A cunoaste adversarul, a-i cunoaste tehnicile de manipulare, este indispensabil pentru a ne elibera de robie!!!
Lingvistul nord-american Noam Chomsky a stabilit lista celor ''Zece strategii de Manipulare" prin mediile de informare în masa. Evreu si de sensibilitate anarhista, semnase o petitie pentru a apara libertatea de exprimare a lui Robert Faurisson. Pentru Chomsky, ''libertatea de exprimare este mai importanta decât orice versiune a faptelor sustinuta de ordinea stabilita, oricare ar fi raportul pe care aceasta îl întretine cu adevarul faptelor în sine." Chomsky evoca diferitele tehnici de manipulare si, în primul rând, strategia diversiunii.
Strategia diversiunii consista în deturnarea atentiei publicului de la problemele importante si de la schimbarile hotarâte de elitele politice si economice, printr-un potop continuu de distractii si de informatii neînsemnate. Chomsky analizeaza diferitele tehnici de spalare a creierului, pe care o îndura poporul nostru.
Zece strategii de manipulare a poporului nostru:
1. ''A distrage în permanenta atentia publicului, departe de adevaratele probleme sociale, captivata de subiecte fara importanta adevarata. A tine mereu publicul ocupat, ocupat, ocupat, fara nici "un timp pentru gândire" scrie Chomsky.
2. A cauza probleme si apoi, a oferi solutii.
Aceasta metoda se mai numeste si '' problema – reactie – solutie". La început, se creeaza problema, sau „situatia", prevazuta pentru a suscita o anume reactie a publicului, pentru ca tocmai acesta sa ceara masurile mai dinainte stabilite pentru a fi acceptate.De exemplu: dezvoltarea intentionata a violentei urbane sau organizarea de atentate sângeroase, pretinse antisemite, pentru ca publicul sa ceara legi represive, în detrimentrul libertatii.
3. Strategia „în degradeu".
Pentru ca publicul sa accepte o masura inacceptabila, este de ajuns sa fie aplicata în mod progresiv, în ''degradeu", pe o durata de zece ani. În acest fel, au fost impuse conditii sociale si economice absolut noi din 1980 pâna în 1990. Somaj masiv, imigratie – invazie, precaritate, flexibilitate, delocalizari, salarii care nu mai asigura un venit decent, iata schimbarile care ar fi provocat o revolutie daca ar fi fost aplicate în mod brutal.
4. Strategia actiunii cu date diferite.
O alta maniera de a obliga publicul sa accepte o hotarâre nepopulara este de a o prezenta ca "dureroasa, dar necesara'', obtinând acordul publicului în prezent, pentru aplicarea în viitor. Este mult mai usoara acceptarea unui sacrificiu viitor decât al unuia apropiat. În primul rând, pentru ca efortul nu trebuie facut imediat, apoi, pentru ca publicul are mereu tendinta de a nadajdui ''totul va merge mai bine mâine" si ca sacrificiul cerut va putea fi evitat. În fine, aceasta maniera lasa publicului timp pentru a se obisnui cu ideea schimbarii, pe care o va accepta cu resemnare la momentul venit. Exemplu recent: trecerea la Euro si pierderea suveranitatii monetare si economice, acceptate de tarile europene între 1992 – 1995 si aplicate în 2002.
5. A se adresa publicului ca unor copii mici.
Cea mai mare parte a publicitatilor destinate marelui public folosesc discursuri, argumente, personaje si un ton absolut copilaresti, aproape debile, ca si cum spectatorul ar fi un copil mic sau un handicapat mental. De ce oare ? ''de 12 ani." Daca ne adresam unei persoane ca si cum ar avea 12 ani, atunci aceasta, prin sugestibilitate si cu o oarecare probabilitate, va avea un raspuns sau o reactie tot atât de lipsita de simt critic ca a unui copil de 12 ani" analizeaza Chomsky.
6. A face apel mai mult la partea emotionala decât la gândire.
Este o tehnica clasica pentru a opri analiza rationala si, deci, simtul critic al oamenilor. Ïn plus, folosirea emotionalului deschide accesul la subconstient, pentru implantarea unor anumite idei, dorinte, spaime, pulsiuni sau comportamente.
