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Neuro chip records brain cell activity at higher resolution

Brain functions are controlled by millions of brain cells. However, in order to understand how the brain controls functions, such as simple reflexes or learning and memory, we must be able to record the activity of large networks and groups of neurons. Conventional methods have allowed scientists to record the activity of neurons for minutes, but a new technology, developed by University of Calgary researchers, known as a bionic hybrid neuro chip, is able to record activity in animal brain cells for weeks at a much higher resolution. The technological advancement was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“These chips are 15 times more sensitive than conventional neuro chips,” says Naweed Syed, PhD, scientific director of the University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine’s Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and senior author on the study. “This allows brain cell signals to be amplified more easily and to see real time recordings of brain cell activity at a resolution that has never been achieved before.”

The development of this technology will allow researchers to investigate and understand in greater depth, in animal models, the origins of neurological diseases and conditions such as epilepsy, as well as other cognitive functions such as learning and memory.

“Recording this activity over a long period of time allows you to see changes that occur over time, in the activity itself,” says Pierre Wijdenes, a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program and the study’s first author. “This helps to understand why certain neurons form connections with each other and why others won’t.”

The cross-faculty team created the chip to mimic the natural biological contact between brain cells, essentially tricking the brain cells into believing that they are connecting with other brain cells. As a result, the cells immediately connect with the chip, thereby allowing researchers to view and record the two-way communication that would go on between two normal functioning brain cells.

“We simulated what Mother Nature does in nature and provided brain cells with an environment where they feel as if they are at home,” says Syed. “This has allowed us to increase the sensitivity of our readings and help neurons build a long-term relationship with our electronic chip.”

While the chip is currently used to analyze animal brain cells, this increased resolution and the ability to make long-term recordings is bringing the technology one step closer to being effective in the recording of human brain cell activity.

“Human brain cell signals are smaller and therefore require more sensitive electronic tools to be designed to pick up the signals,” says Colin Dalton, adjunct professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering and a co-author on this study. Dalton is also the facility manager of the University of Calgary’s Advanced Micro/nanosystems Integration Facility (AMIF), where the chips were designed and fabricated.

Researchers hope the technology will one day be used as a tool to bring personalized therapeutic options to patients facing neurological disease.


Some Inspirational Iranian women 

1 : Shirin Ebadi, is an Iranian lawyer, a former judge and human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. On 10 October 2003, Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women’s, children’s, and refugee rights. She was the first ever Iranian to receive the prize.

2 : Nasrin Sotoudeh, is a human rights lawyer in Iran. She has represented imprisoned Iranian opposition activists and politicians following the disputed June 2009 Iranian presidential elections as well as prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were minors. In 2012 she was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament. 

3 : Azar Nafisi, is an Iranian writer and professor of English literature. 

4 : Pardis Sabeti, is an Iranian-American computational biologist, medical geneticist and evolutionary geneticist, who developed a bioinformatic statistical method which identifies sections of the genome that have been subject to natural selection and an algorithm which explains the effects of genetics on the evolution of disease.

5 : Maryam Mirzakhani, is an Iranian mathematician. In 2014 She won the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics. Becoming the first women and Iranian to do so.

6 : Anoushe Ansari, is an Iranian-American engineer and co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems. In 2006 she become the first Iranian and the first self-funded women to visit the International space station. 

7 : Laleh Sedigh, is an Iranian race car driver. She is one of the most famous race car drivers in Iran.


