Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Late-night snacks ‘could wreak havoc on your memory’ -

Late-night snacks ‘could wreak havoc on your memory’ - 

Late-night snacks could have a negative impact on your learning and memory abilities, according to a new study.
The research from the University of California found that eating regular meals at times that are normally for sleeping reduced the cognitive performance of mice, and similar effects could exist in humans.
Dawn Loh, first author of the study said: “We have provided the first evidence that taking regular meals at the wrong time of day has far-reaching effects for learning and memory.”
The team of researchers tested whether mice were able to recognise an object. Mice who were regularly fed during their sleep-time were significantly less able to remember the object, and their long-term memory was also greatly reduced.
Both these functions are controlled by a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is involved in activating nerve impulses along certain pathways.

When an experience is repeated, those same pathways are supposed to increase in strength — but this effect was reduced when the sleep cycle was affected by meal time disruption.
In the mice fed late at night, the activity of a protein called CREB was lessened. This protein may be involved in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and it being less active decreases memory.
It’s suspected that different brain areas not being in synch may be the cause of the memory issues.
The team also found disruptions to sleep patterns, leading to broken up sleep and short naps to catch up on the sleep lost during the night.
Professor Christopher Colwell, one of the researchers on the study, said: “Modern schedules can lead us to eat around the clock so it is important to understand how the timing of food can impact cogitation.
“For the first time, we have shown that simply adjusting the time when food is made available alters the molecular clock in the hippocampus and can alter the cognitive performance of mice.”


Male bass are experiencing unwanted sex changes, apparently thanks to the “chemical soups” that pass for waterways -

Male bass are experiencing unwanted sex changes, apparently thanks to the “chemical soups” that pass for waterways - 

Male bass are experiencing unwanted sex changes, apparently thanks to the "chemical soups" that pass for waterways in the Northeast. The Washington Post reports 85% of male smallmouth bass surveyed in the region have "characteristics of the opposite sex"—specifically eggs where their testes should be.

The same is true of 27 percent of area largemouth bass, Vice adds. For a recently published study, researchers tested bass near 19 wildlife refuges in the Northeast, according to a US Geological Survey press release.

Researchers didn't do a chemical analysis of the water where the intersex fish were found, so they can't be sure specifically what is causing the sex changes.

But they suspect the problem is things that get dumped down drains and into US waters. Researchers believe the likely culprits are birth control pills, pesticides, hormones in livestock manure, and other chemical-heavy products, according to the press release.

Vice reports those products contain estrogen, which can produce dramatic effects even at very low levels. But this isn't just a problem in the Northeast. Up to 90 percent of male smallmouth bass in parts of West Virginia are intersex, and increasing sex changes have been noted in nearly 40 fish species around the world going back 20 years, according to the Post.

Study author Luke Iwanowicz calls these fish "the canary in the coal mine." "We are looking at fish but, of course, there is that concern that, if this stuff is in the water, it can be affecting other wildlife," he tells Vice.


Hillary to open the X-Files: promises to 'get to the bottom' of Area 51 - 'I think we may have been visited already' -

Hillary to open the X-Files: promises to 'get to the bottom' of Area 51 - 'I think we may have been visited already' - 

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said that if she is elected, she will 'get to the bottom' of questions over what the government knows about UFOs and aliens.
She made the promise when speaking with Daymond Steer of The Conway Daily Sun in New Hampshire. She had previously interviewed with the same reporter in 2007.
When asked if she would support UFO disclosure group efforts, she enthusiastically said 'yes'.
In 2007, Clinton said the most common freedom-of-information requests her husband Bill Clinton received at his library were about UFOs.

'Yes, I'm going to get to the bottom of it,' Hillary Clinton told The Sun reporter last week. 
In 2014, Bill Clinton told late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel that he wouldn't be surprised if aliens visited Earth, and last week 
'No, I am trying to tell you I don't know, but if we were visited some day I wouldn't be surprised, I just hope it's not like Independence Day,' he said, referring to the 1996 film in which aliens attack the Earth.

Hillary Clinton appeared to agree with her husband's comments when she spoke about aliens on last week.
'I think we may have been (visited already). We don't know for sure,' she said.
She added that she would like to look into Area 51, which she first called Area 54 but quickly corrected herself. 
The Air Force facility based in Nevada has long been rumored to house aliens.
Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta is fan of UFO lore, the presidential candidate told the Sun. She said he watches an FX sci-fi show.

Read more -