Tag Archives | experiments

A Campaign To Preserve The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab As A Museum

 Princeton Engineering Anomalies ResearchPresenting a much-needed Kickstarter to save the Twin Peaks-esque headquarters of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program.

PEAR ran fascinating experiments using strange and fantastic devices with the goal of detecting collective consciousness and the physical manifestation of mental projection:

Operated at Princeton University from 1979 to 2007, PEAR is internationally renowned for its studies of human/machine anomalies and the role of consciousness in the construction of physical reality. Its legacy is now being carried forward by International Consciousness Research Laboratories (ICRL), a not-for-profit organization, which will house the proposed museum in its Princeton, NJ, headquarters.

Designed to study the potential vulnerability of engineering devices and information processing systems to the anomalous influence of the consciousness of their human operators, machines that will be in this exhibit were based on some form of random physical noise that produced a statistical output distribution, which was automatically recorded on hard copy and in a computer file.

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Scientists Grow Pea-Sized Human Brains In Lab

pea-sized human brain

How long do we have until the creation of the “pea people”? The BBC reports:

Miniature “human brains” have been grown in a lab by scientists at Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The pea-sized structures reached the same level of development as in a nine-week-old foetus, but are incapable of thought. The study has already been used to gain insight into rare diseases.

The scientists used either embryonic stem cells or adult skin cells to produce the part of an embryo that develops into the brain and spinal cord – the neuroectoderm. The cells were able to grow and organise themselves into separate regions of the brain, such as the cerebral cortex, the retina, and, rarely, an early hippocampus.

The “mini-brains” have survived for nearly a year, but did not grow any larger. There is no blood supply, just brain tissue, so nutrients and oxygen cannot penetrate into the middle of the brain-like structure.

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Study Reveals That Death Occurs More Slowly Than Believed

death

Being alive or dead may not be such a black and white matter. Via Discovery:

A new study reveals how death in organisms, including humans, spreads like a wave from cell to cell until the whole individual is dead. In certain cases, scientists may be able to stop the biochemical process that leads to this death wave, reviving the individual.

Researchers focused their analysis on worms, which surprisingly possess mechanisms that are similar to those that are active in mammals. A remarkable feature of worms is that, as they die, the spread of death through their bodies can easily be seen under magnification. It’s a fluorescent blue light caused by necrosis, or the cell death pathway. This, in turn, is dependent upon calcium signaling.

The individual cell deaths trigger a chemical reaction that leads to the breakdown of cell components and a build-up of molecular debris. If this goes on unchecked, the individual is toast.

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Engaging In Expressive Writing Makes Physical Wounds Heal Faster

physical woundsShould your doctor be giving you books of poetry? Expressing your emotions via writing literally makes your body heal more quickly, a new University of Auckland study suggests. Via PubMed:

In this randomized controlled trial, 49 healthy older adults were assigned to write for 20 minutes a day either about upsetting life events (Expressive Writing) or about daily activities (Time Management) for 3 consecutive days.

Two weeks postwriting, 4-mm punch biopsy wounds were created on the inner, upper arm. Wounds were photographed routinely for 21 days to monitor wound reepithelialization.

Participants in the Expressive Writing group had a greater proportion of fully reepithelialized wounds at Day 11 postbiopsy compared with the Time Management group, with 76.2% versus 42.1% healed.

This study extends previous research by showing that expressive writing can improve wound healing in older adults and women. Future research is needed to better understand the underlying cognitive, psychosocial, and biological mechanisms contributing to improved wound healing from these simple, yet effective, writing exercises.

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Surgeon Claims Human Head Transplant Is Possible

human head transplant

How would you feel being attached to a different body? Via the Telegraph:

Dr. Sergio Canavero believes that the technology now exists that will allow surgeons to carry out the Frankenstein-style procedure, which has been tested out on animals since 1970.

Up until now there has been no way to successfully reconnect the spinal cord, leaving the subjects paralysed from the point where the transplant was connected. Recent advances have meant that re-connecting the spinal cord is now possible, and it is believed that the breakthrough means that previously fatal diseases could be cured.

In 1970 Robert White successfully transplanted the head of a rhesus monkey onto the body of a second rhesus. Dr. Canavero, a member of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, has proposed using a similar method.

He said: “The greatest technical hurdle to such endeavour is of course the reconnection of the donor’s and recipient’s spinal cords.

