Melt down, Nicola Samorì
Hah, and the philistine rebuttal is issued.
An almost fully-formed human brain has been grown in a lab for the first time, claim scientists from Ohio State University. The team behind the feat hope the brain could transform our understanding of neurological disease.
Though not conscious the miniature brain, which resembles that of a five-week-old foetus, could potentially be useful for scientists who want to study the progression of developmental diseases. It could also be used to test drugs for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, since the regions they affect are in place during an early stage of brain development.
The brain, which is about the size of a pencil eraser, is engineered from adult human skin cells and is the most complete human brain model yet developed, claimed Rene Anand of Ohio State University, Columbus, who presented the work today at the Military Health System Research Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Previous attempts at growing whole brains have at best achieved mini-organs that resemble those of nine-week-old foetuses, although these “cerebral organoids” were not complete and only contained certain aspects of the brain. “We have grown the entire brain from the get-go,” said Anand.
Anand and his colleagues claim to have reproduced 99% of the brain’s diverse cell types and genes. They say their brain also contains a spinal cord, signalling circuitry and even a retina.
The ethical concerns were non-existent, said Anand. “We don’t have any sensory stimuli entering the brain. This brain is not thinking in any way.”
Anand claims to have created the brain by converting adult skin cells into pluripotent cells: stem cells that can be programmed to become any tissue in the body. These were then grown in a specialised environment that persuaded the stem cells to grow into all the different components of the brain and central nervous system.
According to Anand, it takes about 12 weeks to create a brain that resembles the maturity of a five-week-old foetus. To go further would require a network of blood vessels that the team cannot yet produce. “We’d need an artificial heart to help the brain grow further in development,” said Anand.
Several researchers said it was hard to judge the quality of the work without access to more data, which Anand is keeping under wraps due to a pending patent on the technique. Many were uncomfortable that the team had released information to the press without the science having gone through peer review.
Zameel Cader, a consultant neurologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, said that while the work sounds very exciting, it’s not yet possible to judge its impact. “When someone makes such an extraordinary claim as this, you have to be cautious until they are willing to reveal their data.”
If the team’s claims prove true, the technique could revolutionise personalised medicine. “If you have an inherited disease, for example, you could give us a sample of skin cells, we could make a brain and then ask what’s going on,” said Anand.
You could also test the effect of different environmental toxins on the growing brain, he added. “We can look at the expression of every gene in the human genome at every step of the development process and see how they change with different toxins. Maybe then we’ll be able to say ‘holy cow, this one isn’t good for you.’”
For now, the team say they are focusing on using the brain for military research, to understand the effect of post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
Image: The tiny brain, which resembles that of a five-week-old foetus, is not conscious. Ohio State University
Yeeees, more brain stuff! We must understand the squishy computer.
Hybrid beasts made of brass and bone by Jessica Joslin
Iconic punk poet Patti Smith composed a song to send off the cartoon series Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which concludes this Sunday after 13 seasons.
I never dreamed, I’d be an Aqua Teen
Thirteen seasons, what did it mean?
A Master Shake, Meatwad, a floating head
And now you’re dead, and it’s the end
Of Aqua Teen Hunger Force
It’s the end
Of Aqua Teen Hunger Force
"I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate."
The impact of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant broadsides appears to have veered dangerously far off the presidential campaign trail.
Police in Boston say that one of two brothers who allegedly beat a homeless Hispanic man cited Trump’s message on immigration as a motivation for their attack. “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” Scott Leader, 38, told officers, according to a police report cited by The Boston Globe.
Leader and his brother, Steve, were arrested and charged with multiple assault charges after police said they urinated on and then assaulted a 58-year-old homeless man they found sleeping outside a T-station as they walked home from a Red Sox game. They allegedly beat him with a metal pole, breaking his nose and causing other injuries. According to the Globe, Scott Leader told police it was OK to assault the man because he was Hispanic and homeless. Both men, who have extensive criminal records, pleaded not guilty and said the homeless man started the confrontation.
Officials in Boston immediately denounced the attack. But Trump, who has made no apology for suggesting some Mexican immigrants were “rapists” and calling for their mass deportation, appeared to brush off the incident when he was asked about it while campaigning Wednesday in New Hampshire. “I think that would be a shame,” he said, according to The Boston Herald, in reference to the report. He said he hadn’t heard about the incident but then defended his most ardent supporters as “passionate.”
I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.
For Latino leaders who repeatedly denounced Trump’s rhetoric against undocumented immigrants, the most disturbing part of the attack in Boston was how unsurprising it was. “It’s a pattern that we have seen over the last decade in the nation with enforcement only policies and this anti-immigrant rhetoric,” said Hector Sanchez, the chairman of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, in a phone interview, “I was not surprised.”
Sanchez said he has repeatedly warned that Trump’s statements, which have been laughed off as clownish in some quarters, are taken far more seriously in the Latino community. “When Trump is having this kind of anti-Latino and anti-immigrant language, he’s not only a clown talking in general, his language has a direct impact in the quality of life of Latinos,” he said. Sanchez said he believed that a 50 percent rise in hate crimes against Hispanics over the last five years is “directly correlated” to anti-immigrant rhetoric from conservatives. Before Trump’s emergence in the last few months, inflammatory statements from Republican members of Congress like Steve King and Louie Gohmert made national headlines.
Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, called Trump’s response to the attack “morally bankrupt.”