7. Mentinerea poporului în nestiinta si prostie.
A face în asa fel ca poporul sa nu înteleaga tehnologiile si metodele folosite pentru controlarea si robirea lui. Calitatea educatiei data claselor inferioare trebuie sa fie cât mai slaba, încât prapastia de nestiinta, care separa clasele de jos de cele de sus sa fie si sa ramâna de neînteles de cele dintâi.
8. A încuraja publicul sa se complaca în mediocritate.
A încuraja publicul sa creada ca e "bine" sa fii prost, vulgar si incult. A-l îndopa cu seriale americane si emisiuni de tele-realitate, niste dobitocenii monstruoase.
9. A înlocui revolta cu învinovatirea.
A face omul sa creada ca numai el singur este vinovat de propria-i nenorocire, din cauza unei inteligente insuficiente, sau a capacitatilor si eforturilor necorespunzatoare. Astfel, în loc sa se ridice împotriva sistemului, individul se subestimeaza si se învinovateste, ceea ce creaza o stare depresiva, având ca efect abtinerea de la actiune. Si, fara actiune, nu exista revolutie !
10. Si, ultimul punct, a cunoaste oamenii mai bine decât se cunosc ei însisi.
În ultimii 50 de ani, progresele fulgeratoare ale stiintei au sapat o prapastie crescânda între cunostintele publicului si acelea detinute si folosite de elitele conducatoare. Multumita biologiei, neurobiologiei ai psihologiei aplicate, "sistemul" a ajuns la cunoasterea avansata a fapturii omenesti, fizic si psihic. Sistemul cunoaste individul mediu mai bine decât el însusi. Aceasta înseamna ca, în majoritea cazurilor, sistemul detine un control mai mare si o putere mai importanta asupra oamenilor decât ei însisi.
Portugal faces a general strike by workers angered by austerity measures imposed as a condition of a 78-billion euro bailout last year but doubts remain as to whether Thursday's stoppage will receive widespread support. [REUTERS/Hugo Correia]
Portuguese strikers halted trains, shut ports and paralysed most public transport on Thursday in protest at austerity measures that is nevertheless unlikely to temper the government's resolve in implementing the terms of an EU/IMF bailout.
There was little impact outside of the transport sector from the general strike that caused no major output disruptions at companies. The country's second-largest union UGT did not back the strike, unlike in previous work stoppages.
Armenio Carlos, the new Communist leader of CGTP, the country's largest union confederation, wants its 700,000 members to send a signal to the centre-right government that the country will no longer tolerate the erosion of workers' rights, lower salaries and record high unemployment.
"We have to keep staging strikes, struggling. These policies do not resolve anything, we are on the same path as Greece," said Pedro Ramos, 38, and a union coordinator who works for a state waste management company.
Ramos was one of a few hundred CGTP members who gathered on the Rossio Square in downtown Lisbon, preparing to march towards parliament. Many were singing old Communist songs from the days of the 1974 bloodless Carnation revolution that re-established democracy in Portugal.
Asked about the turn-up, he shrugged his shoulders, saying "it's so-so". Other groups were meeting in other points of Lisbon, but their numbers were far below those in last month's peaceful rally that brought together over 100,000 protesters.
The CGTP could not say how many workers had responded to the strike call, but said the railway system was crippled, including the international Lisbon-Madrid route. Lisbon's underground was shut. Many hospitals were only accepting emergencies. It also said rubbish collectors, ports and some schools had shut down across the country.
Many struggled into work, unconvinced by the call to strike and reluctant to lose money in support of it.
"They go on strike and hurt us," said Ana Maria Verissimo, 53, a cleaning lady, as she waited for one of the few buses still running in Lisbon. "This won't resolve anything. They'll have to find another way. If I go on strike, my pay cheque will be lower at the end of the month."
ONE OF SMALLER STRIKES ON MEMORY
There was little evidence of stoppages in the private sector, with Portugal's main exporter, Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) AutoEuropa plant, turning out cars. The government hopes exports will help lead the country out its recession by next year.
Flag carrier airline TAP was flying, and Lisbon airport functioning as normal. Output at Portugal's both oil refineries run by Galp (GALP.LS) was unaffected, according to the company.
"If you compare this strike to the previous general strikes in Portugal's democracy, this one clearly is in the low end," said Antonio Costa Pinto, research professor at the Institute of Social Sciences.
He said the fact that the UGT was not onboard was one factor affecting participation, while the government's recent about-turn regarding pay cuts in public companies due to be privatised "must have dissuaded a certain part of the public sector".
