Scientists have injected some human glial cells into the brains of newborn mice. When the mice grew up, they were faster learners. A study, published Thursday in Cell Stem Cell, not only introduces a new tool to study the mechanisms of the human brain, it supports the hypothesis that glial cells — and not just neurons — play an important role in learning.
The researchers say these mice are measurably smarter. In classic maze tests, they learn faster. “They make many fewer errors, and it takes them less time to come to the appropriate answer,” says Steve Goldman, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester who has studied brain cells for decades.
It might take a normal mouse four or five attempts to learn the correct route, for example. But a mouse with human brain cells could get it on the second try. Glial cells — those boring glial cells — somehow enhance learning. (NPR)
Looks like solar, wind and the usual suspects aren’t the only alternative renewable energy sources we have as options in our near future.
According to Design Boom, french biochemist Pierre Calleja has developed a CO2-absorbing, self-powered lamp for use as street lighting, currently in prototype testing in France.
I’M SO PRIVILEGED! WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL THIS PRIVILEGE!?
The FanWing is arguably the first entirely new aircraft design developed within the past century. Instead of jet engines or rotors, it uses huge rotating fans embedded in its wings for both lift and propulsion. Scale models have been flying for years, and we’ve just learned that a manned ultralight prototype should be airborne in early 2013.