Scientists can “read” dreams by using MRI scans

Have you ever had a dream in which you wanted to talk to your friend about what had happened but just couldn’t find the words to explain what you have just witnessed in your subconscious mind? Well recently scientists have discovered a way in order for them to read your dreams by scanning your brain. The purpose for this experiment was to better understand the brain and understand what goes through it as we sleep.

What researchers had done was they did an experiment on three different people where they used MRI scans as they began to drift asleep. As soon as they would fall asleep, right after they would be awoken and asked a series of in depth questions on what it was that they had seen in their dreams. They repeated this process 200 times for each participant! After all of that work, what it had done was it gave the researchers a database of images in which they connected with brain activity and began to group similar visual depictions together.

After they have acquired the database of images, scientists were able to analyze the brain activity as the participants had slept and began assuming on what it was that they were currently dreaming about at the moment. Scientists were able to predict what people were dreaming about. They were 60 percent accurate with their assumptions that were based off of many variables. Professor Kamitani who is one of the researchers says, “We were able to reveal dream content from brain activity during sleep, which was consistent with the subjects’ verbal reports”.

However this is just the beginning of their research. Scientists wish to continuously grow in their experiment. They had only started to analyze dreams of light sleep. They now wish to target deep sleep since those are where the most vivid dreams are thought to occur. They also want to see in depth if the MRI brain scan can help detect colors and smells people come across in their dreams as well.

So stay tuned everyone. Some see this as a fascinating experiment in which dreams are able to become decoded but others see this as their nightmare being played for them on a DVR. So what do you guys think? Is this a neat experiment or are you guys going to dread seeing your most embarrassing dreams or horrifying nightmares being shown to people and played for you?

Source & Image Source
BBC News
BBC Image

Oh God Why?!

a cartoon of a girl and a boy talkingHave you ever played back a voicemail you had left or heard a recording of yourself and wondered “oh god, why??” Or you can’t seem to put your finger on who that stranger on the recording is but later realize that it’s actually you. Many people hate hearing themselves or don’t recognize themselves in a recording or when a voicemail is being played back. Either they sound too deep, too high pitched or as some people classify themselves: as a cartoon. Some females complain they sound “manly” while some men tend to say they sound “light and squeaky”. I’m not saying this is the exact case for everyone, but we all do sound different from when we hear ourselves talk in person compared to that over the phone. We assume technology just isn’t our friend and is screwing over the way our voice sounds.

The reason to why we sound different over a recording or over the phone is because we perceive sounds in two different ways. We hear sounds either air conducted or bone conducted. Air conducted sound is the way we retrieve sound when we listen to a recording. Air conducted sound as Jordan Gaines defines it to be is:

Transmitted through the eardrums, vibrating three bony ossicles (malleus, incus and stapes) and terminating in the cochlea. The cochlea, a fluid-filled spiral structure, converts these vibrations into nerve impulses to be interpreted in the brain.

However when we hear ourselves as we speak, our eardrums then perceive the sound as bone conducted. When it comes down to bone conducted sounds, vibrations from our vocal cords reach straight to the cochlea. By doing so our brain tends to deceive us by “lowering the frequency of these vibrations along the way, which is why we often perceive ourselves as higher-pitched when we listen to a recording” (Gaines, NBC News).

Now you may be wondering why so many people do not like the way they sound over a recording. That is because of the fact that we are so adjusted in hearing ourselves through bone conduction. So the moment we hear a recording, it catches us by surprise, we hear something we are not used to which is why many people tend to dislike the sound of their voice. The same case goes for why at times we don’t like pictures of ourselves. That’s because when we look at ourselves in the mirror, we are adjusted to that setting. However in a photograph, everything is reversed where we pin point out all the flaws and do not like what we see. Now of course this isn’t the case for everyone but for many people that is true.

