cellular systems

One of the interesting ideas cognitive literary theory exposed to me was the extent to which our cognition is embodied; like, some of this is just trivially obvious, in that things like our sense of direction or our ability to solve physical puzzles are dependent on our perceptions of geometry and angles and proportions. But it does run deeper than that, with things like the method of loci using our spatial reasoning ability to enhance our memory, two things which are not obviously related to one another. Even that, however, is scratching the surface. When you try to delve into the mechanics of how language slices the world, both in the concrete and the abstract, you find that ultimately all human language is physical or sensory and only from there extended by analogy to the abstract and philosophical. There are words whose obvious meanings are both physical and abstract (network, bridge, impression, depth) but few or none that run in the other direction. (Words relating to time don’t count, since that’s something we perceive with our senses, even if it’s not directly physical–still part of embodied cognition. Likewise emotions, which we physically locate in our bodies even if they exist only in our mind.) The weak version of this statement would admit there are words for abstract concepts whose etymology is non-abstract (institution is a word that springs to mind), but arguments from the history of words don’t actually tell us much about how words work now (the language of individual persons is synchronic, not diachronic; language change has no memory). But I think the strong version holds as well: words like “institution” refer to groupings which naturally arise out of our sensory impressions, in the same way we look at a flock of birds and see it as one thing, albeit one with readily discerned components.

If you don’t mind rhetorically overblown statements, you could say that the human mind is dependent on far more than just the brain. Subjectively, at least, the mechanics of our cognition stretch out into the world around us.

All of that’s well and good when it comes to literary criticism, especially where it involves picking apart the minutiae of texts, but what really interests me about this is what it says for our ability to understand beings with cognition unlike our own. It’s not immediately obvious, for instance, why we should be able to, not translate, but actually understand the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is about as remote from our day-to-day experiences as you can get, culturally speaking, being written in a dead language by people with completely different day-to-day experiences and with virtually zero shared literary/religious references. But we do, because human cognition hasn’t changed much in the millennia since it was written, and there are common landmarks we can point to which structure our understanding of the world in the same way they structured Sin-Leqi-Unninni’s.

What if those referents don’t exist? What of creatures that had, not just differently organized brains, but different senses, different linguistic universals, a different relationship to their physical world–or, in the case of an intelligence implemented as a computer program, none at all? Does it follow that we would have much in common with them–indeed, does it follow that we could understand them at all?

I don’t think it does. In fact, I think it requires assuming a lot which is actually up for grabs. Even if trends in terrestrial evolution, like cephalization and an organized nervous system and cellular biology hold in other contexts, even if they’re as natural a consequence of the physical laws of the universe as breathing oxygen to run your metabolism, you could have fundamentally creatures whose languages are simply unlearnable for humans, who have nothing of interest in the realms of art or philosophy to share with us, nor us with them, simply for the reason that our experiences of the universe are too different. I’m not saying we couldn’t communicate at all. We would deduce the same physical laws; we would probably be able to work out a you-fish-on-your-side-of-the-lake-and-I-fish-on-mine-and-nobody-fishes-in-the-middle-type agreement to live and let live, and maybe even some basic forms of trade, but actual communion could remain forever out of reach.

(And is this the solution to Fermi’s paradox? That alien intelligence is so different from our own we can’t recognize it from here even if it *is* leaving footprints all over the universe? I don’t think it’s likely, but I do think it’s possible.)

But I also think this is why we can’t assume the possibility of an artificial intelligence that we can have any kind of meaningful communication with, never mind uploading a human mind. Even if you could implement a very good simulation of the human brain in a computer, a human mind unmoored from its body might not think the same way, might not have the same relationship with the world, might have a very different internal experience from anything the embodied human has, and the closer you got to bridging the gap the more you would just be simulating a physical world that was inhabited in the same way we already inhabit our world. If that mind could copy itself, merge itself, alter itself, then the differences would be even greater. If that mind was built from the ground up, intelligence developed on its own terms rather than those of DNA and cellular biology, why should it have anything in common with us at all? It would be as alien as any other kind of intelligence, and while perhaps we could customize it to do useful work for us, I’m still not sure its internal experience would ever be something comprehensible or of interest to us, and vice-versa.

