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"I spent 25 years at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington. Here are some of the exhibits I worked on over the years"
history  photos  seattle  science 
yesterday by mechazoidal
A Landmark Study on the Origins of Alcoholism - The Atlantic
That is exactly what the team did next. They compared the alcohol-preferring and sugar-preferring rats and looked for differences in the genes that were active in their brains. They focused on six regions that are thought to be involved in addiction, and found no differences in five. “But in the sixth, we did,” says Heilig. “And it made me smile because I started out doing my Ph.D. on the amygdala.”

The amygdala is an almond-shaped region that sits deep within the brain, and is heavily involved in processing emotions. When Augier looked at the amygdala of alcoholic rats, he found signs of unusually low activity in several genes, all of which are linked to a chemical called GABA.

GABA is a molecular red light: Certain neurons make and release it to stop their neighbors from firing. Once that’s done, the GABA-making neurons use an enzyme called GAT3 to pump the molecule back into themselves, so they can reuse it. But in the amygdala of alcohol-preferring rats, the gene that makes GAT3 is much less active, and makes just half the usual levels of the pump. GABA accumulates around the neighboring neurons, making them abnormally inactive.
science  medical  health  biology  rationalthinker  rational 
yesterday by dstelow
Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe captures close-ups of an asteroid – GeekWire
Our view of Ryugu, a half-mile-wide space rock nearly 180 million miles from Earth, is coming into sharper focus with the approach of the Japanese probe Hayabusa 2.

Three and a half years after its launch, the spacecraft is now within 35 miles of the asteroid, closing in on what’s expected to be a standoff orbital distance of 12 miles. The pictures that it’s been sending back throughout the approach provide enough detail to reveal Ryugu’s blocky shape.

“It looks like… a dango-type asteroid! (Actually, that’s a Japanese sweet dumpling. But the shape seems to be similar so far…),” the mission team tweeted last week.
science  space 
yesterday by dstelow
Maria Mitchell at 200: a pioneering astronomer who fought for women in science
Richard Holmes:
This is a legacy to reckon with. Her archives are treasured at Vassar, and a museum and an association in her name flourish in Nantucket. Her beautiful Henry Fitz telescope has gleaming pride of place in the National Museum of American History, Washington DC. Above all, she should be remembered for her inspirational science teaching, the passionate ex-Quaker and bold proto-feminist so vividly combined. One of her students recalled: “A chance meeting with Miss Mitchell ... gave one always an electric shock. At the slightest contact, a spark flashed.” We can catch it still.
science  womenscientists  history  astronomy 
yesterday by madamim
Frictionless gas flow observed in perfectly flat-walled nanochannels
The authors found that the permeability of deuterium (D2) in graphite nanochannels is much lower than that of hydrogen (H2), its lighter isotopic counterpart, even though Knudsen theory predicts the opposite. This is because deuterium molecules have a smaller de Broglie wavelength than do hydrogen molecules, and therefore ‘see’ the channel walls as being rougher, even though the two types of molecule have the same diameter and interact in the same way with the channel walls.

Quantum weirdness!
quantum  physics  nanoscience  science 
yesterday by madamim
Facebook and How UIs Twist Your Words
The UI is part of user’s digital body language.
chat  science  facebook  UI  design 
yesterday by DirkSonguer
Even brief maternal deprivation early in life alters adult brain function and cognition | EurekAlert! Science News
When a baby is taken from its mother for even a brief period early in life, this traumatic event significantly alters the future, adult function of the brain, according to a new animal model study from the School of Science at IUPUI. These changes in the brain are similar to disturbances in brain structure and function that are found in people at risk for neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.
science  research  health  psychology 
yesterday by Weaverbird

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