Government spokesman Luis Marques Guedes told a briefing that "the strike does not solve the country's problems and it seems to us that the majority of Portuguese understand that".
The government said it would not provide any figures on participation until the strike is over.
The Portuguese have so far shown little inclination for the kind of frequent and violent protests seen in Greece. The 520,000-strong UGT union has signed up to labour market reforms required by the European Union and IMF in return for the bailout and did not take part in the strike.
The country, facing its worst recession since the 1970s, was forced to take a bailout in May last year after running up large debts. Many economists say it might need a second bailout as the recession deepens, putting its budget targets in doubt and jeopardising its planned return to the bond market in late 2013.
Portugal's core deficit tripled in the first two months of 2012, showing that the economic slump is denting tax revenues and stoking concerns over the fiscal targets.
Still, Standard & Poor's ratings agency said on Thursday a Portuguese debt restructuring is avoidable as its debt level is lower than Greece's and it has shown more capacity to reform.
Portugal is western Europe's poorest country and followed Greece and Ireland in seeking a bailout to handle their crippling debts. Spain and Italy are also now facing austerity measures, and Italy's largest trade union is planning a general strike over labour market reforms.
UGT, which is allied to the opposition Socialist Party, has urged opponents of austerity to show restraint, warning that Portugal could descend into the kind of chaos seen in Greece.
The strikers say the new labour laws, which make it easier to hire and fire staff and which cut compensation for workers, mark the biggest step backwards for workers since Portugal's return to democracy in 1974 after military rule.
The first evidence of empathy-driven helping behavior in rodents has been observed in laboratory rats that repeatedly free companions from a restraint, according to a new study by University of Chicago neuroscientists.
The observation, published today in Science, places the origin of pro-social helping behavior earlier in the evolutionary tree than previously thought. Though empathetic behavior has been observed anecdotally in non-human primates and other wild species, the concept had not previously been observed in rodents in a laboratory setting.
"This is the first evidence of helping behavior triggered by empathy in rats," said Jean Decety, PhD, Irving B. Harris Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Chicago. "There are a lot of ideas in the literature showing that empathy is not unique to humans, and it has been well demonstrated in apes, but in rodents it was not very clear. We put together in one series of experiments evidence of helping behavior based on empathy in rodents, and that's really the first time it's been seen."
The study demonstrates the deep evolutionary roots of empathy-driven behavior, said Jeffrey Mogil, the E.P. Taylor Professor in Pain Studies at McGill University, who has studied emotional contagion of pain in mice.
"On its face, this is more than empathy, this is pro-social behavior," said Mogil, who was not involved in the study. "It's more than has been shown before by a long shot, and that's very impressive, especially since there's no advanced technology here."
The experiments, designed by psychology graduate student and first author Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal with co-authors Decety and Peggy Mason, placed two rats that normally share a cage into a special test arena. One rat was held in a restrainer device — a closed tube with a door that can be nudged open from the outside. The second rat roamed free in the cage around the restrainer, able to see and hear the trapped cagemate but not required to take action.
The researchers observed that the free rat acted more agitated when its cagemate was restrained, compared to its activity when the rat was placed in a cage with an empty restrainer. This response offered evidence of an "emotional contagion," a frequently observed phenomenon in humans and animals in which a subject shares in the fear, distress or even pain suffered by another subject.
While emotional contagion is the simplest form of empathy, the rats' subsequent actions clearly comprised active helping behavior, a far more complex expression of empathy. After several daily restraint sessions, the free rat learned how to open the restrainer door and free its cagemate. Though slow to act at first, once the rat discovered the ability to free its companion, it would take action almost immediately upon placement in the test arena.
"We are not training these rats in any way," Bartal said. "These rats are learning because they are motivated by something internal. We're not showing them how to open the door, they don't get any previous exposure on opening the door, and it's hard to open the door. But they keep trying and trying, and it eventually works."
To control for motivations other than empathy that would lead the rat to free its companion, the researchers conducted further experiments. When a stuffed toy rat was placed in the restrainer, the free rat did not open the door. When opening the restrainer door released his companion into a separate compartment, the free rat continued to nudge open the door, ruling out the reward of social interaction as motivation. The experiments left behavior motivated by empathy as the simplest explanation for the rats' behavior.
