Can you see what I hear? Blind human echolocators use visual areas of the brain

Certain blind individuals have the ability to use echoes from tongue or finger clicks to recognize objects in the distance, and use echolocation as a replacement for vision. Research shows echolocation in blind individuals is a full form of sensory substitution, and that blind echolocation experts recruit regions of the brain normally associated with visual perception when making echo-based assessments of objects. —> Read More

7 Big Things We Learned About Sleep In The Past Decade

It’s no secret that here at The Huffington Post, we love sleep — and for good reason.

Sleep has been called the “third pillar” of health, along with nutrition and exercise. Getting the quality sleep that you need has the power to protect your physical and mental health, while skipping out on sleep can seriously hurt your health, cognition and well-being over time.

Over the past 10 years, sleep has finally become widely recognized as a critical aspect of good health, and new research has shed more light on its importance in our lives. Here’s what we’ve learned.

1. A sleeping brain is an active brain.
While you’re resting, your brain is actually in a highly active state. It processes complex information and even prepares for future actions when you’re unconscious, according to a study published last year in the journal Current Biology. It also creates new memories and consolidates older memories for easier retrieval.

A series of studies conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester also found recently that the brain is busy doing some house-cleaning while we’re asleep, clearing out damaging toxins that can contribute to neurodegeneration.

The brain engages in a little house-cleaning while we’re asleep, clearing out damaging toxins that can contribute to neurodegeneration.

“We need sleep,” Dr. Nedergaard, the study’s lead researcher, told the National Institutes of Health. “It cleans up the brain.”

2. Sleep is an important key to health.
Want to stay healthy? Then prioritizing sleep is a must.

Chronic sleep loss can add up to some pretty scary negative health impacts, including heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stroke, mortality, depression and anxiety. Sleep loss has even been linked to an —> Read More

Watch People Try To Pronounce Medical Terms, And Utterly Mangle Them

If medical terminology is Greek to you, you’re not alone.

Obscure terms like “sphygmomanometer” and “ankylosing spondylitis” can be tricky to pronounce even for those who do have a background in medicine. What hope is there for the rest of us?

In the video above, you can watch so-called “regular,” as in non-medical, people, try to sound out — and utterly mangle — words like these, and also guess what they mean.

In case you’re wondering: ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disorder of the skeleton, and a sphygmomanometer measures your blood pressure (not how much phlegm is in your throat or how much of a man you are.)

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—> Read More

Scientists mix matter and anti-matter to resolve decade-old proton puzzle

Nuclear physicists have used two different methods to measure the proton’s electric form factor. But the deeper that they probe inside the proton, the more the results from these two different methods disagree. Eventually, the measurements provided by one method amount to about five times the quantity yielded by the other. This huge discrepancy is much larger than the experimental uncertainty in the measurements. A new result has allowed researchers to determine the reason behind a large discrepancy in the data between two different methods used to measure the proton’s electric form factor. —> Read More

Hubble Zooms in on Arches Cluster

Astronomers using the Wide Field Camera 3 on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have captured a new image of the Arches Cluster, the densest known cluster of stars in our Galaxy. Seen toward the constellation Sagittarius, the Arches Cluster is approximately 25,000 light-years from the Solar System. It is a youngster, about 2 to 2.5 [...] —> Read More

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