Gallery: Trippy Photos Reveal Beauty in Science


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Gallery: Trippy Photos Reveal Beauty in Science

LiveScience Staff
Cognitive Connectivity
Cognitive Connectivity
Credit: Emmett McQuinn, Theodore M. Wong, Pallab Datta, Myron D. Flickner, Raghavendra Singh, Steven K. Esser, Rathinakumar Appuswamy, William P. Risk, and Dharmendra S. Modha; IBM Research – Almaden
Cognitive Computing researchers at IBM are developing a new generation of “neuro-synaptic” computer chips inspired by the organization and function of the brain. For guidance into how to connect many such chips in a large brain-like network, they turn to a “wiring diagram” of the monkey brain as represented by the CoCoMac database. In a simulation designed to test techniques for constructing such networks, a model was created comprising 4173 neuro-synaptic “cores” representing the 77 largest regions in the macaque brain. The 320749 connections between the regions were assigned based on the CoCoMac wiring diagram. This visualization is of the resulting core-to-core connectivity graph. Each core is represented as an individual point along the ring; their arrangement into local clusters reflects their assignment to the 77 regions. Arcs are drawn from a source core to a destination core with an edge color defined by the color assigned to the source core.
Cerebral Infiltration
Cerebral Infiltration
Credit: Maxime Chamberland, David Fortin, and Maxime Descoteaux; Sherbrooke Connectivity Imaging Lab
The image is the result of fiber tractography from diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. It illustrates the white matter of the brain, or in other words, its structural connections. The red smooth surface represents a glioblastoma tumor. We can see the effect of repulsion and infiltration of this mass on the white matter fiber pathways. A distance colormap is used for interpretation. Blue fibers mean that they are located within a safe distance of the tumor whereas red fibers are in a close perimeter to the tumor, and can cause severe post-operation deficits, if resected.
Plant Seeds

Plant Seeds

Credit: Viktor Sykora; First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, and Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Czech Technical University; Jan Zemlicka, Frantisek Krejci, and Jan Jakubek; Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Czech Technical Un

High-resolution high-contrast X-ray radiography of plant seeds combined with images taken by microscopy. The X-ray images were measured using combination of a micro-focus X-ray source and a state-of-the-art hybrid pixel semiconductor detector. The detector enables imaging in so-called single photon counting regime allowing acquiring radiographs with theoretically unlimited dynamic range (in practice limited just by the number of detected photons). In combination with point-like source magnifying geometry, the technique presents a powerful tool allowing nondestructive investigation of mm-sized object of any kind. The results show a novel application of the technique to plant biology, namely the visualization of seeds (typically 3 mm in size). For better interpretation of imaged features, the radiographs are combined with the images taken by microscopy.

 Biomineral Single Crystals

Biomineral Single Crystals

Credit: Pupa U.P.A. Gilbert and Christopher E. Killian; University of Wisconsin-Madison

Biomineral crystals found in a sea urchin tooth. Geologic or synthetic mineral crystals usually have flat faces and sharp edges, whereas biomineral crystals can have strikingly uncommon forms that have evolved to enhance function. The image here was captured using environmental scanning electron microscopy and false-colored. Each color highlights a continuous singlecrystal of calcite (CaCO3) made by the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata, at the forming end of one of its teeth. Together, these biomineral crystals fill space, harden the tooth, and toughen it enough to grind rock.

Self Defense

Self Defense

Credit: Kai-hung Fung, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital (Hong Kong)

Evolution encourages diversity, allowing Nature to solve problems in more than one way. This image is a 3D CT scan of a clam and a whelk, both alive. The clam (left) is nestled comfortably in the bottom half of its shell. Note the simplicity of the hinge design in its bivalve shell. By closing the shell rapidly, the clam is able to fence off a potential attack. Yet the whelk’s shell (right) is even more amazing. The sophisticated spiral construction is astonishingly complex and strong, an architectural marvel by itself and an evolutionary success! Once the whelk slipped back into the spiral tunnel of its shell, the shell provides protection similar to a fortress. Both the clam and the whelk solve the vital problem of self defense, albeit in different ways. The whelk however has the upper hand because it has the ability to drill a hole directly through the clam’s shell by softening it with secretions and then consumes the clam as meal.

