Neuroscientists have analyzed how people react when they listen to a range of different sounds, the aim being to establish the extent to which repetitive sound frequencies are considered unpleasant. Their results showed that the conventional sound-processing circuit is activated but that the cortical and sub-cortical areas involved in the processing of salience and aversion […]
Life on Earth is amazingly diverse, and exhibits striking geographical global patterns in biodiversity. A pair of companion papers reveal that mountain regions — especially those in the tropics — are hotspots of extraordinary and baffling richness. Although mountain regions cover only 25% of Earth’s land area, they are home to more than 85% of […]
When something pleases us visually – whether it’s a fine piece of artwork, a beautiful feat of architecture, or an untouched natural landscape – new research demonstrates there is a pattern of activity in what’s known as the default mode network (DMN). The DMN is a large-scale system of interacting regions in the brain that […]
Organoids. Brain waves. Death…
Some years ago, two hundred and fifty miles over Alysson Muotri’s head, a thousand tiny spheres of brain cells were sailing through space. The clusters, called brain organoids, had been grown a few weeks earlier in the biologist’s lab here at the University of California, San Diego. He and his colleagues altered human skin cells […]
Touching the untouched.
Jellyfish are about 95% water, which makes them very difficult to study because most of the underwater tools available to marine biologists are clunky, heavy, and often shred jellyfish and other delicate creatures to pieces. A new ultra-soft gripper uses fettuccini-like ‘fingers’ inflated with water to gently grasp jellyfish and release them without harm, allowing […]
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