Fear can be erased from the brain before its memory has been formed

Brian Dodson for gizmag –

An old saying tells us not to dwell on an unpleasant event. A new clinical study suggests the saying has both psychological and neurological support for its validity. Along with his advisors, Thomas Ågren – a doctoral candidate in psychology at Uppsala University in Sweden – has shown that it is possible to erase newly formed emotional memories from the human brain.

There are two forms (at least) of memory, short-term and long-term. Short-term memory keeps a very small amount of information, about the seven digits of a telephone number, at your fingertips for a brief period – typically less than a minute. Long-term memory, on the other hand, seems to store nearly unlimited amounts of information for years or decades.

A long-term memory of an experience, however, is not formed immediately upon the fading of the experience from short-term memory. The information is slowly consolidated into long-term (potentially lifelong) storage over time. This is why some drugs or experiences (such as a concussion) are associated with a period of amnesia – their effects stop the consolidation process cold, so the memory is lost.

read more >>

Dark matter scaffolding of universe detected for the first time

A filament of dark matter has been directly detected between the galaxy clusters Abell 222 and Abell 223. The blue shading and yellow contour lines represent the density of matter.
Image credit: Jörg Dietrich, U-M Department of Physics

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Scientists have, for the first time, directly detected part of the invisible dark matter skeleton of the universe, where more than half of all matter is believed to reside.

The discovery, led by a University of Michigan physics researcher, confirms a key prediction in the prevailing theory of how the universe’s current web-like structure evolved.

The map of the known universe shows that most galaxies are organized into clusters, but some galaxies are situated along filaments that connect the clusters. Cosmologists have theorized that dark matter undergirds those filaments, which serve as highways of sorts, guiding galaxies toward the gravitational pull of the massive clusters. Dark matter’s contribution had been predicted with computer simulations, and its shape had been roughed out based on the distribution of the galaxies. But no one had directly detected it until now.

“We found the dark matter filaments. For the first time, we can see them,” said Jörg Dietrich, a physics research fellow in the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Dietrich is first author of a paper on the findings published online in Nature and to appear in the July 12 print edition.

read more >

World leaders lost sight of their urgent purpose!



WWF Rio+20 closing statement (via World Wildlife Fund)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (21 June 2012) – With negotiations at an end, WWF Director General Jim Leape today issued the following closing statement about the Rio+20 summit: “This was a conference about life: about future generations; about the forests, oceans, rivers and lakes that we all depend on…

Continue reading “World leaders lost sight of their urgent purpose!”

Epistle to the Ecotopians



A final message of hope from Ecotopia author Ernest Callenbach (via Red Green & Blue)

Epistle to the Ecotopians By Ernest Callenbach [This document was found on the computer of Ecotopia author Ernest Callenbach (1929-2012) after his death.] To all brothers and sisters who hold the dream in their hearts of a future world in which humans and all other beings live in harmony and mutual…

Continue reading “Epistle to the Ecotopians”

Eco Friendly Family Travel



It’s Easy to be Green at these Eco-Friendly Family Vacation Spots (via http://www.bigmoneyticket.com)

CHICAGO, May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Travelers wanting to leave a lighter footprint can combine family fun with education at these green activity destinations recommended by the travel experts at The GO Group, LLC. San Francisco is known for being one of the most eco-aware cities in the U.S. Visitors…

Continue reading “Eco Friendly Family Travel”