 A Computational Heart

A Computational Heart

Credit: Guillermo Marin, Fernando Cucchietti, Mariano Vazquez, Carlos Tripiana; Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Here, a screenshot of a video on the complex and fascinating organ – the heart. Scientists hope to simulate the beating heart realistically and in the video they describe a project called Alya Red, aimed at developing a computational cardiac model. The tone of the video is educational, although the renderings are of actual simulation results.

 Owl Rotation

Owl Rotation

Credit: Fabian de Kok-Mercado, Michael Habib, Tim Phelps, Lydia Gregg, and Philippe Gailloud; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Owls (Order Strigiformes) can perform 270-degree neck rotations. The cervico-cephalic vessels are notoriously sensitive to rotary motion in most vertebrates, including man, in whom injury of these arteries commonly leads to cerebral infarction. This poster was created as part of a Master’s thesis study that examined whether owls have evolved specific arterial adaptations that accommodate their extreme range of neck rotation. The intermediate carotid and vertebral arteries were closely examined from the basi-cervical region up to the formation of the basilar artery using 3D Fusion digital subtraction angiography and traditional dissection techniques. Numerous vascular adaptations were documented that were considered directly related to neck rotation. The study was conducted on 12 deceased owl specimens. None were sacrificed for the purpose of this study. The full study team included Fabian de Kok-Mercado, Michael Habib, Tim Phelps, Lydia Gregg and Philippe Gailloud.

 Earth Evolution

Earth Evolution

Credit: Eriko Clements, Mark Nielsen, Satoshi Amagai, Bill Pietsch, Davey Thomas, Andy Knoll; The Educational Resources Group, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Astronaut 3 Media Group

This educational poster shows how geological and biological processes have together shaped Earth’s environment during its 4.6 billion-year history.

 In a Mouse's Eye

In a Mouse’s Eye

Credit: Bryan William Jones, The University of Utah, Moran Eye Center

Here, a winner in last year’s challenge. This computational molecular phenotype image of a mouse’s eye reveals the diversity of cell metabolism in the retina. The optic nerve is in the upper right of the image. The rectus muscles can be seen in red and gold, attached to the green sclera (the white part of the eye). Retinal layers appear in a rainbow of colors from light gold to pink and purple, while other cells show up in blue and green.

 Cool as a ...

Cool as a …

Credit: Robert Rock Belliveau, MD

Another 2011 winner: This 2011 honorable mention photo is the skin of an immature cucumber, magnified 800 times. These structures are called “trichomes,” and they act as little spears, protecting the young vegetable from plant-eaters. The lower part of the trichomes contains bitter, toxic chemicals that make herbivores go “ick!” [See more images from last year’s winners]

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5 Surprising Facts About Breadwinner Moms


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5 Surprising Facts About Breadwinner Moms

Megan Gannon, News Editor
Date: 29 May 2013 Time: 11:09 AM ET
CREDIT: Mom feeding baby image viaShutterstock  

More American moms than ever are the breadwinners in their family, according to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center. Working mothers are now the sole or primary source of income in 40 percent of all U.S. households with kids under 18, Pew found. In 1960, that number was just 11 percent.

But not all families with breadwinning moms are the same, and the public still has varying opinions about women heading up a household. Here are five facts from the report that might surprise you:

1. Most breadwinner moms are single

Today, there are 5.1 million married mothers with a higher income than their husbands, but they only make up 37 percent of all breadwinner moms, according to Pew. Most breadwinner moms in the United Sates — 8.6 million, or 63 percent — are single mothers, and there’s a big demographic gap between the two groups. Married mothers who earn more than their husbands are disproportionately white and college educated, and they have a much higher total family income than households led by a single mother, $80,000 in 2011 compared with $23,000 for single moms.

