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Brain is Far More Flexible Than Conventionally Thought

Study suggests balance between preserving memories and integrating new learning

By Greta Friar, Harvard Medical School Communications

The human brain has a region of cells responsible for linking sensory cues to actions and behaviors and cataloging the link as a memory. Cells that form these links have been deemed highly stable and fixed.

Now, the findings of a Harvard Medical School (HMS) study conducted in mice challenge that model, revealing that the neurons responsible for such tasks may be less stable, yet more flexible than previously believed.

The results, published Aug. 17 in the journal Cell, cast doubt on the traditional notion that memory formation involves hardwiring information into the brain in a fixed and highly stable pattern.

The researchers say their results point to a critical plasticity in neuronal networks that ensures easier integration of new information. Such plasticity allows neuronal networks to more easily incorporate new learning, eliminating the need...

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The Origin of Metabolism

science news Apr 05, 2017
RSF Science News Article

A big question in science is how life emerged from ostensibly abiotic environments. What demarcates the transition from prebiotic matter to living systems? What environments could have fostered such complex chemical circuitry? Life is supported on three primary pillars: (1) replication – a molecular system capable of encoding information, most importantly its own reproduction; (2) Synthesis – the molecular machinery to read and execute encoded information to assemble new parts and replicate; and (3) Metabolism – the ability to extract energy from the environment to drive far-from equilibrium processes including chemical synthesis of molecular “building blocks”.

A popular explanation for the emergence of the first chemical replicators is known as the ‘RNA world hypothesis’. Ribonucleic acid is a polymer that is capable of encoding information in its nucleic acid sequence, and performing enzymatic catalysis – it...

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New measurements exceed Heisenberg uncertainty limit; is this experimental evidence for non-orthodox quantum theories?

science news Mar 23, 2017

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle is a key theoretical limit on the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a quantum state, such as position and momentum, can be known. In the Bohr-Heisenberg formulation of quantum theory, also known as the Copenhagen interpretation, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is taken beyond a mere theoretical limit on the precision with which measurements can be made on quantum systems, and is instead interpreted as a fundamental property of the universe in which there is a certain level of intrinsic indeterminacy that places unsurpassable constraints on the degree of certainty with which any measurement of complementary variables can be made.
This of course, is according to the Bohr-Heisenberg theory of quantum mechanics, and essentially argues that the absolute uncertainty and irreducible limitations on the possibility to obtain certain knowledge about a quantum state reflects the inherent meaninglessness of actual, real...

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Spacetime Geometry in Quantum Mechanics

By William Brown, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

How quantum gravity describes the inner workings of particle physics: the quantum geometry of entanglement – advances beyond the Copenhagen interpretation.

In a recent paper by the leading theoretical physicist Leonard Susskind, director of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics, a major conundrum of Copenhagen quantum mechanics is addressed as Susskind takes head-on the elephant-in-the-room for the major model of particle physics. The study begins by identifying one of the major shortfalls of the Copenhagen Interpretation, namely that it requires a single external observer who is not a part of the system under study. This requirement has led to a fair amount of confusion and logical inconsistencies when trying to understand the relation between the multiplicity of observers and the system under observation. Obviously, the situation required by the Copenhagen Interpretation is untenable, as the universe...

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Metamaterial That Bends, Shapes, and Focuses Sound Waves

Article by William Brown, Biophysicist, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

Metamaterials are a class of super-materials with remarkable characteristics. Metamaterials have been engineered to bend and shape light, providing an effective invisibility cloak.

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Commentary on Time-Crystals

By Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientists
We recently posted a link to the announcement of the world's first verifiable time crystal. Here, we will elaborate a little further on what a time crystal is and why it is important to unified physics.

The basic idea of a time crystal is relatively straight-forward. A crystalline medium has a periodic, or regularly repeating structure. However, because of entropic considerations (forcing the substance into its lowest energy state) the crystal will not have the same repeating structure in all directions: it will be asymmetric -- this is known as symmetry breaking of spatial translation symmetry. So whereas with normal crystals this repeating, periodic structure is asymmetric spatially (the spatial configuration of the crystalline lattice); with a time crystal the asymmetric periodicity is not in spatial organization but in time-varying media.

Ultracold matter normally serves as the medium, where ions are cooled to such a low...

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Time Crystals – A New Phase of Matter

By Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientists

The mechanism underlying the formation of crystals is the breaking of symmetry in the spatial domain. Also responsible for phase transitions between liquid and solid it has long been associated with a system in equilibrium – that is a system in its ground state.

However, two independent teams of scientists have recently confirmed the existence of crystals in a non-equilibrium state – known as time crystals. Predicted in 2012 by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek these systems break symmetry in the time domain – where they show periodicities at an emergent sub-harmonic frequency and are robust to external perturbations. Could this be a resonant frequency of the quantum vacuum?

The basic idea of a time crystal is relatively straight-forward. A crystalline medium has a periodic, or regularly repeating structure. However, because of entropic considerations (forcing the substance into its lowest energy state) the crystal...

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Physicists Demonstrate Existence of Two States of Liquid Water

biophysics science news Dec 24, 2016

Writing in the International Journal of Nanotechnology, Dr. Maestro and co-authors explain how the physical and chemical properties of water have been extensively studied for over 100 years and revealed some odd behavior not seen in other substances. In recent research, Dr. Maestro's team was able to identify two distinct phases or states of liquid water. The preliminary findings suggest that the structure of liquid water can strongly influence the stability of proteins and how they are denatured at the crossover temperature, which may well have implications for understanding protein processing in the food industry but also in understanding how disease arises when proteins misfold.

Article: http://www.sci-news.com/physics/two-states-liquid-water-04359.html

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Could Dark Streaks in Venus’ Clouds Be Signs of Alien Life?

astrophysics science news Dec 18, 2016

The question of life on Venus, of all places, is intriguing enough that a team of U.S. and Russian scientists working on a proposal for a new mission to the second planet — named Venera-D — are considering including the search for life in its mission goals. If all goes as planned, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could one day be cruising the thick, sulfuric-acid clouds of Venus to help determine whether dark streaks that appear to absorb ultraviolet radiation could be evidence of microbial life.

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Planck Stars: Quantum Gravity Research Ventures Beyond the Event Horizon.

By Resonance Science Foundation Research Team

In the last section of one of our articles dealing with  the so called information loss paradox of black hole physics - Stephen Hawking Goes Grey – we included a quick description of the cutting-edge work of two astrophysicist Carlo Rovelli and Francesca Vidotto describing what they came to call Planck Stars, which is gaining much interests in the popular press.

The information loss paradox is such a hot-bed of theoretical modeling right now because it suggests that either our theory of quantum physics or our model of black holes is flawed or at least incomplete (the most likely case being both/and, as is usually the solution to seeming paradoxes, which results from either/or thinking). Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, it is also recognized with some prescience that resolving the information loss paradox will hold the key to a holistic description of quantum gravity, and therefore be a major advance towards a...

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