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For eons, the only way to access the three-pound mushy bio-computer between our ears was to physically crack the skull, or insert a sharp object up the nose.
Lucky for us, these examples of medical barbarism have been relegated to history. Yet the goal of reaching through the skull to modulate brain activity hasn’t changed. Within the brain, millions of neurons and their billions of connections hum with electrical activity, weaving intricate connective patterns that lead to thoughts, behaviors, and memories.
If we have the tools to read and tweak those circuits, we have the key to treating mental disorders, or even augmenting the mind.
What sounds completely intractable just a decade ago is now possible. Optogenetics, a technique that lets scientists control neuronal activity with light, has successfully implanted fake memories into mice. Scientists are playing with ultrasound to control brain circuits. It’s now possible to recapitulate what a person is seeing based on his brain activity alone. Brain-machine interfaces have given paralyzed folks the ability to walk again. Even rudimentary telepathy between people is now a thing.
Yet to Dr. Divya Chander at Stanford University, these technologies have two fundamental flaws that limit their transformative nature.
First, most require invasive implants and open-brain surgery. Second, they’re often unwieldy and extremely expensive.
Last week at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine conference in San Diego, technologists presented new non-invasive devices that seek to simplify and democratize brain modulation. Physically tunneling through the skull may soon be another thing of the past.

Openwater, the Wearable MRI
Being inside an MRI machine is not a pleasant experience. You’re in a tiny claustrophobic tube surrounded by a giant magnet, and instructed to lie extremely still as the machine churns away.
Nevertheless, state-of-the-art MRIs are the current gold standard for generating high-resolution images of your brain structure. Functional MRI, which tracks blood flow, a proxy for neural activity, has also been instrumental in teasing out the intricacies of brain activation in response to a changing environment. But they’re bulky and expensive; two-thirds of humanity has no access to the technology.
To Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen CEO and founder of Openwater the solution is simple in concept: shrink the machine down to the size of a ski hat, a bra, or a bandage, and manufacture the gadget at the cost of a smartphone. The trick, she explains, is to move away from magnets and instead turn to light.
The human body is translucent to red and near-infrared light, allowing our tissues, including both skull and brain, to be illuminated. The problem is that the light scatters as it passes through tissue, which prevents a sharp, clear image.
To re-focus the light, Jepsen turned to holograms. Holography records the intensity of light and the phase of light waves she explained. Because it captures all light rays and photons at all positions and angles simultaneously, a hologram can be used to re-direct light rays into a single stream of light.
During the scan, the device first shoots focused ultrasound waves to a spot on the tissue. Next comes the red light, which slightly changes color to orange when it goes through the “sonic spot.”
Jepsen then matches this output orange light with another disc of similar orange light to form the hologram. “Holograms can only be made from two beams of light of the same color,” she explained. The resulting hologram is then recorded on a camera chip.
The result? All red light is filtered out, so that the setup only captures information about that particular sonic spot. Spot by spot, the device can image the entire brain.
Openwater is currently building a prototype, and Jepsen is particularly excited about testing it on brain diseases. Because blood absorbs red light, it’s an especially attractive target to image. Tumors often carry five times the blood levels of normal tissues, making it pop under red light; in contrast, stroke restricts blood flow, which lets blood-deprived tissue show up as a dark spot on scans.
In theory, the device could even track neural activity. Scientists have long used increased oxygenated blood flow as a proxy for neural activation. Jepsen’s device can track the same changes with light.
Eventually Jepsen hopes to supply rural places, ambulances, and urgent care centers with the device. I think…this is inevitable she concluded.

