A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

How sleep builds relational memory

Credit: Gettyimages

Making connections requires brain circuits to be active and interact during sleep

Relational memory is the ability to remember arbitrary or indirect associations between objects, places, people or events -- such as names and faces.

Previous research has established that animal and human memory benefits from quality sleep. In a new U.S. National Science Foundation-supported study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, Maxim Bazhenov and Timothy Tadros of the University of California San Diego

School of Medicine developed a modeling approach that may explain the underlying mechanisms that strengthen or create new relational memories during sleep.

"This new computational research provides insights into the importance of sleep for the consolidation of memory," said NSF program director Jonathan Fritz.

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Cellular spring cleaning may keep us youthful and healthy for longer

The worm C. elegans has a nervous system remarkably similar to that of humans. Researchers are studying it to better understand the link between autophagy and age-related degeneration of the nervous system. © Nektarios Tavernarakis, 2022

Have we found the fountain of youth?

The in-built process of maintaining the health of our cells by recycling dead or toxic material plays a key role in our health overall. Known as autophagy, researchers are now keen to know if boosting the natural process may hold off the debilitating diseases of old age.

By intervening in the processes that make our bodies and brains malfunction as we get older, can we delay the onset of age-related disorders, or even stop them developing entirely?

The mythical fountain of youth has been a popular legend for thousands of years. The question of whether we can drink from its waters has been nagging modern researchers working in the field of biological ageing (known as senescence) since 1889, when French doctor Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard injected himself with extracts from animal testicles. Following this, he claimed his mental and physical condition improved.

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How life reemerges from cataclysms

Credit: Smithsonian Institution;  A trilobite fossil from the Ordovician period, from about 485 million to 443 million years ago.


What is the recovery pattern of lifeforms after natural cataclysms 

Scientists at Stanford University have discovered a surprising pattern of how life reemerges from cataclysms. Research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows that the usual rules of body size evolution change not only during mass extinctions but also during the subsequent recovery.

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Hummingbirds can smell their way out of danger

Credit: David Rankin; Southern California hummingbird foraging nectar from a flower.

Vultures aren't the only birds that can sniff

In less time than it takes to read this sentence, hummingbirds can catch a whiff of potential trouble. That is the result of new University of California, Riverside research showing, contrary to popular belief, these tiny birds do have an active sense of smell.

Researchers have known for some time that vultures have a highly sensitive sense of smell, with some species being compared to "airborne bloodhounds." This is due in part to their large olfactory bulbs -- tissue in the brain that controls smell.

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Can bacteria make better crack-resistant materials?

Image credit: Qiming Wang, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Researchers harness the power of living organisms to make new materials


Biological systems can harness living cells for growth and regeneration, but engineering systems cannot -- or couldn't until now.

Qiming Wang and other researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering are harnessing living bacteria to create engineering materials that are strong and resilient. The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded research is published in Advanced Materials.

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SSA Recent Posts

22 June 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Jean Louis Théodore Géricault – The Raft of the Medusa (Museo Del Louvre, 1818-19); via Wikipedia The unrecognized genius Do you know which is the second most popular painting in the Louvre museum, second only to Mona Lina? If not, maybe you ...
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20 June 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Gettyimages Making connections requires brain circuits to be active and interact during sleep Relational memory is the ability to remember arbitrary or indirect associations between objects, places, people or events -- such as names and faces...
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17 June 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Cortada.com Xavier Cortada's Public Art Over the past three decades, Cortada has created art across six continents including more than one hundred and fifty (150) public artworks and dozens of collaborative murals and socially engaged project...
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