"There was no other reason to take this action, except to terminate the distress of the trapped rats," Bartal said. "In the rat model world, seeing the same behavior repeated over and over basically means that this action is rewarding to the rat."
As a test of the power of this reward, another experiment was designed to give the free rats a choice: free their companion or feast on chocolate. Two restrainers were placed in the cage with the rat, one containing the cagemate, another containing a pile of chocolate chips. Though the free rat had the option of eating all the chocolate before freeing its companion, the rat was equally likely to open the restrainer containing the cagemate before opening the chocolate container.
"That was very compelling," said Mason, PhD, Professor of Neurobiology. "It said to us that essentially helping their cagemate is on a par with chocolate. He can hog the entire chocolate stash if he wanted to, and he does not. We were shocked."
Now that this model of empathic behavior has been established, the researchers are carrying out additional experiments. Because not every rat learned to open the door and free its companion, studies can compare these individuals to look for the biological source of these behavioral differences. Early results suggested that females were more likely to become door openers than males, perhaps reflecting the important role of empathy in motherhood and providing another avenue for study.
"This model of empathy and helping behavior opens the path for elucidating aspects of the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms that were not accessible until now." Bartal said.
The experiments also provide further evidence that empathy-driven helping behavior is not unique to humans – and suggest that Homo sapiens could learn a lesson from its rat cousins.
"When we act without empathy we are acting against our biological inheritance," Mason said. "If humans would listen and act on their biological inheritance more often, we'd be better off."
Se vivete in un paese in cui il Web è tenuto sotto controllo e filtrato, è probabile che Google censuri alcuni contenuti pubblicati su Blogger lì dove vi trovate. Come già annunciato da Twitter, anche Mountain View ha introdotto un sistema di controllo dei contenuti elastico che si adatta alla condizione di libera espressione di ogni singolo paese. In questo modo, qualora una nazione facesse richiesta di oscuramento di un determinato contenuto pubblicato su un blog il cui dominio è blogspot.com questo non sarebbe più accessibile dai naviganti di quello specifico paese. In poche parole se un blogger iraniano pubblicase sulla sua pagina le immagini di una protesta a Tehran e il governo locale ne chiedesse la rimozione quegli scatti sarebbero visibili dal mondo interno, esclusi i cittadini iraniani. Per via di un filtro gestito direttamente da Google.
La modifica era stata annunciata da BigG stessa anche se con non troppa evidenza in una pagina di supporto di Blogger ma è arrivata allo scoperto da quando il sito TechDows ha portato in superficie la cosa. Sostanzialmente, chiunque accederà a una pagina personale aperta tramite Blogger verrà indirizzato sul dominio nazionale del paese in cui si trova, settato secondo le preferenze del luogo. Secondo TechDows questo starebbe già accadendo in India dove le Url dei blog gestiti da Google, se visitati da Nuova Delhi ad esempio, cambiano e si concludono con .in. Google fa sapere di attuare questa policy nazionale per "promuovee la libera espressione e la pubblicazione responsabile fornendo allo stesso tempo maggiore flessibilità nel soddisfare valide richieste di rimozione ai sensi di leggi locali", una motivazione molto simile a quanto comunicato da Twitter negli scorsi giorni.
Inoltre, si difende sempre Google, aggiungendo la sigla " /ncr" (" No country redirect") in coda al dominio di un blog si potrà sempre avere accesso a pagine non geolocalizzate: http://[blogname].blogspot.com/ncr, per intenderci, porterà sempre alla versione non filtrata del blog in questione. La censura localizzata per ora funzionerebbe in India e Australia, ma sarà presto estesa altrove. Č chiaro che le ragioni di preoccupazione nei paesi in cui la libertà di espressione non è garantita non sono poche, dato che un algoritmo potrà autocensurare eventuali contenuti scomodi.
Pacientul, Atilla Kavdir, si-a pierdut trei dintre cele patru membre la vârsta de 11 ani, când, încercând sa goneasca niste pasari, a lovit liniile electrice cu o vergea metalica si a fost electrocutat.
Pe 21 ianuarie 2012, doua brate si un picior au fost prelevate de la un donator, fiind ulterior transplantate, în cursul unei interventii care a durat 12 ore. Ulterior, au aparut totusi complicatii care au facut necesara îndepartarea piciorului transplantat, la doar o zi dupa atasarea acestuia.
