from very different groups both responded to how exciting or calming they felt the music to be in similar ways,” said Hauke Egermann of the Technische Universität in Berlin, who did part of the research while at McGill University in Montreal. “This is probably due to certain low-level aspects of music such as tempo (or beat), pitch (how high or low the music is on the scale) and timbre (tone color or quality), but this will need further research.”

The main difference between Pygmy and Canadian listeners, the researchers said, was that the Canadians described themselves as feeling a much wider range of emotions as they listened to the Western music than the Pygmies felt when listening to either their own or Western music. This is probably attributable to the varying roles that music plays in each culture.

“Negative emotions are felt to disturb the harmony of the forest in Pygmy culture and are therefore dangerous,” said Nathalie Fernando of the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Music, who has been collecting and documenting Mbenzélé music-making for 10 years. “If a baby is crying, the Mbenzélé will sing a happy song. If the men are scared of going hunting, they will sing a happy song—in general music is used in this culture to evacuate all negative emotions, so it is not really surprising that the Mbenzélé feel that all the music they hear makes them feel good.”

source: http://www.world-science.net/

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Scientists study whale that lives 200 years for clues

Scientists study whale that lives 200 years for clues

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http://machprinciple.com/scientists-study-whale-that-lives-200-years-for-clues/

Sei whale, Azores, North Atlantic

A whale that can live over 200 years with little evidence of age-related disease may provide untapped insights into how to live a long and healthy life, biologists say.

In the Jan. 6 issue of the research journal Cell Reports, scientists present the bowhead whale’s complete genome and identify what they say are key differences with other mammals.

Changes in bowhead genes related to cell division, DNA repair, cancer, and aging may have helped increase its longevity and cancer resistance, according to the researchers.

“Our understanding of species’ differences in longevity is very poor, and thus our findings provide novel candidate genes for future studies,” said the study’s senior author, João Pedro de Magalhães of the University of Liverpool in the UK.

“My view is that species evolved different ‘tricks’ to have a longer lifespan, and by discovering the ‘tricks’ used by the bowhead we may be able to apply those findings to humans in order to fight age-related diseases.”

Also, he added, large whales with over 1,000 times more cells than humans don’t seem to have higher cancer risk, suggesting the whales have natural mechanisms that help suppress cancer.

Magalhães and his team plan to breed mice with various bowhead genes in hopes of determining the importance of different genes for longevity and resistance to diseases. They also note that because the bowhead’s genome is the first among large whales to be decoded, the new information may help reveal physiological adaptations related to large size.

Martian meteorite reveals the planet’s climate billions of years ago

Martian meteorite reveals the planet’s climate billions of years ago

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http://machprinciple.com/martian-meteorite-reveals-the-planets-climate-billions-of-years-ago/

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Meteorite hunters plucked a Martian rock from an Antarctic ice field 30 years ago. A new research on that rock, this month reveals a record of the planet’s climate billions of years ago, back when water likely washed across its surface and any life that ever formed there might have emerged.

Scientists from the University of California, San Diego, NASA and the Smithsonian Institution report detailed measurements of minerals within the meteorite in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.

“Minerals within the meteorite hold a snapshot of the planet’s ancient chemistry, of interactions between water and atmosphere,” said Robina Shaheen, the lead author of the report.

The unlovely stone, which fell to Earth 13 thousand years ago, looked a lot like a potato and has quite a history. Designated ALH84001, it is the oldest meteorite we have from Mars, a chunk of solidified magma from a volcano that erupted four billion years ago. Since then something liquid, probably water, seeped through pores in the rock and deposited globules of carbonates and other minerals.

The carbonates vary subtly depending on the sources of their carbon and oxygen atoms. Both carbon and oxygen occur in heavier and lighter versions, or isotopes. The relative abundances of isotopes forms a chemical signature that careful analysis and sensitive measurements can uncover.

Mars’s atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide but contains some ozone. The balance of oxygen isotopes within ozone are strikingly weird with enrichment of heavy isotopes through a physical chemical phenomenon first described by co-author Mark Thiemens, a professor of chemistry at UC San Diego, and colleagues 25 years ago.