2. Married couples earn more with breadwinner mom

Among families with a married couple at the helm, total income is higher when the wife is the primary breadwinner. Pew found that the median family income was $80,000 in 2011 when a mother earned more than her spouse. That was roughly $2,000 more than the total median income for families with a father breadwinner and $10,000 more than the total income for families led by couples with the same income.

3. Americans still ambivalent about women outside the home

A whopping 79 percent of respondents in Pew’s survey rejected the idea that women should return to their traditional roles in the home, and 63 percent disagree that it is better for a marriage if a husband earns more than his wife. At the same time, 51 percent said children are better off with a stay-at-home mom. Only 8 percent said the same about dads. Men and women had different views on the matter, Pew found. Whereas 57 percent of men said children are better off if their mother stays home, 45 percent of women said the same. [5 Ways Motherhood Has Changed Over Time]

4. More married mothers better educated than husbands

Education levels of all women are on the rise, which may be contributing to the increased share of mothers who out-earn their husbands. Whereas most married couples come from similar educational backgrounds, the proportion of families with a more-educated mom is growing. In 2011, 23 percent of married mothers had earned a higher education than their spouses, up from just 7 percent in 1960, Pew found.

5. Concern about single moms is fading

The share of single-mom households has grown over the past several decades. Within that group, the share of never-married mothers is on the rise: 44 percent in 2011, compared with 4 percent in 1960. But concern about the growing trend of single moms seems to be fading. Sixty-four percent of Americas said it was “big problem,” Pew found. While that’s still a majority, it’s down from 71 percent who said the same as recently as 2007.

Younger generations and Democrats are less concerned about the uptick in unwed moms than older adults and Republicans. Among adults under 30, 42 percent saw it as big problem, compared with 65 percent of those in their 30s and 40s, and 74 percent of the 50 and older set. Fifty-one percent of Democrats identified the trend as a big problem, while 78 percent of Republicans shared that view.

The Pew report was based largely on an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data and a recent April 25-28 survey that polled a nationally representative sample of 1,003 adults through phone interviews.

Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescienceFacebook & Google+.Original article on LiveScience.com.

 

Earliest Case of Child Abuse Discovered in Egyptian Cemetery


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Earliest Case of Child Abuse Discovered in Egyptian Cemetery

Joseph Castro, LiveScience Contributor
Date: 28 May 2013 Time: 08:24 AM ET
When the researchers came across the abused toddler, labeled “Burial 519,” in Kellis 2, nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first. But when they began brushing the sand away, they noticed prominent fractures on the child’s arms. The excavated in situ burial of 519 shown here.
CREDIT: Sandra Wheeler  

A 2- to 3-year-old child from a Romano-Christian-period cemetery in Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, shows evidence of physical child abuse, archaeologists have found. The child, who lived around 2,000 years ago, represents the earliest documented case of child abuse in the archaeological record, and the first case ever found in Egypt, researchers say.

The Dakhleh Oasis is one of seven oases in Egypt’s Western Desert. The site has seen continuous human occupation since the Neolithic period, making it the focus of several archaeological investigations, said lead researcher Sandra Wheeler, a bioarchaeologist at the University of Central Florida. Moreover, the cemeteries in the oasis allow scientists to take a unique look at the beginnings of Christianity in Egypt.

In particular, the so-called Kellis 2 cemetery, which is located in the Dakhleh Oasis town of Kellis (southwest of Cairo), reflects Christian mortuary practices. For example, “instead of having children in different places, everyone is put in one place, which is an unusual practice at this time,” Wheeler told LiveScience. Dating methods using radioactive carbon from skeletons suggest the cemetery was used between A.D. 50 and A.D. 450.