This pattern of hateful rhetoric has officially passed the of point of extremist words and has turned into alarming action. This is more than just bad politics. When political debate encourages an atmosphere where hateful actions and hurtful rhetoric get mainstreamed, it’s bad for the country.
Yet with Trump’s rivals in the Republican field responding to his rise by running to the right on immigration, there seems to be little that Latino leaders can do beside denounce the party and promise retribution at the polls next year. “Unfortunately, a lot of those extremist views are now reflective of the Republican Party,” Sanchez said. Will the outrage of the hate-fueled attack in Boston prompt the GOP to take on Trump more directly? Perhaps. But if Trump’s establishment-be-damned campaign strategy is a guide, it might not do much good.
This article was originally published at http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/08/a-trump-inspired-hate-crime-in-boston/401906/
Banksy installed a massive pisstake of Disneyland, called Dismaland, that includes his art and other, at a former swimming pool compound in Weston-super-Mare, England. More images below. Juxtapoz has an exclusive interview with Banksy in their new issue, excerpted online:
I’m at a point with art where I only really care if the piece is more than the sum of its parts. I’m lucky because what I make either succeeds or fails. Some people undoubtedly would tell you that’s why it’s crap art, but that’s the way it is. I feel sorry for Abstract Expressionists—how do they know when to go home?
All I need is to make my point and get something more out of it than what I put in. If something extra has happened between the idea and realizing it, that’s a win. This week I surrounded my Cinderella’s carriage with a ring of paparazzi, and the flash bulbs made the shadows leap around the room, and the pumpkin looked like it was lit by flickering candles, so I’m good. I never saw that coming.
More images at Juxtapoz: "Preview: Inside Banksy's 'Dismaland' @ Tropicana, Weston-Super-Mare"
If you had to escape a robot that could easily outrun you in an open field, what would you do? Given the technology of today, heading to rougher terrain would be a good decision. But robotics company Boston Dynamics is making sure that soon, robots will be able to go anywhere you can go. ANYWHERE.
Above, the founder of Boston Dynamics Marc Raibert speaks at the FAB 11 Conference at MIT, showing off brand new footage of the company’s ATLAS robot traversing wooded areas disturbingly well.
The key, as Raibert says, is to model the walking robots after how animals and people move, “where you move quickly in order to keep yourself stabilized if you’re disturbed.” The GIF above shows just how effective that dynamic stabilization can be, as does the testing that involves simply hurling heavy objects at a balancing robot.
“We’re interested in getting this robot out into the world,” says Raibert. That’s the real challenge — labs are so controlled that the intricacies of the outside environment are hard to model for. So how do you model it? Send the robot outside. Once it can walk the earth with ease, the next step would be removing the need for outside power. “We’re working on a version that doesn’t have [the power tether].” Oh. Well there you go.
All the faux fear mongering aside, the technology on display here is tremendously impressive. You and I take for granted the musculature in our legs and body that allows us to sprint through the forest — Boston Dynamics has to replicate this evolutionarily-tuned ingenuity from the ground-up (though details about the specific designs are kept close to the chest). And it looks like they are doing a pretty good job of it.
Oh, and we’re going to just act like we didn’t see the four-legged robot with the door-opener for a face for now.
Max Whittaker / Reuters
Justin Sullivan / Getty
Justin Sullivan / Getty
Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty
USFS / USDA
David McNew / Getty
Kevin Warn / AP
CC BY-SA Ben Brooks
Justin Sullivan / Getty
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood …”
So there's a group of people who spontaneously decided that whispering gives you a "brain massage". Or "head tingle". Or something. And there's people who became Youtube stars for whispering.
Then, there's people who decided to...whisper stories. Okay.
And now there's people who whisper erotica. For magic head tingles. Cool?
We've written about Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) on Boing Boing several times in the past couple of years. (See "The brain-tingling world of ASMR collides with science fiction" and "The whispery world of ASMR enters virtual reality"). People with ASMR say that soft soothing sounds - whispers, gentle tapping, breathing, crinking - can produce pleasant tingles in their body (though some people are claiming ASMR is not a real phenomenon. I don't know. I don't have ASMR, but if people feel euphoric frissons when they hear softly spoken words, I believe them.)
Kathryn Lindsay has written a piece of Vice's Broadly about a recent ASMR trend called ASMRotica, which she describes as a "a soft, sensual, and therapeutic alternative to mainstream porn."
"Several months ago, through ASMR groups and forums, I started to notice an emerging demand for erotic ASMR," explained Laila, who goes by Laila Love ASMR on YouTube. I had sent a few emails out to ASMR creators who publicly brand themselves as catering to the more sensual side of the genre. I wanted to know just what this subgenre was, and how it carved its place inside this community. What I found was, despite adamant insistence to the contrary, once these videos starting hitting subscription boxes, viewers ate it up. "After uploading my first video, I was seriously overwhelmed with all the attention that it got," Laila continued. "Several videos and several hundred subscriptions later, my channel just kind of blew up and I've been doing it ever since. It's been a lot of fun."
Possibly NSFW video from Laila Love ASMR:
Better Call Saul at the FIDM Museum’s Ninth Annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design Exhibition. Altogether there are about 75 outfits from 24 Emmy-nominated shows on display. Runs through Sat., Sept. 26, 2015 at the FIDM in Los Angeles, CA. More info. Photo by Red Carpet Report
Hovertext: There's a lot of networking to be done on the Dark Side.