“When ozone reacts with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it transfers its isotopic weirdness to the new molecule,” said Shaheen, who investigated this process of oxygen isotope exchange as a graduate student at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. When carbon dioxide reacts with water to make carbonates, the isotopic signature continues to be preserved.

The degree of isotopic weirdness in the carbonates reflects how much water and ozone was present when they formed. It’s a record of climate 3.9 billion years ago, locked in a stable mineral. The more water, the smaller the weird ozone signal.

This team measured a pronounced ozone signal in the carbonates within the meteorite, suggesting that although Mars had water back then, vast oceans were unlikely. Instead, the early Martian landscape probably held smaller seas.

“What’s also new is our simultaneous measurements of carbon isotopes on the same samples. The mix of carbon isotopes suggest that the different minerals within the meteorite had separate origins,” Shaheen said. “They tell us the story of the chemical and isotopic compositions of the atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

ALH84001 held tiny tubes of carbonate that some scientists saw as potential evidence of microbial life, though a biological origin for the structures has been discarded. On December 16, NASA announced another potential whiff of Martian life in the form of methane sniffed by the rover Curiosity.

Carbonates can be deposited by living things that scavenge the minerals to build their skeletons, but that is not the case for the minerals measured by this team. “The carbonate we see is not from living things,” Shaheen said. “It has anomalous oxygen isotopes that tell us this carbonate is abiotic.”

By measuring the isotopes in multiple ways, the chemists found carbonates depleted in carbon-13 and enriched in oxygen-18. That is, Mars’s atmosphere in this era, a period of great bombardment, had much less carbon-13 than it does today.

The change in relative abundances of carbon and oxygen isotopes may have occurred through extensive loss of Martian atmosphere. A thicker atmosphere would likely have been required for liquid water to flow on the planet’s chilly surface.

“We now have a much deeper and specific insight into the earliest oxygen-water system in the solar system,” Thiemens said. “The question that remains is when did planets, Earth and Mars, get water, and in the case of Mars, where did it go? We’ve made great progress, but still deep mysteries remain.”

NASA’s SMAP is ready to get launched

NASA’s SMAP is ready to get launched

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http://machprinciple.com/nasas-smap-is-ready-to-get-launched/

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Scheduled for launch on Jan. 29, 2015, NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) instrument will measure the moisture lodged in Earth’s soils with an unprecedented accuracy and resolution. The instrument’s three main parts are a radar, a radiometer and the largest rotating mesh antenna ever deployed in space.

Remote sensing instruments are called “active” when they emit their own signals and “passive” when they record signals that already exist. The mission’s science instrument ropes together a sensor of each type to corral the highest-resolution, most accurate measurements ever made of soil moisture — a tiny fraction of Earth’s water that has a disproportionately large effect on weather and agriculture.

To enable the mission to meet its accuracy needs while covering the globe every three days or less, SMAP engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, designed and built the largest rotating antenna that could be stowed into a space of only one foot by four feet (30 by 120 centimeters) for launch. The dish is 19.7 feet (6 meters) in diameter.

“We call it the spinning lasso,” said Wendy Edelstein of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, the SMAP instrument manager. Like the cowboy’s lariat, the antenna is attached on one side to an arm with a crook in its elbow. It spins around the arm at about 14 revolutions per minute (one complete rotation every four seconds). The antenna dish was provided by Northrop Grumman Astro Aerospace in Carpinteria, California. The motor that spins the antenna was provided by the Boeing Company in El Segundo, California.

“The antenna caused us a lot of angst, no doubt about it,” Edelstein noted. Although the antenna must fit during launch into a space not much bigger than a tall kitchen trash can, it must unfold so precisely that the surface shape of the mesh is accurate within about an eighth of an inch (a few millimeters).

