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Humans Think Using The Brain’s Navigation System, Reveals New Study (link)

2018-10-29 Figure1-4

“How do humans think? This is one of the most intriguing questions that has captivated neuroscientists for decades. And not long ago, it seemed like something that no one would ever find an answer to.

But, a team at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in Leipzig, Germany, and the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in Trondheim, Norway have come up with a conclusive answer that humans think using the brain’s navigation system. The results of the finding have been published in the journal Science.”

Wish I knew how to press this, but sharing it instead:

https://sparkonit.com/2018/11/12/humans-think-using-brains-navigation-system/

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Bacon Flavored Seaweed Is The New Kale

I could totally dig this. When I lived in Canada in my late teens/early 20s, I was introduced to the wonders of dulse by my neighbor, who was from New Brunswick.

dulse-cooked-ss
Bacon-flavored seaweed is the new kale. Yes, really.

Scientists are currently cultivating a marine plant that’s packed with more nutrients than the trendy green superfood kale. And it naturally tastes like bacon.

Bacon-flavored crackers. Bacon-flavored salad dressing. These are just two of the savory treats that have been created so far using the domesticated strain of dulse (Palmaria palmata), a kind of red algae, or seaweed, that typically grows in the waters along northern Pacific and Atlantic coastlines. [Science You Can Eat: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Food]

Dulse is usually harvested in the wild, dried out and then sold for up to $90 a pound, according to researchers at the Oregon State University (OSU) Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon, who developed the domesticated strain of the plant.

The OSU researchers are working on making dulse more affordable and more widely available. Their strain of the lettucelike marine plant can be cultivated using hydroponic farming methods in which the plants are grow in water, without any soil. These methods make dulse much easier to grow and harvest, and therefore more affordable. The researchers are currently producing about 20 to 30 lbs. (9 to 14 kilograms) of this fast-growing plant each week in two large, water-filled tanks at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
However, Chris Langdon, a professor of fisheries at OSU who is leading the seaweed-farming effort, said that he and his colleagues can amp up production of the delicious plant to 100 lbs. (45 kg) a week. Langdon has been growing dulse for 15 years, but he and his fellow researchers only recently patented their novel strain of bacon-flavored seaweed.

The researchers originally started growing the plant as a food for abalone, a kind of large, edible mollusk that’s often raised in commercial “aquaculture” farms. An excellent source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and protein, dulse is the perfect food for farm-raised abalone, Langdon said.

“The original goal was to create a superfood for abalone, because high-quality abalone is treasured, especially in Asia. We were able to grow dulse-fed abalone at rates that exceeded those previously reported in the literature,” Langdon said in a statement.

But the researchers recently shifted their focus from feeding abalone to feeding humans. When Chuck Toombs, an instructor in OSU’s business department, stopped by Langdon’s office for a visit, he saw the tanks of seaweed growing outside Langdon’s door. Toombs had come to ask the fisheries professor if he had any ideas for business projects for students. Clearly, the appeal of a bacon-flavored health food was not lost on Toombs.

read more at http://www.livescience.com/51588-bacon-flavored-seaweed-dulse.html?cmpid=514627_20150716_49284796&adbid=10152875098691761&adbpl=fb&adbpr=30478646760
 

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Deep-Diving Dolphins Avoid ‘Bends’ with Powerful Lungs

Deep-Diving Dolphins Avoid ‘Bends’ with Powerful Lungs.

When dolphins dive deep below the water’s surface, they avoid succumbing to decompression sickness, or “the bends,” likely because the massive sea creatures have collapsible lungs, a new study finds. These lungs allow dolphins to inhale and exhale two to three times quicker than humans.

Understanding how dolphinsbreathe rapidly and maintain lung functionality under immense pressure could help scientists keep humans safe when they are in similarly extreme situations, such as under anesthesia duringsurgeries, the researchers said.