On this day in music history: February 4, 1977 - “Rumours”, the eleventh studio album by Fleetwood Mac is released. Produced by Fleetwood Mac, Ken Calliat and Richard Dashut, it is recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, The Record Plant in Sausalito, CA and Los Angeles, CA, Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley, CA, Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles, CA, Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA, and Davlen Studios in North Hollywood, CA from Early - Late 1976. Following the bands’ marathon tour in support of their breakthrough album “Fleetwood Mac”, all of the members are affected by personal conflicts, including John and Christine McVie getting divorced, drummer Mick Fleetwood splitting from his wife Jenny Boyd, and Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham also ending their long term relationship. In spite of the obvious tension, it will also see the band at its creative peak, with Buckingham, Nicks and Christine McVie all writing songs about the breakdown of their relationships. Proceeded by the single “Go Your Own Way” (#10 Pop) in December of 1976, it is an immediate critical and commercial hit upon its release, spinning of four top 10 singles including “Dreams” (#1 Pop), “Don’t Stop” (#3 Pop) and “You Make Loving Fun” (#9 Pop). Later pressings of “Rumours” feature an alternate mix of the track “Gold Dust Woman” which features glass shattering (glass panes broken by Mick Fleetwood) and howling low in the mix (by Lindsey Buckingham) at the songs’ climax. The mix released on the initial pressing is without the shattering glass, and with the howling prominently featured in the mix. Original vinyl copies of “Rumours” feature a textured LP sleeve, with a lyric sheet booklet featuring photos of the band on the outer front and back. Later LP pressings feature a non-textured cover. Originally released on CD in 1985, and then is remixed into 5.1 surround sound by original recording engineer and co-producer Ken Calliat, and released as a DVD-A disc in 2001. A two CD deluxe edition including the original stereo mix is remastered (by Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch in 2004 and 2013) and reissued on CD in 2004. It is also remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in both standard 33 1/3 RPM and 45 RPM double vinyl pressings in 2011. The album is remastered and reissued on CD as a triple disc edition in 2013, with the first disc featuring the original album adding the B-side “Silver Springs” (also on the 2004 reissue). The second disc includes live performance material from the “Rumours Tour” in 1977. The third disc features song demos and outtakes from the sessions. The set is also issued as a Super Deluxe box set expanded to four CD’s, including a DVD featuring a documentary and the vinyl LP. “Rumours” spends thirty one weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, winning the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year in 1978, and is certified 20x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Double Diamond Certification.

Special Friends: Chapter 23

Submitted by: Panicattackkisses

Description:  When Stiles’ phone buzzed and lit up with the image of Lydia with two chopsticks in her mouth, he answered immediately.
“I thought I told you you can’t keep calling me up for meaningless, mind blowing sex, Lydia”.