The mesh dish is edged with a ring of lightweight graphite supports that stretch apart like a baby gate when a single cable is pulled, drawing the mesh outward. “Making sure we don’t have snags, that the mesh doesn’t hang up on the supports and tear when it’s deploying — all of that requires very careful engineering,” Edelstein said. “We test, and we test, and we test some more. We have a very stable and robust system now.”

SMAP’s radar, developed and built at JPL, uses the antenna to transmit microwaves toward Earth and receive the signals that bounce back, called backscatter. The microwaves penetrate a few inches or more into the soil before they rebound. Changes in the electrical properties of the returning microwaves indicate changes in soil moisture, and also tell whether or not the soil is frozen. Using a complex technique called synthetic aperture radar processing, the radar can produce ultra-sharp images with a resolution of about half a mile to a mile and a half (one to three kilometers).

SMAP’s radiometer detects differences in Earth’s natural emissions of microwaves that are caused by water in soil. To address a problem that has seriously hampered earlier missions using this kind of instrument to study soil moisture, the radiometer designers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, developed and built one of the most sophisticated signal-processing systems ever created for such a scientific instrument.

The problem is radio frequency interference. The microwave wavelengths that SMAP uses are officially reserved for scientific use, but signals at nearby wavelengths that are used for air traffic control, cell phones and other purposes spill over into SMAP’s wavelengths unpredictably. Conventional signal processing averages data over a long time period, which means that even a short burst of interference skews the record for that whole period. The Goddard engineers devised a new way to delete only the small segments of actual interference, leaving much more of the observations untouched.

Combining the radar and radiometer signals allows scientists to take advantage of the strengths of both technologies while working around their weaknesses. “The radiometer provides more accurate soil moisture but a coarse resolution of about 40 kilometers [25 miles] across,” said JPL’s Eni Njoku, a research scientist with SMAP. “With the radar, you can create very high resolution, but it’s less accurate. To get both an accurate and a high-resolution measurement, we process the two signals together.”

SMAP will be the fifth NASA Earth science mission launched within the last 12 months.

Source : http://www.nasa.gov/smap/

Is warfare linked to evolution?

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http://machprinciple.com/is-warfare-linked-to-evolution/

Among an eastern African farming people, males who participate in livestock raids in youth may enjoy greater long-term “reproductive success,” a study has found.

The results could feed into a longstanding debate over whether warfare is a product of evolution. Evolutionary theory holds that characteristics of a species take root because they enhance survival and reproduction. Over generations, this causes advantageous features for an individual to spread throughout a population, while unhelpful characteristics die out.

In the new study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, Luke Glowacki and Richard Wrangham of Harvard University traced the number of wives and children of 120 male members of the pastoralist Nyangatom people of Ethiopia and South Sudan.

In the short term, the authors found, men who engaged in livestock raids didn’t have more wives or children than non-raiders. This suggests that captured livestock aren’t directly used as leverage for marriage opportunities—rather they’re used by existing family members, the researchers said.

On the other hand, “elders who were identified as prolific raiders in their youth have more wives and children than other elders,” the authors wrote. “Our results suggest that in this cultural context raiding provides opportunities for increased reproductive success over the lifetime.”

“The causes of warfare in small-scale societies continue to be debated,” the authors added. “Most anthropological explanations have focused on causes that ignore the individual benefits warriors sometimes receive for participation.”

However, they added, “evolutionary anthropologists have commonly argued that warriors may receive fitness benefits,” or advantages that enhance their reproductive opportunities. “This hypothesis has a contentious history, in part because of concerns that a positive association between warfare and reproductive success may suggest biological” tendencies toward violence.

Glowacki and Wrangham also examined whether raiding and reproduction among the Nyangatom might be only coincidently related because both are related to a third factor—the man’s number of older siblings, which may enhance resources to leverage marriage opportunities. But the researchers concluded that this wasn’t the case.

Source : http://www.world-science.net/

Is warfare linked to evolution?

Machprinciple
http://machprinciple.com/is-warfare-linked-to-evolution/

Among an eastern African farming people, males who participate in livestock raids in youth may enjoy greater long-term “reproductive success,” a study has found.