Unlike humans, dolphins do not need to be strapped to an oxygen tank to achieve their impressive diving feats. This is because dolphins have compressible lungs that help them withstand high pressures deep in the ocean. [Deep Divers: A Gallery of Dolphins]

“The deeper [dolphins] go into the ocean, the smaller the volume ofgas or air in the lungs gets,” said study lead author Andreas Fahlman, a professor of biology at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. Fahlman found that dolphins can replace as much as 95 percent of the air in their lungs in a single breath. For comparison, humans are capable of replacing only as much as 65 percent. Dolphins exhale and then inhale above water before diving back down with lungs filled with air — each breath consumes and releases a certain amount of oxygen that energizes the animals as they swim the ocean.

The researchers studied six male bottlenose dolphins at Dolphin Quest Oahu, a dolphin training facility in Hawaii that is open to the public. The dolphins were free to swim away from the researchers whenever they wished, Fahlman said, though the animals were trained to sit still and breathe into a mask, called a pneumotachometer. This device essentially functioned as a “speedometer for the lungs,” Fahlman said. The mask covered the dolphins’ blowholes at the backs of their necks.

When trainers had dolphins breathe as hard as they could, in breaths researchers called “chuffs,” the animals could inhale 8 gallons (30 liters) of air in one second, and exhale 34 gallons (130 liters) of air per second. A human’s strongest exhale moves at a rate of 4 gallons (15 liters) per second, and human coughs range from about 10 to 16 gallons (40 to 60 liters) per second. In other words, dolphins move air two to three times faster than humans could ever do, Fahlman said.

Clinical applications

Part of the reason dolphins are expert divers is because they cancollapse their alveoli, the little sacks on the lungs that monitor air flow, and then open them up again, “but humans can’t do that,” Fahlman said.

This has implications for humans who are exposed to similarly extreme conditions, such as patients who undergo emergency operations.

“[I]f you’re in the hospital and you’re undergoing surgery, oftentimes what they do is put a tube down your throat and put a positive pressure to prevent a [lung] collapse from happening,” Fahlman said.

Putting positive pressure on the lungs keeps them open, but can also be dangerous, he added. “This is a clinically relevant issue for people inemergency care, for people undergoing surgery, because we cannot as easily open up the alveoli.” [The 10 Most Amazing Animal Abilities]

Fahlman said it’s possible that dolphins’ lungs look completely different from humans’ or that dolphins have a very different biochemical composition in their lungs, which could explain their impressive exhalation abilities. Lungs typically contain a compound called surfactant, or pulmonary surfactant, that helps with breathing. Previous research found that surfactant in some seals and sea lions can keep the alveoli more lubricated so they open up easily.

All mammals use surfactant while breathing; it’s a “way of trying to reduce the number of calories that it costs [to] inhale and exhale,” Fahlman said, adding that animals developed differences in surfactant to adapt to their environments.

Prematurely born babies benefit from surfactant manufactured from cows, Fahlman said, because the babies can’t produce enough of the substance at such a young age.

Surfactant from dolphins and other sea mammals could be beneficial under different circumstances, he added. “We can learn about the structure of the surfactant [that animals] have and replicate it for humans,” Fahlman said.

Looking to the future

Studying animal breathing rhythms and capacities can also help scientists better understand respiratory disease in marine animals, which is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among marine animals in the wild and under human care, Fahlman said.

Humans are exposed to pollen, debris and other airborne pollutants that many dolphins and other mammals are unable to remove from their blowholes. This can make some animals susceptible to certain diseases like lung disease.

Fahlman said he plans to expand his research to beluga whales and porpoises to investigate their breathing patterns. He said there is especially high concern around mammals living in waters near oil rigs. Researchers are planning to travel to Alaska and the Arctic to study the mammals before oil reserves there are exploited, to establish a baseline for animal health, he added.

Oil spills, like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, can severely hurt dolphins’ health, though the direct effects of the oil spill can be hard to measure without knowing the animals’ health prior to the spill.

“Next time this happens, we will know the health status of the animals in that area, and we can say, ‘Well, this was the health status before and this is the health status after,'” Fahlman said.

The study was published July 8 in The Journal of Experimental Biology.

Elizabeth Goldbaum is on Twitter. Follow Live Science @livescience,Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science