De la acelasi donator a fost prelevata fata, care a fost transplantata unui alt pacient, un tânar în vârsta de 19 ani, desfigurat în urma arsurilor capatate într-un incendiu, când era foarte mic. Este primul transplant de fata realizat în Turcia; operatia a durat noua ore.
Operatiile au avut loc la Spitalul Universitar Akdeniz, din regiunea Antalya din sudul Turciei.
By combining a gold alloy with boron carbide, an extremely hard ceramic that’s used in bulletproof vests, a team of EPFL researchers has succeeded in making the world’s toughest 18-karat gold (75% gold). With a Vickers hardness number of 1000, it’s harder than most tempered steels (600 Vickers) and thus almost impossible to scratch, except with a diamond. This discovery is the result of a three-year collaboration between the Mechanical Metallurgy Laboratory in EPFL’s Institute of Materials, under the leadership of Professor Andreas Mortensen, and the Swiss watchmaking company Hublot.
The process for developing this material is relatively complicated. Powdered boron carbide is heated to almost 2000°C, where it forms a rigid, porous structure by a process called sintering. A liquid molten alloy of gold is infiltrated under very high pressure into the pores of this structure, and then solidified, yielding a pore-free composite material. The final material is thus made up of two kinds of crystals that are intimately interconnected in space, like two three-dimensional labyrinths. Because the molten gold used is a previously-made alloy based on 24-karat gold and aluminum (3%) for strength, the final gold is thus 3% aluminum, 75% gold and 22% boron carbide.
By definition, gold is very soft. Managing to harden it to this degree while still maintaining 18-karat purity was a real challenge for the EPFL scientists. They overcame the obstacle by taking the ceramic-metal composite approach. Composite materials are created by artificially combining several materials that conserve their individual characteristics even after they’re assembled. In this they are different from alloys, in which atoms mix together to form a new, homogeneous, material.
The EPFL researchers aren’t the first to play around with different materials in an effort to make more resistant gold. They are, however, the first to have attained this degree of hardness in 18-karat gold. The first watches made using this new gold will be presented in 2012 at BaselWorld, the world watch and jewelry show.
The gross domestic product of the United States -- that oft-cited measure of economic health -- has been ticking upward for the last two years.
But what would you see if you could see a graph of gross domestic happiness?
A team of scientists from the University of Vermont have made such a graph -- and the trend is down.
Reporting in the Dec. 7 issue of the journal PLoS ONE, the team writes, "After a gradual upward trend that ran from January to April, 2009, the overall time series has shown a gradual downward trend, accelerating somewhat over the first half of 2011."
A graph of average happiness measured over a three year period running from Sept. 9, 2008 to Aug. 31, 2011, created by scientists at the University of Vermont using data from Twitter. Published in the journal PLoS ONE, Dec. 7, 2011. A regular weekly cycle is clear with the red and blue of Saturday and Sunday typically the high points -- and an overall downward trend in 2010 and 2011 is clear. Credit: Peter Dodds et al
"It appears that happiness is going down," said Peter Dodds, an applied mathematician at UVM and the lead author on the new study.
How does he know this? From Twitter. For three years, he and his colleagues gathered more than 46 billion words written in Twitter tweets by 63 million Twitter users around the globe.
In these billions of words is not a view of any individual's state of mind. Instead, like billions of moving atoms add up to the overall temperature of a room, billions of words used to express what people are feeling resolve into a view of the relative mood of large groups.
These billions of words contain everything from "the" to "pancakes" to "suicide." To get a sense of the emotional gist of various words, the researchers used a service from Amazon called Mechanical Turk. On this website, they paid a group of volunteers to rate, from one to nine, their sense of the "happiness" -- the emotional temperature -- of the ten thousand most common words in English. Averaging their scores, the volunteers rated, for example, "laughter" at 8.50, "food" 7.44, "truck" 5.48, "greed" 3.06 and "terrorist" 1.30.
The Vermont team then took these scores and applied them to the huge pool of words they collected from Twitter. Because these tweets each have a date and time, and, sometimes, other demographic information -- like location -- they show changing patterns of word use that provide insights into the way groups of people are feeling.
The new approach lets the researchers measure happiness at different scales of time and geography -- whether global patterns over a workweek -- or on Christmas.
And stretched out over the last three years, these patterns of word use show a drop in average happiness.