So the next time you tend to get a little self-conscious about the way you sound, have no fear. Reassure yourself by talking to yourself out loud… that wouldn’t be strange at all. (I do advise not to do that in public whereas you might come off as someone who’s having an off day). But honestly, don’t sweat it. Technology is out there to get you and make you sound a way you don’t prefer. It’s just the way we perceive that sound depending on the way we hear it.

Source & Image Source
NBC News
Talking Image

Google keeps knocking ‘em out the park!

View Larger Map

Mount Everest is known as the world’s highest mountain. Many people have died by trying to finish climbing to the top of the mountain due to it to be one of the most difficult mountains to climb. However recently Google has expanded their street view now to some of the highest mountains in the world! C’mon you guys have to admit, that is pretty darn amazing. Now you can visit Everest in your pajamas in the comfort of your own home! It’s only a click away.

Google maps have a fabulous feature known as street view as I’m sure we all have played around with. It basically allows us viewers to look up a place and be able to virtually view the neighborhood and any other areas around the location we searched for. It shows us the closest landmarks around it such as specific buildings, train stations, restaurants, movie theaters and etc. How convenient is that?

Recently Google was able to do something that hasn’t been done before and that is to allow us to view some of the most infamous mountains such as Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus and Everest Base Camp. That is four out the seven summits that we have. Aconcagua is located in South America, Kilimanjaro is located in Africa, Mount Elbrus is located in Europe and last but not least the Everest Base Camp is located in Asia. So you can see how amazing this truly is because it is showing us different mountains located on different continents.

Now no one has to risk their lives in order to see these wonders in the world. Google provides us with great views and angles by a great team who have went on an expedition to obtain these pictures. Though it may not be the same feeling as physically being their first hand to truly experience the weather, environment and climate; it is a much safer alternative. We can view it in depth now in street view and look around the area and get a minor sense of feeling of being there. As of right now I’d say that is perfectly fine with me since I won’t have to worry about running out of oxygen while in the midst of trying to climb it. What do you guys think? Do you think being able to view the peaks of the highest mountains if a nifty thing or are you not impressed? And make sure you guys give it a go first on Google as well and let me know what you think!

Source & More Maps:
Google Official Blog

Sleepless Nights Can Shut Down Your Genes

a young man with his eyes closed at a computer, holding his glassesThey say when a student goes off to college especially those students who tend to dorm, their best friend becomes the all-time favorite known as “Ramon Noodles!” Why? Because it is inexpensive, time efficient as well as fulfilling. But no matter where you are off to for college, all year ‘round (and especially during finals) our best friend tends to be the good ol’ caffeine. Whether its coffee or (drum roll please) red bull. We’ve all been there where we tried to do whatever we could in order to stay awake for papers, projects or studying for exams. But did you know that staying awake and depriving yourself sleep for just a minimum of a week can cause your genes to shut down? According to Doctor Timothy Morgantahler, “the amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age.” The basic guidelines are, if you’re an infant you need approximately 14-15 hours’ worth of sleep. A toddler requires roughly about 12-14 hours, school- age children about 10-11 hours and last but not least adults generally need about 7-9 hours of sleep.

So I’m assuming, everyone who is reading this article falls under the adult category which means we need approximately 7-9 hours of sleep on a daily basis. Did anyone ever realize how refreshed they feel the day they do tend to get that full cycle of sleep? Me personally when I do get 7-9 hours I feel refreshed and energized. Do you know why that is? That’s because our genes tend to produce a supply of protein so having that supply of protein affects our mood and the way we feel. What these genes feed off of is a good night sleep. Being deprived of sleep causes our genes to shut down which evidentially interferes with our metabolism, immune system, as well as stress levels.

