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Feb 26, 2024

How the Brain Focuses on What’s in Mind

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Rhythmic bursts of activity in the prefrontal cortex reduce variability as an animal focuses on a task.

Source: picower institute for learning and memory.

Working memory, that handy ability to consciously hold and manipulate new information in mind, takes work. In particular, participating neurons in the prefrontal cortex have to work together in synchrony to focus our thoughts, whether we’re remembering a set of directions or tonight’s menu specials.

Feb 26, 2024

Why Thinking Hard Makes You Tired

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Extended intense cognitive work causes potentially toxic byproducts to build up in the prefrontal cortex. This alters control over decision-making, causing a shift toward low-cost actions that require less effort as cognitive fatigue sets in.

Source: Cell Press.

It’s no surprise that hard physical labor wears you out, but what about hard mental labor? Sitting around thinking hard for hours makes one feel worn out, too.

Feb 26, 2024

Cells That Control Hunger Affect Brain Structure and Function

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: AgRP neurons in the hypothalamus play a critical role in shaping the structure and function of the prefrontal cortex in mice. The findings shed light on how the prefrontal cortex is altered in disorders such as schizophrenia.

Source: Yale.

The prefrontal cortex region of the human brain is responsible for a range of complex functions from decision-making to certain types of memory.

Feb 26, 2024

The current state of artificial intelligence generative language models is more creative than humans on divergent thinking tasks

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Hubert, K.F., Awa, K.N. & Zabelina, D.L. Sci Rep 14, 3,440 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-53303-w.

Download citation.

Feb 26, 2024

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 astronauts excited for Friday early-morning launch from Cape Canaveral

Posted by in category: space travel

The quartet will fly aboard SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavour capsule, which previously flew Demo Mission-2, Crew-2, Crew-6 and Axiom Mission 1.

Feb 26, 2024

Starlink’s Direct to Cell satellites complete first post on X

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, engineering, internet, satellites

SpaceX recently tested Starlink’s Direct to Cell satellites and posted on Elon Musk’s X platform.

The test X post simply said: “This post was sent through a SpaceX Direct to Cell satellite.”

SpaceX’s Director of Satellite Engineering provided more information about the X post. He revealed that the post was made under the cover of trees in a small valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Feb 26, 2024

Scientists Find Link Between ADHD, Depression and Hypersexuality

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, sex

Although the interplay between sex and mental health is well-studied, a new study suggests there may be a complex correlation between seemingly disparate disorders.

In a new paper published in the Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, a group of Italian psychology researchers say they’ve found a correlation between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depressive symptoms, hypomania (the clinical term for “mania” or high energy) and hypersexuality, or an intense preoccupation with sexual thoughts and acts — and that people who experience these sets of symptoms may use sex as a sort of “self-medication.”

Study coauthors Giacomo Ciocca, a sexual psychology assistant professor at Rome’s Sapienza University, and Davide Doroldi, a clinical psychologist, told PsyPost that they were inspired to look into the possible link after observing higher rates of hypersexuality among people with ADHD.

Feb 26, 2024

Nutrients Direct Intestinal Stem Cell Function and Affect Aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

The capacity of intestinal stem cells to maintain cellular balance in the gut decreases upon ageing. Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a new mechanism of action between the nutrient adaptation of intestinal stem cells and ageing. The finding may make a difference when seeking ways to maintain the functional capacity of the ageing gut.

The cellular balance of the intestine is carefully regulated, and it is influenced, among other things, by nutrition: ample nutrition increases the total number of cells in the gut, whereas fasting decreases their number.

The relative number of different types of cells also changes according to nutrient status.

Feb 26, 2024

TSMC’s new fab in Japan built in 2 years: 24-hour work days, site is called ‘Nightless Castle’

Posted by in category: government

The two years flew past, and now the facility is ready to begin mass production later this year, with TSMC tapping Sony’s assistance to get the plant operational in Japan. The new Kumamoto fab plant has been dubbed “Nightless Castle” as there were workers there on 24-hour shifts, which is how the new TSMC plant was built in just two years, with plants regularly taking three or more years to get up and running.

Sony is an investor and a customer for TSMC’s new plant in Japan; with the new fab plant getting up and running so quickly in Japan, that wouldn’t necessarily be done in other countries. Why? TSMC had efficient government support, strict construction timetables, and a low-cost workforce that was flooding the site and then working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Feb 26, 2024

Crew Preps for Spacewalk, Scans Veins and Evaluates Artificial Gravity Suit

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

The Expedition 66 crew continued preparing today for the first of two spacewalks set to begin next week to continue upgrading the International Space Station’s power system. Vein scans were also on Thursday’s schedule helping scientists understand how living in space affects the human body.

NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari are set to switch their U.S. spacesuits to battery power at 8:05 a.m. EDT on Tuesday and spend six-and-a-half hours installing a modification kit on the space station’s Starboard-4 truss structure. The new hardware will enable the upcoming installation of a third roll-out solar array increasing the station’s power output and augmenting the existing solar arrays.

The duo was joined by fellow station astronauts Tom Marshburn of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) for a spacewalk procedures review and conference with specialists on the ground. Marshburn and Maurer will assist the spacewalkers in and out of their spacesuits, operate the Canadarm2 robotic arm, and monitor their external activities. Mission managers will talk about the spacewalk, as well as a second one planned for March 23, live on the NASA TV app and the website on Monday at 2 p.m. NASA TV begins its live spacewalk broadcast on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.

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