Or at least at drop in happiness for those who use Twitter. "It does skew toward younger people and people with smartphones and so on -- but Twitter is nearly universal now," Dodds said, "Every demographic is represented."
"Twitter is a signal," Dodds said, "just like looking at the words in the New York Times or Google Books." (Word sources that the team is also exploring in related studies). "They're all a sample," he says. "And indeed everything we say or write is a distortion of what goes on inside our head."
But -- like GDP is a distortion of the hugely complex interactions that make up the economy and yet is still useful -- the new approach by the UVM team provides a powerful sense of the rising and falling pulse of human feelings.
"Individual happiness is a fundamental societal metric," the researchers write in their study. Indeed the ultimate goal of much public policy is to improve and protect happiness. But measuring happiness has been exceedingly difficult by traditional means, like self-reporting in social science surveys. Some of the problems with this approach are that people often don't tell the truth in surveys and the sample sizes are small.
And so efforts to measure happiness have been "overshadowed by more readily quantifiable economic indicators such as gross domestic product," the study notes.
The new approach lets the UVM researchers almost instantaneously look over the "collective shoulder of society," Dodds says. "We get a sense of the aggregate expressions of millions of people," says Dodds's colleague Chris Danforth, a mathematician and a co-author the study, while they are communicating in a "more natural way," he says. And this opens the possibility of taking regular measures of happiness in near real-time -- measurements that could have applications in public policy, marketing and other fields.
The study describes hundreds of insights from the Twitter data, like a clear weekly happiness signal "with the peak generally occurring over the weekend, and the nadir on Monday and Tuesday," they write. And over each day happiness seems to drop from morning to night. "It's part of the general unraveling of the mind that happens over the course of the day," said Dodds.
In the long-term graph that shows an overall drop in happiness, various ups and downs are clearly visible. While the strongest up-trending days are annual holidays like Christmas and Valentine's Day, "all the most negative days are shocks from outside people's routines," Dodds say. Clear drops can be seen with the spread of swine flu, announcement of the U.S. economic bailout, the tsunami in Japan and even the death of actor Patrick Swayze.
"In measuring happiness, we construct a tunable, real-time, remote sensing, and non-invasive, text-based hedonometer," the Vermont scientists write. In other words, a happiness sensor.
Right now the sensor is only available to the researchers, but Dodds, Danforth and their colleagues have in mind a tool that could go "on the dashboard" of policy makers, Dodds says. Or, perhaps, on a real estate website for people exploring communities into which they might move, or, simply, "if someone is flying in a plane they could look at this dashboard and see how the city below them is feeling," he says.
Of course feelings change quickly and the nature of happiness itself is one of the most complex, profound issues of human experience.
"There is an important psychological distinction between an individual's current, experiential happiness and their longer term, reflective evaluation of their life," the scientists write, "and in using Twitter, our approach is tuned to the former kind."
And looking ahead, the Vermont scientists hope that by following the written expressions of individual Twitter users over long time periods, they'll be able to infer details of happiness dynamics "such as individual stability, social correlation and contagion and connections to well-being and health."
Dodds and his colleagues are no strangers to the debates over the role of happiness that can be traced back through Brave New World to Jeremy Bentham, Thomas Aquinas, and Aristotle. "By measuring happiness, we're not saying that maximizing happiness is the goal of society," Dodds says. "It might well be that we need to have some persistent degree of grumpiness for cultures to flourish."
Nevertheless, this study provides a new view on a compelling question: why does happiness seem to be declining?
Non sarà certo questa la scoperta che ci permetterà di leggere i pensieri degli altri esseri umani, ma di sicuro è un grande passo in avanti verso la comprensione del linguaggio. Il merito va al team di ricerca guidato da Brian Pasley,neurologo dell' Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute di Berkeley, che ha decodificato alcuni stimoli cerebrali alla base dell'ascolto. In questo modo, un giorno forse sarà possibile riprodurre in modo artificiale le parole percepite nella testa delle persone.
Tuttavia, come spiega Scientific American, questo non significa che saremo in grado di leggere anche i pensieri elaborati dal cervello stesso. Per l'esattezza, lo studio pubblicato su PLoS Biology dall'equipe di Pasley riguarda un algoritmo capace di tradurre in suoni gli stimoli cerebrali innescati dalle parole percepite da 15 volontari. Il test prevedeva di sottoporli all'ascolto di brevi parole – a volte inventate – come “ jazz”, “ cause” e “ fook” e vedere quali parti del loro cervello si attivassero.
