- After 5 years of experiments, scientists may have found a pathway that is used for brain functions that are beyond consciousness.
- It’s the result of studying how, exactly, anesthesia makes us unconscious, which scientists haven’t been able to explain for 175 years.
- But, thanks to advancements in cell biology and microscope technology, a team of scientists was finally able to answer the longstanding riddle.
- They were able to find that anesthesia works in a two-step process that starts with cell membrane lipids, and then moves further through cell membrane “gates”.
- Verified in fruit flies, the finding is only a foundation - it will take a lot more work to fully understand this previously unknown mechanism.
- The math problem in question is the discrete diffusion equation in finite space.
- Until now, defining the probability of encountering and transmitting a particle in a closed space required huge computer simulations (= lots of wasted time and energy).
- The solution to the basic diffusion equation has been known for a long time, but nobody knew how to quickly solve it for, say, one particular day and place.
- This will help scientists from many different fields, for example in predicting molecule diffusion in cells, the moves of bacteria in a petri dish, or animal movements.
- It could even help predict how a virus moves between individuals in a crowd in a confined space.
- The way we react to psilocybin seems to be connected to the glutamate system (the neuronal fast-signaling system in our brain that uses the glutamate neurotransmitter).
- Analysis of data collected from 48 participants (26 in the placebo group) links positive experiences of ego dissolution to low levels of glutamate in the hippocampus.
- Negative ego dissolution and increased feelings of anxiety were linked to higher levels of glutamate in the mFPC (medial prefrontal cortex).
- All of this means that psilocybin directly influences the glutamate system, and those changes correspond with changes in behaviour during the psychedelic state.
- These findings go beyond our neuroscientific knowledge, but they still form a necessary foundation for future clinical trials of psilocybin’s therapeutic effects.
- Study authors used GPS to track participants for up to 4 months, regularly texting them to ask about their positive and negative emotional states.
- People who were the most active explorers also reported the most positive emotional states.
- Later, some participants underwent MRI scans, and the results showed that the brain actively rewards us for experiencing new things and switching locations.
- People feel happier when they experience different things and visit new places often, but it’s unclear whether people with less interesting experiences actually feel sadder.
- What’s important, even small changes - exercising at home, walking around your neighborhood, choosing a different route to go shopping - can have a positive impact.
- Not just land and sea animals are eating plastic, studies show that birds near river banks are eating hundreds of plastic debris pieces every day.
- Scientists say this clearly tells us that plastic in rivers is moving up the wildlife food chain very quickly.
- Researchers looked at the dipper, a bird that dives into rivers and eats underwater insects — they inges hundreds of bits of plastic every day, and feed it to their chicks.
- It’s been known that insects are contaminated with plastic pollution, but this is the first documented transfer of plastic from insects shown in free-living river animals.
- Similar study in Florida recently showed similar results - out of 63 examined birds of 8 different species, all of them had microplastics in their tiny bird guts.