Archive for the ‘food’ category: Page 8

Oct 22, 2023

Study shows that attractor dynamics in the monkey prefrontal cortex reflect the confidence of decisions

Posted by in categories: food, neuroscience, robotics/AI

When humans make decisions, such as picking what to eat from a menu, what jumper to buy at a store, what political candidate to vote for, and so on, they might be more or less confident with their choice. If we are less confident and thus experience greater uncertainty in relation to their choice, our choices also tend to be less consistent, meaning that we will be more likely to change our mind before reaching a final decision.

While neuroscientists have been exploring the neural underpinnings decision-making for decades, many questions are still unanswered. For instance, how neural network computations support decision-making under varying levels of certainty remain poorly understood.

Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland recently carried out a study on aimed at better understanding the neural network dynamics associated with decision confidence. Their paper, published in Nature Neuroscience, offers evidence that energy landscapes in the can predict the consistency of choices made by monkeys, which is in turn a sign of the animals’ confidence in their decisions.

Oct 20, 2023

Valley Fever Is a Growing Fungal Threat to Outdoor Workers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

I think in order to battle this fungal threat more beneficial fungi could be grown like mosses and other permaculture plants to prevent its spread on the farms.

The disease hits farmworkers and outdoor laborers disproportionately hard.

Oct 16, 2023

Researchers develop organic nanozymes suitable for agricultural use

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, engineering, food, nanotechnology

Nanozymes are synthetic materials that mimic the properties of natural enzymes for applications in biomedicine and chemical engineering. Historically, they are generally considered too toxic and expensive for use in agriculture and food science. Now, researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a nanozyme that is organic, non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and cost effective.

In a newly published paper, they describe its features and its capacity to detect the presence of glyphosate, a common agricultural herbicide. Their goal is to eventually create an user-friendly test kit for consumers and agricultural producers.

“The word nanozyme is derived from nanomaterial and enzyme. Nanozymes were first developed about 15 years ago, when researchers found that may perform catalytic activity similar to natural enzymes (peroxidase),” explained Dong Hoon Lee, a doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE), part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and The Grainger College of Engineering at U. of I.

Oct 14, 2023

How a scientist looking to prove his food wasn’t fresh discovered radioactive tracers and won a Nobel Prize

Posted by in categories: chemistry, food, habitats

Each October, the Nobel Prizes celebrate a handful of groundbreaking scientific achievements. And while many of the awarded discoveries revolutionize the field of science, some originate in unconventional places. For George de Hevesy, the 1943 Nobel Laureate in chemistry who discovered radioactive tracers, that place was a boarding house cafeteria in Manchester, U.K., in 1911.

De Hevesey had the sneaking suspicion that the staff of the boarding house cafeteria where he ate at every day was reusing leftovers from the dinner plates – each day’s soup seemed to contain all of the prior day’s ingredients. So he came up with a plan to test his theory.

Oct 13, 2023

How the hippocampus distinguishes true and false memories

Posted by in categories: food, neuroscience

Let’s say you typically eat eggs for breakfast but were running late and ate cereal. As you crunched on a spoonful of Raisin Bran, other contextual similarities remained: You ate at the same table, at the same time, preparing to go to the same job. When someone asks later what you had for breakfast, you incorrectly remember eating eggs.

This would be a real-world example of a false . But what happens in your brain before recalling eggs, compared to what would happen if you correctly recalled cereal?

In a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Pennsylvania neuroscientists show for the first time that in the human hippocampus differ immediately before recollection of true and false memories. They also found that low-frequency activity in the hippocampus decreases as a function of contextual similarity between a falsely recalled word and the target word.

Oct 11, 2023

Toxicologists reveal popular weed killer may harm teenage brains

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, education, food, health, neuroscience

Of course, this study was performed on a relatively small group of individuals in an agricultural community, which is not the environment that most American teenagers grow up in. These links may also be due to some other confounding factors, like spending more time on the farm than in formal education. However, these results are still striking and important to consider for young people in farming communities (and non-farming communities) around the world.