Per registrare l'attività cerebrale, Pasley ha sfruttato elettrodi connessi direttamente alla superficie della corteccia uditiva. Si tratta di una procedura molto sofisticata resa possibile dal fatto che tutti i partecipanti dovevano comunque sottoporsi a interventi neurochirurgici per il trattamento di epilessia o tumori. Ogni volta che un volontario percepiva una parola, il computer registrava i segnali percepiti dal cervello e li elaborava nel tentativo di convertirli in un suono simile.
Ebbene, dai ripetuti esperimenti è emerso che esistono zone cerebrali deputate all'ascolto esclusivo di alcune frequenze sonore. Una sorta di mosaico neurale sensibile a uno spettro sonoro che va da 200 a 7.000 Hertz. Inoltre, sembra che per adesso l'algoritmo del team di Pasley sia in grado di riprodurre con più facilità suoni vocalici molto semplici. Così, prima di arrivare a sviluppare uno strumento di ascolto più sofisticato, i ricercatori dovranno valutare quali sono i contributi di altre aree che entrano in gioco nel momento in cui il cervello percepisce le parole.
Infatti, nonostante i volontari fossero perfettamente in grado di comprendere i suoni uditi durante i test, i dati estrapolati dalla corteccia uditiva non sono stati sufficienti a crearne una copia perfetta. Dopo tutto, come hanno dimostrato diversi studi condotti durante il coma farmacologico indotto dall' anestesia, le zone del cervello che percepiscono e codificano il significato delle parole agiscono in modo indipendente tra loro. In una prospettiva futura, studi simili a quelli di Pasley potrebbero riuscire a completare il mosaico e stabilire qual è la soglia di coscienza nelle persone che hanno subito danni cerebrali.
Cercetarea arata ca fiecare ceasca de cafea bauta zilnic reduce cu 7% riscul de a suferi de aceasta afectiune, persoanele care beau 4 sau mai multe cesti de cafea zilnic fiind cele cele mai putin expuse riscului de a suferi de diabet de tip 2 (diabet zaharat non-insulino-dependent - nota Redactie TA).
În cercetarea publicata în Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, oamenii de stiinta din China au identificat de ce cafeaua are acest efect. Secretul consta în proteina hIAPP (human islet amyloid polypeptide), care este implicata în diabetul de tip 2. Anumiti compusi din cafea au un efect inhibitor asupra formarii acestor amiloizi toxici, arata studiul cercetatorilor chinezi.
"Rezultatele studiului nostru sugereaza ca efectul benefic al consumului de cafea asupra riscului de a suferi de diabet de tip 2 se datoreaza, cel putin partial, compusilor si metabolitilor din cafea care pot preveni agregarea proteinelor toxice hIAPP. Asadar, persoanele care beau regulat cafea se pot astepta la un efect benefic", au explicat cercetatorii.
In September 2002, one hundred million cubic metres of rock and ice separated from the northern slope of the Kazbek massif in North Ossetia, Russia. The resulting avalanche killed 125 people and caused widespread damage. Ice avalanches can travel great distances at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour, but it is not fully understood how they travel so far or so fast. The difficulty lies in observing the processes within avalanches closely. But by creating a laboratory avalanche one researcher at The University of Nottingham has helped us to understand how melting effects flows of ice — even at temperatures below freezing.
Dr Barbara Turnbull, a member of the Fluid and Particle Processes Group in the University’s Faculty of Engineering, has found that the same layer of liquid water at an ice particle’s surface that helps skaters to skate across an ice rink also enhances ice avalanche speeds. The water lubricates particle contacts, resulting in more collisions and melting, which in turn leads to a snowball effect of ever-faster speeds.
To measure this effect Dr Turnbull half filled a narrow Perspex drum with flash-frozen water droplets, rotating it so that the droplets formed a slope down which the ice granules bounced and slipped — simulating ice avalanches.
“Ice avalanches from collapsing glaciers are not common in populated areas, but that may change as global temperatures rise. The Ossetia avalanche alerted researchers to the urgency of gaining a better understanding of the processes that control such flows,” Dr Turnbull said.
“This is a simple experiment, but it tests the theory that surface melting in ice particles as they collide plays a role in the speed at which avalanches travel — and therefore the amount of damage they can potentially inflict on the local environment and populations.”