Rating: M

Genre: Romance, Angst, Action

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The Oral History of Taylor Swift’s 1989
  • Taylor Swift (artist/co-producer): I woke up [one morning] at 4 a.m. and I [decided the album is] called 1989. I’ve been making ‘80s synth pop, I’m just gonna do that. I’m calling it a pop record. I’m not listening to anyone at my label. I’m starting tomorrow. I liked the idea of collaborating. But with 1989 I decided to narrow down the list. It wasn’t going to be 10 producers, it was going to be a very small team of four or five people I always wanted to work with, or loved working with. And Max [Martin] and I were going to oversee it, and we were going to make a sonically cohesive record again.
  • Imogen Heap (co-producer/co-engineer): We met at my studio in London. She had the bare bones of “Clean.” She had the lyric, the chorus and the chords. I thought it was brilliant.
  • Swift: I had this metaphor in my head about being in this house, there’s been a drought but you feel like there’s a storm coming. Instead of trying to block out the storm you punch a hole in the roof and just let all the rain come in, and when you wake up in the morning, it’s washed away.
  • Heap: I was really writing the tiniest amount just to help her do what she does. I put some noises to [“Clean”], played various instruments on it, including drums, and anytime she expressed she liked something I was doing, I did it more. It was a really fun day. She recorded all her vocals [for “Clean”] during that one session. She did two takes, and the second take was it. We always thought she would probably re-record it, because we thought it can’t possibly be that easy. But after we lived with it for a few months, we felt it was great.
  • Swift: The coolest thing about Imogen for me was that there was no one else in the studio. There was no assistant; there was no engineer. It was her doing everything.
  • Heap: I knew she loved [“Clean”]. She said she loved it and her mum loved it. But I wasn’t sure it would be included on the album. But everyone felt it had something special. It came together really magically.
  • Niklas Ljungfelt (guitarist): I played on “Style,” a song I started with Ali Payami for ourselves. He was playing it for Max Martin at his studio; Taylor overheard it and loved it. She and Max wrote new lyrics. But I recorded the guitar on it before it was a Taylor song. It was an instrumental. I didn’t have a clue that Taylor would sing on it. The inspiration came from Daft Punk and funky electronic music. Taylor liked that a lot when she heard the song the first time. [She was] taking a big step from the music she had done before.
  • Swift: “Blank Space” was the third thing I played [Max and Shellback]. And they [said], “No, this is the very first thing we are working on today!” It’s a very sparse track. We just wanted it to be about the lyric and the vocal.
  • Mattias Bylund (string arranger): We were listening to a mix when Max Martin came in and said that he wanted me to listen to [some songs]. We got to hear “Shake It Off” and “Wildest Dreams.” We immediately realized these were going to be future hits, and I was really happy to get the mission to arrange and record strings on “Wildest Dream.” I recorded them in my home studio in Tuve, Sweden. The Mellotron notes through the song were there, and the staccato strings in the chorus, those I dubbed with real strings. I added some big chords and a build-up in the bridge. On the choruses I recorded Coldplay-type rhythm chords.
  • Jonas Thander (saxophonist): I recorded alto and tenor sax [for “Shake It Off”] at my studio in Sweden. Max had recorded some MIDI horn ideas for me, and I came up with my own parts. It had no vocals when I did my part. I recorded all my horn parts, and then overdubbed other players, and edited it in a 10-hour overnight session. Sounds like a lot but I’m really picky. Then I did it all over again after the next recording day. But I love it, so no real harm done on me. People think it’s a baritone horn on the [“Shake It Off”] intro, but it’s a Mellotron.
  • Swift: The Mellotron was really helpful for us in coming up with sounds. Sometimes we later replaced them with real instruments.
  • Thander: The first time I heard Taylor’s vocals was when the song was released. It sounded amazing. Those guys really know what they’re doing.
  • Laura Sisk (engineer): I worked with [producer] Jack Antonoff on three songs, “Out Of The Woods,” “You Are In Love” and “I Wish You Would.” It was just Jack and I in the studio for a lot of the tracking. Especially on “Out Of The Woods.” He and Taylor were collaborating long distance and would send ideas back and forth rapid-fire. The songs came together really quickly. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the music. When we got Taylor’s vocals for “Out Of The Woods,” I couldn’t stop listening to it. I love the chorus so much and when her background vocals kick in at the end, it brings this anthemic feeling to the song that you can feel even just a cappella.
  • Tom Coyne (mastering engineer): My job was easy. Max Martin’s collaboration with Taylor Swift pretty much assured the album was going to be big, bold and beautiful. I mastered the whole album in two days. When working with professionals of this caliber, things go smoothly.
  • Heap: [Taylor is] a force of nature.

Verena Holmes (1889-1964) was an English engineer and inventor, the first woman elected to the Institution of Mechanical engineers. She also co-founded the Women’s Engineering Society in 1919, and advocated for more inclusion of the female gender in a traditionally male-dominated profession.

She specialized in several types of engines, such as locomotive, diesel, and internal combustion. While working for Research Engineers Ltd., she patented several inventions, such as an apparatus used for treating tuberculosis. During World War II, she worked on naval weaponry and trained women for munitions work.

Dumbledore knew in Harry’s second year that he was a horcrux. I mean c'mon, this is the dude who co-engineered the Philosopher’s stone, and can turn himself invisible without a cloak. When he learned Harry was a parseltongue and then saw the diary, he knew that Harry was a horcrux. Probably didn’t know how many there were, but he knew Harry was going to have to die.

theominousowl  asked:

You should definitely tell us more about your Arc V au...

TAKES DEEP BREATH well actually i just have a buncha various ideas without a plot but what more do you need