The results could feed into a longstanding debate over whether warfare is a product of evolution. Evolutionary theory holds that characteristics of a species take root because they enhance survival and reproduction. Over generations, this causes advantageous features for an individual to spread throughout a population, while unhelpful characteristics die out.

In the new study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, Luke Glowacki and Richard Wrangham of Harvard University traced the number of wives and children of 120 male members of the pastoralist Nyangatom people of Ethiopia and South Sudan.

In the short term, the authors found, men who engaged in livestock raids didn’t have more wives or children than non-raiders. This suggests that captured livestock aren’t directly used as leverage for marriage opportunities—rather they’re used by existing family members, the researchers said.

On the other hand, “elders who were identified as prolific raiders in their youth have more wives and children than other elders,” the authors wrote. “Our results suggest that in this cultural context raiding provides opportunities for increased reproductive success over the lifetime.”

“The causes of warfare in small-scale societies continue to be debated,” the authors added. “Most anthropological explanations have focused on causes that ignore the individual benefits warriors sometimes receive for participation.”

However, they added, “evolutionary anthropologists have commonly argued that warriors may receive fitness benefits,” or advantages that enhance their reproductive opportunities. “This hypothesis has a contentious history, in part because of concerns that a positive association between warfare and reproductive success may suggest biological” tendencies toward violence.

Glowacki and Wrangham also examined whether raiding and reproduction among the Nyangatom might be only coincidently related because both are related to a third factor—the man’s number of older siblings, which may enhance resources to leverage marriage opportunities. But the researchers concluded that this wasn’t the case.

Source : http://www.world-science.net/

Thinking About Quick Advice Of how to increase youtube views

Thinking About Quick Advice Of how to increase youtube views

Machprinciple
http://machprinciple.com/thinking-about-quick-advice-of-how-to-increase-youtube-views/

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How is your business a good video that successfully targets other affiliate marketers? How do you assemble your posts? How do you engage your prospects? These are questions I frequently get, below goes’

First coming from all, being a network marketer, your work is to eliminate problems and respond to your questions!. Therefore, you have to be doing this: solving troubles linked to network marketing. Which means you should determine what it can be that your audience needs,and after that provide those answers. Which again means you have got to be always educating and adding value to yourself, attempting to keep your eyes and ears available to new ideas, tips and training which could benefit your peers.

5-steps to adhere to when you are developing a “problem-solving” video:

1.) Establish credibility. Briefly look. Who are you together with why should anyone hear you? Are you “an affiliate marketing trainer”? A “professional Internet entrepreneur”? A “top producer” together with your company? You MUST present yourself being a leader because others will spot you since you see yourself’nothing more, nothing less.

2. ) Introduce “the problem”. This should be something specific. The problem may be the struggle to generate leads, maybe it’s time management issues, challenges facing those marketing over a shoe-string budget, or possibly a variety of other topics. But again, be very specific. Don’t try to cover excessive ground a single video.

Make without doubt you let your viewer know you happen to be actually going to fix their problem for the kids, that towards the end of the video they don’t be frustrated anymore; they may know what to do to next. See, you should give them a compelling reason by sitting through your entire video’even if it’s only a few minutes long. People have short attention spans. So employ a “hook” ahead of time to make sure it doesn’t hit the “back” button J

3.) Be Concise. Show that it is possible to relate; discuss struggles you encountered on the way. Your prospect must believe you’re on their side, that you just have their very best interest in mind and are not merely out to ‘sell’ them.

4.) Solve their problems. Give plenty of value here. Share precisely what is working for you. Share enough to assist the person and point them inside the right direction, try not to give away everything’ Leave your viewer curious and hungry for additional information. Because, that’s where you will want to supply the call to action’

5.) Call to action. Here you are able to send the crooks to your website for additional information. This web site really should be a website landing page and it should brand YOU as being a leader along with an specialist. A replicated company site will NOT perform the job.

Remember, congruency is vital: When your viewer arrives at your web site, when to actually turned into a lead, the material of this site should pertain instantly to the material you only presented as part of your video. Because, just as as part of your video you convinced the crooks to proceed to your website page, you now need to convince them that offering you their email provides them an additional step more detailed the ‘Solution’. Otherwise they’re going to NOT opt-in.

