neurophysics

As per usual, Alliance intel was some two months stale. If there was, indeed, an ex-Cerberus operative in hiding deep within the Wards of the Citadel, they were very small and very quiet. With an exhale that seemed perhaps too grandiose for the occasion, Persephone Castaigne blinked into visible existence  in a modest apartment, the latter itching with disuse.

Vigilance had been command’s buzzword ever since the attempted coup of the Citadel. Few significant casualties, but if not for the egregious Commander Shepard swooping in at the last minute to save the day, the war might’ve ended right then and there. It made the Commander look great, and C-Sec look like a bunch of children playing at being soldiers.

The amount of ridiculous security scans just to get from the Alliance garrison to the Presidium was absurd, and actively detrimental at that. It messed with the people trying to do their jobs, and promoted unease within the civilian population. The fact was, Cerberus simply didn’t have the manpower to try again. They excelled at subtle, unassuming takeovers that crumbled as swiftly as any significant resistance was encountered. Pro-Alliance propaganda had long since rallied around Eden Prime’s resistance movement. Couldn’t swing a space-hamster without being blasted by some sound byte about Profiles In Courage: Eden Prime.

Intelligence had been on a roll with Cerberus activities. A corrupt volus ambassador here, a sleeper agent within C-Sec there - and now, their plat de résistance: a Cerberus cell operating FROM the Citadel. If there was one thing Intel did better than blowing up rumors, however, it was sitting on their plush asses - leaving one Persephone Castaigne to do the difficult hacking and infiltration work. But now that she was here, it became clear that the CERBERUS BASE dwelling had been unoccupied for some time. A moderate layer of TERRORIST EXTREMIST dust laminated the surfaces. She was careful not to rub a finger through it - it would be too obvious should a TRAITORIOUS BASTARD OF A person show up.  A datapad, however, was more her speed. She grabbed it, establishing a wireless link before setting it back, waking her omni-tool’s hacking VI to scrub the encryption. 

It took no more than the churnings of internal mechanisms from the door opposite for the lieutenant to instinctively duck and apply her Tactical Cloak, quietly praising herself for not disrupting anything. A week of surveillance without any comings and goings, and now, of all times, the subject appeared? Foul and fair luck, in equal measure. Perhaps not such a waste of time after all.

Tumblr peeve.

I hate typing in niche scientific fields that I’m interested in and getting back bullshit quack science in return. Example: Neurophysics. Where my neurophysicists at? No? Ok.

Brainwaves

Waves? Never ask, when and where about them. Only length. (de Broglie)

A toy helicopter can now be steered through an obstacle course by thought alone, researchers report today in the Journal of Neural Engineering. The aircraft’s pilot operates it remotely using a cap of electrodes to detect brainwaves that are translated into commands.

Ultimately, the developers of the mind-controlled copter hope to adapt their technology for directing artificial robotic limbs and other medical devices. Today’s best neural prosthetics require electrodes to be implanted in the body and are thus reserved for quadriplegics and others with disabilities severe enough justify invasive surgery.

“We want to develop something non-invasive that can benefit lots of people, not just a limited number of patients,” says Bin He, a biomedical engineer at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, whose new results build on his previous work with a virtual thought-controlled helicopter.

Plants Talk Too!

Having a neighborly chat improves seed germination, finds research in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Ecology. Even when other known means of communication, such as contact, chemical and light-mediated signals, are blocked chilli seeds grow better when grown with basil plants. This suggests that plants are talking via nanomechanical vibrations.

Monica Gagliano and Michael Renton from the University of Western Australia attempted to grow chilli seeds (Capsicum annuum) in the presence or absence of other chilli plants, or basil (Ocimum basilicum). In the absence of a neighboring plant, germination rates were very low, but when the plants were able to openly communicate with the seeds more seedlings grew.

However when the seeds were separated from the basil plants with black plastic, so that they could not be influenced by either light or chemical signals, they germinated as though they could still communicate with the basil. A partial response was seen for fully grown chilli plants blocked from known communication with the seeds.

Dr Gagliano explained, “Our results show that plants are able to positively influence growth of seeds by some as yet unknown mechanism. Bad neighbors, such as fennel, prevent chilli seed germination in the same way. We believe that the answer may involve acoustic signals generated using nanomechanical oscillations from inside the cell which allow rapid communication between nearby plants.”

Neuromanagement

The word ‘neuro-management’ has become a catch word. Literally it refers to the management of neurons. The question is how can one manage neurons, when one has no ability to manage the nerves. What one can be able to manage are the external factors bounding to have some impact on the neural circuit. Doesn’t neuro-psycho-management sounds more appropriate? It will be really great if one can control the flow of hormones, thereby maintaining a balance of physiology and action as and when required. Looking forward to understand more of neuro-economics.

Further read: http://neurobusiness.wordpress.com/