  • so the yu crew are all roommates and the bracelet girls are all roommates and hijinks ensue. they’re all aware and rightfully weirded out by how similar they all look but no one really questions it
  • each yu and corresponding bracelet girls are ofc childhood best friends, except yuri and selena who have known each other forever and always went to school together but kinda hate each other
  • yuya is president of the improv club and is in all the theatre productions to the point where he slacks on his classes. major undecided
  • yuzu does theatre with yuya. she espeically likes to do musical theatre and is a great singer. also undecided but she’s very studious
  • yuto is smol goth who looks kinda mean but he is the nicest. he, shun, and ruri have a band (yuto on guitar, ruri on bass, shun on drums, idk other members). art major..??
  • yuri is an asshole nerd. he’s just always stuck up and sassy except after he pulls all-nighters, then he is just a giant baby. idk his major, something difficult
  • yugo has a sweet bike (a bicycle) but also skateboards and is learning how to dj and he kinda seems like a tool but he’s cool, i swear. his major is engineering which surprises everyone cos he kinda acts like a dumbass
  • masumi is yuzu’s frenemy who has a lot of classes with her. she’s very fashionable and cool and has hip friends and has like 30k instagram followers
  • mieru (i know that she’s probably younger than everyone in canon BUT I LIKE HERE SO SHE’S HERE) is a tiny psych major who likes pastel goth aesthetic and the occult. friends with yuzu and comes with her to theatre rehearsal to see yuya
  • sawatari was yuya’s friend-rival because they were in a couple classes together, and ends up falling in with the yu-crew. business major, lives off-campus in his own apartment his dad paid for
  • reiji is like the student representative/ top of the class guy. also kinda an asshole but surprisingly not friends with yuri


Behold A Robot Hand With A Soft Touch
Using light-conductive materials, researchers have built a robot hand that can sense shapes and textures. Soft robotics holds promise for better prosthetics or machines with a more "human" touch.

Robotics researchers at Cornell University made a hand that has something close to a human touch — it can not only touch delicate items but also sense the shape and texture of what it comes into contact with.

Imagine a hand-shaped balloon, with light signals running through bendable so-called waveguides, pipes that carry waves, inside the fingers. When the hand touches something, the waveguides bend, distorting or changing the light signals. That change gives the robot data on whatever it is the hand is touching.

Relying on light signals also means that robotic hands could be made with cheaper materials, which could lead to cheaper prosthetic hands that give the wearer a sense of touch, says Robert Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell who co-authored the study.

Zhao estimates her soft robotic hand could be made for under $50 — even less with mass production, though you’d need more money to add a battery and a compressor tank, for the compressed air that controls the robotic fingers. Shepherd says it’s the cheapest product of its kind.

Creepypasta #700: Confessions Of A Deep Sea Diver (Part 3)

Story length: Super long

After my last post I was contacted by my former diving supervisor. He told me the danger of sharing these stories. Then his tone changed.

“Things are getting worse down there…” He had never before spoken freely about it with me. But he continued. “We had an incident this last week… And we lost men”. I was shocked. We all know the dangers, we’ve all seen the Keepers of the Deep. But nobody actually expects to die. After a close call or two, you just expect to keep having close calls. He continued “Out of respect for our fallen, you need to use your best judgement before sharing this. And realize, it isn’t safe to share this story” He then continued.

The team was contacted to perform a standard salvage job for the military. They had been incredibly vague about the work, but indicated that a vessel had gone down. The dive team and their gear were loaded aboard a U.S. Naval ship to be escorted to the project. This is abnormal, but not unheard of. 

But things became more, and more strange as they travelled to the project. First, they were briefed by the Commanding Officer. He reviewed the confidentiality agreement regarding our work. Then the brief was turned over to a man who did not introduce himself. He explained that the Navy has been working on a prototype submarine. Its capabilities and new technologies would not be relevant to us. All we needed to know was that it was tremendous. The size would dwarf any subs we’d ever witnessed. 

He then admitted the Navy did not need routine salvage work, but assistance recovering their prototype. He briefed the team that four days prior they had lost contact with the crew. Sonar images show the submarine resting on bottom, apparently intact, but nobody was responding to communications attempts.

As the ship arrived on scene, they found that they were not alone. Nearly a dozen Navy ships were already awaiting their arrival. The divers were given the go ahead to get in the water and begin work. Their first task was to inspect the submarine for damage and hazards. They needed to provide a bottom report for the engineers to develop a plan for raising it. They didn’t want us rigging it up however seemed fit to us. They needed the prototype in as good of a condition as possible.

The divers entered the water and were soon in awe of the creation. It was like nothing they had ever seen. It was tremendous. From where they descended they could not see the forward or aft ends of the submarine, and the water was abnormally clear. In addition, the sub was created out of what appeared to be a reflective metal woven into scales. 

They began inspecting the sub for damage. After they had reached the maximum allowable bottom time, they were brought back to the surface to swap out without event. They reported to the next set of divers that they had explored from midship to the aft end and had found no apparent damage. The sub appeared to have gently set down in the sand.

