vihu

~ ideal career: writer-musician-physician-scientist-entrepreneur

~ admires novelists who create believable worlds with science, history, and culture, and strong, complex characters

~ respects people who seek to balance the intransigence of morality and compassion for humanity

~ enjoys observing people and animals, in literature as well as real-life situations

~ tries to understand different perspectives, cultures, etc.

~ loves to learn, and appreciates things that make her think.

This erratic notepad is a perfectionist's exercise in spontaneity, and a collection of miscellaneous items of interest.

cross-connect:

The Illustration and Art of Paula Duta

Illustrator, Interior designer

on.fb.me/12gvuQ5

                                                         &

thenewenlightenmentage:

Are White Holes Real?

Sailors have their krakens and their sea serpents. Physicists have white holes: cosmic creatures that straddle the line between tall tale and reality. Yet to be seen in the wild, white holes may be only mathematical monsters. But new research suggests that, if a speculative theory called loop quantum gravity is right, white holes could be real—and we might have already observed them.

A white whole is, roughly speaking, the opposite of a black hole. “A black hole is a place where you can go in but you can never escape; a white hole is a place where you can leave but you can never go back,” says Caltech physicist Sean Carroll. “Otherwise, [both share] exactly the same mathematics, exactly the same geometry.” That boils down to a few essential features: a singularity, where mass is squeezed into a point of infinite density, and an event horizon, the invisible “point of no return” first described mathematically by the German physicist Karl Schwarzschild in 1916. For a black hole, the event horizon represents a one-way entrance; for a white hole, it’s exit-only.

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houseofmind:

Measuring nurture: Study shows how “good mothering” hardwires the infant brain

By carefully watching nearly a hundred hours of video showing mother rats protecting, warming, and feeding their young pups, and then matching up what they saw to real-time electrical readings from the pups’ brains, researchers have found that the mother’s presence and social interactions -— her nurturing role -— directly molds the early neural activity and growth of her offsprings’ brain.

For the study, a half-dozen rat mothers and their litters, of usually a dozen pups, were watched and videotaped from infancy for preset times during the day as they naturally developed. One pup from each litter was outfitted with a miniature wireless transmitter, invisibly placed under the skin and next to the brain to record its electrical patterns.

Specifically, study results showed that when rat mothers left their pups alone in the nest, infant cortical brain electrical activity, measured as local field potentials, jumped 50 percent to 100 percent, and brain wave patterns became more erratic, or desynchronous. Researchers point out that such periodic desynchronization is key to healthy brain growth and communication across different brain regions.

During nursing, infant rat pups calmed down after attaching themselves to their mother’s nipple. Brain activity also slowed and became more synchronous, with clearly identifiable electrical patterns.

However, these brain surges progressively declined during weaning, as infant pups gained independence from their mothers, leaving the nest and seeking food on their own as they grew past two weeks of age.

Additional experiments with a neural-signaling blocking agent, propranolol, confirmed that maternal effects were controlled in part by secretion of norepinephrine, a key neurotransmitter and hormone involved in most basic brain and body functions, including regulation of heart rate and cognition. Noradrenergic blocking in infant rats mostly dampened all previously observed effects induced by their mothers.

More work coming out of the lab :) Click on the title for link to ScienceDaily write-up. 

Source: 

Sarro, Wilson and Sullivan (2014). Maternal Regulation of Infant Brain State. Current Biology 24 (14): 1664-9.