I don’t think this means uploaded minds or entirely artificial intelligence are impossible, or even necessarily inadvisable. Just that there are aspects of discussions of the glorious post-scarcity transhuman future that remind me of people in 1950 predicting a society in 2020 with the same political and gender relations, or science fiction of the 1920s that predicts a universe populated with American-accented rubber forehead aliens whose societies are organized exactly like Earth’s. If the past has any lesson to offer, it is that the future is going to be a lot weirder than we imagine, or even than we can imagine.

“3d chess”|“three dimensional chess”
“3d photo”|“stereo photo”|“stereo photography”|stereogram|stereoscope|“three dimensional photo”
4d|“fourth dimension”
“abductive inference”|“abductive logic”|“abductive reasoning”
“abstract game”
advaita|vedanta
“alan moore”
alife|“artificial life”
ambigram
anaglyph
anarchism|anarchy|anarchocommunism|anarchocapitalism
“anthropic principle”
anticryptography
apl
“appropriate technology”
aspergers|autism|“autistic spectrum”
atheism|humanism|“secular humanism”|agnosticism
“attention economy”
autodidact
“avram davidson”
“barrington bayley”
“beam robotics”
beanworld
behaviorism
bipolar
blissymbolics
“board game”
“board game system”
borges
buddhism
bulletball
cabell
calliagnosia
calvinball
“card game”
“card game system”
“cellular automata”
“charles sanders peirce”
“chess variant”|“fairy chess”
chumby
coffee
“cognitive ergonomics”
“colbert report”
combinatorics
comics|comix
“common lisp”
comprehensivism|generalism
conlang|“constructed language”|artlang
“construction toy”
“construction toy system”
“constructive living”
conworld
copyfight|copyleft
“cosmic encounter”
cosmology
crank|kook
“creative commons”
crossdisciplinary|interdisciplinary
cryonics
cryptozoology
cthulhu
“curta calculator”
damanhur
“dead media”
decktet
“deep time”
“dice life”|“dice living”|dicelife
discordian
discworld
diy
dog|puppy
“douglas hofstadter”
“d-total”
ebook
emacs
“ergodic literature”
+eris
escher
esolang|“esoteric language”
esperanto
“evolutionary psychology”
exobiology|xenobiology
exoself
“experimental mathematics”|“experimental math”
“fanucci deck”|“double fanucci”
“faster than light”|ftl
“finnegans wake”
“flying spaghetti monster”|fsm
+fnord
“free culture”
“free software”
furby
“game design”
games
“game systems”
gedankenexperiment|“thought experiment”
“general semantics”
“gene wolfe”
“general systems theory”
generalism|comprehensivism|omnology
geocaching
geometry
“getting things done”
glasperlenspiel|“glass bead game”|gbg
“global catastrophic risks”
gnosticism
gnu
gpl
“grayling good book”
“great books”
“greg egan”
gtd
“hale-evans”
“hard problem of consciousness”|“philosophical zombie”
“harry stephen keeler”
“headless way”|headlessness
“hipster pda”
“history of science”|“history of mathematics”
hypnagogia|hypnagogic
icehouse
immortalism|longevity
“inform 7”
“interactive fiction”|“text adventure”
“james joyce”
“jon stewart”|“daily show”
kaizen
kennings
“king in yellow”
k'nex|knex
korzybski
labyrinth|maze
“laws of form”|“spencer brown”
lego
letterboxing
“lewis carroll”
“life hack”|lifehack
+lincos
linux
lisp
“literate programming”
logic
“logic alphabet”
loglan|lojban
“long now”
lovecraft|hpl|“cthulhu mythos”
“low tech”
“lucid dream”
ludism
ludology
madhyamika
“maker movement”|“make magazine”
manifesto
“many valued logic”|“multi valued logic”|“multivalued logic”
“many worlds”|“many worlds interpretation”
“martin gardner”
“math fiction”
meditation
memes|memetics
“memory palace”
“mental math”|“mental arithmetic”|“mental mathematics”
mentat
metagame|metagaming
micronation
“mind performance hacks”|mindhacker
mnemonic
“monty python”
moopsball
“morita therapy”
“morton’s list”
multiverse
+murse
mythtv|knoppmyth
naikan
nanofiction
necronomicon
“neo-american church”|“art kleps”
neurodiversity
nomic
nootropic
notation
notetaking|annotation
npr
nxt
“olaf stapledon”
olpc
“omega point”
“open source”
oulipo|“georges perec”
oz
panenpsychism
“paper craft”|papercraft
paradox
pataphysics
“pattern language”
pbs
“perennial philosophy”
“philosophy of science”|“philosophy of mathematics”
+piecepack
planiverse|flatland
“playing cards”
po
polyform|polyomino
“positive psychology”
“positive revolution”
posthumanism
“public radio”
“public television”
“quantum immortality”|“quantum suicide”
quenya|sindarin|elvish|tengwar
“rainbow deck”
“r a lafferty”
ramagon
“raymond smullyan”
rebt|“rational emotive behavior therapy”|“albert ellis”|“cognitive behavior therapy”|cbt
retrocomputing
“robert anton wilson”
robotics
“rudy rucker”
rwhe
savant
“science fiction”
seattle|tacoma
“self reference”
“sentience quotient”
seti
“sherlock holmes”
“sid sackson”
singularity
solipsism
solresol
speedwords
spime
“stanislaw lem”
“stephen colbert”|“colbert report”
stoicism
“strange loop”
superhero
synergetics|“buckminster fuller”
synesthesia
“systems theory”
“ted chiang”
teilhard
“they might be giants”|tmbg
tolkien
“toy system”
transhumanism
turing
uberstix
ubicomp
“ubiquitous computing”
vipassana
“wold newton”
writing
“zillions of games”
zome|zometool