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One of my own: Trident 1 D1A3

I actually made a history for this non-existent tank because I have no life.

Here is the second to final iteration of Sturm Heavy Industry’s Trident 1. First developed in the late 60′s, this tank has gone through many upgrades to improve its combat effectiveness. This version, first produced in mid-1979, features a welded turret (previously cast) and is armed with a Rell-Co Type-3 105 mm L/55 smoothbore HV-cannon. It is covered with applique armor of spaced/composite material on the hull sides, along the turret, and on the mantlet. Although the hull already has thin composite plates added to it, the crew of this tank decided to have ERA bricks added to the hull and turret for peace of mind. The tank features two sets of vision blocks on the hull for the driver and co-driver/engineer. This unusual set up allowed for a backup driver to be present, should the driver be unable to perform their duties. 

Each of the front mudguards features the tank’s division number (left) and it’s divisional badge (right). Mounted to the loader’s hatch is a 7.62 TACHS M705 MG, an identical gun is mounted co-axially. The gunners hatch has a 40mm Martin M220 grenade launcher mounted. The commander has his own .50 caliber AA gun mounted (it would normally mount a 7.62).

Unusual for many MBT’s at the time, the tank has a 5 man crew, as the tank was designed to operate in long-distance/flanking operations without much support. Having the extra crew member was simply for the sake of having an extra person for emergencies. 

If you want I can make up more BS like this for my other designs. 

Five Ways Animals Are Better Than Humans

From Blue Whales and Elephants to hummingbirds and Thailand 2 gram bumblebee bats – everything is possible in the animal kingdom. Humans are supposed to be at the top of the food chain; we have built cities, explored the world… Our list of accomplishments is long, and yet, animals still surpass us in many ways!


The World’s Strongest Man is Eddie Hall. He deadlifted 1020 pounds! His incredible strength got him into the World Records, but it is nothing compared to animals.
An elephant can lift 600 pounds just with its trunk; the trunk contains over 40,000 muscles. But is it the strongest animal? Not even close. In relative strength, a rhinoceros beetle is much stronger. This insect is tiny, but can lift and carry 850 times its own bodyweight with a little horn on its head. If Eddie Hall carried 850 times his own body weight, we would be walking around with 316,200 pounds on his shoulders – that is the weight of a large, adult Blue Whale or a wooden tea!

flickr | Nigel JonesMigration


Artic terns are known as migration champions. They travel 22,000 miles every year. Grey Whales and Northern Elephant seals hold the record of longest migration among mammals with an impressive 13,000 miles round trip. Ten years ago a great white shark made it from Africa to Australia, travelling the 12,400 miles in nine months. But the longest non-stop migration by a bird (that was recorded!) was done by a bar-tailed godwit. In just nine days it flew 7,145 miles from Alaska to New Zealand. It lost half its body weight as it didn’t stop to drink or eat during this time.

Do we even dare compare humans to this? Firstly, we can’t fly. Even after we built planes, the longest non-stop flight covered 10,376 miles from Singapore to New York and the Airbus had four engines, a pilot and co-pilot and everyone got to take breaks for food. The bar-tailed godwit did it all alone.

flickr | Wayne ButterworthSpeed


Two years ago everyone was cheering on Usain Bolt when he broke the world record, running at 27.79 miles an hour during a 100 metre sprint. And he is still strikingly slower than animals.

The cheetah is known as the fastest animal on land and it can run more than twice the speed of Bolt. In three seconds, it can reach a speed of 60 miles an hour and run almost three sprints.
In the water, a sailfish can be even faster and swim at 68 miles an hour.
But even faster is the peregrine falcon. It would easily overtake any car on a German motorway at 200 miles an hour (the suggested speed is 80 miles an hour).

flickr | Gary EyringJumps


One animal can beat humans in two categories at once. The impala, an antelope living in Africa, can jump33 feet far and 20 feet high if it feels danger coming. It is a defence mechanism, but also for fun.
Humans have created Olympics to compete in those categories and so far, the records lie with Mike Powell for the long jump, who reached just over 29 feet and Gerald Sensabaugh jumped just under 4 foot in 2005. If our sporting competitions ever open to animals, humans will be off the winning podium as fast as a cheetah can run!

flickr | Ray Morris