When the researchers came across the abused toddler — labeled “Burial 519″ — in Kellis 2, nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first. But when Wheeler’s colleague Tosha Duprasbegan brushing the sand away, she noticed prominent fractures on the child’s arms. [See Photos of Kellis 2 Cemetery & Skeleton]

cemetery in egypt where a toddler with signs of child abuse was found. 

Archaeologists discovered the remains of a toddler in Romano-Christian-period cemetery in Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, who showed evidence of child abuse. Here, mud bricks for two tomb structures in the cemetery. In the foreground, several excavated graves can be seen.
CREDIT: Sandra Wheeler 

“She thought, ‘Whoa, this was weird,’ and then she found another fracture on the collarbone,” Wheeler said. “We have some other kids that show evidence of skeletal trauma, but this is the only one that had these really extreme fracture patterns.”

Signs of abuse

The researchers decided to conduct a series of tests on Burial 519, including X-ray work, histology (microscopic study of tissues) and isotopic analyses, which pinpoint metabolic changes that show when the body tried to repair itself. They found a number of bone fractures throughout the body, on places like the humerus (forearm), ribs, pelvis and back.

Whereas no particular fracture is diagnostic of child abuse, the pattern of trauma suggests it occurred. Additionally, the injuries were all in different stages of healing, which further signifies repeated nonaccidental trauma.

One of the more interesting fractures was located on the child’s upper arms, in the same spot on each arm, Wheeler said. The fractures were complete, broken all the way through the bone — given that children are more flexible than adults, a complete break like that would have taken a lot of force.

Close-up of upper body of burial 519, the 2,000-year-old remains of the abused toddler in Egypt.
CREDIT: Sandra Wheeler 

After comparing the injury with the clinical literature, the researchers deduced that someone grabbed the child’s arms and used them as handles to shake the child violently. Other fractures were also likely caused by shaking, but some injuries, including those on the ribs and vertebrae, probably came from direct blows.

The archaeologists aren’t sure what ultimately killed the toddler. “It could be that last fracture, which is the clavicle fracture,” Wheeler said, referring to the collarbone. “Maybe it wasn’t a survivable event.”

A unique case

Child abuse in the archaeological record is rare. One possible reason, Wheeler said, is that archaeologists didn’t really pay much attention to child remains until about 20 years ago, believing that children couldn’t tell them much about the past.

A few cases of possible child abuse have since come out of France, Peru and the United Kingdom, all of which date back to medieval times or later. “Certainly, our case has the best context in terms of the archaeology and skeletal analysis,” Wheeler said.

Of the 158 juveniles excavated from the Kellis 2 cemetery, Burial 519 is the only one showing signs of repeated nonaccidental trauma, suggesting child abuse wasn’t something that occurred throughout the community. The uniqueness of the case supports the general belief that children were a valued part of ancient Egyptian society.

By contrast, though Romans loved their kids immensely, they believed children were born soft and weak, so it was the parents’ duty to mold them into adults. They often engaged in such practices as corporal punishment, immobilizing newborn infants on wooden planks to ensure proper growth and routinely bathing the young in cold water as to not soften them with the feel of warm water.

“We know that the ancient Egyptians really revered children,” Wheeler said. “But we don’t know how much Roman ideas filtered into Egyptian society,” she added, suggesting that the unique child abuse case may have been the result of Roman influence.

The research will be published in an upcoming issue of the International Journal of Paleopathology.

Follow us @livescienceFacebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.com.

Coolest Science Stories of the Week


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Coolest Science Stories of the Week

LiveScience Staff
Date: 26 May 2013 Time: 09:15 AM ET
Quakes cause GPS errors

 

Credit: Paul Tregoning, Journal of Geophysical Research

Thirteen years of supersized earthquakes, such as today’s (May 24) magnitude-8.3 in Russia, have contaminated GPS sites around the world, a new study finds.

The Global Positioning System is a network of satellites and ground stations that provide location information anywhere on Earth. Except for spots in Australia, western Europe and the eastern tip of Canada, every GPS site on the ground underwent small but important shifts since 2000 because of big earthquakes, according to a study published May 6 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.