“Many chronic diseases and mental-health disorders in adolescents and young adults have increased over the last two decades worldwide, and exposure to neurotoxic contaminants in the environment could explain a part of this increase,” senior author Jose Ricardo Suarez, an associate professor in the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health, said in a statement.

“Hundreds of new chemicals are released into the market each year, and more than 80,000 chemicals are registered for use today,” Suarez added. “Sadly, very little is known about the safety and long-term effects on humans for most of these chemicals. Additional research is needed to truly understand the impact.”

Oct 9, 2023

Welcome to the AI gym staffed by virtual trainers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, information science, media & arts, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Each member works out within a designated station facing wall-to-wall LED screens. These tall screens mask sensors that track both the motions of the exerciser and the gym’s specially built equipment, including dumbbells, medicine balls, and skipping ropes, using a combination of algorithms and machine-learning models.

Once members arrive for a workout, they’re given the opportunity to pick their AI coach through the gym’s smartphone app. The choice depends on whether they feel more motivated by a male or female voice and a stricter, more cheerful, or laid-back demeanor, although they can switch their coach at any point. The trainers’ audio advice is delivered over headphones and accompanied by the member’s choice of music, such as rock or country.

Although each class at the Las Colinas studio is currently observed by a fitness professional, that supervisor doesn’t need to be a trainer, says Brandon Bean, cofounder of Lumin Fitness. “We liken it to being more like an airline attendant than an actual coach,” he says. “You want someone there if something goes wrong, but the AI trainer is the one giving form feedback, doing the motivation, and explaining how to do the movements.”

Oct 9, 2023

Common Plastic Additive Linked to Autism And ADHD, Scientists Discover

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, food, health, neuroscience

The number of kids being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has risen sharply in recent decades, and a new study points to the common plastic additive bisphenol A (BPA) as a potential reason why.

BPA is used in a lot of plastics and plastic production processes, and can also be found inside food and drink cans. However, previous research has also linked it to health issues involving hormone disruption, including breast cancer and infertility.

In this new study, researchers from Rowan University and Rutgers University in the US looked at three groups of children: 66 with autism, 46 with ADHD, and 37 neurotypical kids. In particular, they analyzed the process of glucuronidation, a chemical process the body uses to clear out toxins within the blood through urine.

Oct 9, 2023

Researchers identify link between gut bacteria and pre-clinical autoimmunity and aging in rheumatoid arthritis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, life extension

While the bacteria in the intestine are helpful for digesting food and fighting infections, they have long been suspected to play an essential role in triggering rheumatoid arthritis. This chronic inflammatory disorder affects the joints.

Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a link between an abundance of specific gut bacteria and the triggering of an immune response against a person’s tissue. They also found that this happens even before the clinical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis appear. They published their findings from the study in Science Advances.

“As we age, our gut bacteria and their byproducts change, which impacts our ,” says senior author Veena Taneja, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic immunologist. There is a known link between imbalances in gut bacteria, aging, and rheumatoid arthritis, but it is challenging to prove this connection in humans. “This research sheds light on the complex relationship between gut microbiota and rheumatoid arthritis.”

Oct 9, 2023

Adding spider DNA to silkworms creates silk stronger than Kevlar

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Spiders are incredibly hard to cultivate — let alone farm.

Spider silk, a natural polymeric fiber, breaks this rule. It is somehow both strong and tough. No surprise, then, that spider silk is a source of much study.

The problem, though, is that spiders are incredibly hard to cultivate — let alone farm. If you put them together, they will attack and kill each other until only one or a few survive. If you put 100 spiders in an enclosed space, they will go about an aggressive, arachnocidal Hunger Games. You need to give each its own space and boundaries, and a spider hotel is hard and costly. Silkworms, on the other hand, are peaceful and productive. They’ll hang around all day to make the silk that has been used in textiles for centuries. But silkworm silk is fragile. It has very limited use.

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