A Wearable Brain-Machine Interface
Mind-controlled prostheses have come a long way, yet most still required implanted electrodes to precisely capture intentions of movement.
Back in 2012, Dr. Eric Leuthardt a neurosurgeon at Washington University in St. Louis, began experimenting with ways to capture the brain’s movement instructions using wearables.
Specifically, he explained I wanted to use these neurotechnologies to connect our mind and heal our brains in the setting of stroke, focusing on patients that lost control of hand functions after the attack.
The crux to Leuthardt’s system is a peculiar electrical fingerprint in a region of the brain called the premotor cortex. This area plans movements, either real ones or imagined ones, and the signals subsequently get sent to the motor cortex on other side of the brain and carried out.
Leuthardt found that using a cap embedded with electrodes, he could reliably pick up the low-frequency signals generated by the premotor cortex. These “planning” signals are then sent to a machine learning algorithm to parse out the intended movement. Finally, the results of the computation are used to control a prosthetic to carry out the movement.
With training, the stroke patients were able to use their minds to pick up a marble and place it into a cup—a remarkably complex operation. Eventually they could perform everyday tasks with their prosthetic hands, such as pulling up pants.
What’s so cool about this technology is it’s not a drug, doesn’t require surgery, we’re simply using a technology to harvest the power of your own thoughts to change the wiring and structure of your brain said Leuthardt.
Another of Leuthardt’s innovative devices, the eQuility stimulator, is striving to disrupt negative thought patterns in psychiatric disorders such as depression.
In depression, the brain’s various circuits show an imbalance in activation. One way to potentially treat symptoms is to restore that balance. Scientists have been eyeing the vagus nerve two spaghetti-like nerves that run along the neck and innervate the entire body, as a potential target. Previous stimulators are extremely bulky and need to be implanted under the skin, making them impractical, explained Leuthardt.
eQuility takes advantage of a branch of the vagus nerve that snakes over to the ear. By packing an electrical stimulator inside a headset, the wearable can modulate vagus nerve activity directly from the ear.
Ultimately we may be reaching towards another milestone in brain modulation: one that democratizes the technologies, allowing more people to manipulate their brain activity without first going under the knife.
_In the next 30 to 50 years we are going to see a rewriting of the fabric of the human experience* concluded Leuthardt.
Fundamentally it’s only going to be limited by our imagination.
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5 things that suggest the Avengers 4 trailer is dropping next week
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The Trump administration drops its effort to bar CNN reporter Jim Acosta from the White House, but warns he could have his credentials pulled again. https://trib.al/7nt68TX
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How Do #Jellyfish Function Without A Heart Or Brain ? : http://sciabc.us/s59zr #science
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10 Amazing and Exceptional Astronomical Events

There are many different types of changes that are continuously going in the space. There are many reasons like a movement of planets, gravitational force and changing start system for these amazing astronomical events.

https://rxscience.org/10-amazing-and-exceptional-astronomical-events/
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One of the most important and surprising traits of the brain is its ability to dynamically reconfigure the connections to process and respond properly to stimuli.
Researchers from Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan) and the University of Barcelona, using neuroengineering tools, have created in vitro neural circuits that reproduce the capacity of segregation and integration of brain circuits and which allow researchers to understand the keys of dynamic reconfiguration.
The study has been published in Science Advances.
Dynamic reconfiguration is understood as the strengthening or weakening of connections by increasing or decreasing neuronal activity. In the brain, an increase in the cohesion of neuronal circuits is known as integration, and a decrease is known as segregation.
This study shows the importance of modular organization to maximize the flexibility of a neural circuit. It also shows the potential of in vitro tools and biophysical models to progress in the understanding of collective phenomena in such a fascinating and rich complex system like the brain says Jordi Soriano researcher at the Institute of Complex Systems of the UB (UBICS) and co-author of the study.
Integration is linked to the rapid exchange of information between different and distant circuits, while segregation is linked to information processing in localized circuits.
The brain goes from a segregated state to an integrated one depending on the nature and strength of stimuli. Dynamic reconfiguration avoids creating and destroying physical connections, a strategy as ineffective as energetically costly. Therefore, stimuli that arrive through sight, hearing and smell, are processed in a segregated way in the cerebral cortex to partially or totally integrate according to the needs. While we watch a film, we integrate images and sounds, ignoring smells and other stimuli. However, when we notice a smell of something burning the brain enters a warning state so that we integrate and analyse all the information available to make fast decisions.