Because from the above point, many times that different video messages require somewhat different landing pages. If, for example, with your video you focus on how some free e-book solved your lead generation problems, then ‘ if your viewer reaches your squeeze page ‘ Make without doubt you provide them with the free e-book and everything else you talked about as part of your video. Otherwise your prospect will feel mislead and definately will quickly hit that ‘back’ button.

Leave your internet site URL around the video from beginning to end. People are forgetful and easily distracted. So keep that web site address visible right through your video. This will make sure it really sticks with your prospect’s mind.

A second call to action: remind your viewer a subscription to your channel, as well as rate and touch upon your video. Say such as, “I desire to hear what you consider about this”, or “I worry about your opinion ‘so you’ll want to leave me a comment and rate this video”. People love to supply their opinions and produce their voice heard!

As a result with this, when posting to Youtube, I recommend that, you add ‘annotations’ close to the end of the videos in which you remind your viewer to join, rate and comment. (This is a feature you’ll discover within Youtube itself; you have the option of adding annotations when editing your video after upload).

As with any social websites method, your goal is always to get your prospects involved. Create two-way communication. Because that you are obviously not “just” seem to get those ratings and comments to improve your rankings on Google; you might be seeking to create relationships together with your prospects via your videos and turn them into future customers and/or business partners. Remember, always attempt to create a setting that encourages participation

If you follow these simple guidelines, I assure you success will probably be yours!!

Learn more here…

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Body Cameras On Cops can present violence

Body Cameras On Cops can present violence

Machprinciple
http://machprinciple.com/body-cameras-on-cops-can-present-violence/

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Body cameras on police officers may reduce abusive behavior both by and against officers, a study has found.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. published the results of an experiment they conducted on the cameras’ effects in Rialto, Calif. in 2012. The year-long study found that use of force by camera-wearing police fell by 59 percent and reports against officers dropped by 87 percent against the previous year’s figures.

While the technology helps capture evidence for potential use in court, its greatest benefit may be preventing escalation to violence in the first place, the investigators said—in short, people tend to behave when they know they’re on camera.

However, the research team caution that the Rialto experiment is only a first step, and that more needs to be known about the impact of body-worn cameras before police departments are pressured into adopting the technology.

Vital questions remain, they explained, about how routine provision of digital video as evidence will affect prosecution expectations, and the storage technology and policies that the immense amounts of new data will require. President Obama recently promised to spend $75 million of federal funds on body-worn-video to address persistent protests over police killing unarmed black men.

Some question the merit of camera technology given that the officer responsible for killing Eric Garner—a 43-year-old black man suffocated during arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes—was acquitted by a grand jury even though a bystander filmed the altercation on a cell phone. Footage showed an illegal ‘chokehold’ placed on Garner who repeatedly states: “I can’t breathe.” (A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide).

For the Cambridge researchers, the Rialto results show that body-worn-cameras can reduce the need for such evidence by preventing excessive force in the first place.

“In the tragic case of Eric Garner, police weren’t aware of the camera and didn’t have to tell the suspect that he, and therefore they, were being filmed,” said Barak Ariel of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, who conducted the experiment with Cambridge colleague Alex Sutherland and Rialto police chief Tony Farrar.

“With institutional body-worn-camera use, an officer is obliged to issue a warning from the start that an encounter is being filmed, impacting the psyche of all involved by conveying a straightforward, pragmatic message: we are all being watched, videotaped and expected to follow the rules,” he said.

The idea behind body-worn-video, in which small high-definition cameras are strapped to a police officers’ torso or hat, is that every step of every police-public interaction—from the mundane to those involving deadly force—gets recorded to capture the closest approximation of actual events for evidence purposes, with only case-relevant data being stored.

In Rialto, police shifts over the course of a year were randomly assigned to be either with or without camera, with video covering over 50,000 hours of interactions. Ariel and colleagues are replicating the Rialto experiment with over 30 forces across the world, and early signs match the Rialto success, Ariel said.