a sexy chatline where you only get to talk to me imitating curly from the three stooges. it costs a nickel per minute and obviously you’re the one really getting paid: in laughter and classic audio only slapstick straight to your existing cellular or home phone system

Habitat 2020’s Breathing Leaf-Like Skin

Just like the surface of a leaf, the ‘skin’ of the Habitat 2020 building reacts to external stimuli, opening, closing and breathing throughout the day through a system of ‘cellular’ openings that allow light, air and water into the apartments contained within. Designed for China, Habitat 2020 improves indoor air quality and provides natural air conditioning – the skin can even absorb moisture from the air and collect rainwater before purifying and filtering it so it can be used by the building’s inhabitants.

Audition for the role of Dr. Sidney Peterson in the podcast Under Pressure. This was for the portion of the audition in which we were to perform a description of the character’s job, from their point of view.

Monologue written by me. I did a lot of research and went for autistic and way more interested in Science than people.

Transcript below the cut:

Keep reading

Made with SoundCloud
Jesse Eugene Russell

Considered the “father of 2G communications”, he pioneered and is responsible for the field of digital cellular communication and digital signal processing technology. This man fundamentally affected the way the modern cellphone works and how we talk to each other today. How did this man change our lives?

Keep reading

Yes. Men are so useless. Lets have a look at all the useless things they’ve made:

  1. Paperclip
  2. Airplane
  3. Air conditioner
  4. Stainless steel
  5. Pop-up toaster
  6. Sound film
  7. Wind tunnel
  8. Television
  9. Telephoto
  10. Aerosol spray
  11. Mechanical cotton picker
  12. Sliced bread
  13. Electric dry shaver
  14. Antibiotics
  15. Electroencephelograph
  16. X-Ray motion picture camera
  17. Nylon
  18. Trampoline
  19. Pinsetter
  20. Jet engine
  21. Fiberglass
  22. Computer
  23. FM radio
  24. Helicopter
  25. Aqua-Lung
  26. Microwave oven
  27. Polaroid camera
  28. Long Playing Record
  29. Hovercraft
  30. Medical ultrasonography
  31. First nuclear power reactor
  32. Velcro
  33. Jet Boat
  34. Bubble Wrap
  35. Snowmobile
  36. Lasers
  37. Communications satellites
  38. Light-emitting diode
  39. Hypertext
  40. Computer mouse
  41. 8-track tapes
  42. Video game console
  43. Fiber optics
  44. E-mail
  45. Microprocessor
  46. Pocket calculator
  47. Computed Tomography
  48. Ethernet
  49. Heimlich Maneuever
  50. Digital camera
  51. The personal computer 
  52. The Walkman
  53. Cellular telephone
  54. Domain Name System
  55. DNA fingerprinting
  56. World Wide Web
  57. Electric battery
  58. Gas stove
  59. Submarine
  60. Refrigerator
  61. Miner’s safety lamp
  62. Metronome
  63. Stethoscope
  64. Kaleidoscope
  65. Insulated wire
  66. Lawn mower
  67. Electrical generator
  68. Photogenic Drawing
  69. Revolver
  70. Morse code
  71. Sewing machine
  72. Photography
  73. Steel plow
  74. Standard diving dress
  75. Camera Zoom Lens
  76. Electric telegraph
  77. Forerunner of Morse code
  78. Closed diving suit
  79. Artificial fertilizer
  80. Anaesthesia
  81. Fax machine
  82. Telegraph
  83. Portland cement
  84. Double tube tire
  85. Sewing machine
  86. Rotary printing press
  87. Safety pin
  88. Francis turbine
  89.  Airship
  90.  Passenger elevator
  91. Glider
  92. Bunsen burner
  93. Undersea telegraph cable
  94. Shoe sole sewing machine
  95. Mason jar
  96. Oil drill
  97. Linoleum
  98. Repeating rifle
  99. Self-propelled torpedo
  100. Regenerative Furnace
  101. Revolving machine gun
  102. Pasteurization
  103. Compression ice machine
  104. Dynamite
  105. Typewriter
  106. Oleomargarine
  107. Vacuum cleaner
  108. Mobile Gasoline Engine
  109. Cable car
  110. Barbed wire
  111. Electric street car
  112. Telephone
  113. Stapler
  114. Induction motor
  115. Phonograph
  116. Electric welding
  117. Transparent film
  118. Rebreather
  119. Incandescent Light bulb
  120. Automobile engine
  121. Cash register
  122. Roll film
  123. Safety razor
  124. Seismograph
  125. Electric welding machine
  126. Metal detector
  127. Electric fan
  128. Electric flat iron
  129. Linotype machine
  130. Fountain pen
  131. Punched card accounting
  132. Trolley car, (electric)
  133. Automobile, differential gear
  134. Maxim gun
  135. Motor cycle
  136.  Alternating current transformer
  137. Gasoline engine
  138. Monotype machine
  139. Contact lens
  140. Gramophone record
  141. Automobile, (gasoline)
  142. Kodak hand camera
  143. Ballpoint pen
  144. Kinematograph
  145. Automobile, (steam)
  146. Pneumatic Hammer
  147. Automobile Storage Battery
  148. Zipper
  149. Carborundum
  150. Color photography 
  151. Automatic telephone exchange 
  152. Wireless communication
  153. Disposable blades
  154. Diesel engine
  155. Radio signals
  156. Shredded Wheat
  157. Electric stove
  158. Automobile
  159. Remote control
  160. Automobile self starter
  161. Magnetic tape recorder
  162. Gas turbine
  163. Seed drill
  164. Piano
  165. Tuning fork
  166. Mercury thermometer
  167. Sextant
  168. Flying shuttle
  169. Franklin stove
  170. Flatboat
  171. Lightning rod
  172. Iron smelting process
  173. Carbonated water
  174. Water Frame
  175. Card teeth making machine
  176. Spinning mule
  177. Hot air balloon
  178. Bifocals
  179. Shrapnel shell
  180. Power loom Automatic flour mill
  181. Non-condensing high pressure Engine
  182. Cut and head nail machine
  183. Steamboat
  184. Artificial teeth
  185.  Cotton gin
  186. Optical telegraph
  187. Vaccination
  188. Lithography
  189. Seeding machine
  190. Telescope
  191. Microscope
  192. Automatic calculator
  193. Adding machine
  194. Barometer
  195. Vacuum pump
  196. Pendulum clock
  197. Steam engine
  198. Pocket watch
  199. Pendulum
  200. Stocking frame
  201. Thermometer
  202. Musket
  203. Pencil 
  204. Paper
  205. Wheelbarrow
  206. Horseshoes
  207. Stirrup
  208. Toothpaste
  209. Windmill 
  210. Gunpowder
  211. Parachute
  212. Horse collar
  213. Woodblock printing
  214. Porcelain
  215. Spinning wheel
  216. Soap
  217. Sledges
  218. The use of yeast for leavened bread
  219. Alphabet
  220. Glass
  221. Rubber
  222. Water clock
  223. Bells
  224. Coins
  225. Dental bridge
  226. Catapult 
  227. Compass
  228. Screw
  229. Crossbow 
  230. Astrolabe
  231. Parchment 
  232. Glassblowing
  233. Clockwork 
Using the Power of Space to Fight Cancer