[Full Story: Big Earthquakes Create Global-Scale GPS Errors]

 

Cockroaches evolved to avoid sugary baits

 

Credit: Ayako Wada-Kutsumta and Andrew Ernst

In the ongoing battle between humans and cockroaches, the insects have a leg up. A new study finds that roaches evolved their taste buds to make sweet insecticide baits taste bitter. As a result, the roaches avoid the baits and thrive, to the frustration of homeowners everywhere.

Plenty of insects evolve resistance to pesticides; they gain the ability to break down poisons without dying. German cockroaches, on the other hand, evolved what’s known as a behavioral resistance to baits. They simply stopped eating them.

[Full Story: Yikes! Cockroaches Evolved to Avoid Sugary Baits]

Baby saved with 3D printing

 

Credit: University of Michigan Health System

When April and Bryan Gionfriddo brought home their newborn son, Kaiba, in October 2011, he seemed like a healthy baby. But one night, when the family was out to dinner, Kaiba stopped being able to breathe and turned blue. Bryan laid Kaiba, just 6 weeks old, on the restaurant table and performed chest compressions on him before he was rushed to the hospital.

After 10 days, Kaiba was sent home, but he turned blue again two days later. That’s when doctors realized Kaiba had a rare condition called tracheobronchomalacia, in which the windpipe is so weak that it collapses, preventing air from flowing to the lungs.

[Full Story: Baby’s Life Saved with 3D Printing]

A drug that prevents brain aging?

 

Credit: Courtesy FONAR Corporation

Sharply reducing calorie intake, by as much as 40 percent, could slow aging in cells and may even prolong life span, studies have suggested. Now, researchers say they have found a way to mimic the beneficial effects of calorie restriction on the brain with a drug.

The pill activates an enzyme in brain cells, and the study showed the drug delayed both the cognitive impairment associated with aging and Alzheimer’s disease, and the loss of nerve cells that happens with aging.

[Full Story: Could a Drug Prevent Brain Aging?]

Why penguins quit flying

 

Credit: Image courtesy of Kyle H. Elliott

Humans spent centuries conspiring to fly, so it might be hard to imagine that any creature would give up the skill, and yet penguins waddle among us. A new study helps confirm that these seabirds traded flight to become better swimmers.

Penguins have a litany of physical features that make them energy-efficient underwater. For instance, their shortened wingspans lessen drag; their dense wing bones make them less buoyant; and their bulky bodies help them stay insulated and dive deeper. Unlike other aquatic birds that paddle underwater with their webbed feet, penguins beat their wings to propel themselves far below the surface. Emperor penguins can even go to depths greater than 1,500 feet (450 meters), lasting 20 minutes on a single breath.

[Full Story: Why Penguins Quit Flying]

Crazy ants driving out fire ants

 

Credit: Joe MacGown, Mississippi Entomological Museum

Invasive fire ants have been a thorn in the sides of Southerners for years. But another invasive species, the so-called “crazy” ant — that many describe as being worse — has arrived and is displacing fire ants in several places.

“When you talk to folks who live in the invaded areas, they tell you they want their fire ants back,” said Edward LeBrun, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, in a statement from the school. “Fire ants are in many ways very polite. They live in your yard. They form mounds and stay there, and they only interact with you if you step on their mound.”

[Full Story: ‘Crazy’ Ants Driving Out Fire Ants in Southeast]

Has famous math problem been solved?

 

Credit: Andreas Guskos | Shutterstock.com

Infinity down, only 69,999,997 to go.

New research has proven that prime numbers don’t just disappear as numbers get larger — instead, there is an infinite number of prime numbers separated by a distance of at most 70 million.

[Full Story: Famous Prime Number Conjecture One Step Closer to Proof]

Dolphin finds rare torpedo

 

Credit: Alan Antczak

A Navy dolphin training to look for mines off the coast of San Diego found a museum-worthy 19th-century torpedo on the seafloor, military officials said.