Body-worn cameras seem very cost-effective: analysis from Rialto showed every dollar spent on the technology saved about four dollars on complaints litigations, the researchers added. But with technology becoming cheaper, the sheer volumes of data storage could become crippling.

“User licenses, storage space, ‘security costs’, maintenance and system upgrades can potentially translate into billions of dollars worldwide,” Ariel said.

And, if body-worn cameras become the norm, what might the cost be when video evidence isn’t available? “Historically, courtroom testimonies of response officers have carried tremendous weight, but prevalence of video might lead to reluctance to prosecute when there is no evidence from body-worn-cameras to corroborate the testimony of an officer, or even a victim,” said Ariel.

The study is published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

Light human skeleton may have come after innovation of agriculture

Light human skeleton may have come after innovation of agriculture

Machprinciple
http://machprinciple.com/light-human-skeleton-may-have-come-after-innovation-of-agriculture/

lightweights[1]

A recent research proposed that the lightly built skeletons of modern humans arose late in our evolutionary history, and most probably resulted from a less active lifestyle after agriculture spread.

Modern humans have a lightly built skeleton, compared with those of chimpanzees and extinct human species.

In a new study, Habiba Chirchir of the The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and colleagues examined a type of human bone tissue called trabecular bone, which is relatively light and spongy in structure. Trabecular bone tissue co-exists within the same bones as the more compact type of bone tissue, called compact or cortical bone.

The researchers studied “spongy” bone throughout the skeleton of modern humans and chimps, as well as in fossils of extinct human species spanning several million years. The investigators found that the upper and lower limbs of recent modern humans are lightly built compared with those of the other groups.

The change also appears to have happened relatively abruptly, the scientists added. The decrease in bone density was found to be more marked in lower limbs than in upper limbs, suggesting changes in mobility as a possible cause, they said.

The findings are published this week in the research journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a related article published in the same issue of the journal, Timothy M. Ryan of Pennsylvania State University and Colin N. Shaw of Cambridge University assessed how behavioral patterns affect the skeleton. They compared hip joints among four archeological human populations—representing mobile foragers and sedentary agriculturalists a large sample of existing primates.

Ryan and Shaw found that the highly mobile foragers had significantly thicker and stronger bones in their hip joints, compared with the agriculturalists, and the bone strength and structure of foragers’ hip joints was comparable to that of similarly sized non-human primates.

The differences suggest that physical activity may influence bone mass in the hip joint, showing a link between reduced physical activity and decreased bone strength, the authors said. They added that exercise may remain important for bone health and the reduction of age-related bone loss, osteoporosis and fracture risk.

Scientists may be able to restore the lost memories

Scientists may be able to restore the lost memories

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http://machprinciple.com/scientists-may-be-able-to-restore-the-lost-memories/

Memory-hippocampus-brain-631.jpg__800x600_q85_crop[1]

New UCLA research indicates that lost memories can be restored. It shows some rays of hope for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

For decades, most neuroscientists have believed that memories are stored at the synapses — the connections between brain cells, or neurons — which are destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease. The new study provides evidence contradicting this idea.

“Long-term memory is not stored at the synapse,” said David Glanzman, a senior author of the study, and a UCLA professor of integrative biology and physiology and of neurobiology. “That’s a radical idea, but that’s where the evidence leads. The nervous system appears to be able to regenerate lost synaptic connections. If you can restore the synaptic connections, the memory will come back. It won’t be easy, but I believe it’s possible.” The findings were published recently in eLife.

Glanzman’s research team studies a type of marine snail called Aplysia to understand the animal’s learning and memory. The Aplysia displays a defensive response to protect its gill from potential harm, and the researchers are especially interested in its withdrawal reflex and the sensory and motor neurons that produce it.

They enhanced the snail’s withdrawal reflex by giving it several mild electrical shocks on its tail. The enhancement lasts for days after a series of electrical shocks, which indicates the snail’s long-term memory. Glanzman explained that the shock causes the hormone serotonin to be released in the snail’s central nervous system.