From cancer research to DNA sequencing, the International Space Space is proving to be an ideal platform for medical research. But new techniques in fighting cancer are not confined to research on the space station. Increasingly, artificial intelligence is helping to “read” large datasets. And for the past 15 years, these big data techniques pioneered by our Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been revolutionizing biomedical research.

Microgravity Research on Space Station

On Earth, scientists have devised several laboratory methods to mimic normal cellular behavior, but none of them work exactly the way the body does. Beginning more than 40 years ago aboard Skylab and continuing today aboard the space station, we and our partners have conducted research in the microgravity of space.  In this environment, in vitro cells arrange themselves into three-dimensional groupings, or aggregates. These aggregates more closely resemble what actually occurs in the human body. Cells in microgravity also tend to clump together more easily, and they experience reduced fluid shear stress – a type of turbulence that can affect their behavior. The development of 3D structure and enhanced cell differentiation seen in microgravity may help scientists study cell behavior and cancer development in models that behave more like tissues in the human body.

In addition, using the distinctive microgravity environment aboard the station, researchers are making further advancements in cancer therapy. The process of microencapsulation was investigated aboard the space station in an effort to improve the Earth-based technology. Microencapsulation is a technique that creates tiny, liquid-filled, biodegradable micro-balloons that can serve as delivery systems for various compounds, including specific combinations of concentrated anti-tumor drugs. For decades, scientists and clinicians have looked for the best ways to deliver these micro-balloons, or microcapsules, directly to specific treatment sites within a cancer patient, a process that has the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment.

A team of scientists at Johnson Space Center used the station as a tool to advance an Earth-based microencapsulation system, known as the Microencapsulation Electrostatic Processing System-II (MEPS-II), as a way to make more effective microcapsules. The team leveraged fluid behavior in microgravity to develop a new technique for making these microcapsules that would be more effective on Earth. In space, microgravity brought together two liquids incapable of mixing on Earth (80 percent water and 20 percent oil) in such a way that spontaneously caused liquid-filled microcapsules to form as spherical, tiny, liquid-filled bubbles surrounded by a thin, semipermeable, outer membrane. After studying these microcapsules on Earth, the team was able to develop a system to make more of the space-like microcapsules on Earth and are now performing activities leading to FDA approval for use in cancer treatment.  

In addition, the ISS National Laboratory managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) has also sponsored cancer-related investigations.  An example of that is an investigation conducted by the commercial company Eli Lilly that seeks to crystallize a human membrane protein involved in several types of cancer together with a compound that could serve as a drug to treat those cancers. 