The brass-coated, retro wonder of technology was one of the first self-propelled torpedoes used by the U.S. Navy. Just 50 of these so-called Howell torpedoes were made and only one other example has been recovered; it sits in the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Wash., outside of Seattle.

[Full Story: Navy Dolphin Finds Rare 130-Year-Old Torpedo]

Stephen Hawking gets superhero treatment

 

Credit: Bluewater

Living legend Stephen Hawking has already achieved superhero status in the eyes of many science geeks, and now his ideas are being honored in comic book form.

“Stephen Hawking: Riddles of Time & Space” (Bluewater) details the life story of the physicist, from his early days at Cambridge and struggles with a body-wrecking disease to his academic achievements and current fame.

[Full Story: Stephen Hawking Gets Superhero Treatment in New Comic]

 

Tiny Sensor Promises Better Monitor for Environment


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Tiny Sensor Promises Better Monitor for Environment

Juan Guerrero, University of Delaware
Date: 28 May 2013 Time: 10:51 AM ET
Chaoying Ni (blue shirt) and Juejun Hu (white shirt) in the lab with a sensor device.
CREDIT: Evan Krape/University of Delaware 

This Behind the Scenes article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

Researchers are developing a device that they hope will allow real-time, onsite detection of water and air pollutants in an inexpensive and environmentally friendly manner.

Professors Juejun Hu andChaoying Ni of the University of Delaware’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering are creating small, highly sensitive devices that will be able to detect organic, inorganic and biological molecules at low levels in the environment. They are funded by a seed grant from the National Science Foundation’s Delaware Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

“We’re making nanostructures to detect chemical molecules in a very sensitive manner,” said lead researcher Hu.

With further research and development, the devices could be integrated into portable, battery-powered sensor packages, replacing more traditional molecular detectors, which require bulky and expensive equipment. Deployed in a network in the field, an array of the small sensors could detect contamination in air, water and soil in real time and relay that information wirelessly to a computer.

A major obstacle preventing small sensors from becoming practical replacements for bulky machines is that the new technology is less sensitive and specific in its detection than the instruments currently in use. Hu and Ni’s project aims to create sensors that overcome these obstacles.

“It’s a new type of sensor,” said Ni. “It is very small and, more importantly, it is very sensitive and very specific.”

The researchers use a focused ion beam to punch holes into a thin strip of chalcogenide glass — glass composed of particular elements that give it special optical propertiesneeded to track pollutants and enhanced by the holes — that is a few micrometers thick, or about one-tenth the width of a hair. When light passes through the strip, molecules in the environment selectively absorb one or a few particular colors of the light — in this way, the molecules are, in effect, signaling their presence. The researchers can use these optical absorption signals to identify the presence and concentration of molecules of interest. The researchers plan to group several of the tiny, chip-sized devices together to create a sensor capable of detecting multiple types of molecules.

sensors, microsensors, environmental monitoring 

Sensor on a chip.
CREDIT: © 2012 University of Delaware/Evan Krape 

“In the end, the device will be very sensitive compared to current technology. We expect around two to four orders of magnitude improvement,” said Hu. “It will also be small and leave a very small footprint. Once integrated, it will be the size of a hockey puck and can be placed discreetly in the environment.”

Since the researchers began the project about a year ago, they have successfully created several chips, although they have encountered some problems along the way.

“Fabricating the device was difficult,” said Ni. “The holes have to be punched with great precision. That’s why we need the focused ion beam, which turned out to be perfect for this project.”

Although the project is still in its early stages, with testing only having started this past fall, Hu is already looking ahead to the practical benefits the devices could have for the environment.

“We’ll be able to continuously monitor environmental pollutants, so we’ll know if water in a stream is getting polluted or if a chemical plant is leaking. We can also use it to detect toxic leaks in industrial plants,” he said.

