The 84th Academy Awards airs tonight, and we’re capturing all the action for you from Mashable HQ in New York City. Join us as we dish the details before, during and after the ceremony, which starts at 8:30 p.m. ET. Starting at 7:30 p.m. ET, our team will talk all things Oscars, including dig…
naaapıyor bu ruh hastası?! O.o
Some untreatable cancers could soon be held in check by an experimental drug that targets not only the tumour itself, but also how it evolves to spread through the body.
The new drug, Cabozantinib, or cabo for short, simultaneously neutralises two mechanisms cancers need to survive. First, it chokes each tumour’s blood supply by blocking a molecule on the surface of its blood vessels, called vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR). There is evidence in animals that cancers can respond to this kind of attack by invading new tissues, where they may be able to generate secondary tumours. Importantly, cabo foils this strategy by blocking a second receptor called c-MET that would otherwise help cancer cells spread to new tissue.
We’re in Chicago next week for the AWP writers conference and will be throwing a happy hour for Tumblr writers of all stripes. We’d love to see you there.
The venue, Uncharted Books, is a new bookstore funded on Kickstarter which had a Tumblr blog before it was born. It’s a dream spot for book-web-community nerds and we absolutely can’t wait to see it (and all of you.)
February 23rd, 2012
Researchers at the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics have discovered an answer to the long-standing mystery of how brain cells can both remember new memories while also maintaining older ones.
They found that specific neurons in a brain…
By Carl Zimmer
Thomas Seeley is doing interesting research on beehive rituals in Maine. In particular, he studies how a decision, such as finding a new home, is made in a hive.
Through years of study, Seeley and his colleagues have uncovered a few principles honeybees use to make these smart decisions. The first is enthusiasm. A scout coming back from an ideal cavity will dance with passion, making 200 circuits or more and waggling violently all the way. But if she inspects a mediocre cavity, she will dance fewer circuits.Enthusiasm translates into attention. An enthusiastic scout will inspire more bees to go check out her site. And when the second-wave scouts return, they persuade more scouts to investigate the better site.
The second principle is flexibility. Once a scout finds a site, she travels back and forth from site to hive. Each time she returns, she dances to win over other scouts. But the number of dance repetitions declines, until she stops dancing altogether. Seeley and his colleagues found that honeybees that visit good sites keep dancing for more trips than honeybees from mediocre ones.
One of the things Seeley has been thinking about during his vigils with his swarms is how much they’re like our own minds. “I think of a swarm as an exposed brain that hangs quietly from a tree branch,” Seeley said. A swarm and a brain both make decisions. Our brains have to make quick judgments about a flood of neural signals from our eyes, for example, figuring out what we’re seeing and deciding how to respond.
Both swarms and brains make their decisions democratically. Despite her royal title, a honeybee queen does not make decisions for the hive. The hive makes decisions for her. In our brain, no single neuron takes in all the information from our senses and makes a decision. Millions make a collective choice.
“Bees are to hives as neurons are to brains,” says Jeffrey Schall, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University. Neurons use some of the same tricks honeybees use to come to decisions. A single visual neuron is like a single scout. It reports about a tiny patch of what we see, just as a scout dances for a single site. Different neurons may give us conflicting ideas about what we’re actually seeing, but we have to quickly choose between the alternatives. That red blob seen from the corner of your eye may be a stop sign, or it may be a car barreling down the street.
To make the right choice, our neurons hold a competition, and different coalitions recruit more neurons to their interpretation of reality, much as scouts recruit more bees. Our brains need a way to avoid stalemates. Like the decaying dances of honeybees, a coalition starts to get weaker if it doesn’t get a continual supply of signals from the eyes. As a result, it doesn’t get locked early into the wrong choice. Just as honeybees use a quorum, our brain waits until one coalition hits a threshold and then makes a decision.
Sleep: How Long Can You Go Without It? (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Sleep has intrigued scientists for a long time, but only within the last fifty years or so has it become a systematic area of study. In that amount of time, we’ve gained new insights into circadian rhythms and sleep cycles, including dream-laden REM—or rapid eye movement—sleep. And although we know a lot about how we sleep, exactly why we sleep is still a mystery.
One way scientists have attempted to answer the holy grail question of why we sleep is to study what happens when we don’t sleep. New research has shown that when animals don’t sleep for extended periods of time, certain neurons flip their own switches, in essence, and display sleep-like patterns of activation even in a wakeful individual. And interestingly, dolphins and seals sleep only one hemisphere of the brain at a time. Perhaps because they must come up for air—they are mammals, after all—and because they need to look out for predators, they have evolved an ability to sleep while they are still awake. If certain brain regions can be asleep and others awake at the exact same time, perhaps sleep isn’t the all-or-nothing phenomenon that scientists long thought it was. This paradigm shift in the way we view sleep may lead to new efforts in studying sleep disorders or lapses in attention from daytime sleepiness.