‘’Your weekly informant’’

7 March-17 March

1. Researchers have figured out how the human brain memorizes

According to researchers, two types of cells in human brains have been discovered as being important in arranging separate memories based on when they occurred. This discovery advances our knowledge of how the human brain develops memories and may have consequences for memory diseases like Alzheimer’s. The researchers monitored the participants’ brain activity as they watched the videos and discovered two unique groups of cells that increased their activity in response to various types of boundaries. In reaction to a soft or hard boundary, a set of cells known as “boundary cells” became more active. The second type of cells, dubbed “event cells,” only responded to strict borders. This led to the hypothesis that the formation of a new memory occurs when the activity of both border and event cells peaks, which can only happen after a hard boundary. The way images are stored and accessible on your phone or computer is one analog for how memories might be kept and retrieved in the brain.

2. The Amazon rainforest is deteriorating, according to new evidence derived from satellite data analysis

According to data analysis from high-resolution satellite photographs, the Amazon rainforest is likely losing its resilience. This is due to stress generated by a combination of logging and burning; the impact of human-induced climate change is now unknown, but it will undoubtedly have a significant impact in the future. Since the early 2000s, the ability of around three-quarters of the forest to recover from perturbation has been declining, which scientists regard as a warning sign. Advanced statistical analysis of satellite data on changes in vegetation biomass and productivity yielded new evidence. Reduced resilience, or the ability to recover from disturbances such as droughts or fires, can raise the likelihood of Amazon rainforest dieback. It’s disconcerting to witness such a loss of robustness in observations. The Amazon rainforest is home to a diverse range of wildlife, has a significant impact on rainfall across South America due to its massive evapotranspiration, and stores massive amounts of carbon that could be released as greenhouse gases if it dies out completely, contributing to further global warming.

3. Childhood trauma and genetics have been linked to an increased incidence of obesity

DRI’s initiative is cooperation with Helix, a personal genomics startup, and it combines genetic, environmental, social, and clinical data to address individual and community health needs with the goal of improving health across the state and country. The new research focuses on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which are traumatic and dangerous events that children experience before they turn 18. Over 16,000 people participated in the Healthy Nevada Projectmental® health study, and more than 65 percent of them reported having at least one ACE. The genetic makeup and clinical Body Mass Index (BMI) values of these 16,000 subjects were compared. Study participants who had one or more forms of ACE were 1.5 times more likely to become obese adults, according to the conclusions of the research team. Those who had four or more ACEs were more than twice as likely to develop severe obesity.

4. Anxiety can be relieved by hugging a ‘breathing’ cushion

Therapy and medication are the most common treatments for anxiety disorders. These, however, can be expensive, and drugs can have unpleasant side effects. Anxiety aids that may be used at home could help people with anxiety problems as well as those who are feeling momentary anxiety. Touch-based gadgets, such as TouchPoints wearables and Paro the Seal, an interactive therapeutic robot, have been shown to reduce anxiety in a modest but growing body of studies. Haynes and colleagues have now created a novel touch-based device that could help people cope with anxiety. They began by creating a number of prototype gadgets that imitated various feelings, such as breathing, purring, and a heartbeat. Each prototype was designed to be a cuddly, huggable cushion that was both intuitive and appealing. The “breathing” cushion was found to be the most pleasurable and peaceful by focus groups, so the researchers expanded it into a larger, mechanical cushion.

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