Gulf Coast MensaSocial Club in Houston, Texas
As far our brains are concerned, talking to ourselves in our heads may be fundamentally the same as speaking our thoughts out loud, new research shows. The findings may have important implications for understanding why people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia hear voices. UNSW Sydney scientist and study first author Associate Professor Thomas Whitford says it has long been thought that these auditory-verbal hallucinations arise from abnormalities in inner speech – our silent internal dialogue. http://ow.ly/IsgL30itkFJ
For six seconds on the day of the eclipse, a woman looked at the sun without protecting her eyes. She tried again for 20 seconds, this time using eclipse glasses, but the damage was done. Four hours later, her vision was blurry, she could only see black — and her eyes have now provided the first glimpse of what happens on the cellular level when you look straight at the sun. http://ow.ly/En1U30itkBz
The viruses, Jeremy Barr realized, were in the wrong place. Barr and his colleagues at San Diego State University had grown a layer of gut cells in a dish, much like those that line the surface of our own twisting intestines. The cells formed such tight connections with each other that bacteria couldn't sneak past them. Even a dye couldn't get through. The layer was meant to be impermeable, until the team infused the water on one side of it with viruses called phages. After a few hours, they found a few of these phages on the other side. http://ow.ly/Yv3530itkuW
Off the coast of South Africa, just below the ocean's surface, an epic battle is underway as killer whales hunt and kill the world's most iconic predator, the great white shark. The phenomenon began in early May, when scientists at the shark cage diving company Marine Dynamics spotted a pair of killer whales cruising along the southwestern coast of South Africa. Days later, great white shark carcasses began washing up in their wake. http://ow.ly/NYqI30itkqc
An estimated 7,099 languages are spoken throughout the world today. Almost a third of them are endangered — spoken by dwindling numbers — while just 23 languages represent more than half of the global population. For years, researchers have been interested in the similarities seen across human languages. A new study led by University of Arizona researcher Masha Fedzechkina suggests that some of those similarities may be based on the human brain's preference for efficient information processing. http://ow.ly/OXkX30hNaSf
In 2019, if everything goes according to plan, the much-delayed James Webb Space Telescope will finally launch into orbit. Once assembled, it will use an array of 18 hexagonal mirrors to collect and focus the light from distant galaxies. This segmented-mirror design was developed in the 1980s, and it has been so successful that it will be featured in almost all the large telescopes to be built in the near future. http://ow.ly/O4O630hNaHP
Among the brilliant theorists cloistered in the quiet woodside campus of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, Edward Witten stands out as a kind of high priest. The sole physicist ever to win the Fields Medal, mathematics' premier prize, Witten is also known for discovering M-theory, the leading candidate for a unified physical "theory of everything." A genius's genius, Witten is tall and rectangular, with hazy eyes and an air of being only one-quarter tuned in to reality until someone draws him back from more abstract thoughts. http://ow.ly/pWp930hNarw
The arrival 36 years ago of a strange bird to a remote island in the Galápagos archipelago has provided direct genetic evidence of a novel way in which new species arise. On Nov. 23 in the journal Science, researchers from Princeton University and Uppsala University in Sweden reported that the newcomer belonging to one species mated with a member of another species resident on the island, giving rise to a new species that today consists of roughly 30 individuals. http://ow.ly/FV3X30hNag3
Greenland sharks are among nature's least elegant inventions. Lumpish, with stunted pectoral fins that they use for ponderously slow swimming in cold and dark Arctic waters, they have blunt snouts and gaping mouths that give them an unfortunate, dull-witted appearance. Many live with worm-like parasites that dangle repulsively from their corneas. They belong, appropriately enough, to the family Squalidae, and appear as willing to gorge on fresh halibut as on rotting polar-bear carcasses. Once widely hunted for their liver oil, today they are considered bycatch. http://ow.ly/hTdt30hNa8Y
Long after the sun has gone down, the electric lights keep blazing. That might suggest that most humans aren't as influenced by Earth's light-dark cycle as we used to be. But a new study, drawing on the cellphone call records of more than a million people, shows that the times of day when they are active grew longer and shorter over the course of the year, waxing and waning with the daylight. http://ow.ly/rppM30hN9ZR
The Mensa Admissions Test will be administered from 10:00 am-12:00 pm (please arrive at 9:45). The test will begin promptly at 10:00 am.
You must bring a photo ID and your form of payment in the amount of $60. We accept check, money order, credit card, and prepaid voucher.
This test session will be held in the office in the portables behind the church....
You may register for the test by e-mailing email@example.com. Walk-ins are welcome. Remember to bring your photo ID.
It would be a memorable sight. But it would also be so wrong to tip over Galápagos giant tortoises to see how shell shape affects their efforts to leg-pump, neck-stretch and rock right-side up again. Shell shape matters, says evolutionary biologist Ylenia Chiari, though not the way she expected. It's taken years, plus special insights from a coauthor who more typically studies scorpions, for Chiari and her team to measure and calculate their way to that conclusion. But no endangered species have been upended in the making of the study. http://ow.ly/nBfc30hN9O7
A research team mapped the electrical connections generated when surgical patients with electrodes implanted directly on their brains created memories. Using this information, they were able to generate the first whole-brain map of electrical connections in the brain during memory creation. http://ow.ly/Uk0M30hN9FG
The most dramatic divergence between humans and other primates can be found in the brain, the primary organ that gives our species its identity. However, all regions of the human brain have molecular signatures very similar to those of our primate relatives, yet some regions contain distinctly human patterns of gene activity that mark the brain's evolution and may contribute to our cognitive abilities, a new Yale-led study has found. http://ow.ly/MCGX30hH8mW