Long-term memory is a function of the growth of new synaptic connections caused by the serotonin, said Glanzman, a member of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute. As long-term memories are formed, the brain creates new proteins that are involved in making new synapses. If that process is disrupted — for example by a concussion or other injury — the proteins may not be synthesized and long-term memories cannot form. (This is why people cannot remember what happened moments before a concussion.)

“If you train an animal on a task, inhibit its ability to produce proteins immediately after training, and then test it 24 hours later, the animal doesn’t remember the training,” Glanzman said. “However, if you train an animal, wait 24 hours, and then inject a protein synthesis inhibitor in its brain, the animal shows perfectly good memory 24 hours later. In other words, once memories are formed, if you temporarily disrupt protein synthesis, it doesn’t affect long-term memory. That’s true in the Aplysia and in human’s brains.” (This explains why people’s older memories typically survive following a concussion.)

Glanzman’s team found the same mechanism held true when studying the snail’s neurons in a Petri dish. The researchers placed the sensory and motor neurons that mediate the snail’s withdrawal reflex in a Petri dish, where the neurons re-formed the synaptic connections that existed when the neurons were inside the snail’s body. When serotonin was added to the dish, new synaptic connections formed between the sensory and motor neurons. But if the addition of serotonin was immediately followed by the addition of a substance that inhibits protein synthesis, the new synaptic growth was blocked; long-term memory could not be formed.

The researchers also wanted to understand whether synapses disappeared when memories did. To find out, they counted the number of synapses in the dish and then, 24 hours later, added a protein synthesis inhibitor. One day later, they re-counted the synapses.

What they found was that new synapses had grown and the synaptic connections between the neurons had been strengthened; late treatment with the protein synthesis inhibitor did not disrupt the long-term memory. The phenomenon is extremely similar to what happens in the snail’s nervous system during this type of simple learning, Glanzman said.

Next, the scientists added serotonin to a Petri dish containing a sensory neuron and motor neuron, waited 24 hours, and then added another brief pulse of serotonin — which served to remind the neurons of the original training — and immediately afterward add the protein synthesis inhibitor. This time, they found that synaptic growth and memory were erased. When they re-counted the synapses, they found that the number had reset to the number before the training, Glanzman said. This suggests that the “reminder” pulse of serotonin triggered a new round of memory consolidation, and that inhibiting protein synthesis during this “reconsolidation” erased the memory in the neurons.

If the prevailing wisdom were true — that memories are stored in the synapses — the researchers should have found that the lost synapses were the same ones that had grown in response to the serotonin. But that’s not what happened: Instead, they found that some of the new synapses were still present and some were gone, and that some of the original ones were gone, too.

Glanzman said there was no obvious pattern to which synapses stayed and which disappeared, which implied that memory is not stored in synapses.

When the scientists repeated the experiment in the snail, and then gave the animal a modest number of tail shocks — which do not produce long-term memory in a naive snail — the memory they thought had been completely erased returned. This implies that synaptic connections that were lost were apparently restored.

“That suggests that the memory is not in the synapses but somewhere else,” Glanzman said. “We think it’s in the nucleus of the neurons. We haven’t proved that, though.”

Glanzman said the research could have significant implications for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, just because the disease is known to destroy synapses in the brain doesn’t mean that memories are destroyed.

“As long as the neurons are still alive, the memory will still be there, which means you may be able to recover some of the lost memories in the early stages of Alzheimer’s,” he said.

Glanzman added that in the later stages of the disease, neurons die, which likely means that the memories cannot be recovered.

The cellular and molecular processes seem to be very similar between the marine snail and humans, even though the snail has approximately 20,000 neurons and humans have about 1 trillion.

Almost all the processes that are involved in memory in the snail also have been shown to be involved in memory in the brains of mammals, Glanzman said.

Glanzman’s demonstration that the NMDA receptor plays a critical role in learning in a simple animal like the marine snail was entirely unexpected at the time.