Tag Archives | Science

You Might Have Inherited Your Ancestors’ Fears

PIC: Hale Woodruff "Ancestral Memory" (CC)

PIC: Hale Woodruff “Ancestral Memory” (CC)

While not widely accepted in psychiatric circles, C.G. Jung’s theories about “racial memory” (more commonly known now as “genetic memory”) became a popular trope in the writings of writers like Robert E. Howard, Jean Auel, and Frank Herbert, all of whom used it to introduce things into their stories that their characters might not otherwise know. Now it seems that a couple of scientists may have proven that there is at least some truth to the idea that we can inherit memories of a sort from our ancestors.

Via Discover Magazine:

Geneticists were especially surprised to find that epigenetic change could be passed down from parent to child, one generation after the next. A study from Randy Jirtle of Duke University showed that when female mice are fed a diet rich in methyl groups, the fur pigment of subsequent offspring is permanently altered. Without any change to DNA at all, methyl groups could be added or subtracted, and the changes were inherited much like a mutation in a gene.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Visions of the Impossible: Is Materialism Becoming Controversial?

visionsoftheimpossibleThose who follow my Facebook magick blog (friend me) might be aware that a month or so back I had a series of visions indicating that there is a psychic veil of sorts beaming upside down pentagrams into the hearts and minds of humanity, keeping us “blind and in line” as to the nature of our higher functioning. This is of course a biblical concept (our banishing from the Garden of Eden) and as one of my readers pointed out to me, something William S. Burroughs wrote about in extended detail. I suppose that’s my way of saying I’m not the only mystic who’s perceived this lower dimensional prison wall barring our heavenly ascension.

Now, the good news on that front is that the message imparted on me actually had to do with the idea that this supernatural force of order has reached its apex in power and will become increasingly insignificant as time moves forward.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Some Women Fake Orgasms… For Their Own Pleasure

PIC: Edvard Munch "Madonna" (PD)

PIC: Edvard Munch “Madonna” (PD)

Here’s some counter-intuitive food for thought. A study in the Journal of Sexual Archives suggests that some women might fake their orgasms (and about 80% of women surveyed say that they have) because it turns them on. Perhaps related: Scientists think women (as well as some non-human female primates) moan and vocalize during sex to manipulate male behavior. Obviously, the findings of both of these studies are controversial to say the least, but if you want to learn more about the latter, you can Google “Female copulatory vocalization”.

Via Huffington Post:

A study in the Journal of Sexual Archives titled “The Faking Orgasm Scale for Women: Psychometric Properties” investigates a seemingly counterintuitive explanation: Women might fake orgasm to make their own experience more pleasurable. Authors hypothesized that a make-believe climax can actually be “relationship promoting and sexual pleasure-enhancing,” rather a performance to get sex “over with” or stroke a man’s ego.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Doctors Swap Part of Woman’s Skull With 3-D Replacement

Pic: EvaWolf (CC)

Pic: EvaWolf (CC)

It’s amazing what people can do now with 3-D printing technology when they’re not busy printing dildos and bongs. Warning: If you click the link to the full story then you’ll come face-to-bleeding pseudo-skull with some a fairly explicit image, so beware of that if you’re squeamish.

Via Wired:

A 22-year-old woman from the Netherlands who suffers from a chronic bone disorder — which has increased the thickness of her skull from 1.5cm to 5cm, causing reduced eyesight and severe headaches — has had the top section of her skull removed and replaced with a 3D printed implant.

The operation was performed by a team of neurosurgeons at the University Medical Centre Utrecht and the university claims this is this first instance of a successful 3D printed cranium that has not been rejected by the patient.

The operation, which took 23 hours, was led by Dr Bon Verweij.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Scientists Create Mugshots From Perps’ DNA

Elvis_mugshotThis is some next level CSI! New Scientist reports on the DNA-generated mugshots:

A murder has been committed, and all the cops have to go on is a trace of DNA left at the scene. It doesn’t match any profile in databases of known criminals, and the trail goes cold. But what if the police could issue a wanted poster based on a realistic “photofit” likeness built from that DNA?

Not if, but when, claim researchers who have developed a method for determining how our genes influence facial shape. One day, the technique may even allow us to gaze into the faces of extinct human-like species that interbred with our own ancestors.