Hu added that once the technology is sensitive enough, chip-scale sensors could be useful in other fields, including biomedicine.

“We could use the devices to check for certain diseases by analyzing a patient’s breath,” he said. “The sensor would be able to detect trace molecules in the air they exhale.”

Ni agreed that the devices could have a significant impact. “They could be a game-changing type of thing,” he said.

Editor’s Note: The researchers depicted in Behind the Scenes articles have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the federal agency charged with funding basic research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. See the Behind the Scenes Archive.

Ultrathin, Foldable Sensors Probe Secrets of the Brain


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Ultrathin, Foldable Sensors Probe Secrets of the Brain

Kathleen Hamilton, Director, Communications & Marketing, Polytechnic Institute of New York University
This flexible, ultrathin sensor array has 360 amplified and multiplexed electrodes, but only 39 wires are needed. The sensor can be placed in close contact with the brain and is able to take high-resolution recordings of epileptic seizures.
CREDIT: Yun Soung Kim, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

New ultra-thin, flexible sensors can deliver unprecedented views of the brain while dramatically reducing the invasiveness of brain implant devices.

Using the new sensors, researchers have already recorded previously unknown details of sleep patterns and brain activity during epileptic seizures in animals. They hope the new technology will help control seizures and sleep disorders and lead to new understandings of learning, vision, memory, depression, chronic pain and other neurological disorders. Ultimately, they hope to apply the new technology to other implantable devices such as cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, cochlear and retinal implants and motor prosthetic systems.

The breakthrough technology packs ultrathin, foldable, silicon transistors into dense arrays of thousands of multiplexed sensors, and it uses just a tenth of the wires required by today’s technology. The new sensors deliver unprecedented resolution — more than 400 times the current level.

Current implants that record or stimulate brain activity require wires for each individual sensor. The combination of the mass of today’s sensors and wires preclude them from important areas of the brain that the new sensors can monitor for the first time, including inside sulci and fissures and even between the cortical hemispheres.

The new arrays cover a much larger brain area with significantly higher resolution, and the surgery to implant them is much less invasive.

The researchers’ findings were published in the December issue of Nature Neuroscience. Lead authors are Brian Litt of the University of Pennsylvania and Jonathan Viventi, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Polytechnic Institute of New York University and at the Center for Neural Science at New York University. John Rogers of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Dae-Hyeong Kim of Seoul National University, in South Korea are also part of the team that conceived and built the array.

The research was conducted with support from the U.S. National Institutes of Health’sNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy Division of Materials Sciences and EngineeringCitizens United for Research in Epilepsy, and the Dr. Michel and Mrs. Anna Mirowski Discovery Fund for Epilepsy Research.

For more information, check out this press release from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and this press release from the University of Pennsylvania.

Editor’s Note: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. See the Research in Action archive.

How to Do the 7-Minute Workout


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How to Do the 7-Minute Workout

by Karl Tate, LiveScience Infographic Artist
Date: 15 May 2013 Time: 10:22 AM ET
Infographic: How to do the 7-minute Workout
Adults should do 150 minutes of moderate exercise (or 75 minutes of intense exercise) weekly, and do muscle-strengthening exercises two days a week, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who follow these recommendations get two kinds of exercise:
• weight bearing (aka strength training), involving muscle contraction to build strength
• aerobic (aka cardio), meaning exercises meant to boost the heart rate and oxygen use
But a new workout plan from researchers at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., recommends a seven-minute exercise regimen.
The high-intensity workout combines both kinds of exercise, using body weight to provide resistance. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds, with a 10-second rest before going on to the next exercise (with breaks included, the routine totals eight minutes).
The entire sequence of 12 exercises can be repeated two or three times if desired.
The order of the exercises is:
• Jumping jacks
• Wall sits
• Push-ups
• Abdominal crunches
• Step-ups onto a chair
• Squats
• Triceps dips on a chair
• Planks
• High knees/running in place
• Lunges
• Push-ups and rotations
• Side planks