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Low Dose Psychedelics Allow Mice To Generate Neurons And Unlearn Conditioned Fear

psychedelics

Psychedelic Frontier reports on another study pointing to the immense power (and hazards) of psychedelics:

A new study of mice published in Experimental Brain Research shows that low doses (but not high doses) of psychedelics increase the rate of neuron creation in the hippocampus, and help the mice to rapidly unlearn conditioned fear responses.

Mice injected with low doses of PSOP [psilocybin] extinguished cued fear conditioning significantly more rapidly than high-dose PSOP or saline-treated mice. PSOP facilitates extinction of the conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.

Research continues to confirm psychedelics’ ability to reduce the conditioned fear response, enabling patients to confront fearful stimuli without the usual baggage of anxiety and defense mechanisms.

With the right therapeutic approach, psychedelics allow us to rewire our brains in a positive manner. On the flip side, reckless use of these substances may cause lasting negative changes in the brain.

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Seattle Woman Attempting To Survive On Sunlight And Water

live on sunlight

Is the plant diet the key to a higher plane of existence? Q13 FOX News Seattle reports:

Navenna Shine, the founder and subject of the Living on Light experiment, plans to spend the next four to six months living on only light, water and tea. While difficult, Shine hopes the body can be trained to live through the hardships of surviving without food.

Shine started the experiment in an attempt to follow a group of obscure Yogis, who for thousands of years have claimed the ability to live on light. Some who adhere to such practices are called “breatharians,” — someone who gains energy and sustenance strictly through air and sunshine — and Shine hopes to prove it is possible by living out the experiment.

She will film herself on eight cameras positioned throughout her house to ensure to herself and others she does not cheat. Shine called her attempt a “huge moment in history.”

According to Shine’s Facebook page, she was in her 32nd day without food Wednesday.

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Study Suggests “WiFi Sickness” Is Imaginary

wifi sickness

A sizable number of people are convinced that cellphones and wireless internet make them physically ill, and dozens have gone so far as to give up their lives and move to the isolated, signal-free Radio Quiet Zone in the mountains of West Virginia to alleviate the symptoms. Via Inkfish, a recent experiment at King’s College London points to the disease being psychological:

Subjects at put on headband-mounted antennas. They were told that the researchers were testing a “new kind of WiFi,” and that once the signal started they should carefully monitor any symptoms in their bodies. Then the researchers left the room. For 15 minutes, the subjects watched a WiFi symbol flash on a laptop screen.

In reality, there was no WiFi switched on during the experiment. Yet 82 of the 147 subjects—more than half—reported symptoms. Two even asked for the experiment to be stopped early because the effects were too severe to stand.

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Study Suggests Yoga Boosts The Immune System On A Genetic Level

yogaThe results support yoga as a powerful therapy, but more broadly, reinforce the fact that our very genes are affected by our activities and moods. Pacific Standard writes:

Newly published research from Norway suggests that a yoga program rapidly produces internal changes on a genetic level. The results help explain the well-documented health benefits of this ancient practice.

“These data suggest that previously reported effects of yoga practices have an integral physiological component at the molecular level, which is initiated immediately,” writes a research team led by Fahri Saatcioglu of the University of Oslo.

The experiment featured 10 participants who attended a yoga retreat in Germany. For two days, participants spent two hours practicing a comprehensive yoga program and meditation. For the next two days, they spent that same time period going on a nature walk and then listening to jazz or classical music.

Immediately before and after each of the four sessions, the researchers drew blood from each participant.

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Physicists To Attempt To Build Temporality-Bending “Time Crystal”

time crystal

Wired relays top scientists’ plan to build a microscopic “time crystal,” a structure within which time would not be continuous:

In February 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek decided to go public with a strange idea: Impossible as it seemed, Wilczek had developed an apparent proof of “time crystals” — physical structures that move in a repeating pattern without expending energy or ever winding down.

Unlike clocks or any other known objects, time crystals derive their movement not from stored energy but from a break in the symmetry of time, enabling a special form of perpetual motion.

The idea came to Wilczek in 2010: “I was thinking about the classification of crystals, and then it just occurred to me that it’s natural to think about space and time together,” he said. “So if you think about crystals in space, it’s very natural also to think about the classification of crystalline behavior in time.”

When matter crystallizes, its atoms spontaneously organize themselves into the rows, columns and stacks of a three-dimensional lattice.

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