It’s already possible to make some inferences about the appearance of crime suspects from their DNA alone, including their racial ancestry and some shades of hair colour. And in 2012, a team led by Manfred Kayser of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, identified five genetic variants with detectable effects on facial shape.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

It’s Alive! Scientists Revive 1,500 Year-Old Antarctic Moss

Pic: Carlos Zelayeta (CC)

Pic: Carlos Zelayeta (CC)

Welcome…. to Jurassic Moss! Okay, it’s not jurassic – not even close. British scientists recently succeeded in bringing back to life a moss sample collected from the Antarctic, so when you go all Stephen King in Creepshow, blame them.

Via Scientific American:

To test whether the Antarctic moss would regrow, the researchers punched into the permanently frozen soil beneath the living moss, removing cores that contained frozen soil, ice and plants. To prevent contamination, they quickly wrapped the mossy cylinders in plastic and shipped them back to Britain at freezing temperatures. In the laboratory, the team sliced up the core and grew new moss in an incubator, directly from shoots preserved in the permafrost. They also carbon-dated the different layers, which provided an age estimate for revived moss shoots.

The oldest moss in the core first grew between 1,697 and 1,533 years ago, when the Mayan empire was at its height and the terror of Attila the Hun was ending in Europe and Central Asia.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Hop Leaves Discarded in Brewing Process Could Fight Dental Disease

Pic: Dr. Hagen Graebner (CC)

Pic: Dr. Hagen Graebner (CC)

Another natural cure for a common ailment. Take note, though, beer drinkers: It’s the part of the leaves discarded in the brewing process.

Via Eureka Alert:

Beer drinkers know that hops are what gives the drink its bitterness and aroma. Recently, scientists reported that the part of hops that isn’t used for making beer contains healthful antioxidants and could be used to battle cavities and gum disease. In a new study in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they say that they’ve identified some of the substances that could be responsible for these healthful effects.

Yoshihisa Tanaka and colleagues note that their earlier research found that antioxidant polyphenols, contained in the hop leaves (called bracts) could help fight cavities and gum disease. Extracts from bracts stopped the bacteria responsible for these dental conditions from being able to stick to surfaces and prevented the release of some bacterial toxins.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Scientific Research Suggests We React to Events up to 10 Seconds Before They Happen

PIC: Zener Cards (PD)

PIC: Zener Cards (PD)

The Daily Grail reports on scientific developments that suggest a strange intertwining between the brain, consciousness and what we experience as time.

Via The Daily Grail:

Can your brain detect events before they even occur? That was the stunning conclusion of a 2012 meta-analysis of experiments from seven independent laboratories over the last 35 years, which found that the human body “can apparently detect randomly delivered stimuli occurring 1-10 seconds in the future” (Mossbridge, Tressoldi, & Utts, 2012). In the studies, physiological readings were taken as participants were subjected to unpredictable events designed to activate the sympathetic nervous system (for example, showing provocative imagery) as well as ‘neutral events’ that did not activate the nervous system. These readings showed that the nervous system aligned with the nature of the event (activated/not activated) – and what’s more, the magnitude of the pre-event response corresponded with the magnitude of the post-event response.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough: More Energy Out Than In

You have to love that one of the scientists at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory who has managed to get more energy out of a nuclear fusion experiment than was put in is named Omar Hurricane. ABC Australia reports the breakthrough from Professor Hurricane and his colleagues:

Scientists in the United States say they have taken an important step on a decades-old quest to harness nuclear fusion to generate nearly inexhaustible energy.

Nuclear fusion forces diagram

For the first time, two nuclear fusion experiments succeeded in producing more energy than was used to trigger the reaction, the journal Nature reports.

The researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, led by physicist Omar Hurricane, described the achievement as important but said much more work is needed before fusion can become a viable energy source.

They noted that they did not produce self-heating nuclear fusion, known as ignition, that would be needed for any fusion power plant.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Reductionist Neurophilosopher Dr. Patricia Churchland Awkwardly Ends Skeptiko Interview After Views Are Challenged

Pic: US Govt. (PD)

Pic: US Govt. (PD)

Was host Alex Tsakiris being too aggressive and disrespectful towards the good doctor? Or was Dr. Patricia Churchland – Oxford educated, MacArthur Fellowship awarded, highly regarded academic and author of recent you-are-your-brain book Touching a Nerve – simply ill-prepared for her long-standing beliefs, rooted in scientific materialism, to be contested?

LISTEN HERE: DIRECT DOWNLOAD

(Interview and transcript also available over at Skeptiko)… Read the rest

Continue Reading