“So many things change in 3-D, it’s mind-blowing – when you look at the function of the cell, how they present their proteins, how they activate genes, how they interact with other cells,” said Jeanne Becker, Ph.D., a cell biologist at Nano3D Biosciences in Houston and principal investigator for a study called Cellular Biotechnology Operations Support Systems: Evaluation of Ovarian Tumor Cell Growth and Gene Expression, also known as the CBOSS-1-Ovarian study. “The variable that you are most looking at here is gravity, and you can’t really take away gravity on Earth. You have to go where gravity is reduced." 

Crunching Big Data Using Space Knowledge

Our Jet Propulsion Laboratory often deals with measurements from a variety of sensors – say, cameras and mass spectrometers that are on our spacecraft. Both can be used to study a star, planet or similar target object. But it takes special software to recognize that readings from very different instruments relate to one another.

There’s a similar problem in cancer research, where readings from different biomedical tests or instruments require correlation with one another. For that to happen, data have to be standardized, and algorithms must be “taught” to know what they’re looking for.

Because space exploration and cancer research share a similar challenge in that they both must analyze large datasets to find meaning, JPL and the National Cancer Institute renewed their research partnership to continue developing methods in data science that originated in space exploration and are now supporting new cancer discoveries.

JPL’s methods are leading to the development of a single, searchable network of cancer data that researcher can work into techniques for the early diagnosis of cancer or cancer risk. In the time they’ve worked together, the two organizations’ efforts have led to the discovery of six new Food and Drug Administration-approved cancer biomarkers. These agency-approved biomarkers have been used in more than 1 million patient diagnostic tests worldwide.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

A New Brain-Based Marker of Stress Susceptibility

Some people can handle stressful situations better than others, and it’s not all in their genes: Even identical twins show differences in how they respond.

(Image: iStockphoto)

Researchers have identified a specific electrical pattern in the brains of genetically identical mice that predicts how well individual animals will fare in stressful situations.

The findings, published July 29 in Nature Communications, may eventually help researchers prevent potential consequences of chronic stress – such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other psychiatric disorders – in people who are prone to these problems.

“In soldiers, we have this dramatic, major stress exposure, and in some individuals it’s leading to major issues, such as problems sleeping or being around other people,” said senior author Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center and a member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. “If we can find that common trigger or common pathway and tune it, we may be able to prevent the emergence of a range of mental illnesses down the line.”

In the new study, Dzirasa’s team analyzed the interaction between two interconnected brain areas that control fear and stress responses in both mice and men: the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. The amygdala plays a role in the ‘fight-or-flight’ response. The prefrontal cortex is involved in planning and other higher-level functions. It suppresses the amygdala’s reactivity to danger and helps people continue to function in stressful situations.

Implanting electrodes into the brains of the mice allowed the researchers to listen in on the tempo at which the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala were firing and how tightly the two areas were linked – with the ultimate goal of figuring whether the electrical pattern of cross talk could help decide how well animals would respond when faced with an acute stressor.

Indeed, in mice that had been subjected to a chronically stressful situation – daily exposure to an aggressive male mouse for about two weeks – the degree to which the prefrontal cortex seemed to control amygdala activity was related to how well the animals coped with the stress, the group found.

Next the group looked at how the brain reacted to the first instance of stress, before the mice were put in a chronically stressful situation. The mice more sensitive to chronic stress showed greater activation of their prefrontal cortex-amygdala circuit, compared with resilient mice.

“We were really both surprised and excited to find that this signature was present in the animals before they were chronically stressed,” Dzirasa said. “You can find this signature the very first time they were ever exposed to this aggressive dangerous experience.”

Dzirasa hopes to use the signatures to come up with potential treatments for stress. “If we pair the signatures and treatments together, can we prevent symptoms from emerging, even when an animal is stressed? That’s the first question,” he said.

