The sensing robots

Engineers from the University of Minnesota have developed 3D printed stretchable electronic fabric that could enable robots to feel their environment.

atelier-toucher-robots-decuple.jpgThis innovative bionic skin will not only help robots to interact with each other, but could also be used in minimal invasive surgery procedures: by putting this material on surgical robots, surgeons (the human type!) will be able to feel the procedure, so they wouldn’t have to rely only on cameras anymore.

You can find out more potential applications of this 3D printed bionic skin in this article!

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Happiness made in the kitchen

It is commonly known that serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for the maintenance of mood balance, and that its deficit leads to depression. Serotonin is normally produced by our brain and intestines, but we can also help increase its levels by eating certain foods!

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I always suspected that food can make you happy… and now I know it is true, in a literal sense! However, if you think chocolate will help your mood… sorry you will be disappointed.

Want to know what food can increase your serotonin levels? Find it out here.

Learn more about serotonin here.

Night owl or early bird? It’s written in your genes

Scientists at Rockefeller University discovered that a mutation in the CRY1 gene, involved in the regulation of circadian clocks, is linked to what is commonly known as “night owl” behaviour.

spada5.jpgPeople affected by this mutation have shifted sleep phases and irregular sleep patterns, resulting in them staying up late and having problems getting up in the morning.

In these cases, a strict schedule helps with controlling the sleep cycles, and therefore overcome some of the problems linked to the delayed sleep phase disorder.

Read more about this study here.

 

Math anxiety linked to peculiar problem-solving strategies

A new research shows that, when applying problem-solving strategies, people that feel anxious when dealing with maths rely on different brain circuits than the ones used by math-confident people.

download.jpegThis different brain activation could explain why people with math-anxiety also struggle more to solve non math-related complex problems.

You can read more about this here!

 

Some science readings for Valentine’s Day….

valenVery soon it will be Valentine’s day….So we thought to recommend you some nice readings from our blog!
Find out everything about the science of love in our article: ” Love: is it in our heart or in our mind?”.

Chocolate is the perfect gift for this day, find out why it is so irresistible reading this article!

 

If the sound of people eating drives you crazy…

You are not being unreasonable (and yes, this is a bit personal)!

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A new study investigating the neurobiology of misphonia (a condition where people are angered by specific sounds such as chewing or breathing) uncovered that the brain of people affected by it activates circuits associated with the elaboration of emotions when processing this kind of noises.

Discover more about it by reading the full paper here!

New frontiers in optogenetics

Developed in the early 2000s, optogenetic is a technique that allow scientists to use light to turn on and off neuronal cells by activating and deactivating certain proteins.

Oriimages.jpegginally, the proteins controlled this way were heavily engineered, inserted in the cells and just used as switch, so they did not give information about the function of this molecules as their original function was most of the time compromised.

Now, a new study published in Science expand this technique to the study of the native function of a wide range of proteins, unveiling how their roles differ according to where in the cells the proteins are working.

If you want to find out more about this topic, read this interesting article.