Why your voice sounds different on a recording - Timothy E. Hullar in Scientific American describes the reason. The sound of your voice reaches the inner ear by two paths:
- Sound conducted by air enters the auditory canal of the ear and impacts the eardrum, which transmits the sound down the middle ear and finally into the fluid filled spiral of the inner ear called the cochlea.
- Sound conducted by bone travels through the medium of bone and body tissue directly to the cochlea in the inner ear.
But there's a catch...
Surface Protein TRPA1 Increases Pain After Surgery Anesthesia - Studies in mice suggest that certain commonly used anesthetics activate the TRPA1 surface protein on nerve cells. When activated, the TRPA1 protein increases or intensifies feelings of pain after waking up from surgery. Anesthesiologists may try to use medications that don't activate TRPA1.
- :Multimedia Production Site:
- Biovisions at Harvard. Absolutely profound and educational animation of a handful of cellular processes by John Liebler (and team?). Amazing stuff. "Bio visions" is right.
- YouTube - The Inner Life of the Cell - Full Version
- Youtube version. Not as high quality. Go to the Harvard Multimedia site for best quality video of John Liebler's work. Fascinating.
Why Fat People Always Feel Hungry - I've been reading a lot about diets and obesity, and I've finally come to some conclusions which have been corroborated in Gary Taubes' paradigm-shattering book, Good Calories, Bad Calories.
The body regulates fat metabolism very precisely in ALL people--fat, lean, and in-between.
In a few sentences - Digestion of carbs and sugars leads to insulin secretion. Insulin secretion tells your body to store fat in fat cells. Insulin secretion also prevents your body from releasing fat from fat cells. You cannot lose weight (burn fat) with insulin in your bloodstream.
In other words - Insulin prevents your fat cells from releasing fat. So if you reduce your blood insulin levels (through low-carb eating), you enable your body to burn fat. But if you keep insulin levels high (through high-carb eating), you absolutely CANNOT burn fat.
The model 1 below explains why people get fat and why fat people constantly feel hungry.
Raspberry Sized Turtle - Too cute...and somehow I don't think this is photoshopped, but perhaps I'm naive. Love the image in any case...
Men Not Needed to Create Sperm - Finally, proof that the male of the species is superfluous: scientists at the University of Newcastle have created human sperm cells from female embryonic stem cells. Coming research....I didn't intend that pun...will focus on creating sperm from female bone marrow, a less controversial source.
But this technique would only produce a female egg, right?
Actually, current efforts won't produce a viable egg at all. Before that can happen, the researchers must figure out a way to induce the cells to undergo meiosis, which would give the diploid cells the correct amount of genetic material.
Fascinating new theory about how nerves talk with each other. New idea was "stimulated" by the fact we don't understand how anesthetics work, and that current theories of an anesthetic mechanism do not seem compatible with popular "electricity" theories of how nerves work.
But substitute sound for electricity, and things start to make sense. Fascinating idea. Below are some notes and quotes:
U.S. Flu Crisis Guidelines - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidelines for handling a U.S. flu crisis. They adopt various "social distancing" strategies.
Absent from the guidelines are travel restrictions.
Economic concerns led to the ommission of travel restrictions.
Here is the summary statement, word-for-word, from the PandemicFlu.gov website:
Biomimicry by Janine Benyus - Fascinating idea--philosophy, really--that we should look to the existing designs of nature for "innovation."
Not that such an approach isn't being used. Look at how pharmaceutical companies develop compounds found in rainforests into new drugs.
But biomimicry as Benyus describes it is something deeper. It's about changing how we view ourselves in the world as much as how we seek out nature-inspired design.
As a driver, Wayne Gerdes is schizophrenic - one moment he's driving like an old lady, the next like Michael Schumacher. He's a maniac on a mission, getting 59-plus miles per gallon with an unmodified Honda Accord. However, it's not the car that generates the great mileage; it's the driver. Wayne's driving philosophy can be summed up with two of his favorite driving techniques...
Practice does NOT make perfect - Scientists believe that striving to consistently repeat a physical action (like shooting a basketball free-throw or serving a tennis ball) is unnatural. Our bodies and brains are simply not designed to repeat the same motion in the same way over and over again. Variation invariably sneaks in, and the culprit for the inconsistency is the brain. It simply won't let you perform the same action in an identical way over and over again.
So the lesson is not to focus on the same physical action but the same outcome. Slight variations in form are a good thing and more natural to the body. Keep you eyes on the prize, not on perfect, repeatable form.
Zeer Pots Cooler for Camping - This looks like a ingeniously simple idea for keeping food cooler when camping or away from electricity. A non-electrical refrigerator. Excellent emergency cooling technique. I've gotta experiment with this idea.
This looks VERY interesting ideas on passive cooling. Plan to summarize. Zeer Pots are a ingeniously simple solution to refrigeration without electricity. I'm gonna experiment with that at home. Zeer pots sound perfect for camping. Photos included in the original post are helpful.
Aeroscraft Air Ship - I find this a fascinating idea, a cruise ship for the skies. NY Nerds posted this picture with commentary. I thought it was a joke...and it may be...but it's still an interesting idea. A fighter jet it ain't, but the available space per passenger would beat the hell out of the airline's current cattle-car offerings. Also, could it be a fuel saver--relying on the helium (or hydrogen?) as lift?
What you do during the last few minutes before a crash can make the difference between life and death. Here is the best advice I could find...
Immune to Cancer - Scientists discovered that some mice just don't get cancer--they seem somehow immune. So they took the white blood cells of those cancer resistant mice, and inject them into previously non-resistant mice. Within a few days or weeks of being injected, those normal mice become resistant or immune to cancer.
Will this approach work in humans?
What an absolutely gorgeous image. I really want to think it's a composite of some sort, like the Main/BestPhotoOfTheMoon. Whatever the case, it's pleasing to the eye...if not shocking.
Article appears to describe in detail the mechanisms that allow (or prevent) bird to humand, and human to human transmission of the bird flu virus.
Very interesting blog entry, focusing on Godel, Escher, Bach
Memory and Forgiveness - I'm reminded of the book The Singularity Is Near, where author Ray Kurzweil forecasts that computers will match the processing power of the human brain by mid-century or 2050.
Kurzweil predicts we will be able to "download" skills, as represented in The Matrix. Think of that. But will it be any better than our current approach? Will we forget the skill as we do now and require multiple "downloads" to keep it up? Or is one download enough? I suppose it depends on the process of forgetting...and our process of storing information...So many questions.
Hidden Connections - I read The Turning Point and The Tao of Physics by Capra many years ago. And his Uncommon Wisdom which is excellent. But I sort of lost track of him. Then I happened upon this Hidden Connections in a used bookstore. It's not very old (2002). Focuses on sustainability. I guess it's a followup to his The Web of Life, which I haven't read. Plan to read this one. Looks right up my alley. Capra is an interesting writer to me, though his strength is in dialogue, starting and sustaining a conversation (something more than an interview). Uncommon Wisdom was so fascinating in that respect, filled with his dialogues with brilliant minds from a broad spectrum of disciplines.
Yet another fantastically funny email. I wonder if the story behind this has any truth.
For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on. At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated:
In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued this press release...