The group also hopes to delve further into the brain, to see whether the circuit-level patterns can interact with genetic variations that confer risk for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. The new study will enable Dzirasa and other basic researchers to segregate stress-susceptible and resilient animals before they are subjected to stress and look at their molecular, cellular and systemic differences.

wired.com
This Little-Known iOS Feature Will Change the Way We Connect | Gadget Lab | WIRED

A new iOS app called FireChat is blowing up in the App Store. But it’s not the app itself that’s causing such a stir; it’s the underlying networking technology it taps into.

If “Multipeer Connectivity Framework” and “mesh networking” sound like complicated technologies from the future, it’s because they kind of are (from the future!!! okay, kidding). But they’re not as complicated as they may sound. The app developers behind the new Firechat are harnessing this new technology from Apple to allow iOS device users to find and connect to one another - and then anonymously communicate - all without needing cellular service or WiFi. 

There are numerous reasons this technology could have huge, revolutionary impacts if its successful. While Firechat is now just for exchanging messages and photos, mesh networking could open up the possibilities of a completely independent network for communicating anonymously and privately, sharing files and storing data, and even reaching out from places with limited internet access (think crisis areas, crowded conventions). The implications from this technology would completely disrupt the current cellular service provider system. 

BioBots show some real muscle

They’re being engineered at the‪ NSF-funded‬ Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems Science and Technology Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They are tiny living machines that can be controlled with electrical or optical signals and use muscle tissue for power. Check it out!

ATP production in mitochondria (purple) can lead to the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that damage mitochondria. When an organelle is beyond repair, the cellular recycling system (green) kicks-in and targets them for mitophagy, a specialized form of mitochondrial degradation.

Image: A primary retinal ganglion cell expresses a red fluorescent protein targeted to mitochondria, a green fluorescent protein fused to the autophagosomal marker LC3, and a cyan fluorescent protein in the cytosol. This image reveals how autophagosomes (green) can contact individual mitochondria (purple), before their ingestion by mitophagy.

deitiy  asked:

Hello, I've been thinking recently about humans, the human nature. If humans have so much potential to achieve anything they want and we are all so magnificent I often wonder why our bodies also have the capability to make us suffer and be unhappy and why are bodies and mind love to focus on negative things, why so many humans hate their bodies, if the body really wanted to protect us shouldn't we just be able to stop all of this - I don't know how much more I can take of being unhappy thankyou

Humans have more potential relative to other forms of life on Earth, as humans have the ability to act outside the bounds of instinct and conditioning. That doesn’t mean our species can achieve literally anything and neither does it mean the human species is so magnificent. Humans are the product of roughly 3 billion years of evolution and still can’t get past the idea of same sex marriage. 

The problems you are discussing, such as pain and bodily identification, are in fact the result of the body “wanting” to protect us. They are survival mechanisms

The body is not a sentient being nor is it who you are. You are sentience experiencing the body. The purpose for pain, the reason for why the body has the physiological and cellular systems for pain experience, is for the sake of homeostasis. You burn yourself, you stop touching the fire. You step on something sharp and you pull back. Pain is one way signaling pathways work to maintain optimal conditions within an organism.

Similarly, the mind is not a sentient being nor who you are. The mind is a tool and it has learned to focus on needs for the purpose of helping the body to survive.

None of that is negative. The body and mind don’t “love” to focus on negative things; they are geared toward helping you to survive and reproduce. 

The negative aspects you describe, such as hatred of the body, arise when you mistakenly look to the body or mind to show you who you are. 

The body is nothing short of a miracle on every level, from atoms to molecules to cells to systems. But most of us do not discover insight into the body via science and meditation. We look to fucking billboards, magazine spreads, and media entertainment to tell us about the body and what makes it valuable. 

Furthermore, our relationship with our minds hasn’t evolved. Instead, it has become more confused and overburdened. The mind is meant to be a tool that we can use and then set down. We don’t need to be analyzing and judging every facet of our experience. But instead, we have begun to be used by our minds. 