Despite the importance of integration and segregation, biophysical mechanisms linked to dynamic reconstructions are still not well understood. Also, another unknown element is the sensitivity of integration-segregation ability regarding the amount of existing physical connections between brain regions.
The in vitro brain model the researchers developed consists of four interconnected modules. Each module represents a specialized neuronal circuit (sight or hearing, for instance).
These four modules are covered by adhesive proteins and nutrients where neurons develop. These neurons are connected among them inside a module and with other neurons in other modules. Precision neuroengineering allows controlling the connections that go from one module to another, and therefore, it enables adjusting the level of physical coupling between modules.
The stimuli in this model correspond to neural spontaneous activations.
Using fluorescence calcium imaging to detect neural activations, researchers studied the ability of the circuit to integrate or segregate spontaneously depending on the level of connectivity between modules and other factors.
What we saw is that the circuit is fully integrated or segregated when the number of connections between modules is too big or too small. The optimal circuit is that where four modules have a connectivity just below the minimum to integrate, so that neural activity pulses are enough to reinforce connections and complete integration. In effect, this optimal circuit, spontaneously activated, works in a regime where integration and segregation coexist. Of course, the observed dynamics are still far from the complexity in the actual brain, but we were able to gain insight into the fundamental mechanisms shaping brain dynamics notes Hideaki Yamamoto researcher at Tohoku University.
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Marvel's Infinity Wars #5 review: With the revelations in this issue, the threat of introducing a deus ex machina to quickly resolve the plot’s problems is getting pretty high.
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Cheers to a new week Patriots Nation!!


#Sports #NFL #Cheerleaders

(Credit: New England Patriots Cheerleaders)
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Samsung #GalaxyS10 report sheds some insight on the device's display. +Samsung
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#Samsung , a South Korean electronics giant, is gearing up to launch the #GalaxyA9 (2018) on November 20 in India at 12:30 PM.

https://goo.gl/JnjDtu
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A new analysis of data gathered by the Apollo missions confirms that tidal stress – the gravitational pull of the moon on the Earth and of the Earth on the moon – is responsible for causing deep moonquakes, the lunar equivalent of earthquakes.

https://thetechinside.com/deep-moonquakes-are-likely-to-be-caused-due-to-tidal-stress-of-the-moon/
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The US Senate contest between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke drew most of the headlines, but the real story was how voters hit the gerrymandering wall. https://wrd.cm/2QUwMSo
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Once the realm of science fiction, several companies have built working quantum computers in recent years. While a standard computer encodes information in a binary format called a bit that can represent either a 0 or 1, a quantum computer uses quantum bits, or qubits, that can represent both a 0 and 1 at the same time. This, in theory, makes them a lot more powerful.

These machines can’t break modern encryption systems yet. However, the National Security Agency warned in 2016 that the U.S. government and companies that do business with it must ensure that the next generation of encryption is resistant to attacks from quantum computers.
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HEY LOU-
THINK SOME OF THAT GRECIAN FORMULA'S SEEPIN' IN TOO FAR......
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Because "Arkansas has the lowest household Internet access of any state," it can be difficult for Medicaid recipients to log their work hours in the online-only portal, which shuts down from 9:00 pm every night until 7:00 am the next day, reports the Washington Post's Catherine Rampell.
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Hole in Sun's Atmosphere Amps Up Northern Lights

The northern lights just got a boost thanks to a big hole in the sun's atmosphere, and there could be something of a repeat showing tonight.

https://thetechinside.com/northern-lights-get-boost-by-hole-in-suns-atmosphere/
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Beto O'Rourke for 2020? All eyes are on what his next move will be. https://trib.al/0pq43RV
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