Getting the proper amount of sleep helps restore our bodies from the obstacles we let it face on a daily basis. For example neglecting our body of its’ required nutrients, eating unhealthy, and not keeping ourselves hydrated enough. All these things are things we tend to do every single day on repeat, but it’s during our sleeping cycle where our genes restore itself by repairing or replacing any damaged tissue we may have caused. A study had been done on 26 women who were divided into two groups. One group of women were those who slept for 6 hours and less and the other group of women were women who had slept for 10 hours. Studies had shown that the women who were sleep deprived had genes that stopped working. Professor Colin Smith also added:

This is only a week of sleep restriction and it is only five and a half or six hours a night. Many people have that amount of sleep for weeks, months and maybe even years so we have no idea how much worse it might be.

Your genes get a beating every week you deprive yourself of sleep, so as Professor Colin Smith was saying, to those who experience less than 6 hours of sleep every single day for a longer period of time that can lead to a weaker immune system since your genes aren’t producing any protein and damaged tissues aren’t being replaced. It can also lead to obesity since it affects your metabolism as well as raise stress levels tremendously

So guys don’t deprive yourself of sleep. The next time your mom or whomever yells at you to get out of bed, just tell show them this article, then hop right back into bed and, get all cozy and hug yourself to sleep… because you know that’s not awkward at all… Remember a rested you means a happier you.

Mayo Clinic
Sleep Foundation


The Bacteria Apocalypse!


© Dr. Simon Park/ University of Surrey

Did you know that picking your nose can lead to something that can put yourself in danger?

We have all done it, no denials please. We have all one point or another in our lives have done what is known as the unthinkable to some. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about nose picking. Now I know some of you guys right now are probably going like “huh? Me and nose picking? Gross.” But let’s be honest it happened whether we like it or not. It can be memories we have tried to suppress but it is time to come back to reality and face it. To many people it’s a big deal, an uncomfortable matter of some sort. To others, it’s actually quite casual; no effect on them whatsoever. However today I wanted to mention something, something that will change your interpretation of picking your nose…and that is it can accumulate pathogens and bacteria.

Can you believe it?!

Something that we have probably been doing before we can talk can lead to bacteria. Now whether or not that bacteria is harmful or not, we will get into.

How the bacteria travels is very simple. We pick our noses and then we send a text message. Hence now all the bacteria is on our phone. No matter how clean and sparkly and shiny your phone looks, in reality it is actually covered with bacteria. Every inch and crevice is most likely covered by the bacteria. A study had been done by Dr. Simon Park for his molecular biology course. And he says:

“As part of a course called Practical and Biomedical Bacteriology, an undergraduate module that I run, I get the students to imprint their mobile phones on to bacteriological growth Petri dishes so that we might determine what they might carry.”

The results that he found with his students were uncanny. They had found that the phone was covered by the speeding growth of a bacteria called Bacillus Mycoides. What was strange about this discovery you can say was that the natural habitat of this bacteria is soil, however its speedy growth on a cell phone shows that a cell phone doesn’t just remember telephone numbers, but also carries a history of our personal and physical contacts such as other people, the environment (such as any place that has soil) as well as other types of matter.

Now most of the bacteria found on one’s phones are harmless, although very few aren’t. The likes of Staphylococcus aureus which is known to be a common cause of Staph infections (food poisoning, impetigo and even septicaemia) showed up, too. And where this bacteria arouses from is from within the human body. And this is where it all connects back to picking our noses. When we pick our nose and answer that phone call, especially with smart phones nowadays we have to swipe the screen to unlock the phone and answer the call, or whenever we send a text message or continue playing temple run 2 (yes it gets quite addicting) we are transferring those pathogens, those bacterium straight onto our phones.

So guys, stay healthy and happy. No need to panic because we have immune systems which can help fight off all sorts of bacterium and other threats but we have to take good care of ourselves to build our immune system to be strong. Eat right, dress warm during these cold winter days and next time think twice before you let that finger go into the deep depths of a nostril. (Let’s just grab some napkins) And also, I know majority of you guys are probably already on it, but yes someone please pass the disinfectant. Wipe that phone! They have witnessed a lot!

Image from © Dr. Simon Park/ University of Surrey

Source: [Daily Mail – UK]