Just yesterday we learned that Caltech researchers can use pulses of light to toggle aggressive behaviors in the mouse brain. Today we learn that elsewhere on the West Coast scientists are turning social behaviors in mice on and off using the same method, and that could have big implications for social disorders like autism and schizophrenia in humans.
Researchers testing mental illness figured out how to induce schizophrenic symptoms in a computer, causing it to place itself at the center of crazy delusions, such as claiming responsibility for a terrorist bombing. The results bolster a hypothesis that claims faulty information processing can lead to schizophrenic symptoms.
There's a lot of misinformation blowing around out there concerning the medical benefits, and detriments, of smoking marijuana, but two UK researchers are making an argument for why you should perhaps pass on the puff-puff -- as well as why recreational use should not be outlawed in the future.
The rise of psychopharmacology has led doctors to not only treat mental illnesses like regular diseases, but think of them as such as well. Turns out, schizophrenia may be more than just a disease in concept, but actually a virus itself. According to new research, as much as eight percent of the human genome consists of viruses that inserted themselves into our DNA for replication, including the gene that causes schizophrenia.
Ever wondered what your brain sounds like on the inside? Trinity College philosophy professor Dan Lloyd has created a program that orchestrates our brainwaves. Scanning brains on an MRI, Lloyd can watch as certain areas of the brain light up and then assign different frequencies to the areas of the brain used, correlating the intensity of usage with volume. The results are bizarrely beautiful.
Locally sourced organic food is so passe. Meet "the world's first entirely synthetic gourmet dish." The future of haute cuisine, according to one Michelin chef, will be formed from tartaric acid, 4-O-a-glucopyranosyl-D-sorbitol, and triacylglycerol. After all, he says, sugar is just as artificial as anything else.
Also in today's links: the taste of evolution, the taste of the Milky Way, and more.