An example is time. We use our mind to recall the past and project the future so as to learn and plan ahead. However, when we cannot stop obsessing about our mistakes or the past, we suffer. When we fixate on the future in the form of anxiety or desire, our present moment again suffers. 

To be stuck in mental streams of time is to be experientially removed from the immediacy of the living reality we call the present moment. This amounts to being removed from sanity. 

Sanity hasn’t gone anywhere, nor peace and happiness. It is our confusion that has us looking for our reading glasses in every room of the house while they’re actually simply sitting on our head. Yet in our neurotic focus on finding the glasses, the simple solution of discovering them literally atop our head is too subtle for the neurotic mind to notice or even conceive. 

It’s only when we give up, sit down, and say ‘fuck it’ that we gradually notice the familiar feeling of our reading glasses on our head. And then we laugh at our own silliness. 

This is why meditation and spiritual practices such as mindfulness are absolutely necessary if we want peace and happiness in the modern world. We need to be able to use our minds without being used by them, without being deluded by our own tools. To live from the present moment doesn’t mean you no longer think about past and future. It means you no longer live as a character in a past and future of your mind’s dreaming. 

If you want to be free from hating your body, from the negativity and confusion that arise from being dominated by your mind, then you must discover who and what you really are without the context of the body and the mind. 

People think if you hate your body then you need to love your body and if you have negative thoughts then you need to have positive thoughts. It is certainly helpful to love and appreciate your body, but it can be a problem if you become attached to it, as death is inevitable for the body. It can be helpful to have positive thoughts but all thoughts are temporary and cannot give you lasting happiness. 

The solution to a problem cannot come from the same level of understanding that created the problem. If your body is an issue then you need to discover the unmanifested aspect of your existence. If thought is a problem then you need to discover your aliveness as the peace and silence in which all thoughts come and go. 

I would strongly recommend daily meditation and the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle as the place to begin. Our ignorance is our own responsibility. To the extent that we want happiness, love, and peace in our life, we must seek freedom from our delusional ignorance. 

Namaste sis :) Much love. 

Steven Universe Theory Time

What is going to happen when Steven dies?

So this is a subject I see a lot and I’d like to offer my two cents on this matter. This may contain spoilers so be warned.

We have to start with a question. How human is Steven?

Now I’ll open with the thought of not at all, it’s a bit of a leap so I wont stick to this process, but let me offer my explination. Gems exist wholly within their physical gem, their body being magically built constructs. All of their mental processes are from within the gem, meaning Amethyst thinks from her chest and Garnet from her palms, with Ruby in her left and sapphire in her right.

A good point of comparison here would be robots run by a rasberry pi cpu.

Gems do not have any internals, unless they choose to. Amethyst gives herself digestive organs, just as Rose gave herself human reproductive bits.

Now, for a crash course in sex ed. When a sperm fuses with an egg inside the womb of a woman it nestles itself into the uterine wall and the womans body begins the building process.

Rose was the womb for Steven’s groth, built probably after studying the system to make sure Steven was made correctly, but that also means that while Greg provided half the instructions for Steven’s growth, the materials all came from the gem source of his mother. Micro gems following a human genetic code to build the body of a boy.

Returning to the robot analogy, nanotechnology in gem form. My theory stems from my belief that Steven’s body is made of microgem nanomachines as complex as the human cellular system.

Support for this theory? Too many birthdays. Throughout that episode Steven altered his body through various ages all the way up to a venerable age. His body changed the way any other Gems does, albeit with less control. He has also, in The Return and Joy Ride, exhibited strength above what his body should be capable of (punching through the dashboard of the van, and lifting Jenny with no effort respectively).

So the conclusion of this theory? Steven is 100% gem, but he is locked to a human genetic code so he can alter his form freely within the bounds of those genetics. What does this mean about his old age? It means that if he were to be killed but the majority of his body is intact he could regen just like the crystal gems, he could also probably learn to shut down his human systems (breathing, eating, etc). This theory also has interesting implicationsfor Steven having children as well.